Technological, Economic, and SocialDevelopment for the 21st Century
bridges, and ports worse off than other weakened segments,and no major new means for transportation of goods. The energy sectorhas beencausing numerous well-known problems, not due to a maintenance gap, which characterizes many of the other elements, but due to utterly insufficient adaptationof policies, tech- nologies, and investments to a new situation in the post-1973 era. The R&D sec- tor has been in decline for most of the period. Though it recently rebounded, civilian R&D expenditures remained weak. The human capital sector shows signs of decline, but not as clearly or severelyassomeof the other sectors. Legal and financial institutions turned against economic development in the era under study, if an across-the-board generalization is to be made. The status of capital goods varies a great deal from industry to industry, with a fair number showing signs of rising obsolescence, and relatively few showing new, vigorous replace- ment.
All this provides an agenda for reindustrialization: infrastructure and capital goods sector must be favored
(a) investment in the over consumption (in-
the foundations of a strong
economy are to be restored; (b) the elements listed provide
focus of reindustrialization-all
but communications needto be strengthened;(c)
there is no needto retrace the development of these elements,to restorethe same
concrete items, but more efficiently.
must be served
As we prepare to enter the 21st century, a national debatehas begunasto how best to revitalize America's economy. At issue are competing conceptions of both what ails the economy and what prescriptions are called for. The advocates of all the varying positions despair, albeit to differing degrees, of Keynesian theory and policies based on it. All agree that in the American economyof recent years, something more is amiss than unduly high readings on some indicators (e.g., inflation, unemployment), poor productivity growth, a growing deficit, and low savings, and that the problem is more severe than just one more downturn of the age-old businesscycle, soonto swing up again. All concur that the inflation of the late 1970shad not been merely or even mainly demand-driven (or OPEC-caused). All agree that the foundations of the American economyhave weakened and need shoring up.
The differences are best viewed as divergent conceptions of the proper rela- tionship between the polity and the economy, and where the levers for correct- ives are. The positions taken do not directly parallel those taken by political par-
ties, or the conservative-liberal convenience of presentation, on a moderate-centrist to left-liberal.
They may be arranged, for
A. Non-Targeted: Supply-Side Economics
The well-knownlaissez-faire,NewWhig positionis that whatails theecon- omy is mainly an excessivelevel of politicization,reflectednot merelyin the