A mighty culture of innovation cannot be taken for granted

  @FortuneMagazine August 29, 2013: 7:24 AM ET
COL16 us innovation

Is America's future as lousy as it looks? Depends on what you look at. The mainstream statistics are pathetic: America's productivity, which must rise if our prosperity is to increase, changed over the past year by a nice, round 0.0%. Four years after the recession ended, our economy is growing at a puny 1.7% annual rate, barely half the long-term average. But those figures illuminate what we know how to measure, not necessarily what's most important for our future. The good news for us Americans is that we hold a huge economic strength -- though how huge is hard to measure -- that's unique in a country our size. The worry is that we're in danger of losing it.

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