CWB's third annual summit celebrates the successes of business women around the country while also discussing their unique challenges.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Emerging Issues Program is proud to offer the latest in research from a number of notable thought leaders. Discover a variety of topics including transportation, austerity, women in business, tourism and healthcare.
Prizes are among the most effective—and overlooked—tools for incentivizing breakthrough solutions to the thorniest problems we know. They have existed since the dawn of man. As modern civilization has grown, prizes have become a tool for incentivizing progress. Yet it has been only in the past few centuries that we have come to view prizes institutionally, channeling human nature toward valuable endeavors.
Americans generally agree that they want their nation to remain the global leader in manufacturing. According to Leadership Wanted: U.S. Public Opinions on Manufacturing, a 2012 national survey, 90% of respondents rated manufacturing as “important” or “very important” for their economic prosperity and America’s standard of living. This survey reinforces the importance of the manufacturing sector to the good health of the American economy.
While continuing to expand its productivity over the last two years, the U.S. manufacturing sector has only modestly expanded its employment base. Since December 2011, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported an increase of 231,000 manufacturing jobs, for a total of 12,028,000 employed in the sector. Yet the need to develop a long-term, stable supply of next-generation employees for advanced manufacturing industries is a challenge that needs to be undertaken now—not later. With an anticipated surge in retirements from an aging workforce over the next few years, the demand for high-skilled workers will be needed for replacement and continued expansion.
The foresight that Americans demonstrated during the recent Great Recession and the ensuing recovery of household balance sheets are encouraging signs of the resilience necessary for U.S. households to face future fiscal challenges. And significant fiscal challenges are unquestionably on the horizon. While modest changes to U.S. tax and spending policy in 2011 and early 2013 mitigated near-term federal budgetary pressures modestly, long-run fiscal challenges remain as our entitlement programs and the federal debt are projected to outpace the overall growth of the U.S. economy.
A key aspect of fiscal reform, and entitlement reform specifically, is a proper understanding of how workers and households will respond to changes in government policy. A resilient and adaptive economy can better adjust to changes in federal programs and absorb the shock of even large-scale reforms. Conversely, a static, unresponsive household sector will endure more damage from rapid or significant fiscal consolidation.
The complexity of the modern world can seem overwhelming. The world moves faster every day, and despite obvious advances in technology and living standards, public officials see the chaos of life and seek ways to soften the world’s edges. The great temptation is to match the world’s growing complexity with corresponding rules and programs that help citizens and firms navigate the tumult.
Evidence increasingly suggests, however, that the content, number, and unforeseen interplay of these multiplying rules are doing far more harm than good. The economy’s continued underperformance, therefore, offers an opportunity to fundamentally reexamine our approaches to regulation and public finance. We believe that such a reexamination will suggest a stark new path—one that demands simple rules for a complex world.
This paper this highlights two examples where complex rule sets are damaging the economy and proposes attributes and examples of good rules and bad rules. The goal is to build a framework to evaluate public policy in a systematic way.