Monday, September 25, 2023

For all who say and think America is headed for the trash heap, take solace – the U.S. is still the most desirable place by several measures.

For instance, our $25.5 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP) last year accounted for a quarter of the world’s total growth. The planet’s second largest economy is China, which makes up 18% of the world’s growth.

American growth has enriched many people. Income per person in the U.S. was 24% greater than Western Europe in 1990, enabling a purchasing power advantage of roughly 30%. In 1990, U.S. income per person bested Japan’s figure by 17%. Today, the gap is 54% in favor of the U.S.

Turning to domestic investments, $100 contributed into the S&P 500 – a broad-based index of the 500 largest American companies – in 1990 would be worth roughly $2,300 today. That same $100 put into non-U.S. stocks would be worth about $510.

What about economics? The two biggest factors in an economy are the size of the workforce and that workforce’s productivity.

The American working population (ages 25-65) rose from 127 million in 1990 to 175 million in 2022 – a nearly 38% jump. Conversely, Western Europe’s working population increased 9% in that time.

Also, Americans average 1,800 working hours per year. That’s about 200 hours more per year than Europe. However, the Chinese work more than anyone.

The U.S. has natural resource advantages too, including record amounts of exported oil. We have enough for ourselves and can profit from distributing the excess to others.

Unlike elsewhere, business financing can be obtained here. There’s a reason our venture capital community is so big.

Does the U.S. have its problems? Of course. There’s always more work to do. But in many ways, it’s still great to be American.

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