U.S. Manufacturing's Exaggerated Death
In 1790, farmers were 90% of the U.S. labor force. By 1900, only about 41% of our labor force was employed in agriculture. By 2008, less than 3% of Americans are employed in agriculture.
What would you have Congress do in the face of this precipitous loss of agricultural jobs? One thing Congress could do is outlaw all of the technological advances and machinery that have made our farmers the world's most productive. Our farmers are so productive that if needed, they could feed the entire world.
Let's look at manufacturing. According to Mark Perry's employment data in "Manufacturing's Death Greatly Exaggerated," U.S. manufacturing employment peaked in 1979 at 19.5 million jobs. Since 1979, the manufacturing work force has shrunk by 40%, and there's every indication that manufacturing employment will continue to shrink.
~Read more of Walter Williams in today's Investor's Business Daily