The conventional wisdom among some observers of the U.S. economy is that manufacturing can’t compete with low-cost labor in China. Germany has shown this viewpoint to be utter rubbish. One study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics found that hourly manufacturing compensation (wages plus benefits) was $48 in Germany and only $32 in the United States (that study was for all manufacturing workers, not just those in SMEs, but Germany’s manufacturing workers in SMEs make comparable wages to those working for their large corporations).
It’s possible to have a thriving manufacturing sector and have great pay and provide real benefits to workers and still compete with China. Germany proves it. So why don’t we?