As the 1996 presidential campaign heats up, we will hear how well (or poorly) the U.S. economy is doing. Moynihan, a management consultant and adviser to the Department of Commerce, offers an overwhelming compendium of facts and figures to support his conclusion that "America is not in decline at all, but in the midst of an economic revival." There is much to support his thesis: inflation is in check, and interest rates are low and not expected to rise anytime soon; the government deficit has been cut; millions of new jobs have been created; the stock market has been soaring; and the economic indicators are all pointed upward. Yet the public still feels uncertainty about the future. Companies continue to downsize, and two-income families are finding they are just managing to get by economically. Moynihan acknowledges much of the sobering economic news but resolutely points to a brighter future. He foresees a highly educated workforce that will continue to give rise to entrepreneurs, and he confidently proclaims, "The America of the next quarter century will be an exciting place to live." Part Pollyanna and part visionary, Moynihan has provided an economic blueprint for the future. Recommended for larger business collections.Richard S. Drezen, Washington Post News Research Ctr., Washington, D.C.
...the sudden upturn in productivity in 1996 and 1997, coming so late in an economic expansion, is worthy of attention. It is certainly reason to examine more closely what the supporters of the new-economy thesis are saying. Most of these anlayses are limited to short, largely anecdotal newspaper and magazine pieces. But a few books treat the subject at length. Michael Moynihan's "The Coming American Renaissance" is designed for easy reading by businessmen...[and] he makes some worthwhile points. -- Jeff Madrick, The New York Review of Books
An upbeat evaluation of America's postindustrial future that offers intriguing if cursory perspectives on domestic economic prospects.
Moynihan (a Commerce Department advisor and a nephew of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan) assesses the state of domestic manufacturing, concluding that the impressive comeback staged by automakers has staying power, as does the revival of Silicon Valley and a host of other important industries, including consumer electronics. The author also anticipates an imminent improvement in productivity rates. In his view, however, the next great boom will occur in servicesa broad-gauge category that encompasses enterprises ranging from airlines to fast-food restaurants, electric and other utilities, and warehouse retailers. America sets the pace (and standards) in information goods and services, Moynihan asserts, predicting the nation could extend its long lead in the years just ahead. He attributes the country's competitive dominance in global markets for such wares to an entrepreneurial tradition, the availability of venture capital, an enviable system of higher education, and the fact that English has become the world's second language. In the meantime, the author observes, the decentralization of America proceeds apace, permitting go-getters to live in a low-cost exurban community and make money in a high- paying area as a telecommuter via phone, fax, or PC, while the Internet democratically puts data at the fingertips of anyone with access to a computer and modem. Withal, he accords appreciably shorter shrift to the issue of where opportunity might knock, noting for example, that it could prove smart to locate in a low- cost venue and start one's own business, since job security should continue to diminish.
A wide-angle socioeconomic audit that's long on perceptions but unremarkable in its promised counsel to aging Baby Boomers and Generation Xers on how to prosper in the brave new millennial world of tomorrow.