Close this search box.
Close this search box.

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

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?



 % of Votes

 China 1


 India 2


 Vietnam 3


 USA 4


 Brazil 5


 Russia 6


Note: Countries with only 1 response not reported.

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



 % of Votes

 USA 1


 India 2


 Germany 3


 Great Britain 4


 United Arab Emirates 5


 China 6


Note: Countries with only 1 response not reported.

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










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







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




 Trade Restrictions




  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.