Alan Tonelson explains why, briefly:
Not that economists have been killing it in recent decades in properly evaluating the importance of manufacturing. But if Woodward had bothered to consult one, the odds would have been higher that he’d have encountered the idea that industry is kind of important for any country seeking to build or maintain a world-class military. Or” that it’s historically been the U.S. economy’s leader in productivity growth (although as RealityChek regulars know, it’s recently been losing its mojo on that score). Or that it boasts one of the nation’s biggest employment multipliers – meaning that the creation of each American manufacturing job generates an outsized number of jobs elsewhere in the economy compared with employment increases in most other sectors. Or that manufacturing accounts for the lion’s share of American business research and development spending.