Friday, September 13, 2013

That Used to be Us by Thomas Friedman [Book Review]


Friedman, Thomas L and Michael Mandelbaum (2011) That Used to Be Us: How America fell behind in the world it invented and how we can comeback. Farrar, Straus and Girous: New York, NY.
 
This is Friedman's lament about how the United States lost its leadership and what we should do to gain it back. He explains how we unraveled public/private partnerships on the 5 pillars of society:
  • Public education
  • Infrastructure
  • Immigration
  • Government supported research and development
  • Regulations on private economic activity.
 
He lays out four challenges:
  • Adapt to globalization
  • Adapt to the IT revolution
  • Budget deficit
  • Climate/energy
 
He sees our political process being the root of our inability to take effective action. In the end, his major recommendation is for a serious independent candidate. He does not expect this person to win, but this person could reveal the problems with both party platforms and change the debate.

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