NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

An Economy To Rejoice In

June 9, 1997

Wall Street economist Allen Sinai calls the U.S. economy "the best economy in U.S. history and probably the world." A number of factors factors have come together to create the current boom, say economists.

  • American companies are more competitive than ever because they are better managed than firms in many other countries and were not interfered with as they restructured for greater efficiency in the past decade.
  • So-called "Washington gridlock" has had the happy consequence of preventing the federal government from launching many grand schemes that could potentially destabilize the economy -- such as President Clinton's massive health care reform plan.
  • With the U.S. once again the world's unchallenged military superpower and the demise of the USSR as a contender, fewer economic resources have been diverted to defense.
  • The demise of communism has lead to freer global trade, opening up vast new markets for U.S. goods and services.

To mention only a few of the many concrete positive results:

  • Within an economy generating an average of 213,000 new jobs ever month, 64 of every 100 American adults is working today -- compared to 52 in 1929 and 55 in 1967.
  • Blacks now hold 7 percent of the nation's management and executive jobs.
  • Average family income hit a record $51,353 in 1995 -- up $11,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars from the 1960s boom.
  • Corporate after-tax profits hit a record $378 billion last year, in 1992 dollars -- triple the level of the 1960s.

Economist W. Michael Cox of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas cites the invention of the microprocessor in 1971 as having had the biggest impact on the economy since the utilization of electricity 100 years ago.

Whatever the causes, the total value of shares on the New York Stock Exchange now stands at $27,500 per capita, compared with $15,000 in 1967.

Source: Kim Clark, "These Are the Good Old Days," Fortune, June 9, 1997.


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