The title of this article is definitely what I would consider leadership.
First of all we have to realize that the world that we live in is not a world of free trade; it is a world of mercantilism, a world in which many foreign governments do whatever it takes to make their industries succeed.
And in that world of mercantilism there is a fundamental conflict between the goal of building strong, widely shared prosperity in the United States, and the current actions of our corporations, whose aim is to maximize their profit first and foremost.
They believe it is someone else’s job to take care of the American economy.
Today our great American companies can often maximize their profits by taking their technology and know-how to Asia. There they get subsidies in the form of underpriced currencies, ready-built factories, tax incentives, and sometimes cheap labor.
A country like China can add enough in subsidies to make outsourcing to China much more profitable for our companies than making things in the U.S.
The result is that subsidized imports have often harmed our domestic industries in one sector without being balanced by increased exports in another. So we end up sending wages and technology overseas. We get in return only an increase in profit for the shareholders and top management.
This results in unbalanced trade, now at about $500 billion dollars a year.
If we go on imagining that we are in a free trade world our economy will not improve. And outside of the presidency, signs of change are few and far between.