July 23, 2008
U.S. needs to learn to compete
"Competing for the Future" is a very important book, and a must-read for anyone concerned about the continued success of the United States. The digital revolution - much bigger than the pervasive presence of the Internet, requires clear understanding by every leader in modern society. Individuals guiding nations, businesses and institutions, in addition to those dedicated to education and social services must respect this new world. Everyone needs to grasp today's global challenges by accepting the revolutionary changes created by the intellectual horsepower that invented and applied digital technologies; enabling globalization. The "digital" genie is best managed with knowledge, business savvy and a longer-term view of return on investments. It touches everyone.
"Competing for the Future" shows how a handful of U.S. inventions launched the digital revolution, and traces how digital technology has sparked economic growth and improved human life around the world.
Dr. Henry Kressel reveals how digital technology has sparked the globalization of commerce and enabled the rapid industrialization of previously underdeveloped countries, particularly in Asia.
They warn that the U.S. risks losing its leadership role - and the basis of U.S. prosperity - by outsourcing - at least more recently - much of the production to developing countries. "Competing for the Future" shows the close link between invention and production, and notes that if you don't produce what you invent, you eventually lose the resources and knowledge to invent it.
The U.S. must encourage the manufacturing of high-tech products, on home soil, if it is to continue to be a technological and economic leader in the world.
Readers come away with a basic grasp of the technology, an appreciation of the mechanisms created to finance its commercialization, an understanding of how technical skills have spread around the world, and a sense of what is required for the U.S. to maintain its status as a technological and economic leader.
The United States can avoid mortgaging its future, but only when those in positions of leadership - right the ship - through serious rethinking of success in the current era. Delayed gratification - in taking profits - is but one step. So too must educators guide intellectually-sound minds with the rigors of math and science - along side interpersonal and cultural insights.
If the road to hell was paved with good intentions, then most certainly the road to ruin is created by greed, laziness and ignorance. "Competing for the Future" is a wake-up call for all of us - and should be required reading for every student who enters a college or university - regardless of career objective. "Competing for the Future" provides insights for being a responsible citizen in Twenty-First Century America.