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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Revive American Innovation


Pessimism about America's future role in the world economy is spreading even as the economy stabilizes, but there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful, writes David Brooks in the New York Times. America's economy still has incredible potential, Brooks writes, and the government can revive innovation and stay competitive through a few steps that both parties should be able to agree on:

Push through President Obama's education reforms and improve America's human capital.
Raise federal research spending and boost overall R&D spending back to the 3% of GDP it received in the '60s.
Rebuild the nation's infrastructure, with spending decisions being made by National Infrastructure Bank instead of "pork-seeking politicians."
Rein in the deficit by having a commission create a roadmap back to fiscal responibility and letting Congress vote on it.
Use diplomacy to correct global imbalances such as China's artificially weak currency.
Loosen visa quotas and allow more skilled immigrants in.
Encourage innovation hotspots, rather than at a national level.
Lower corporate tax to international standards
Finally, "don't be stupid," by doing things like picking trade fights with other countries or getting carried away with gimmicks like research taxes.

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