American Economy Gets Busy Reinventing Itself

The American economy is capable of rebounding, thanks to government protection of property rights and a risk-taking culture. But what should the next president do to help?

What's the Latest Development?

While Obama and Romney sling mud on the campaign trail, pushing tough economic decisions further down the road, the American economy is trying to pull itself up by the proverbial bootstraps. Not only has America dealt with its banking crisis better than Europe, but new economic engines are emerging. One dynamic sector is the export industry, which stands to benefit from emerging consumer classes in developing economies like China. Shale gas, for example, stands to create a relatively large export market. Another is the "app economy", which America currently dominates and can be sold effortlessly across borders. 

What's the Big Idea?

Emerging industries will naturally be more efficient than their predecessors, but leaner companies (that have bigger incomes and fewer employees) will aggravate a growing wealth inequality, warns The Economist. Besides confronting the economic and moral hazard of the growing income gap, the next president would also do well to focus on America's infrastructure: "Even the most productive start-ups cannot help an economy held back by dilapidated roads, the world’s most expensive health system, underachieving union-dominated schools and a Byzantine immigration system that deprives companies of the world’s best talent."

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