Manufacturing has been declining as a share of U.S. gross domestic product for some time, from about 28 percent in 1950 to about 11 percent in 2009. Any economist can tell you that this decline is not necessarily a cause for concern.
Over the past few decades, our economy has transformed dramatically, and the importance of innovation has increased sharply. ...We have become an ideas economy.
That's not a problem. It's economic evolution, a natural and positive force. The agricultural sector has seen a similar decline in the last 60 years, falling to 1 percent of GDP from roughly 7 percent....
If Democrats think that the optimal share of GDP devoted to manufacturing should be higher, their economists should tell us what that optimal share is. They don't because they can't.
When politicians pick winners and losers, they interfere in the natural economic process and invariably cause harm.
I'd add that innovation/ideas and manufacturing are not necessarily a zero-sum game.