While Germany's economy shrank in the last measured quarter, mostly due to the collapse of the overall European economy, it still runs a trade surplus with much lower unemployment than the U.S. - German Chancellor Angela Merkel once was asked by then-British prime minister Tony Blair what the secret was of her country's impressive success. She famously replied, "Mr. Blair, we still make things." In Germany, manufacturing still dominates finance, not the other way around, as Germany has continued to emphasize manufacturing and exports over the financial industry.
http://www.theatlantic.com/business/arc ... an/273318/
IMO, having a large manufacturing base that builds things for the US and the world is the best way to create jobs, reduce our trade deficit and reduce our own deficit. Unfortunately, with the current group of people in the Whitehouse right now (and quite a few previous admins also get blame), it isn't going to happen: For example, in the first minute of the following video, Obama's John P. Holdren says:
I think ultimately that the rate of growth of material consumption is going to have to come down, and thereʼs going to have to be a degree of redistribution of how much we consume, in terms of energy and material resources, in order to leave room for people who are poor to become more prosperous.
http://oneworldgroup.org/2009/06/18/une ... cans-lives