by Jim Manzi
April 01, 2014
There is much talk about the need for a new era of American innovation to help us break out of an economic rut. But there is far less understanding of the ways in which these cycles of innovation and stagnation have worked, and so of what might be required to revive our economic prospects. American innovation has always proceeded in cycles in which pessimism and near panic act as the emotional impetus for creative advances that yield a new economic order that thrives for a time. That cycle has been essential to America’s unprecedented economic achievement, and it is playing out again today. By seeing how we’ve managed, time and again, to remake America into an engine of innovation and prosperity, we can better understand the nature of the challenge we now face, the character of the opportunities for addressing it, and the kinds of responses most likely to work.