“Everything is the opposite of what it is, isn't it”“
Now comes the Office of Management and Budget to prove the truth of Harry's observation:
U.S. statistical agencies have proposed major changes to the definitions of manufacturing and services that would fundamentally change our understanding of what manufacturing is and how it affects the economy. Specifically, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has issued a proposal for changes to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) that would take effect in a 2017 revision. NAICS is used by the myriad federal statistical agencies that collect, analyze, and publish statistical data related to the U.S. business economy, including U.S. trade. Agencies most affected would include the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), and the U.S. Census Bureau. In brief, NAICS 2017 would implement a previous but suspended plan (NAICS 2012) to classify factoryless goods producers (FGPs) such as Apple and Nike, most of which are now in wholesaling or management of companies (both service industries), into manufacturing. The proposal would also move trade by manufacturing service providers (MSPs), such as China’s Foxconn (which builds Apple products) into services. MSP establishments in the U.S. have been and will remain in manufacturing, but the jobs and output that are traded would be moved into services.
Now, this makes a certain weird sort of sense, given the prevailing views of our ruling oligarchs, who of course have our best interests at heart. Besides being job creators, they are also product creators. At their behest, those products are brought into physical reality. That process is called manufacturing. Therefore, they are manufacturers. The entities that actually produce the physical objects are merely providing the service of actually making the physical object. Therefore, they are service providers. It makes perfect sense, so long as you are comfortable with having your head spin or thought that 1984 was a book about a utopian society
This would perhaps be trivial, if not for the real world implications to those of us who do not bestride the world like those job creators. The wonky reasons are set forth in the linked article. A few not so wonky objections come to mind. First, there is the matter of our common language and the stresses and strains put on it by those who manipulate it for political reasons. I'm comfortable with the fact that the word "literally” has now come to mean, in addition to “literally”, “figuratively”. “Literally” is now the opposite of what it is as well as being what it is, but it has become so by a process of natural evolution. Things become a bit more sinister when words are manipulated intentionally in order to advance a political or policy agenda. After all, in our economic system, a “servicer” is literally (original sense intended) the opposite of a “manufacturer”, or as nearly opposite as one can imagine. This proposal seeks to do for these words what years of misuse have done for “literally”; make them mean the opposite of what they are, as well as retain their original meanings. This is not healthy.
Let me verge on paranoia a bit and suggest that with a-shall we say- manufactured uptick in manufacturing in this country, the deadbeat unemployed, we will be assured, will have even less reason for refusing to work, what with all those manufacturing jobs that must be available.
Who knows, your next Iphone may be labelled “Made in USA”, for all it seems to take to qualify for that moniker is that someone here in the USA has the idea that something should be made and the ability to see that someone, somewhere actually makes it. As to the actual making, that's merely a service that can be performed anywhere. Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, I'm sure our newly christened manufacturers will be more forthcoming, and the label will read: “Made in USA, serviced in China”.