Andrew Smith '87 Interviewed in U.S. News about New Book on Public Policy and Manufacturing

Excerpted from

In its glory days, the manufacturing sector made up about one-third of the American economy. Today, just 10 percent of American workers work in manufacturing. In "Sand in the Gears: How Public Policy Has Crippled American Manufacturing," Andrew Smith, a manufacturing executive, argues that health care and worker’s compensation are responsible for the industry’s decline. Smith recently spoke with U.S. News about the manufacturing sector, how public policy has failed, and what he says should be done to keep America competitive. Excerpts:

Who is to blame for the downfall of American manufacturing?

So the conventional wisdom about what happened to U.S. manufacturing is that companies in the U.S. went offshore to chase cheaper labor, lower operating costs and forces of globalization, which are emerging markets and supply chains developing in other parts of the world. These three factors contributed to the job loss, and that’s certainly true, but they don’t explain the entire story. The rest of the story is that we did this to ourselves. "Sand in the Gears" examines the tax system, the health care system, the legal system, the worker’s compensation programs, government regulations, and labor policy that together have created a hostile environment for manufacturers.

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