Why Americans are so nostalgic about the manufacturing industry

Manufacturing has become a metonym for a broadly shared prosperity

Manufacturing
(Image credit: (Three Lions/Getty Images))

The fate of American manufacturing is back in the headlines, thanks to the bipartisan slugfest going on over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the massive trade deal that has become a source of conflict between President Obama and Democrats in Congress.

On Monday, Matt Yglesias did his Matt Yglesias thing, and pointed out that, contrary to a lot of narratives about the decline of U.S. manufacturing, the sector's production is actually at an all-time high. It may have declined as a share of the country's overall economic production, but that's just because other sectors like health care and education have gotten bigger in comparison — not because manufacturing has shrunk.

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