Explaining Anemic U.S. Job Growth: The Role of Faltering U.S. Competitiveness

December 5, 2011

The Great Recession officially ended more than two years ago but the recovery is barely perceptible and anxious policymakers are running out of options. Washington cannot seem to agree on what caused the Recession in the first place or how to create robust job growth. One camp argues for revving up consumer demand through fiscal and monetary policy. The other says the financial system got out of control and we just have to wait for our books to get back into balance.

Remarkably, neither of the dominant schools of thought focuses on the principal cause of the Great Recession and our current anemic jobs recovery- the collapse of U.S. manufacturing and innovation-based competitiveness over the last generation. Faulty diagnosis leads to ineffective cures. It's time for a new approach grounded in a new diagnosis.

ITIF hosted a controversial and stimulating discussion of how America's innovation and competitiveness challenges are intimately linked to our halting economic recovery and why the conventional approaches to recovery are inadequate.