The fundamental, long-term objective of every successful business owner is to grow the business. Nobody who stays viable over the long run just wants to be average, and nobody just wants to maintain the status quo. Instinctively, we want to grow our business, our industry and our economy.
This does not mean we are greedy. It means that we don't want to die prematurely. Because that is the choice — grow or die. The world is a very competitive place. If you do not continually seek to expand your business, then eventually a competitor (or one of these new-fangled things called a disruptor) will take it away.
I do not need to convince you that a growing manufacturing sector in the United States will not only be good for the plastics industry, it will also be good for the nation as a whole. But it will not happen by accident, we must assertively commit to a plan of growth.
As everybody knows by now, Americans are currently living in a 2 percent world. The U.S. economy has expanded by just about 2 percent per year every year since the Great Recession ended, and that streak looks like it will continue for the foreseeable future. Comparatively speaking, this pace of growth isn't bad. In fact, it is better than what most other developed nations have experienced during the past decade. Our unemployment rate is low, as is our rate of inflation, our mortgage rates, and the cost of most energy products.
So what is wrong with steady, 2 percent growth? Simply put, it is not fast enough to suit us. We want to grow faster. The 55 miles per hour speed limit on the highways was not fast enough (a shout out to Sammy Hagar seems warranted here), and 2 percent GDP growth is not fast enough. It is certainly better than a recession, but it is becoming increasingly clear to me that a 2 percent rate is too close to a recession for us to get comfortable.