In This Review

The Next American Frontier
The Next American Frontier
By Robert B. Reich
Times Books, 1983, 324 pp

This stimulating, well-written book hits several nails on the head: the American economy needs to become more flexible and internationally competitive. This requires improving human capital and breaking out of the management methods that have contributed to the present troubles; and this is a formidable political task. Although the argument is compelling that the old industrial centers can only stay ahead of the low-wage countries by concentrating on "high-value niches" in the old industries and on new, high-technology industries, we get no clear picture of what the resulting American economy will look like. Except probably with regard to Japan, the evidence is thin for Professor Reich's contention that other countries are doing these things better than the U.S. One can quarrel with some of his history though there are many good insights. He makes some detailed suggestions for improving matters that sound practical.