Restructuring the American Economy:
A Comparative Perspective
The United States is probably the only country in the world today whose biggest problems may also provide its biggest opportunities.
Working within a capitalistic economic structure, many Western European governments, and the Japanese government, play a larger and more effective role in their economies than does the American government. These nations regulate, stimulate, guide, aid, and plan their economies with more impressive results than is the case in America. But, while the evidence indicates that many nations have a better economic track record than America over the last twenty or so years, it should be emphasized that no government in the Western or non-Western world has figured out how to avoid serious economic problems.
In fact, during 1981 even the Western European nations with the best performance records suffered substantial increases in inflation and unemployment and decreases in economic growth. Still, most of these countries continued to substantially outperform the United States economically. They did so while spending a much greater proportion of their Gross Domesic Product on social welfare