Governments have historically done a very poor job of anticipating future job growth. Just as manufacturing employment has decreased, one can easily imagine the number of lawyers decreasing as new technologies emerge. At the same time, plumbers and nurses and other workers with skills that machines can't easily replicate might find their wages, and their public esteem, on the upswing, as Paul Krugman anticipated in an ingenious essay first published in 1996.
The U.S. badly needs job and income growth. But it won't come from the manufacturing sector. Rather, it will come from a wrenching series of labor market and entitlement and tax reforms designed to improve work incentives, most of which will prove far less popular than simply bashing China
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