Dec 18, 2019

Report: Harvard business leaders pessimistic about the U.S. competing globally and improving workers' living standards

From Harvard Business School's report, "A Recovery Squandered: The State of U.S. Competitiveness 2019"

A key group of decision-makers has doubts about the United States' ability to compete globally while raising living standards for workers, according to Harvard Business School's new alumni survey on U.S. competitiveness.

Why it matters: The results reflect concerns that the economy's record-long expansion has not been spread broadly among all Americans — a sentiment with implications for the 2020 election.

Between the lines: The respondents aren't representative of the general public, but they do represent a sample that tends to hold leadership positions and are "on the front lines of global capitalism," according to the report.

  • Yes, but: The pessimism is partisan. 51% of Republican alumni expected America's competitiveness to improve in the next three years, compared to only 24% of Democrats.

What they're saying: "The United States has done remarkably little to address underlying structural weaknesses in our economy and our society," the authors of the report write.

  • Structural failures in the U.S. political system are to blame, the authors say in this study and previous ones.

Of note: Harvard Business School asked alumni about big businesses' role in improving or worsening political dysfunction.

  • Most alumni don't believe their own companies engage in politics in ways that are "adverse to the public interest," but 49% said "business as a whole" did.

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Buttigieg picks up more than 200 foreign policy endorsements

Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Pete Buttigieg announced Monday that he received endorsements from more than 200 foreign policy and national security officials, per USA Today.

Why it matters: It's another way for the South Bend, Ind., mayor to take aim at Joe Biden as his list includes a diverse group of Obama administration alumni described as the "next generation of foreign policy leaders" by the Buttigieg campaign's foreign policy head.

Go deeperArrowDec 23, 2019

The generational confidence gap

Data: The Conference Board, DB Global Research; Chart: Axios Visuals

November's consumer confidence report showed the largest gap between the confidence of consumers under 35 and those over 55 in the history of the Conference Board's report.

The state of play: Younger people have typically had higher confidence scores, but that has changed in recent years, the data show.

Go deeperArrowJan 3, 2020

Eurasia Group's top geopolitical, economic risks in 2020

Trump and China's President Xi Jinping in 2017. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Economic and geopolitical trends are both cycling downward, Eurasia Group President Ian Bremmer and Chairman Cliff Kupchan write in their '"Top Risks 2020" report, out today.

The big picture: "Globalization is key," the authors write. The global economy is steadily fragmenting into two systems as the U.S. and China decouple and weaponize global trade and supply chains, ultimately creating a "split personality" globalization.

Go deeperArrowJan 6, 2020