Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline... and the Rise of a New Economy (Hardcover)

The Myth of American Decline... and the Rise of a New Economy

By Daniel Gross

Free Press, 9781451621280, 260pp.

Publication Date: May 8, 2012



Financial meltdown, a deep recession, and political polarization--combined with strong growth outside the United States--have led to a global bubble of pessimism surrounding America's economic prospects. Bloated with debt, and outpaced by China and other emerging markets, the United States has been left for dead as an economic force. But in this time of grim predictions, Daniel Gross, Yahoo financial columnist and author of Dumb Money, offers a refreshingly optimistic take on our nation's economic prospects, examining the positive trends that point to a better, stronger future.

Widely respected for his Newsweek and Slate coverage of the crash and the recovery, Daniel Gross shows that much of the talk about decline is misplaced. In the wake of the crash, rather than accept the inevitability of a Japan-style lost decade, America's businesses and institutions tapped into the very strengths that built the nation's economy into a global powerhouse in the first place: speed, ingenuity, adaptability, pragmatism, entrepreneurship, and, most significant, an ability to engage with the world. As the United States wallowed in self-pity, the world continued to see promise in what America has to offer--buying exports, investing in the United States, and adopting American companies and business models as their own. Global growth, it turns out, is not a zero-sum game.

Better, Stronger, Faster is an account of the remarkable reconstruction and reorientation that started in March 2009, a period that Gross compares to March 1933--as both marked the start of unexpected recoveries. As the U.S. public sector undertook aggressive fiscal and monetary actions, the private sector sprang into action. Companies large and small restructured, tapped into long-dormant internal resources, and invested for growth, at home and abroad. Between 2009 and 2011, as Europe struggled with a cascade of crises, the U.S. got back on its feet--and began to run.

Through stories of innovative solutions devised by policy makers, businesses, investors, and consumers, Gross explains how America has the potential to emerge from this period, not as the unrivaled ruler of the global economy but as a healthier leader and an enabler of sustainable growth.

Praise For Better, Stronger, Faster: The Myth of American Decline... and the Rise of a New Economy

"Daniel Gross is one of the smartest, toughest, and most skeptical business writers around. If he says sunny days are ahead, we should all believe him. This book is not just well written and chockablock with new insights and information, it's amusing." --Jonathan Alter, author of The Promise and columnist for Bloomberg View

"Yes, the United States took a huge hit from economic crisis, but talk of its long-run decline is overdone and premature. In Better, Stronger, Faster, Daniel Gross rebuts the the declinists and documents the enduring strengths that power America's ability to transform and reset itself in dynamic ways. The United States is poised to emerge from the crisis in better shape than any of its commonly touted old and new competitors." --Richard Florida, author of The Great Reset and The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited, and director of the University of Toronto's Martin Prosperity Institute

“Daniel Gross is an author and journalist who is not afraid to challenge the conventional wisdom. His latest book does this with tremendous style, by directly attacking the ‘America is doomed’ camp, to paint a portrait of America that is far more vibrant than critics usually acknowledge. Not everyone will agree with this account, least of all in an election year; however, it should be required reading for anybody who wants to understand the current state of the American recoveryand the country's place in a fast-changing world." Gillian Tett, U.S. managing editor, Financial Times, and author of Fool’s Gold

"Gross comes along now with the counterintuitive view that America is not in decline after all. He confronts the conventional wisdom of 'declinism' with a robust mix of statistics and argument, and offers us reasons to be more cheerful about the state of American economy than we have allowed ourselves to be." --Tina Brown, Newsweek