Our political paralysis and America’s economic challenges require a common understanding of competitiveness and the true underpinnings of prosperity. We define competitiveness as follows: A nation is competitive to the extent that firms operating there can compete successfully in domestic and international markets while also lifting the living standards of the average citizen.
Competitiveness must lead to shared prosperity, in which all Americans have the opportunity to advance economically. U.S. competitiveness has been eroding since well before the Great Recession. America’s economic challenges are structural, not cyclical.
The weak recovery reflects the erosion of competitiveness, as well as the inability to take the steps necessary to address growing U.S. weaknesses.