A New Year’s Resolution for the U.S. Economy

By Dr. Lynn Reaser

Let us resolve as a nation in 2011 to display the resilience, courage, and creative spirit inherent in our culture.  We need to both improve the current performance of our economy and address America’s long-term challenges.

In the short-term, policymakers can help by easing regulatory burdens where possible and promoting the expansion of global trade.  Hopefully, confidence will improve enough to spur more business hiring, more investing, more homebuilding, more bank lending, and more consumer spending.  If job growth picks up, we can build a positive “feedback” loop, leading from hiring to spending to more hiring.  This would generate the momentum for a sustainable economic expansion.

Longer term, we must address such major issues as public deficits and education.  

The ratio of federal debt to GDP (gross domestic product) could reach its post World War II high of 109% in just 12 years and continue to rise.  Tax reform and slowing the growth of various entitlement programs (including health care and social security) will be vital.  In order to remain globally competitive and raise our standard of living, we must improve the quality of our K-12 education system.  Our schools will shape our future.

A new decade promises many opportunities of innovation and potential.  Let us resolve to fulfill them.


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