Rob Atkinson highlights the misconceptions of Thomas Freidman with regard to the China currency bill, affirming a large part of the recession has to do with the fact that systemic Chinese mercantilism hollowed out our manufacturing and tech base, leading to the loss of millions of American jobs. Friedman arguing that when a country systematically attacks our economy, that if we fight back it would cause a trade war, misses the point. America needs to effectively respond to Chinese mercantilism: start defending ourselves.
A Bretton Woods for Innovation
In a World Policy Institute article, Senior Analyst Stephen Ezell reflects on the 44 nations that convened in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire to make financial arrangements for the post-World War II economy. While these institutions worked well for half a century, now that the commodity-based manufacturing system has evolved into a knowledge and innovation economy, the strains on the Bretton Woods system have become clear.Going forward, the challenge will be to balance countries’ pursuit of the highest possible standard of living for their citizens in a way that promotes, rather than distorts, global innovation. We need a new international framework that sets clear parameters for what constitutes fair and unfair innovation competition, creating new institutions (and updating old ones) that maximize innovation.
Washington Ideas Forum
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.