I do my best to question conventional wisdom, but I had heard and repeated the fact that the US had lost its manufacturing and it was never coming back so often that I assumed it must be true. But I pick up the December 2012 issue of the Atlantic magazine recently and two articles jump out at me – both declaring that manufacturing is re-emerging. James Fallows writes of US startups exploiting new technologies to speed up the process of design-to-product, and Charles Fishman writes about US corporations like GE moving production back to the US.
James Fallows’ article, Mr. China Comes to America, opens with these words: “For decades, every trend in manufacturing favored the developing world and worked against the Unites States. But new tools that greatly speed up development from idea to finished product encourage start-up companies to locate here, not in Asia.” That got my attention! Charles Fishman’s article The Insourcing Boom goes even a step further. It’s opening words: “After years of offshore production, General Electric is moving much of its far-flung appliance-manufacturing operations back home. It is not alone.”
I make no bones about the fact that I like to report good news, but I don’t want to make nice or play Pollyanna. This information from these reporters strikes me as the real thing and I’m only too glad to admit I may have prematurely buried “made in America”.
James Fallows www.jamesfallows.com
Charles Fishman www.thebigthirst.com
ROBIN WRIGHT has reported from more than 140 countries on 6 continents for numerous news organizations, including The Sunday Times in London, CBS News ,The Washington Post ,The Christian Science Monitor ,The New York Times ,The New Yorker ,The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy and the International Herald Tribune.
She has covered nine wars and several revolutions, and won the Overseas Press Club Award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative" for her work during the Angolan war. Wright was one of the first journalists to write about the emergence of Mideast terrorism and Islamic extremism, which she has covered since the 1970s.
Currently a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, she won the 1989 National Magazine Award for her reporting from Iran for The New Yorker. Her last book was DREAMS AND SHADOWS: The Future of the Middle East and her next is ROCK THE CASBAH: How Street Vendors, Sheiks, Rappers, and Women are Shattering the Old Order.