Sreedharan, Ranjan (2009): America's secret competitive advantage is a dirty secret.
This is the latest version of this item.
Download (71kB) | Preview
The noted management guru Michael E Porter identifies seven unique competitive advantages for the U.S. economy to explain the country’s pre-eminence; they range from (among others) its environment for entrepreneurship, its institutions of higher learning, its technology and innovation machine, to its commitment to competition and free markets.
In this article, I argue that there is another critical competitive advantage exclusive to the U.S. that arises from its electoral system characterised by consistently low levels of voter turnout in national elections and with disproportionately large numbers of its poorest and least educated citizens not voting. I begin by looking at reasons why the poor in America vote in far lesser proportions than their numbers, and particularly, at the various formal and informal impediments that prevent voting by the poor. I then consider the impact this would have had on America’s economy and its competitiveness.
The core idea of this paper is that when an electoral process effectively filters out significant sections of the poor, the country would find it far easier to put in place (and sustain) sound free-market economic policies focussed on long term objectives with generous incentives for creation of wealth and with a tight leash on welfare and other entitlement programmes. I contend that America’s undeniably greater acceptance of the rigours of the free-market system is not (as is commonly believed) a product of a unique history or culture but, in truth, is closely tied to a discriminatory and exclusionary electoral system that has strong historical roots.
|Item Type:||MPRA Paper|
|Original Title:||America's secret competitive advantage is a dirty secret|
|Keywords:||Competitive advantage, Voter turnout, Disenfranchisement|
|Subjects:||O - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O51 - U.S. ; Canada
M - Business Administration and Business Economics ; Marketing ; Accounting ; Personnel Economics > M2 - Business Economics > M21 - Business Economics
|Depositing User:||Ranjan Sreedharan|
|Date Deposited:||15. Apr 2010 07:04|
|Last Modified:||14. Feb 2013 10:54|
Burch, Traci (2007) A Study of Felon and Misdemeanant Voter Participation in North Carolina. The Sentencing Project, Washington D.C. pp.4,7
Camarota, Steven A. (2007). Immigrants in the United States, 2007 – A Profile of America’s Foreign Born Population. Center for Immigration Studies, Washington D.C.
Cheng, Gracye (Harvard University) & Welt, Aaron (Columbia University). n.d. Making Election Day a Federal Holiday [Online] Available at (http://rooseveltinstitution.org/_file/_25imdw_cheng_election_holiday.pdf)
Drug Policy Alliance Network (2007). What’s Wrong with the War on Drugs - Crack/Cocaine Sentencing Disparity. [Online] Available at http://www.drugpolicy.org/drugwar/mandatorymin/crackpowder.cfm)
Ispahani, Laleh (2006). Out of Step with the World: An Analysis of Felony Disfranchisement in the U.S. and Other Democracies. American Civil Liberties Union, New York. p.1 (Foreword)
Lewis, Muslima (2009). Still Voteless and Voiceless in Florida – Florida’s Continuing Disfranchisement Crisis. American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, Miami
Open Society Institute (2000). Gun Control in the United States: A Comparative Survey of State Firearm Laws. Author, New York
Perez, Myrna (2008). Voter Purges. Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. Also, refer to the interview with the author published in The American Prospect on Oct.3, 2008 [Online] Available at: http://www.prospect.org/cs/articles?article=protecting_voter_rights
Porter, Michael E (2008). Why America needs an Economic Strategy. BusinessWeek, Oct. 30. [Online] Available at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/08_45/b4107038217112.htm
Sands, Trent. The Felony Scam: How States Use Felony Convictions to Change Voter Behavior. Loompanics Unlimited, 2005 Winter Supplement. [Online] Available at http://www.loompanics.com/Articles/felonyscam.html)
Wood, Erika L. & Trivedi, Neema (2007). The Modern Day Poll Tax: How Economic Sanctions Block Access to the Polls. Clearinghouse Review: Journal of Poverty Law and Policy (May-June), vol.41, no.1-2, p.35. [Online] Available at (http://www.sentencingproject.org/doc/publications/fd_clearinghousereview.pdf)
Available Versions of this Item
America's secret competitive advantage is a dirty secret. (deposited UNSPECIFIED)
- America's secret competitive advantage is a dirty secret. (deposited 15. Apr 2010 07:04) [Currently Displayed]