Once in a while you read a story that you just want to share with everyone....I ran across such a piece in NewsWeek today -by Fareed Zakaria called: How Long Will America Lead the World?
The United States is still the dominant force in technology, innovation, productivity and profits. But Americans don't quite realize how fast the rest of the world is catching up.
[here are some key points from the article-Walter Derzko]
....Well, Americans have replaced Britons atop the world, and we are now worried that history is happening to us. History has arrived in the form of "Three Billion New Capitalists," as Clyde Prestowitz's recent book puts it, people from countries like China, India and the former Soviet Union, which all once scorned the global market economy but are now enthusiastic and increasingly sophisticated participants in it. They are poorer, hungrier and in some cases well trained, and will inevitably compete with Americans and America for a slice of the pie.....
.....Much of the concern centers on the erosion of science and technology in the U.S., particularly in education…..[ ].... China and India combined graduate 950,000 engineers every year, compared with 70,000 in America; that for the cost of one chemist or engineer in the U.S. a company could hire five chemists in China or 11 engineers in India; that of the 120 $1 billion-plus chemical plants being built around the world one is in the United States and 50 are in China…[ ].... "More people will graduate in the United States in 2006 with sports-exercise degrees than electrical-engineering degrees,".....
.......The genius of America's success is that the United States is a rich country with many of the attributes of a scrappy, developing society. It is open, flexible and adventurous, often unmindful of history and tradition. Its people work hard, putting in longer hours than those in other rich countries. Much of this has do to with the history and culture of the society. A huge amount of it has to do with immigration, which keeps America constantly renewed by streams of hardworking people, desperate to succeed. Science laboratories in America are more than half filled with foreign students and immigrants. Without them, America's leadership position in the sciences would collapse. That is why America, alone among industrial nations, has been able to do the nearly impossible: renew its power and stay at the top of the game for a century now. We can expand our science programs --and we should --but we will never be able to compete with India and China in the production of engineers. No matter what we do, they will have more, and cheaper, labor. What we can do is take the best features of the America system--openness, innovation, immigration and flexibility- and enhance them, so that they can respond to new challenges by creating new industries, new technologies and new jobs, as we have in the past."...
Our greatest danger is that when the American public does begin to get scared, they will try to shut down the very features of the country that have made it so successful. They will want to shut out foreign companies, be less welcoming to immigrants and close themselves off from competition and collaboration. Over the past year there have already been growing paranoia on all these fronts.
[Some of the reactive knee-jerk reactions ----Some US senators are proposing to embed RFID Chips in USA Immigrants & Guest workers. Dubai Ports was blocked by USA congress to manage US ports, even though most people don't realise that Vancouver's port is managed by Dubai Ports. The Dutch have taken a hard line, banning Islamic women from wearing their traditional burkas. Canadian politicians are contemplating banning tourists from Parliament Hill in Ottawa after the arrest of a terrorist cell in Toronto, Canada-Walter Derzko]
If we go down this path, we will remain a rich country and a stable one. We will be less troubled by the jarring changes that the new world is pushing forward. But like Britain after Queen Victoria's reign, it will be a future of slow, steady national decline. History will happen to us after all.
Overall, an enjoyable read in Newsweek
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