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Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 18, 2010
My good friend and old buddy Rich Miller has an insightful piece in BBW that talks about the NEW MIX—Exports and Business Investment—of economic categories that could well replace the OLD MIX of consumption and housing in the US. This is hugely important because if the US can redesign its economy to focus on making, not just consuming, and exports, not just imports, it can grow faster than current estimates and cut both the budget deficit and unemployment rate a lot faster than most people in Washington now believe.
Obama has already said he wants to double US exports in five years—a very ambitious goal and one no other President has ever prescribed. To achieve that goal, the President will have to push three policies very hard: 1—Turn the US back into a making culture, not just a consuming culture. Innovation is key here and the billions in stimulus funds to promote green tech is a good first step. Bolstering tax incentives for innovation is critical as well.
2—An innovation society needs great universities and public schools that teach creativity, not rote memorization. This requires big money for top universities and a new curriculum for schools.
3— A global currency realignment, with China’s yuan rising against the dollar, is necessary to price US exports competitively. The Great Recession was driven, in part, by huge imbalances in trade between the US and China. To balance that out, China needs to move toward a more consumer-driven economy as the US shifts to exports. A higher yuan gives Chinese consumers more buying power for imports and lifts their standard of living.
Transforming the US into a “making” society that exports requires a consistent set of policies from Washington. It means rethinking the decline of manufacturing and making green tech products in the US.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.