A week and a half ago, I admitted I didn’t understand the fascination with reviving U.S. manufacturing.
Apparently, however, mainstream economists have come up with a new plan to boost the production of goods “made in America,” which will help U.S. industrialists compete on the global stage.
After conducting an in-depth analysis of the nation’s industrial output and long-term economic future, leading economists delicately suggested this week that maybe American manufacturers might want to think about abandoning their current products and start over with something nice and simple, such as a ball.
Claiming that the nation’s standing within the increasingly competitive global marketplace was perhaps not what it once was, the economists gently encouraged American producers to “wipe the slate clean” and rebuild their confidence by starting fresh with a plain, basic ball.
“You really shot for the moon and tried to do something grand, and we think that’s just great,” read a statement from the American Economic Association that was addressed to the nation’s manufacturing sector. “But let’s face it, the whole American manufacturing thing hasn’t worked out quite as well as we’d hoped, so we think there’s no shame in just paring down your ambitions slightly and focusing on making a really good ball, no more, no less. How does that sound?”
“Just give it a shot; it couldn’t hurt, right?” the statement continued. “We think you’d be really good at it.” . . .
A guide released by the AEA not only provides step-by-step ball-fabrication instructions, but also contains supportive and encouraging language aimed at instilling in manufacturers the idea that they are every bit as deserving of success as rising industrial powers such as China and Brazil.
“As long as everyone tries their hardest at making a good ball, there’s no reason the U.S. can’t reemerge as a world-class manufacturing nation,” AEA vice president Timothy Bresnahan said. “Optimistically, by the end of the decade we could see a flourishing industry that produces everything from a dowel to a cup to a different-sized ball.”
The AEA may have finally found a useful role to play.