The Leader staggers. US competitiveness on the world stage.

For many years, the United States held the position of "leader of the free world." Now, when we examine the most current statistics, it is difficult to confirm the above statement. The United States lagged behind in some areas that are critical to their competitiveness on the world stage.

A few years ago, we already talked about the shortcomings of the US educational system, especially compared to other countries. According to the latest assessment to students by the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), students were in 25th place in math and 21th in science among 30 other countries.

Analyzing the results, China was the country that has fared better. More than half of the students in undergraduate stage in science and mathematics are outside the United States. Foreign students who did graduate in the US to soon obtain their jobs are having difficulty finding employment due to the US government immigration restrictions.

The solution must start with early childhood education. According to the Partnership for America's Economic Success, no other investment in society comes close to 16% you get return when investing in early childhood education. Our schools need to place more emphasis on the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

The performance of the United States in the area of Health Care is even more dismal. Despite having the highest percentage of the world on GDP (16%) in Medical Assistance, the United States has the second highest infant mortality rate (6.3 deaths per 1000 births), just behind China which has 21.16 deaths. The country is the seventh in life expectancy (78.14 years), behind from France (80.87), Sweden (80.74), Israel (80.61), Norway (79.81), Germany (70.10) and the United Kingdom (78.85). Singapore is already ahead of France with 81.8 years.

Moreover, when it comes to digital infrastructure, Internet access and coverage of mobile phones, the US is also misclassified. All these empty reflect serious vulnerability. In the near future, the leaders of the US government will realize the seriousness of this situation and will act on it decisively. There is no more time for indecision and vagueness. You can no longer apply simple dressings will these wounds. The situation requires a systemic change. The current economic situation in the country, unfortunately will cause delays in solving problems.

Copyright 2006 by the The Herman Group.
Reproduction is permitted provided that the source is acknowledged with.
Articles Roger Herman and Joyce Gioya, Business Futurists and associated consultants TDC Professional Training.
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Published on 01/10/2008.

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