What if ALL manufacturing jobs were outsourced to other countries, would there still be enough jobs in other sectors for people to work? I asked that same question on different forum, and this is one of the interesting replies I got:
No society can sustain itself without jobs that add value to something. Manufacturing is the easiest way to add value. You take steel worth $10 and turn it into a product worth $50. Value is added. Farming could be considered food manufacturing. When you get rid of manufacturing its gets harder to add value. Certainly professional services can add value, but not on the scale that manufacturing can. And it is the added value (profit) that fuels the economy through wages allowing folks to buy stuff and the cycle goes on. Real wealth and by that I mean a strong and large middle class, is built on manufacturing. Personally, unless we get back to making things, I hold out little hope for our country past the next generation.