X hits on this document

PDF document

Amitai Etzioni - page 23 / 30

105 views

0 shares

0 downloads

0 comments

23 / 30

u.s.

Technological, Economic, and SocialDevelopment for the 21st Century

263

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-

cluding

"investment"

in

residential real

estate) if

the foundations of a strong

economy are to be restored; (b) the elements listed provide

an outline

for the

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.

the

basic

needs of

economic

development

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.

dichotomy.

continuum

They may be arranged, for

from

laissez-faire

conservative

to

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

Document info
Document views105
Page views105
Page last viewedSun Dec 11 00:21:19 UTC 2016
Pages30
Paragraphs755
Words11416

Comments