Ron Insana, a CNBC and MSNBC contributor, sees many reasons to be optimistic about the future of the U.S. economy despite the volatile and gloomy stock-market start to the year.
“We’re still in a very enviable position. And when you look around the world, it’s very easy to see that. Sometimes when you look inwardly it’s much, much harder,” he told the 2016 National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation annual meeting.
“Continue to bet on the United States. Continue to engage. Continue to pay attention. But know that over the course of the next three, five or 10 years, the United States is likely to outperform the rest of the world, is likely to be the dominant economic power in the world,” Insana said.
“It’s not 2008 in the United States. It’s not that type of event,” he said, ect.coop
reported. “It’s potentially 2008 in China. It might be 2008 in Japan or somewhere else,” said Insana, the author of four books on Wall Street. “So we have to, I think, be cognizant and be aware of these problems, without necessarily turning pessimistic,” he said.
Insana urged local elected officials to focus on improving the nation’s infrastructure. “Rethink and re-envision this country,” he said. “I’m not just talking about the roads and bridges and filling potholes and that type of stuff, which really has about $50 billion worth of capacity every year,” he said.
“Technology is running faster. It’s outpacing the improvements in both our physical infrastructure and our critical infrastructure by leaps and bounds,” Insana said, citing driverless cars being tested by Google as an example.
“This sense of technology would create the type of leapfrogging that would boost productivity to levels we haven’t seen since the ’50s and ’60s of the last century, or the ’70s and ’80s of the 1800s, when they introduced the national railway system,” Insana said.
He also cited the nation’s power system as also needing some help.
“We need smart electrical grids. We need the entire electrical system reworked in the United States,” Insana said. “We are really living, in many ways, with early 20th century infrastructure.”
Insana is in good company by remaining bullish on the U.S. economy.
Billionaire Warren Buffett said the U.S. economy appears weaker than he thought it would be as recently as last fall, but that doesn't change his optimistic long-term view of the country's prospects.
The economy continues growing slowly, and Buffett is confident the U.S. economy will improve over time, but plunging oil prices have had a significant impact.
"Business is a little softer in many places than I anticipated four or five months ago. That doesn't mean it's in reverse," said Buffett, who is Berkshire's chairman and CEO. "The country will grow in value over time," he told CNBC.
Newsmax Finance Insider Hans Parisis agrees. "At least in my opinion, the U.S. still remains by far the best location in a “bad” global neighborhood," Parisis wrote.
(Newsmax wire services and the AP contributed to this report).
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