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"That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented + How to Come Back"

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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 07:12 AM
Original message
"That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented + How to Come Back"

Politics
"That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back"

"Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum argue that the U.S. is facing 4 major challenges - competing globally (business), the IT revolution, chronic deficits, and excessive energy consumption - that need to be addressed immediately if we are to continue leading the world."

Full Presentation video can be seen here:

http://www.booktv.org/Program/12878/That+Used+to+Be+Us+...

"America is in trouble. We face four major challenges on which our future depends, and we are failing to meet themand if we delay any longer, soon it will be too late for us to pass along the American dream to future generations.
In That Used to Be Us, Thomas L. Friedman, one of our most influential columnists, and Michael Mandelbaum, one of our leading foreign policy thinkers, offer both a wake-up call and a call to collective action. They analyze the four challenges we faceglobalization, the revolution in information technology, the nations chronic deficits, and our pattern of excessive energy consumptionand spell out what we need to do now to sustain the American dream and preserve American power in the world. They explain how the end of the Cold War blinded the nation to the need to address these issues seriously, and how Chinas educational successes, industrial might, and technological prowess remind us of the ways in which that used to be us. They explain how the paralysis of our political system and the erosion of key American values have made it impossible for us to carry out the policies the country urgently needs.
And yet Friedman and Mandelbaum believe that the recovery of American greatness is within reach. They show how Americas history, when properly understood, offers a five-part formula for prosperity that will enable us to cope successfully with the challenges we face. They offer vivid profiles of individuals who have not lost sight of the American habits of bold thought and dramatic action. They propose a clear way out of the trap into which the country has fallen, a way that includes the rediscovery of some of our most vital traditions and the creation of a new thirdparty movement to galvanize the country.
That Used to Be Us is both a searching exploration of the American condition today and a rousing manifesto for American renewal."

Several excellent reviews of the book available here:

http://www.amazon.com/That-Used-Be-Us-Invented/dp/03742...

Excerpt from one review:

"Political Failure
Here the authors talk about how political paralysis has lead to poor standards of education, shoddy infrastructure, Brain Drain, lack of investments in growth areas and research institutions, a lack of regulations (ex. credit-default swap) and how we ended up chasing the losers of globalization. To drive home this point, the author gives a few examples that included the fact that in 2009 US consumers spent more on Potato Chips that the Govt spent on energy research! What I found interesting about this part is the analysis he made about why the country is politically polarized. Their conclusion seems to be based on a limited data set; so I'm not sure if one can conclusively make this argument, but it certainly is interesting. He talks about gerrymandering--with the pics of a couple of congressional districts--and how over time the balancing elements in each parties migrated to the other, thereby eliminating the in-party discussions that used to be there. This I found to be pretty interesting. We've heard the rest of the points enough in recent times: how politicians are not doing their part, the role played by lobbyists, 24/7 news cycles, loss of values etc. etc. "
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 07:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. But maybe the world "it" invented doesn't need to come back.

...... and left as a relic of the 20th century. This hegemonic obsession with "leading the world" needs to stop.


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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 08:30 AM
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2. +1
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izquierdista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
3. One of the worst problems.....
....Is that Thomas Friedman is an influential columnist. Part of hitting bottom is admitting that he's full of shit.
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