Followers of this blog know that I’ve been offering up a good news perspective. I’ve been offering facts, not just my opinion. The title of this blog post is based on a new book about the economy: “Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline . . . and the Rise of a New Economy” by Yahoo! financial columnist Daniel Gross.
The title is, of course, a riff on the introduction of the classic’70s TV show, “The Six Million Dollar Man,” the story of a man barely alive, who was rebuilt, with bionic technology, to be better, stronger, faster than before.
According to Gross, the U.S. economy has come back. For example, “The stock market has doubled since March 2009, while corporate profits and exports have surged to records. The U.S. economy has regained its 2007 peak, and is now growing at a 3 percent annual clip—a more rapid pace than any other developed economy.”
In an article published in Newsweek and the Daily Beast, “Myth Of Decline: U.S. Is Stronger and Faster Than Anywhere Else,” Gross says, “It took the U.S. just 18 months to conduct the aggressive fiscal and monetary actions that Japan waited 12 years to carry out after its credit bubble burst. But America’s recovery since then has been fueled by a resilient and nimble private sector.”
Gross’ evidence of the recovery:
- “From the fourth quarter of 2008 to the fourth quarter of 2009, productivity rose 5.4 percent. And it rose an impressive 4.1 percent in 2010.”
- “Since bottoming in April 2009 at $124 billion, monthly exports have risen nearly 50 percent. In 2010, when the economy added 1.03 million new jobs, the number of jobs supported by exports rose by 500,000, from 8.7 million to 9.2 million.”
- “Agricultural exports hit a record $115.8 billion in 2010, and in 2011 soared to $136 billion—nearly double the 2007 total. In a modern-day analogue of carrying coals to Newcastle, the U.S. ships beef to Brazil, rice to Japan, and soybeans to China ($9.19 billion worth in 2009 alone). Total exports to China soared from $41.2 billion in 2005 to $104 billion in 2011.”
- “Exports started turning up in April 2009, before the economy at large did,” Gross told Marketplace. In the last two years, they’re up 35%. When the rest of the world gets rich, or gets middle-class, they buy what we make. That includes Boeing jets, gas turbines.”
Gross makes some positive points. Near the end of his article, and presumably, in his book, he observes:
“It’s easy to look at the record of the past few years and despair. The U.S. has a very long way to go to make up for lost ground in housing and, especially, in jobs. The resurgence of the corporate sector, which provides ample reason for optimism, hasn’t translated into new positions for the legions of unemployed. But here, too, there’s positive news. Since February 2010, the private sector, which accounts for 83 percent of all employment, has added nearly 4.1 million jobs, or about 160,000 per month. That’s not sufficient, but it’s a sign that the jobs machine is clearly working again.”
I agree – the U.S. economy isn’t where I’d like it to be. Yet. But it’s clear that it is working, and that it is recovering. And I will continue to blog about optimism in business, and the strength of the U.S. economy.
Let me know what you think.
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