Free Exchange asks:

If America loses its position as the world’s largest and most powerful economy does it really matter? The country's national pride would take a blow. And perhaps there are geopolitical reasons for wanting to hang on to the top spot. But, economically speaking, it probably wouldn't be so bad. Often when it comes to growth and globalisation, a high tide raises all boats. For example, the quality of life today is far better for most Britons than it was a century ago, when it was the world’s leading empire. Britain’s economy still grew even as America’s topped it.

But it took generations of Britons to come to peace with that. As it will take a long time before Americans realize that the days of empire are coming to a close - and they have a republic to refresh and rebuild.

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