Of the three major long-standing economic crises that America faces, the diminished competitive position globally is the most significant. The other two are debt and unemployment.
Many countries that have historically been socio-economic followers are now emerging as leaders in their own rights. Not only does America, as a nation, complete against the resurging economies of India, China, South Korea, or Japan and Western Europe, but also its companies compete against entrepreneurs and companies in other countries.
America is enduring an immigrant brain drain. Well-educated (on American dime) individuals are returning to their home countries in droves. As interest in engineering and science curriculums has waned in American universities, China produces four times as many engineers. American is also slipping in the number of science and engineering doctoral degrees awarded and the number of technology patents issued.
Emerging dominant economies are discovering that they need not necessarily be the inventors of cutting-edge technology to be able to develop practical applications and eek out economic advantages. They are leveraging the low-cost workforce, and the widespread dissemination of tools and techniques to further their economic competitiveness.
Robert Solow, the Nobel laureate, declared a few years ago, “The notion that God intended Americans to be permanently wealthier than the rest of the world, that gets less and less likely as time goes on.”