Blog Posts Driving the Debate
NCF curates a weekly list of blog posts that touch on emerging issues affecting the American business community.
Ryan Avent of The Economist painted a mixed picture of the world economy. In short, the small rays of sunshine have yet to dispel the gloom. Francis Fukuyama wrote on The American Interest about the governance deficit facing the United States, where populist pressures lead to a negative feedback loop "in which a hobbled bureaucracy validates everyone’s view that the government can’t do anything competently." Alex Tabarrok (author of the excellent Launching the Innovation Renaissance) highlighted Nick Schulz's NCF paper on the value of drawing human capital from around the world. Tim Harford absorbed the news that the UK's economy contracted a smidgen in the last quarter of 2011 and gave his thoughts in the form of a Q&A. It's all quite good, but the best parts are where he addresses what do about slowing growth in the short and long terms. In the short term, yes, the UK may have to do what it can to boost demand, lest long-term unemployment cause growth prospects to gradually wilt for good. Unfortunately, Britain doesn't have that much fiscal wriggle room, so monetary solutions may be best. Over the long term, Harford isn't too optimistic about trying to boost traditional manufacturing as a growth solution. After all, China has been cutting manufacturing jobs for quite some time now. As Harford puts it, "If the Chinese can’t generate jobs through manufacturing I am not sure we should be expecting too much from that strategy." Exports accounted for 14% of GDP last year, according to Binyamin Applebaum, which is the highest proportion since 1929. After Apple's bombshell earnings report, Bret Swanson (an NCF fellow) took a hard look at the number of jobs created by the eponymous firm. Swanson pointed especially to the knock-on effects from the creation of app markets and the like, which employ an uncounted number of souls beyond those in One Infinity Circle.