Getting it so wrong, so wrong

I think Matt Yglesias has lost it. His reaction to last night’s State of the Union is an over-the-top screed against manufacturing (President Obama’s muddled plan to boost employment by hindering trade). The President’s sin was the suggestion that some other countries, such as China, aren’t playing by the rules when it come to trade and that we should enforce the trade laws. And then the President had the audacity to say that manufacturing was important. That sent Yglesias off into the never-never land of “manufacturing doesn’t matter” and “services will save us.”
Here is a perfect example of how he misunderstands. Yglesias states, “Indeed, even in the fabled industrial juggernaut of Germany, 68 percent of the population works in services.” Of course. It is that “industrial juggernaut” that supports those services jobs. And many of those “services” jobs are actually part of the manufacturing process. And that the Germans are light-years ahead of us in figuring out the fusion between manufacturing and services.
With muddled thinking like this that passes for “expert analysis”, no wonder we can’t make any headway in the public debate.

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