The American industries that are succeeding—including highly automated manufacturers—will continue to do so, taking a greater share of national jobs, national wealth, and maybe the national self-image.
For individuals who have lost factory jobs, it’s clear why a decline in manufacturing work matters. And for manufacturing-dependent communities, which have seen their buildings gutted, and their populations in rapid decline, our hearts break as consistently as our policies fail.
Yet these are local stories in a complex and otherwise relatively healthy American economy. So why has the revival of manufacturing become the centerpiece of a national campaign and an urgent American priority?