We Are Left With Two, Major Tasks

To redefine growth (and also rescue the American Dream), we thus must see what insights and lessons we can find in: (1) the origins of economic growth; and (2) U.S. experience with economic growth.



Mayu says:

By examining the origins of economic growth and U.S. experience with it, Dr. Swerdlow brings up a correlation between the Industrial Revolution and the formation of what is today the United States.
I wonder what the world would look like if a different country, instead of the United States, had gained hegemony in international relations.
With visible signs of decline in U.S. primacy, we may see the emergence of an alternative paradigm. Or see more of the same.

Joel L. Swerdlow, Ph.D. says:

We must, I’d like to suggest, go very slowly at this point–ponder the fact that has attracted your attention: the U.S. and economic growth were born at the same time! This gives us, among other things, new ways to look at both the U.S. and economic growth. And it raises great questions. What if for the first time, to cite just one example, the U.S. must now learn how to live–and establish its self-identity– without economic growth?
You mention “hegemony in international affairs.” We’ll encounter this, too, in future entries. When exactly, for example, did the U.S. get the notion that we always must be “Number One”? It’s not in the writings of Thomas Jefferson, the Federalist Papers or any of our other founding documents.
A tease to what lies ahead: during our Civil War, many members of the British aristocracy wanted the South to win, not because they favored slavery, but because they knew that unless the U.S. split into pieces it would one day replace Great Britain as the world’s leading power.

Mayu says:

I don’t think that the founders of the United States could even really think about the future dominance of the country they were forming.
But now it has become a large part of our identity, and we point to our economic might in justifying that position.
The fact that our economy is faltering while there is this perceived threat of Chinese and Indian ascendancy will definitely change many things: the balance of power among nations, the way we view ourselves, the way we live, and more.


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