Outlook: Review of U.S. Political, Economic & Social Landscape

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TL/DR –

The economic health of the U.S. improved in 2023 with inflation lowering to 3.1%, annual growth averaging around 3%, record new business startups, an unemployment rate below 4%, and increased wealth for middle-income households. This is attributed to economic measures such as the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act. Notable societal trends in 2023 include a decrease in crime rate, continued reduction of U.S. carbon emissions, major stock indexes soaring, and Americans earning around 5% from their savings and money-market accounts.


Review of America’s Recent Past, Present, and Future

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As we welcome the new year, let’s take a moment to look back at the recent past and forward to the future of America’s political, economic, and social realms.

Despite predictions of a recession in 2023, America’s economic landscape has proven resilient. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen revealed that thanks to Federal Reserve actions, inflation decreased from 9.1% in 2022 to 3.1%. Additionally, the launch of new businesses hit record highs, unemployment rates dropped below 4%, and middle-income households experienced increased earnings and purchasing power.

Four key economic strategies significantly contributed to these outcomes: the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act. These initiatives fueled growth in goods and services production and wage gains, which are expected to continue in 2024.

Other notable developments include a decrease in crime rates, falling carbon emissions, and a soar in major stock indexes, benefiting the retirement savings of over 150 million Americans. Furthermore, savers could earn around 5% from their accounts, significantly increasing financial well-being for many.

Looking forward, North America’s solid oil-production growth and global refining capacity are expected to keep gasoline prices down in 2024. Simultaneously, we can anticipate a boom in cleaner energy and low-cost metals for battery production.

However, challenges persist such as the national debt, which grew 6.33% under President Joe Biden after a 40.43% increase during President Donald Trump’s term.

Foreign policy threats also loom, particularly from CRINK (China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea). These countries continue to engage in cyberattacks and misinformation campaigns. A strong president who counteracts these autocratic leaders is essential.

Significant Supreme Court decisions are expected in 2024, including defining presidential immunity, electoral vote interference, election process control by states, and the nature of the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

Despite the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, 62% of Americans support legal abortion. Immigration reform remains unresolved, with the 300,000/month migrant issue likely to feature prominently in the November 5, 2024, elections.

With the 2024 general election, the state of American democracy hangs in the balance. The issues are abundant, and time will tell whether we are prepared for what lies ahead.

Image of American flag by Noah Wulf available via Wikimedia Commons.


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