At least one political subject inevitably demands attention from both sides in an election—and in 2016, that’s American manufacturing. Democrats and Republicans seem to share the belief that America was better off when its citizens could count on a factory job as a reliable escalator into the middle class. Every candidate has a plan to revitalize U.S. industry; Trump alone promised to bring steel back to Pittsburgh and Carrier back to Indiana.
Given that the image of the factory worker is so closely linked to America’s 20th-century rise, one can understand this desire to turn back the clock. But would such a restoration be viable?
The truth is, even if China blinked out of existence tomorrow, there just wouldn’t be a need for much of the work America lost.
Read the full piece on theatlantic.com.