Touching on the challenges the U.S. faces — taxes and debt — economist Barry Asmus gave an energetic and entertaining economic overview, highlighting the opportunities that will shape global growth into the 21st century.
“If we get our financial house in order, these will be the best of times,” Asmus told attendees at ISM2015. After discussing economic challenges, he outlined three opportunities he strongly believes will make the U.S an economic powerhouse.
Asmus called for a lower tax rate and a simplified tax code. “The tax code is 10 times the size of the Bible and with none of the good news,” he said. The U.S. also must pay down its debt because “debt limits growth.”
Focusing on the positives he sees ahead for the economy, Asmus pointed out that the U.S. economy can grow as it helps emerging economies to build their cities, roads and bridges. “Everything they need, we have. And we can be marvelous trading partners.”
Energy is another great economic opportunity, he said, noting that energy imports today are falling, and energy no longer is a constraint for businesses and the economy — a wonderful position to be in.
“Friends, the chokehold the Middle East has had on America is over,” Asmus announced to a roomful of applause.
The third opportunity Asmus outlined is the shift from a hierarchical, command-and-control structure to a free-market, network structure. “Finally, the U.S. is going to have the wind at its back instead of going into headwinds.
He described the network concept as one that moves at the speed of light — it’s 3-D printing, robots, biotechnology. “It’s the beginning of economic freedom,” he announced in his trademark enthusiastic style.
But, he said it’s important for Americans to make sure they “keep first things first — namely faith, family and work.” Economic outlooks focus on numbers and growth prospects, but “the wealth of a nation is its people and their innovations and ideas.”