Rob Atkinson

Rob Atkinson

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

@RobAtkinsonITIF

What’s the best way to help low-income workers? Automate low-income jobs. Share This

Sep 05, 2020

As we celebrate Labor Day, reducing unemployment and getting the COVID-impacted economy back to some semblance of normality is clearly the top economic task. But when that is done the economy will still face a critical labor market problem: too many workers earning too little. A recent Brookings study found that 44 percent of American […]

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Time to Incorporate Competitiveness Into Anti-Trust Share This

Aug 30, 2020

U.S. antirust doctrine and practice has long failed to consider issues of industrial competitiveness. The result has been a century of government-induced industrial failures. In America antitrust is conceived as oppositional: against market power. Antitrust enforcers have never seen their job as enabling U.S. enterprises (and by extension the U.S. economy) win the global competitiveness […]

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Big Tech, Antitrust and America’s Future Share This

Aug 01, 2020

Wednesday’s “must watch” House Judiciary hearing with the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google raised a host of questions, including what the goal of antitrust should be (maximizing economic welfare or other goals, like protecting small business), and how should we think about platform industries. There are two key central things to understand about […]

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The Seduction of the Not-Profit Economy Share This

Jul 29, 2020

Over the last several decades a major shift has occurred in how many U.S. elites – pundits, advocates, policy makers, and others – think and talk about corporations. For much of the 20th century most elites viewed corporations as an institutional tool by which America could best achieve its most important economic goals: innovation and […]

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A COVID-19 Economic Recovery Package That Spurs Short-term and Long-term Recovery Share This

Jul 20, 2020

With surging COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country and a widely available vaccine months away—and with consumer and investor confidence and spending likely to be weak even with a vaccine—the odds are quite high that economic recovery will be long, drawn-out, and weak. As such, Congress is rightly debating a fifth economic recovery […]

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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

OmniVeyor HV-100 (Image Courtesy Wikimedia https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:OmniVeyor_HV-100_Image_1.jpg) 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. […]

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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

Image: Shawn Collins – flicker.com 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 […]

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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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