Skip to content

What Deindustrialization?

Conventional wisdom holds that America’s manufacturers have been declining for ages, yet the facts don’t support this assumption. Tom Blumer wonders why:

The powerful “manufacturing is in decline” meme won’t go away soon, but it should.
It apparently isn’t enough that the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Index has read “expansion” in 48 of the past 50 months. It has become an article of faith among reporters and opportunistic politicians that American manufacturing has been, and continues to be, in a long-term decline.
The fact is that government reports also show the exact opposite. Why apparently no one, including the sector’s supporters, has done, or at least published, the simple math involved to debunk the myth of “deindustrialization” is indeed a mystery.

Pay close attention to Tom’s description of manufacturing’s share of the economy. It’s a smaller chunk of a much larger pie. Refer to the concepts of tax cuts or baseline budgeting for more illustrations.
Since cities like Dubuque, Houston, Seattle and Charleston support robust manufacturing sectors, I’m forced to ask: what’s Cleveland’s excuse?