US economic performance is not so dissimilar to the other Anglosphere countries, in fact arguably worse than Australia given the lower potential of that continent and the further it is from major markets. Pretty much all the Anglosphere countries are top of the development list, just like they were 100 years ago. Anglos seem bred for capitalism, they have high trust, good work ethic, are intelligent enough, and have a strong moral sense. Individually these traits are probably disadvantageous, collectively they are very positive for the group. (Italics mine)And
One should add that the idea of export seems inadequate in this context. American manufacturers of rail stock were 'exporting' their products westwards as part of the ongoing expansion of the U.S. - and in return, that 'exported' rail stock carried back goods from 'external' territories.Regarding the first, it is interesting to think in Game Theory terms about group versus individual strategies - especially when you are living in the middle of it, so it's not just all theory. We are like fish who don't know they are in water.
As to the second, it is related to the discussion of the 1619 Project and the claim that cotton dominated American exports and thus income. While I think that would still be insufficient to show that slavery was the primary driver of American wealth, the recognition that the West and the rest of the American continent could just as easily be regarded as an import-export situation weakens the premise of the 1619 Project even further. Maybe it is a common idea among those who discuss the economic history of the US, but I had never heard it before and it makes sense.