Clues about our priorities abound. Lately, I've been reflecting about my first visit to EPCOT at Disney World. Many of the countries exhibit their natural beauty. France highlights its food and music in the presentations. China shows "Land of Beauty, Land of Time" in a 360º Circle-Vision film featuring footage of China including the Great Wall, the Forbidden City of Beijing, the Gobi Desert, Inner Mongolia, the Yangtze River and the tropical rain forests of Hainan Island. The United Kingdom has no specific attraction, but provides humorous improvisational skits and pubs. The American adventure employs 35 Audio-animatronic figures used in scenes depicting the Boston Tea Party, George Washington at Valley Forge, the Civil War and the invention of the telephone. It struck me then that the U.S. highlights technology and its prowess in military victories. It still does. Countries choose to showcase their priorities. Similarly, as I read economists ranging from Paul Krugman to Robert Shiller to Paola Sapienza, each highlight different explanations for today's economic situation in the U.S. and what is shaking the globe. Three clues that I analyze to understand a country's priorities for the economy are its Confidence Index, GDP Growth, and Savings Rate.
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