Preserving the Vital Center: Renew the Economy of the Industrial Heartland

Source: John C. Austin, Paul Dimond, and Bruce Katz, Opportunity 08, Brookings Institution, January 2008

The United States is undergoing a profound economic restructuring, due to pressures of globalization and the rising knowledge economy. America’s Great Lakes region, once the core of the nation’s industrial production and wealth creation, is losing ground rapidly. At this critical moment, federal investment in U.S. competitiveness lacks a regional focus. Federal policy fails to recognize that national growth is driven by integrated regional economies with the strong underlying assets necessary for talent creation and innovation.

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