Obama Is Right. America Remains Pretty Awesome. But We Can Be Even More Awesome.

 

In his State of the Union speech last night, President Obama declared, “Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction.”

He has a point. In fact, it’s not a particularly difficult argument to make. Despite a historically slow recovery, America continues to grow much faster than its advanced economy competitors. (Great Stagnation? Are you talking about China?) No large economy generates as many high-impact new companies as America, and no large economy is as competitive. The US remains the top destination for the world’s job seekers. Among most advanced economies, the working-age population will shrink over the coming decades. But America’s will grow. And given the difficulty of measuring the new digital economy with old wheat-and-steel economy metrics, Goldman Sachs warns that Americans should “be skeptical of confident pronouncements that the standard of living is growing much more slowly than in the past.”

Not that Team America doesn’t face challenges. Of course it does. It always does. Demographics will make fast growth harder than it has been in the past. Technology may be advancing faster and transforming labor markets more quickly than our education system is able to equip most children to fully exploit it. Our government doesn’t do particularly well in providing the key services we currently demand from it.  It’s also made financial promises it’s unlikely to keep. Too many people still aren’t working or working for decent pay. Upward mobility may not be getting worse but it doesn’t seem to be getting better. Americans are worried, with two-thirds thinking the country is headed in the wrong direction.

So what to do? Modernize the safety net. Remove regulations that impede corporate competitiveness. Tax what we don’t want, not what we do. Judge government policy by its impact on innovation and dynamism. Disrupt failing institutions. Make America the most welcoming place on the planet for the risk takers, for the skilled, for those who want to, as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley put it in her SOTU response, “work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions.”

We don’t need to make America great again. We need to make it even more awesome than it already is.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin Coolidge
    DrewInWisconsin
    @DrewInWisconsin

    But We Can Be Even More Awesome.

    . . . without him.

    • #1
  2. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Awesome might the wrong word. Perhaps resilient in the face of complete onslaught? It’s a testament to how strong our system is, at least in terms of economics. I think politically our system is completely broken in pieces. It’s only a matter of time. If, as Milton Freidman once said, economic freedom leads to political freedom, then wouldn’t the reverse also hold true? Loss of political freedom will lead to a loss of economic freedom? Alas my poor country.

    • #2
  3. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Let’s see, ISM < 50, Factory and Durable Goods Orders declining, Capacity Utilization declining, Industrial Production Declining, PPI Declining, Energy Industry Decimated, Russell 2000 Index in Bear Market, $700B in national debt added in 90 days, now up to $19T, Most Progressive Tax Code since Jimmy Carter.<P>

    Whew, let the good times roll. I don’t know who much more awesome economy I can stand.<P>

    Give it a couple more weeks and we can probably get the yield curve flat or inverted.

    • #3
  4. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    BrentB67:Let’s see, ISM < 50, Factory and Durable Goods Orders declining, Capacity Utilization declining, Industrial Production Declining, PPI Declining, Energy Industry Decimated, Russell 2000 Index in Bear Market, $700B in national debt added in 90 days, now up to $19T, Most Progressive Tax Code since Jimmy Carter.Whew, let the good times roll. I don’t know who much more awesome economy I can stand.Give it a couple more weeks and we can probably get the yield curve flat or inverted.

    Brent what are you talking about? The economy up here in the DC area is booming!!

    • #4
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I have a hard time thinking everything is great when I know many people that have lost their jobs and can’t find anything better than a McJob.  I have seen good times and I have seen bad.  This is not good times.  The horror of BHO is the same as the horror of Jimmy Carter.  They dish up bad and then convinces you it is the new normal and what you got is the best it can get.

    • #5
  6. BrentB67 Inactive
    BrentB67
    @BrentB67

    Fake John/Jane Galt:I have a hard time thinking everything is great when I know many people that have lost their jobs and can’t find anything better than a McJob. I have seen good times and I have seen bad. This is not good times. The horror of BHO is the same as the horror of Jimmy Carter. They dish up bad and then convinces you it is the new normal and what you got is the best it can get.

    I don’t put this all on BHO. He has been enabled and funded by a Republican Congress

    • #6
  7. Xennady Member
    Xennady
    @

    And given the difficulty of measuring the new digital economy with old wheat-and-steel economy metrics, Goldman Sachs warns that Americans should “be skeptical of confident pronouncements that the standard of living is growing much more slowly than in the past.”

    I love this. Our new economy is so awesome it can’t even be measured, let alone seen by our lyin’ eyes.

    So shut up, losers. If you think everything isn’t wonderful, it’s just because you’re dumb.

    Just ask Goldman-Sachs. They know all about how awesome their living standard manages to be, and the blazes with everyone else.

    • #7
  8. Tom Riehl Inactive
    Tom Riehl
    @TrinityWaters

    The only reason this treasonous loser can stand up and say something like that is that indeed America is strong, and it’ll take more than eight years for the likes of him to existentially damage the USA.  In no zone on this planet, on any level of reality, is Obama “right” about anything, foreign or domestic.  The economy stinks, median income is down, multitudes have lost their houses, and Bruce Jenner is a heroine.  Please, James, get a grip.

    • #8
  9. DialMforMurder Inactive
    DialMforMurder
    @DialMforMurder

    Curious thoughts James. The nicest thing I could say is that you’re pretty courageous for staking a line far more optimistic than just about every right-wing commentator I know, American or otherwise. Hats off to you.

    I suppose everything is fine then! I’d join in with the three cheers for Obama, but right now I have to go and shovel credit into speculative tech stocks.

    • #9
  10. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Robert McReynolds:

    Brent what are you talking about? The economy up here in the DC area is booming!!

    I_See_What_You_Did

    • #10
  11. V the K Member
    V the K
    @VtheK

    So what to do? Modernize the safety net. Remove regulations that impede corporate competitiveness. Tax what we don’t want, not what we do. Judge government policy by its impact on innovation and dynamism. Disrupt failing institutions. Make America the most welcoming place on the planet for the risk takers, for the skilled, for those who want to, as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley put it in her SOTU response, “work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions.”

    How are you going to pass those first four things when you are importing millions of people who will vote for the party of Big Government and Big Welfare? Have you heard of a place called ‘California?’

    • #11
  12. V the K Member
    V the K
    @VtheK

    Robert McReynolds:Awesome might the wrong word. Perhaps resilient in the face of complete onslaught?

    Exactly thus.

    • #12
  13. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc
    @Metalheaddoc

    So what to do? Modernize the safety net.

    By opening it wider to illegals? Expand SSI disability so everyone who is out of unemployment benefits can be disabled?

    Remove regulations that impede corporate competitiveness.

    This usually takes the form of reducing regulations for favored companies, crony-style.

    Tax what we don’t want, not what we do.

    Like tax rich people? That endless font of wealth to pay for every entitlement?

    Judge government policy by its impact on innovation and dynamism.

    High corporate tax rates OK for that? Locals trying to stamp out AirBnB and Uber in favor of entrenched industries?

    Disrupt failing institutions.

    Unless they are too big to fail. Then they get taxpayer bailouts.

    Make America the most welcoming place on the planet for the risk takers, for the skilled, for those who want to, as South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley put it in her SOTU response, “work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions.”

    By importing huge blocks of unskilled undereducated third worlders? And educated but cheaper H1B visas to take American jobs?

    “Abide by our laws”? Like border jumping, MS-13, drunk driving, littering, stealing? Ask VDH about the “law abiding” immigrants in the Central Valley.

    “Love our traditions”? Like not speaking English? Flying mexican flags at protests?

    Geez James. What country are you living in? The economy is fine, if you include the book-cooked unemployment rate. Food prices are way up. Sure, gas is cheaper, but not through any sensible government policy.

    • #13
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Robert McReynolds:

    BrentB67:Let’s see, ISM < 50, Factory and Durable Goods Orders declining, Capacity Utilization declining, Industrial Production Declining, PPI Declining, Energy Industry Decimated, Russell 2000 Index in Bear Market, $700B in national debt added in 90 days, now up to $19T, Most Progressive Tax Code since Jimmy Carter.Whew, let the good times roll. I don’t know who much more awesome economy I can stand.Give it a couple more weeks and we can probably get the yield curve flat or inverted.

    Brent what are you talking about? The economy up here in the DC area is booming!!

    I can believe that.  Government is sucking the life out of the rest of the country.  All the areas that have high government concentration are doing well.  But if you do not live in an area or an industry that feeds off the public trough then times are lean and the future is uncertain.

    • #14
  15. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    There are better economies than the United States.  Off the top of my head: Germany, Canada, Australia.  Our labor participation rate stinks.  When was the last time we had a growth rate of over 3%?  Not during Obama’s tenure.

    • #15

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