Talking heads, pundits, and media types supporting current public policy [more accurately termed politico policy], are always in search of a statistical data point, holding forth statistics as fact, then making the leap that the data point constitutes complete evidence of an open and shut case…..have recently latched onto the data point of an increase in manufacturing jobs.
One must realize that the mantra of “manufacturing job” is a panacea. That is, implicit to the “manufacturing jobs” mantra of the politico and their intelligentsia following is that this particular job category, the rise and fall thereof, is the fix all. If manufacturing jobs are falling then this is the key to economic woes and the falling jobs number is due to some evil exogenous force. The rise in manufacturing jobs is a key to economic success and, of course, any rise thereof is directly due to politico policy.
Obviously the panacea and the political wrangling around this particular panacea is political dupery. However, the greater political nitwitery is that manufacturing jobs, the decline thereof, is a world wide phenomena and not singularly a US phenomena. Manufacturing jobs on a world wide basis peaked years ago yet overall output continues to increase. Technology and automation, as in the agricultural sector of the past, are supplanting the need for human workers. This technology and automation supplanting the need for human workers results in better more innovative product at a lower real cost.
Where the political dupery and political nitwitery merge is: if one is successful in attracting manufacturing jobs and builds upon the panacea, and if one looks forward considering that the current batch of dupes and nitwits being long gone twenty years hence, then one finds themselves in a 20 year future economy that has attracted an economic sector that’s worldwide employment opportunities have peaked years ago and which the unemployment is decreasing at an increasing rate while output increases at an increasing rate.
How does one frame the panacea at this 20 year future point? That is to say, how does one explain to the people alive 20 years hence that dupery and nitwitery purposely attracted an economic sector that was in decline in relation to human employment? How does one explain that nitwits attracted a sector akin to 1920’s and 30’s agriculture declining employment, and now its 1950 and agriculture is shedding jobs at a maximum rate while output skyrockets. And when manufacturing runs its course and becomes the agriculture of today, employing 3% of the employed work force yet producing mass abundance, how does one frame the panacea?