May 7, 2007

Hey America

Your well earned worldly place may one day be under threat, here’s a few suggestions.

To keep your dominance you must re-focus on the skills that made you powerful in the first place, science, technology and a collective zest for excellence and distinction. You must increase efforts to protect your technological advantages and scientific advances. You must also produce and preserve home-grown engineers and scientists. You have the worlds most sought after PhD’s thanks to some excellent schools and universities but I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the classrooms of Princeton, Harvard, Duke, Stanford and Yale are filled with as many foreign students as there are American; foreign students who take their degrees and PhD’s back home with them. You need to promote your own to produce and cultivate that relentless spirit of innovation that made you great in the first place.

In China young adults are patterned to be proud, intelligent and loyal nationals with a dedicated progressive outlook; increasingly they are embracing good quality education and are protected from elements that run contrary to the nationalism, internet content included. I would not advocate the same control for you however; it seems your citizens are becoming less sophisticated and disinterested in the national course.

The educating of your people should revert to bygone days when every child was expected to have a basic understanding of you, the United States of America. A recent National Geographic survey found that a huge percentage of your citizens would struggle to find Iraq on a world map. Surprisingly, the same percentage knew that the island, on which a very popular reality television series was filmed, was in the Pacific and yet, most could not find Israel on a map and fewer than half struggled to find France and the United Kingdom. Even more astonishing is that half could not find New York State on a map of the United States. Such results would indicate that a bulk of your people is contributing to an early onset of cultural, social and national decay. Your people and electorate are increasingly not interested, uneducated and unsophisticated.

It seems that of your population of some 295 million, only a small percentage are contributing to driving your current international prominence, but what of the future?

Adapted from my 2005 article: China Corp: Broad perspectives on China's emergence and implications for the United States


Lauren said...

I would agree that one of our big problems in America is our lack of proper schooling. Our public education system is very poor with test scores ranking lower than those of children of other countries.

But I would also add that we must get back to the spirit that made America great as well. During the Revolutionary War, each colonist was rallied behind the cause of freedom. We banded together as a nation and fought and defeated the largest world power at that time because of our comraderie and willingness to sacrifice all for freedom. Our country has fallen from such a spirit, and sad to say, it shows.