For America to be competitive, Americans need to be competitive

I randomly saw this question on LinkedIn, and it intrigued me enough to write an answer. I will say, I think it’s a pretty innovative way for a presidential candidate to use the net.

What ideas do you have to keep America competitive in the years ahead?

Here is my answer, which can be found on page 40:

I think there is a fundamental conflict between trying to “protect American jobs” and “increase American competitiveness.” For America to be competitive, Americans need to be competitive. That means they need to be willing to upgrade their skills and change with the times. We need to stop putting up regulations because we are afraid of competition with foreign firms or afraid immigrants will come take our jobs. We need to drop trade barriers and relax immigration rules. Will this be hard on our citizens? Of course! But as any small business owner knows, you can’t stay competitive these days without undergoing frequent and sometimes painful change.

We can mitigate the pain by investing more heavily in education, so our citizens are individually better equipped to compete. And we can invest nationally in energy, healthcare, and technology innovation, to make sure we have the infrastructure. But in my opinion, we will not remain competitive as a nation if we overprotect our citizens.

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