Toward a National Economic Strategy for Manufacturing

All too often, the debate about what role Washington should play in supporting innovation degenerates into a battle between two extremes: the laissez-faire free-market camp and advocates of centralized industrial policy. Advocates of the free market see most government intervention as misguided, ineffective, or even worse, destructive. If manufacturing is declining, so be it; that’s the market at work and the market knows best. At the other extreme are the advocates of industrial policy who see markets as inherently flawed and look to the government to set things right. In their view, businesses (and managers) are just too focused on their own short-term interests to make the investments ...

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