Okay, so maybe we don't get doses of optimism every day, but today we do.
This doesn't particularly lend itself to excerpts, so you may need to read it all. I finally did... because The Husband insisted.
(Who says men don't nag? )
In January 1912, the United States emerged from a two-year recession. Nineteen more followed—along with a century of phenomenal economic growth. Americans in real terms are 700% wealthier today.
In hindsight it seems obvious that emerging technologies circa 1912—electrification, telephony, the dawn of the automobile age, the invention of stainless steel and the radio amplifier—would foster such growth. Yet even knowledgeable contemporary observers failed to grasp their transformational power.
In January 2012, we sit again on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century.
All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution....
... consider three features that most define America, and that are essential for unleashing the promises of technological change: our youthful demographics, dynamic culture and diverse educational system.
First, demographics. By 2020, America will be younger than both China and the euro zone, if the latter still exists. Youth brings more than a base of workers and taxpayers; it brings the ineluctable energy that propels everything. Amplified and leavened by the experience of their elders, youth and economic scale (the U.S. is still the world's largest economy) are not to be underestimated, especially in the context of the other two great forces: our culture and educational system.
The American culture is particularly suited to times of tumult and challenge. Culture cannot be changed or copied overnight; it is a feature of a people that has, to use a physics term, high inertia. Ours is distinguished by incontrovertibly powerful features, namely open-mindedness, risk-taking, hard work, playfulness, and, critical for nascent new ideas, a healthy dose of anti-establishment thinking. Where else could an Apple or a Steve Jobs have emerged?
.... We should also remember that more than half of the world's top 100 universities remain in America, a fact underscored by soaring foreign enrollments. Yes, other nations have fine universities, and many more will emerge over time. But again the epicenter remains here.
What should our politicians do to help usher in this new era of entrepreneurial growth? Liquid financial markets, sensible tax and immigration policy, and balanced regulations will allow the next boom to flourish. But the essential fuel is innovation.
The promise resides in the tectonic technological shifts under way....