"We can extend it long into the future if the public and private sectors, and all of us as individuals, assume greater responsibility for our common destiny by summoning the will to face hard facts and make difficult choices — and by electing leaders who will do the same," writes Milken in the latest edition of The Milken Institute Review, released today at the Global Conference. "To be blunt, our leaders must stop telling us we can have it all and do a better job of allocating the resources we have available."
Milken outlines six challenging areas, the nation's responses to which will determine its foreseeable future: energy, housing, entitlements, education, health and immigration. The article is an excerpt from a forthcoming book.
Also in this issue:
Linda Cohen, an economist at the University of California, Irvine explains why technological change lies at the heart of a successful climate policy. "Seemingly modest lifestyle changes, along with technology already available and close to commercialization, could reduce fossil fuel consumption sufficiently to meet limited near-term goals for curbing carbon emissions favored by many climate scientists. But a satisfactory end-game would require dramatically better and cheaper ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Innovation is thus a key component of a long-term climate policy."
Robert Looney, an economist at the Naval Postgraduate School in California, writes about Mexico's shining promise — and startling downward spiral. "Changes are coming to Mexico. Unfortunately, these changes are more likely to resemble the ones seen in the Soviet Union before its collapse than the positive growth-reform-growth dynamic that drives the go-getting economies of Brazil and India. Perhaps Mexicans will summon the collective will to stop the decline. But as things stand now, there is little cause for optimism."
The McKinsey Global Institute, the research arm of McKinsey and Co. offers a big-picture view of what it will take to revive the economies of Western Europe and the United States. "The key to success in both is increasing productivity in the teeth of unfavorable demographic headwinds. On both sides of the Atlantic, there is room to boost the role that labor plays in growth, and major opportunities to boost productivity through technological change. But both also need to face up to difficult structural impediments if they are to reach their full long-term growth potential."
John Rosenthal, a contributing editor at National Geographic Traveler and a journalist who writes about business and health, explains why outsourcing medical care has the potential to become far more than a curiosity. "Once limited to day-trip dental visits to Mexico and furtive escapes to Switzerland for facelifts and tummy tucks, the field known as medical tourism has expanded into a $5 billion industry. Dentistry and cosmetic surgery still constitute most of these trips because they have fairly reliable outcomes. But each year, the list of medical treatments for which it might make sense to get on an airplane grows longer. So, too, does the number of countries where it's possible to receive world-class medical treatment."
The Milken Institute Review is sent quarterly to the world's leading business and financial executives, senior policy makers and journalists. Its editor is Peter Passell, former economics columnist for The New York Times.