Manufacturing and GDP are not necessarily the best thing for a good economy (not as one defined by keynesians). There is so much focus on production but so little on what is produced. Producing junk and cars doesn't equate to a better life, and buying new cars just because is almost like the broken window fallacy driving the economy. Manufacturing is not a desirable job. What about something that improves local society and lives?
We need better economic metrics.
I agree debt is being used in most cases to keep the GDP game going. I think green energy usage and wealth/equality levels are more important.