A professor of economics at George Mason University, Walter Williams, has a new column out about manufacturing:
It's productivity gains, rather than outsourcing and imports, that explains most of our manufacturing job loss.
U.S. manufacturing is going through the same kind of labor-saving technological innovation as agriculture. In 1790, farmers were 90 percent of the U.S. labor force. By 1900, only about 41 percent of our labor force was employed in agriculture. By 2008, less than 3 percent of Americans were employed in agriculture. What would you have had Congress do in the face of this precipitous loss of agricultural jobs? Should Congress have outlawed all of the technological advances and machinery that cost millions of agricultural jobs and made our farmers the world's most productive? Also, had Congress done something to save those agricultural jobs, where would we have gotten the workers to produce the millions of things we enjoy that weren't even around in 1790? We would have been poorer.