"Greenspan warned that growing protectionist pressures were a threat to this flexibility. Global competition, he said, has been a boon for the U.S. economy, with competition spurring innovation and new technologies. Global competition has also made life difficult for workers, who face competition from workers in developing countries, but these concerns should be met with education and training and not with trade barriers, he said.
Greenspan said that "fear of change" had also stopped the U.S. from dealing with long-term fiscal reform, notably the failure to deal with Social Security reform. In the past he has warned that the ageing of the US population, and associated rises in pension and health costs, will mean there have to be big tax increases in the absence of early reforms."