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ICYMI: Marco Rubio: We need to invest in America again

May 14, 2019 | Press Releases

We need to invest in America again
By U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
May 13, 2019
Washington Examiner
Throughout the Obama administration and into the 2016 presidential election campaign, so-called economic experts told America that a new normal existed. They argued that the high rates of growth and employment which marked American history were no longer possible. Instead, American workers had to lower their expectations and learn to be content with inevitable stagnation and decline.
Thankfully, President Trump rejected the false premise that the American economy’s best days were behind us. The American economy’s performance today, with the lowest unemployment rate since the 1960s and economic growth that consistently beats expectations, vindicates his argument and proves that America’s economic engine was running far below capacity before Trump’s election.
This has been a great accomplishment, but beneath the surface we face serious, long-term structural challenges. Trump rightly argued that U.S. economic policy for the last three decades has left working families behind, that our trade agreements were not balanced, and that too much wealth was narrowly flowing to the financial sector. These are fundamental arguments about the long-term direction of the American economy, not merely how efficiently it can operate in the short term.

Economic growth is now more driven by finance than innovation in the production of real assets. Many widely cited economic statistics do not fully account for this fundamental shift in the direction of the economy. The report I am releasing this week does. The report argues that since the 1970s, changes made by American businesses and policymakers began prioritizing high returns to investors in the short term, rather than investment in long-term capabilities.
There are great implications to this shift. American workers become line items on a ledger rather than essential contributors to value creation. Investment in domestic innovation and research is often cut or outsourced to competitor nations such as China, which then steals technology to develop and win the technologies of the future — robotics, artificial intelligence, advanced pharmaceuticals, and 5G.
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