Poor schooling feeds into concerns about Americas capacity to innovate.
At the regional and casino brasilia luanda local level America is already reforming and innovating vigorously.
Almost any weekday morning at one of the citys many think-tanks a packed audience of academics, journalists and government officials can be found, paper cups of coffee in hand and muffins balanced on knees, agonising over the countrys waning competitiveness.
To prove it, it will examine the factors which are the source of the most hand-wringing: innovation, energy, education, immigration, infrastructure and regulation.The belief that America is losing its economic edge is pervasive.All the bickering over budgets of the past two years has done little to diminish this soon-to-be-crushing burden.On every count, despite glaring problems, the outlook is less bleak than the pessimists maintain.But it is real.This is a hugely important condition.Now they work for us, he says with a smirk, to prolonged sniggers from his students.It faults Americas infrastructure (14th out of the 144 countries it assesses its primary education and health care (34th its institutions (41st) and above all its macroeconomic environment (111th, mainly because of the ballooning public debt).Words like shutdown and default have become part of Washingtons everyday language.The recession may gradually be receding, the worry goes, but long-ignored impediments to growth will hobble the recovery and prevent future generations from achieving the American dream.On infrastructure, mayors and governors are grasping the nettle Congress will not, by coming up with new funding mechanisms.That is partly because they overstate their case.Education, for example, is being turned upside down in the most comprehensive overhaul in living memory.Americas public debt is approaching 17 trillion, more than 100 of GDP, and it has been growing fast.Those who like to lecture smugly about Americas impending decline should take a closer look.This has its advantages: the states yet again are proving themselves laboratories for experimentation.The combination of dysfunctional politics and empty coffers, in turn, is preventing Congress from dealing with the economys other obvious shortcomings.
The only category in which the country still ranks first is market size, a slot it is destined to lose to China sooner or later.