The Dreamforce circus returned to San Francisco this week. This year, there was no clowning around. U2 headlined the entertainment and brought down the house with a three-minute banter with a recording of Donald Trump.
“Good people are not going to stay silent while you run off with the American dream.”
What makes Bono’s remarks remarkable that he’s a foreigner, like myself. I happened to be born in the same city as Ted Cruz.
So why do foreigners care about America? It’s because we’re neighbours [sic]. And like a good neighbour (and insurance companies), we’re there for each other. We’ve supported each other through wars. We’ve traded goods and services because of economic efficiencies. We visit each other because we want to explore new places, to meet new people, and to create new memories. Neighbours enrich lives.
America has the right to build walls. But having the right does not make it right. Or advantageous. Or even practical. Historically, great walls (e.g. Great Wall of China, Berlin wall, etc.) have diminished to tourist attractions.
It would be unbecoming for any foreigner to speak on the cultural values of another country. However, a mutual objective we have in common is a healthy economy. As America’s largest trade partner, Canada is vested in the health of the American economy.
There has been much talk about the state of the US economy. How much of it is true? Should Americans be afraid of another economic crisis? Let’s look under the hood:
According to a 2016 report by the Census Bureau, real median household income is up 5.2% from the previous year. Furthermore, the official poverty rate is down 1.2%. According to a 2016 report by the Federal Reserve, a growing majority (69%) of Americans are either “living comfortably” or “doing ok.”
The fear of another credit crisis is also unlikely. Household debt service payments as a percentage of disposable personal income is at the lowest rate since the 1980s. This reflects a conservative attitude towards debt.
While the general trend is positive, there is room for improvement. Nearly half of Americans are ill-prepared for a financial disruption and would struggle to cover a $400 emergency expense.
The Gini coefficient, which measures income inequality, has remained unchanged. And though the gender wage gap has reached 80%, female-to-male earnings ratio have not statistically changed over the past year.
America is great. It can also be better. What makes your neighbours nervous is when we hear America’s domestic disputes reach a boiling point. Life is not a bleak as politicians may want you to believe.