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Harvard Study: Washington Dysfunction Cripples Economy

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The U.S. economy "is no longer delivering good results for the average American" and Washington, D.C., is to blame, according to a Harvard study.

“The federal government has made no meaningful progress on the critical policy steps to restore U.S. competitiveness in the last decade or more,” the study says, according to Politico.

While the U.S. economy benefits from the high quality of higher education and access to capital, the study says that the country's poor infrastructure, poor early and secondary education, high cost of health care, weaknesses in the corporate tax code, and flawed political system are what's hurting average Americans.

"We're stalled in America,” Harvard economist Michael Porter, who led the study, told CNBC. “Our performance, economic performance, on many metrics is worse than we've seen in many generations. I mean not five years. I mean 10, 15, 20, 30 years."

And Porter doesn't expect either Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton or Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to come to the rescue in November because neither has a clear approach about what to do to salvage the American economy for the average person.

"Their policies are so fragmented, so changing that we really can't understand what the strategy is," Porter told CNBC.

Porter also said large, international corporations deserve a great deal of blame because of their ability to circumvent whichever tax policy a country has -- especially the U.S.

“If we have a bad tax policy, they have a global tax structure that works around it. If they can't find the right skills for their industry in America, they set up a facility in Latvia," he said. "The real pain is hitting small business."

The U.S. government's refusal to make meaningful changes to the economic climate for working people and small businesses “reflects an unrealistic and ineffective national discourse on the reality of the challenges facing the U.S. economy and the steps needed to restore shared prosperity,” the study says. “Business has too often failed to play its part in recent decades, and a flawed U.S. political system has led to an absence of progress in government, especially in Washington.”

Sources: Politico, CNBC / Photo credit: Jorge Royan/Wikimedia Commons

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