ITIF President Rob Atkinson will be interviewed during a lunch session as part of the third-annual Washington Ideas Forum. The Forum gathers an audience of 600 people, including government officials, top business executives, global thought leaders, academics, and celebrities. It is the place to hear the most prominent thinkers of our time.
Review: "That Used to Be Us" by Thomas L. Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum
In a review for The Washington Post, ITIF President Rob Atkinson argues the new best seller by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandlebaum suffers from an inaccurate diagnosis and insufficient cure. That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back is correct in some of its discussion of the causes of and solutions to our current economic woes, but Atkinson explains it misses the mark in some fundamental ways. Even if we return to what made us great and invest in education, infrastructure and technology, as the authors recommend, Atkinson contends our competitiveness as a nation and the prosperity of our workers will remain at risk from issues the authors either ignore or misunderstand, namely misguided tax policies and non-existent innovation strategies at home and rampant innovation mercantilism around the world.
What the President’s Jobs Speech Should Say Tonight (Hint: Restore U.S. Competitiveness)
The jobs recession at heart stems from the failure of U.S. competitiveness. Restoring robust job growth will require more than more Keynesian stimulus or the restructuring of balance sheets (public or private). It will require that Washington recognize there is a competitiveness crisis and that both political parties need to put aside partisan bickering and ideology to boldly act to restore America as the global leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and competitiveness. For until the faith of investors, companies, entrepreneurs, workers and consumers in America's future is restored, robust job creation will be difficult. As such, President Obama's proposal should include a wide array of policies to restore competitiveness, including reducing the effective corporate tax rate, increasing public investment in industrially-oriented research, spurring the fall of the value of the dollar, and allowing overseas profits to come home at a much lower tax rate.