America Must Learn from Germany - Before It’s Too Late

In a feature for CNN's Global Public Square, ITIF President Rob Atkinson reflects on Germany's manufacturing strategy. While there are cultural and historical differences between the United States and Germany that makes consensus and cooperation more of a challenge here, the United States is no stranger to the idea of a shared sense of mission. The mobilization of American factories at the start of World War II and moon landing are dramatic examples of this. Less dramatic but equally impressive were changes in trade, education, tax and R&D policies adopted in the late 1980s to meet the economic challenge of Japan and other countries. The economic peril we face today pales in comparison to what we faced in the late 1980s. Only time will tell if we will look back at 2011 as the fourth year of a lost decade and 2012 as another year we continued to accept the end of American economic primacy.