Will America’s System Win the Global Ideological Battle?

Health+Wealth of America April 2021 Conference

“In order to solve the human progress issues—delivery of health care, delivery of education, infrastructure, climate change—there’s no doubt in my mind, we need economic growth,” said economist and author Dambisa Moyo at the opening of the second day of the of the Health+Wealth of America conference Wednesday. In a gripping conversation with Techonomy editor-in-chief David Kirkpatrick, Moyo, known for her clear, outspoken views on big and challenging topics, was eager to emphasize that our current economic situation requires context.

She notes that global forecasts for growth were already trending significantly lower pre-pandemic, so the global economy was already in a precarious situation before 2020. In addition to slowing growth rates and rising debt, “there’s been a confluence of economic factors dragging down prospects for growth—from climate change, to the risk of technology creating a jobless underclass, demographic shifts, both in terms of quality and quantity of the workforce,” Moyo explained. “And, of course, inequality.”

The pandemic accelerated breakdowns in global cooperation and a move toward deglobalization, she said, which is a major threat to the world’s economy. Having been born and raised in Zambia, Moyo sees everything through the lens of the need to bring up the entire world in order to avoid any part of the world, including the U.S. going into deeper crisis. She also said that if the U.S. is to retain its influence globally, and the liberal democratic and market-based capitalist model it espouses, it has to address its own problems better. Already many around the world, she said, will lean further towards admiration and emulation of the Chinese model.