The basis of US military and diplomatic power is its economic power, and the USA's single most important security objective is now economic self-repair. "Unless the United States reinvigorates in this decade the economic roots of its international power, it risks an erosion of self-confidence and of its international leadership at the turn of the century. With a weak economy and a society in conflict over how to allocate slowly growing resources, this nation would find it increasingly difficult to achieve its essential global objectives".
With the U.S. economy soaring, few care that immigration to the United States is at its highest absolute levels. But what happens when the economy falls back to earth? High-tech immigrant workers are already competing with Americans for jobs, while unskilled immigrant laborers are becoming a permanent underclass. High immigration is creating imbalances in education, income distribution, employment, and welfare demands -- as well as tensions between immigrants and citizens and among the federal, state, and local governments. An economic slump will mean crisis. Congress and the White House need to cut back now.
Only a few years ago pundits were sure that the United States was losing to Asia and Europe and had to emulate their more state- directed economies to remain competitive. Now the conventional wisdom is that America is number one and that the rest of the world should adopt its more laissez-faire approach. In fact, neither caricature is right. Asia was booming and now it is slumping, but it will be back. Europe's underlying ossification will persist. But most important, while the U.S. economy is in a period of robust growth, nothing fundamental has changed. Its long-run growth rate has not accelerated, productivity has not risen, and the structural unemployment rate has fallen by one percentage point at most. Come the next recession, all this triumphalism will seem silly.