About the Podcast
Almost anyone who runs for a political office in the United States, especially at the national level, talks about American manufacturing during the campaign. More often than not, those speeches include the idea of bringing manufacturing back.
The idea of bringing manufacturing back is, of course, broadly appealing. The phrase itself reflects a time when nearly all of the things we use were made in the U.S.A. — and a belief that anyone with a strong work ethic could land a job at a machine shop or a factory, and get on the path to achieving the American dream.
But something happened 20 years ago that caused that path to narrow. Between the years 2000 and 2010, 33 percent of manufacturing workers lost their jobs — a rate of loss exceeding that of the Great Depression.
So why did this happen? And how realistic is it to talk about bringing back manufacturing — or to convince younger generations to step into the manufacturing jobs that baby boomers are leaving in droves?