The US Must Overcome Its Four Addictions

By now it is clear, the economy is not returning to its pre-pandemic normal. Instead, we find ourselves in transition to a new equilibrium. Bruce Mehlman has done a great job of explaining the prisoner’s dilemma we find ourselves in today. Any sense of normal will remain elusive until we address what Bruce describes as “addictions.”

Bruce is a crowd favorite at our annual Strategic Investment Conference. His new presentation, titled The Four Addictions, walks us through four massive challenges for the United States and the tough choices we must face as a nation.

In this week’s interview, Bruce and I discuss:

  • Our four addictions: China, digitalization, easy money, and debt.

  • Key factors that have drawn us into an unsustainable state.

  • Why our systems were not built to cope with changing demographics.

  • How debt discipline might be imposed on us by external forces.

  • How the US’s need to decouple from China will bring both pain and opportunity.

  • How the possibility of direct confrontation with China requires new military strategy and doctrine.

  • The need for AI guardrails.

  • The political necessities required to face these addictions, and the inevitable trade-offs and opportunities.

You can watch our interview on YouTube by clicking the image below. On your way in, please don’t forget to subscribe to our channel.

You can download Bruce’s complete The Four Addictions slide deck by clicking here.

A full transcript of our conversation is available here.

Bruce Mehlman is a partner at Mehlman Consulting. Bruce previously served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Technology Policy under President George W. Bush. He has over two decades of experience in assisting leaders and organizations to understand, anticipate, and navigate political risk.

Thank you for joining me this week at Global Macro Update. I’ll be back next week with guest Stephen McBride of RiskHedge when we will discuss the ramifications of Artificial Intelligence and the amazing success of one of his long-term top holdings—NVIDIA.

Best regards,

Ed D’Agostino
Publisher & COO

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