America’s Decline

In this Newsweek article, Fareed Zakaria explores the status of America as the world’s premier innovator. He takes to task the idea that somehow our culture is the predominant reason that we’ve held the status we’ve held. I’ve always felt that it was more likely that the state of the world at large, our geographical separation from Europe (especially during WWII), and our once dominant educational system had larger impacts than simply our culture and I think that Zakaria agrees here.

The first key idea here for me is that the US government used to spend significantly more money on basic research and development (as a percentage of GDP). In fact, Zakaria states that “the government’s share of overall R&D spending remains near its all-time low.”

The second key idea is about education in the US. Zakaria uses the example of California which “builds prisons, but not college campuses” anymore. Anyone who knows me well has probably heard me talk about how important I think education is and I would definitely stand for education reform and increased financing.

The overall growth in innovation from countries like China and India are on the grand scale wonderful things that we should not try and inhibit. Instead we should should try and compete in progress.

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