Why Manufacturing Matters: The Myth of the Post-Industrial Economy

by Stephen Cohen, John Zysman



What will happen to the wealth and power of the United States if we really do shift out of manufacturing and actually become a service economy? This article argues that manufacturing remains vital to the health and well-being of the U.S. economy. Despite the attraction of the concept of a "post-industrial economy" and growing shift to services, the linkages of the rest of the economy to manufacturing remain strong. Manufacturing cannot simply be automated or moved offshore without severly damaging the labor force and impoverishing the U.S. economy. The American policy agenda must emphasize and support the essential role of manufacturing in maintaining the nation's competitive position.

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