We need to increase our exports and learn to protect ourselves from downturns in a global economy. This will require diligent, but not excessive, regulation of free markets and enforcement of anti-trust laws. It is the later that is the major problem...
It will be a long time before consumption levels in the United States reach the same levels of the pre-2008 era. Housing values are still recovering and much of the consumption was financed by consumers piling on too much debt as a result of the sub-prime debacle.Those days are over. Our own consumption must be supplemented by exports to other countries.
The world is rushing to catch up to our life style and wealth. They want to consume and someone is going to fill their desire. If we do not meet this demand there are other nations clawing to fill their needs. These consumers are in China, Iran, Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, South and Central America, Africa and the list goes on and on and on
I believe in America and I believe we will learn to compete economically with other nations. However, while increasing our exports we will lose some of our ability to control the level of swings in our economy. We were able to counteract some problems caused by the depression of the 1930's by government infusing money into the economy by repairing infrastructure and creating programs such as the Civilian Conversation Corp and by the significant increase in demand brought about by the unwanted World War !!. Relying on exports for a larger share of our prosperity means that a good part of the demand being filled by American workers will be from foreign consumers.The old ways of combating recession, the government pumping up domestic demand, will not work.
Globalization will require more cooperation between government and free markets, rather than less.