We're Not Sinking - The Others are Rising!
I just finished reading an article in the May 12 issue of Newsweek that made me think Fareed Zakaria is the smartest man in the universe. (Okay, I already suspected as much, but this confirmed it.) The article is titled "The Rise of the Rest," and is adapted from Zakaria's book, "The Post-American World." It explores the ways the 21st century world is changing. "...the patterns of the past are being scrambled...and the U.S. does not seem to be leading the charge." China, India and Brazil are the dynamos. Other, smaller countries are growing quickly, as well. Zakaria call it "the rise of the rest - the rest of the world." Americans are frightened and defensive at the thought, but we shouldn't be. Though at times everything we hear and see on the evening news seems so dire, our impressions are shaped by the extreme, non-relenting COVERAGE of the news. But Z. makes a good case that terrorism, while still a terrible threat, is losing popularity and is being combatted effectively in most parts of the world. And, "the underlying reality across the globe is of enormous vitality. ...most countries around the world are practicing sensible economics...poverty is falling...global trade is growing..."
Many Americans fear that the rise of others mean the decline of America. But just because we are not necessarily number 1 by all measures, does not mean we've been hurt. "America has benefited massively from globalization...It remains dominant in many industries of the future..its universities are the finest in the world..." Much of our success is owed to immigrants. "Foreign students and immigrants account for almost 50% of all science researchers in the country...The potential for a new burst of American productivity depends...on our immigration policies...the country thrives on the hunger and energy of poor immigrants...for 60 years the U.S. has pushed countries to open their markets, free up their politics and embrace trade and technology." Let's not resist doing the same. We should embrace the "rise of the rest," not fear it.
Okay, you get the idea. If you'd like to read more, check out the May 12 Newsweek, or better yet, get Zakaria's book. Then tell me about it. I'm too lazy to read the whole book.