By John Kell and Clifton Leaf
March 18, 2016

Good morning, Daily readers. Happy Friday. Alan Murray is off on vacation. Deputy Editor Clifton Leaf is filling in this week.

Four words have echoed through Trump campaign rallies and TV interviews these past many months: “Make America Great Again.” And clearly they’ve resonated with millions of voters. Putting aside the question of whether the slogan itself is a false narrative (“America is great already”)—or merely empty, jingoistic blather—it’s worth a moment to imagine how Trump might accomplish that goal. To ask: How can the U.S. compete and win in the world over the next decade?

The challenge is, of course, that our 320 million-plus population is getting on in years—the median age in the U.S. is now 38 (up from 35 in the year 2000). And our economic engine is puttering like an old foursome teeing up on the back nine—slowing to an annualized 1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015.

But then, that’s the country as a whole. The good news is, we have in our midst a subpopulation of what you might call super-growers. This demographic is about 55 million people strong, has a median age of just 27, and spends like mad—with a combined buying power of $1.5 trillion, which is on pace to grow about $80 to $90 billion a year. Consumption by this group grew 5.8% from 2010 to 2013, while overall buying in the U.S. increased 3.8%, according to data from the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth. And that growth is becoming ever more important to retailers like Walmart (where the group accounts for over 90% of year-on-year sales growth, according to Walmart board member Aida Alvarez), consumer products companies, bankers, auto makers, and more. This diverse community of spenders, it seems, accounted for virtually all of the sales growth, from 2013 to 2014, for Chevy, Ford, and Honda, according to IHS Automotive’s Polk market data. Meanwhile, the group is starting businesses at a rate that dwarfs the rest of the country; new business formation by members of this demographic slice of America surged 47 percent between 2007 and 2012, compared with 2% growth in the U.S. overall.

The group, in case you’re wondering, is U.S. Latinos—and the data was compiled by the Latino Donor Collaborative. Founded by serial telecom entrepreneur Solomon Trujillo and former HUD Secretary and current CityView chairman Henry Cisneros, the LDC is trying to change a narrative that, somehow, went well askew in the run-up to the presidential election.

The good news is, we have a possible means to Mr. Trump’s mission: One way to make America great (again) would be to embrace a group that’s keeping America growing and competing.

Below, what’s in the news this morning.

Clifton Leaf


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