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The Myth of American Decline..and the Rise of a New Economy

by Daniel Gross

Pub Date: May 8th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4516-2128-0
Publisher: Free Press

Yahoo! Finance columnist and editor Gross (Dumb Money: How Our Greatest Financial Minds Bankrupted the Nation, 2009, etc.) confidently asserts that America is not in a terminal decline.

The author insists, against the naysayers, that the financial rescue of 2009 actually worked. The private sector is restructuring, the government has acted promptly and effectively, foreign investments are still a factor and the country's exports are in demand around the world. To back his seemingly irrepressible optimism, he provides plenty of evidence, often from his own travels and interviews. Whether discussing “BigBelly,” an innovative solar-powered trash compactor, or Wallquest, an international exporter of luxury wallpapers, or GE's thriving, export-driven, South Carolina–based turbine production, the author is on the case. Gross writes that proponents of decline believe that “all the structural forces transforming the global economy are arrayed against us. But that's not true.” Unlike those who see China as a threat, the author examines the transformation of America's relationship with China, as U.S. companies manufacture for consumption there. GM now produces more vehicles there than it does here, and KFC boasts that it is the “largest and fastest growing restaurant chain in mainland China today.” Within the U.S., Gross highlights the development of the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota and looks at the international role of higher education in America, along with the internationalization of U.S. book publishing. The author recognizes that his claims are not set in stone and can turn out differently, but he does so without abandoning his underlying optimism. He is confident outsourced jobs will soon begin to flow back into the U.S., and he promotes investment in domestic infrastructure.

An upbeat account full of useful information.