On September 21, 2009, author and economist Pat Choate discussed his new book, Saving Capitalism: Keeping America Strong, at the New America Foundation. In a conversation with Michael Lind, Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at New America, Choate offered his perspective on the ongoing economic crisis and outlined his book's comprehensive policy prescription for recovery and sustainable growth.
Choate's animating argument was that the great economic clash of the 21st century is no longer between capitalism and communism, but rather between American-style free-market capitalism and the state capitalism exemplified by China. In the cutthroat environment of today's global economy, U.S. businesses simply cannot compete against their state-backed rivals in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany. In order to become competitive once again, Choate argued, U.S. economic policymakers must abandon free market dogmatism and undertake pragmatic but far-reaching economic reforms. Among Choate's recommendations were reviewing America's existing trade agreements, adopting a policy to support American innovation, dramatically increasing public investment and infrastructure spending, and strengthening intellectual property protections.
Following Choate's remarks, a lively question and answer session touched upon manufacturing, labor unions, and the political leadership necessary for reform.