PPI | Project Description | June 29, 2000|
About PPI's Technology & New Economy Project
At the dawn of the 21st century, Americans are inventing a New Economy. Yesterday's industrial order is giving way to a more complex, dynamic and dispersed economy shaped by information technologies, global markets and new communications networks like the Internet. From the way we educate our children and organize our workplaces to how we improve our health, defend our international interest, and clean up the environment, these forces are transforming our society.
Some Americans see these changes as disruptive and threatening. Others celebrate them uncritically, ignoring the social strains created by the New Economy's uneven distribution of cost and benefits. The Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) seeks a Third Way that embraces new possibilities for technological and economic progress while equipping all Americans with the tools they need to succeed in the New Economy.
American ingenuity and entrepreneurial dynamism are key drivers of the emerging knowledge economy. Our Technology & New Economy Project fosters policies that promote technological advances, economic innovation, and risk-taking. We recognize, however, that technology and innovation are not ends in themselves, but means to advance larger progressive goals: more individual choice and freedom, new economic opportunities and higher living standards, greater dignity and autonomy for working Americans, stronger communities and wider citizen participation in public life. The project's purpose can be stated simply: renewing the American Dream for a new economic era.
The Project's mission is to educate federal, state, and local policy makers about what drives the New Economy, and to promote policies that encourage technological advances, economic innovation, and entrepreneurship. Key principles guiding our work include:
- Higher productivity and faster economic growth are prerequisites for expanding opportunity and raising living standards.
- The key factors driving economic growth are science and technology, world-class education and skills, organizational innovation, robust competition, and open global trade.
- Markets are the best drivers of growth and innovation, but public action can and should create conditions in which innovation can flourish. This requires updating public fiscal, investment, and regulatory policies at every level.
- Archaic regulatory barriers to competition and innovation should be replaced with "open architecture" principles that do not favor one technology or industry over another.
- Government should be reinvented to be as fast, responsive, and flexible as the economy and society with which it interacts. The new model of governing is decentralized, non-bureaucratic, catalytic, and empowering.
- We should take active steps to extend the benefits of technology and innovation to all citizens, reversing past trends toward economic inequality.
PPI's Technology & New Economy Project has three main goals:
- Modernize public policies and institutions to meet the challenges of the New Economy. Many of America's fiscal, tax, and regulatory policies, rooted in the needs and social conflicts of the industrial age, are simply obsolete. PPI believes that government must play a vital role both in supporting economic innovation and enabling working Americans to manage the risks of economic change. But that can only happen if we move purposefully to update and adapt our public programs and institutions, at all levels, to the new economic realities.
- Provide an intellectual and political base for New Economy entrepreneurs and thinkers. Many entrepreneurs feel disenfranchised from the traditional left-right, with its outdated dogmas and false choices. The Project will engage New Economy leaders in a critical dialogue with political leaders grappling with the difficult issues of adapting polices, laws, and institutions to new economic and social conditions.
- Reach out to the "networked workers" of the New Economy. Working Americans are moving in droves to knowledge-intensive jobs based on networked computers and more flexible, team-oriented work. Though a growing force in the New Economy, these networked workers have little voice in current political debates, rejecting both big government solutions and laissez faire nostrums. The Project will probe their economic and social outlook as well as the new demands arising from the changing nature and organization of work. We will develop the ideas, policies and language that can empower "networked workers" as a political force.
The Project has a consistent track record of being the first in the policy community to identify key New Economy issues and solutions. Through its work on issues as diverse as Spam, global e-commerce, regional skills alliances, digital government, and "middleman" opposition to e-commerce, PPI has got these and other issues on the radar screen of local, state and federal policy makers, and helped set the terms of the debate and define the solutions. We will continue to build on this track record as the New Economy continues to evolve.
- "The New Growth Economics: How to Boost Living Standards through Technology, Skills, Innovation, and Competition," Robert D. Atkinson, February 2001
- "Online Privacy and a Free Internet: Striking a Balance," Shane Ham and Robert D. Atkinson, April 2001
- "Revenge of the Disintermediated: How the Middleman is Fighting E-Commerce and Hurting Consumers," Robert D. Atkinson, January 26, 2001
- "A Third Way Framework for Global E-Commerce," Shane Ham and Robert D. Atkinson, March 2001
- "The Failure of Cyber-Libertarianism: The Case for a National E-Commerce Strategy," Robert D. Atkinson, June 2001
- "Building New Skills for the New Economy: Regional Skills Alliances," Robert D. Atkinson, February 1998
To browse the complete Technology & New Economy Project archives, visit our Technology & Innovation and New Economy sections, respectively.