In successful economies, economic policy has been pragmatic, not ideological. It has been concrete, not abstract.

And so it has been in the United States. From its very beginning, the United States again and again enacted policies to shift its economy onto a new growth direction—toward a new economic space of opportunity. These redirections have been big. And they have been collective choices. They have not been the emergent outcomes of innumerable individual choices aimed at achieving other goals. They have not been the unguided results of mindless evolution. They have been intelligent designs.

And they have been implemented by government, backed and pushed by powerful and often broad-based political forces, held together by a common ...

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