CEOs Portray a Dismal Forecast for the U.S.

Future of the U.S. Economy will Depend on Lower Taxes, Lower Regulation Privatized Education and Free Trade

July 11 2008 by Chief Executive


With the economy overtaking Iraq as one of the main issues this election year, Chief Executive magazine conducted a survey among CEOs between June 13 and June 27 in an effort to gauge CEO sentiment on the direction of the U.S. economy. CEOs were asked which policy position they think the U.S. should take to increase or maintain American competitiveness as well as questions on which countries will generate the highest number of jobs and where the top paying jobs will be in the future.  

An overwhelming majority of American CEOs believe that in order to create the highest paying jobs and maintain the U.S.‘ economic competitiveness, the government needs to reduce taxes and regulation, privatize education and remove restrictions on trade.  

With 75 percent of CEOs favoring privatized education, it is clear that CEOs are disappointed by the ability of our education system to produce the next generation of leaders, “The core social problem in the United States is the educational system.  Despite investing vast sums of money, we aren’t training people for the future,” as one CEO, wishing to remain anonymous, said. 

Frustrated with the current economic policy, another CEO said, “The formula for international competitiveness is quite simple: minimal trade restrictions, predictable regulation, competitive tax rates, strong educational system, trade balance (not deficit), predictable currency, low interest rates, responsible fiscal spending and low corruption. Unfortunately, under the Bush administration, we have failed on many of the factors, with corruption and macroeconomic incompetence being the most insidious.” 

“CEOs are clearly negative on the economy, yet are offering important ideas on what needs to be done,” said Edward M. Kopko, Chairman and Publisher of Chief Executive Magazine. “Among those are lower taxes and regulation, privatized education, and freer trade. The upcoming election is particularly interesting because of the extent of polarization between the parties with respect to these issues.” 

In additional polling, CEOs ranked China No. 1 in terms of future job creation. India came in second with more than a quarter of the votes.  The U.S., Vietnam and Brazil tied for third place, each receiving about 5 percent of all the votes. However, when it comes to well-paying jobs, the U.S. is still expected to dominate the market, with nearly half of respondents indicating that the U.S. will generate the highest paying jobs in the future.  The U.S. is followed by India, which received nearly 13 percent of the votes.  Once again, three countries shared the third spot: Germany, Great Britain and United Arab Emirates each received approximately 5 percent of the vote. 

CEO Index Bonus Questions, June 2008

 Please rank which country will be the greatest job creator in the future?

 Country

 Rank

 % of Votes

 China 1

 52.8%

 India 2

 26.8%

 Vietnam 3

 4.9%

 USA 4

 4.9%

 Brazil 5

 4.9%

 Russia 6

 3.3%

Note: Countries with only 1 response not reported.

 Please rank which country will create the most high paying jobs?

 Country

 Rank

 % of Votes

 USA 1

 44.5%

 India 2

 12.6%

 Germany 3

 4.9%

 Great Britain 4

 4.9%

 United Arab Emirates 5

 4.9%

 China 6

 3.3%

Note: Countries with only 1 response not reported.

 What does the U.S. need to do to create the most high paying jobs?

 

 Increase

 Decrease

 Taxation

 4.8%

 95.2%

 Regulation

 8.9%

 91.1%

 What does the U.S. need to do to create the most high paying jobs?

 

 Regulate

 Privatize

 Education

 25.0%

 75.0%

 What does the U.S. need to do to create the most high paying jobs?

 

 Strengthen

 Loosen

 Trade Restrictions

 29.7%

 70.3%