Sunday, December 18, 2011

Visions of Sugar Plums

One more week and Santa comes cruising our way. What will be in his stocking and what does the New Year portend?

The good news for many Americans is that the US economy is not falling off the cliff. Even the coming debacle in Europe will not prevent the American economy from a slow and steady climb out of the abyss.

Bad economic policy has throttled the American and western economies in ways that the Asian economies haven't yet learned (they will learn in time). But even bad policy can't completely eliminate economic growth, if some remnants of capitalism remain.

So, the future is bright for Asia and the future is bright for most of the under-developed world. The advanced economies have mortgaged their futures, so the lights will dim for the coming generations in the western economies. At the end of the day, someone has to work, someone has to save, someone has to hire people. This is a message that the western world has forgotten, but the underdeveloped world has not.

There will continue to be cycles of all types, booms and busts, bubbles, bankruptcies and all the rest. These are all necessary ingredients of healthy capitalism and will not go away until capitalism is extinguished by ardent reformers.

True economic fairness and justice requires providing the opportunity for every citizen to use his/her talents to the fullest. Policies in the US and Western Europe go in the other direction. Anyone with real talent will be stifled in the western economies over the next few generations. The bright lights are on in Asia, the dimmer switch has been hit in the Western world.

Perhaps this is not all bad. The advanced economies have had their moment in the sun and the current advancing economies are hungry to supplant them. That they will do so will write the history of the 21st century.

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