November 8th, 2013
12:43 AM ET

What I'm reading: America's consumption problem

By Fareed Zakaria

“How is it the U.S. is so good at advising other countries and so lousy at running its own? The advice on stimulating domestic demand comes from a country that overconsumes and borrows beyond its means to support its habits,” writes Caroline Baum for Bloomberg. “As a nation, we refuse to forgo current consumption – in fact, spending is a policy goal – for future consumption. U.S. real personal consumption expenditures exceed 70 percent of GDP, compared with 58 percent in Germany.”

“While the Treasury was dishing on Germany and China, it wasn’t shy about tooting its own horn. ‘The Administration’s policies to promote growth and jobs are bearing fruit,’ according to the report. ‘U.S. real GDP grew by an annual rate of 1.8 percent during the first half of 2013, accelerating from the 1.5 percent pace in the second half of last year.’

“Talk about splitting hairs.”


“One in eight people who have ever lived are alive today. Our planet is now home to seven billion people, with ravenous appetites for fuel and food – and the number keeps growing,” writes Hans Rosling in The Spectator. “Do you panic when you think about the expansion of the human race? Yes, the world faces great challenges but it is possible to solve them, and some are in fact already being solved.”“I’m a statistician – but don’t stop reading. Because the latest demographic data show that the future may not be that gloomy, and that mankind is already doing better than many of us think.”


soundoff (One Response)
  1. ✠RZ✠

    What can I say Zak? Your point is all consuming.

    November 9, 2013 at 7:23 am |

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