View all Articles
Commentary By Mark P. Mills

The American Economy Needs Manufacturing

Economics, Economics, Energy Regulatory Policy, Employment, Technology

America’s economy won’t boom again unless the manufacturing sector does. Period.

Let’s stipulate that when it comes to the dignity of work, all jobs matter — whether coding in San Jose, construction work in Cincinnati, or urgent-care nursing in Queens. But the big question on the table is whether America can restore the boom days of 3-percent-per-year growth. And here manufacturing jobs are key. 

However, there is an idea in circulation — especially popular in corners of Silicon Valley — that future workers face a tech-driven gig economy disconnected from “dirty” old factories. In that worldview, it’s futile to try and revive “disappearing industries like mining and manufacturing;” the focus should be on “emerging, fast-growing industries” instead. 

Set aside what constitutes “emerging” and “fast-growing,” and consider the inconvenient truth that not all jobs are equal, economically speaking. When it comes to creating wealth for all of society, there’s no substitute for manufacturing jobs. 

A dollar added to the GDP by a factory generates a spillover economic benefit some three-fold greater than a dollar added by a car or food service. This well-established phenomenon is....

Read the entire piece here at RealClearPolicy


Mark P. Mills is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering. Follow him on Twitter here.

This piece originally appeared in RealClearPolicy