It's hard to believe but more and more it's clear that we are the healthiest among the First World countries. Britain is on the verge of returning to recession, Eurozone is in abysmal crisis, Japan as been stuck in mediocre growth for years. For more on how the US currency hegemony isn't over see
http://nakedkeynesianism.blogspot.com/ This is an excellent blog by the way.
There is some hope that the Eurozone might finally be on the road solving a couple of their problems, but still if there if you had to bet-and I guess there are lot of investors who make these kind of bets-where the brightest future will be you have to say America.
The reasons are one: we haven't actually undergone any austerity here. In the Summer during the fiasco over the debt limit it looked bad but that proved to be the nadir on the austerity debate. No one talks about it anymore. That debate cost the President but it cost the GOP even more and now no one wants to get into that again. Many thought Obama was selling out but in retrospect he won that fight big time.
No doubt America has certain natural advantages as well. We have such a big, resource rich country, surrounded by two oceans. This is what helped us become such a great power in the first place. Then you throw in the fact that we continue to have major population growth while Europe and Japan suffer decline.
A major reason Japan looks so weak is the population decline it suffered starting in 1990. Ironically it's the very population growth here in the US, the rise in particularly Hispanic immigration that bodes well for the future. In Europe and Britain there is total hysteria about immigration which is unfortunate as this is exactly what these declining, homogeneous populations need. If they would let immigrants in large numbers that would help a lot.
But the people of Britain and Europe believe that immigrants steal jobs and besides are very prejudiced. France actually has an anti-Muslim law on the books-no Burquas in public.
As I mentioned in previous posts I'm reading this interesting book by Correlli Barnett "The Lost victory: British Dreams, British Realities 1945-1950" and what comes out so clearly is that by this time Britain was wholly as Barnett puts it a "second rate power" who still dreamed of the 19th century when it ruled the world.
The analogy between the decline of the British empire at the start of the 20th century and us here in the start of this century has often been drawn. However for the reasons mentioned above-unlike Britain we have a large, boundless, country with tremendous resources and an increasing, heterogeneous population, I don't see it.
We're in considerably better shape than Britain was 100 years ago.