America Is Innovative, Still the Greatest Country in the World

One of the things I really dislike about many Americans is they say we need to be more humble.  We aren’t the greatest country.  They point out things about other countries that they like better.  They like to say when these things get Americanized, they get sterilized.  Josh Brown posted yesterday we can’t do great things anymore.

Some of that is true. But, I don’t fall into that camp.

There are other great things about other places in the world.  How can you not love walking through Paris and hitting a market?  I love the Italian sense of style, and their Bars.  Their coffee in the morning is great.  The Brits have a great pub scene.  It’s really neat to walk through Singapore during Christmas time.  I have never seen a more lit up city and had one of the most moving Christmas Eve services I ever went to at Orchard Road Presbyterian Church.  My kids each loved their experiences in China.  They liked both Beijing and Shanghai.  The food, the sheer volume of it all.  But, America is still a better place in spite of all of our warts.

Not because it’s the home of the free and land of the brave.  It’s the place where the networks are best to get creative and innovative things done.

Unlike a lot of people, I don’t think America’s best days are behind her.  Sure, statistically the Chinese, Brazilians and Indians will have more economic output than ours in fifty years or so.  They have more people and our birth rate is flat.  We also don’t have a hospitable immigration policy-so that needs fixing.

But if your yardstick is something like a public works project, or some government program like NASA, you are using the wrong frame to do your measurement.

There is so much innovation going on in America at this point, it’s really incredible.  The internet is just starting to scratch the potential it has.  It takes 30 years for real sea change to happen when a new technological advancement happens.  Electricity, Rail, Cars, Steam engine, printing press, human flight.  All took roughly 30 years to really enact the promise the original inventors saw.   The internet was created sometime in the 1970’s. It never was accessible to the masses until the 1990’s.  We are in the first few innings of realizing internet potential for the masses.

The other day, I thought about 3D printing.  It’s amazing.  It’s in its infancy.  Wait until the cost for a 3D printer drops and everyone has access to them.  3D printing will revolutionize the way we manufacture all things in America.  Lose a part on your car, print and install a new one at home.  Amazing.

If one looks at research on DNA, it’s amazing.  The cost to undertake research on DNA is dropping exponentially faster than Moore’s Law with technology.  The advances we will make in science in the next twenty years will be literally mind boggling.  Combine that with 3D printing and people will eventually be able to print their own antibodies, at home.  Think about that for a second.

All the worlds great problems that confront us, food, water, climate, and health will be solved through private innovation and not government.  All of them.  Because the costs of technology are dropping, it will be cheaper to solve them next year than it was this year.

This happens in America because in general, we have a relatively free society, with a boat load of capital.  That’s one of the dangers that I see in the way Obama wants to run things.  Centrally planned economies don’t do well in the long run.  At every turn, with every policy, Obama has tried to take away economic freedom rather than improve upon it.  Runaway government debt will go further into extracting that freedom from us.

Don’t let the pessimists and cynics get you down.  Many want to get you down because once you are thinking negatively, they can control you.  You start to let fear creep into your emotions.  Fearful people don’t think rationally.

Take a deep breath and take a step back.  Look at all the innovation that is happening in the world and most of it can be traced right back to America.  It’s the place where things get done-at least in the private sector.


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