It seems to me that the premise of the answers is flawed -- that gov't action is what drives manufacturing.
"Yes, by funding research, education, and tax credits" Other than weapons systems, politicians track record on creating productive enterprises is pretty spotty; Solyndra is jsut a recent example.
"Yes, in principle, but without spending taxpayer money" Manufacturing didn't flee the US because politicians were spending too little money; they were driven out by politicians interfering too much -- regulatory strangulation, burdensome taxes, pandering to unions, swarming lawyers.
"No, the government shouldn't pick winners and losers" Politicians don't pick winners & losers; they rob the "winners" & use the loot to buy the support of the "losers".
Politicians should be creating simple laws & enforcing them fairly, keeping the burden that the political sector places on the productive sector as low as possible. That will free manufacturing to return to the land of the free & the home of the brave.
I believe the move of manufacturing to Asia was fueled by simple economics. Just as plants moved to the South in the 1970s and 1980s because of cheaper labor, it moved to Asia in the 1990s and 2000s for the same reason. I agree part of the solution is investment in education and research. But that won't bring back the high-volume, low-mix manufacturing. As for regulation, careful, careful. The BP spill was an example of regulations gone lax -- not to mention the financial and housing collapse.
Seems to me that the BP spill is well cleaned up & way overblown. The financial/housing collapse wasn't from lax regulation, but excessive intervention. From the "community redevelopment" initiative begun under Pres. Carter, to the so-called anti-redlining of ACORN, the political class has leaned on banks to make home loans based on political correctness instead of financial soundness. The implied gov't backing thru Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae ensured that the bubble would expand to catastropic size. Bankers are greedy, but not stupid -- they wouldn't risk their own money, but politicians were more than willing to risk the taxpayers' to make themselves look like heroes. They risked - we lost. And some of us, amazingly, think the solution is even more power, thru more regulations, for the politicians who caused the problem ......
Well it's a tad more complicated than that on both the BP spill and the financial system. The companies originating the loans were meeting quotas and they were bundling the loans and selling them off. So nobody had to take the heat for bad loans. The ecological effects of the BP spill may have been overblown, but people still lost their lives from the accident.
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