That reminds me of the extraordinary work ethic of the Asian students at my alma mater, U.C. Berkeley. As much as Berkeley students normally resist stereotyping, it's widely acknowledged that most of the Asian students work much harder than the other students.
Meanwhile, America, in its attempt to be a kind nation, is making decision after decision to redistribute resources from those with the greatest potential to create jobs and thereby stimulate the economy, to those with the least. For example, the government continues to take our tax dollars, print money, and borrow from China, endangering our children's and our nation's future, to pay for, for instance:
- Extending unemployment payments, a not insubstantial amount (about $2,000 a month in large states), to a remarkable 99 weeks, which so encourages people to not look for jobs. (Nearly all my clients who are on unemployment say they wait until it's about to run out before they'll look for a job.) In responding to today's jobs report in which the private sector created almost no jobs (the job growth was mainly government temporary census workers) President Obama is calling for even more money to give to the unemployed.
- Prop up companies that make inferior cars.
- Wage wars and build nation-states in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Aid countless poor countries.
- Not only condones but financially supports uncontrolled illegal immigration: largely poor, uneducated people from an agrarian society, unscreened for criminality, diseases, etc. For example, public schools are not allowed to ask parents whether they're here legally. The toll on the schools is tremendous: unprecedentedly large numbers of non-English-speaking students from poor backgrounds descending upon the schools, with their advocates insisting they be taught in the same classes as native speakers, which forces dumbing down of instruction. And the proposed "Dream Act," would enable illegal immigrants to attend our most prestigious public universities at in-state tuition. Because of reverse discrimination admission policies, that would mean that, for example, many legal residents of Arizona with an excellent high-school record and willing to pay the high out-of-state tuition, would likely be rejected from UCLA or Berkeley so an illegal with a worse high-school record could be admitted and allowed to pay only the low in-state tuition, and likely receive all sorts of scholarships and financial aid to boot. And now, when President Obama fulfills his promise of comprehensive immigration reform/amnesty, the illegals will qualify for ObamaCare and because most immigrants and their family members' income are low, they'll have their health care paid for by the taxpayer and will additionally overwhelm our health care system.
Activists tout diversity as a strength. As I've seen it play out in workplaces and schools, it's a net weakness. Companies spend billions of dollars to manage diversity, this supposed strength. And among my career counseling clients, I almost never hear them discuss their workplace's diversity as a strength but often as a weakness: "All the Filipinos hang out by themselves and talk in Tagalog," The Black manager lets the Black employees get away with stuff they'd never let the white employees get away with." "I hate the Asians. They have no work-life balance and make us all look bad." "They don't speak English. I can't understand them and they can't understand me."
Perhaps the most powerful factor that will reduce America to third-world status is the gap between its middle 75% of its population versus that of countries like China and India. Those countries have a deep bench. Compare the Chinese or Indian average person, where hard work, science, technology, and entrepreneurship are core. Compare that with America's 225 million people in our middle 75%. I do not have statistics, but visits to average classes in average high schools and colleges and conversations with average people (for example, while waiting in line at supermarkets, the Department of Motor Vehicles, etc) let's just say, do not inspire optimism.
I am aware that America retains strengths, for example, it tends to value creativity, its women and minorities have opportunities, its universities produce top research (along with a lot of junk,) it offers strong consumer and worker protections. (Although the latter makes it very expensive to hire employees in the U.S., which encourages offshoring.) The U.S. still is the hub of the world's financial, biotechnology, and entertainment industries.
I am also aware of China''s and India's weaknesses, for example, an out-of-balance work ethic, an aging population, water supply problems, pollution, religious extremism (India), and a perhaps excessively conformist mindset.
But, net, I am convinced that we are seeing America's sunset and the Indo-China Empire's sunrise. All empires have their rise and fall: The Roman, The Ottoman, the British, and, I believe, now, the American.
So what do I predict for America? That we will join the world of nations as just another country, with a lower standard of living. Like residents of most countries, we will live in small apartments, drive small cars or not drive, eat more basic food, wear more basic clothes. The America of $200 jeans, $4.00 cups of coffee, and widely held mini-mansions will be over. Maybe that's a good thing, and just maybe, that will reduce the enmity that foreign terrorist groups have for the U.S.
What's an American to do? Learn that living simply doesn't mean living badly. Expect that you'll likely have long periods of un- and underemployment. To keep feeling productive, find rewarding productive, non-paying work: tutor a kid, act in a play, clean up the dog poop on your block. Constantly be nice--look for every opportunity to make the lives of those around you, including strangers, better. You may end up more contented and maybe even America 2.0 will, net, be a better place to live.
Oh, and invest in FXI, the China equivalent of the Dow-Jones Industrial Average.