Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Romney offers his advice to Barack Obama (Fortune)

This is the latest from Fortune magazine. A great very candidate interview with Mitt Romney. Here is one of the best snipets:

What concerns you the most about the economy right now? Any dangers lurking in the global economy that we didn't hear much about during the campaigns?

Far too little attention was paid to America's long-term competitive position during the campaign. I see four major economic strategies at play in the world today: the first is ours. It combines freedom and free enterprise.

The second is China's. It combines free enterprise with authoritarianism.

The third is Russia's. No longer is Russia's plan for dominance based upon industrial capacity but rather upon controlling energy throughout the world. Hence Russia's cozy relationship with Iran and Venezuela as well as its belligerent entry into Georgia. Russia's strategy is based on energy and authoritarianism.

The fourth strategy is represented by radical violent jihad. The intent of the jihadists is to cause the collapse of the other three, such that the "hidden Imam" or the Caliphate remains the last man standing.

The real challenge for America is how to strengthen our competitive position so that our economy outperforms those of the other three. If we're successful, freedom will be preserved for the world. If we're unsuccessful, the results are unthinkable.

When you talk about making America more competitive, what do you have in mind?

First, America must substantially improve our education system. We've fallen behind, particularly in areas of math and science.

Second, we're going to have to remedy our disproportionate health care cost disadvantage. America spends far more than any other nation as a percent of GDP on health care. This effectively is an enormous tax on the economy and on our businesses.

Third, our national debt is excessive and our entitlement obligations pass a massive burden onto the next generation.

Fourth, tax and regulatory policies weigh down our ability to compete. Specifically, our products carry an embedded tax which makes American goods less competitive abroad and at home.

Fifth, America's apparent retrenchment from the concept of open, free and fair trade could put us further behind other nations that are aggressively seeking trade relations around the world.

Sixth, our lack of an effective energy policy drains our economy by approximately half a trillion dollars a year.

And, finally, the blow that Wall Street has taken may make us less competitive in financing entrepreneurship.

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