Economies with a healthy, growing, middle class tend to expand. This is exactly what is happening in emerging market countries. It’s almost like they’re going through what the United States went through in the 1950’s but without the baby boom. Families all over the planet want to replicate the middle class American lifestyle (as seen on TV) and now they can buy iPhones and Big Macs and drive cars, too.
Most small business owners are middle class families. Policies that are friendly to small business bolsters the vitality of the middle class. Most of the companies in the S&P 500 started in a middle class family garage with two guys and a pickup truck. Even the most cherished company on the planet, Apple, went from three people in a garage to 60,000 employees. It was not the result of a government program (i.e. Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, or Solyndra).
The United States is in a unique position. It has been the perfect environment for the middle class to grow and thrive since its inception. Our middle class expanded through natural population growth and immigration. I believe more people would rather immigrate here to live and work and raise a family than anywhere else in the world. Immigrants are twice as likely to become millionaires than citizens that are born here. Policies that make it easier for small businesses to happen will ensure that the middle class remains vibrant. Policies that disincentivize small businesses (raising taxes and increasing regulation) will lead to further economic anemia. We have been through all this before.
Economies do not boom or crash or stagnate forever. I don’t know what the world will look like in 2022 but I can pretty much guarantee it isn’t what we’re envisioning now. I don’t like some of the things that are happening around the world and in our country. But fundamentally, I have hope for the future and I believe we still have better days ahead of us. There are a bunch of clever, hard-working people around the world that want to live the middle class American dream. Hopefully good leaders and sound economic policies will enable them to do that.