Introduction : the American economy : point of decision -- America preeminent : riding the second Industrial Revolution to success. The mass-production economy : the American way ; Mass-producing education -- The forces changing the world economy : our competitors respond. Technology, competitiveness, and the new international economy ; Our competitors take the lead : the path to human-resource capitalism -- The challenge. America on the precipice : will we boil the frog? ; Facing the challenge, at last -- The new American system : strategies for high performance. The demance for excellence : can, and will, employers and labor lead the way? ; Restructuring the schools for high performance : tough road to excellence ; Incentives : the great debate ; Building a system driven by standards ; The family ; Rebuilding the community fabric ; Technical and professional education ; A labor-market system for America -- Two futures : which will we choose? Investing in our people. "Why should employers pay American workers much more to work far fewer hours a year than the competition? They won't - unless Americans know more and can do more than the workers with whom they compete." "Thinking for a living is the first book to address head-on the issue of the appalling mismatch between what our economy needs and what our educational institutions actually provide. A massive imbalance between the resources available for the education of our managerial, technical, and professional workers on the one hand, and our line workers on the other, threatens our economic survival, according to Marshall and Tucker. The book provides a blueprint for the radical reconstruction of our schools, following much the same principles that allowed some of America's leading industrial organizations to rescue themselves from the brink of ruin by greatly raising productivity without increasing costs." "But education, the authors point out, is far more than schooling. All the major functions of our society must function as integrated learning systems. This book spells out how families, communities, and, most of all, businesses can contribute to the effectiveness of our most valuable resource: people." "The American educational system is designed to meet the manpower needs of a bygone era. If America is to survive in the infinitely more demanding economic environment of the next century, we must maximize the skills of our work force. Our economic policies will fail - and our standard of living will fall - unless they are linked to an aggressive education policy that results in unprecedented levels of performance."--Jacket.