Porter to U.S.: Get a strategy

A well-known competitive strategy expert thinks the United States badly needs a new economic strategy.  In fact, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter argues in an essay in BusinessWeek that "the stark truth is that the U.S. has no long-term economic strategy — no coherent set of policies to ensure competitiveness over the long haul."

Porter's concern? That some of the factors that have helped the U.S. maintain an innovation edge are at risk. Problems he mentions include:

  • too little investment in R&D
  • less rigorous antitrust enforcement
  • excessive deregulation of financial markets
  • inaccessiblity of higher education to too many Americans
  • failure of the federal government to realized the importance of regional economic clusters
  • lack of an adequate "transitional safety net" for Americans hurt by economics changes such as job loss
  • failure to reform public policy in areas such as healthcare
  • a weak public education system.

According to Porter, leaders in some other countries, such as Denmark and South Korea, do think strategically about their nations' economic future.