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We’re Number One Let’s Keep It That Way

Posted: Apr 9, 2024

Keep it simple, stupid! You hear it all the time, and it rings true, particularly on complicated subjects that tend to devolve into the weeds quickly. There is perhaps no more reductive comparison among nations than the sheer size of their economies. Nevertheless, it’s a good starting point for understanding the U.S. economy in the context of a dynamic and competitive international landscape.

As the first chart below shows, over the past 45 years, the U.S. has been the preeminent economic power and has seen economic rivals come and go. While varying at the margins, the basis for this strength has been the dynamism of the market economy, which rewards entrepreneurship and innovation.

Yet the mere fact that the U.S. economy generates $28 trillion in annual economic activity explains the benefits that economy accrues to the American people broadly.

The next chart demonstrates how the key measure of economic benefits to American workers and families – GDP per capita – has long led the world’s major economies. Note that China, for all of its aggregate output, fails to provide a standard of living to its citizens remotely comparable to other world market economies.

The fact that the U.S. has been the prevailing economic powerhouse over the postwar period, delivering the highest standard of living to its people compared to other major economies, should invite some degree of reflection on the pillars of this remarkable success.

Instead, we increasingly see efforts in Washington to import the worst policies of lagging economies in the form of heavy-handed regulation, reduced access to markets, and stultifying government intervention in the economy.

Pinpoint looks forward to placing a fine point on these and other critical issues in the public policy debate, starting today! Join us!