In this event, Clyde Prestowitz, President of the Economic Strategy Institute, discusses his latest book, “The Betrayal of American Prosperity: Free Market Delusions, America’s Decline, and How We Must Compete in the Post-Dollar Era.”
Prestowitz argues that between 1800 and 1950 America became the richest country the world had ever seen by adopting an economic strategy similar to that of China today. The United States rejected Adam Smith’s call for it to be primarily a supplier of raw materials and agricultural commodities and set out consciously to build a business-government partnership to overtake the industrial leadership of Great Britain by promoting technology development, investment in American production in key industries, and massive infrastructure projects like the transcontinental railroad. But Prestowitz holds that, in the past fifty years, the United States has largely turned its back on this approach while our “best and brightest” have subordinated our economic development to geo-political priorities and embraced false doctrines like consumerism, efficient markets, Ricardian free trade, and shareholder value that, in an era of companies without countries, are rapidly eroding the bases of our prosperity and national security.
Prestowitz will discuss the current competitive position of the United States in global economic activity, which he views as “a massive economic defeat we are now absorbing,” explain how the U.S. economy got to where it is, and propose recommendations and policies he believes the United States should undertake to revitalize its productive base and competitive position.