“The challenge for ‘flyover cities’ such as Wichita; Lincoln, Neb.; Des Moines and Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and other places enjoying a tech-led revival is to find ways of ensuring that the benefits of their comebacks spread widely” writes CFR adjunct senior fellow Robert E. Litan.
The promises of science fiction are quickly becoming workaday realities. Cars and trucks are starting to drive themselves in normal traffic. Machines have begun to understand our speech, figure out what we want, and satisfy our requests.
Transparency has long been a rare commodity in international affairs. But today, the forces of technology are ushering in a new age of openness that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Governments, journalists, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) can now harness a flood of open-source information, drawn from commercial surveillance satellites, drones, smartphones, and computers, to reveal hidden activities in contested areas—from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea.
Almost seven years after the Great Recession officially ended, the U.S. economy continues to grow at a sluggish rate. Real wages are stagnant. The real median wage earned by men in the United States is lower today than it was in 1969. Median household income, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 1999 and has barely risen in the past several years despite the formal end of the recession in 2009.
Ruth Porat has taken an unusual path to the tech world. Before becoming the chief financial officer at Google in May 2015 (and then at Alphabet, Google’s new parent company, a few months later), she held the same post at Morgan Stanley, where among other roles she worked closely with the U.S. government to sort out the troubles at the insurance corporation AIG and the mortgage-financing agencies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac during the 2008 financial crisis.
The flow of data across international borders creates jurisdictional challenges and causes international tensions. Increasingly, countries have responded by imposing new requirements to store data locally, threatening cross-border data flows, which generate approximately $2.8 trillion of global gross domestic product each year. CFR Senior Fellow for Digital Policy Karen Kornbluh argues that the United States should take the lead in addressing these tensions.
The line between domestic economic policy and foreign economic policy is now almost invisible, and getting these policies right matters for more than just U.S. living standards. Through insightful analysis and engaging graphics, How America Stacks Up outlines the challenges faced by the United States and prescribes solutions that will ensure a healthy, competitive U.S. economy for years to come.
The United States leads the world in combining innovation quality and quantity, but the challenges are growing, particularly when it comes to scientific research. Addressing gaps in U.S. innovation policy could help ensure that the United States remains the leading innovation center for decades to come.
The scorecard infographic and accompanying progress report, "Remedial Education: Federal Education Policy," highlights the main challenges facing the U.S. education system and assesses whether federal education policy is effectively addressing them.
The second World Internet Conference (WIC) was held in Wuzhen, China, from December 16-18, 2015. The theme for the conference was "An Interconnected World Shared and Governed by All: Building a Community of Common Future in Cyberspace" and conference leaders proposed the Wuzhen Initiative as a continuation of the work of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2015 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »