The US labor market is still in terrible shape. Virtually every economic textbook affirms that increased Gov't spending in recession eases unemployment and shortens the duration of the downward cycle. Some want to debate this evidence - but the majority of pople who make this claim never cracked a book on economics (macro or micro) and are stuck debating ideological jingoism rather than facts.
Knowing that part of our strategy is the need to jump-start investments, where should spending be targeted? I submit that US Gov't policy should re-focus federal $$ on the economies of tomorrow > building that road to the 21st century: Research and Development, Science, Sustainable Environment and Development, Alternative Energies, Smart Grid, a double-down on Education, Technology, Transportation, and Infrastructure design that leads to the future.
There is a place for government seed $ and investment: see NASA and ARPANET for examples of trillion $ returns from million $ government investments.
While we struggle to frame the correct policy questions and strategies, India and China steam ahead executing investment strategies that forcefully position their economies for future hegemony.
Tick-Tock Peeps: This game is 3 dimensional, not a linear Sunday stroll where the Protestant work ethic 'better tomorrow' is guaranteed through belief and culture. The future is earned, prioritized, and funded.
Progress requires purpose.
Building a better America requires intention.
Results require discipline and vision...
and a commitment to something larger than the just the American individual.
I keep this reality in my field of vision: The American Individual alone can not compete with China. While individual innovation is a critical wild-card and one of the US's competitive advantages, it alone does not win the day. Laying line for telegraphs, transcontinental railways, the interstate highway system ... All kickstarted by federal investment.