Showing posts with label Second American Century. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Second American Century. Show all posts

Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Navy Comes Through

Our government does more good things than people want to give them credit for which gets pretty frustrating for me. Here's a great example:

US Navy Cracks New Renewable Energy Technology To Turn Seawater Into Fuel, Allowing Ships To Stay At Sea Longer.

The development of a liquid hydrocarbon fuel could one day relieve the military’s dependence on oil-based fuels and is being heralded as a “game changer” because it could allow military ships to develop their own fuel and stay operational 100 percent of the time, rather than having to refuel at sea. The new fuel is initially expected to cost around $3 to $6 per gallon, according to the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, which has already flown a model aircraft on it.


Consider that this same technology will be put out to the private sector at some point as well. That would completely change the face of energy on the planet. Countries like our own have access to abundant seawater which means we would be a powerhouse. Juxtapose that with out ability to innovate and that second American century is looking crystal clear.

Friday, February 28, 2014

America Is Not In Decline

Dovetailing quite nicely with Kurtzman's Second American Century is this piece from Politico magazine by Sean Starrs. Our continual and often hyperbolic obsession with "America's decline" really can be most hysterical and irrational.

It all started with a wave of declinism in the 1980s, set off by the rise of Japan. Then the doom and gloom suddenly vanished amid the triumphalism of the 1990s, which transformed the United States into the world’s only superpower. After the Sept. 11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq, many thought “empire” was a better moniker, with the United States apparently able to reshape world order virtually at will. And then just a few years later — poof! — declinism returned with a vengeance, with American power supposedly crashing like the latest Hollywood reality queen. China supplanted Japan as a hegemon on the rise, and the biggest global financial crisis since 1929 — emanating from the United States itself — was allegedly the final nail in the coffin of the American century.

This really is an issue that both parties are guilty of having their heads up their asses. Recently and in the same day, Bubba T and my ultra libertarian/rabid Randian brother in law both foamed at the mouth about how America is doomed. I realized how similar the far left and the far right sound when they are shrill:) But this is exactly what Starrs is talking about in this piece. For example, the metric by which we measure Chinese power is flawed.

China, for example, has been the world’s largest electronics exporter since 2004, and yet this does not at all mean that Chinese firms are world leaders in electronics. Even though China has a virtual monopoly on the export of iPhones, for instance, it is Apple that reaps the majority of profits from iPhone sales. More broadly, more than three-quarters of the top 200 exporting firms from China are actually foreign, not Chinese. This is totally different from the prior rise of Japan, propelled by Japanese firms producing in Japan and exporting abroad.

In the age of globalization, we can't measure a country's economic power in the same way.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Second American Century

Joel Kurtzman, former Editor in Chief of the Harvard Business Review, recently posted a great summation of his new book, Unleashing the Second American Century: Four Forces for Economic Dominance. Looks like I am going to need this book ASAP.

The core of his argument is optimism. Despite the continual drudge of negative views of the future of our country,  we are indeed poised to continue our hegemonic dominance of the world. Kurtzman posits that because of the following four reasons, the future is looking very, very bright for you country.

American Creativity

Manufacturing Renaissance

An Energy Bonanza

Abundant Capital

He offers brief summations of each of these reasons in the linked post above. I'll be taking about this book as I read it, thus the new tag called "Second American Cenutry."

If I were a political party in this country (hint hint), I would jump on the Kurtzman bandwagon right now. Optimism always wins the day over anger, hatred, and fear.