Rob Atkinson

Rob Atkinson

Rob Atkinson is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation.

@RobAtkinsonITIF

Why Neither Party Focuses on the Key Economic Issue: Enterprise Capabilities Share This

Jul 11, 2020

The partisan rancor in Washington is worse than any time in the last century. But surprisingly when it comes to economic policy, both parties share a common view: policy needn’t be concerned about enterprise capabilities. Conservatives focus on abstract “markets”, while progressives focus on government dictates. Neither gives more than a passing thought to ensuring […]

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All Productivity is Good: Even Automation Share This

Jul 02, 2020

One of the few times when I have found myself in agreement with Paul Krugman is when he famously wrote, “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it is almost everything.” Yet, today, this statement is not only passé, but downright suspect, at least among many U.S. elites. For in a world characterized by […]

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Should There be Legal and Ethical Limits to National Developmentalism? Share This

Jun 28, 2020

ITIF recently released a report about how “innovation mercantilist” policies were instrumental in enabling China to dominate the global telecom equipment industry, and how that rise came at the expense of global innovation in this industry. A typical response to the report was along the lines of “So what. The United States had industrial policies […]

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Doubling Down on R&D Share This

Jun 15, 2020

A Response to Willy Shih

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On Tax Incentives Share This

Jun 08, 2020

A tax credit for domestic investment is the best way to reduce production costs.

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In Praise of Big Internet: The Economic Importance of Internet Companies Share This

Jun 04, 2020

It has become bipartisan sport to attack “Big Tech”, but most of the ire is directed at “Big Internet”: consumer-facing Internet companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Uber. While much of the so-called techlash is focused on the purported negative social impacts – abuse of data, platform bias, and other charges – underlying many […]

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Time for a Hegelian Synthesis on Trade and Globalization Share This

May 26, 2020

German philosopher Hegel postulated that history progresses through thesis, antithesis and then synthesis. Today we are seeing the first two dynamics with trade policy and attitudes towards globalization; we desperately need the third. For over 40 years synthesis meant unbridled support for free trade and globalization. But after failing to deal with the contradictions that […]

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We Will NOT Run Out of Jobs Share This

May 18, 2020

This seems like a strange headline given that the economy has recently shed almost 40 million jobs. But at some point with the development of a vaccine or an effective treatment, the economy will come back to normal. And when it does, so too will opposition to automation, at a time when we will need […]

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No, U.S. Manufacturing Is Not at an All-Time High Share This

May 11, 2020

Daniel Moynihan once stated that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” This is no more true than with today’s debate over the health of U.S. manufacturing; a debate that is critical to get right if policy makers are to respond appropriately. Apologists for the status quo paint a Pollyannaish […]

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Government, Not Markets Can Best Pick Winners Share This

May 05, 2020

China’s economic rise and the damage inflicted on U.S. industry has been a wakeup call to many U.S. policymakers. But most conventional economists continue to hold firm to their ideological notion that only the market can respond, and that any more proactive government action, particularly focused on key sectors or technologies, is doomed to fail. […]

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