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Making It: Why Manufacturing Still Matters Kindle Edition
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Customers who bought this item also bought
"Uchitelle's evidence comes largely from years of visiting factories and knowledgeably interviewing workers, management, owners, and public officials―valuable evidence that makes this book worth reading."
"Readers interested in U.S. labor and economics history, globalization, and political economy will find Uchitelle’s latest to be deeply engrossing, convincing, and thoughtfully written."
"A robust and fatalistic argument for a return to American greatness."
"An elegant swan song for a lost era of U.S. manufacturing greatness. . . Uchitelle convincingly debunks explanations that blame supposedly unskilled workers for their own plight."
"Is there any way to bring back the manufacturing jobs that once supported the American working class? Louis Uchitelle, who so ably chronicled the massive layoffs of the ’80s and ’90s for the New York Times, thinks yes—if we are willing to accept the fact that manufacturing has always been publicly subsidized and owes the public something in return. If we should ever again have a rational and enlightened federal government, they couldn’t do better than to start by reading this book."
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"Both a lamentation and a blueprint for manufacturing in America, this compelling and humane book demonstrates the intimate connection between good work and national well-being. Making It is economics with a heart."
Mike Rose, author of The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker
"Here’s a surprise: it is Big Government that makes manufacturing possible—yes, even here. And we better stop thinking otherwise if we want to compete in the world economy. Louis Uchitelle, the great New York Times journalist—and, for me, one of our best writers on the economy—makes the case for ‘making it.’ In this wonderfully readable book, he explains why the future of manual labor rests in our own hands."
Tom Geoghegan, author of Only One Thing Can Save Us: Why America Needs a New Kind of Labor Movement
"Manufacturing goods in the United States rather than overseas matters in ways few understand as deeply as Louis Uchitelle, who for three decades has chronicled how government policy damaged this value adding sector of the economy."
David Cay Johnston, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality
"Louis Uchitelle brings the vital importance of American manufacturing to life. . . He effectively describes the important role manufacturing can and must play in our economy and delivers a wake-up call regarding the aggressive government action necessary to ensure that manufacturing remains the ‘foundation of our nation’s power.’"
Rep. Sander M. Levin (D-MI)
Praise for The Disposable American:
"A tour de force of reporting, analysis, andbest of allsuggested solutions."
"A strong case that the whole middle class is at risk."
The New York Times
"An overdue wake-up call that could start making the wisdom of layoffs that much less conventional."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Incisive. . . . An airtight case against the common wisdom that favors job cuts."
"Uchitelle writes about the moral failings of our modern corporate structure with deep and persuasive insight. That alone makes the book a must-read."
Detroit Free Press
About the Author
Louis Uchitelle covered economics and labor issues for the New York Times for twenty-five years. Before that, as a foreign correspondent for Associated Press, he covered the American occupation of the Dominican Republic in the 1960s and the rise of a guerrilla movement in Argentina. He is the author of The Disposable American and lives in Scarsdale, New York.--This text refers to the mp3_cd edition.
- Publisher : The New Press (June 9, 2009)
- Publication Date : June 9, 2009
- Print Length : 201 pages
- File Size : 1100 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B06XB8GHTQ
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,292,829 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Sad to say, much has not changed, indeed the situation has gotten worse. The job market as far as number of jobs isn't necessarily the problem. Wages are. I know many people who work long hours at more than one job, and still struggle. And it is to the author's credit when he says that this country needs to value physical labor more than it does. For the foreseeable future there will be a need for a certain amount of physical labor, labor that is vital to the functioning of our culture and way of life.
A previous reviewer made a point of Mr. Uchitelle's nostalgia about the way things used to be, how this country was the leader in manufacturing. All of that is true, including nostalgia for the way things used to be. But trade agreements that led to the exodus of manufacturing has been around since Clinton was president, time enough for the next generation to have no idea how things used to be. I agree that too much of that is futile. But before we can move forward as a society, we have to know how things were, and objectively look at what was good and what wasn't, and to understand what the problems truly are. With the current political climate in this country, I'm not so sure that's possible. When so many are willing to follow idealogues that fit everything into preconceived notions, there can be little discussion and compromise. One side tries to use excessive force dictated by their ideology, and the other side obstructs according to theirs.
Wage and income disparity is killing the middle class at a larger rate than ten years ago. Without a sound, productive, well-paid middle class, we as a nation stagnate. That is something the author says as well. And I agree.
The author has been writing about this subject for a long time. He is one of the voices of experience that we need to listen to objectively. Unfortunately, as he has been associated with the New York Times for many years, some dismiss him out of hand. That is unfortunate. Agree with him or not, his intelligent writing has many times caused me to think of issues that we need to address as a nation, rather than given me answers. We need to work together to arrive at solutions instead of letting misguided executive orders and the Elite Social Club otherwise known as Congress tell us what we are going to do.
We are still making more than we formerly did, but the manufacturing share of the economy is only 12% today as against 19% in the 1970's. He carefully documents the effects of off shoring and mechanization to explain the decline.
The unique part of his discussion, in our present "false political promise" world is his various practical proposals to rectify or at least ameliorate the situation.
Whether or not these proposals can be carried out in today's political climate, they, at least, provide us with a guide line of what could be done if we had the desire and political capital to do it.
In the book, he looks at the relative decline of manufacturing as an urbanized phenomenon and wants to get back to that. He hates the factories that do exist in smaller communities near the interstate using more robotics. What he really doesn’t like is the race to the bottom in terms of state giveaways to corporations for locating their factories in one place and not the other. He is right to emphasize that these are zero-sum giveaways.
But he also misses some things and under-emphasizes others. Reading this I wanted him to talk not just about the tax incentives to bring factories but also right to work laws that allow manufacturers to pay less. Deunionizaion is only mentioned in passing when for me it is a huge part of the story. The other miss is that the decline in manufacturing is only on some metrics. Manufacturing output has grown almost every year as productivity grows. Gone is the need for armies of men stamping metal and instead you have much fewer manual jobs but the jobs that do exist are skilled up – this plus the Deunionizaion mean that we make more with fewer people. The other side of the coin is that manufacturing has not been shrinking, but growing at a slower rate. More services are in the marketplace so these have overtaken manufacturing. I’d also map to that the entrance of more women in the workplace over the last generation. Things that were internal to the family now hit the national accounts.
But how to fix it? He really wants manufacturing to make up a larger percentage of the GDP. Which means either more done here or less in services (got to hit the top or bottom of the fraction there). He wants to bring back a national industrial policy akin to one proposed by Reagan so that the central government would dictate to private companies where to build and where to source from while nationalizing those zero-sum state subsidies and an incentive for reshoring. But this industrial policy as described in the book feels so Pollyannaish that reading it made me mad. He wants to reverse globalization and have the state (with cooperation between the parties, no less) dictate to corporations, but even he admits that that horse left the barn. For me the whole think is looking too far backwards to want to try to regain the glories of the 50s and 60s when the economy was growing and the gains were more equally spread. But that is not here or maybe possible at all. What we need is economic policy that is forward looking to face the challenges of the 21st century and not try to return to the 20th.