Made in the USA : the rise and retreat of American manufacturing / Vaclav Smil.Material type: TextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, 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.
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"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.