In the Wall Street Journal, Mark P. Mills and Julio M. Ottino have given us an optimistic look at where our country is going. Here’s the condensed version:
we [are] on the cusp of three grand technological transformations with the potential to rival that of the past century. All find their epicenters in America: big data, smart manufacturing and the wireless revolution.
➢ Information technology has entered a big-data era. Processing power and data storage are virtually free.
➢ Smart manufacturing (picture). . . we are just entering an era where the very fabrication of physical things is revolutionized by emerging materials science.
➢ Finally, there is the unfolding communications revolution where soon most humans on the planet will be connected wirelessly. Never before have a billion people . . .been able to communicate, socialize and trade in real time.
. . .consider three features that most define America, and that are essential for unleashing the promises of technological change: our youthful demographics, dynamic culture and diverse educational system.
➢ demographics. By 2020, America will be younger than both China and the euro zone, if the latter still exists. Youth brings . . . the ineluctable energy that propels everything.
➢ [Our c]ulture . . . is . . .high inertia. . . distinguished by . . . open-mindedness, risk-taking, hard work, playfulness, and, critical for nascent new ideas, a healthy dose of anti-establishment thinking.
➢ American higher education[‘s] most salient features are flexibility and diversity of educational philosophies, curricula and the professoriate. . . a dizzying range of approaches . . . Good. One size definitely does not fit all.
to help usher in this new era of entrepreneurial growth [we need l]iquid financial markets, sensible tax and immigration policy, and balanced regulations . . . But the essential fuel is innovation.