Thursday, April 4, 2013

Preparing For a Manufacturing Resurgence

If we could just tweak a few policy things, the U.S. economy could add 3.7 million jobs.  Manufacturing is the key.

That's the Twitteresque (meaning less than 140 characters with room for a link) version of an Aspen Institute report titled The Manufacturing Resurgence: What It Could Mean For the U.S. Economy.

It's a must read.

The report models out a "plausible resurgence scenario" for U.S. manufacturing and what it could mean for the U.S. economy as a whole.  The results are music to the ears of everyone who cares about manufacturing but should be to everyone.  Everyone.

A summary of the report by Ideas Lab indicates these tidbits by the Year 2025:

  • 3.7 million new manufacturing jobs
  • A reversal of the manufacturing trade deficit
  • Higher manufacturing output—specifically, $1.5 trillion higher than in the baseline scenario
  • Higher investment in equipment and software—specifically, 12.1 percent higher in 2025, relative to the baseline

  • How do we get there?

    The Ideas Lab folks summed up the policy changes that could help bring about that resurgence versus maintaining the status quo.  Here's the list:

  • Complete more trade-opening agreements (Europe/Asia); combat currency manipulators
  • Sustain current energy boom (natural gas); improve electric grid
  • Reduce regulatory overlap
  • Improve K-12 STEM education
  • Lower corporate taxes to OECD average levels; adopt territorial tax system
  • Expand basic research funding

  • That's really not a hard list. 

    Trade agreements that bring fair trade make sense. 

    If government stays out of the way, the energy boom will sustain itself and the resurgence of manufacturing is a spark to improve the electric grid.

    Regulatory reform?  No better time for that than a lameduck Presidential adminstration.

    Who doesn't see the value of improving STEM education?  We have to change attitudes, though, and that means embracing manufacturing.

    Taxes and research funding are more difficult to tackle, probably, but that's all a matter of priority investing.  There are times our policy makers have been able to figure that out.

    Let's do it!

    No comments:

    Post a Comment