Ask people who remain positive about America’s long-term economic future about the reasons for their optimism and many will point to three unique selling points of the country: entrepreneurial spirit, world-class educational institutions and the depth of its financial capital markets. But for how much longer can America retain its leadership in these three areas? There are growing signs that its status in each is being challenged.
Dambisa Moyo is the CEO and founder, Mildstorm Group – a boutique firm that analyzes the global macroeconomy, world financial markets, and works with clients to devise investment strategies. She completed a PhD in economics at Oxford University and holds a Masters from Harvard. Dambisa Moyo completed an undergraduate degree in chemistry and an MBA in finance at American University in Washington, D.C.
When former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked in the early 1970s about the impact of the French revolution, he reportedly replied: “Too early to say.” This answer has become synonymous with China’s famed patient long-term approach to public policy and problem solving – even though it has since transpired that Zhou was in fact referring not to the 1789 revolution, but the 1968 student uprising. In seemingly stark contrast, the Western approach to business, economics and democratic politics has become decidedly short-term, with significant, and deleterious consequences for economic growth and living standards in the longer term.
Reducing barriers to democratic participation for the poorest citizens is a worthy goal. But what good will achieving it do if those citizens’ interests are harmed as a result?