Have you heard that popular trope that the American economy is going down the tubes because we don't make stuff any more? Well it's not true. Nate Silver debunks the conventional wisdom with statistics, as is his wont:
Note that since 1960, the index of industrial production has risen from a little below 30 to its current level of about 100. And note the increase is continual -- meaning the number didn't just hover around 30 for most of that time only to spike up in one big move. The index has continually risen over that entire period.The United States has actually been consistently making more and more stuff. The issue is that manufacturing productivity is way up-employers can make more with fewer employees-so manufacturing jobs are down. And that's a problem we'll have to tackle because it's only going to get worse as robots get better.