Is US manufacturing really dead?
US Manufacturing isn’t dead, despite all the reports to the contrary, manufacturing writer Jim Vinoski wrote a few days ago in Forbes.
The industry has had its share of ups and downs, there’s no doubt. But it’s not anywhere near as bad as the media is telling us, Vinoski says.
It’s undeniable that US manufacturing faces many challenges. Since manufacturing is seen as tied intrinsically to the health of the nation, we as a country have many decisions to make as a result.
Those decisions that America has to make about its health and prosperity include:
- Do we continue to vigorously impose ever more costly safety, environmental and other regulations here at home, even though it means manufacturing competitors abroad who aren’t saddled with those rules become ever more economically attractive?
- Do we practice free trade while other countries impose barriers to our products?
- Or, on the other hand, should our trade policies be driven in part by protecting domestic manufacturers?
- Do we continue to shower public money (usually in the form of tax breaks) on companies for bringing manufacturing plants to our towns and communities, but have no penalties when those same companies shutter the plants and eliminate the jobs they promised?
Vinoski’s assessment of the situation is thought-provoking and revealing. Is it possible that political worldviews are really what is affecting the future of manufacturing?