As borrowed from Aerostich RiderWearhouse, www.aerostich.com
America’s core wealth comes from three sources: Extractive resource development, Agricultural production and Manufacturing. Actually, agriculture these days is sort of a mash up of resource development and manufacturing. Service Industries are important, too, but this wealth-from-nothing activity isn’t the same as the other three.
The USA is the world’s lowest (or near lowest) cost producer and manufacturer of agricultural thinglike soy and corn and beef, and more or less from this comes our political, financial and military strength. Good governments (…everywhere) appreciate how this works and protect their ag sectors accordingly, so thru most of the developed/advanced parts of the world smart and hardworking farmers have pretty good lives. America needs all three ‘legs’ of economic activity – extractive resources, agriculture and manufacturing – for a healthy, stable and socially progressive society.
Beyond that, our country today seems to have plenty of service and professional workers and arguably not-quite-enough manufacturing workers. Many kinds of manufacturing activities cost comparatively too much in the USA, so there are too few jobs for the many who would otherwise be doing this work, spending their days making things.
An individual’s path upward from under compensated low-level worker to higher compensated professional worker passes through both service and manufacturing jobs. Individuals who can work effectively with the public (for a zillion reasons inside themselves) have many more job paths toward any profession: Work hard as a service worker, go to school, learn a profession.
Those who are equally motivated but for whatever reason are not as able to work with the public in service areas (again, for a zillion reasons inside of themselves) do not have as many comparable and directionally upward job opportunities. There are not enough manufacturing jobs in America right now.
I speculate that society-in-general breaks down 50/50 between those capable of excelling in service work situations, and those capable of excelling in manufacturing work situations, and that without providing enough manufacturing job opportunities for that half of society, governmental support systems become too large…which ends up destabilizing society.
The way to develop and maintain a strong society isn’t making cheaper consumer durable products for everybody the top priority. Fair global free trade and minimum wage laws are both important, but so is buying American-made products whenever they are functionally competitive, and fairly priced.