The Fall of an American Rome: Deindustrialization of the American Dream

By Quentin R. Skrabec Jr. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 17. A POST INDUSTRIAL AGE?

“The King has no clothes.”

For many, the question is, who’s to blame? Clearly there are lots of participants to choose from. The campaign to destroy US manufacturing has deeper roots than management, unions, government, banks, environmentalists, economists, Japanese, the Chinese, and others. Somewhere, this nation decided we no longer needed to be the manufacturing world leader. We saw it at a Lordstown, which would become a turning point. Without a national vision, the nation’s manufacturing was buffeted by problem after problem. Lack of cooperation through a national policy left various interest groups to fight and destroy manufacturing. Cooperation, coordination, and compromise were missing. We abdicated our right to set our own trade policies to international bodies such as the WTO. The lack of a national vision for manufacturing tells us why US industry went down and at the same time explains why China is so successful. The secret is not, in fact, China’s cheap labor, lack of unions, lack of regulation, and disregard for environmental concerns. It is that China wants to be an industrial power, and its policy reflect that. It is determination, and yes, even nationalism, that drives manufacturing. It is the shared determination to meet a national goal that helped China achieve its cost advantage and worker productivity coupled with light regulation. They had taken the national spirit and goal setting of a centrally-planned government and applied it to a capitalistic economic model. This is the unmistakable lesson of history. It was the secret behind the “Japanese

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