Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The US Economy "Tentpole" and the Global Economic "Big Tent"

Just finished reading the article "Intel Leads $3.5 Billion Effort to Advance U.S. Tech and Innovation" that talks extensively about the increasing problem of US college students not entering technology fields. In announcing this initiative Intel CEO Paul Otelli said... 

“Unfortunately, long-term investments in education, research, digital technology, and human capital have been steadily declining in the U.S. So, too, has the commitment to policies that made us such an entrepreneurial powerhouse for more than a century.”

Finally there is beginning to be a growing realization of something that in saying it seems obvious. The US Economy and workforce is, like it or not, the "tent-pole" of the global economic "tent". This may be politically incorrect to point out, from a standpoint of the US trying to be a friendlier and less arrogant global citizen, but the facts bear out the accuracy of this proposition.

So as we try and drag the US and the Global economy out of this recession it's time to be very pragmatic and less politically correct as we attempt to solve the problem. The most effective approach to getting out of this economic mess is to focus on raising the center pole of the Global economic "tent". As much as it may make us all get a warm fuzzy to work multiple individual initiatives with dozens of our foreign economic partners on international economic policies aimed at improving economic conditions, the sad truth is those uncoordinated efforts are unlikely to be highly effective in actually solving the problem.

The reality is we'll get much more bang for our buck, and by "our" I mean all nations, in creating "space" in the global economic "tent" by focusing resources in reformatting and rebooting the US economy. That means US jobs. 

That may sound US-centric. It is. 

But an non-emotional analysis of the last 75 years of the growth of the global economy bears out that this observation of "US as tent-pole" is a truth. What other nation of group of nations currently has all the required elements to be the world's economic "tent-pole" propping up the global economy? The sad truth, or happy truth, depending on your perspective, is it's pretty much still the US at the center of this "tent" propping up global growth and stability. Any "tent-pole envy" that may be experienced by other nations I think is misplaced. Frankly, it is a huge responsibility and pain for the US to have to shoulder this role. The only current alternative seems to be a collapsed tent.

It's time to start reinforcing the tent-pole that is the US economy and this effort by Intel is only one of many private AND government led initiatives that are necessary to get us back in a comfortable-sized tent.  I think we are all now tired of having to worry about our ceiling caving in every 15 minutes.

What steps do you think need to be taken to shore up this global "Big Tent" economy we all have benefitted from and hope to benefit from again?