The American Century is dead. Long live the next American Century.
The subtext of political debate these days is that the United States is in decline — a proposition often portrayed as self-evident. The economy lacks dynamism; unemployment near 8 percent remains at recession levels. The president and his Republican critics barely talk to each other; stalemate seems unending. But what if America isn’t in decline? A powerful rebuttal comes from an unlikely place: Wall Street.
In a report to clients, analysts at Goldman Sachs argue that the United States still has the world’s strongest economy — and will have for years. There is a growing “awareness of the key economic, institutional, human capital and geopolitical advantages the U.S. enjoys over other economies,” contend Goldman’s analysts.
As proof, they deploy voluminous facts. For starters, the U.S. economy is still the world’s largest by a long shot. Gross domestic product (GDP) is almost $16 trillion, “nearly double the second largest (China), 2.5 times the third largest (Japan).” Per capita GDP is about $50,000; although 10 other countries have higher figures, most of the countries are small — say, Luxembourg. The size of the U.S. market makes it an attractive investment location.