Our mission has to be to accelerate hiring and to accelerate growth. And that depends on making our economy more competitive so that we’re fostering new jobs and new industries and training workers to fill them.
[T]he rhetoric of competitiveness…has become pervasive among opinion leaders throughout the world. People who believe themselves to be sophisticated about the subject take it for granted that the economic problem facing an modern nation is essentially one of competing on world markets–that the United States and Japan are copmetitors in the same sense that Coca-Cola competes with Pepsi–and are unaware that anyone might seriously question that proposition.
[I]t is simply not the case that the world’s leading nations are to any important degree in economic competition with each other, or that any of their major economic problems can be attributed to failures to compete on world markets. The growing obsession in most advanced nations with international competitiveness should be seen, not as a well-founded concern, but as a view held in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence. (Pop Internationalism, pp. 4-5)
One of these two men earned his Nobel Prize. That’s probably the one we should listen to.