Thursday, August 25, 2005

Real Economics

Paul Craig Roberts did time as an Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal and as Assistant Secretary/Treasury for Ronald Reagan. That's a pair of hints that Roberts is no flaming lefto-wacky type.

He also makes a lot of sense.

"Protectionism can be problematical for innovation, and the study is correct to point this out. Where the study fails is in ignoring that innovation does not take place in a vacuum. Innovation requires a material base and depends on a strong manufacturing, science and engineering foundation backed by R&D programs.

...The US has no God-given comparative advantage in innovation and new technology. We were leaders in these fields, because we were leaders in manufacturing.

We were leaders in manufacturing, because Europe and Japan destroyed themselves in wars, and the rest of the world destroyed themselves in various forms of socialism and cronyism.
America’s hegemony in manufacturing, science and engineering was the product of historical circumstances. Moreover, it occurred despite American protectionism.

...As a recent report from the National Research Council recognizes, “product development and technical support follow manufacturing. One consequence for America is the loss of many manufacturing capabilities and “the increasing availability abroad of unique technologies not found in the United States.”

This development is taking a huge toll on America’s human resources in manufacturing skills, engineering and science.

The Bush Administration has, inexplicably, followed the lead of the Clinton gang in simply waving goodbye at the docks to American manufacturing leadership. It took the BushBoyzzz about 6 years to figure out that the southern border is "a problem."

Think they'll recognize that the disappearance of US manufacturing is "a problem"?

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