Although the United States leads the world in technology innovation, it may fall behind if the government does not address emerging gaps in innovation policy and invest more in scientific research, argues a new progress report and scorecard from the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Renewing America initiative. The report is authored by Renewing America Associate Director Rebecca Strauss and CFR Bernard L. Schwartz Senior Fellow and Renewing America Director Edward Alden.
Management theorist Peter Drucker famously declared that companies must “innovate or die.” Washington today is full of similar warnings, based on the premise that the US is losing its innovation edge. The fear is that industrial and technological advancements in other countries—and in China in particular—threaten to leave us behind.
It is often said that academics could do a better job speaking to the general public. It can probably also be said that academics could use a dose of looking at the forest as well as the trees. In the area of regulatory management, both appear to be true.
The latest partisan wranglings over net neutrality are yet another reminder of just how divided Republicans and Democrats are over the costs and benefits of federal regulations—the vast swathe of rules that govern everything from air quality to auto safety.
he US racked up debt faster than any other G7 country during the Great Recession, so that its debt burden is now as bad as the average European country. If current projections hold, by 2040 the US will have the worst debt burden of any G7 country save for Japan, reaching levels not seen since World War II.
Each year, U.S. state and local governments waste tens of billions of taxpayer dollars competing to lure or retain business investment, with little impact on business behavior. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss lay out incremental steps for curbing the subsidy war, beginning with greater disclosure and cost-benefit analyses, and building up to a multistate agreement that creates strong disincentives for continuing subsidies.
Each year, state and local governments in the United States spend more than $80 billion, or roughly 7 percent of their total budgets, on tax breaks and subsidies to attract investments from auto companies, movie producers, aircraft makers and other industries. Edward Alden and Rebecca Strauss explore the possiblity of ending such compensation.
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