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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Desolation On The Factory Floor

I got really annoyed with the Wall Street Journal a long time ago when it repeatedly pooh poohed the notion that American manufacturing was suffering because - as it sized it up - output was still strong and productivity continued to improve.

Like saying the Titanic was doing just fine because the lights were still on.

Well, the lights have gone out.

Hello, Wall Street Journal:
U.S. losing high-tech manufacturing jobs to Asia
By Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post

The United States lost more than a quarter of its high-tech manufacturing jobs during the past decade as U.S.-based multinational companies placed a growing percentage of their research-and-development operations overseas, the National Science Board reported Tuesday.

The rapid expansion of science and engineering capabilities in China and its neighbors pose a more formidable economic challenge to the United States, according to the group, with Asia rapidly boosting the number of engineering doctorates it produces and research dollars it spends.

The report also highlights the broader loss of related U.S. jobs.

The number of high-tech manufacturing jobs in the United States has declined by 687,000, or 28 percent between 2000 and 2010, according to the report. [link]
The author, being your typical Washington Poster, attributes our demise in large part to the fact that governments in Asia did a better job of developing private enterprise over there than Obama has done here.  If only our government had invested more tax dollars (that it doesn't have) and provided more guidance ...

That might fly if it weren't for that great big elephant in the room - it's a hell of a lot cheaper to bring a product - whether high-tech or low-tech - to market in China or Indonesia than it does here in the USA.  And no amount of government intrusion is going to alter that fact.

As for the Wall Street Journal, it should have known better.  The writing was on the ... wall ... long ago.

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"The United States lost more than a quarter of its high-tech manufacturing jobs during the past decade ..."

For the love of God.