The conventional wisdom that U.S. manufacturing job loss is simply a result of productivity-driven restructuring (akin to how U.S. agriculture lost jobs but remains healthy) is fundamentally flawed. U.S. manufacturing lost jobs because manufacturing lost output; and it lost output because its ability to compete in global markets declined significantly. If the United States is to rectify this and restore U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and jobs, it must embrace a comprehensive national manufacturing strategy focusing on the "4Ts" of technology, tax, trade, and talent.
Morrill at 150: Creating American Manufacturing Universities
In The New England Journal of Higher Education, Rob Atkinson makes the case for a new Morrill Act, in which the federal government support the designation of a core of approximately 20 leading “manufacturing universities.” As part of this designation, these universities would do several things. First, they would revamp their engineering programs much more around manufacturing engineering and, in particular, work that is more relevant to industry. Also, academic institutions would receive an annual award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), ideally at least $25 million a year, plus prioritization of their projects in the awarding of NSF grants
Voters are Ahead of Washington on Manufacturing
The results of a bipartisan survey released by the Alliance for American Manufacturing show 89 percent of Americans think we need a national manufacturing strategy. Two-thirds of respondents said China’s trade policies hurt U.S. employment and 62 two percent said Washington needs to do something about it.
Joining the Great American Manufacturing Battle
In writing his July 2012 contribution to Bridges Magazine, Stephen Ezell emphasized that over the past decade in particular, American manufacturing has performed palpably worse than many of its major peer competitors. This loss of U.S. manufacturing is not due to some inexorable shift to a post-industrial economy; it is due to a failure of U.S. policies.
WIRE-Net Annual Meeting
WIRE-Net's Board of Directors invited Rob Atkinson to address this year's Annual Meeting because of his work promoting U.S. based manufacturing, organizing the American Manufacturing Charter, which is supported by a coalition of labor, business, and economic policy leaders and organizations.