Business: Why the U.S. Is Slipping

Gloomy view from Cambridge

They gathered not far from where Paul Revere sounded his timely warning against invaders, and in many ways, their message was similar and every bit as alarmist. Meeting two weeks ago in Cambridge, Mass., for a two-day Harvard University conference on U.S. competitiveness, some 150 businessmen, academics and Congressmen took a generally gloomy view of the U.S.'s business prowess. The nation, they argued, is losing the international trade war; foreign competitors are producing better goods at lower costs. America now stands on the verge of becoming a second-rate economic power.

"We are at a turning point," warned Ezra Vogel,...

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