Feature

The case for the coming U.S. boom

Call me crazy, but I think the U.S. is headed for an economic boom.

David IgnatiusThe Washington Post 

Call me crazy, said David Ignatius, but I think the U.S. is headed for an economic boom. Two of America’s “greatest economic vulnerabilities”—dependence on foreign energy and the decline of manufacturing—“are on the way to being reversed.” According to a recent study, we are entering a “new era of energy security,” thanks to the rapid expansion of shale oil and gas extraction. By 2020, we could eclipse energy superpowers Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s “No. 1 producer of oil, gas, and biofuels,” with massive implications for geopolitics and energy prices. The other “building block of a new prosperity” is a budding manufacturing revival. Over the next five years, says the Boston Consulting Group, higher costs in China will make it no longer worthwhile for companies to offshore jobs in several key industries, including computers, appliances, and transportation goods. That could add up to 3 million new jobs, and $120 billion in annual output, to the U.S. economy. Granted, these are just economists’ estimates. But they make me wonder whether some of our “deep pessimism is misplaced.”

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