Unleashing the Second American Century

Unleashing the Second American Century

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Political gridlock in Washington... the lingering effects of the financial crisis... structural problems such as unemployment and the skills gap of our work force... the mediocre K-12 educational system. Are our best days behind us? Joel Kurtzman persuasively shows why all the talk about Americaa€™s decline is not only baseless but dead wrong. Our best days, are, in fact, ahead of us. Four transformational forcesa€”unrivaled manufacturing depth, soaring levels of creativity, massive new energy sources, and gigantic amounts of capital waiting to be investeda€”have been gathering steam. When combined they will provide the foundation for a much stronger economy, robust growth, and broad-based prosperity that will propel the United States to new heights. One endlessly repeated anxiety is that a€œwe dona€™t make anything here, anymore.a€ The reality, though, is that the US is the worlda€™s dominant manufacturing powera€”and growing. American companies produce 20 percent of the worlda€™s goods in the US and perhaps another 15 to 20 percent outside our country. And much of what we make is recession-proofa€”such as software, jetliners, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and food. Kurtzman reveals the stories of the unsung heroes who are the creative force leading the second American century, describing the payoff of the investment in our best minds. American companies have stunning levels of talent and creativity at work in the worlda€™s fastest growing economic sectorsa€”biotech, pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, telecommunications, advanced manufacturing, materials science, and aeronautical and space engineering. In these fields, Americans are without peer and consistently break new ground. We are coming to the realization that America is no longer beholden to the despots of foreign energy. Thanks to advances in technology developed in the US, we now have among the worlda€™s largest energy reserves, and are richer in energy resources than Saudi Arabia and second only to Russia. These three strengthsa€”manufacturing, soaring levels of creativity, and energy independencea€”will be magnified and synergistically combined with the unprecedented amount of capital that now lies idle. US companies of all types are hoarding cash and securities worth more than $4 trilliona€”an amount larger than the worlda€™s fourth largest economy, Germany. When the money starts flowing and is invested, it will rapidly propel every part of the economy forward.In China, products and processes can be patented that would never be granted a patent in the United States because they lack novelty. ... And, leta#39;s not forget the Kindle e-book reader, which was released by Amazon in 2007, almost three years before Apple sold its first iPad. ... in the world, or Intel, which still produces the advanced chips that make computers cheaper, faster, and better each year.

Title:Unleashing the Second American Century
Author:Joel Kurtzman
Publisher:PublicAffairs - 2014-02-25


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