GOP candidates don't get Michigan (and manufacturing)
February 25th, 2012
06:30 AM ET

GOP candidates don't get Michigan (and manufacturing)

Editor's Note: Bruce J. Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. Follow him @bruce_katzJennifer Bradley is a fellow and co-director of the Great Lakes Economic Initiative at the Metropolitan Policy Program.

By Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley - Special to CNN

Politics and economic policy are intersecting right now in Michigan, with important lessons for the rest of the country. Against the backdrop of the federal government’s rescue of the auto industry, presidential candidates are campaigning in a state that took a huge hit in the recession but has since rallied to post one of the strongest recoveries of any place in the nation.

Michigan is ground zero for the ferment in U.S. manufacturing, the sector that has done so much to power the recovery and a surge in overseas demand for American products.  The resilience of the auto industry has played a significant role.  American vehicle sales rose to 12.8 million in 2011.  The Big Three claimed 47 percent of market share, their best showing since 2008. FULL POST

Alexander Hamilton's manufacturing message
American politician Alexander Hamilton (1757 - 1804). (Getty Images)
December 5th, 2011
12:02 PM ET

Alexander Hamilton's manufacturing message

Editor's Note: Bruce Katz is the vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution (follow him on Twitter @bruce_katz). Jessica Lee is a senior policy analyst at the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Bruce Katz and Jessica Lee.

By Bruce Katz and Jessica Lee - Special to CNN

Two hundred and twenty years ago today, Alexander Hamilton presented his Report on Manufactures to the U.S. House of Representatives. This report, commissioned by Congress almost two years earlier, urged legislators to regard manufacturing as an integral component of the emerging American economy.

In stark contrast to the Jeffersonian vision of an agrarian democracy led by virtuous yeoman farmers, Hamilton envisioned a national economy strengthened through diversification and immigrant talent, with a vibrant manufacturing sector complementing the nation’s already sizable agricultural productivity.

Arguing against those who insisted that the government should “leave industry to itself,” he insisted that deliberate government encouragement was needed to ensure that American manufacturers continued to thrive. FULL POST

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Topics: Business • Economy • United States
Look outside the beltway to find America’s economic innovators
The Capitol Beltway.
November 10th, 2011
03:55 PM ET

Look outside the beltway to find America’s economic innovators

Editor's Note:Bruce Katz is the vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution (follow him on Twitter @bruce_katz). Judith Rodin is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation (follow them on Twitter @foundationrock.) Who do you think is an economic innovator? Join the conversation on Twitter #pragcaucus. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Bruce Katz and Judith Rodin.

By Bruce Katz and Judith Rodin - Special to CNN

With federal politics mired in gridlock and the economy stuck in neutral, Americans are hungry for new ways to drive economic growth, foster job creation, and restore prosperity. As Parag Khanna and David Skilling so aptly noted in their recent essay, “Big Ideas from Small Places,” these new approaches are most likely to emerge from “small countries, city-states, [and] city-regions” – places where innovation is the only option, where cooperation and collaboration rule the day.

Something similar is taking place in the United States, not at the national level, but in many of our states, cities and metropolitan areas. Cities and metros tend to concentrate creativity and innovation, two of our nation’s most important resources. It’s in these “small places” that 84% of Americans live and 91% of U.S. GDP is generated. It’s here that we see people taking on the tough challenges, finding new solutions to the seemingly intractable problems wrought by the sluggish economy. And it’s here that a pragmatic caucus of political, business, university and civic leaders is emerging to make the big plays necessary to grow jobs in the near term and retool metropolitan economies for the decades ahead.

FULL POST

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Topics: Economy • Jobs • United States
Career advice for a 16-year-old American
(Getty Images)
September 16th, 2011
11:37 AM ET

Career advice for a 16-year-old American

Editor's Note: Bruce Katz is the vice president and founding director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution (follow him on twitter @bruce_katz). He is responding to the question: "What advice would you give a sixteen-year-old about how to prepare for the future U.S. economy? Where the jobs will be?"

By Bruce Katz, Special to CNN

Get ready for a wild ride.  The U.S. economy is restructuring from one characterized by consumption, debt and waste to one driven by exports (to take advantage of rising global demand), powered by low-carbon technology (to lead the clean energy revolution) and fueled by innovation (to spur growth through new ideas and production).

So how can you succeed in the next economy?

First, get educated. Our changing economy has created an iron law of wages: namely, the more you learn, the more you earn.

Between 1990 and 2009, median annual earnings fell for workers with a high school education or less and grew for those with a bachelor's degree or more. Workers with a BA or higher earned nearly 80 percent more than those with just a high school diploma in 2009. FULL POST

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Topics: Innovation • Jobs • Youth
Cut mortgage subsidies and invest in innovation
A sign sits in the front yard of a home being offered for sale January 25, 2010 in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. (Getty Images)
June 28th, 2011
10:00 AM ET

Cut mortgage subsidies and invest in innovation

Editor's Note: Bruce Katz is a Vice President at the Brookings Institution and Director of its Metropolitan Policy Program.  Follow Bruce on Twitter.

By Bruce Katz – Special to CNN

With economic recovery sluggish, what can the federal government do to spark innovation - the historic catalyst for economic growth and productivity?

There are plenty of ideas out there, including ones that are low cost but controversial.

As the McKinsey Global Institute smartly recommended earlier this month,

“Policymakers can support the emergence of new industries by using the power of the government to set standards and to create pricing mechanisms, and by using government purchases to provide early stage demand for new technologies.”

In today’s global economy, however, setting national rules of the road is not sufficient.   Investments matter.  Governments in mature economies must invest in innovation in appropriate ways and at large enough scale to grow jobs in the near term and retool our economy for the long haul.

The real question is: What to invest in and how to pay for it? FULL POST

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Topics: Innovation • United States