With the beginning of a new year comes the hope for change. There is so much we could wish for—peace, the end of poverty or social tensions, and fulfillment for all. The thing is that the best way to get many of these goals is through a tired but so true refrain: Create economic growth. It seems obvious to many of us, yet it’s so important to get right that it bears repeating over and over again.
Our country isn’t growing as fast as it could. The Congressional Budget Office projects that without any recessions—an unrealistic assumption—the economy won’t grow any faster than 2 percent annually for the next 30 years. If you wonder what that feels like, look no further than the past 16 years. Since 2000, gross domestic product has grown by 1.78 percent annually on average, which pales when compared with 3.67 percent from 1983 to 2000.
No wonder almost 70 percent of Americans think we’re on the wrong track, writes Veronique de Rugy.