***What if we imagined a world where president-elect Donald Trump's plan to "make America great" really worked?
That might be hard for many who remain focused on the unsavoury elements of the campaign and its sometimes frightening aftermath.
From an economic perspective, continuing to harp on Trump's unsophisticated turns of phrase and his often simplistic crowd-pleasing rhetoric of the "build a wall" type is only useful to those who want him to fail.
Because no matter what you think of Trump the man or the xenophobia his campaign has unearthed in the North American heartland, a United States where the economy recovers and starts making well-paying jobs will be much better for the entire world than one where workers' anger continues to fester.
After every change of regime, in nations or in business, at some point it is the job of thinkers and technocrats to stop playing the role of opposition and to begin to translate the sometimes muddled schemes of any new leader into a policy that actually works.
So rather than sniping and pointing out every flaw, is it possible to see a path that will embrace the most productive elements of the Trump prescription?
The world is a very different place from what it was only a few years ago. The U.S. has failed to adjust.
"As late as 1999, [the U.S.] was partner to 50 per cent, by value, of all international deals; nine-tenths of all cross-border money flowed between developed countries," write Ian Goldin and Chris Kutarna in their recent book, Age of Discovery.
The authors roll out a series of statistics showing how much that has changed.
In 1990, for instance, 60 per cent of trade was between the world's rich countries and six per cent between poor countries. Now the percentages are equal.
All the biggest ports in 1990 were in the developed world. Now seven of the top 10 are in China.
The United States is still running itself under the illusion that its economy is the entire world. In the years after the Second World War, that was very close to being true. But it's not anymore...***
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