For this to happen, Americans are going to have to get over what I think of as our “cheap crap problem.” This is as true of consumers as it is of producers. Fifty years ago people bought quality appliances that they expected to have for decades; now there is an entire journalistic industry devoted to making arguments for and against buying the current iPhone given that in six months or a year there will be another one with different kinds of lights and buttons. Planned obsolescence is a serious problem, and not only in tech. We will have to stop buying cheap T-shirts and jeans manufactured abroad by people working in horrendous, at times even sub-human, conditions in lieu of more expensive nice things that will last.
To the average congressional Republican, this is all unthinkable. Happy as they are to take credit for the number of jobs created in their respective states, formally they believe that this country should not have anything approaching an industrial policy. Walmart is good because it allows Americans to decide between 75 different brands of frozen pizza with Frankensteinian ingredients lists at everyday low prices. General Motors is good because its management had the good sense to send jobs to Mexico rather than take pay cuts or ask for another handout from Uncle Sam. Apple is good because its stock price is high.