Wednesday, September 12, 2007

US manufacturing leads the world

The United States with 4% of the world's population produces almost a quarter of the world's manufacturing. Our manufacturing output is now the highest it has ever been. The US is the largest manufacturer by far. Second place Japan is dropping back. One of my favorite Algore lies was in 1992 when he accused Vice President Dan Quayle of paying to send American jobs overseas. There has to be an element of truth for a lie to work, Al. Manufacturing in the US is healthy and growing. It is not growing as a percentage of our economy, but it is growing. Daniel Ikenson at covers it: Reports of the death of U.S. manufacturing have been greatly exaggerated. Since the depth of the manufacturing recession in 2002, the sector as a whole has experienced robust and sustained output, revenue, and profit growth. The year 2006 was a record year for output, revenues, profits, profit rates, and return on investment in the manufacturing sector. And despite all the stories about the erosion of U.S. manufacturing primacy, the United States remains the world's most prolific manufacturer--producing two and a half times more output than those vaunted Chinese factories in 2006. The Washington Post tells the same news in the story of a mill town in North Carolina. The textile mill employed 200, but closed in the late 1950s. Now the same building houses Biolex Therapeutics. 90 people produce a drug for a liver ailment. And their process uses duck weed from a local pond!

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