We are facing the toughest international competition in our lifetimes, and we are no longer winning. The signs are all around us. Who can believe that the first 20 floors of the new World Trade Center will be wrapped in glass made in China? Or that the new 28-foot statue of Martin Luther King Jr. will be coming to the Mall in Washington from Chinese workshops? These should be made-in-America jobs.
MIT president Susan Hockfield notes that investment after World War II created waves of new industries and jobs in electronics, nuclear power, aerospace, communications, and computing. Yet again, we’ve slowed relative to other hungry nations. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman points out, we have only a tiny handful of the top 10 global companies in emerging green industries.