January 22, 2014


America Unleashed: Why We'll Be Number One Once More (Paul Salmon, 1/22/14, PBS : Business Desk)

Here with another dose of optimism is Milken Institute senior fellow and former Harvard Business Review editor Joel Kurtzman, who identifies four forces of economic change propelling the U.S. toward a brighter future. The following is adapted from his forthcoming book, "Unleashing the Second American Century."

Joel Kurtzman: For some odd reason, Americans like to think of our nation -- which is by far the largest and most sophisticated economy in the world -- as the underdog. It wasn't that long ago -- at least it doesn't seem like it was that long ago to me -- that books were being published like, "Japan as Number One." And now it's China.

Case in point: a chart in the Wall Street Journal about research and development in a number of countries was titled "China Catches Up," despite the fact that the amount China spent on R&D, according to the chart, was only about half of what the United States spends. Not only that, but if you think about it, whereas the U.S. spends big on R&D since we have a robust research infrastructure already in place, a lot of what China spends is to set up labs and train people, which we've already done. Now, I have nothing against China, in fact I admire it, but catch up to the United States? Not for a while. In my view, the United States is about to undergo a "growth spurt," just as China, and much of the emerging world, are slowing down.

There are four forces that explain why the United States will be entering a period of very strong growth: our creativity is ahead of all other countries; there is a renewal of manufacturing; we have enormous newly accessible supplies of energy; and we are flush with investible capital.

Posted by at January 22, 2014 6:15 PM

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