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Open Letter to Donald Trump

17 January 2011

Mr. Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump:

A friend sent me a link to your interview on a recent Michael Savage radio show.  You’re angry at China because Americans “no longer make things.”  You are mistaken: American manufacturing output is now near an all-time high, and America remains the number one manufacturer in the world.

It’s true that manufacturing jobs are decreasing, but rather than blame the Chinese, your anger would be better targeted (if not better justified) if you blamed American innovators and even American manufacturing workers.  Productivity per-worker in U.S. manufacturing plants is so high today because modern technology and training permits a small handful of workers to do what in the past took a horde of workers to do.

The greatest competition for Americans seeking manufacturing jobs comes not from the Chinese or from other foreign workers; it comes from other Americans – and the technology they work with – who produce so much per worker that relatively few manufacturing workers are needed today.

Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030

(HT Reuvain Borchardt)


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