The Third Economic Revolution: Is It Boom or Bust for America?
Seems like Congress may be chock-full of able self-described historians, but they fail miserably as futurists and leaders of change.
Sadly, we continue to witness a series of American leaders failing to choose to change and perhaps make progressive history, preferring to remain with the status quo and threatening to turn America’s once-and-future competitiveness into history while attending Mad Hatter Tea Parties.
Our country, joined by the rest of the world, is living through the most profound, the most significant, and the most transformative economic revolution in the history of the world.
But, where • the first economic revolution — the agricultural revolution — took 3,000 years, and • the second — industrial revolution — took 300 years, • this third economic revolution will take only 30 years.
And if we’re not quicker, it will be over before we knew it began.
As President Obama reminded in his 2011 State of the Union address,
“In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work, and do business.”
America cannot confront the challenges we’re facing with constituency groups operating in separate silos or like-minded individuals failing to combine their voices. Our country’s failure to break loose from conventional wisdom (which some embrace as “common sense”) and embrace the future serve as the biggest threat to America’s future.
The President spoke out about a 2011 “Sputnik moment.” In 1957, Americans were shocked to discover that the Soviet Union had successfully launched the world’s first satellite into space… and… this country responded to the news with a patriotic effort to join the Soviets in space by launching Explorer I and creating NASA.
It should have actually been that the 2008 Olympics in Beijing served as the other “Sputnik moment” for Americans, when they saw the striking evidence of China’s economic might. Americans had the chance to respond to China’s reality with a plan as quickly and effectively as we did to Sputnik. It would have been the signature test for our generation and a history making moment for the children’s future.
We missed that “Aha” moment…
Now, two years after the Beijing Olympics and • in an increasingly global economy, • with workers having endured both a jobless decade and • three decades of virtually no wage growth, • capped off by an economic collapse… America still has no plan to keep the American Dream alive or compete globally in the face of this third economic revolution.
Our Sputnik moment lacks the energy and political cohesion for lift off while China keeps rolling along.
New Congressmen and Tea Partiers pay homage to the free market as their economic cure-all, despite clear and convincing evidence to the contrary.
- Our employer based health care and pensions systems, by putting the cost of benefits on the price of our products, is a drag on American competitiveness, but politicians seem more comfortable designating “Obamacare” as the real root of all evil, while the “Supreme” Court seems stacked against its survival.
- Our competitors’ VAT taxes allow them to tax our exports while we let their imports into our country tax-free.
- While China promotes unions to raise wages, many US elected officials and leaders in our business community want them to disappear.
- Our health care system costs 3 to 7% more of GDP than our competitors, but we continue to brag that it is the best in the world when, in fact, it delivers the worst health outcomes.
- And now the middle class jobs in legal, pharmaceutical research, and medical care, to name a few, are being shipped overseas in a trading system were America obeys the rules and others flout them.
- White collar parents who played by the rules and made sure their children had a college degree are asking this century the same question that was dismissively cast aside when raised by blue collar parents’ last century — where are my kids going to find a job?
President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, coupled with his 2008 campaign message, his 2009 New Foundation speech at Georgetown University, and recognition that this is not our father’s or grandfather’s economy establish his futurist credentials.
Yet, most of the political class in Washington mistakenly believe we can drive into the future looking in the rearview mirror of a Ford Pinto — with a Bible in our lap and a gun at our side.
Today, Americans are embroiled in a very different revolution than the one our forefathers engaged while fighting for liberty in 1776. Still, the truth is that this revolution, the third economic one, is the defining contemporary moment for our nation’s greatness.
Team USA needs a 21st century future oriented plan to make this a truly a country that works for everyone and where the dreams of the children still can come true.
Our future is not a matter of chance, but a matter of choice.
And it is time to decide!
Empty your Tea Cup and cast an eye to the reality future!