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Made in the USA : the rise and retreat of American manufacturing / Vaclav Smil.

By: Smil, Vaclav [author.].
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2013]Copyright date: ©2013Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 263 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780262316743; 0262316749; 9781461938026; 1461938023.Other title: Rise and retreat of American manufacturing.Subject(s): Manufacturing industries -- United States | Industrial policy -- United StatesAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Made in the USA.DDC classification: 338.4/7670973 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Why manufacturing matters. Manufactured societies ; Manufacturing and service economies -- The ascent, 1865-1940. Creating the modern world, 1865-1899 ; American steel ; The Edisonian electric system ; Manufacturing for the Information Age ; The decades of consolidation, 1900-1940 ; Electrification of industries and households ; Modern industrial production : mass and efficiency ; Manufacturing during the Great Depression -- Dominance, 1941-1973. World War II and its immediate aftermath, 1941-1947 ; Mobilizing for war ; Old and new weapons ; The beginnings of the computer era ; A quarter century of superiority, 1948-1973 ; The first mass consumption society ; Automation, computers, and microchips ; Manufacturing strengths and problems -- The retreat, 1974- Signs of weakness, 1974-1990 ; Energy in manufacturing ; Problems in the auto industry ; Electronic triumphs and defeats ; Multiple failures, 1991-2012 ; Sectoral losses and capitulations ; The myth of high-tech dominance ; "Made in China" and the Walmart Nation -- The past and the future. Successes and challenges ; The achievements of American manufacturing ; Failures and problems ; Global competition : never a level playing field ; Should anything be done? ; Calls for change ; Exporting goods ; Encountering limits -- Chances of success.
Summary: "In Made in the USA, Vaclav Smil powerfully rebuts the notion that manufacturing is a relic of predigital history and that the loss of American manufacturing is a desirable evolutionary step toward a pure service economy. Smil argues that no advanced economy can prosper without a strong, innovative manufacturing sector and the jobs it creates. Reversing a famous information economy dictum, Smil argues that serving potato chips is not as good as making microchips. The history of manufacturing in America, Smil tells us, is a story of nation-building. He explains how manufacturing became a fundamental force behind America's economic, strategic, and social dominance. He describes American manufacturing's rapid rise at the end of the nineteenth century, its consolidation and modernization between the two world wars, its role as an enabler of mass consumption after 1945, and its recent decline. Some economists argue that shipping low-value jobs overseas matters little because the high-value work remains in the United States. But, asks Smil, do we want a society that consists of a small population of workers doing high-value-added work and masses of unemployed? Smil assesses various suggestions for solving America's manufacturing crisis, including lowering corporate tax rates, promoting research and development, and improving public education. Will America act to preserve and reinvigorate its manufacturing? It is crucial to our social and economic well-being; but, Smil warns, the odds are no better than even"--Publisher information.
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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HD9725 .S57 2013a (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt9qf7r4 Available ocn857347388

"In Made in the USA, Vaclav Smil powerfully rebuts the notion that manufacturing is a relic of predigital history and that the loss of American manufacturing is a desirable evolutionary step toward a pure service economy. Smil argues that no advanced economy can prosper without a strong, innovative manufacturing sector and the jobs it creates. Reversing a famous information economy dictum, Smil argues that serving potato chips is not as good as making microchips. The history of manufacturing in America, Smil tells us, is a story of nation-building. He explains how manufacturing became a fundamental force behind America's economic, strategic, and social dominance. He describes American manufacturing's rapid rise at the end of the nineteenth century, its consolidation and modernization between the two world wars, its role as an enabler of mass consumption after 1945, and its recent decline. Some economists argue that shipping low-value jobs overseas matters little because the high-value work remains in the United States. But, asks Smil, do we want a society that consists of a small population of workers doing high-value-added work and masses of unemployed? Smil assesses various suggestions for solving America's manufacturing crisis, including lowering corporate tax rates, promoting research and development, and improving public education. Will America act to preserve and reinvigorate its manufacturing? It is crucial to our social and economic well-being; but, Smil warns, the odds are no better than even"--Publisher information.

Includes bibliographical references and indexes.

Why manufacturing matters. Manufactured societies ; Manufacturing and service economies -- The ascent, 1865-1940. Creating the modern world, 1865-1899 ; American steel ; The Edisonian electric system ; Manufacturing for the Information Age ; The decades of consolidation, 1900-1940 ; Electrification of industries and households ; Modern industrial production : mass and efficiency ; Manufacturing during the Great Depression -- Dominance, 1941-1973. World War II and its immediate aftermath, 1941-1947 ; Mobilizing for war ; Old and new weapons ; The beginnings of the computer era ; A quarter century of superiority, 1948-1973 ; The first mass consumption society ; Automation, computers, and microchips ; Manufacturing strengths and problems -- The retreat, 1974- Signs of weakness, 1974-1990 ; Energy in manufacturing ; Problems in the auto industry ; Electronic triumphs and defeats ; Multiple failures, 1991-2012 ; Sectoral losses and capitulations ; The myth of high-tech dominance ; "Made in China" and the Walmart Nation -- The past and the future. Successes and challenges ; The achievements of American manufacturing ; Failures and problems ; Global competition : never a level playing field ; Should anything be done? ; Calls for change ; Exporting goods ; Encountering limits -- Chances of success.

Print version record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Smil (emeritus, Univ. of Manitoba; Should We Eat Meat? Evolution and Consequences of Modern Carnivory) brings his intellect and interdisciplinary perspective to the history of industrialization and deindustrialization in America to argue that owing to American inventiveness, access to cheap energy and raw materials, and management expertise, America was transformed in the late 19th century into the world's most productive and powerful industrial nation. In particular, Smil notes that steel making, auto production, and innovation in information communication and organization helped America win two world wars and, in the post-World War II era, to create the first mass-consumption society. The author seeks to refute the fashionable economic notion that the country can prosper with a postindustrial, service-based economy and does so convincingly. Societies that manufacture little at home, he explains, are dependent on foreign countries for the basic tools of economic prosperity, and low-wage service sector jobs undermine the middle class created by America's manufacturing economy. -VERDICT Written in knowledgable and clear prose, this informative and persuasive book will appeal to economists, political junkies, and policy wonks.-Duncan Stewart, Univ. of Iowa Libs., Iowa City (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

CHOICE Review

Smil (emer., Univ. of Manitoba, Canada) forcefully argues that manufacturing has played an essential role in producing economic growth and widespread prosperity throughout American history--and that future US prosperity depends on the vitality of this sector. Smil is the author of more than 30 books on energy, the environment, and the history of technology. The breadth of his knowledge is truly astounding. He is very pessimistic, arguing that much of American manufacturing has lost its edge, exemplified by massive trade deficits and huge job losses, and that the damaging consequences of these developments will continue to significantly weaken the entire economy in coming decades. He offers some thoughtful policy advice, some of it easy to implement (such as reducing corporate income tax rates), and he considers Germany as an economy worth emulating. Unfortunately, Smil edges toward seeing trade as a zero-sum game and tends to equate Americans' low savings rate and penchant for living beyond their means with being unproductive and lacking the capacity to innovate. Readers of this book will not be disappointed if they are seeking a concise, fact-filled overview of the history of American manufacturing and its prospects for the future. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All collections and readership levels. R. M. Whaples Wake Forest University

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