CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Given the gridlock in Washington, is America going the way of the Roman Empire? Some analysts argue that the costs of exercising power overseas weakens domestic economies and contributes to their decline because of "imperial overstretch." But America does not fit that theory because defense and foreign affairs expenditures have actually declined as a share of GDP over the past several decades.
Economic growth dynamics vary across the region, broadly along North-South lines. While spring may be in the air for Mexico, Central America, and parts of the Caribbean, the economic climate remains decidedly chilly in much of South America. What is behind these divergent prospects, and how can a sunnier outlook be restored to the entire region?
We are the richest country humanity has ever seen, and we are at our richest moment. Yet hardworking Americans keep coming home to "a plate full of worry." This is largely because over the last few decades the wages of the bottom 80 percent of Americans have fallen or stagnated while the super-rich rake in all the profits. We can do better, and we must.