The Public Interest

From horse carts to minimiils

Martin T. Katzman

Summer 1988

EXEMPLIFYING the nation’s diminishing international competitiveness in manufacturing, American steel production has fallen from 150 million tons in the peak year of 1973 to 80 million in 1986. Many Americans are pessimistic about the future of our basic industries, and they cast blame in many directions—incompetent management, excessive wages, archaic work rules, and oppressive regulations. There would be cause for national celebration if we could discover a way to nurture industries that provide entrepreneurial outlets for people with little capital, help semiskilled workers reach the first rung of the job ladder, clean up the environment, conserve energy, and contribute positively to the balance of payments.

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