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View Poll Results: How will the US economy likely do in the next 10 to 15 or 20 years?
Better than the average of the 20th century 14 9.52%
About the same as the average of the 20th Century 53 36.05%
Worse than the average of the 20th, but still OK 65 44.22%
Much worse than the average of the 20th Century 11 7.48%
I'm moving to mars as soon as transportation is available 4 2.72%
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:41 PM   #41
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I am optimistic, based on what I have read and heard about cheap energy (natural gas) making it practical for manufacturing to move back towards the US. Not sure what to make of what looks like trends towards deflation despite a lot of money creation, but I am hoping that's a good thing as well.

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Optimism and American Exceptionalism
Old 01-10-2014, 07:53 PM   #42
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Optimism and American Exceptionalism

Originally Posted by Dwhit View Post
I am optimistic, based on what I have read and heard about cheap energy (natural gas) making it practical for manufacturing to move back towards the US. Not sure what to make of what looks like trends towards deflation despite a lot of money creation, but I am hoping that's a good thing as well.
I am also optimistic, and what you mention is but one of the reasons. There is a lot of pro and con about the idea of "American Exceptionalism." But IMO to a great degree a lot of it is true.

Everything is relative, and that goes for companies, countries, and abilities. And as far as demographics, natural resources, immigration, diversity, freedom, political stability, and other factors from having the top universities, to having the best system of venture capital funding, the US still leads. I see all of the left/right struggles in DC as a good thing rather than bad, keeps our country struggling somewhere in the middle, not too far right or too far left like occurs elsewhere in the world.

Kind of like the old saying, attributed to various people, goes something like:
"A non democratic government is like a clipper ship, can move fast, but when it hits a rock it sinks. Democracy on the other hand, is more like a raft. It never sinks but then your feet are always wet."

A lot of people worry about China. Having worked in China, I think this is much more like our fear of the Soviet Union in the 60's. Remember hearing how many more engineers Russia was turning out than the US? We hear the same thing about the Chinese now. There are some bright people there, but they are still shackled by the Mao legacy and corruption, and it will be a long time growing out of these. Many of these Chinese engineers seem to be more like technicians or less.

To me there seems to be no lack of novelty in American society, where it will lead who knows. Social media, 3D printing, genetics, civil rights, mfg revival, a free thinking youth, on and on.

For certain the American share of the world pie will continue to shrink, couldn't be any other way, it has been declining since the end of WWII. I remember reading when I was a kid we had something like 80-90% of the worlds phones, cars, refrigerators, etc. But the pie will get bigger and I would not be surprised if much of the innovation that grows it comes from America. A smaller relative part of the pie is not the same as an American decline.

A lot of countries and individuals have bet against the US in the past and have been proven wrong. I think those that do now will be proven wrong again.

All this translates IMO into the expectation of reasonably good future returns.
Just my opinion, and anything can happen, time will tell.

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Life is but a dream.
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Old 01-10-2014, 08:43 PM   #43
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Looking back, it's easy to see the breakthroughs as one-time things. Looking forward, it's hard or impossible to see the specific breakthroughs. So it seems to me that unless one concentrates on it, one imagines the future without these significant, but unpredictable 'wins'. On the other side of the equation, people remember the bad stuff and overweight those, even though it might be very unlikely. Just to explore that side of human nature, they've done studies of peoples' perspective on ways they'll die. The more grusome (shark attack) is many times overweighted than the mundane, but much more likely. So we take the worst historical set of years on record for our analysis. Is that a pretty safe approach? Yes, but what if the next big thing shows-up and it's put to work for society? Super capacitors? That probably won't be it, but I'm confident that we have not seen the last 'big thing'! Of course the last big thing could be that 3 mile wide asteroid, hehe!

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