Manufacturing is Special: Why America Needs Its Makers

There’s a common refrain among mainstream economists that, when it comes to America’s long-term growth, it doesn’t matter whether the country has a strong manufacturing base. Nor, they say, does having a healthy industrial structure create greater income equality. If we want growth and fairness, the thinking goes, we shouldn’t focus on specific industries. We should pursue broad policies, such as investment in education and progressive income taxation.

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