The Times Gets it Right (this time) on Innovation and Manufacturing

“Innovation — not manufacturing —has always propelled this country’s progress. A strategy to reward manufacturers who increase their payroll in the United States may not be as effective as one to support the firms whose creations — whether physical stuff or immaterial services — can conquer world markets and pay for the jobs of the rest of us.”

That is the gist of the story in the New York Times yesterday on the changing nature of manufacturing and how best to harness it as an economic engine. What is most interesting is this simple, but very important point: “It may not matter to factory workers who lost their jobs. Whether forced out because an employer moved production to China or because a fancy new machine makes it easier to compete against a rival in China, the job is gone.

Still, the distinction is important. Without an understanding of the forces at work, policy makers’ attempts to bolster manufacturing could backfire.”

Well said – and too often policy makers act without truly understanding the problem.

See the whole story here:

The Promise of Today’s Factory Jobs