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While Declinists Groan, America’s Factories Hum

Predictions of imminent American decline are looking shakier by the day. A new report cited in the Wall Street Journal finds that manufacturing has expanded dramatically over the past month and looks set to continue. Fears that the U.S. could never compete with low-cost competition in Asia or the high-end products of Europe are overblown. For all its problems, there are still plenty of signs of life in American industry.

None of this should come as a surprise. Americans’ deep and abiding attraction to newness, change, and innovation have long been one of this country’s strong suits. The drive to improvise, adapt, and overcome, to borrow a favorite slogan from the U.S. Marine Corps, has allowed America to weather centuries of global strife, emerging stronger and more prosperous after the winds cease to blow. These qualities haven’t gone anywhere, and the world itself isn’t slowing down any to let the laggards catch up. Good.

America’s pains are growing pains, not the pangs of dissolution and decay.

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  • Josh Kilroy

    Glad to see that today you are an American optimist. It seems to vary a lot.

  • Kenny

    America could well become a major exportor again.

    In the past five or so years, major money has been put into upgrading U.S. ports and rail system.

    Coal exports are rising, and the natural gas from shale will allow the U.S. to export rather than import LNG.

    Also, cheap natural gas will help American industry compete, giving it lower energy cost than overseas competitors and lower feedstock costs. A prime example is Dow Chemical which used natural gas to produce many of its thousands of products.

    And as transportation costs rise due to the rise in the price of oil, it will be more costly for China to ship its trinkets here. Plus, labor costs are rising in China which diminishes the attractiveness of manufacturing there for the U.S. market.

    American industry could explode once the anti-business Obama is kick out of office and the Harry Reid Senate with him.

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