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Rebuilding the American Economy
MIT Political Science Distinguished Speaker Series



15 September 2011

Can the United States keep its innovative edge if it loses its production capabilities?

The Political Science Distinguished Speaker Series is designed to bring together faculty, students, local business leaders, state economic officials, and MIT technology and policy thinkers. The emphasis for the first forum, co-hosted by Political Science Department and the newly commissioned Production in the Innovative Economy (PIE) group, is "Rebuilding the American Economy."

In this video, several leading MIT faculty review a series of manufacturing topics, after which Ron Bloom, former Senior Counselor to the President, speaks. Nobel laureate and MIT economist Robert Solow leads a short closing discussion.  Throughout the forum, participants seeks answers to a pervasive question: Can the United States keep its innovative edge if it loses its production capabilities?

In 1950, more than 30 percent of Americans were employed in manufacturing, working at jobs such as welding, machining and assembly. Today, that number has shrunk significantly: Manufacturing jobs make up less than 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. As the country seeks to reinvigorate its job market and move past an economic recession, the state of U.S. manufacturing has become a hotly debated topic.
 

American Made?
Story by Jennifer Chu at MIT News 

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