By Carl Schramm
For eight decades, right up to the Depression, Syracuse was one of the thirty largest cities in the country with one of the best-educated and healthiest populations. For another thirty it was among the 50 largest cities. Not surprisingly, given its economic importance, it was also one of the wealthiest cities. Everyone had good jobs. Household income was well above the national average. Family bank accounts were at times higher than those in Detroit and Philadelphia. Not surprisingly, its school system was one of the best in the country.
Today Syracuse’s civic distinctions are embarrassing. The city’s economy no longer works. A recent report from the state found that average household income was $31,000 while the state average was $55,000. It appears that its future is no longer dependent on the genius of its people but the largesse of higher order governments both state and federal. It has lost its ability to determine its own fate. [more...]
In his new book, "Better Capitalism: Renewing the Entrepreneurial Strength of the American Economy," Mr. Schramm talks about the financial crisis and the recession that followed and how it underscored for us that a sustained recovery and higher long-run growth will require a heavier dose of entrepreneurship than we had previously recommended. This book lays out some concrete ways to do that. In the wake of the Great Recession and America's listless recovery from it, economists, policymakers, and media pundits have argued at length about what has gone wrong with the American capitalist system. Even so, few constructive remedies have emerged. Better Capitalism cuts through the chatter and offers a detailed, non-ideological, and practical blueprint to restore the vigor of the American economy. [more...]