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Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided
Michael Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor;
Jan Rivkin, Bruce V. Rauner Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean for Research;
Mihir Desai, Mizuho Financial Group Professor of Finance
Five years of research from Harvard Business School's US Competitiveness Project, as well as the findings from the 2016 surveys on US competitiveness, present a sobering picture of the deep structural challenges facing the United States. The nation’s strengths favor large businesses and well-educated Americans, while the nation's weaknesses hurt small businesses and average Americans, who struggle to share in the nation's prosperity. The US needs a national economic strategy that involves business and government at all levels. What might a coherent national strategy look like? After a divisive presidential campaign, are we now on the path toward such a strategy?

Problems Unsolved and a Nation Divided
America retains and enjoys many strengths. However, various economic indicators show that the U.S. economy has failed to deliver strong growth and shared prosperity for nearly two decades. These structural issues pre-date the Great Recession and are compounded by political paralysis. This report calls for a national economic strategy for America and proposes federal policy priorities that can form the core of such a strategy. Further, the report highlights corporate and personal tax reform as a promising first step in the strategy. Finally, the report warns that it is impossible to solve the issues besetting the U.S. economy and bring prosperity to millions of Americans if the United States remains mired in crippling political gridlock and vicious rhetoric.