A New Economy

With the downward spiral our economy is in right now, a simple question must be answered:  What will the new economy look like?

Certainly, we can not continue our current consumer based model.  People have run up enough debt and made enough bad decisions where they are cautious to spend money.  Savings is becoming back into vogue, and the American philosophy of thrift has returned to the mainstream.

What made our economy so successful in the past is that goods bought and sold in America were made here at home.  Also, many of these products were exported as well.  In our current economy, we rely on emerging nations like China, Vietnam, the Philipines, etc as the producer of our goods.  In order to regain our standing as the world’s leading economy, we are going to have to shift some of that production back to the U.S.

The only problem I see is a really big one.  What will we produce?  Can we make electronics cheaper and better than those made in Asia?  I doubt it.  The Big Three has trouble selling cars here at home, how are they going to compete in other markets?  A lot of the alternative energy solutions will reduce our dependence on foreign sources, but how will it lead to exports?

One area I know we already export is our services.  I work in the architecture industry, and we export our designs to China, the rest of Asia and the Middle East.  Our expertise and creativeness is needed to help design projects that will succeed.  The engineering is more mathematical and logical, so that can be done locally.  But the American sense of design and place is exported to any emerging real estate market.  However, this industry is relatively small, and does not have a major effect on our economy.

What else can we export?  Where is our expertise located?  Where can we be competitive with other countries?  These are all questions that I really don’t have an answer for.

Please leave comments and ideas on areas where we can focus our economy and shift from an importing, consumer based economy to an exporting, production based one.


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