Long before The New Economy was touted as the replacement for North America’s “old-fashioned” manufacturing base, there was the Service Economy. In the mid-1980s, it was an idea just as popular and trendy as the New Economy was in the late 1990s – and just as dumb. The premise was that manufacturing – and the good-paying jobs that go along with it – was no longer important and was better off being shipped to China, Mexico and other low-cost locales. Robots in workerless “lights out” ...

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