You are welcome to use any evidence to support your arguments. When you explain “why”, try not to repeat what the author says. Your post should be 300 words in total

1. Which attributes of the United States listed in this article do you think best explain U.S. prosperity? Why?
2. Which of the attributes listed in this article do you think are most at risk of being undermined by poor policy choices? Why?


Why the U.S. Is Still Richer
Than Every Other Large
by Martin S. Feldstein

April 20, 2017

Summary.   The U.S. remains richer than its peers. But why? A plausible list of

explanations might include: A culture of entrepreneurship and a financial system

that supports it, abundant energy, immigration, smaller and more decentralized

government, long work…

Each year, the United States produces more per person than most

other advanced economies. In 2015 real GDP per capita was

$56,000 in the United States. The real GDP per capita in that same


year was only $47,000 in Germany, $41,000 in France and the

United Kingdom, and just $36,000 in Italy, adjusting for

purchasing power.

In short, the U.S. remains richer than its peers. But why?

I can think of 10 features that distinguish America from other

industrial economies, which I outline in a recent essay for the

National Bureau of Economic Research, from which this article is


An entrepreneurial culture. Individuals in the U.S. demonstrate
a desire to start businesses and grow them, as well as a willingness

to take risks. There is less penalty in U.S. culture for failing and

starting again. Even students who have gone to college or a

business school show this entrepreneurial desire, and it is self-

reinforcing: Silicon Valley successes like Facebook inspire further


A financial system that supports entrepreneurship. The U.S.
has a more developed system of equity finance than the countries

of Europe, including angel investors willing to finance startups

and a very active venture capital market that helps finance the

growth of those firms. We also have a decentralized banking

system, including more than 7,000 small banks, that provides

loans to entrepreneurs.

World-class research universities. U.S. universities produce
much of the basic research that drives high-tech

entrepreneurship. Faculty members and doctoral graduates often

spend time with nearby startups, and the culture of both the

universities and the businesses encourage this overlap. Top

research universities attract talented students from around the

world, many of whom end up remaining in the United States.

Labor markets that generally link workers and jobs
unimpeded by large trade unions, state-owned enterprises, or
excessively restrictive labor regulations. Less than 7% of the
private sector U.S. labor force is unionized, and there are virtually

no state-owned enterprises. While the U.S. does regulate working

conditions and hiring, the rules are much less on

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