A BIGGER PIE IS NEEDED
If the pie does not increase in size enough, we will not do well.
We have just had a structural change, where there was considerable long term destruction where there is a permanent loss in our economic foundation or "altitude".
Part of the structure against us is the deterioration in values and productivity of Americans. Increasing competition from rapidly developing 3rd world (poor, less developed) countries, also lowers the prospects for the future.
Our economy will not grow very rapidly and certainly slower than after most recessions. We will have persistently high unemployment (unless we respond with very high responsibility of the citizens and vastly greater education).
BIG SHORT TERM CONSIDERATIONS
Also, there is a contest between providing benefits to citizens and keeping the government spending down, with an evilizing of the rich because many believe there is a "moral right" to demand more of the rich. This can produce a problem, which can only be solved by more cooperativeness and more reasoning.
There are also some situations that are coming up that will be basically threatening to our economy unless we take steps to counter them, namely the vast deficits and debts of the states and subentities and also with regard to real estate - those are just the two biggest short term problems.
EDUCATION PLUS OUR DECLINING VALUES
The deterioration of the education in the US is a major problem. A lot of that is due to the deterioration of the value system of the young people, so that they don't finish school and/or don't work hard. Compared to other major countries who have excellent education systems, our young people are lagging.
And, among the declining values of the young people, the work ethic is not such that we can remain competitive in the world economy. Our costs go up with lower productivity and people not able to produce higher value services.
LARGELY PRICED OUT OF THE WORLD MARKET
We have increased our personal spending to such a degree and have demanded such high compensation that we are "priced out of the market" worldwide, so that many of our goods are a bit too expensive for the rest of the world - this creates a huge trade deficit - which creates ultimately a "devaluation" of our money. (If we allow that devaluation to continue, foreign goods will be more expensive, so we'd buy less, and our goods would be cheaper to buy, so we'd sell more and bring the trade balance to being equal. That would cause Americans to pay more for foreign goods - and there would be a resulting inflation.)
If the trade balance is too far off, we will have to raise our interest rates to get other countries to invest in our bonds. Raising interest rates will slow the economy.
Unless we implement electric cars and a supporting grid system, the increasing oil prices will hurt our economy and trade deficit. (Oil prices will increase due to vastly increasing demand from growing countries, especially China.)
A number of Americans complain about our jobs being shipped overseas, and then they turn around and buy foreign products. If we bought more American, this would help a bit.
DEVELOP THE SKILLS - OR ELSE
The other thing that is necessary is for us to develop skills that are of "higher value", so that the Americans can continue to have high incomes. Right now we are not doing that, as the education is not being engaged in adequately by young people.
DON'T KILL THE GOOSE THAT LAYS THE GOLDEN EGGS
The big "controversy" lies around the idea of those who make alot of money should be taxed more so that those who don't make enough get some money and more benefits paid for from/by the rich. One side says without creating jobs people would not prosper and if we tax too much we take away the incentive to risk capital and to create more businesses that are larger. The basic idea is that the pie would shrink, so there would be less than what is needed to provide the benefits. Right now we have an extreme deficit and debt, so there must be some reckoning. See Taxes, where I discuss raising taxes on the rich and other ways to develop more revenues.