Six principles for saving American capitalism


The newspapers are looking ahead to this Tuesday's G-20 summit in London. Since the leaders who show up there represent countries that control 80 percent of the world's economy, it could be an important meeting. If you live in the U.K. or U.S., your leaders will be attacked by those in other countries who believe that they should not be asked to bail out the errors of Anglo-American capitalism. Beyond that, little of substance is likely to be accomplished.

However, in an alternative universe, the G-20 meeting might actually accomplish something. Specifically, it could get agreement on six principles on which to rebuild American capitalism. Here's what I think those would be:

  • Grow through technology-based innovation. The United States used to be admired around the world for its ability to create new industries. In the 1990s, an Asian government wanted to emulate our success and asked me to discuss how the United States turns innovation into economic growth. Unfortunately, since 2000 our ability to take brilliant ideas from our top universities and turn them into venture-backed companies that sell their shares to the public to fuel the creation of new industries has largely been broken. If there is to be growth, it should come from reviving this process.