As politicians in Washington focus on reining in America’s worrisome deficit, they tend to have attitudes of doom and gloom. They convey fears of shortchanging future generations, overtaxing workers, depriving the needy, killing the fragile economic recovery and failing to make crucial investments.
This narrative contains elements of truth. But it is too pessimistic and contributes to our psychological and political paralysis, reinforcing convictions held by members of both parties that they must not yield on core principles, lest the country’s future be compromised. There is, however, a more positive and more accurate reality. The United States could be on the threshold of a period of remarkable progress. It has a number of unique opportunities, including:
- An energy revolution. We are the world’s largest producer of natural gas, with a 100-year supply, and we are on track to become among the largest producers of crude oil.
- A manufacturing revolution. We are rapidly developing robotics and 3-D printing, areas in which the United States is among the world’s leaders.
- A revolution in life sciences. Genetics and stem-cell technology offer great potential in fields such as agriculture and pharmaceuticals and fundamentally new approaches in medicine.
- The IT revolution and the transition to cloud computing, in which we are also leading.