Paradoxically, today√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s challenging economic conditions may provide a unique opportunity for America. A fundamental examination of how this nation earns its living is long overdue. The credit crunch could provide the impetus we need to answer a question that has defeated policymakers for more than 50 years: how can manufacturing be encouraged to create wealth as part of a competitive, high value American economy. American manufacturers are already some of the most productive in the world. Continuous pressure on the manufacturing sector in recent years has weeded out the weak. The vast majority of those that that remain are efficient producers of reasonably priced, high quality goods. It is therefore heartbreaking to watch so many good companies struggle as a result of the malpractice of avaricious people on Wall Street. For too long this country√¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢s brightest and best have been engaged in financial engineering rather than real engineering. Just imagine if instead of designing complex financial instruments to make money out of money, these √¢‚Ç¨≈ìgeniuses√¢‚Ç¨¬ù were working on our team designing cars, phones, computers, teaching tools, Internet programs and medical equipment that could improve the lives and productivity of millions. Wow! As a matter of priority we should stop treating manufacturing as a relic of the industrial revolution. High value added manufacturing brings huge benefits. It penetrates the economy of the entire country, not just a few blocks of lower Manhattan. It pays well but avoids bewildering distortions of income. It drives and enables a broad range of skills and stimulates the growth of services. In short it creates wealth.