Sammy on Freedom and Competitive Advantage

This one is by reader Sammy…


Maybe freedom is America’s competitive advantage?

America The Unconventional

Even the most decent, charismatic or bold politicians tend to adhere to conventional wisdom and conventional prescriptions in addressing America’s economic future. In doing so, they miss the point that it is the unconventional that has driven America’s recent success, and the unconventional that must drive our future success.

A quarter of a century ago, most leading economists–whether liberal or conservative–predicted that American economic growth would fall behind Japan and Germany by 2007. They typically estimated that Japan’s annual gross domestic product would be roughly $5 trillion by now, with Germany at around $4 trillion, and the U.S. lagging behind at roughly $3.5 trillion.

The predictions for Japan and Germany were reasonably accurate. But America grew to $13 trillion.

America’s surprising economic growth has been traced back to some 1,000 key innovators, entrepreneurs, rainmakers, mentors and creative geniuses–some 60% of whom were foreign-born persons who were educated at American universities.
This meant that the U.S. had a unique edge in terms of the talent and the environment that was necessary for growth. The revolutions of technology–in electronics, in space technology and satellite communications, in personal computing, in the Internet and in information technology–were all American revolutions. The U.S. innovated while others imitated.

Just as yesterday’s conventional wisdom held that Japan and Germany would pass us by, today’s conventional wisdom holds that other nations soon will exceed us in skills and productivity. Yet by maintaining our edge in the unconventional things–especially in our ability to innovate while others continue to imitate–America will remain the pacesetter in this still-young century

sammy comments:

1) The collective (regulation/taxation/nationalization) diminishes the individualism that fosters innovation. For example, what will price controls and/or nationalization do to the health care field?

2) Those 1,000 key innovators, guess which tax bracket they fall into?

3) Freedom to succeed also means the freedom to fail, meaning there will be crackups such as the housing bubble.

4) Bonus for the liberals errr progressives that read the link, there is potentially a place for government help.

This one is by reader Sammy.

Cactus here… my brief response will appear in comments.