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jerryking : competitiveness_of_nations   40

Why the US economy isn’t as competitive or free as you think
November 14, 2019 | Financial Times | by Martin Wolf.

The Great Reversal: How America Gave up on Free Markets, by Thomas Philippon, Belknap Press RRP$29.95, 368 pages

It began with a simple question: “Why on earth are US cell phone plans so expensive?” In pursuit of the answer, Thomas Philippon embarked on a detailed empirical analysis of how business actually operates in today’s America and finished up by overturning much of what almost everybody takes as read about the world’s biggest economy.

Over the past two decades, competition and competition policy have atrophied, with dire consequences......America is no longer the home of the free-market economy, competition is not more fierce there than in Europe, its regulators are not more proactive and its new crop of superstar companies not radically different from their predecessors.

Philippon's argument:
(1) US markets have become less competitive: concentration is high in many industries, leaders are entrenched, and their profit rates are excessive.
(2) this lack of competition has hurt US consumers and workers: it has led to higher prices, lower investment and lower productivity growth.
(3) contrary to common wisdom, the main explanation is political, not technological: Philippon traces the decrease in competition to increasing barriers to entry and weak antitrust enforcement, sustained by heavy lobbying and campaign contributions.”....... the US economy has seen a significant reduction in competition and a corresponding rise in monopoly and oligopoly.

What should the US want? The answers, suggests Philippon, are: free entry; regulators prepared to make mistakes when acting against monopoly; and protection of transparency, privacy and data ownership by customers. The great obstacle to action in the US is the pervasive role of money in politics. The results are the twin evils of oligopoly and oligarchy. Donald Trump is in so many ways a product of the defective capitalism described in The Great Reversal. What the US needs, instead, is another Teddy Roosevelt and his energetic trust-busting. Is that still imaginable? All believers in the virtues of competitive capitalism must hope so.
antitrust  barriers_to_entry  books  book_reviews  campaign_contributions  Citizens_United  competitiveness_of_nations  crony_capitalism  dark_money  economics  economists  entrenched_interests  EU  FAANG  free_markets  French  gun_laws  healthcare  lobbying  market_concentration  monopolies  monopsony  oligopolies  oligarchs  regulators  Theodore_Roosevelt  uncompetitive 
november 2019 by jerryking
Two MIT Economists Share A Bold Plan To Jump-Start The Economy In New Book
April 9, 2019 | Boston Public Radio | By Arjun Singh

On paper, America’s economy seems to be excelling. In March, the economy added 196,000 new jobs while the unemployment rate sat at 3.8 percent. Meanwhile, American startups like Uber and Pinterest are expected to go public with multi-million or higher valuations. But MIT economists Jonathan Gruber and Simon Johnson believe this hides a darker truth about the American economy: It’s slowly falling behind the rest of the world.

In their new book, “Jump-Starting America: How Breakthrough Science Can Revive Economic Growth and the American Dream,” Gruber and Johnson lay out their plan for how the United States can reclaim its mantle as a leader in not just gross domestic product, but also innovation and science. The key, they say, is government investment and encouragement in the scientific sector.......The economists are optimistic, however, that the United States can regain its lead and eventually develop a robust economy that sees economic growth and investment in the sciences. And not just in places like Boston or San Francisco, but throughout the rest of the country, where Johnson says there is a wealth of untapped talent and potential. They estimate there are at least 102 potential scientific hubs scattered across the U.S.

“The coastal superstar cities have become extremely expensive, but there’s a tremendous amount of talent spread across the U.S.,” Johnson said. “Good living conditions also matter. People also want to live in a place [with a] good climate, much better commute times than you have in the megacities, and low crime rates. Those are our very simple, transparent criteria.”..... public investments in research and development contribute to what the authors call the “spillover effect.” When the product of the research is not a private firm’s intellectual property, its impact flows across the economy.
books  breakthroughs  coastal  competitiveness_of_nations  economists  industrial_policies  innovation  jump-start  MIT  moonshots  NSF  public_investments  R&D  science  Simon_Johnson  spillover  superstars  U.S. 
august 2019 by jerryking
Political leadership in the Caribbean –
Feb 05, 2017 Features | Kaieteur News | By Sir Ronald Sanders.

The aspirations of today’s Caribbean leaders are no different to Castro’s; their circumstances are different. Caribbean economies are small and, when there is an economic downturn or some major calamity in the countries with which we trade or from which our foreign investment comes, our economies become constrained. It’s not that the leaders would not like to do better, they are operating in restricted circumstances, and they do the best they can. They have no champion as Castro had with the Soviet Union.
But, they miss opportunities by not doing more together. .....CARICOM is a valuable tool for the advancement of the Caribbean people and for Caribbean countries individually and collectively. Unfortunately, since independence, a kind of false nationalism has crept into our psyche; one which, in some cases, cannot admit to being as much a citizen of the Caribbean region as a national of a country within it. Part of the reason is that leaders don’t give effective leadership on this issue.....In almost every Caribbean country, there exists an anathema to migrants from other Caribbean countries, displayed particularly at Airports where Caribbean people face discrimination.......There has not been sufficient advocacy of Caribbean integration by the leadership of the region to help people to understand that, whether or not we came in the same ship, we are now in the same boat and that boat is in turbulent waters. All of us in that boat have to row it together, if not we will sink together....The point is that our circumstances are such that we need each other; no single country in the Caribbean – none, not Trinidad and Tobago, with its oil and gas resources, not Guyana with its vast land and natural resources, not Jamaica with its large population can survive on its own.
The world is tough, and it is only by the marrying and integrating of our resources at all levels that we can hope to do better. If we continue to let integration languish, I am afraid we are writing our own suicide drama and we are acting it out. We have to overcome it. And, political leadership matters – from governing and opposition parties alike.............
Caribbean  Caricom  coalitions  collective_action  competitiveness_of_nations  constraints  disunity  human_psyche  integration  leadership  loyal_opposition  missed_opportunities  nationalism  parochialism  politicians  small_states  strategic_alliances 
february 2017 by jerryking
Does a national food branding strategy make sense for Canada? - The Globe and Mail
DAINA LAWRENCE
Globe and Mail Update (includes correction)
Published Thursday, Jul. 23, 2015

Australia introduced the “True Aussie” brand into its Asian exports of red meat in the spring of 2014 with great success. Earlier this year other agricultural sectors came forward saying they wanted to reap the same marketing benefits by attaching the True Aussie brand to meat and vegetable exports. The strategy is still in the development stages, but is expected to be in full effect within a year to capitalize on the upswing in Chinese demand – China is Australia’s top purchaser of agricultural products.....The challenge of developing a popular national brand strategy lies in the fact that Canada’s food products are diverse – everything from apples, to meat to dairy and grain. On top of that, the country’s growers range in size from small family-run growers to massive agribusinesses.

“What we would have to do is create an umbrella strategy that is flexible enough that it can be used regardless of the organization that is part of it,” says John Miziolek, president and co-founder of Oakville, Ont.-based Reset Branding, “because there’s no way you could create one singular brand and hope that it would fit everybody’s needs.”

The solution could be creating smaller brands for each of those diverse products and then to develop an umbrella strategy to encompass the smaller classes, he explains. But he emphasizes that making it mandatory would be the strategy’s death knell.

“Just from a branding and marketing perspective that’s a horrible way to start a brand,” says Mr. Miziolek, “forcing people to comply with rules that they’re not very excited about.”
branding  howto  food  Canada  Canadian  China  geographic_ingredient_branding  middle_class  food_safety  competitiveness_of_nations  brands 
july 2015 by jerryking
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage - The Globe and Mail
ANDREW JACKSON
Canadian economy suffers from the myth of comparative advantage
SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Mar. 05 2015

Consider the recent bid by China to assist in the design, build and operation of high-speed trains in Ontario, perhaps in return for preferred access to raw resources. China is seeking to displace Bombardier, one of our foremost innovative companies, in our own domestic market.

Just as instructively, Bombardier is entering into joint aerospace production deals with Chinese companies, in large part because that is the key to access to the Chinese market. China wants to import our raw resources, not out trains or our planes, and wants to build up a competitive aerospace industry.

The key point here is that China has a competitive advantage based upon still relatively low wages (though they have risen a lot) and is also creating a competitive advantage in sophisticated industries through active industrial and managed trade policies. While we talk about comparative advantage, they are shaping trade and production in their own developmental interests.
industrial_policies  China  Bombardier  high-speed_rail  competitive_advantage  competitiveness_of_nations  comparative_advantage  myths  international_trade  economics  HSR 
march 2015 by jerryking
Canada needs the long view, urgently - The Globe and Mail
Kevin Lynch

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Jan. 07 2014

The answer for Canada is not to be found in short-term political fixes, less technological change or reduced globalization. Rather, it lies in a return to a longer-term orientation: more structural policy thinking, a global economic strategy, greater dialogue and co-operation between public and private-sectors, better and more targeted education, and tackling our structural productivity and innovation deficits. It seems rather obvious that, in this changing world, the status quo cannot be a viable long-term strategy for any sector in the Canadian economy, from business to government to education.
strategic_thinking  competitiveness_of_nations  Canada  technological_change  Kevin_Lynch  globalization  long-term  productivity  innovation  P3 
january 2014 by jerryking
What should Canada do to prepare for the day oil runs out?
Sept. 12 2013 The Globe and Mail JAMES MARTIN.

Even if we don’t allow bulk water exports, and I certainly wouldn’t rule that out, water is going to become key in driving a much revitalized agricultural sector. If there’s one area of the economy that will grow beyond many others, it will be a throwback to the past economy, with the agricultural sector playing a greater role. World food prices have increased. We have a rising world population with rising protein consumption.

I would also argue that those far-flung suburbs that surround cities may soon return back to the farmland that they were 30-40 years ago because of changes in relative prices.
agriculture  competitiveness_of_nations  farmland  Jeffrey_Rubin  oil_industry  peak_oil  water 
september 2013 by jerryking
When it comes to innovation, Canada needs more inquisitive minds
Sept. 11 2013 | The Globe and Mail | by TODD HIRSCH.

There are solutions to Canada’s innovation deficit. The Conference Board of Canada, which prepared the Canadian analysis for the WEF report, makes several smart suggestions. Encouraging more spending on R&D, making better use of advanced technology, and increasing the research linkages between universities and industry all make sense.

But a big part of the problem is our knee-jerk reaction to expect governments to provide the solutions. Need corporate R&D? Ask Ottawa for more tax credits. Lacking venture capital? Insist tax dollars are put into a fund. Want more high tech? Demand provincial governments to spend more on university research.

Good public policies can certainly nudge us in the right direction, but it’s lazy to sit back and wait for government to solve the problem. The truth is that tax credits and research subsidies do not drive innovation. Curiosity drives innovation.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong question. Instead of “what policy can drive innovation?”, we need to ask “how can we become a society of inquisitive individuals?” That’s a more difficult question. It is too simplistic to call for more creativity in the classrooms, but surely strong literacy skills at an early age form the bedrock of curiosity and innovative thinking in adulthood. Children who are encouraged to read, to question, to wonder and to imagine will carry those abilities with them into adulthood.
bottom-up  Todd_Hirsch  economists  innovation  competitiveness_of_nations  Canada  Canadian  WEF  rankings  curiosity  counterintuitive  public_policy  inquisitiveness  literacy  reframing  problem_framing  children  parenting  fascination  asking_the_right_questions  questions 
september 2013 by jerryking
If BlackBerry is sold, Canada faces an innovation vacuum - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 17 2013 | The Globe and Mail | KONRAD YAKABUSKI.

The sale and breakup of a flagship technology company is a reoccurring theme in Canadian business. But this time is different. If BlackBerry Ltd. goes, there is no ready replacement. That’s a telling switch from the situation Canada faced with the sale of Newbridge Networks in 2000 and the demise of Nortel Networks in 2009....Canada has an innovation bottleneck. An abundance of science is generated in university labs and start-up firms but most of it never finds its way into commercial applications. Risk-averse banks and too many businesses of the bird-in-the-hand variety remain the weak links in Canada’s innovation system.

“We punch above our weight in idea generation,” observes Michael Bloom, who leads the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Business Innovation. “But the further you move towards commercialization, the weaker we get as a country.”....Innovation can be driven by any sector, even the old-economy resource extraction business of the oil sands. But tech firms remain by far the most R&D-intensive players in any economy.

Hence, the tech sector is a key barometer of a country’s innovation strength. And innovation matters because it has a profound influence on our living standards – it is “the key long-run driver of productivity and income growth,” ...Canadian businesses remain oddly complacent.

“We tend in this county not to look at the true market opportunity of innovation,” Mr. Bloom adds. “If you only see a market of 35 million people, you’re going to see more risk than if you see the market as Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Americans see risk, but also great opportunity.”

It’s no coincidence that many of Canada’s greatest entrepreneurs and innovators have been immigrants. Unlike his American counterpart, the average Canadian business graduate does not dream of becoming the next Sergey Brin, Steve Jobs or, for that matter, Peter Munk.

Mr. Lazaridis and ex-BlackBerry co-CEO Jim Balsillie notwithstanding, how many Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators have truly changed the world, or aspire? By all accounts, not that many. A Conference Board study released last month found that only 10 per cent of Canadian firms (almost all of them small ones) pursue “radical or revolutionary” innovations. Large firms focus at best on “incremental” innovations.
Blackberry  bottlenecks  commercialization  competitiveness_of_nations  complacency  hollowing_out  Konrad_Yakabuski  Newbridge  Nortel  innovation  idea_generation  ecosystems  breakthroughs  incrementalism  large_companies  sellout_culture  Jim_Balsillie  moonshots  immigrants  Canada  Peter_Munk  market_opportunities  weak_links  thinking_big  oil_sands  resource_extraction  marginal_improvements  innovation_vacuum  punch-above-its-weight  This_Time_is_Different 
august 2013 by jerryking
The decline and fall of Canada’s global corporate superstars - The Globe and Mail
Aug. 16 2013 | The Globe and Mail | Eric Reguly.

Here’s a depressing exercise: Scan the upper reaches of the Top 1000 companies in the July-August issue of Report on Business magazine and try to spot Canada’s global winners.

You could call them Canada’s corporate ambassadors, if they existed.

The short list is exceedingly short:
...Why does Canada, a Group of Seven country that encourages open markets, celebrates innovation and risk-taking, pumps fortunes into R&D, votes in business-friendly governments, is blessed with skilled workers and globally competitive tax rates and sits on the doorstep of the world’s largest market produce so pathetically few global corporate superstars?....It can take decades, a century even, to build a company like Inco or Dofasco. Don Argus, the former chairman of BHP Billiton of Australia, the world’s largest mining group, was right to denounce Canada’s sellout culture. “Canada has lost more head offices than any other country,” he said in 2008, at the height of the resources’ buying and selling spree. “Canada has already been reduced to an industry branch office and is largely irrelevant to the global mining stage.”

Of course, BlackBerry doesn’t really play into the hollowing out story. In retrospect, it should have foisted itself on Microsoft, Nokia or Amazon shortly after it became apparent to investors and tech geeks, if not to the deluded executives at BlackBerry itself, that the iPhone was here to stay. BlackBerry’s value destruction since then has been awe-inspiring. Mr. Lazaridis and Mr. Balsillie were superb entrepreneurs, but failed at keeping the company competitive.

So why does Canada lack global champions? Don’t blame government policies. Blame the sellout culture, nice-guy directors with a propensity to protect the wrong executives at the wrong time and Canada’s classic lack of corporate self-confidence. The upshot is a country that turned into a one-trick pony – oil sands – with a few decent, protected banks and insurers at its side. If Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden can churn out global champions, Canada should be able to at least double the rate. The next BlackBerry is not just around the corner.
Blackberry  boards_&_directors_&_governance  brands  branch_plants  competitiveness_of_nations  decline  Eric_Reguly  G-7  global_champions  head_offices  hollowing_out  large_companies  multinationals  oil_sands  sellout_culture  superstars  value_destruction 
august 2013 by jerryking
Canada gets good and bad news from a new measure of innovation
Jul. 22 2013 | The Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

how does Canada fare? Among major industrialized economies, it’s a middle-of-the-pack innovator – nestled in between France and Sweden, a discernible notch or two below the traditional innovative leaders such as the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan. (Among all countries globally, Canada ranks 11th.)

But the details of Canada’s ranking by this measure are more telling. By the university education measure, Canada’s top three schools rank higher than every other country except the U.S. and Britain. Canada’s citations of scientific research are in the top five in the world.

Where Canada’s innovation falls down, however, is in international patents. Canada ranks a weak 19th in the world by this measure, well behind the likes of Denmark, Israel and even Barbados.

In short, we have great schools and world-class thinkers, but for some reason that’s not translating into a lot of global-scale breakthroughs. This finding suggests a need to address our policy approach to research and development; we’re stumbling on a critical step needed to convert big brains and great ideas into vehicles for economic growth and global leadership.
Canada  Canadian  innovation  metrics  competitiveness_of_nations  breakthroughs  patents  commercialization  mediocrity  industrial_economy  bad_news  R&D 
august 2013 by jerryking
Wake up, Canada: It’s okay to fail - The Globe and Mail
JAMES MARTIN

Special to The Globe and Mail

Published Thursday, Aug. 15 2013,

In 2011, the Harvard Business Review devoted an entire issue to failure – yet, in Canada's risk-averse business climate, the belly-flop is still something people believe should be avoided at all costs. So we put this question to four Canadians who have thrived in different fields: ‘How can we learn from our failures in order to ensure future success?'
ideaCity  failure  HBR  Canada  competitiveness_of_nations  lessons_learned 
august 2013 by jerryking
Taiwan Brand Builders Add Hollywood's Glitz - WSJ.com
August 7, 2013 | WSJ| Eva Dou.

For Taiwanese companies, brand-building has been challenging because of their legacy as contract manufacturers, and because of cultural obstacles such as the hierarchical nature of Asian companies, executives and analysts say.

"By and large, Asian brands have this common problem," said Thomas Chen, managing director of consultancy Interbrand China. "They are afraid to show their attitude."
branding  brands  HTC  Taiwan  Acer  competitiveness_of_nations  Hollywood  advertising  Asian 
august 2013 by jerryking
A Statesman's Friendly Advice - WSJ.com
April 4, 2013 | WSJ | Peggy Noonan

Noonan: A Statesman's Friendly Advice, Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew on what makes America great—and what threatens its greatness. "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States and the World," a gathering of Mr. Lee's interviews, speeches and writings.

Mr. Lee, of course, is the founder and inventor of modern Singapore. He made it a dynamo. He pushed it beyond its ethnic divisions and placed a bet that, though it is the smallest nation in southeast Asia has few natural resources, its people, if organized and unleashed within a system of economic incentive, would come to constitute the only resource that mattered. He was right. When he took office as prime minister, in 1959, per capita income was about $400 a year. Last year it was more than $50,000.

By PEGGY NOONAN
Peggy_Noonan  Singapore  America_in_Decline?  books  ethnic_divisions  competitiveness_of_nations  city-states  leaders  statesmen  Lee_Kuan_Yew 
april 2013 by jerryking
America the Innovative? - NYTimes.com
March 30, 2013 | NYT | By EAMONN FINGLETON.

How do we explain America’s sudden mid-20th-century ascent to technological glory? The credit goes not to freedom but to something more prosaic: money. With World War II, the United States government joined corporations in ramping up spending on R&D, and then came the cold war and the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, which gave further impetus to government-funded research. One result was Darpa, which helped develop the Internet.

Throughout history, rich nations have gotten to the future first. Their companies can afford to equip their tinkerers and visionaries with the most advanced materials, instruments and knowledge.

This raises an epochal question: as China becomes richer, is it destined to pass the United States as the world’s most inventive nation? The question is all the more pertinent because many experts contend that America’s inventive spirit is already flagging. As the Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel put it to me in an interview, American innovation in recent decades has been remarkably narrowly based. “It has been confined largely to information technology and financial services,” he said. “By contrast in transportation, for instance, we are hardly more advanced today than we were 40 years ago. The story is similar in treating cancer.”
China  U.S.  competitiveness_of_nations  innovation  creativity  China_rising  patents  DARPA  Cold_War  America_in_Decline?  post-WWII  Peter_Thiel  inventiveness  visionaries  abundance  state-as-facilitator  tinkerers 
april 2013 by jerryking
Economist Ricardo Hausmann Says U.S. Should Reinvent Manufacturing
January 4, 2013 | MIT Technology Review | By Antonio Regalado.

[ less keen on setting up entire industries at home and instead try to insert themselves into global supply chains. Sometimes this means changing, not just exploiting, their comparative advantage.]

Using complexity theory and trade data, Hausmann looks at what a country is good at making and predicts what types of more valuable items it could produce next.

That sounds plain enough, but the results of Hausmann’s analyses are often surprising. A country with a competitive garment industry might want to move into electronics assembly—both need an industrial zone with quality electrical power and good logistics. A country that exports flowers may find it has the expertise in cold-storage logistics necessary to spark an export boom in fresh produce.
economists  manufacturers  reinvention  competitiveness_of_nations  industrial_zones  competitive_advantage  economies_of_scope  linkages  policymaking  kaleidoscopic  comparative_advantage  supply_chains  value_chains  capabilities  cold_storage 
march 2013 by jerryking
Canada urged to defend lead in mining business
January 30, 2013 | Globe & Mail pg. B2 | by Pav Jordan.

A new report on the mining sector is urging Canada to streamline worker immigration procedures and boost tax incentives to encourage exploration in remote areas.
The report by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce warns that the country must not sit on its laurels if it wants to hold its lead in global mining, pointing at areas from the equipment supplies sector to bank financing and legal services and infrastructure as places where government and companies can work together to sharpen the nation’s edge.
The Canadian mining industry is among the world’s biggest, contributing $35.6­ billion to gross domestic product in 2011. That same year mining exports were valued at $102 ­billion, more than 20% of the national total. The Toronto Stock Exchange is the global capital for mining equity and British Columbia has the largest concentration of mining exploration firms anywhere.
mining  competitiveness_of_nations  Canada  Canadian  tax_codes  TMX  capital_markets  geology  engineering  legal  epicenters  hyper-concentrations 
january 2013 by jerryking
What Greece Makes, the World Might Take - NYTimes.com
By ADAM DAVIDSON
Published: July 3, 2012

In the last decade or so, companies in the United States, France, Denmark and elsewhere flouted the feta ruling and invested in their own food-science research and manufacturing equipment. They subsequently turned the salty, crumbly cheese into spreadable, grillable, fat-free and shelf-stable forms. In Italy and Spain, small olive-oil producers merged into globally competitive conglomerates and replaced presses with more efficient centrifugal technology. The two countries now provide nearly all the world’s supply. And the Greeks, despite their numerous inherent advantages, remain in the least profitable part of the supply chain, exporting raw materials at slim margins.

Tassos Chronopoulos, owner of Tassos, a Greek food importer based outside Chicago, says that the country’s disorganized agricultural business all but disqualified itself from partaking in the fancy-food craze of the past few decades. Greek growers never banded together to establish uniform quality standards and trade rules.
agribusiness  agriculture  cheese  competitiveness_of_nations  conglomerates  dairy  Denmark  disorganization  disunity  economic_development  farming  food  food_science  foodies  foodservice  France  gourmet  Greece  Greek  innovation  olive-oil  quality  quality_control  rules_of_the_game  standardization  technical_standards  supply_chains  value_chains 
july 2012 by jerryking
Industry: Nimble, niche and networked - FT.com
June 12, 2012 | FT |By Peter Marsh

Nimble companies, operating on a global basis in niche areas of technology, that seem likely to prosper in the new industrial revolution now beginning. The fact that the UK is replete with such businesses suggests the country could emerge once again as a leading contender in manufacturing– a sector it pioneered in the 18th and 19th centuries but more recently has allowed to slip back in favour of services.......Although Britain may have the knowhow and cultural characteristics required to stage an industrial comeback, it still lags behind far behind the likes of Japan and Germany, where boutique companies making uniquely specialised products form the economic backbone of the nation. If Britain is to resurrect manufacturing as a high-value growth engine, it will almost certainly require some action by government to make the most of the country’s potential....hundreds of connections with companies around the world, which is one fundamental characteristic of the new industrial revolution. Three others involve the application of new technologies, a focus on “niche” areas of industry and an increasing focus on “personalised” products........Today the archetypal UK manufacturer is a small business with perhaps 50 employees that is based in an unremarkable edge-of-town business park and boasts global links as opposed to a highly visible smokestack in a large city. Such companies account for a greater share of industrial activity since the larger enterprises have fallen away.....The UK’s prevailing approach to manufacturing – emphasising small, agile businesses with an eye for the unusual that formulate their own rules – could fit in with the requirements for success......An individualist in the same mould is Sir James Dyson, a high-octane innovator who has made his eponymous vacuum cleaner business into a global leader. His dividing of the company’s Asia-based production from its UK-centred product development is in line with the blueprint of the new industrial revolution stressing the separation of elements in the manufacturing “value chain”......There are further reasons to think the natural leanings of UK manufacturing fit into the framework of the new industrial revolution. One is a tendency to focus on selling into areas with narrow parameters that can to a large degree be invented by the participating companies themselves, and to rely on selling services as well as products.......The best example is the Formula 1 car racing business. This involves intensive use of engineering resources to design and make high-grade machines that do little apart from playing the lead role in a global spectator sport built on advertising. There is no reason why Britain should have become the leading country for Formula 1 car production – apart from the fact that it fits with the UK leaning towards production based around esoteric technologies and markets......British industry also features a facility for working with a range of technical disciplines and finding the common ground between them. ......A third important strength of the UK is the ability to devise solutions to customers’ problems. These are often based on an approach geared to making products as highly customised “one-offs”, and to the needs of one business as opposed to many....The characteristics of the new industrial revolution, however, make the task of assisting UK manufacturing a lot simpler as the country already has many of the attributes required. In this new environment it would seem sensible for policy to plug the gaps in the manufacturing framework that already exists. Such initiatives could focus on helping companies to improve their technologies, develop more global strategies and organise more joint development projects with larger businesses in order to learn more about such groups’ technical capabilities.
3-D  boutiques  collaboration  competitiveness_of_nations  Dyson  Formula_One  gazelles  industrial_policies  Industrial_Revolution  James_Dyson  manufacturers  niches  nimbleness  one-of-a-kind  personalization  production_lines  product_development  specialists  United_Kingdom  value_chains 
june 2012 by jerryking
Grateful Student Returns the Favor - New York Times
By ROBERT JOHNSON
Published: August 7, 2005

Peter A. Georgescu whose "The Source of Success" (Jossey-Bass, $27.95) is being published this month, retired as chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam in 2000. The book aims to explain what Mr. Georgescu views as the two major challenges facing America: economic competition from the emerging economies of China and India and a need to foster more creativity within American companies.

"The only way this nation can compete with those that produce high-quality products at a lower price is by generating ideas that build a special relationship with consumers," he said. "Everyone has buildings and technology; those are commodities. The only leverageable asset in the future will be creativity."

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See also Daniel Pink's work on countries cultivating skills and knowledge that are not available at a cheaper price in other countries or that cannot be rendered useless by
machines. That is, embracing play and abundance.

============================================
See also Tom Friedman's piece ("We Need a Second Party" - NYTimes.com ) below:

The first is responding to the challenges and opportunities of an era in which globalization and the information technology revolution have dramatically intensified, creating a hyperconnected world. This is a world in which education, innovation and talent will be rewarded more than ever. This is a world in which there will be no more “developed” and “developing countries,” but only HIEs (high-imagination-enabling countries) and LIEs (low-imagination-enabling countries). Adding "imagination"
advertising_agencies  book_reviews  Daniel_Pink  Young_&_Rubicam  CEOs  Tom_Friedman  creativity  competitiveness_of_nations  design  imagination  education  high-touch  innovation  talent  developed_countries  idea_generation  books  high-quality 
may 2012 by jerryking
The China Syndrome
JULY 16, 2007 | WSJ | By JEREMY HAFT.
On average, it takes China 17 separate parties to produce a product that would take us three. Unlike Japan in the 1980s, little companies drive China's economic growth, not big ones. China's industries are composed of hundreds of thousands of tiny factories and farms -- plus traders, brokers, haulers and agents, all of whom take control of the goods and materials but add little value to the product. With every additional player in the chain, the cost, risk and time grow. Effective quality control in this environment is difficult.So is effective cost control. Despite cheap labor, making goods in China is often more expensive than in the U.S. Far from being a bottomless ATM of cheap consumer goods, China is a risky, costly and time-consuming place to do business.Yet polls show a majority of Americans believe China has mastered basic manufacturing -- and it's now barreling into our high-tech backyard. That's false. As the product recalls demonstrate, China can barely make low-value goods reliably, much less higher-value ones……To compete head-to-head with the American economy, China will have to revolutionize the very way its industries are organized. It must shake out the thousands of low-value middlemen and integrate the tiny factories into larger, more competitive companies. It must train a workforce in modern technology and business practices. And, it must instill transparency and a uniform rule of law. Such an effort could span generations…….the next century will not be led by the country that can make the cheapest copy of a spark plug. It will be led by innovators and entrepreneurs, America's unrivaled assets. Innovation -- not imitation -- will create jobs and maintain America's economic primacy in the century ahead.
China  Chinese  product_recalls  America  transparency  manufacturers  innovation  competitiveness_of_nations  low_value  middlemen  rule_of_law  entrepreneurship 
october 2011 by jerryking
China, Twitter and 20-Year-Olds vs. the Pyramids - NYTimes.com
By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN
February 5, 2011
The forces that were upholding the status quo in the Arab world for so
long — oil, autocracy, the distraction of Israel, and a fear of the
chaos that could come with change — have finally met an engine of change
that is even more powerful: China, Twitter and 20-year-olds. ...Egypt’s
government has wasted the last 30 years — i.e., their whole lives —
plying them with the soft bigotry of low expectations: “Be patient.
Egypt moves at its own pace, like the Nile.” Well, great. Singapore also
moves at its own pace, like the Internet. ....The Arab world has 100
million young people today between the ages of 15 and 29, many of them
males who do not have the education to get a good job, buy an apartment
and get married. That is trouble. Add in rising food prices, and the
diffusion of Twitter, Facebook and texting, which finally gives them a
voice to talk back to their leaders and directly to each other, and you
have a very powerful change engine.
Singapore  China  Middle_East  Arab-Muslim_world  Egypt  Tom_Friedman  competitiveness_of_nations  Arab_Spring  sclerotic  young_people 
february 2011 by jerryking
China’s Race for Patents to Build an Innovation Economy
Jan 1, 2011 | NYT | STEVE LOHR. China is trying to build an
economy that relies on innovation rather than imitation & intends to
engineer a more innovative society. The Chinese are focusing on
spiking the indigenous generation of “utility-model patents,” which
typically cover items like engineering features in a product & are
less ambitious than “invention patents.” China intends to roughly
double: (a) its # of patent examiners, to 9,000, by 2015. (The U.S. has
6,300 examiners); & (b) the # of patents that its residents &
companies file in other countries. To lift its patent count, China has
introduced incentives including cash bonuses, better housing for
individual filers & tax breaks for companies that are prolific
patent producers...DESPITE China’s inevitable rise, Kao says, the U.S.
has a comp. adv. because it is the country most open to innovation,
forgiving failure, tolerating risk & embracing uncertainty,” “the
future lies in being the orchestrator of the innovation process,”
competitiveness_of_nations  John_Kao  China  patents  industrial_policies  innovation  innovation_policies  Steve_Lohr  taxonomy  Silicon_Valley  bounties  orchestration  incentives  risk-tolerance  prolificacy 
january 2011 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Alternate History - NYTimes.com
September 2, 2010 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS. " At
about that time, General Motors and Chrysler started teetering. Obama
decided to help the companies if they were willing to make the tough
choices that would boost long-term competitiveness. It occurred to him
that this was the template for the whole country. For decades, Obama
told the nation, America had squandered its advantages and now the
crisis had come. There would be no quick fixes. But in this winter of
recession, America could rebuild its foundations. It could lay the
groundwork for real and lasting prosperity. Obama put signs around the
White House: “No Quick Fixes.” Administration officials were forbidden
from promising a short-term summer of recovery. They talked incessantly
about long-term productivity. Democrats were going to define themselves
as the economic Back to Basics Party. They wouldn’t let Republicans
define them as somehow “alien” or “socialist.” "
David_Brooks  competitiveness_of_nations  hard_choices  Obama  productivity 
september 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - A Word From the Wise - NYTimes.com
March 2, 2010 By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN. While America still has
the quality work force, political stability and natural resources a
company like Intel needs, said Otellini, the U.S. is badly lagging in
developing the next generation of scientific talent and incentives to
induce big multinationals to create lots more jobs here.
Tom_Friedman  Intel  competitiveness_of_nations  semiconductors  incentives  STEM  talent 
march 2010 by jerryking
Too many scientists, not enough managers
May. 23, 2007 | The Globe and Mail | by Gordon Pitts. A
study, produced by Ontario's Institute for Competitiveness &
Prosperity and co-written by University of Toronto management dean Roger
Martin, says Canada is placing undue emphasis on science and technology
talent, while neglecting management skills that are in short supply.
"Our managers are undereducated relative to their U.S. counterparts,"
concludes the report, co-written by the institute's executive director
Jim Milway. "We produce fewer graduates in the management discipline
while no such deficit exists in science and engineering."

While science and engineering are important in seeding new ideas and
startups, leadership and management skills, such as strategic thinking,
come into play as companies try to move to the next level as users and
developers of innovation, the report argues.
Gordon_Pitts  Roger_Martin  productivity  Canadian  prosperity  competitiveness_of_nations  management 
november 2009 by jerryking
Why America Needs an Economic Strategy
October 30, 2008 | Business Week | by Michael E. Porter. The
Harvard Business School competitiveness guru offers his prescription for
long-term prosperity.
michael_porter  competitiveness_of_nations  competitive_strategy  strategy  industrial_policies 
november 2009 by jerryking

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