Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Post-American World

Zakaria's central thesis is that while the U.S. still has many unique assets, "the rise of the rest" -- the Chinas, the Indias, the Brazils and even smaller nonstate actors -- is creating a world where many other countries are slowly moving up to America's level of economic clout and self-assertion, in every realm. "Today, India has 18 all-news channels of its own," notes Zakaria. "And the perspectives they provide are very different from those you will get in the Western media. The rest now has the confidence to present its own narrative, where it is at the center."

For too long, argues Zakaria, America has taken its many natural assets -- its research universities, free markets and diversity of human talent -- and assumed that they will always compensate for our low savings rate or absence of a health-care system or any strategic plan to improve our competitiveness.

"That was fine in a world when a lot of other countries were not performing," argues Zakaria, but now the best of the rest are running fast, working hard, saving well and thinking long term.

"They have adopted our lessons and are playing our game," he said. If we don't fix our political system and start thinking strategically about how to improve our competitiveness, he added, "the U.S. risks having its unique and advantageous position in the world erode as other countries rise."

When Wagga sent me this article mentioning Fareed Zakaria's “The Post-American World” I was reminded of this recent photo of Obama.

Other than "My Pet Goat" I wonder what Bush has read since he has been in office...

17 comments:

Akubi said...

Apparently "Bush never, ever leaves home without his trusty copy of the children's book The Very Hungry Caterpillar."
Is there any evidence that W reads books geared towards a post-kindergarten audience?

Ogg the Caveman said...

Murst!

I recall reading some years back that Bush has not read a book in many years (apparently not counting My Pet Goat). I don't believe him to be illiterate, but he is clearly not a reader.

As for the subject of the post, such arcs inevitably head downward. If American power and influence is not now declining, it will. The goal is not to prevent that inevitable loss of position but to make it hurt as little as possible.

Akubi said...

@Ogg,
White House aides claim he is a bookworm. Do you believe them?

Ogg the Caveman said...

@ Akubi:

No.

Akubi said...

W the existentialist.

Edgar Alpo said...

The rest of the world must take more responsibility for managing world affairs and world resources because clearly the US PTB is not qualified to manage a 7-11.

Akubi said...

Googling W's reading material is quite entertaining: George W. Bush Library Established: Two Books, One Barely Colored In

Post-Clinton Nation said...

Why can't the Clinton campaign take the holiday weekend as an opportunity to STFU?

Mitchell said...

Bush with a book

Edgar Alpo said...

We should all feel comforted by the fact that should something unfortunate befall B.H.O. Billary is ready to lead from day one.

Akubi said...

@Edgar,
Hey, the PTB can default on 3 houses, read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and simultaneously avoid taxes and energy bills. Of course they could manage a 7-11!

@Post-Clinton Nation,
Who doesn’t want Billary to STFU?

@Mitchell,
Interesting photo. W looks so natural carrying a book doesn’t he? Given Fox/Faux News (now also favored by Clintonistas) how can he possibly claim media bias?

Akubi said...

Weird OT phenomenon I can’t quite figure out: last night I ate at an Asian fusion restaurant and came home with red sores/blisters on my elbows. Yes, I never listened to my aunt who would poke my elbows with a fork when they were on the table as a kid so I’ve retained those bad manners. However, what possibly could have been on the table to leave my elbows in such a state? They hurt even more today.

Edgar Alpo said...

...and came home with red sores/blisters on my elbows.

That sounds like it might be an allergic reaction to something. Wash hands,, face, elbows, etc., with soap and water, keep clean and if it doesn't clear up, or gets worse, you may need to see a doctor. Always pay attention to rashes, they are often an early warning symptom.

Edgar Alpo said...

Oops! Be careful. Wash hands and face first, then dry, then wash areas affected by rash, then throw towel in wash after drying rash area so as not to spread irritant.

Akubi said...

Would they clean the table with lye? That's rather what it seems like.

Edgar Alpo said...

Would they clean the table with lye?

It could be anything. Cleaning chemicals, hot peppers, spices, poison ivy, something you ate, bacteria. There's no telling.

Edgar Alpo said...

Bottom line, keep it away from your eyes!