At the recent Aspen summit, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, a company that has seen a massive increase in confidence (and stock value, which has tripled since the recent financial crisis, doubled since Dimon started in his current position) in recent years, commented on what was strong and what was weak in the current America. Here’s a summary.

The good:

  • The economy is booming, with no major potholes
  • Wages increasing
  • People coming back into work force
  • Houses in short supply (a plus for the economy)
  • Credit on financial institutions balance sheets is pristine
  • Companies have plenty of money
  • Tax reform is going to help with retention and reinvestment of capital in America

The bad:

  • Uncompetitive business taxes – this has been fixed, though, he noted
  • Infrastructure is poor – “We put a man on the moon in 8 years. We can’t fix a bridge in 12 years now.”
  • Inner city schools “simply don’t work and we’re relegating generations of minorities and poor kids to poverty.”
  • Litigation system “is becoming increasingly capricious.”
  • Small business formation (small business, middle market, large corporation all effected) is less than it’s ever been in a major American recovery, as a result of “regulation” and “paperwork,” or bureaucracy and sinecure – a form of corruption in the American system to keep jobs for certain people. (Dimon noted that he wasn’t 100% sure of the particulars of this point, but made it clear he considered it something important to look at.)
  • Immigration reform not good enough – “If we had proper immigration reform it would help us grow .2% per year. 300,000 kids get education here and go back home, and then our American universities brag about it like what a good job they’re doing ‘exporting.'”