Good public policy does not always have to re-invented.
“It may finally be time for Americans to consider ideas from a place that they don’t usually look to for inspiration: the rest of the planet. The U.S.’s economic predicament does present some unique dilemmas. The Obama Administration has already pushed hard on the levers that countries usually use to get out of a slump, to little discernible effect. Short-term interest rates are near zero and fiscal stimulus is aggressive, judging from a budget deficit of about 10 percent of gross domestic product. David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, a Toronto-based wealth-management firm, says of the U.S.: “We’re basically in uncharted territory.”
Maybe so. But there are guideposts that can help point the way out. The U.S., after all, is not the first country to wrestle with how to restart growth despite budget deficits that constrain big-spending solutions. The challenge is how to apply lessons from other countries to shore up American weaknesses, without sacrificing the strengths that make the U.S., for all its troubles, the world’s biggest economy.
To prod the conversation forward, Bloomberg Businessweek scanned the world and found innovative economic ideas in countries as diverse as Germany, Brazil, Singapore, and Thailand that are applicable to America’s mess. The focus was on short-term solutions, but since there aren’t a whole lot of miracle fixes to be had, we also considered some longer-term reforms that create a better environment for years of sustainable growth.
There’s no guarantee that all of these ideas would work in an American context. But it’s clear that some fresh, non-ideological thinking is needed. ”