To all who’re invested in America

by Rashmee

Posted on July 12, 2019



I’m heavily invested in the US – in terms of emotion, money, nationality and tax status.

Unsurprisingly then, The Economist’s new cover on the US economy sent shivers down my spine.

The paper noted that by the end of July, the American economy will have been growing for 121 months, the longest run since records began 165 years ago.

And yet, almost no one (but Donald Trump) would call the situation healthy, hopeful or fair .

On the bond markets, as The Economist pointed out, long-term interest rates are sinking below short-term ones, which is “often a harbinger of a downturn.” More to the point, it wrote, manufacturing firms are wary, indices of business confidence are tumbling and average GDP growth during this expansion has been a mere 2.3 per cent. That’s much “lower than the 3.6 per cent seen in America’s three previous expansions.”

The paper identifies some of the malaise that afflicts America –an ageing workforce; big companies that hoard profits rather than invest in growth, their people or their communities; slow productivity growth and low enthusiasm for innovation. Where once the US was known for breaththroughs – jet engines, the internet etc – now, says The Economist, emojis and bitcoins are supposed to be the extent of American new thinking.

Even so, there is the rising stock market, and low inflation and unemployment.

But wages aren’t rising as they should and workers don’t have as many rights to bargain as they might’ve.

All of which helps temper the way we regard the US economy.

It is vulnerable.

Everyone invested in America would rightly feel concerned. That means the whole world.

 


Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK

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