Americans face a choice as a country: we can either keep focusing on maximizing present consumption, especially by older people, or we can focus on maximizing production so we can afford the critical investments in America. If fewer American’s retired early and if we raised the retirement age to 70, we’d have more money to invest in science needs in research, infrastructure and skills, and maybe discover solar power that’s cheaper than coal power.
When Markets Fail, Do We All Lose? The Evidence Isn’t As Clear As Reported
It may not have come as a surprise that a week ago, the Federal Reserve released a report showing how U.S. family wealth and income declined from 2007 to 2010. However, most mainstream media sources took a single statistic (changes in median wealth) from the over 80 page bulletin and ran away with the wrong message.
Bridges: Technology, Automation, and Innovation Create, Not Destroy, Jobs
The problem for the US economy – and the global economy, for that matter – is not that we have too much innovation; rather, we don't have enough of it. What's needed is not for the political class to denigrate technology, automation, or innovation, but to enact more aggressive innovation-supporting policies: everything from more generous R&D tax credits and greater federal investment in R&D to better education policies. The nations that will do best in the intensifying global race for innovation-based economic growth are those that embrace both innovation and creative destruction, while also putting in place effective public policies that empower society to cope with the rapid and ongoing changes brought by technology, automation, and innovation.
Note to Tom Friedman: Technology Creates, Not Destroys, Jobs
Tom Friedman's Op-Ed in The New York Times in which he argues technology is destorying jobs is essentially a flawed argument. There are three essential reasons for this. First, the economic evidence. It is unambiguous that higher rates of productivity lead to more jobs in the medium to long term, not fewer jobs. Second, the most serious challenge facing the U.S. economy over the next 25 years is the declining worker to population ratio as the baby boomers age. Finally, if we want to raise the living standards of Americans now holding low wage jobs, the best way to do it is to increase, not decrease, automation of these jobs. When a job can only produce 10 dollars an hour in value, there is no way to pay more than $10 per hour. If we can use technology to boost the productivity of many low wage, low productivity jobs, we can pay more for these jobs and workers who move out of these occupations can move into higher value added ones.
IT is the Foundation for Better Building
In a recap of a compelling ITIF event, Steve Norton reflects on the need to innovate in the construction industry. Construction is a physical undertaking of getting bricks, beams, pipes and glass to sites and putting them together but IT can help us better design, coordinate and revolutionize the process. When we start breaking new ground literally, we should also do so in our thinking and consider the economic footprint of a more productive and innovative construction sector.