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Strengthening American Competitiveness: Regaining Our Competitive Edge, Four Priorities and 20 New Ideas, by Jason Bordoff, Lael Brainard, Carola McGiffert and Issac Sorkin; Published by the Brookings Institution, Brookings Competitiveness Initiative; February 2009

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This report focuses primarily on Federal policy and budgeting initiatives that can position the US for economic growth by becoming more competitive in the global economy. Local governments are not addressed specifically in this report except to note the impact local development decisions have on energy, transportation and economic efficiency.

The four priorities are:

  • Investing in Infrastructure
  • Investing in People
  • Investing in Ideas
  • Investing in Green Transformation

20 Ideas include:

  • Prioritize infrastructure investment within the context of long-term plans for the preservation of the interstate highway system, national intermodal freight system, and passenger travel between metro areas
  • Reduce traffic through a combination of costs to drivers and incentives to use transit
  • Upgrade freight efficiency
  • Expand access to broadband
  • Sell the wireless spectrum
  • Increase efficiency and expand coverage of health care system
  • Increase efficiency and expand coverage of the education system - early childhood, worker retraining, more effective/higher quality public school education
  • Strengthen unemployment insurance to cover retraining and provide incentives for workers to improve or gain additional skills
  • Provide incentives for innovation, invest in "blue-sky" R&D, be more selective in what gets patented
  • Promote innovation clusters
  • Create pricing structures for energy that incorporates environmental impacts
  • Invest in new energy R&D
  • Federal, state and local government decisions should align with sustainability objectives

Resources and research backing up the report is provided at the end of the document.

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