Inside Extreme Scale Tech|Friday, October 31, 2014
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A Flap Over Manufacturing 

This week an interesting dust-up aired in the Huffington Post.  Scott Paul, executive director, Alliance for Manufacturing, takes umbrage with a recent op-ed in the NY Times titled “Do Manufacturers Need Special Treatment,” written by Christina D. Romer, former chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors.

Her position seems to be that service work is just as important as manufacturing, a contention that Paul heartily disputes. He writes, “Romer is taking the academic view of manufacturing, and that’s a problem.  In the comfortable confines of a dusty textbook, her views may be fine.  But in a cutthroat real world filled with competition, cheating, and harsh mercantilism, the textbook view is very limiting.  Unfortunately, Romer sides with the safe, mathematical view, which means she’s added her name to the long list of economists who just don’t “get it.”

He marshals a number of arguments to underscore the primary importance of manufacturing to American’s economic recovery, the creation of much needed jobs, and as the linchpin of our leadership role in the world economy. 

Both Romer’s and Paul’s commentary are well worth reading.  And we welcome your commentary via the comments section below.

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