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Make It In America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy
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Make It In America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy [Hardcover]

Andrew Liveris
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews


“Andrew Liveris has produced a well-written and timely book that deserves wide circulation. Everyone concerned with America’s economic difficulties should read it.” (The Washington Examiner)

“Perhaps because Liveris is Australian by birth, his economic patriotism comes across as genuine and heartfelt. The fact that he is chief executive of Dow Chemical gives the book added authority. What is most noteworthy about the book, however, is his unsparing critique of the business community for its blind faith in markets and globalization, and its stubborn refusal to accept a government role in managing the economy.” (The Washington Post)

“In uncertain economic times, it’s inspiring to see that the top executive of a leading American company has written a book titled Make It in America. What can be more inclusive and 21st century-sounding than a pro-America argument being made by an Australian of Greek heritage such as Liveris? He may have written the book while relaxing in a melting pot.In Make It in America, Liveris spells out the challenges facing American manufacturing. He argues in favor of a national economic policy, one that will make it easier for manufacturing to thrive here as it once did. He stresses over and over again the importance of manufacturing because of the number of jobs it creates both on its own and in related sectors. This “multiplier effect” is much greater in manufacturing than it is in other industries. In his book, Liveris tackles many big-picture topics. He’s asking a lot of important questions, questions that will need to be answered if America’s manufacturing base wants to survive and thrive.” (Plastics News)

“Manufacturing still accounts for nearly one in 10 U.S. nonfarm jobs as measured by the government, and those jobs tend to pay much better than burger-flipping or barista gigs. . . Between 1997 and 2009, we lost six million U.S. manufacturing jobs, or around a third of the total. How much should we care? Plenty, says Andrew Liveris, chairman and chief executive of Dow Chemical. In Make It in America, he calls for a national strategy to revive manufacturing. We need manufacturing jobs, he says, if we are to keep a growing population busy and start paying off our debts to the rest of the world. Some Americans imagine that we can thrive by continuing to dream up gadgets like iPhones and Kindles while letting the Chinese do all the tedious work of making the products themselves. Mr. Liveris disagrees. . . Mr. Liveris doesn't shy away from proposing ideas that have defeated countless other reformers. For instance, he wants to overhaul our K-12 education system so that it will concentrate more on science, math and engineering. That promises to be a long struggle, he admits. ‘I pushed science at the dinner table with my kids,’ writes Mr. Liveris, who loved chemistry as a boy, ‘but none of them ended up going into engineering.’”(The Wall Street Journal)

“Is the U.S. manufacturing sector . . . becoming as obsolete as [a] typewriter? Andrew N. Liveris seems to think so. He has written a book, Make It in America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy.As chief executive officer of Dow Chemical, Liveris is in a unique position to understand the problem. . . Liveris points out that production hasn’t kept pace with the increase in the U.S. population and that our share of global industrial output has been shrinking. The decline of the manufacturing sector is a real threat to the prosperity that Americans take for granted, Liveris says. We cannot hope to sustain our vast economy if we write off its greatest engine of job creation. Liveris cites a 2009 study by the Manufacturing Institute that says every $1.00 in sales by a manufacturer generates $1.40 in economic activity elsewhere in the economy. . . Liveris’ key insight is that the U.S. isn’t necessarily losing ground for the reason most people think: low wages in developing countries. High productivity in the U.S. makes up for much of that, he points out. Instead, countries such as China and Singapore are attracting companies with generous incentives. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, Liveris says. The U.S. needs to offer incentives to attract more investment. He suggests reducing taxes for manufacturers and making the R&D tax credit permanent and more generous. . . The era when the federal government can offer nothing but gratitude in return for investment dollars is probably over. States and localities offer incentives to attract investment away from other communities all the time. Maybe the entire country should try to do the same to stem the manufacturing decline.”(Chemical & Engineering News)

“Mr. Liveris’s argument is compelling and even novel. . . this book serves as a clarion call for rebuilding the United States’ manufacturing base. He argues this can and must be done by a novel partnership between government and business. Further, this partnership must provide long term incentives and opportunities to increase innovation in the U.S. manufacturing sector that until recently was given up for a loss.  This book is a must read for policy makers and forecasters of global economic trends.” (New York Journal of Books)

“The Perspective of a chief executive who is really making vital decisions about the location of manufacturing  plants and research centres is well worth hearing…full of stimulation ideas, and remarkably well-written for a book by a chief executive.”(Financial Times)

“The case for a better understanding of how prosperity is actually won and sustained in a globalizing world is well argued in a timely new book ‘Make It In America’ by Andrew Liveris. His thesis is that innovation alone is not sufficient as a basis for a durable leading-edge economy and that the American economy cannot be lifted out of decline by innovation alone. . . Beyond the obvious truism that a country cannot increase exports if it does not make things to export, Liveris argues a less well-understood dimension of the challenge, explaining that a country that innovates products and then hands off the production to another country to manufacture will wind up seeing the next generation of innovation come from the country that does the manufacturing. . . Liveris makes an even more compelling case that the US cannot survive as a purely service industry economy. Services are important, but many result in transfer of money from one pocket to another without, as manufacturing does, actually adding value and increasing wealth. . . Certainly, Liveris’ suggestions for revival sound worth trying in the light of his chilling crisis narrative. Of course, they are not the lead-pipe cinch Liveris tries to make them. Overall, in fact, Liveris’ book, certainly unintentionally, makes a much more convincing case for the fact of crisis than for the ability to emerge from crisis. But a vital prerequisite for revival is a more widespread recognition of the problem, and Liveris make a signal contribution to that end.”(European Affairs)

“Mr. Liveris’s argument is compelling and even novel. . . this book serves as a clarion call for rebuilding the United States’ manufacturing base. He argues this can and must be done by a novel partnership between government and business. Further, this partnership must provide long term incentives and opportunities to increase innovation in the U.S. manufacturing sector that until recently was given up for a loss.  This book is a must read for policy makers and forecasters of global economic trends.”(New York Journal of Books)

“Productivity is up in the United States but what’s actually made and sold here isn’t keeping up with the population; innovation and service jobs are important but insufficient for economic stability by themselves; and government involvement is vital if U.S. manufacturing is to be revived. That’s all according to corporate CEO Andrew Liveris, whose bold criticism of American business in his new book, Make It in America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy, comes across less as pride than patriotism. The Chairman of Dow Chemical, the Michigan-based Fortune 500 multinational company, Liveris shows the loss of manufacturing as a real threat and offers a realistic roadmap to rebuild the nation’s economic core.”(Daily Review Atlas)

From the Inside Flap

We used to make things in this country. We were the dazzling innovators, the undisputed world economic leaders, and with our manufacturing engine driving the process, we built a solid, high-achieving middle class and a thriving economy. Now, thanks to policies that are either indifferent to manufacturing or, in fact, downright hostile, we're at the brink of losing it all. If you think this won't affect you, guess again.

In Make It in America: The Case for Re-Inventing the Economy, author Andrew Liveris presents a powerful case for how critically important domestic manufacturing is to the long-term health of the entire U.S. economy, and he issues a candid wake-up call to America to re-invent its manufacturing base before it's too late.

If anyone has street cred on this subject, it's Andrew Liveris. Currently Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, one of the world's largest man-ufacturers and one of the most global corporations, he's been on the global manufacturing stage for over thirty years. In this thought-provoking book, Liveris challenges conventional wisdom and, using vivid examples from around the globe, makes clear:

  • Manufacturing matters—more than ever before. Not all sectors are created equal. Manufacturing can create jobs and wealth and growth to a degree that the service sector can't match. The rest of the world now sees what America used to understand: the key to economic growth is taking something of lesser value and transforming it into something of greater value. That's what manufacturing does.

  • The Rust Belt, it turns out, isn't so rusty. Twenty-first- century manufacturing means solar cells for your home, batteries for your hybrid car, the touch screen on your smart phone, and the e-ink in your Kindle. Manufacturing is the key driver of R&D, and the leading edge of innovation.

  • Government's got to get engaged. Liveris argues it's a false choice to claim that you must be either pro-business or pro-government. Globalization has changed the equation. Governments all over the world are working in partnership with—and taking action on behalf of—their leading industries. Why isn't America?

Liveris sees where America is losing ground—from innovation to job creation—and explains how we can take back our future. Make It in America is a must-read for anyone who believes that America's greatest, most productive, most prosperous days are not behind us. Our best days lie ahead of us if we take proactive measures now. They're still within reach.

From the Back Cover

Praise For Make It In America: The Case For Re-Inventing The Economy

"Andrew presents a realistic and informed view of America's manufacturing problems and what needs to be done about them."
Warren E. Buffett

"Andrew Liveris has hit a raw nerve regarding American economic competitiveness. His book is required reading for anyone in politics or business who believes in both America's greatness and future. He's absolutely right! We can come back—and big!"
Jon M. Huntsman, Chairman and founder, Huntsman Corporation

"Andrew Liveris has delivered an informed, timely, and provocative blueprint for revitalizing America's economic might. It's an important book for anyone seeking an experienced business leader's view on what America must do to compete effectively in the twenty-first-century global economy."
W. James Mcnerney, Jr., Chairman, President, and CEO, The Boeing Company

"In this passionate argument for a strong U.S. manufacturing sector, Andrew Liveris rejects the false dichotomy between the 'old' and 'new' economy and between 'low-tech' and 'high-tech' businesses. Manufacturing industries have a powerful multiplier effect on growth up and down the supply chain. To strengthen this vital sector, we need to shore up the very things—R&D, technological superiority, and investment-friendly public policies—that will create jobs, competitiveness, and opportunity throughout the entire economy."
Ivan Seidenberg, Chairman and CEO, Verizon

"Liveris delivers a clear and compelling case for maintaining a robust manufacturing sector in the global marketplace of the twenty-first century. Every American who is concerned about the current or future state of our economy should read this book. For those who believe, as I do, that a strong manufacturing base is vital to creating jobs, innovation, and prosperity, this is a book to read and recommend to everyone you know."
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company

About the Author

Andrew N. Liveris is Chairman and CEO of The Dow Chemical Company, a $45 billion global specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences, and plastics company based in Midland, Michigan. Liveris's 34-year Dow career has spanned manufacturing, engineering, sales, and marketing since he began with the firm in Australia in 1976. Liveris was born in Darwin, Australia, and received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Queensland in Brisbane. Liveris serves on the boards of directors of IBM and Citigroup. He is President of the International Council of Chemical Associations; Vice Chairman of The Business Council; a member of the executive committee of the Business Roundtable; and a member of the U.S. President's Export Council, the U.S.-India CEO Forum, and the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
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