*This is my book report for reading Global Competitiveness-Getting the U.S. back on Track.
*This is a book written by some worrying people in the late 1980s about the seemingly likely decline of the United States. They were afraid that the U.S. was losing its competitive edge out to its international competitors, such as Japan and Germany. (Of course, no China-relating issues were mentioned in the first chapter depicting those days when Japan was the star performer, except the fact that China was one of the biggest exporters of immigrants to the U.S.) In the first chapter, author Richard D. Lamm insisted that everything in the U.S. ranging from its legal system to its political system, tax system, and even Americans’ “hubris” be changed to regain the U.S. dominance over its competitors. The United States needs a “generation” to conduct institutional before it can lead in the pack again, he declared.
Well, it sounds quite strange to me. What I knew was that in the 1990s the United States led a revolution called Information Technology that saw a nearly decade of strong economic growth in the U.S. It did not, as Lamm believed, take a whole generation for the country to lead the world again.
The book was published in 1988 and probably had been in the making during the 1980s. Things happened beyond his wildest dreams almost in the wake of the book’s publication. In the 1990s, things tipped in favor of the U.S. productivity and economy though its institutions or problems remained there, which he clamored to change or correct.
What on earth happened after the publication of Global Competitiveness-Getting the U.S. back on Track? The awfully sounding predictions, having a doomsday-of-the-U.S. air to them, made in the book proved upside down. I will read other books to find it out. But, as the first step, let me see what about the U.S. made Lamms squirm so uneasily in their chairs in the whole 1980s.
(Considering the upside down predictions, I have one more point to add, that is, predictions are no more than predictions. They just charter future changes based on current changes. They are all about changes. So, if predictions go awry, I’m amused, instead of amazed. They also remind me of the recent “Peaceful Rise of China”. Will it last? Is it something we can take for granted? What can hinder it, stop it, or even reverse it?)