hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights,
that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
SUMMARY: Revision 2005
Surprisingly, there are not many surveys about the future of the USA (Just try Google). Most of books and articles about this topic often expose truism and stereotypes. Of course, the US is a global success story. We may say that it is an utopia realized here and now. However, we should have better to avoid hypes and to screen assets and opportunities.
The success results of a mixture of factors that have been gathered in the US and not elsewhere. Among these factors, one of the most importance is the US global culture. However, it is also the most fragile. Indeed, we have to determine how this factor will be maintained in the future.
The population of the USA attains 298 million and would reach 361 million in 2030. The US will remain the third largest populated country after India and China. Thanks to large open spaces, a thriving economy, and finally a common culture, the constant immigration of skilled people has been a cause of the success story.
The US economy attains 12,150 $Billion and represents 31% of the world Gross Domestic Product in 2004. We may expect 26,000 $Billion in 2030 and $72,000 per capita. Free market and private entrepreneurship are often invoked to explain this economic success. In fact, the Federal State has constantly played a larger role than it is currently believed. Finally, the main cause of the steady growth relies on the american openness to creativity and technical progress both in the private and public spheres. It means that the cultural factor is the main key of this success.
The US has really invented a new society based on free individuals and Democracy. However, it implies that the free individuals, whatever their diversity ( Languages, religion and so on) are federated by a global culture which is the real knot between the different identities. Unfortunately, many scholars are campaigning against the US culture and try to favor policies based on ethnic and religious communities. Such a trend could lead to the disintegration of the entire society. Clearly, the only way is to reaffirm the universal values of the US culture. Thanks to President Bush election, we may hope that America will maintain its culture. It is a key challenge because the US culture is the main source of creativity, and in turn creativity is the main asset to solve problems in the future.
Beside the cultural challenge, our diagnosis lists two vulnerabilities: Firstly, the US economy partly depends on foreign credit and is not shielded from the risks of a new great depression. Secondly, the high education too much relies on the brain drain of foreign students and scientists. However, the US success story is expected to going on. The US is moving towards new frontiers such as the North American Integration and the endless frontier: Science. Thanks to these progress, the US could invent a new economy based on abundance. Such a great achievement would confirm that this nation "under God" has a manifest destiny.
All the facts regarding the US success story are well known. We cannot isolate one golden key. The success results of a mixture of factors that have been gathered in the US and not elsewhere. In fact we have to seek what is the more fragile factor. We shall see that it is the US global culture.
It is a banality to say that the success story has been facilitated by the large open spaces of the US ( 9.6 million square kilometers and a density of only 32 ). Compared to Canada ( 9.9 million and 3 as density! ) whom a large surface is covered by the permafrost, the US benefits of good climate and most of the areas are convenient for human occupation. Of course desert areas exist in the South West but there are yet large rich territories which still remain quite empty (Such as the Montana: the Big sky country) until today.
Since the beginning, travelers and novelists ( Such as Chateaubriand ) were fascinated by the virgin nature and the abundance of natural resources. They used to compare America with a new Eden. With gold mining, this Eden was associated with a new el dorado. All these factors persuaded people that a new paradise was awaiting the industrious Europeans.
friendly nature is one cause of the success story. Of course it cannot
be the only cause because some countries offering the same opportunities
(Such as Argentina) have not been successful. It means that the US virgin
nature has been exploited by the right people. Look at the next map
According to the UN medium projection (Revision 2004-See world population prospects) the population attains 298 million in 2004. It would reach about 361 million in 2030 and 395 in 2050. The US will remain the third largest populated country after India and China. Since the beginning, this US population evolves rapidly. Look at the next drawing (In Million):
Population -------- 5----- 17----- 31----- 76----158----210----298
Of course, a large growing population is not the cause of the success story (India has the world largest population and is nevertheless a very poor country). However, the massive immigration of skilled and yet educated people has certainly favored the good results.
1-Clearly, the United States is a nation built upon immigration through successive waves: In 18th the population only accounted for few millions people. The British ( 1,500,000 ) were concentrated in thirteen colonies along the Atlantic. A french minority ( 80,000 ) was settled in the lower Mississippi Valley and founded New Orleans in 1718. This British and French implantation was followed by the Irish ( Due to a famine, Irish massively migrated to the US ). A second wave began with Germans, Swedish and Danes. In the later 19th century, a third wave included large numbers of Russians, Poles and Ukrainians. From 1900 to 1910, a fourth wave brought Italians and people coming from South eastern Europe. Finally, a fifth wave arrived in the 1930s ( Persecution of Jews by the Nazis in Germany ). By 1921, it was estimated that these successive waves had brought: Germans: 15 million; British and Irish: 10 million; Italians: 5 million; Eastern Europe: 5 million. By the end, about 70 million Europeans have migrated to the US between 1800 and 2000. We may say the Europeans countries which are still today unable to unite, have realized their real unity in the US under a common culture and language ( Basic english ).
2-In 1965, quotas by nationalities were suppressed in order to increase the labor force required by the strength of the economy. A new wave began. The next table shows the migrants flows since 1961 ( in Million- only legal and permanent migrants ):
Period---------- 61-70------ 71-80----- 81-90------- 91-2000
Migrants-------- 3,3--------- 4,5-------- 7,3----------- 9
Since 1960, the US receives more newcomers than at any time since the peak immigration years of the early twentieth century. In contrast to earlier waves, most of migrants come from central America, Asia, the pacific rim and are more diverse than those who came before them. In fact, Migrants from central America ( Latinos ) are mostly from European origin just like Spanish, Italian or French. What is more, they are Christians. Consequently, it is wrong to say that the population is one of the world's most ethnically diverse. In fact, white represent 81.7%, black: 12.9%, Asian: 4.2%, Amerindian and Alaska native: 1%, native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander: 0.2% . There is only a shift from Anglo-Saxon to Hispanic ( The difference between "white hispanic" and "white non hispanic" is just an inheritance of the Anglo-Saxon superiority feeling. Just recall that the British canadians used to say "Speak white!" to the French Canadian who were trying to preserve their own language! ).
3-This continuous immigration has been a massive asset bringing a skilled manpower ready to work and many scientists ( Samuel Slater, and Richard Arkwright, pioneers of the revolution in textile machinery, arrived in the United States in 1789. Last arrivals included Albert Einstein, Alfred Adler, Edward Teller ). Today, the pacific rim and Asia provide the US with high qualified migrants. For example, 34% of the American doctors in science are born outside the US just like 32% of the physic Nobel prize.
US stands as the first largest economy in the world in 2004. It represents 31% of the world GDP. Its GNI attains 12,150 $Billion. The GNI per capita reaches $41,000 and ranks third in the world ( After Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland: Small countries with specific situations ). Considering the future, we can expect a GNI of 26,000 $Billion in 2030 and a GNI per capita about $72,000.
Traditionally, abundant resources, large internal market, free entrepreneurship are commonly invoked to explain this economic success. In fact, the federal State has constantly played a larger role than it is currently believed and until today the US economy offers some characteristics inspired by the Keynesian policies. Finally, the main cause of the steady growth relies on the american openness to creativity and technical progress both in the private and public spheres. It means that the cultural factor is the main key of this success.
131-The big pictures
1-The main figures of the US economy are given by the next drawing (Gross domestic product in $Billion ) and notably the US percentage of the world economy in 1990 and in 2004. Clearly, the US has increased its predominance. However, the figure (31%) remains below the historical peak attained by the end of WW2: 45%
Years------------- 1990----------------- 2004
GDP-------- 21,676---------------- 39,800
2-The US economy has notably speeded up in the 90. Consider the next drawing (Yearly GDP growth rate in %, Gross capital formation in % of GDP, )
growth rate ------------4%------1%-----2%------3%-----4%
Despite a sharp increase in energy prices, the yearly growth rate has reached 4 in 2004 and is expected to attain 4.5 in 2005. Unemployment remains low (About 5%)
3-Considering 2030, we have set up one projection based on a yearly growth rate of 3% which corresponds to the steady growth of US economy for twenty years. The next drawing shows the results ( Population in Million, GDP in Billion, GNI per capita in $).
The US is the sole nation which is bringing prosperity to so much people. It is realizing the purpose to facilitate the pursuit of happiness.
132-The State plays a large role
The federal State has constantly played a larger role than it is currently believed. Today, despite a conservative government, the US economy offers some characteristics inspired by Keynesian policies
1-During all the 19th, the US was a protectionist country with high tariffs (on an average of 33%). One major cause of the civil war was the opposition between the free traders of the South and the protectionists who aimed to protect the new industry. In the early 20th, during the golden age of the US liberalism under the presidencies of Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, the average tariffs on manufactured products ranked at 38%!
2-In the course of the 20th century, the proportion of State expenditure as a percentage of GDP constantly increased. The State's proportion represented 10 % of GDP before the First World War. Today, the figure has increased to 35 %. There are three reasons for this increase: Firstly, the world wars have a substantial part to play. The effort required for the Second World War caused the State's proportion of GDP to increase to 50%. At the end of both wars, the State's proportion fell but still remained higher than its pre-war level. Secondly, the acute economic crisis of 1929 was used to justify the States voluntary intervention in economic regulation. Keynesian theories stressed the importance of public control to be able to fight unemployment effectively, at a time when unemployment had reached a record high. Thirdly, a growing number of citizens want the State to guarantee a minimum level of security for all. As a result, expenditures on health and the pension systems constantly increase.
3-After WW2, all economists were haunted by the great depression and most governments favored more regulations, a large State intervention and a welfare policy. Thanks to these policies and the reconstruction, all OCDE countries knew a fast growth ( On an average of 5%) over 30 years. With the crude oil shock in 1973, all the economies entered in a period of slow growth (About 2%) and stagflation. Progressively, the after war Keynesian policies were abandoned and replaced by the Washington consensus ( Inspired by the Chicago monetarist school ). Because of the cold war, the US leaders ( Reagan and Bush ) did not applied these measures to their own country. They notably maintained huge public spendings through a massive rearmament (Of course they were right to act like that). As a result, the US economy began to grow faster than in Europe.
2-The present situation: Conservative or keynesian policy?
Today, despite the hype about the conservative policy, the US economy offers some characteristics inspired by Keynesian policies. This situation can lead to a certain vulnerability.
1-According to the free trade theory, a mature economy should display a positive trade balance. In fact, the US has a negative trade balance of -440 Billion: Consider the next drawing. It shows the exports and imports of goods and services in % of the GDP.
2-Moreover, the US has very large public spendings (Military spending: 420) and deficits. The solution should be to limit US expenses. On the other hand, US deficits sustain the world economy and the US military represents the ultimate life insurance of the free world.
3-This policy should lead to a strong inflation and a fall of the dollar. In fact, the large imports of cheap Chinese products have contributed to stabilize the global level of prices. The pressure on wages is compensated by a massive immigration. The fall of the dollar is prevented because China and other creditors contribute to the Dollar stability in buying extensively the US treasury bonds.
4-It means that the US consumers live on the credit of foreign creditors. Firstly, the US consumers buy 90% of the US production thanks to credit. Most of households are heavily indebted. Secondly, this credit policy is facilitated by the low rates in spite of the deficit spending. Thirdly, these low rates are possible because the US banking system receives money from outside. Just imagine that these foreign creditors tighten their conditions: Loan rates would rise, indebted consumers would not buy anymore and the US could face a major crisis like in the 30th. Fortunately, all the other economies also depend on the US growth and are eager to maintain the stability of this system!
the other hand, everybody
agree that inequalities are rising: The majority of
the labor force has not shared the gains from economic growth over the
last decades. Since 1975, practically all the gains in income have gone
to the top 20% of households. Of course, Growth
needs savings and since the amount of saving is related to the income,
a fast growth always implies widen inequalities in the income distribution.
However, a country which sells 90% of its production on its internal
market must increase the solvency of the consumers by rising the wages
in order to avoid an overproduction crisis. In fact, since the low workers
have not benefited of an increase of their wages, the sustainability
of the consumer power has been got through the increase of population
(Immigration) and the distribution of easy credit in replacement of
good wages. Clearly, such a scheme is fragile.
In the long run, the main cause of the success relies on the american openness to creativity and technical progress both in the private and public spheres.
The US has constantly been at the forefront of all the technical and scientific revolutions. This advance relies itself on a great number of scientists and the impulse brought by WW2 and the cold War (Space race notably). US firms are leaders, especially in computers and in medical, aerospace, and military equipment. Right now, the % of high technology exports in manufactured exports remains high. Consider the next drawing:
1999---- 2000---- 2001---- 2002----- 2003
Private business, State agencies ( Manhattan project, Nasa, US military ) and academies have played a major role in the economic success and the emergence of the USA as a super power. This explanation is in accordance with our global motto: Creativity is the golden key of success.
Clearly, creativity is linked to culture and politics (Such as freedom of consciousness and the truth in progress). It means that we have to examine right now the most important factor : The US global culture.
The US has really invented a new society and culture only based on free individuals and democracy. This society is certainly the best possible world. It can end with racism and totalitarianism that had afflicted the human history for so long. However, it implies that the free individuals, whatever their diversity ( Languages, religion and so on) are federated by a common culture which is the real knot between the different identities.
Unfortunately, a strong movement aims to destroy the US culture and campaigns for a policy based on ethnic and religious communities. Such a trend could lead to the disintegration of the entire society. Either the US will preserve its genuine global culture, either it will accept a patchwork of specific cultures based on ethnicity and religions and the US dream will fall down. Considering this challenge, the only self defense is to reaffirm the universal values of the US culture.
The US culture includes the legacy of the European enlightenment and some specific features brought by the melting pot of the migrants cultures.
211-European enlightenment legacy
The european enlightenment was based on personal freedom, democracy, trust in Science, technical progress and the willingness to bring happiness to people. The USA are based on these values.
1-Role of the Constitution
The fact to have a constitution is an european legacy. The former British colonizers have not any constitution. The idea of a constitution is related to the French philosophers such as Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot and so on.
Since the migrants are coming from everywhere, the US as a nation, cannot be based on ethnicity, languages, habits or the fact to belong to a large family. The nation building only relies on the universals rights written in the constitution ( The naturalization implies a pledge of allegiance to the US constitution). The US is the only nation in the world only based on the social contract imagined by Rousseau. For example, the French have a constitution but the feeling to be French does not depend upon the constitution (Indeed the French change it constantly!): Until a recent time, it depended on the fact to be born in France from French ancestors, to share the same history and territory, to have the same habits and to belong to the same great family. Of course a nation built up on migrants cannot rely on these feelings. It can only rely on a social contract.
Surprisingly, the constitutional link is more efficient than the feelings associated to the idea of a Motherland. While the patriotism is vanishing in many European countries, all the US citizens remain very patriot and exhibit the US flag everywhere (Both in private and public buildings). Patriotism is also grounded in the recent citizens.
2-Role of God
The constitution refers to God in its text and in different public symbols ( The one dollar bank note "In God we trust" and the pledge of allegiance that includes the words "under God"). It is often believed that it is due to the first puritan migrants (The pilgrim fathers). Once again, it is also a legacy of the 18th philosophers. Clearly, Rousseau or Voltaire were Deist ( What is more, the French revolution imposed to worship the "Supreme Being"). The idea was to strengthen the Human rights in embedding them not only in the human society or in the nature but mostly in the God Will.
As a result, religion is rooted in the US. Many different churches of every religion, as well as many smaller sects can be found throughout the country. However, people are mostly christians: Protestant: 52%, Roman Catholic: 24%, Mormon: 2%, Jewish: 1%, Muslim: 1%, other: 10%, none: 10%. Moreover, there are no rules on religion, and it is against the US constitution to develop a State religion.
The main consequence of the constant reference to God is the emphasize on ethics. There is no room for moral relativism "Under God". Good and evilness have the same meaning for every people. This ethic influences the entire society and represents an asset: We more and more realize that Capitalism cannot work without a minimum of ethical values. (Go to malaise in Globalization and world corruption)
The melting pot of different cultures has brought new cultural features that do not exist neither in Europe nor elsewhere. Some of these features are well known and compose the American way of life: The absence of visible social hierarchy (Notably dress code), the absence of barriers to the individual success (Self made man), the buoyant activity (Time is money) and so on. Beyond these stereotypes, we would like to underline some social and individual features: Organization, social activism, optimism and trust in people.
We may take notice of two important features: Organization and social activism. One may observe that organization is prevalent both in peace and war time. Only the USA are able to manage in hurry enormous projects with a high level of efficiency (Manhattan project, D.Day, space race and so on). This organization is a booster of the economic productivity and explains why the US firms can be so large (Most of the 500 top transnational companies are US) and so flexible. Some scholars, and notably Andre Siegfried thought that this organization was a legacy of the german massive immigration. He used to say that the USA were the best pupils of Germany rather than of the British. In fact, german organization implies usually heavy hierarchies that do not exist in America. I think that flexible organization and efficient management are really an US invention.
Tocqueville observed the capacity of small citizens groups to solve daily problems. Everyday, many groups of social activists are emerging and thanks to a strong entrepreneurship spirit, new business are created every minute. In spite of their individualism, the US citizens are constantly eager to act in order to get new social or economic outcomes. Clearly the citizens apply the Andy Warhol motto: Do not think- Act now! In Europe, the current mood seems to be : Constantly think, write a lot of surveys and never act!
Clearly, these social features are related to Optimism. People do not look backward: To morrow is always a new day bringing new opportunities. This optimistic mood is connected to the perception of space and time. Firstly, the idea that the US is a land of opportunities is linked to the open spaces which remain quite virgin in many areas. Secondly, the migrants do not like to speak about their native country often perceived as a land of misery. They do not matter too much about history and focus on the future.
Trust in other people is also a specific future. Things are easy in America because people trust in you. As a result, the entire society provides individuals with empowerment.The USA are really an open society.
3-On the other hand, some features would be subject to question: The puritanism coming up from the early migrants has brought prudery and by opposition some phantasms (Just look your spam records!). It has also enhanced some excess in gender matter (Some US women consider a gallant remarks as an offence!). It has also led to some cranky regulations such as the alcohol prohibition in the 20th. The slave history of the US has also brought some remnant racism: The WASP (White Anglo-Saxon protestants) must realize that the WHILAC (White latin catholic-I have just invented this word!) will represent a more and more large share of the US population in the future. This evolution could bring a more hedonistic way of life (See South America) and a french touch which yet existed in the Old South. Finally, too much importance is given to money in social relation: Of course money is a better benchmark of social achievement than nobility or snobbism. Nevertheless, never forget to ask: How have you earned it? Moreover, materialism is too much rooted: Too much people think that they will get happiness through the accumulation of food (Obese) or material products.
Just like the French revolution, the founding fathers conceived the new nation as bearing an universal message: Freedom of consciousness, Human Rights, Democracy. They built up a nation which would provide a home, a refuge, and a land of freedoms to all.
Since these universal values are grounded in the American society, it is not surprising that the US culture is a magnet for individuals everywhere in the world and especially among the youth. Indeed the American culture ( Dressing, movies, music, arts, food, language) plays a leading role in the world. Globally, it is perceived like an ideal in most European countries, in Eastern Europe and Russia, and even in China and in the North east Asia.
Of course, there are some jealous feelings and notably in South America. Moreover , the American culture is perceived as an evilness by all the dictatorships. In fact, hatred feelings are limited to the muslim world (Greater Middle East, the Horn of Africa and countries including large muslim communities such as France and Germany).
Considering the constant flows of migrants of different origins, it is obvious that without this global culture, the US would had certainly return to the old religious strifes and nationalistic wars between communities.
221-Civil war: Clash of cultures
In the past, this global culture had been threatened by the civil war. It is currently said that the slavery question caused it. In fact, it was also a conflict of cultures. By 1860, the Old South was a specific civilization with a patriotism based on ethnicity and on the feeling to belong to one large family excluding both the slaves and the new waves of migrants coming in the North. In modern words, we could say that the Old South developed its own culture (The right to keep its slaves!) based on its own "ethnic community".
On the other hand, this specific culture, with its standards of living based on ethnicity and aristocratic or rural habits had no chance to become a global culture and to greet million migrants. Let's suppose that the South had won. The US destiny would have looked like those of European countries: The end of the the Utopia. Fortunately, the South was defeated and its beautiful ladies, gallant escorts, and brave Horsemen "gone with the wind". Thanks to the North victory, the US became the hub of migrants and it was the continuation of the success story.
222-Cultural relativism versus Global culture
Today, there is in America a strong movement (Notably leftist scholars and violent minorities) which is opposed to the US culture and campaigns for a policy based on ethnic and religious communities. Such a trend could lead to the disintegration of the entire society. Considering this challenge, the only self defense is to reaffirm the universal values of the US culture.
1-From global culture to multiculturalism.
It is often said that the US is a multicultural society. This assert can sound right because a global culture is not opposed to the diversity of cultures. For example, the diversity in cookings, festivals, musics and so on can be viewed as an asset.
However, this diversity must not oppose the process of integration and assimilation of new migrants. In the past, global culture and diversity were compatible but there are some concerns with the recent wave of immigration. Clearly, there is today many debates over the degree to which new immigrants are assimilating into American society (The most worrying fact is the number of illegal migrants-About 9 million).
In the same time, and in order to respect multiculturalism, many prestigious universities have set up speech codes to frame the comments over race, ethnicity, and gender. This trend characterized as "political correctness," has created a climate of intolerance and a threat to the freedom of expression.
2-From multiculturalism to affirmative action.
As a result, many people think today that the diversity of culture must authorize a community to have its own rights different of the rights of other communities! Indeed, many policies are including affirmative action and quotas. They target an increasing number of "minorities" : African Americans, trade unions, feminist organizations, gay rights groups, and environmentalists and so on. For example State-funded universities have the right to adopt admissions policies that give preference to African Americans.
We may posit that these policies threaten the American identity. Firstly, they are absolutely inefficient: For example, the black people continue to lag in economic standing, education, and other social areas. Secondly, the fact to give rights on the basis of a particular ethnicity represents a reversal racism. While the global culture aims to end with racism and ethnicity, the promoters of affirmative action introduce new rights based on ethnicity and consequently promote a new racism.
3-From affirmative action to the destruction of the US culture
In fact, the promoters of the affirmative action want to destroy the US culture. Firstly, they say that the US culture is just the white imperialist culture and is not adapted to some minorities which have their own values inherited from their genuine civilizations. Secondly, they posit that all civilizations have the same value (Cultural relativism). Thirdly, they assert that the US civilization ( Freedom, democracy ) is the worst! Consequently, any attempt to defend it is denounced as a racism while any effort to promote a subculture is welcomed. The origins of this cultural relativism is due to a team of French scholars: Levy Strauss, Derrida, Baudrillart, Bourdieu and so on.
The reference to God as a foundation of human rights is also contested. For example, there is an ongoing debate over the role of religion in public life. Issues such as "gay marriage" and "abortion" are pretext to destabilize the "Under God" concept and to mobilize the enemies of America. On the other hand, the moral relativism is one of the cause of the increase of grand corruption.
In the present context, characterized by the Islamic surge, this cultural trend is very dangerous. For example, the Islamic organizations in Canada have campaigned to set up Islamic tribunals in Quebec. By the end, you would have in America different rights based on ethnicity or religion. It means that the free individuals, whatever their diversity ( Languages, religion and so on) would not be any more federated by a global culture. Consequently problems resulting from the competition between ethnic and religious minorities would arise just like in the former Austrian empire. In such a context, the open society based on free individuals would not work and it could be the end of the US dream.
Clearly, the only way is to reaffirm the universal values of the US culture. Thanks to President Bush election, we may hope that America will maintain its culture. It is a key challenge because the US culture is the main source of creativity, and in turn creativity is the main asset to solve future challenges.
In the future, only creativity and new waves of innovations can solve the real challenges that the US will encounter. Lured by some false fears, too much people show benign neglect regarding a real threat: A new great depression.
Among uncertainties about the future, there are some false fears propagated by the anti globalization activists.
311-Energy and raw materials gap
1-It is currently said that the US economy will lack of energy and other raw materials. This fear is absolutely ungrounded: Even if the existing resources are limited, creativity enables us to get more from it by rearranging the resources. Beside the limited natural resources, creativity can create an artificial resource base. As for energy, its amount is just limited by the duration of the sun! The same can be said about vegetal and animal kingdom: Genetic enables us to clone creatures and to produce food without land by using some chemical liquid. Go to new growth theory.
2-In the short term, President Bush has launched an ambitious program in order to diversify the sources of energy. Moreover, we recommend to drill for all the oil in Alaska. The sustainability of the US economy is a more important issue than the comfort of the bears, coyotes and caribous!
1-The anti US activists constantly complain that the US society increases global warming and pollution. In our opinion, the US are right in refusing to sign the Kyoto protocol. Firstly, there is incomplete scientific knowledge of the causes of global climate change. Secondly, undeveloped countries are mainly responsible for this situation through massive deforestation. Thirdly, North America has yet engaged a large carbon storage program with a big replanting in order to match the damage. Look at the next drawing. ( Evolution of forest areas in square kilometers ):
Years--------------- 1990------------ 2002
The US and Canada do more for the sustainability of the planet than the other countries (and notably undeveloped countries). Finally, technical progress remains the effective solution (Hydrogen fusion) instead of complex and unbalanced State regulations (Go to ecology)
2-Independently of the global warming, protestors assert that the US society is a cause of pollution in the world. In fact, air pollution has dramatically decreased in the USA. On the contrary, pollution is rising in African towns.
1-The same activist movement constantly claims that the US society generates poverty. Firstly, it is a relative poverty: The houses of poor people today contain household equipments that even the Rockefellers or Carnegie of the 19th century did not have. Secondly, it's also a selective poverty: In the USA, fragmented or one-parent families has a poverty rate of 37 %. This type of poverty is due to the way in which people manage their private living. Thirdly, it's not a poverty due to heritage: Among the richest 100 Americans in 1996, only 24 % had inherited their wealth from their parents and 76 % were "self made men".
2-The most worrying fact is the intellectual poverty. On march 2005, a national survey (Go to www.prb.org) shows the prevalence of HIV/AIDS conspiracy theories among African Americans. Overall, 53 percent of African Americans surveyed for the study say they believe a cure for AIDS is being withheld from the poor. The phone survey of 500 randomly selected African Americans ages 15 to 44 also produced these findings: 44 % believe people who take new medicines for HIV are human guinea pigs for the government; 27 % believe AIDS was produced in a government laboratory; 48 % believe HIV is a man-made virus; 15 % said AIDS is a form of genocide against blacks; and 16 % say the government created AIDS to control the black population!
Of course, researchers attribute this phenomenon to historic discrimination and ongoing disparities in health care access and treatment. However, about one-half of respondents had some college in their educational background, and 47 percent earned more than $35,000 a year. In our opinion, such surveys only confirm the intellectual poverty and the devastating results of policies based on the promotion of ethnicity.
32-The ghost of a great depression
As we have seen above, the US economy shows some vulnerabilities. Are the US shielded from a new great depression? We do not think so. We believe that only new waves of innovations mostly fitted to the low purchasing power of the third world, can prevent a large depression. This prospect will need a change in the US economic patterns with an increase of exports and foreign investments.
321-A dreadful impact
Today, many people have forgotten the dreadful impacts of the great depression that began in 1929. Just consider the next drawing (Industrial production: Index 100 in 1929)
Years----- 1929-- 1930-- 1932-- 1933-- 1935-- 1937
Index------ 100----81---- 54-----69----- 87---- 92
The GDP plummeted ( Index 100 in 1929 and 56 in 1933) and unemployment attained 25% of the labor force. The economy only recovered with WW2 and the stock exchange only caught its 1929 level in 1950. Let's us imagine that the present US GDP (11,000 $Billion ) suddenly returns to 5,000 within 2 years! Until today, nobody agree on the causes. Sure, speculation on the stock exchange played a great role (the Black Thursday: 24/10/1929) but it was not the only cause. What is more, nobody agree on the causes of the recovery: The New Deal did not play a so great role as it is usually believed and the Stats show that the massive rearmament was the main driver of the recovery.
1-The great depression is not only a past ghost. The Asian and South American crisis have recently led to the same dreadful collapses with million of people going to bankrupt. A world depression was avoided because these crisis occurred at the periphery of the system and because the US and the IMF injected massive money. What would happen if such an event occurred in US ? ( Recall you that the NY stock exchange fell by 22% in a single day in 1987). Recently, the high tech bubble was also a major concern. In short, the great depression is not a past story. It could come again.
2-Moreover, we have yet underlined the present economic vulnerability. Firstly, the US economy too much relies on foreign creditors. Just imagine that these foreign creditors tighten their conditions: Loan rates would rise, indebted consumers would not buy anymore and the US could face a major crisis like in the 30th. Secondly, a country which sells 90% of its production on its internal market must increase the solvency of the consumers by rising the wages in order to avoid an overproduction crisis. Thirdly, there is another long term concern: What can you do with a $66,000 income per capita. Such a question has not only individual issues. It has also collective one's. People work hard to get money. With money they want to satisfy physiological or basic requirements: Eating, drinking , housing, moving and so on. Once you have acquired all the basic material goods, the marginal utility of the new one's rapidly decrease. Can we expect that people will buy four cars instead of two or live in castles instead of flats or villas? It means that the consumer machine can end. It would result in an overproduction crisis like in the 30th.
The US firms must sell more and more innovative basic stuffs on the world market to avoid an overproduction crisis.
1-Firstly, the US economy has grew thanks to successive waves of innovations ( Car, planes, computers, and so one). Any large innovation changes the consumers habits and opens new markets. For example, we may imagine that people will no longer move in cars on crowded paved roads by 2030. Maybe, a new innovative revolution will develop individual helicopters replacing cars, just like cars replaced old horse charioteers. It will be a new huge market sending at bay the prospect of an overproduction crisis.
2-Secondly, many people remain deprived of the basic material stuff. In the 20th this observation led Henry Ford to invent a new car adapted to the purchasing power of the workers. This invention was the beginning of a strong technical revolution and industrial development based on the car business. By the same token, we can say that poor people in the third world are awaiting new goods adapted to their low purchasing power. For example, poor Indians need a cheap four wheels van with a low cost energy (such as hydrogen motor). Today, such new goods do not exist neither in America nor elsewhere. Once again, creativity can make the difference.
3-Thirdly, until now, the economic growth has been mainly based on the internal market. Presently, when the US economy produces 100, 90 are sold to the US consumers and 10 exported. In the future, for 100 produced by the US firms, may be 70 will be addressed to the internal market and 30 to exports. As a result the US trade will be positive and the country will become a world creditor. On the other hand, thanks to their $66,000 income, the US citizens will have large savings to invest in the world, to favor foreign development and to improve ability of people to buy US goods.
33-The new war
One of the cause of a massive depression could be a major terrorist strike ( Biological or radioactive weapons) killing hundred thousands and resulting in a sudden collapse of all the financial markets.
There are only about 5 million muslim in North America. In spite of this small number, some of them want to convert all Americans into Muslims and transform the United States into an Islamic nation! Moreover the islamic terrorism constantly threatens the US territory.
Facing with this terrorist threat, the US has better reacted than Europe. Thanks to the Patriot Act, people coming from Muslim countries are subject to special registration requirements, interviews by law enforcement officials, and lengthy visa application procedures. Justice Department officials contend that profiling is essential in the war against terrorism given the Middle Eastern or South Asian origins of the majority of those involved in terrorist plots against the United States.
All these measures are just a good beginning. Since the US vulnerability is only due to the fifth Islamic column living in the country, we recommend to neutralize the suspected terrorist cells, to expel the fundamentalist groups campaigning for the Jihad, to forbid any immigration and tourism coming from countries contaminated by the Islamic plague.
332-Dilution of power
Since radical islamism is spreading over the muslim populations everywhere in the world, it would be wise to revise the policy of exporting democracy in countries where the populations are not prepared to adopt it. The US are already at war in Iraq and Afghanistan and considering the muslim mood these conflicts can be endless. In our opinion, it would be better to organize a containment policy just like with the soviets during the cold war. In involving itself too much in other countries affairs, the US could neglect their home problems and waste their strengths in endless overseas enterprises. The same observation addresses other hopeless topics such as the development of Africa.
We have to recall that the Roman empire fell because it spent too much energy in external wars: While the legions were on the germany borders, the Roman culture began to decline at home. Roman citizens were melt in a populace coming from the four corners of the Empire. Roman took the habit to rely on mercenaries and import of food from Egypt. This old lesson recalls us that the strength of a nation better relies on the preservation of its culture at home rather than on its extend abroad through endless conflicts. It does not mean that the US has to return to isolationism. It means that the US, as the free world fortress, must only intervene as an ultimate issue. America and Allies first!
The US is moving towards new frontiers such as the North American Integration and the endless frontier: Science. Thanks to these progress, the US could invent a new economy based on abundance. Such a great achievement would confirm that this nation "under God" has a manifest destiny
41-North American integration
future of both Central America and the Caribbeans is linked to the future
of the US Economy. By 2030, there is no doubt that a single
entity will be established from Alaska to Panama, with the same goods
and labor markets, the same currency and by the end the same Economy.The
next drawing shows the recent evolution of the main economies (In $Billion):
Years-------------- 2003--------- 2030
The 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) including the US, Canada and Mexico increased trade and economic integration (85% of mexico exports go to the US and 85% of canada Exports). Another free trade agreement is on the agenda with the Caribbeans.
NAFTA has benefited all three of its members over the past decade. However, economic integration among the three countries extends considerably beyond trade and investment: Recently, an Independent Task Force on the Future of North America released some recommendations : A North American energy pact; A harmonization of immigration and refugee policies with the U.S. and Mexico; The creation of a trilateral intelligence center ; A common North American external tariff.
The Task Force seeks to have these recommendations in place in less than five years. Maybe, this process would lead to a North American Community similar to the European Union.
The US could have the opportunity to legally extend in including some Canadian provinces. Their citizens could ask a referendum to secede from Canada and join the US before 2030.
Canada closely resembles the US in its economic system, pattern of production, and affluent living standards. At least 9 of the 10 provinces export more to the US than they export to the other provinces of Canada. On the other hand the United States, absorbs more than 85% of Canadian exports and 20% of total US exports and imports are realized with Canada.
Many canadian are bored by the Quebec policy. Firstly, there is a separatist party in Quebec. If Quebec secedes, the Canadian federation would be separated into an eastern and a western areas! ( However, Quebec government's referendum on independence failed to pass in October of 1995). Secondly, Quebec is becoming a hub for Muslims (Go to www.caircan.ca ). It favors muslim north African migrants on the only basis that they speak french. Thirdly, the Quebec social and economic policy is more and more influenced by trade unions. Fourth, academics and scholars propagate cultural and moral relativism ( See the movies: "The decline of the American empire" and "The barbarian invasions")
As a result, many people are eager to join the other provinces or the US ( go to www. quitterlequebec.com). On the other hand, in some provinces such as British Columbia some political movements are campaigning to join the US (Go to www.annexationbc.com)
42-The endless frontier: Science
The United States of America must maintain and improve its pre-eminent position in science and technology in order to advance human understanding of the universe and to improve the lives, health, and freedom of all peoples.
For more than half a century, the US has led the world in scientific discovery and innovations. We may expect that the US will maintain their predominance by 2030. However, after 2030, a large part of the scientific research would be achieved thanks to the brain drain of foreign students.
421-A good organization
1-The United States began to massively organize and provide federal support for its science and engineering enterprise with the beginning of World War II. This support was constant during the cold war. Until today, the spendings in US research and development account for about 300 billion every year whom 170 billion from private corporations. The US has more patent applications than other countries and its share of scientific pages represents about one third of the world total scientific reviews. US scientists are awarded by the world largest share of Nobel prizes.
2-The US research implies there main components: The federal State and its agencies , the private corporates and the universities. Once again, the federal State plays a large role in funding basic research and notably the Department of Defense (For example, the Internet, was originally a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). The Defense Department’s research grants have stimulated high-quality fundamental research (For example, these grants provided funding for 66 Nobel prize winners before they won their prizes). By the same token, the Department of Energy has initiated the Human Genome Project, launched the nanoscale revolution, discovered many fundamental particles and provided the reactors, accelerators, detectors microscopes, algorithms, networks, hardware and software that make modern science so efficient. On the other hand, Government agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been highly successful in attaining targeted basic research. Go to www.sc.doe.gov.
422-Some expected advances
It is quite impossible to predict the future advances in science and technology. We may only list some likely developments:
1-The doublings in computing power are driving unprecedented advances in genetics, robotics, information systems, and nanotechnology. These technologies are following a curve of exponential growth that could redefine life as we know it within 10-20 years. US scientists are in the forefront in Nano and bio technologies and artificial intelligence. On the other hand, genetic researches could be slowed down by ethical restrictions. We recommend the lifting of all scientific research restrictions!
2-One of the future challenges is achieving nuclear fusion which may offer an unlimited supply energy. After the laser invention in 1960, US scientists understood the possibility of using coherent light to ignite a fusion micro explosion. Since then, US researchers have led the world in the goal of achieving controlled thermonuclear burn in the laboratory using laser light ( The goal could be performed before 2010 ). Besides this goal, scientists have developed new optical materials and softwares.
3-The future of physic relies in the disentangle of the atom nucleus. It will give us better understanding of the beginning of everything we know ( Ourselves, our global environment and the cosmos). We may expect that more and more physicists will move to the zero material theory : Matter does not exist. This new vision will start a new direction in both physics and philosophy. Go to Spiritual odyssey
4-Regarding space exploration, a landing on March can be expected by 2030. However, many people are questioning about the scientific outcomes of space exploration which consumes huge money.
In short, we may expect that the US will maintain their predominance by 2030. However Asian nations are rapidly increasing their ability to train their own scientists and engineers ( There are now about 400 research centers in China, doing world class work in areas such as telecommunications and pharmaceuticals).
423-Reforms in education:
1-The leadership also requires that the educational system will attract more students to degrees in science and engineering. In this matter, there are a lot of alarming facts: Recently the best scores from the third international mathematics and science study placed the US students at the near bottom of the 16 participating countries. Engineering majors declined by 35% between 1975 and 1988. In 1999, US colleges granted 125,000 social sciences undergraduate degrees and only 19,000 in physical sciences!
2-The US students more and more show a lack of interest for careers in science or engineering and favor law or business schools. On the other hand, many US universities actively recruit and subsidize graduate students from China, India, and elsewhere. Over the period 1986-2000, 120,000 foreign students (Whom 24,000 chinese!) made up about 45% of the US doctoral degrees in sciences. It is quite interesting to note the evolution of graduate students in the US. Look at the next drawing:
Years-------------- 1980------------- 2000
students------- 58,000----------- 63,000
Since the US University framework is a magnet in the entire world, the flow of foreign students compensates the stability of the US students in scientific doctorates. It means that in the future, the US will more and more relies on the brain drain.
3-Currently, the U.S. spends approximately $300 billion a year on education and less than $30 million on education research. Clearly, it is not sufficient. A greater share of the federal government’s spending on education should be spent on research programs aimed at implementing Internet and multi media technologies. It’s a pity to see that all these available tools are only used to promote play stations and so on. According to our own studies, private firms could provide on line secondary education to students at a lower price and with faster results than through traditional education. Clearly, the US need a revolution in educational affairs (Go to global learning process) Unfortunately, there is a strong corporatist opposition among the public educational establishment.
43-The great achievement: Abundance
Thanks to advances in science, the US could invent a new economy based on abundance.
1-We have known more discoveries from 1945 until today than since the beginning of humanity until 1945. This high flow of discoveries will boost the future growth. For example, the Congressional Budget Office concluded recently that the public rate of return from research ranges from 30 to 80 % and that 49 % of the recent economic growth could be attributed to technological progress ( Only consider the effects on the economy of the biotech and high-tech industries).
2-By 2100, we may expect that all basic requirements will be covered in the entire civilized world. What would happen? We can expect that people will consume more and more spiritual goods that satisfy Reason, Ethics, or Esthetics: It can be a book, a fine painting, a music festival, and any increase in knowledge and Ethics.(See "New growth theory"). These spiritual goods do not need huge factories to be produced. They only need creativity. Since the share of spiritual goods in the entire economy will increase, it means that the share of creativity as a factor of production will increase too.
3-Here, we have to underline a very fascinating fact: According to the classic theory, the law of diminishing returns afflicts the factor of production. On the contrary creativity benefits of the law of increasing returns! It means that more you use creativity, more its cost is declining. It results that the marginal cost of all factors of production (labor+capital+ creativity) is globally going to fall.
For example with a stabilized population and a production of material stuff just limited to the replacement of the used ones, the demand for the material factors of production such as capital and labor will be limited. The working time to produce the material goods will be reduced sharply: The huge factories used to produce material things will be entirely managed by robotic (creativity) at quite zero cost. The food will be produced by automated farms based on cloning and genetics (creativity) and so on.
4-On the other hand, according to increasing returns of creativity, the spiritual goods will tend to be free. Since in the whole economy, the share of spiritual goods will increase, it results that the marginal value of all the final goods (material goods+spiritual goods) is also going to drop. Consequently, we can expect future abundance. People will just get the goods they need quite for free in counterpart of a short working time.
Clearly, abundance means the end of economy conceived as science studying scarcity! It could be the beginning of a new era. Logically, after the creation of a new society, the US mission would be to provide the world with a new economy based on abundance. Such a great achievement could confirm the feeling that America "Under God" has a manifest destiny.
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