Friday, August 21, 2009

Still Building Our Future

One reason the tale of America's eclipse by China seems to take hold here is the assumption that our manufacturing sector is dying.

This is simply not true:

According to data from the 2009 Economic Report of the President, as gathered and reported recently by George Mason University economics professor Don Boudreaux, since 1987, real U.S. manufacturing output has increased by 81 percent. And as reported by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, American real manufacturing value-added — the market value of manufactured goods, over and above the costs that went into their production — reached a record-high level in 2007 (the last year for which final data are available), breaking the record set in 2006, which broke the
record set in 2005, which broke the record set in 2004. Notwithstanding the recent recession that has affected all sectors of the economy, U.S. manufacturing has been thriving in recent years.

Relatively speaking, it is true that our manufacturing sector is a smaller part of our economy than it was fifty years ago. But we still produce more than 50 years ago. I mean, are we starving because so little of our economy is now agriculture? Do we no longer grow food? Of course not.

Just stop panicking. The American century is not over yet and I don't see it ending any time in my life.