Email of the day (1)
Comment of the Day

January 25 2013

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day (1)

On the USA
"The CEO of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants offered us a column which we published in Russian. I thought that you and Fullermoney subscribers would be interested in it and asked for an English version which I am sending to you. It is about the rise of - who do you think, China, India, another emerging market? - no, United States."

David Fuller's view This is thoughtful of you and it may be of interest to the Collective.

The article: "The world's most creative economy", is written by Dr Martin C Wittig of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. It is certainly upbeat and a best-case prediction for the USA, although not unrealistic, in my opinion. Dr Wittig's case is based on three assumptions: 1) Intellectual and digital dominance; 2) Back to making things; 3) Demographic strengths.

His first point is by far the most important, in my view. The USA has a clear lead in technology, which it will need to hold onto in an increasingly competitive world, if it is to remain the leading superpower throughout this century. The second point on manufacturing is also very important. The narrowing of wage differentials has helped but robotics, skilled personnel and energy costs are the crucial long-term factors. Currently, the USA has an energy advantage among skilled manufacturing countries. I think Dr Wittig overrates demographics. Intelligence, work ethics and education are more important, in my opinion.

History shows us that the fortunes of countries vary considerably over time. The luck of climatic conditions can be a factor, wars even more so, natural resources can be a big advantage, but governance is the all-important variable. The USA has had an advantage in governance for over a century, although its own standards continue to fluctuate.

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