It's 1984 and The Boss has out a KILLER new album: "Born In The USA." It goes platinum, plus. One of the charts is called "My Home Town." In it there's a lyric I want you to ponder, seeing as how it was written in 1984, over 25 years ago: "The foreman says these jobs are going, boys, and they ain't coming back." Not to your home town...
Why not? How did he know?
Fast forward to 2010, and pundit/critics like Thom Hartmann are touting a new orthodoxy to reclaim "our country" from the plutocrats, oligarchs, aristos, and their minions in the political and business classes. The key is to somehow 'return manufacturing/jobs' to the economy. Hartmann and others have a variety of schemes to accomplish this, but it seems to me that these pretty uniformly overlook, or simply ASSUME to have solved, a principle dilemma of the "we'll just rebuild" argument.
It is this: You're gonna need A LOT of MONEY to build and re-build the infrastructure which has gone to rust and ruin over the past 30 years. There is nothing left of the previous structures; they've been stripped to the walls. You'd have to start over again from scratch. You'd have to bring it up to speed, too: high-speed rail, super-diesels, mass trans, energy efficiency, everything ...But that is gonna cost a shit-pot of shekels; it's a beeeg investment.
And we already know the Gummint cannot do it; it's hamstrung by corporate interests which are still busily extracting every possible cent from the existing chaos, and so doesn't want to; so Gummint CANNOT invest the necessary resources.
And the corpoRats don't wanna rebuild ANYTHING. It wouldn't be a good investment. We're a "down-market" anymore. We have been hollowed out, and no it's on to the next apparatus for the corpoRat otherfuckers. They need "us" less and less as a market; they're just about done with "us."