Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
Why has America’s economy recovery been so weak? Since the recession ended in 2009, the economy has grown an average of 2.2% a year. That’s half the normal rate of recovery in America’s past 7 recessions.
Economists of all stripes have struggled to explain this anemic growth. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff show that weak recoveries are par for the course after systemic financial crises like the one that helped kick off the Great Recession. Tyler Cowen points to weak productivity numbers as prime evidence of a “great stagnation” in innovation. Perhaps local regulation is stifling productivity, as Ryan Avent pointed out and I have explained in this blog as well. Maybe there’s a shortage of skilled workers to complement an increasingly automated economy, as was also explained in this blog.
Small businesses account for 99% of all firms in America and more than half of net private sector job growth. Entrepreneurs may start small, but there’s nothing trivial about their long-term impact on prosperity. Shouldn’t we know something then about the barriers that they face at the state and local level?
Big Data is a dynamic affecting a range of industries, arguably none more so than consumer products. From sales to supply chains, data pores forth in immense quantities, something that our very own Fellow Leslie Bradshaw recently explained.
A recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit tries to figure out how consumer products firms can make sense of all this information. Five key challenges appear to take prominence [emphasis is mine]:
In T-minus five years, human beings will go to Mars. That is the plan millionaire, entrepreneur rocket scientist and the first-ever space tourist Dennis Tito recently announced, saying he will foot the bill for a two-person trip to Mars in 2018. The plan is ambitious, and while the technology, math and experience needed to undertake such a journey are within current capabilities, the 501-day trip is unparalleled in human history.
Tito was the world’s first space tourist when he paid $20 million to the Russian space agency to ferry him to the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-day, life-changing opportunity. Now 72 years old, Tito isn’t going anywhere, but with his Inspiration Mars Foundation, he is looking for a pair of intrepid explorers to take another trip of a lifetime. The mission climax will be a Mars flyby with the astronauts just 100 miles above the planet’s surface. In many ways, this flight will replicate the legendary Apollo 8 flyby of the Moon but eclipse it by truly going where no one has gone before.
Samsung’s newest smartphone is eye catching and not just for its hardware. Consumers are excited about a new feature that tracks the user’s eye movement to determine when and where to scroll the screen. This innovation is generating a lot of excitement, but Samsung cannot claim all the credit. Innovation breeds more innovation, and many of the technologies consumers enjoy today have their roots in more limited application.
Sir Alexander Fleming first discovered Penicillin in 1928, but it was not until the outbreak of World War II that scientists focused on advancing the potential for antibiotics to be used in fighting infectious bacteria. The ongoing war effort led to large-scale production, which ultimately drove widespread consumer use and further development.
Today’s near- and far-sighted consumers have the luxury of outpatient Lasik corrective surgery. Yet, this technology was first developed in 1963 by a scientist Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center to treat diabetic retinopathy, a ramification of diabetes that causes blindness.