How Public Policy Crippled Manufacturing

Manufacturing executive Andrew Smith explains why health care and worker’s compensation are responsible for the industry’s decline.

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Will American manufacturing ever get back to its glory days? Should it?

In the glory days, [manufacturing] was about a third of our economy, both in output and in workforce, and it’s unlikely that we will return to that. In about 1980 we had 21 million jobs in manufacturing. And today, even with the substantial recovery since the bottom of the meltdown period, we’re only at 12 million. We’ve really got an interlocking series of policies that have created huge headwinds for the manufacturing sector. And, if we care about manufacturing, and I think we should, then we’ve got to address all these areas at once.

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