The Collapse of American Manufacturing

Cross-posted at DKos.

Banking is not the creator of our prosperity but the creation of it. It is not the cause of our wealth, but it is the consequence of our wealth; and if the industrial energy and development which had been going on for so many years in this country were to be hindered or relaxed, then finance and all that finance means, will follow trade to the countries which are more successful than ourselves.

--Joseph Chamberlain, speaking about the British economy, in 1904.

The financial sector has replaced manufacturing as the driver of the American economy.
Manufacturing and Financial Services: Changes in Percentage Share of US GDP, 1950-2003                       

Financial Services10.913.614151819.720.4

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Lancing the Boil

The conservative movement is irredeemable. What William F. Buckley and Barry Goldwater launched decades ago was perverted into a corporate theocracy. In recent days, Kevin Phillips new book American Theocracy, has received much attention for his scholarly analysis of the movement's legacy. It's worth reading because Phillips also wrote The Emerging Republican Majority while working on the Nixon campaign. It was published a year later and proved prescient. This time Phillips documents the legacy of a movement he helped launch.

The rumblings of conservative intellectuals such as Phillips and Bruce Bartlett illustrate that the Republican crusade is sucking wind. Even President Reagan's former speechwriter Peggy Noonan openly asks whether Bush is a liberal.

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