Today’s advances in fifth-generation telecommunications (5G) promise a transformational technology that is critical to enabling the next industrial revolution. 5G will provide massive benefits for future economic development and national competitiveness, including certain military applications. 5G is far more than simply a faster iteration of 4G. The benefits include its high speed, low latency, and high throughput, which enable data flows at vastly greater speed and volume than today’s 4G networks. Future smart cities will rely on 5G, autonomous vehicles will depend on this increased connectivity, future manufacturing will leverage 5G to enable improved automation, and even agriculture could benefit from these advances. The advent of 5G could contribute trillions to the world economy over the next couple of decades, setting the stage for new advances in productivity and innovation.
The United States risks losing a critical competitive advantage if it fails to capitalize upon the opportunity and manage the challenges of 5G. Today, China seems poised to become a global leader and first mover in 5G. The United States may be situated in a position of relative disadvantage. The U.S. government has yet to commit to any funding or national initiatives in 5G that are close to comparable in scope and scale to those of China, which is dedicating hundreds of billions to 5G development and deployment. There are also reasons for serious concern about the long-term viability and diversity of global supply chains in this industry. Huawei, a Chinese company with global ambitions, seems to be on course to become dominant in 5G, establishing new pilots and partnerships worldwide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War, the United States and other leading democracies built an international system that ushered in an almost 70-year period of remarkable peace and prosperity. Founded on democratic and open-market principles, its institutions and rules have promoted global economic growth and development, lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty, and advanced the cause of freedom. After three decades of largely uncontested primacy, however, this rules-based system is now under unprecedented challenge, both from within and without. In March 2018, we launched an initiative under the auspices of the Atlantic Council aimed at revitalizing the rules-based international system and reinvigorating support for its core tenets. We were joined by a distinguished group of former officials and strategists in creating a Declaration of Principles for Freedom, Peace, and Prosperity—offering seven statements that we believe are foundational for a revitalized international system and reflect the common aspirations of the human spirit. The principles are intended to provide a clear and compelling statement of values—a “north star”—around which political leaders and the broader public can rally in demonstrating their support for the rules-based system. But principles alone are not enough. We need a new strategy—one ambitious enough to meet the moment, and one innovative enough to fit the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. In this paper, Present at the Re-Creation, Ash Jain and Matthew Kroenig propose a visionary but actionable global strategy for revitalizing, adapting, and defending the rules-based international system. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Current estimates suggest that over the coming decades,
slower population growth and lower labor force participation will constrain the
supply of labor in the U.S. The U.S. labor force will also become more diverse
as immigration and fertility trends increase the size of minority populations.
New forms of automation will likely require workers to adapt to keep their old
jobs, while many will be displaced or face less demand for their work (while
others benefit). Firms will continue to implement alternative staffing
arrangements, like turning workers into independent contractors or outsourcing
their human resource management to other firms; and many will adopt “low-road”
employment practices to keep labor costs low. Exactly whom these changes will
benefit or harm remains unclear, the author finds, though non-college workers
will likely fare the worst; higher productivity from new technologies and
reduced labor supply could raise average wages, but many workers will clearly
be worse off. According to the author, policymakers should provide incentives
for firms to train current employees, rather than replace them, and should
encourage schools and colleges to teach flexible, transferable skills, as the
future workforce will likely need to adapt quickly to new and changing job
requirements. Lifelong learning accounts for workers could help. Expanding wage
insurance and improving unemployment insurance and workforce services could
help workers adapt after suffering job displacement. Policies that make work
pay, like the EITC, and others designed to increase labor force attachment,
like paid family leave, could help mitigate declines in the labor force.
Reforms in immigration and retirement policy will help as well, as would policy
experimentation at the state and local level (with federal support). [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The current model of cybersecurity is outdated. Adversaries
continue to grow more sophisticated and outpace advancements in defense
technologies, processes, and education. As nation states enter into a new
period of great power competition, the deficiencies in current cybersecurity
practice, evidenced by the growing number of successful cyber-attacks from
Russia, China, North Korea, and others, pose a greater threat.
The need to update the cybersecurity model is clear. An
enhanced public-private model – based on coordinated, advanced protection and
resilience – is necessary to protect key critical infrastructure sectors. In
addition, enhanced action from the federal government, coupled with increased
formal cooperation with international allies, are necessary to ensure
comprehensive cybersecurity resilience. [Note: contains copyrighted
Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform
economic growth, commerce, and trade, affecting the types of jobs that are
available and skills that are needed. The United States, China, Japan, Germany,
the United Kingdom, France, and others have recognized the opportunity and are
supporting AI research and development as well as preparing their workforce.
For AI to develop also requires an enabling environment that
includes new regulation in areas such as AI ethics and data access and revisiting
existing laws and regulation in areas such as privacy and intellectual property
(IP) rights to ensure that they work for AI. In addition, AI development
requires an international agenda to avoid unnecessary regulatory heterogeneity
that creates barriers to data access and use and impedes the global diffusion
of AI products. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In “How Will Retirement Saving Change by 2050? Prospects for
the Millennial Generation” William G. Gale, Hilary Gelfond, and Jason Fichtner
consider prospects for retirement saving for members of the millennial
generation, who will be between ages 54 and 69 in 2050. Adequacy of retirement
saving preparation among current and near-retirees is marked by significant
heterogeneity, a characteristic that will likely hold for Millennials as well.
In preparing for retirement, Millennials will have several advantages relative
to previous generations, such as more education, longer working lives, and more
flexible work arrangements, but also several disadvantages, including having to
take more responsibility for their own retirement plans and marrying and
bearing children at later ages. The millennial generation contains a
significantly higher percentage of minorities than previous generations. The
authors find that minority households have tended to accumulate less wealth
than whites in the past, even after controlling for income, education, and
marital status, and the difference appears to be growing over time for black
households relative to whites. Whether these trends persist is central to
understanding how the Millennials will fare in retirement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Children of immigrants will make up a critical share of our
nation’s future workforce, but they are less likely than other children to
participate in early education programs known to support school readiness and
long-term productivity. This study describes the characteristics and enrollment
of children of immigrants using the most current and comprehensive dataset
available: the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of
2010–11. We find that children of immigrants tend to have fewer resources and
greater need than children of US-born parents but lower rates of enrollment in
center-based preschool. However, programs such as Head Start and state
prekindergarten, as well as public kindergarten programs, are making progress
in closing gaps in access. These findings suggest that current investments in
early education are helping prepare the future workforce for success in 2050
and that expanded investments are warranted. [Note:
contains copyrighted material].