At the end of last month, a special report was published in The Washington Post that detailed what Americans can expect the next century to look like. Co-authored by David Petraeus, chairman of KKR’s Global Institute, and Michael O’Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Bookings Institution, “America on the way up” examines economic trends and how they will correlate with foreign relations. It also posits a decidedly prosperous outlook for the next American century.
“Short-term economic trends in the United States are encouraging,” begin Petraeus and O’Hanlon. “Unemployment is down, growth is up, deficits are less than half what they were during the ‘Great Recession,’ gas prices have plummeted, citizens have ‘deleveraged’ their debt considerably and consumer sentiment is very positive,” they write, of the current economic trends that bode very well for Americans. However, Petraeus and O’Hanlon also point out that for many, these positive points are “merely a soothing veneer over a troubled picture,” and that this economic pessimism also extends internationally.
Over the last decade, the American economic recession has resulted in staggering unemployment rates, debt, and an overall negative outlook on the country’s financial situation. Petraeus and O’Hanlon recognize the fears that many Americans have moving forward, but also suggest that these fears will be pacified by more positive economic trends. “Recent positive headlines have not masked deeper problems so much as they have heralded the kind of future this nation can enjoy,” they write.
Petraeus and O’Hanlon assure their readers that despite economic setbacks in recent history, the United States is poised to overcome them because of the resources it has, coupled with its current relations with the world’s great powers. “More than any nation on Earth, and arguably more than any in history, the United States has the assets needed to confront its problems head-on,” they write, positing that “this is another American century, and the future has seldom looked brighter.”
What do you think? Will this be the most prosperous American century yet? Get even more economic insights by reading the full article.