Business: Pressing a Capital Idea

Congress weighs a plan to spur investment by speeding depreciation

If there is one root to the evils gripping the nation's economy, it is a low level of investment. The U.S. spends only 9% of its national income on capital in vestment, vs. West Germany's 15% and Japan's 20%. Consequently, the country is living off — and eating up — its capital stock. Its plants and machines are aging, its competitive edge in world markets is softening, its productivity growth is falling, and its prices are soaring. The surest way to return to noninflationary increases in living standards would be to enhance...

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