I just got referred to these 2 articles. And I got to thinking how the US of A has lost the war since the 2000’s! They were the indisputable champ during the 1900’s but what happened to the powerhouse, the military might, the beacon of liberty and prosperity?
I have been working with the Chinese since 2007. Thus I follow their economy and their foreign affairs closely. It’s indeed a very complex subject but I ran across an interesting situation the other day. In an auction type website I posted a job (a highly technical design service job). I received posts from Brasil, Argentina, USA, India, Romania and Pakistan. There is something inherent to doing business in all these countries that is common to all except the USA. Haggling! Immediately after the bids poured in, I began haggling to all bidders and the only ones who were offended by the bidding were the “Americans”.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand the pitfalls of haggling; the lower quality products or services, the worker disdain or lack of loyalty etc. The very thing that made USA great, pride in their work, is now quite possibly a double edge sword digging into their heel.
At some point USA quality was the best. Therefore many people were willing to pay the premium. However, nowadays the global marketplace includes 10 times as many suppliers willing to offer the same product or service for less…for a lot less? What about the quality you ask, equal and in some cases better. Yes there are many crap-quality chinese products, same as with some “american” ones. I agree there are probably more crap-quality products in China than in the USA, but there are great quality products in China nevertheless. Why this happened? The very same foreign affairs attitude of being the world police and having the power to invade any country they wish (overtly or covertly), usually for economic reasons, has driven so many of the world’s countries into poverty levels that forced those inhabitants to settle for less as the USA inhabitants hunger for more.
Put it all together and you’re left with a poker player with no hand whatsoever at a table with many more players holding full houses.
Can the USA turn this around? Can they compete with developing markets that have become black holes for investor capital? Can Peter compete with Pedro or Ping? Remember, you can’t just invade China or Brasil…they’ll kick your ass! 🙂