How powerful can the US economy potentially be?

Mudassir Ali
Apr 15, 2020 08:19 AM 0 Answers
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How powerful can the US economy potentially be?

Mudassir Ali
- Apr 15, 2020 08:19 AM

1 Introduction

The economy of the United States has demonstrated itself to be one of the most flexible, inventive and innovative in the world. It has had magnificent leadership at key times by many of its presidents. Unfortunately it has also suffered from appallingly bad presidencies at some critical times. A brief look at the history of the USA will illustrate these points.

2 Abraham Lincoln, 16th President, Republican, 1861–65

The greatest president in the 19th Century was Abraham Lincoln. He led the North into the American Civil War, and he fought and won that first industrial war – the first war in which deadly hand-held weaponry was possessed and used by both sides – and he won that war conclusively. Then he did something that proved to be suicidal. He ordered his guards to stop protecting him, because he did not want to live behind the pretorian guard of his personal military.

Lincoln must have known he was likely to be assassinated. He had several hats with bullet holes in their brims, the results of previous attempts to kill him. But he was the ideal self-sacrificing mother of a man. He wanted the Union of the United States to be eternal, and for the United States to stop tearing itself apart on the issues that had produced the war. He did three things.

2.1 The Incomes of the Northern and the Confederate States

First, he was furious with some of his staff who produced two accounts of the economies of the Northern and the Southern states, which could have been (and perhaps were proposed as) the basis of getting the South to pay reparations for the war. I have not been able to find any reliable sources for what he said, but I think he probably would have said something like this:

“Why have you prepared these accounts? These people are us! I have not brought this bloody war to a successful conclusion only to lose the peace because we can add economic suffering to the woes of the South! Please stop recording the financial records of the South as if it were an independent country! It is not! We are one people forever! And please start to think about how we can help all of our people without adding an unnecessary source of difficulty and division to our national victory.”

2.2 The Gettysburg Address

Second, on Thursday November 19 1863, Lincoln went to the battlefield of Gettysburg to dedicate the Soldiers’ National Cemetery for Union Soldiers, composing a short and outstandingly effective speech on the train.

He left to history the speech beginning “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,…”. He continued “Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, can long survive” and “but we cannot dedicate, we can not consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.”

In ten sentences and in about two minutes he delivered one of the most important speeches in human history- it’s right up there with funeral speech of Pericles as perhaps the most important statement of the ideals and purposes of war, the US Civil War, as a war for the union, that it should have “a new birth of freedom, and that the government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

2.3 The Visit to the Theatre

Then on April 14, 1865, five days after General Robert E Lee, the commander of the Confederate Army of North Virginia, surrendered to LieutenantGeneral Ulysses S Grant, Lincoln went to Ford’s Theatre in Washington and was assassinated. His death sealed the the Union of the United States as one nation.

3 Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President, Democrat, 1933–45

By far the greatest 20th century American president was Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882–1945). He acted in the interests of all his people (which is the major component for the achievement of maximum economic growth) and he left the world two outstanding developments – the key to great wealth, the investment-credit procedure for very high economic growth and the keys to the graveyard, the atomic bomb technology which could destroy life on Earth.

3.1 FDR’s Economic Miracle 1938–44

Most Americans (perhaps due to their media’s constant right-wing bias) do not seem to be well informed about FDR’s economic miracle, 1938–44, when the USA doubled the size of its real economy. For a brief article about this see

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