It is symptomatic of the national condition of the United States that the worst humiliation ever suffered by it as a nation, and by a US president personally, passed almost without comment last week. I refer to the November 20 announcement at a summit meeting in Phnom Penh that 15 Asian nations, comprising half the world’s population, would form a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership excluding the United States.
President Barack Obama attended the summit to sell a US-based Trans-Pacific Partnership excluding China. He didn’t. The American led-partnership became a party to which no-one came.
Instead, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, plus China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, will form a club and leave out the United States. As 3 billion Asians become prosperous, interest fades in the prospective contribution of 300 million Americans – especially when those Americans decline to take risks on new technologies. America’s great economic strength, namely its capacity to innovate, exists mainly in memory four years after the 2008 economic crisis.
Update: This reminded me of something I read earlier at Captain Capitalism:
In basically 20 years we went from propeller airplanes to a BOMBER that could do Mach 3. 10 years later, moon landing (and no comments about how NASA was a waste)
What have we done in the past 50 years? Yes yes, I know, a bunch of computer stuff, hurray . Great, we can text. But that’s just the point, we will never know what we could have achieved had we kept up with the historical level of economic growth and technological innovation. …
The worst part of the US not achieving its best is that by default it makes it impossible for the individual to achieve his/her best. Being brought up in the 70′s and 80′s we were told/brainwashed that the US was the greatest country in the world and if you worked hard you could achieve anything. Certianly the historical evidence proved that. So why would a little kid think any different? It only served to inflate young kids dreams and expectations, making the crash even harsher. Sure enough, slowly, over the course of 20 years, entering adulthood, the economic realities of this nation and the idiots that voted those realities in whisk away your dreams, and worse, make you fear the future.
So now instead of worrying if there will be hover cars,
we worry if we can have cars period, let alone afford the gas.
Instead of worrying about whether you’ll own your own personal plane,
we worry about whether we can afford a flight somewhere for winter.
Instead of worrying about finding the “right one”
you’ll settle for somebody that doesn’t have illegimate kids, hasn’t filed for bankruptcy, and have a part-time job. (Read More)