Trump’s blustering about bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US brought scorn, but perhaps not everywhere
Trump wants Apple to bring manufacturing jobs back to America. It sounds flat to American ears. But elsewhere “das hört sich gut an,” loosely translated from German “that rings true.”
Investment banking doesn’t create value it just moves it from one group to another. Transformation creates value; converting ore into metal, sand into silicon or parts into a car creates value. Triple investment banking employment, the net gain is null. Hence manufacturing is a vital component of a modern economy.
American business and politicians read Tom Friedman’s book “the World is Flat” and decided that the erosion of high value manufacturing jobs was inevitable. Germany read the same book and concluded that following Friedman would ruin their economy based on high value manufacturing jobs and ignored it.
A total of 3.2 million — one in six U.S. factory jobs — have disappeared since the start of 2000 replaced by lower value and lower paying service jobs.
Just look at every city in New England with a few exceptions — they are post industrial decaying urban nightmares. The only city transformed from an industrial economy to a post industrial economy is Boston blessed with the wealth of MIT, Harvard and other universities.
I’m not defending Trump, but rather illuminating the panglossian view that there is something in the future that will replace the value of manufacturing jobs. Take a trip to Naugatuck, Springfield, Lowell, Lawrence, Brockton, Fall River…Detroit, cities that wait patiently for an economic force to raise them from post-industrial depression.
Find everything Steven Max Patterson published on Twitter @stevep2007