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Entirely true, yes, and?

Summary:
That Donald Trump fixates on manufacturing as some symbol of the health of the economy is true. That he’s not expanded it is also true. The correct reaction being yes, entirely true, and? The point being that the fixation itself is incorrect:Manufacturing, a centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s promise to Make America Great Again, sits at its smallest share of GDP in 73 years of data.This is used as a gotcha against Trump’s policies and actions. When the criticism should be of the concept itself. There is nothing special about manufacturing. It is not the foundation of all wealth creation, it is not something an economy must do in order to be able to do everything else. Manufacturing is simply one manner of combining scarce economic resources to produce value. If we find that we’ve other

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That Donald Trump fixates on manufacturing as some symbol of the health of the economy is true. That he’s not expanded it is also true. The correct reaction being yes, entirely true, and?

The point being that the fixation itself is incorrect:

Manufacturing, a centerpiece of Mr. Trump’s promise to Make America Great Again, sits at its smallest share of GDP in 73 years of data.

This is used as a gotcha against Trump’s policies and actions. When the criticism should be of the concept itself. There is nothing special about manufacturing. It is not the foundation of all wealth creation, it is not something an economy must do in order to be able to do everything else.

Manufacturing is simply one manner of combining scarce economic resources to produce value. If we find that we’ve other combinations that produce more of that value then of course we should be running with those other combinations. Which is, indeed, what we’ve been doing this past 73 years. For this is not something specific or unique to America, it’s been happening in every rich country. Yea even in German - manufacturing is a higher portion of GDP than it is in the US or UK, certainly, but it’s also smaller than it was as a percentage of the German economy in the past.

Manufacturing as a percentage of GDP is falling in China for goodness sake.

Manufacturing as an economic sector just doesn’t have the importance currently assigned to it let alone that insisted upon by certain politicians from varied parties.

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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