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The next President can get us out of the current psychological and economic funk by pointing the way ahead, especially with one overarching objective: Set a goal to get our fair share of exports and jobs in the world. That means putting aside our protectionist impulses and rolling up our sleeves to compete with the rest of the globe. Americans can do this: Our productivity is still among the highest in the world. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, business sector productivity in the U.S. Increased 19 percent from 2000 to 2007. The U.S. is the best in the world at nurturing new businesses and technologies, we have the best institutions of higher learning, and even our labor cost is competitive with Europe and Japan. But somehow all that doesn't translate into an ability to capitalize fully on our strengths.
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