Let me start of this blog by stating that as much as I love building stuff a full on manufacturing future is not for me.
That being the case I cannot begin to tell you how important I feel that manufacturing is for the future of the United States. We have shifted hundreds of thousands of jobs overseas and lost our edge and also the quality (of most goods). I am not saying we should start building Hasbro toys in North Denver, but I do believe that manufacturing can be a force for job creation.
There are many reasons to support national, preferably local manufacturing. The reasons include, but are not bound to: increase in local craftsmen, ability to create prototypes or first runs and lower unemployment.
Local craftsmen: these local craftsmen will be able to supply local businesses with funky furniture, metal work, art, etc.
Prototypes will be created here locally instead of having them created abroad and potentially messed up; by having them created here, it will be done correctly and time, money and energy will be saved.
Unemployment will lower as we increase the number of manufacturing jobs. People that have specialized skills, or a desire to learn them will be put to work. For years we have underutilized these skills and often scoffed at them. Perhaps as societal needs change our opinions of this work will change as well.
Below are a couple of articles on manufacturing and why it is important to America
http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/03/ff_adafruit/ (these advances are fantastic) and if you want to take it even further….http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10/google-announces-android-open-accessory-standard-arduino-based/
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/joe-astroth/why-shop-class-relevant_b_862801.html? (I think that this only scratches the surface of the how and why value of shop class)