In response to the June 2012 job numbers announced today, ITIF President Rob Atkinson made the following statement:
“Today’s jobs report is the monthly wakeup call for the United States. It is time to stop listening to the conventional political and economic elites who argue that regulatory uncertainty, the tax burden on individuals, a mismatch of skills and workers, excessive spending in Washington, and even robots are the causes for the anemic recovery in employment. It is time to face reality and try something new. Until we have a robust national innovation and competitiveness strategy in place, we should get used to reports like this.
Over the past decade we allowed our manufacturing base to erode and R&D investment to slow. We were timid as countries made a mockery of rules-based trade and stole our intellectual property. We allowed our effective corporate tax rate to become globally uncompetitive and squandered capital in non-traded sectors instead of investing it in plants, equipment, technology, and workers. The United States has fallen behind in the global innovation race as never before.
While there are enlightened leaders from both parties who have offered ideas to address the challenges the country faces, meaningful change remains hostage to the political gridlock that will only grow worse in an election year.
Americans can turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. But absent national resolve and bipartisan consensus to get back in the lead with a focus on the four Ts – taxes, trade, technology and talent – they will continue to wake up and find that declining standards of living is not a bad dream but a permanent reality.”