A reasonable NYT article on economic growth (in particular, growth in China) but relevant on a variety of fronts.
There is one aspect that sticks out. The article (and cited sources) suggest that growth reverts to the mean and that superior growth will inevitably decline over time. And notes that the USSR and Japan were both expected to surpass the US but never did. This seems to gloss over the US's high growth over a long period.
My thumbnail view on growth, in particular, growth in the US:
1) huge natural endowment;
2) significant immigration and high birth rate; and
3) most importantly, strong property rights and rule of law.
#1 helped to give a head start and encourage #2 but, ultimately, it is #2 and #3 that allowed above trend growth to continue. As a nice example, see the eventual stumbling of the USSR and Japan for #3 and #2, respectively (notwithstanding the large #1 of USSR).