Looking Out for Number One

Leaders of the business world and government must work to reverse the declining U.S. economy in relation to its world competitors, three Business School professors told a Burden Hall audience of about 400 yesterday in "United States Competitiveness in the World Economy."

"We win the World Series every year. We win the Super Bowl every year," said Bruce R. Scott, Cherington Professor of Business Administration. "There still are a lot of signs that we're number one."

But not when it comes to economic productivity, Scott said. Japan, West Germany, and even the United Kingdom, he said, are ahead of the U.S. in improving productivity and competitiveness.

Professor of Business Administration Joseph L. Bower '57 also pointed to Japan, calling for more education and research in the area of economic competitiveness. "They [the Japanese] track what we're doing much better than we do because they think it's important," he said.

Business Administration Professor George C. Lodge '50 rejected the theory that the best government is one which governs least, especially when combined with the rising power of special interest groups on Capital Hill.

"You put those two together and what do you get?" Lodge asked. "Government by crisis and by interest groups. Government has to think clearly about what the national interest is and set some priorities."