A weak manufacturing sector is like having a weak immune system
Posted by Bert Maes on April 5, 2012
Every lost manufacturing job means the loss of around 2.3 other jobs in the economy (e.g. in research and design). Manufacturing’s decline slows economic growth. While manufacturing represents 10% of the jobs in the economy, job loss in manufacturing hits nearly 30% of the economy.
There is a structural weakness in our manufacturing. Our manufacturing is not competitive. Invasion of import competition from China was responsible for between one‐quarter to more than one‐half of the lost manufacturing jobs in the 2000s.
A new report – published by The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation – states that “the loss of manufacturing is due to underinvestment in manufacturing technology support policies (…), among others.”
Underinvestment in medium- and high-technology is causing a structural decline of our economy. To be able to use those technologies, we of course need high-tech skills.
So the future of manufacturing begins with education, and with the resulting high-skilled top talent.
The current situation of manufacturing is like having a weakened immune system.
Without the right system of cells you will never keep the integrity of the body intact.
The body has soldiers, members of the immune system army: the B-cell and the T-cell. The dutiful soldiers get into action the moment any foreign substance or agent enters our body. B-cells circulate all around the body in the bloodstream, and eventually bind to the agent. T-cells circulate in the bloodstream and lymph and kill the agent. The blood and lymph systems are responsible for transporting the soldiers of the immune system.
- The blood stream is our education system.
- The B-cells are our high-level technologies.
- The T-cells are our highly-skilled workers.
They are our protective shields to combat infections. If our cells are not strong enough, viruses are attacking our vital organs.
Germany, Korea and Japan have transformed to high-skilled manufacturing. They have a significantly higher share of their manufacturing output in high-tech and medium-high-tech industries than the United States; they have transformed their manufacturing industries toward more complex, higher-value-added production. They face less competition, so they increase their manufacturing employment.
More and stronger cells, a better blood stream, a stronger immune system that shows higher productivity is required for strong health.
More students, more advanced technology, better education is required for economic success.
With a strong manufacturing immune system, the economy would be much healthier.