America's New Economic Boom
Charles R. Morris
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Charles R. Morris’s The Trillion Dollar Meltdown (2008) was the first book to warn of the impending financial crash in all its horrific scale and speed. Now, with Comeback, Morris reveals that the United States is on the brink of a strong recovery that could last for twenty years or more.
The great economic boom times in American history have come because of fortuitous discoveries. Natural resources (coal first, then oil) fueled vast economic and industrial expansions, which in turn helped create and supply new markets. The last genuine economic game changer was the technology boom of the 1990s, which gave the U.S. a global competitive advantage for a while based on electronics and silicon. One of the first writers and analysts in the U.S. to predict that the tech boom would lead to a period of sustained economic growth was Charles Morris. In defiance of the recessionary times (in 1990), he saw the coming boom. Now, in 2013, he sees the threshold of another.
This time the gift is natural gas. The amount and distribution of gas in American shale is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country, and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole. Because of fracking, jobs that once would have been outsourced abroad will return home, America can become a net exporter of energy, and cheap energy will provide the opportunity for innovation and competition.
In light of this new opportunity, and other complementary developments Morris explores in this book, the U.S. ought to be approaching the future with a robust self-confidence it has not experienced in a while. But we could fumble it away. The gold-rush style of shale boom companies does not make them good neighbors. A counter-reaction could put their industry, and the new era of national prosperity, at risk. We also have a political system that has the capacity to spoil the benefits of this huge boon. If the wealth locked in the continental shelf is not shared for the general economic good, but is instead exploited in short-term profiteering, then many of the opportunities that exist will be choked off by a few very rich corporations.
Managing the great bonus of the vast store of cheap energy is going to become a defining political challenge in the years ahead. At the threshold of a thrilling opportunity, Morris is a brilliantly perceptive guide.
Half Good and Half Bad
The first half of the book talks about the economic boom due to unconventional oil and gas reservoirs now being produced (shale plays that require tracking). Charles has a pretty rudimentary description of the industry that is accurate and is correct (in my opinion of course) in saying the oil and gas shales are and will continue to cause a huge economic boom in the United States. However, the second half of the book states that the health care industry and infrastructure investment will contribute to that economic “comeback.” During this half of the book you can definitely tell Charles is a liberal and it takes away from his writing (in my opinion). He has a few places where he blames George W. Bush for things and says President Obama’s hands are tied due to deficits cause of Bush which is simple not the facts.
- Category: Business & Personal Finance
- Published: May 07, 2013
- Publisher: PublicAffairs
- Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
- Print Length: 192 Pages
- Language: English