The United States economy is booming, and it is expected to grow 4.5 percent this year. This is a very strong growth rate, and it is unusual for the current western deflationary economy.

Here in the Virgin Islands, a long recession is a danger the territory cannot afford.

There is a growing awareness that the territory is getting complacent with the recessionary situation in which it finds itself post Irma.

Recessions have damaging social, economic and political implications. One caveat: Post Irma, the USVI and Puerto Rico, together with other Irma-ravaged islands in the region, are all suffering severe economic contraction.

Then there has been no simply stated solution offered to getting the VI on the road to sustainable economic growth. A simple vision still has not been formulated for a post-Irma VI.

A vision is critical at a time of uncertainty and confusion. Why? Because a vision offers residents a clear pathway out of recession and despair. A vision allows all national institutions a shared platform for development.

A unified national vision offers institutions and the people that man those institutions a shared script and common narrative towards a common goal and objective.

To use the acronym SMART, a short, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-related vision ties all the various ideas and policy matters together.

A realistic vision for the VI will lead to full economic recovery and a prosperous post-recovery, making for better and more effective governance and a more wholesome territory.

‘Growing authoritarianism’

Meanwhile, throughout much of the freedom-loving west, frustrated blue-collar workers are driving a growing intolerance towards migrants and minorities. Western politics is undergoing a sea change as a growing authoritarianism and public anger are becoming part of the political culture. This is not good!

Western freedoms and values are pivotal to global peace and prosperity. The world without the prop of a freedom-loving and prosperous US is a very unsafe place. It is that simple!

Post World War I tells the tale of American might and power, and its stabilising effect on world institutions and markets.

Milton Friedman’s Chicago School offered a rendition to trickle-down, top-down economics.

The end of the 1970s began the story of Friedman’s business-first economic thinking. Laissez faire became the core economic narrative after a Middle Eastern oil crisis that plunged the west into a deep recession.

From the very beginning of the 1980s, Friedman’s supply side economic model began to rule the world.

Stimulus and the managed economy ideas of John Maynard Keynes were given the proverbial boot at the tail end of the 1970s.

Keynesian ideas were blamed for soaring inflation. However, that idea of a failed Keynesian economics was an incorrect diagnostic.

Late 1970s inflation was driven by a steep rise in oil prices that made western goods and services unsustainably expensive. It was not driven by big government.

Inflation was driven by a Middle Eastern political crisis. So ended 30-plus years of Keynesian economic stability after World War II.

 

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