Comeback: America's New Economic Boom

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Overview

Charles R. Morris’s The Trillion Dollar Meltdown (2008) was the first book to warn of the impending financial crash in all its horrific scale and speed. Now, with Comeback, Morris reveals that the United States is on the brink of a strong recovery that could last for twenty years or more.

The great economic boom times in American history have come because of fortuitous discoveries. Natural resources (coal first, then oil) fueled vast economic and industrial expansions, which in ...

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Overview

Charles R. Morris’s The Trillion Dollar Meltdown (2008) was the first book to warn of the impending financial crash in all its horrific scale and speed. Now, with Comeback, Morris reveals that the United States is on the brink of a strong recovery that could last for twenty years or more.

The great economic boom times in American history have come because of fortuitous discoveries. Natural resources (coal first, then oil) fueled vast economic and industrial expansions, which in turn helped create and supply new markets. The last genuine economic game changer was the technology boom of the 1990s, which gave the U.S. a global competitive advantage for a while based on electronics and silicon. One of the first writers and analysts in the U.S. to predict that the tech boom would lead to a period of sustained economic growth was Charles Morris. In defiance of the recessionary times (in 1990), he saw the coming boom. Now, in 2013, he sees the threshold of another.

This time the gift is natural gas. The amount and distribution of gas in American shale is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country, and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole. Because of fracking, jobs that once would have been outsourced abroad will return home, America can become a net exporter of energy, and cheap energy will provide the opportunity for innovation and competition.

In light of this new opportunity, and other complementary developments Morris explores in this book, the U.S. ought to be approaching the future with a robust self-confidence it has not experienced in a while. But we could fumble it away. The gold-rush style of shale boom companies does not make them good neighbors. A counter-reaction could put their industry, and the new era of national prosperity, at risk. We also have a political system that has the capacity to spoil the benefits of this huge boon. If the wealth locked in the continental shelf is not shared for the general economic good, but is instead exploited in short-term profiteering, then many of the opportunities that exist will be choked off by a few very rich corporations.

Managing the great bonus of the vast store of cheap energy is going to become a defining political challenge in the years ahead. At the threshold of a thrilling opportunity, Morris is a brilliantly perceptive guide.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Gillian Tett, Financial Times
“What really fascinates me about [Morris’s] new tome is that I suspect it points to a symbolic turning point in economic mood…If nothing else, his book is a timely reminder that economic optimism and pessimism have a habit of moving in cycles.”

Daniel Yergin, Wall Street Journal
“Mr. Morris adroitly explains the workings of what he calls…’the splendid technology that makes [shale] possible,’ …[arguing] that this unconventional revolution could support more than four million jobs… He also makes a compelling case that the U.S. is significantly under-investing in the infrastructure needed to support economic growth…   The contribution of ‘Comeback’ is to cogently lay out the bright economic consequences of the unconventional oil and gas revolution and the revival of manufacturing.”

Kirkus Reviews
“A persuasive, upbeat forecast of economic growth, starting now, for the United States. The author has a companionable voice, affable and easy, but with words chosen for maximum clarity …Serious bureaucratic, technological and environmental issues, unpacked with facility, provide digestible food for thought.”

Daniel Gross, Newsweek Daily Beast
"Charles Morris, the author of the bestselling crisis book The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown...[has] released a sequel volume—albeit a slim one—called Comeback: America’s New Economic Boom. His cause for celebration? The fracking revolution. The nation’s supply of natural gas locked in shale “is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole."

Robert Bradley, Jr., Forbes
"In Comeback: America’s New Economic Boom, author Charles Morris refers to 'the new X-factor, the American energy advantage.' The 'game changer'—shale oil and gas technology and production—has put the United States and Canada in the world’s leading economic saddle....Yes, technologically unlocked oil and gas has created an energy revolution and industrial bright spot in the...Obama era."

Mark J. Perry, AEI Ideas (blog)
"Charles Morris (who accurately predicted the crash of 2008) discusses the main themes of his new book "Comeback: America's New Economic Boom" with NPR, here's an excerpt: It's the best-kept secret in the economics media: The United States is on the brink."

CHOICE
“A readable and refreshingly cheerful forecast for the US economy.”

Kirkus Reviews
Morris (The Trillion-Dollar Meltdown, 2008, etc.) presents a persuasive, upbeat forecast of economic growth, starting now, for the United States. The author has a companionable voice, affable and easy, but with words chosen for maximum clarity. He tackles three elements of the American economy that he identifies as the driving forces of recovery: hydrocarbons from shale; investment in infrastructure and manufacturing; and health care. Each of these forces has received black eyes and body blows of late, from both the left and right of the political spectrum, but Morris, though not starry-eyed, optimistically assesses all three. He walks readers through the controversial process of extracting oil and gas from shale, providing a highly entertaining minicourse in geology. Fracking has gone badly wrong, he writes, acknowledging spillage, leakage, emissions and compromised aquifers, but there are ways to contain this damage, if not eliminate it, through responsible drilling practices. Our crumbling infrastructure calls out for a Keynesian infusion, Morris writes, but the level of investment relative to GDP "has fallen off dramatically, to the point where it could actually inhibit the industrial recovery." That recovery must be based on jobs created at home, writes the author, citing a consulting group that estimates "an American company will save only about 10-15 percent of costs by manufacturing a kitchen appliance in China, which is too little to justify the long delivery lead times and other aggravations that come with offshoring." Health care, long hostage to vested interests, is a huge employer and also makes important contributions to biotech industries and innovation-driven productivity growth. Our taxes, pitifully low by historical standards, could be put to better use than endless warfare, he argues--infrastructure, old-age security and education, for example. Serious bureaucratic, technological and environmental issues, unpacked with facility, provide digestible food for thought.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610393362
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 6/11/2013
  • Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 332,178
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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