Kent Hughes is former Associate Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, and a current Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

In the aftermath of World War II, American economic might was unchallenged. At the end of the 20th century, America is again at the economic summit. Much has changed in the five decades in between, but a national ability to meet crises remains unchanged. What may be new, however, is a growing ability to plan and coordinate economic action: federal and state; private and public. Kent Hughes explains.