Commentary

Tangible bias

Speaking of economic biases held by the general public, there also seems to be a bias in favor of tangible things. If a nation builds cars and refrigerators that’s “good,” but if it shifts to providing services that’s “bad.” In his takedown of Sen. Byron Dorgan, Daniel Griswold also takes on those who long to return to an economy based on making tangible stuff:

As a nation grows wealthier, the share of the workforce in agriculture invariably falls and the share in the service sector rises. The share in manufacturing typically rises and then falls. According to the World Bank, countries with the lowest share of the work force in the service sector include Uganda, Vietnam, Romania, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Mongolia. Countries with the highest share in the service sector include, along with the United States, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and Luxembourg. The first group is among the poorest nations, the second among the richest. Apparently one goal of Dorganomics would be to shift America from the rich group to the poor group.

Griswold piece here. And, of course, it’s just not true that we don’t make anything anymore.

Ted Balaker is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, and founding partner of Korchula Productions, a film and new media production company devoted to making important ideas entertaining.