(1019) Making stuff

We see that one feature of deindustrialization is the idealization of manufacturing as a source of employment at good wages and for good purposes.  Taking raw materials and adding value to them by transforming them into cars, musical instruments, Christmas ornaments, kitchen appliances and so forth is upheld by most as a good thing.  Known as a font of pride and prosperity for many communities in the past, we often hear lamentations at the loss of industrial jobs and detect a fear at the spread of precarious work in its place.  Others nurture their nostalgia for the industrial past, wishing to make America great again, for example.
With such things in mind, we came across a couple of features recently.  One looks into the economics of returning the United States to a manufacturing-based economy (not gonna happen).  The second pays a visit to a city in China that churns out a vast daily tonnage of plastic crap for consumption via dollar stores in formerly industrial places (Merry Christmas!).  The third takes a position on Donald Trump’s neocon nihilism (not pretty).
Can we bring back many factory jobs? Let’s do the math
The Chinese city bursting with tchotchkes
citylab.com (see embedded links)

Why Trump won’t save the rust belt

image: aNto via Flickr/CC