29th June 2011
Let’s start with the White House title for the speech:
Remarks by the President on the Critical Role the Manufacturing Sector Plays in the American Economy
The manufacturing does not play a particularly critical role in the US economy. Employment in manufacturing as a percentage of total employment has been falling steadily since the end of World War II. But a lot of people think there is something special about manufacturing so the title strikes a resonant chord for many people even outside manufacturing.
Like ‘family farm’, urban density, mass transit, and ‘high speed rail’, the desperate clinging to manufacturing is one of the superficially plausible but substantially reactionary fetishes of the ‘progressives’.