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We have all seen the Got Milk? promotions over the years touting strong bones, healthy teeth, and big muscles. In that same vein, what our economy needs is a big glass of economic growth in order to provide higher employment, lower debt and more production. Turn on the television or surf the economic blogosphere, and you will find one common economic theme — doom and gloom. But, at the Bush Institute, we have taken a more optimistic view and approach in addressing today’s current economic troubles. Instead of milk-mustachioed celebrities, we convene the world’s greatest economic thinkers, business leaders and policy makers to answer the question: Got Growth? The Bush Institute’s goal is simple: Why settle for our current 2% growth projections? America is the world’s flag-bearer for free-market economics, and we should aim higher. Bush Institute Founding Executive Director James K. Glassman describes this goal in his introductory chapter of the new Bush Institute book, The 4% Solution: Unleashing the Economic Growth America Needs. He juxtaposes the successes of past growth with the dismal current projections for future growth. Glassman shows that the US economy has grown at over 4% real GDP in 23 of the past 60 years (and averaged 3.3% growth since World War II), and then asks why we should be satisfied with, much less happy about, long-run GDP growth of 2.3 to 2.5%. The 4% Solution is not a single, “silver-bullet” answer to the problems facing the US and world economies. However, it is a compilation of answers and policy proposals to achieve a higher, sustained rate of growth — even 4%. Written by a collection of great economic minds, including five Nobel Prize winners, The 4% Solution covers a wide array of topics including taxes, entitlements, energy and immigration. As Brendan Miniter, Bush Institute Senior Editorial Director, points out in his chapter, “Why We Grow”, economic uncertainty and fear are causing the private sector to “sit” on $2 trillion in cash instead of researching, developing, producing and hiring new workers. Only sound, long-term, free-market economic policies can belie these fears and produce the sort of private sector “stimulus” this country so desperately needs. In conjunction with its signature economic program, The 4% Growth Project, the Bush Institute hopes that The 4% Solution will inspire political discussion and debate as the country sits at an economic crossroads. We are mere months from an election that could be a referendum on the current state of the US economy. The ideas offered in this book can change our economic future and improve the lives of all Americans. “Prosperity brings with it material gains, but it also strengthens communities and allows all of us to reach our greatest potential.” So, the question remains … Got Growth? This post was written by Michael McMahan, Program Manager for The 4% Growth Project at the George W. Bush Institute.
Michael McMahan currently serves as Vice President of Corporate Planning and Development, overseeing all fundraising activities and events as well as integration of long-term revenue planning for Bush Institute and public programming work.
Previously, he worked as Vice President, Strategy and Planning. In this capacity he coordinated strategic planning and strategic partnerships across the Bush Center. He also worked as Director, Institute Policy and Planning and as Program Manager for the Bush Institute’s economic growth initiative.
McMahan is a licensed member of the Texas Bar, and prior to joining the Bush Center he was an energy law litigator. He served in the George W. Bush Administration at the U.S. Department of Energy in the Office of Policy and International Affairs. He is a graduate of the University of Texas (B.A., Economics) and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law (J.D.).
McMahan serves on the board of the Dallas Urban Debate Alliance and is a founding board member of the Dallas chapter of America’s Future Foundation.Full Bio
TARIFF-IED: Trade Talk with Matthew Rooney
This week, trade relations between the U.S. and India are continuing to escalate. Earlier this month, the U.S. stopped granting India special trade privileges by taking away the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, and India has responded by enforcing more tariffs of its own. The George W. Bush-SMU Economic Growth Initiative Director Matthew Rooney breaks down the trade conflict: For more information on trade groups and the global economy, visit www.bushcenter.org/scorecard.
How Trade Spreads Holiday Cheer
It is projected that the average American household will spend more than $1,000 during the holidays this year.
Deporting Salvadorans May Lead to Economic Decline
We should think carefully about a policy whose major impacts are likely to be reductions in employment and economic activity here at home, and increased instability and lawlessness along our borders.
Bush Institute's Laura Collins Talks Immigration on Good Morning Texas
Last week, Deputy Director of Economic Growth at the George. W. Bush Institute Laura Collins spoke with Good Morning Texas about immigration myths. During the interview, Collins had the opportunity to set the record straight and address common misconceptions about legal immigrants living in America today. The segment was inspired from facts released earlier this fall by the Bush Institute in the third edition of America's Advantage: A Handbook on Immigration and Economic Growth. Watch the full Good Morning Texas interview here.