jerryking + america_in_decline?   55

The U.S. Is Ceding the Pacific to China
March 3, 2019 | WSJ | By Mark Helprin.

While Washington’s focus is elsewhere, Beijing plays the long game—that means preparing for war.

The only effective leverage on China, and by extension North Korea—which otherwise will retain nuclear weapons whether overtly or covertly but certainly—is to alter the correlation of military forces in the Western Pacific, and indeed in the world, so that it no longer moves rapidly and inevitably in China’s favor, which is what China cares about, the essence of its policy, its central proposition. Though with some effort the U.S. is perfectly capable of embarking upon this strategy, it has not. It seems we lack the awareness, political will, intelligence, probity, discipline, leadership, and habit of mind to do so.
America_in_Decline?  Asia_Pacific  balance_of_power  China  China_rising  geopolitics  hard_power  long-term  long-range  maritime  Mark_Helprin  North_Korea  nuclear  PACOM  political_geography  rivalries  South_China_Sea  strategic_geography  submarines  trade_wars  U.S.  U.S._Navy  USMC  U.S.-China_relations  Xi_Jinping  zero-sum_games 
march 2019 by jerryking
Steven Brill's "Tailspin": How My Generation Broke America
May 17, 2018 | | Time | By STEVEN BRILL.

From matters small – there are an average of 657 water-main breaks a day, for example – to large, it is clear that the country has gone into a tailspin over the last half-century, when John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier was about seizing the future, not trying to survive the present..............The Meritocracy’s ascent was about more than personal profit. As my generation of achievers graduated from elite universities and moved into the professional world, their personal successes often had serious societal consequences. They upended corporate America and Wall Street with inventions in law and finance that created an economy built on deals that moved assets around instead of building new ones. They created exotic, and risky, financial instruments, including derivatives and credit default swaps, that produced sugar highs of immediate profits but separated those taking the risk from those who would bear the consequences. They organized hedge funds that turned owning stock into a minute-by-minute bet rather than a long-term investment. They invented proxy fights, leveraged buyouts and stock buybacks that gave lawyers and bankers a bonanza of new fees and maximized short-term profits for increasingly unsentimental shareholders, but deadened incentives for the long-term growth of the rest of the economy.....[We need 'guardrails' against legal and financial excesses.]......Forty-eight years after Inky Clark gave me my ticket on the meritocracy express in 1967, a professor at Yale Law School jarred the school’s graduation celebration. Daniel Markovits, who specializes in the intersection of law and behavioral economics, told the class of 2015 that their success getting accepted into, and getting a degree from, the country’s most selective law school actually marked their entry into a newly entrenched aristocracy that had been snuffing out the American Dream for almost everyone else. Elites, he explained, can spend what they need to in order to send their children to the best schools, provide tutors for standardized testing and otherwise ensure that their kids can outcompete their peers to secure the same spots at the top that their parents achieved.

“American meritocracy has thus become precisely what it was invented to combat,” Markovits concluded, “a mechanism for the dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Meritocracy now constitutes a modern-day aristocracy.”.....
baby_boomers  cultural_transmission  entrepreneur  income_inequality  politics  revenge_effects  Steven_Brill  political_polarization  partisan-politics  fractured_internally  books  meritocratic  America_in_Decline?  elitism  lawyers  self-perpetuation  upper-income  inequality  privilege  the_best_and_brightest  tailspins  guardrails  the_American_dream 
may 2018 by jerryking
How does Chinese tech stack up against American tech?
Feb 15th 2018 | Economist | Schumpeter.

The Chinese venture-capital (VC) industry is booming. American visitors return from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen blown away by the entrepreneurial work ethic. Last year the government decreed that China would lead globally in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The plan covers a startlingly vast range of activities, including developing smart cities and autonomous cars and setting global tech standards. Like Japanese industry in the 1960s, private Chinese firms take this “administrative guidance” seriously.

Being a global tech hegemon has been lucrative for America. Tech firms support 7m jobs at home that pay twice the average wage. Other industries benefit by using technology more actively and becoming more productive: American non-tech firms are 50% more “digitised” than European ones, says McKinsey, a consulting firm. America sets many standards, for example on the design of USB ports, or rules for content online, that the world follows. And the $180bn of foreign profits that American tech firms mint annually is a boon several times greater than the benefit of having the world’s reserve currency.

A loss of these spoils would be costly and demoralising. Is it likely? Schumpeter has compiled ten measures of tech supremacy. The approach owes much to Kai-Fu Lee of Sinovation Ventures, a Chinese VC firm. It uses figures from AllianceBernstein, Bloomberg, CB Insights, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey and includes 3,000 listed, global tech firms, 226 “unicorns”, or unlisted firms worth over $1bn, plus Huawei, a Chinese hardware giant.

The overall conclusion is that China is still behind. Using the median of the yardsticks, its tech industry is 42% as powerful as America’s. But it is catching up fast. In 2012 the figure was just 15%.......For Silicon Valley, it is time to get paranoid. Viewed from China, many of its big firms have become comfy monopolists. In the old days all American tech executives had to do to see the world’s cutting edge was to walk out the door. Now they must fly to China, too.
China  China_rising  U.S.  Silicon_Valley  Alibaba  Tencent  metrics  standards  America_in_Decline?  work_ethic  complacency  Kai-Fu_Lee 
april 2018 by jerryking
Donald Trump’s unwitting surrender to China
November 22, 2017 | FT | Edward Luce.

If you want to read a nation’s priorities, look at its budget. Mr Trump’s main ambition is to cut the US corporate tax rate to 20 per cent. During Eisenhower’s time, the marginal income tax rate was above 90 per cent. That did not stop US public and private ingenuity from racing ahead of the Soviets. Today America is the world’s technological leader. With Mr Trump in the cockpit, tomorrow may look very different.
Edward_Luce  China  China_rising  America_in_Decline?  ingenuity  artificial_intelligence  Sputnik  space_warfare  unintended_consequences 
november 2017 by jerryking
Have Americans Given Up?
MAR 5, 2017 | The Atlantic | by DEREK THOMPSON.
...this is a mirage, according to the economist and popular writer Tyler Cowen, whose new book is The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. In fact, the nation's dynamism is in the dumps. Americans move less than they used to. They start fewer companies. Caught in the hypnotic undertow of TV and video games, they are less likely to go outside. Even the federal government itself has transformed from an investment vehicle, which once spent a large share of its money on infrastructure and research, to an insurance conglomerate, which spends more than half its money on health care and Social Security. A nation of risk-takers has become a nation of risk-mitigation experts...So, what happened? Cowen’s thought-provoking book emphasizes several causes, including geographic immobility, housing prices, and monopolization.....several studies have shown that many U.S. workers don’t start new companies because they’re afraid of losing their employer-sponsored health insurance. A single-payer system might increase overall entrepreneurial activity. As I read Cowen’s book, I thought of an acrobat show. No circus performer wants to leap between swings without a net to catch them as they fall. The trick is to design for safety without designing for complacency.
large_companies  dynamism  America_in_Decline?  self-defeating  Tyler_Cowen  economists  books  innovation  illusions  Silicon_Valley  geographic_mobility  economic_mobility  housing  Donald_Trump  elitism  restlessness  safety_nets  risk-mitigation  monopolies  the_American_dream 
march 2017 by jerryking
There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns - WSJ
The Great Unraveling | There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns
By BOB DAVIS | PHOTOS BY BOB MILLER FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Updated Dec. 12, 2016
economic_downturn  Colleges_&_Universities  cities  China  downward_mobility  America_in_Decline? 
december 2016 by jerryking
Goodbye to Barack Obama’s world
November 27, 2016 | Financial Times | by: Edward Luce

But Mr Trump will not reverse America’s relative decline. The chances are he will drastically accelerate it. The global role that Mr Obama inherited — and tried, to some degree, to uphold — is now in tatters. It would be hard to overstate the epochal significance of Mr Trump’s election. The US-led international order as we knew it for 70 years is over. The era of great power politics is back. An ebullient Russia, led by the strongman Putin, and an increasingly confident China, led by the strongman Xi Jinping, will deal with a wounded America led by strongman Trump. The long-term trajectory is towards China. But the short-term drama will focus on Mr Trump’s dealings with Mr Putin. How they play out is anybody’s guess. But it will not be pretty. Europe will be the loser. So too will American prestige.
politics  farewells  Obama  Donald_Trump  America_in_Decline?  legacies  Obamacare  climate_change  international_system  Edward_Luce  strongman  China_rising 
november 2016 by jerryking
Donald Trump and the power of negative thinking - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 12, 2016

The United States, top dog for as long a s anyone can remember, is no exception. Every little while, Americans are seized by anxiety that they are being surpassed by people who are tougher (the Russians), cleverer (the Japanese) or harder-working (the Chinese).

Political thinkers call it declinism – the belief that your society is heading into decline – and the United States is suffering from a feverish bout of it right now. Declinism is helping to fuel the rise of Donald Trump, who whips up his cheering supporters with claims that other countries are eating America’s lunch.....Since the U.S. became the world’s pre-eminent power at the end of the WWII, it has been hit by periodic waves of insecurity. It happened when the Soviets beat them to the punch by putting the first satellite into space in 1957. It happened during the Vietnam War.

And it happened during the energy crisis of the late 1970s, when president Jimmy Carter warned that Americans were having a “crisis of the spirit.”....Although the rise of China presents another challenge, the U.S. still leads the world in military, economic and technological power. Its top universities crowd best-in-the-world lists. It cleans up at Nobel Prize time. American companies like Google, Apple and Amazon are tops in the tech field. It spends more on its armed forces than the next eight countries combined......Mr. Trump promises to put the country back on top. “We will have so much winning, if I get elected, that you may get bored of winning,” he said last September.

It’s a false hope. No country wins all the time. Even at the height of its power from 1945 to 1970, Joseph Nye reminds us, Washington failed to stop Moscow from getting nuclear weapons, Castro from taking control in Cuba and the Soviets from crushing rebellions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
Donald_Trump  demagoguery  America_in_Decline?  negativity_bias  Campaign_2016  Marcus_Gee  insecurity  superpowers  Joseph_Nye 
august 2016 by jerryking
Lawrence H. Summers: ‘There are many ways of burdening our future’ - The Globe and Mail
RUDYARD GRIFFITHS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 20 2015

Lawrence Summers: confidence is the cheapest form of stimulus.

If a young person asked you, ‘How do I thrive in a low-growth economy?’ what would your advice be?

It’s never been more important to be comfortable with technology, to be well-educated, to not just know things, but know how to learn, and develop a set of distinctive skills that employers can value. For people who are able to do those things, the combination of technology and global markets will make this a moment of immense opportunity........There are many ways of burdening the future. One is to borrow money – though, given how low interest rates are, those burdens aren't that great. Another is to defer maintenance. Those costs accumulate at a much greater rate, and that's why I think infrastructure investment is so very important. Another way to burden future generations is to scrimp on education. Another way is to fail to invest in basic scientific research. Another way is to saddle them with huge pension liabilities for those who are working, serving the public today. We are doing all those things.
Rudyard_Griffiths  America_in_Decline?  growth  economy  technology  automation  deferred_maintenance  downward_mobility  infrastructure  skills  advice  new_graduates  economic_stagnation  the_Great_Decoupling  low_growth  slow_growth  confidence  economic_stimulus  leaps_of_faith  Larry_Summers 
march 2015 by jerryking
Are we witnessing a comeback of the Stars and Stripes? - The Globe and Mail
JOHN STACKHOUSE
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 26 2014

America’s retreat was the central question. Had the superpower become a super-bystander? Or had the President just lost interest, energy and credibility to do more than moralize?...Mr. Obama has drawn instead on what he calls “progressive pragmatism,” which his aides claim is his nature, relying on an informal network of networks, ad hoc groups of nations taking on the challenges of the day. Some of them champion liberal values. Some are partners of convenience. Exhibit A: the coalition of willing Arab states in this week’s air strikes. Exhibit B: the network of health agencies and charities operating with U.S. support in ebola-stricken West Africa....On the grander issues of his age – climate change, cyber-security, the financial imbalance between America and Asia – Mr. Obama will need ad hoc networks like never before. The 2008 financial crisis was mitigated by a small group of central bankers, commercial bankers, regulators and finance ministers, supported but not directed by the United States. A president who is not renowned for building private-sector trust, or the loyalty of other nations, may be challenged to do that again. He also needs what America has lacked of late – for its allies to do more. Canada’s approach to carbon emissions is the sort of passive resistance the U.S. has encountered from India on trade, Mexico on immigration and Turkey on Syria. Under Mr. Obama, everyone has loved to complain about Washington, but few have been willing to shoulder their share of the costs.

Skeptics believe this is no longer possible – the world has too many strong voices, too many competing interests, too much of what physicists call entropy, the thermodynamic condition that degenerates order into chaos.
America_in_Decline?  bouncing_back  U.S.foreign_policy  multipolarity  Obama  John_Stackhouse  G20  UN  NATO  Iran  Ukraine  geopolitics  complexity  networks  interconnections  instability  superpowers  indispensable  disequilibriums  ad_hoc  nobystanders  entropy  imbalances 
september 2014 by jerryking
The Great Unraveling - NYTimes.com
SEPT. 15, 2014
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It was the time of...."All the tragedies which we can imagine return in the end to the one and only tragedy: the passage of time ."~ SIMONE...
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crisis  downward_mobility  America_in_Decline? 
september 2014 by jerryking
Canadian business, heal thyself
Oct. 18 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Jeffrey Simpson.

, the lessons BlackBerry/RIM once followed still seem urgent for the Canadian economy: research, innovation, productivity improvements, global perspective beyond the United States.

On Oct. 1, the Council of Canadian Academies summarized seven years of studies into Canada’s capacities in science, technology, innovation and productivity, releasing a report, Paradox Lost (the title must have come from the fertile brain of the brilliant Peter Nicholson, a member of the advisory group), that laid it on the line.

The government has been doing its part, especially in funding university research, the council concluded – although more money would always be welcome. What’s lacking is an “aggressively innovative business sector.”...Canadian companies rely excessively on U.S. innovation. They are content either to play an upstream role (extracting resources) or as subsidiaries of foreign companies. Too many Canadian businesses settle, the council reported, for a “profitable low-innovation equilibrium” (a fancy way of saying second-best) that conditions Canadian business’s behaviour and ambitions.....This problem of lagging innovation and inadequate R&D coincides with four major trends that will slow Canadian growth. First, the United States is in relative decline. Second, the growing global appetite for commodities means environmental challenges and volatile price swings. Third, scientific revolutions in fields such as genomics and nanotechnology will shape business and social life, but Canadian firms are behind the curve in both areas. Fourth, our aging population will be a drag on economic growth (and government revenues).
Jeffrey_Simpson  R&D  innovation  economic_stagnation  resource_extraction  America_in_Decline?  commodities  volatility  aging  complacency  Peter_Nicholson  aggressive  beyondtheU.S.  genomics  nanotechnology  productivity  paradoxes  laggards 
october 2013 by jerryking
As America unwinds, Canada rewinds - The Globe and Mail
Lawrence Martin

Special to The Globe and Mail

Last updated Tuesday, Jul. 23 2013

The Unwinding by George Packer.

It tells the story of the descent of inner America, the collapse of structures as a result of deregulation, the rampant insecurities with the decline of permanent jobs, debates overtaken by extremes of opinion. Mr. Packer’s theory is that the United States has been Wal-Martized. Lower wages, lower prices, lower standards. It’s been good for the company, and as he says: “Eventually six of the surviving Waltons would have as much money as the bottom 30 per cent of the country.”

But the decline of the big economic middle is ominous, as is the seizure of the national discussion by polemicists. How can a country move forward without a rallying consensus? Not even Barack Obama, with his balanced mind, his instinct for compromise and his eloquence (as most recently manifested on the topic of the Trayvon Martin verdict) can stop the fraying.

The book’s author is not an American declinist. There have been other unravellings; rebuilds inevitably follow. But the context is different now. America’s greatest century is behind it. Its degree of dominance will likely never be the same.

In response to all this, how does Canada, the big neighbour to the north, position itself?...Canadians are divided in their view of the monarchy. I’m not an enthusiast. As was well argued on these pages Monday by Ratna Omidvar, swearing allegiance to the Queen is an outmoded pastime. But the British heritage is an integral part of our definition, our identity. A stronger etching of it in the public consciousness and a greater reach to other markets is not unhealthy at a time when American paramountcy is fading, when our dependency on the United States is diminishing, when a distance in the bilateral relationship is growing.

It may be the beginning of a big turn. There are still major stakes in play, such as the Keystone XL pipeline, but Canadian trade volumes with the United States are in decline after a century of continual growth.

That slide is expected to continue as Asian powers and others take up greater market share. U.S. reliance on Canadian energy resources is on the wane; some project a dramatic falloff. Although 9/11 has dragged Canada more deeply into the U.S. intelligence-gathering network, we no longer rely on U.S. defence protections, as we did in the Cold War days. Culturally, the workings of time have brought us a stronger, more distinct stamp. As for our border, it has thickened rather than easing away. We now need passports to cross it.

While Americans undergo their unwinding, so do we. In recognition of new realities, we unwind from them.
Lawrence_Martin  bilateral  crossborder  America_in_Decline?  middle_class  books  downward_mobility  demoralization  Keystone_XL  beyondtheU.S.  national_identity  George_Packer 
august 2013 by jerryking
A Statesman's Friendly Advice - WSJ.com
April 4, 2013 | WSJ | Peggy Noonan

Noonan: A Statesman's Friendly Advice, Singapore's Lee Kwan Yew on what makes America great—and what threatens its greatness. "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master's Insights on China, the United States and the World," a gathering of Mr. Lee's interviews, speeches and writings.

Mr. Lee, of course, is the founder and inventor of modern Singapore. He made it a dynamo. He pushed it beyond its ethnic divisions and placed a bet that, though it is the smallest nation in southeast Asia has few natural resources, its people, if organized and unleashed within a system of economic incentive, would come to constitute the only resource that mattered. He was right. When he took office as prime minister, in 1959, per capita income was about $400 a year. Last year it was more than $50,000.

By PEGGY NOONAN
Peggy_Noonan  Singapore  America_in_Decline?  books  ethnic_divisions  competitiveness_of_nations  city-states  leaders  statesmen  Lee_Kuan_Yew 
april 2013 by jerryking
America the Innovative? - NYTimes.com
March 30, 2013 | NYT | By EAMONN FINGLETON.

How do we explain America’s sudden mid-20th-century ascent to technological glory? The credit goes not to freedom but to something more prosaic: money. With World War II, the United States government joined corporations in ramping up spending on R&D, and then came the cold war and the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, which gave further impetus to government-funded research. One result was Darpa, which helped develop the Internet.

Throughout history, rich nations have gotten to the future first. Their companies can afford to equip their tinkerers and visionaries with the most advanced materials, instruments and knowledge.

This raises an epochal question: as China becomes richer, is it destined to pass the United States as the world’s most inventive nation? The question is all the more pertinent because many experts contend that America’s inventive spirit is already flagging. As the Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel put it to me in an interview, American innovation in recent decades has been remarkably narrowly based. “It has been confined largely to information technology and financial services,” he said. “By contrast in transportation, for instance, we are hardly more advanced today than we were 40 years ago. The story is similar in treating cancer.”
China  U.S.  competitiveness_of_nations  innovation  creativity  China_rising  patents  DARPA  Cold_War  America_in_Decline?  post-WWII  Peter_Thiel  inventiveness  visionaries  abundance  state-as-facilitator  tinkerers 
april 2013 by jerryking
Our Second Adolescence - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 25, 2013

My dream Obama would take advantage of the fact that only the president can fundamentally shift the terms. He’d take advantage of George Santayana’s observation that Americans don’t solve their problems; they leave them behind.

My dream Obama would abandon the big government versus small government argument. He’d point out that in a mature, aging society, government isn’t going anywhere. The issue is not size but sclerosis. The future has no lobby, so there are inexorable pressures favoring present consumption over future investment. The crucial point is not whether a dollar is spent publicly or privately, it’s whether it is spent on the present or future. The task today is to reform institutions and rearrange spending so we look like a young nation and not a comfort-seeking, declining one.

My dream Obama would nurture investment in three ways. First, he would take spending that currently goes to the affluent elderly and redirect it to the young and the struggling. He would build on the means-testing Medicare idea that Yuval Levin described recently in The Times. Older people with higher lifetime earnings would have fewer benefits, and they wouldn’t kick in until age 70.
David_Brooks  Obama  sclerotic  America_in_Decline?  reform  institutions  intergenerational_rivalry  aging  maturity  Medicare 
february 2013 by jerryking
Why Modern Innovation Traffics in Trifles
July 6, 2012| WSJ | By NICHOLAS CARR.
Why Our Innovators Traffic in Trifles
An app for making vintage photos isn't exactly a moonshot. Are we too obsessed with 'tools of the self'?

What's behind innovation's turn toward the trifling? Declinists point to several possible culprits: America's schools are broken, investors and executives have become shortsighted, taxes are too high (sapping the entrepreneurial spirit), taxes are too low (preventing the government from funding basic research). Or maybe America has just lost its mojo.

But none of these explanations is particularly compelling. In all sorts of ways, the conditions for ingenuity and enterprise have never been better, and more patents were granted last year than ever before in American history. In the past few years, companies have decoded the human genome, shrunk multipurpose computers to the size of sardine tins and built cars that can drive themselves. The Internet itself, a global computer network of mind-blowing speed, size and utility, testifies to the ability of today's engineers to perform miracles....... What we are seeing is not a slowdown in the pace of innovation but a shift in its focus. Americans are as creative as ever, but today's buzz and big-money speculation are devoted to smaller-scale, less far-reaching, less conspicuous advances. We are getting precisely the kind of innovation that we desire—and deserve..........Knowing that the cause of our innovators' faltering ambitions lies in our own nature does not make it any less of a concern. But it does suggest that, if we want to see a resurgence in big thinking and grand invention, if we want to promote breakthroughs that will improve not only our own lives but those of our grandchildren, we need to enlarge our aspirations. We need to look outward again. If our own dreams are small and self-centered, we can hardly blame inventors for producing trifles.
America_in_Decline?  breakthroughs  Facebook  incrementalism  ingenuity  innovation  Instagram  Mark_Zuckerberg  moonshots  Nicholas_Carr  shortsightedness  thinking_big 
july 2012 by jerryking
The Decline of U.S. Naval Power - WSJ.com
March 2, 2011 |WSJ|By MARK HELPRIN

The Decline of U.S. Naval Power
Sixty ships were commonly underway in America's seaward approaches in 1998, but today there are only 20. We are abdicating our role on the oceans.
U.S._Navy  maritime  America_in_Decline?  decline 
june 2012 by jerryking
Cometh the Hour . . . - WSJ.com
October 14, 2003| WSJ | By HAROLD BLOOM.

I have been rereading Edmund Gibbon's "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," which I recommend to anyone in search of wisdom relevant at this moment. Gibbon attributes decline and fall to many varied factors, but the characters of specific Roman emperors -- good, bad and indifferent -- are viewed by him as crucial in the self-destructiveness of Rome. It is not at all clear whether we are already in decline: Bread is still available for most and circuses for all. Still, there are troubling omens, economic and diplomatic, and a hint or two from Gibbon may be of considerable use.
books  leadership  Wesley_Clark  Romans  Edmund_Gibbon  America_in_Decline?  self-destructive  decline  multiple_stressors 
may 2012 by jerryking
Watching a once-great party circle the drain - The Globe and Mail
JEFFREY SIMPSON | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Mar. 09, 201
Jeffrey_Simpson  GOP  America_in_Decline? 
march 2012 by jerryking
Lunch with the FT: Zbigniew Brzezinski
January 13, 2012 | FT.com | By Edward Luce.

Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power.

“We [Americans] are too obsessed with today,” Brzezinski continues. “If we slide into a pattern of just thinking about today, we’ll end up reacting to yesterday instead of shaping something more constructive in the world.” By contrast, he says, the Chinese are thinking decades ahead. Alas, Brzezinski says, Obama has so far failed to move into a strategic habit of mind. To a far greater extent than the Chinese, he concedes, Obama has to respond to shifts in public mood. Brzezinski is not very complimentary about American public opinion.

“Americans don’t learn about the world, they don’t study world history, other than American history in a very one-sided fashion, and they don’t study geography,” Brzezinski says. “In that context of widespread ignorance, the ongoing and deliberately fanned fear about the outside world, which is connected with this grandiose war on jihadi terrorism, makes the American public extremely susceptible to extremist appeals.” But surely most Americans are tired of overseas adventures, I say. “There is more scepticism,” Brzezinski concedes. “But the susceptibility to demagoguery is still there.”....Brzezinski lists "Ignorance", as one of America’s six “key vulnerabilities” alongside “mounting debt’, a “flawed financial system”, “decaying national infrastructure”, “widening income inequality”, and “increasingly gridlocked politics”.
Zbigniew_Brzezinski  historical_amnesia  security_&_intelligence  strategic_thinking  China_rising  China  diplomacy  princelings  America_in_Decline?  threats  vulnerabilities  infrastructure  income_inequality  debt  political_polarization  long-term  partisan-politics  fractured_internally  NSC  ignorance  public_opinion  books  Chinese  instant_gratification  demagoguery  APNSA  gridlocked_politics  Edward_Luce  incurious  financial_system 
january 2012 by jerryking
This is no time to give up on the U.S., Mulroney says - The Globe and Mail
tu thanh ha
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011

Canada has a privileged relationship with the United States that shouldn't be squandered, even at a time when U.S. world leadership is waning and new superpowers are emerging, Brian Mulroney says.

“The resilience of America should never be discounted,” the former prime minister said in a luncheon speech on Thursday.

“The need for Canada to safeguard and nurture our interests vis-à-vis America will always – certainly in my lifetime and the lifetime of my children – be the top foreign policy priority of the prime minister of Canada.”
Brian_Mulroney  crossborder  superpowers  leadership  America_in_Decline?  Canada  foreign_policy 
october 2011 by jerryking
The decline of optimism in America -
Oct. 09, 2011 | The Globe and Mail | GWYN MORGAN.

I have always admired the resiliency of corporate America. Even at the bottom of the worst recessions, the private sector’s entrepreneurial energy has returned the country to economic growth. In more than a hundred visits over three decades, I have never seen that great economic engine so demoralized and less willing to bet shareholders’ savings on the country’s future.

And never has that “Welcome home” from a smiling Canadian customs officer felt so good.
Gwyn_Morgan  America_in_Decline?  demoralization  crossborder  decline 
october 2011 by jerryking
Hating America – until you really need help - The Globe and Mail
CHRYSTIA FREELAND | Columnist profile
From Friday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Sep. 15, 2011
superpowers  Chrystia_Freeland  schadenfreude  indispensable  America  Ian_Bremmer  G-Zero  America_in_Decline? 
october 2011 by jerryking
Pundit Under Protest - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
June 13, 2011
The 2012 election is about how to avert national decline. All other
issues flow from that anxiety....The Republican growth agenda — tax cuts
and nothing else — is stupefyingly boring, fiscally irresponsible and
politically impossible... Republicans have taken a pragmatic policy
proposal from 1980 and sanctified it as their core purity test for
2012....Democrats, they offer practically nothing. They acknowledge huge
problems like wage stagnation and then offer... light rail! Solar
panels! ...Democrats dream New Deal dreams, propose nothing and try to
win elections by making sure nobody ever touches Medicare....a
Hamiltonian Party would offer a multifaceted reinvigoration agenda,
grabbing & blending growth ideas from all spots on the political
spectrum...This reinvigoration package would have four baskets.(1) an
entitlement reform package (2) a targeted working-class basket (3) a
political corruption basket. (4) a pro-business basket.
David_Brooks  elections  GOP  Democrats  Alexander_Hamilton  decline  America_in_Decline?  pro-business 
june 2011 by jerryking
Noonan: What the World Sees in America - WSJ.com
APRIL 23, 2011

What the World Sees in America
It's not all something to be proud of.

By PEGGY NOONAN
America_in_Decline?  Peggy_Noonan 
april 2011 by jerryking
Stephens: China and the Next American Century - WSJ.com
* DECEMBER 21, 2010

China and the Next American Century
Beijing's Politburo has nothing on Mark Zuckerberg.

*
By BRET STEPHENS
Bret_Stephens  China  China_rising  America_in_Decline?  U.S.-China_relations 
december 2010 by jerryking
Bret Stephens: Obama's Air Guitar - WSJ.com
NOV. 16, 2010 /WSJ / By BRET STEPHENS.The danger of America's
will to weakness.Whether a U.S. president ought to get his way on a
matter of policy is one thing.That a president can't get his way is
another.That's a recipe for the global disorder as we see encroaching
from Central America to the Middle & Far East..What does it mean for
global order when the world figures out that the U.S. president is
someone who's willing to take no for an answer?The U.S. becomes
Europe.Except on a handful of topics, e.g. trade & foreign aid, the
foreign policy of the EU, & that of most of its constituent states,
amounts to diplomatic air guitar: furious motion, considerable
imagination, but neither sound nor effect.When a EU leader issues a
stern demarche toward, say, Burma or Russia, nobody notices--or cares.
If the U.S. were to become another Europe—not out of diminished power,
but out of a diminished will to assert its power—the small & distant
abuses of power, would grow bolder & more frequent.
Bret_Stephens  obama  multipolarity  globalization  ineffectual  abuses  America_in_Decline?  impotence  political_will  disorder 
november 2010 by jerryking
Dean of Ivey's Hong Kong campus: 'Canadians are missing the boat' - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 01, 2010 | Globe & Mail | GORDON PITTS. We’re not
preparing the next generation for a time when China will be a
superpower. What are we doing to teach people about China? We still have
people calling us and saying ‘I’m going to China – what should I wear?’
In reality, Hong Kong is a sophisticated city. And when you land in
Beijing, you’re in an enormous city where people are master consumers.
And we are focusing all our attention on languages that might not be as
useful as Mandarin in the future.

It’s really about fixing young people’s attention on the fact the
economic powerhouse is not the U.S. any more. It is China and it is
India and we don’t know enough about this side of the world.
Hong_Kong  China  Ivey  Gordon_Pitts  China_rising  America_in_Decline?  superpowers  Mandarin  languages  young_people 
november 2010 by jerryking
Fareed Zakaria on How to Restore the American Dream -- Printout -- TIME
Oct. 21, 2010 | TIME | By Fareed Zakaria. Job growth divides
neatly into 3 categories. (1) managerial, professional & technical
occupations, held by highly educated workers who are comfortable in the
global economy. Jobs have been plentiful in this segment for the past 3
decades. (3) service occupations, involving "helping, caring for or
assisting others," e.g.security guard, cook and waiter. Most of these
workers have no college education and get hourly wages that are on the
low end of the scale. Jobs in this segment too have been growing
robustly. In between are (3) skilled manual workers & those in
white collar operations like sales & office mgmt.--the beating heart
of the middle class. Those in them make a decent living, usually .the
median family income ($49,777), and they mostly did fine in the 2 two
decades before 2000. But since then, employment growth has lagged the
economy in general, It has been this middle-class segment which has been
hammered.
blue-collar  Fareed_Zakaria  America_in_Decline?  high-school_graduated  college-educated  hourly_workers  global_economy  the_American_dream  white-collar 
october 2010 by jerryking
Charlie Rose - Fareed Zakaria
October 25, 2010 | Charlie Rose | Interviews Fareed Zakaria who
discusses his story in 'Time' magazine called 'Restoring the American
Dream'
Fareed_Zakaria  Charlie_Rose  America_in_Decline?  the_American_dream 
october 2010 by jerryking
U.S. Technology Dominance? Think Again
December 30, 2004 | WSJ | Richard Parenteau. Andy Kessler’s
Dec. 23 editorial-page commentary “ We Think, They Sweat “ is a prime
example of the hubris that will cause great loss to the U.S. economy and
loss of employment. He seems to believe that only in the U.S. can
inventions be made and new products designed....Mr. Kessler (and the
rest of us) must realize we are moving away from technology industries
and related employment to an economic model based on services that need a
person’s physical presence. We are fast losing our ability to compete
where the work can move elsewhere. The “thinking” barriers of university
education, experienced labor force, critical technology research
centers, etc. that kept high-prestige, high-pay jobs here in the U.S.
have fallen. Until we start “thinking” about shaping our future
opportunities, given the new facts of life, we are the ones who will be
“sweating.”
America_in_Decline?  Andy_Kessler  barriers_to_entry  college-educated  face2face  high-wage  hubris  in-person  letters_to_the_editor  services 
october 2010 by jerryking
FORA.tv - Niall Ferguson: Empires on the Edge of Chaos
28 July 2010 | FORA.tv | Address by Niall Ferguson in Sydney
when he delivers The Centre for Independent Studies' annual John
Bonython lecture.
Niall_Ferguson  speeches  Australia  America_in_Decline?  imperial_overstretch  Macquarie  web_video 
september 2010 by jerryking
Open Canada to the world’s new ways
June 9, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Edward Greenspon. "As
Canada moves down the ranks, from the world’s seventh-largest economy to
10th and lower, it must navigate the rise of Asia, the relative decline
of the U.S. and the sudden creation of a new multilateralism, among
other game-changers. How do we play this once-in-a-century period of
global disruption?
The Canadian International Council asked a panel of Canadians, a
post-Cold War digital generation largely in its 30s and 40s, to come up
with a new blueprint. Our report, Open Canada: A Global Positioning
Strategy for a Networked Age, offers bold and original policies and
strategies within the realm of the possible. " We call our report Open
Canada because we think we can prosper by being the most open country in
the world: open to ideas and investment; open to newcomers and new
ways; open to partnerships and networks at home and abroad; open to
competition and the uncompromising pursuit of excellence.
borderless  policy  Canada  Canadian  foreign_policy  Edward_Greenspon  openness  decline  America_in_Decline?  one-time_events  blueprints  game_changers  multilateralism 
june 2010 by jerryking
China, the World's Capital - New York Times
May 22, 2005 | NYT | by NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF. Supremacy,
particularly for individual cities, is fleeting. What can NYC learn from
a city like Kaifeng? (1) The importance of sustaining a technological
edge and sound economic policies. Ancient China flourished partly
because of pro-growth, pro-trade policies and technological innovations
like curved iron plows, printing and paper money. But then China came to
scorn trade and commerce, and per capita income stagnated for 600 yrs.
(2) The danger of hubris, for China concluded it had nothing to learn
from the rest of the world - and that was the beginning of the end. I
worry about the U.S. in both regards. Our economic management is so lax
that we can't confront farm subsidies or long-term budget deficits. Our
technology is strong, but American public schools are 2nd-rate in math
and science. And Americans' lack of interest in the world contrasts with
the restlessness, drive and determination that are again pushing China
to the forefront.
Nicholas_Kristof  China  China_rising  New_York_City  hubris  parochialism  insularity  impermanence  restlessness  public_schools  incurious  ignorance  second-rate  America_in_Decline?  U.S. 
march 2010 by jerryking
'When China Rules the World - The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order,'
December 31, 2009 | - NYTimes.com | By JOSEPH KAHN. Reviews
WHEN CHINA RULES THE WORLD
The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order By
Martin Jacques. argues that China will not just displace the United
States as the major superpower. It will also marginalize the West in
history and upend our core notions of what it means to be modern.

Illustrated. 550 pp. The Penguin Press. $29.95
book_reviews  China  China_rising  superpowers  America_in_Decline?  displacement 
january 2010 by jerryking
The Nation of Futurity
November 16, 2009 | New York Times | By DAVID BROOKS.
"...faith in the future has motivated generations of Americans..". "The
faith is the molten core of the country’s dynamism. There are also
periodic crises of faith. "Today, the rise of China is producing such a
crisis." "The Chinese now have lavish faith in their scientific and
technological potential." "The anxiety in America is caused by the vague
sense that they [China] has what we’re supposed to have.... faith in
the future...." "The U.S. now has an economy shifted too much toward
consumption, debt and imports and too little toward production,
innovation and exports." "It would be nice if some leader could induce
the country to salivate for the future again...connecting discrete
policies — education, technological innovation, funding for basic
research — into a single long-term narrative." "It would mean creating
regional strategies, because innovation happens in geographic clusters,
not at the national level."
David_Brooks  China  future  faith  innovation  regional  America_in_Decline?  consumption  debt  imports  clusters 
november 2009 by jerryking

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