Stop blaming the rise of populism on economic angst
World Economic Forum

As a former U.S. (and overseas) manufacturer who has worked for many years in the very “blue collar” or “red neck” mining & construction materials industries, my experience matches well with Professor O’Hara’s analysis and conclusions.

In the U.S., the large-scale multinational enterprises that originated here — now have to figure out how to grow while understanding that 95% of their customers reside outside the U.S.. These highly visible large employers have been net job losers for that past thirty years; and it would be silly to expect them to “bring jobs back to the U.S.” or grow more manufacturing jobs here inside the domestic U.S.

What the “Left” and “Trump” share is ignorance of where the manufacturing job growth has been occurring in the U.S.; especially since the Great Recession (2008). About half the manufacturing jobs created since 2008 have been created by small- to mid-size EXPORTING manufacturers. About 70% of all exporting business units are small- to mid-size companies.

Only a very small percentage of the U.S. manufacturers who could export are doing so. They need access to foreign markets and they need help working across language and cultural barriers (Klu Klux Klan members need not apply for this kind of work!).

In the economy, generally, coincidentally, about 70% of all jobs are created in the small- to mid-size business sector.

If the Left and Trump fulfill their promise to roll-back and unravel free trade and thereby limit access to foreign markets (trade is a two-way street), then we can abandon all hope of growing our manufacturing economy and creating high-paying jobs.

Germany has its own problems; but careful observation shows that, even with hourly manufacturing wages much higher than those paid to U.S. workers, manufactured exports and trade represent a huge part of their GDP.

Both the Left and Trump have no clue about what is really going on and how manufacturing jobs are created.