Manufacturing and America's Future

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ro Khanna, a former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce, argues that, despite everything you've heard about the economy, America continues to be a world leader in manufacturing. In Entrepreneurial Nation: Why Manufacturing is Still Key to America’s Future, he shows that innovative companies are staying ahead of the curve, and looks at why the American steel industry, aerospace companies, the defense technology sector are still world leaders.


Ro Khanna

Comments [9]

jgarbuz from Queens

The biggest factor in IMPROVING US manufacturing is the Internet, and the ability to communicate with everyone, and buy and SELL whatever we want from whomever we want in every corner of the world, and that means knowing what your customer in Bangkok or Biafra needs or wants. By talking and especially listening closely. People will sort it out if they really need the business.

Sep. 28 2012 12:45 PM

Re: companies that cannot find skilled workers in the US. IBM constantly posts jobs requiring masters and doctorates . They offer salaries up to $40,000. No one applies for these positions and IBM gladly hires overseas. I'm sure this is true of many corporations. The workers are here, they need to pay them a decent salary.

Sep. 28 2012 12:42 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

It's amazing how ignorant and arrogant Americans and American manufacturing was back even in the 1980s. I got married in Israel in 1984, and we were looking for a small, table-top dishwasher for our little Israel apartment kitchen. First I looked for American makes, and they didn't exist at all. Only large dishwashers for large suburban type homes. The Italians and Japanese had models, but ended up buy an expensive but very sturdy Swedish table-top dishwasher. Though I was exempted from paying most of the very heavy Israeli tariff because I was consider a new immigrant, I nonetheless had to pay the 18% VAT (value added tax).
America lost much of its manufacturing due to arrogance and willful ignorance of overseas markets, which were largely ignored until very recently.

Sep. 28 2012 12:32 PM
Chuck from NY

What about the increased replacement of workers with robots?

Sep. 28 2012 12:26 PM
Jim B

What are the reasons for the resurgence of manufacturing in the US? Is it due mainly to market forces, or did government play a role? Can one political party claim to be better for manufacturing than the other?

Sep. 28 2012 12:23 PM
Nydia Leaf from Manhattan

What percentage of U.S. manufacturing is linked to weapons manufacture? Since most weapons contracts are dispersed among all 50 states - eliminating one particular system impacts several states simultaneously

Sep. 28 2012 12:22 PM

1. The dollar is not particularly weak. And the US does manipulate the dollar. During the Clinton years, Robert Rubin spearheaded the effort to keep the dollar artificially strong.

2. We have two huge manufacturing/export strengths: a. high-end manufacturing (finely machined, high-tech parts); b. education, where we are a huge exporter. But both Republicans and Democrats have done tremendous damage to American higher education.

Sep. 28 2012 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

We manufacture lots of things. We manufacture Mars Rovers and Predator drones, and aircraft carriers, Hubble telescopes, etc. But most mass production consumer goods went overseas many decades ago and won't come back until American labor costs roughly equal those in China and INdia, Latin America and Africa.

Sep. 28 2012 12:14 PM

Why is it that _lawyers_ are deemed to be authorities on everything? I see almost as many lawyers being consulted on the economy as I do economists.

Sep. 28 2012 12:00 PM

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