Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CEOs Portray a Dismal Forecast for the U.S. | Articles | Chief Executive - A Magazine for Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

CEOs Portray a Dismal Forecast for the U.S.

Future of the U.S. Economy will Depend on Lower Taxes, Lower Regulation Privatized Education and Free Trade

"With the economy overtaking Iraq as one of the main issues this election year, Chief Executive magazine conducted a survey among CEOs between June 13 and June 27 in an effort to gauge CEO sentiment on the direction of the U.S. economy. CEOs were asked which policy position they think the U.S. should take to increase or maintain American competitiveness as well as questions on which countries will generate the highest number of jobs and where the top paying jobs will be in the future."
OK, leaving aside the perfectly reasonable and supportable objection that lower taxes, lower regulation, and the drive to privatize everything has gotten us into this abominable economic miasma (what, twenty-eight years of Reaganism haven't exorcised the demons of high taxes and regulation???), what's really interesting about this survey is this graph:

A little over 3% of surveyed CEOs believe that Russia will be the greatest job creator. That's nominally behind the US and Brazil, and just a tick below Vietnam, one of the new Asian Tigers. The idea that Russia was on anyone's short list even five years ago is laughable.

Listen, this might be perceived as boosterism for Russian Studies, but I'm skeptical about any such claims about the future economy. I remember as an undergraduate in Political Science at Indiana Bloomington asking my professors in Poli Sci (a highly regarded program, mind you) where they thought the future jobs would be. Very clearly, I recall them intoning: Germany and Japan. Could they have been more wrong? This was at the beginning of the 1990s, right before Japan's "lost decade." I never, ever, recall the importance of China and the Middle East being discussed, though my college career intersected the first Persian Gulf War.

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