Woe On Four Wheels

Things look pretty grim for GM, Ford, and Chrysler. The usual suspects will be again bemoaning the plight of American manufacturing, using the auto industry as the poster child of woe.

But before falling into a funk, remember that lots of cars are built in America, cars with names like Toyota, Mercedes, and BMW. New plants are in process. The problem isn’t that we can’t build cars – the problem is the old Big Three business models, aided and abetted by irresponsible unions.

But isn’t manufacturing in trouble? The fact is, the US is manufacturing more than ever. What’s changed is technology. It takes fewer people to manufacture more stuff. Someday factory workers will be as common as blacksmiths. Is this a problem? Only if society runs out of useful things for people to do.

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