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The Four Addictions The Challenge of Breaking Hard Habits in the 2020s

Bruce Mehlman, May 10, 2023 [40 page PDF] “Over the first two decades of the 21 st Century, the U.S. (and world) grew increasingly dependent on:
• China (for manufacturing, supply chains & deficit financing)
• Digital (as everything digitized, networked & automated)
• Easy Money (as low interest rates & QE persisted without serious inflation)
• Debt financing (as institutions spend more than they took in)
While each trend offered significant upsides, unaddressed downsides are increasingly problematic. These dependencies are becoming unsustainable, but they’re hard habits to break. Policies to address any one could worsen the other three. The central policy & political challenge of this decade is kicking these four addictions without crashing economies, stifling innovation or provoking wars. Solutions exist, but they’re not easy.”

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