Tags: Americans | Living | Denial | Economic | Future

FT: Americans Living in Denial Over Economic Future

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 08:54 AM

U.S. workers have been led to believe that a mixture of domestic stimulus and gradual entitlement reform will create long-term sustainable jobs in the industries in which they currently work, but that just isn't so, says Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at National University of Singapore.

"The idea that the U.S. too may have to adapt to new global economic realities seems almost inconceivable to Americans," Mahbubani writes in the Financial Times.

“Most Americans assume that, in the end, all will be well,” says Mahbubani.

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“But they have failed to notice one missing dimension: in a global economic system in which Asia is increasingly central, their country is no longer a price-maker. It has slipped to become a mere price-taker instead.”

There was a time when the great American economy could set its own course, and the rest of the world adjusted. Now, Mahbubani says, the U.S. economy can now become globally competitive only if it makes an effort to understand its relative competitiveness in the world.

"Manufacturing is thriving in China, Germany, Sweden and Singapore only because their governments set up specific vocational institutes to prepare workers for new industries," he says.

China, Mahbubani notes, has rapidly overtaken the United States in green technology because of a coordinated national response, not because Chinese businesses alone invested in green technology.

Bloomberg Business Week reports that a Chinese manufacturing index declined in April from March, indicating that growth may moderate in the world’s second-biggest economy after the government raised interest rates and allowed faster gains in the yuan.

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U.S. workers have been led to believe that a mixture of domestic stimulus and gradual entitlement reform will create long-term sustainable jobs in the industries in which they currently work, but that just isn't so, says Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of...
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Tuesday, 10 May 2011 08:54 AM
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