Something to annoy the Green Taliban

Has American turned the corner economically?

Charles Morris thinks so in an interview with Economist, and his news won’t be nice reading for the Green Taliban.

But now, something has gone horribly wrong, has it not??

Growth followed infrastructure and we?ve certainly let our infrastructure lapse, but America is now on the edge of a major energy-producing boom and it is right where the industry that drove growth in the 19th century was: the Midwest. We are now producing?shale gas. The output, in terms of energy, will soon be as great as Saudi Arabia?s oil output is right now. In the 2020s all of North America will be energy independent and America will probably be a net exporter. We are seeing steel and chemical companies moving back from overseas. It?s going to be very interesting.

A new industrial revolution based on a similar model?

I think so. There are things we have to do to make sure it?s managed right. All the environmental stuff is eminently manageable. But modern economies flourish with good infrastructure. You impose a hobble on growth if you let it lag, and we?ve let it lag.

It?s not going to happen overnight but one reasonable forecast shows a million manufacturing-related jobs out of the gas boom by 2017. That?s $350 billion of economic activity driven by this, a 2% addition to annual GDP. I think there?s a good case for optimism.