Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Post American World

Newsweek had an article today, I believe it is an excerpt from a book, called The Post-American World. Considering the title I expected it to be pretty alarmist. Surprisingly it wasn't, and actually put the world in fairly good perspective. Poor countries are getting richer, wars are becoming less common, the world is generally becoming a better place. Just one where there are more countries that are nearly as wealthy as we are, and therefore we are unlikely to maintain our influence.

Random quotes from the article:

"Americans—particularly the American government—have not really understood the rise of the rest. This is one of the most thrilling stories in history. Billions of people are escaping from abject poverty. The world will be enriched and ennobled as they become consumers, producers, inventors, thinkers, dreamers, and doers. This is all happening because of American ideas and actions. For 60 years, the United States has pushed countries to open their markets, free up their politics, and embrace trade and technology. American diplomats, businessmen, and intellectuals have urged people in distant lands to be unafraid of change, to join the advanced world, to learn the secrets of our success."

"But America's hidden secret is that most of these engineers are immigrants. Foreign students and immigrants account for almost 50 percent of all science researchers in the country. In 2006 they received 40 percent of all PhDs. By 2010, 75 percent of all science PhDs in this country will be awarded to foreign students."

Really? in 4 years it is on track to go up by 25%? I have never heard that one. I know Cornell is still about 50% foreign students. I would be surprised to see schools 80 or 90% to counter balance us.

"Twenty years ago, the United States had the lowest corporate taxes in the world. Today they are the second-highest. It's not that ours went up. Those of others went down."

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