Andy Grove, retired co-founder of Intel, gave a fascinating interview to Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this month questioning the continued wisdom of America’s longstanding commitment to free trade. He begins by challenging a recent Thomas Friedman column in The New York Times entitled “Start-Ups, Not Bailouts,” in which Friedman argues that vibrant, innovative start-up companies are the key to job creation, not tired old manufacturing companies.
Start-ups are unquestionably wonderful, says Grove. The problem is that once a great new product is created, most of the resulting jobs invariably go to overseas factories, mostly in Asia. America in particular is home to an impressive percentage of the world’s entrepreneurs and inventors, yet they are just a tiny percentage of our workforce. If the U.S. can’t find ways to create jobs for everyone else, Grove argues, we’re in big trouble. His prescription: Government must adopt economic policies that are strongly jobs-centric, and if that means irking the Chinese and the Indians, so be it.
Could prolonged economic stress undermine our nation’s support for free markets and effect fundamental change in our global outlook? Stranger things have happened.
Here’s the link: (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/10_28/b4186048358596.htm)