The problems with the US economy are well known. Its level of public debt is too high, its spending on social security and health is unsustainable, its health system is woefully inefficient – spending more relative to GDP than most OECD countries but with worse life expectancy – its level of savings is too low, its transport infrastructure is becoming run down, its political system seems dominated by ideology and its share market has had a rough time over the last 14 years as the tech and housing credit booms burst.
But it is dangerous to write the US off. Every two or three decades it seems to reinvent itself. It did it with electricity and mass production in the 1920s, with consumerism, petrochemicals and aviation in the 1950s and 1960s and with deregulation and the IT revolution in the 1980s and 1990s.