industrial policy

Corporation Nation

Most Americans know corporations run the nation and long ago ceased to be good citizens. U.S. Corporations have endorsed a sociopathic stance of short term profits as their objective exclusive to all others. Profits above people is now the norm. Dr. Ralph Gomory, who contributes to this site and Dr. Richard Sylla have dismantled the U.S. corporation and even put it back together again in an essay published by American Academy of Arts & Sciences. The essay gives a historical narrative of the U.S. corporation, touching upon major historical events which shaped these business entities into the conglomerates we know today. The authors also propose solutions and describe options to channel business behavior to be more in concert with America. We need to structurally redefine and realign the U.S. Corporation.

Excerpted below is the abstract of their paper, Stewarding America: The Corporation.

China's Tails I Win Heads You Lose Economic Strategy Plays

The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission has issued their new, comprehensive annual report on China for 2011. The 414 page report (large pdf), is a comprehensive, with details on trade, economics, currency manipulation, development strategy, military actions and human rights abuses.

Beyond Protection vs. Liberalization - Thinking Historically About Trade and Policy

Note: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project. Follow us on Facebook!


In about two years of blogging at TRP (and another two years’ policy-blogging elsewhere), I’ve never discussed trade. It’s not because it’s unimportant, because trade is clearly a major issue within economic policy and politics, but rather because of when I came of age politically. In 2001 student politics, the free trade vs. anti-globalization/protectionism debate seemed remarkably deadlocked and somewhat sterile. Twin camps of policy contenders required allegiance with either side, and I found myself unhappy with the analysis and debate and more drawn to questions of domestic economic policy.

However, in the wake of the Great Recession and the increasingly-urgent need to reassess the structure of the U.S economy, I can’t avoid it any longer. The trade question isn’t the whole of our economic problems, I think it can be exaggerated in a way that obscures a more important class conflict inside nations. And yet, the global balance of trade – between Germany and the rest of Europe, between China and the U.S, and so on – is clearly out of whack.

Industrial Policy Can Work - Rethinking the Auto Bailout

Note: this is a cross-post from The Realignment Project. Follow us on Facebook!


How NOT to Do It



When the first generation of historians begin their work on the Obama Administration, one of the more puzzling chapters will be the winter of 2010, when a major sea-change occurred in public policy that neither the administration nor the media were particularly eager to spend that much time trumpeting - namely, the revival of industrial policy after forty years or more beyond the pale of the Conventional Wisdom, as demonstrated by the success of the American automotive industry rescue.

While we wait for that generation of historians to get started being born, we can at least begin to learn some lessons about how and why the Big Three rescue worked when other industry bailouts have been such miserable failures.

A green industrial policy?

Back in the 1980s, writers such as Robert Reich were advocating what was called an "industrial policy", that is, the government should intervene in the economy and explicitly help a particular industry or set of industries in order to make them more competitive. Yes, I know this sounds like "picking winners", except that governments have been doing this successfully for hundreds of years. Think of it as the equivalent of the Park Service being stewards of a national park, intervening when necessary to keep the ecosystem healthy. Now, think of the economy as an ecosystem, and think of industrial policy as a way to keep the economy healthy.