Ahead of this month’s Fed meeting, Harvard Business School (HBS) Dean Nitin Nohria says that policy changes from the government are urgent.
“We’re living at a point in which the one gear that we seem to have been using post the financial crisis, which is quantitative easing, seems to be running out of runway,” Nohria said. “There’s just not that much more room left. So once I think we get past these short-term quantitative easing measures and start to think more about fundamentals, that the mood shifts to fiscal policy.”
In its recently-released report on competitiveness, HBS professors, led by Michael Porter, stressed the urgency of key structural reform, especially regarding corporate tax policy.
Politicians are completely missing the key issues
Nohria said politicians are latching onto the ideas they find most convenient, as opposed to working to solve underlying issues.
“You think about America today, it’s not that it’s a world in which you can say it’s only strengths and only weaknesses. We have some of both,” Nohria said. “In politics, you latch onto the argument that you want to make, so each side can make an argument.”
In contrast, HBS is trying to take an objective approach, he said.
“I think that scholars like us and schools like ours have the responsibility that we have since we’re not actually beholden to any political party,” he said. “From the very first day, one of our goals in this study was to make sure that it was a non-partisan study. If you look at surveys, it’s quite hard to figure out where people with different political orientations lean. And we’ve tried to find the things that people on both sides of the political spectrum would agree with.”
Politics aside, the study has focused on what works well in America and what needs to be fixed.
“We have to stop being in this blame game,” Nohria said.
With the aim of getting input from people from all parts of the political spectrum, the study was grounded by a survey of alumni as well as the general public. Nohria said he has focused on answering important questions and aims for these to be implemented in policy measures.
For more on the US competitiveness study, please see below: