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April 03, 2007
America In Decline?
Two factoids that may make a very important trend:
1- Europe has moved ahead of the US in stock market value for the first time since WW 1. Add up Europe's 24 stock markets and their captialization comes to $15,720 billion compared to $15,640 billion for the US. It's mostly the hot London financial center, but there are clear implications of an erosion in US financial prowess. In the past, this has meant the erosion of economic prowess.
2--Brand America is eroding abroad as well. Folks abroad increasingly fear the US, not respect it. And they are not all from the Middle East. The image of the US is way down in Europe and Latin America.
We are all making a big mistake in dismissing this kind of data. It has big implications for business, foreign policy and our own careers. And not good implications either.
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For anyone living outside the U.S.A., this is not a surprise. I am a U.S. Citizen living abroad and this is a fact that was made apparent nanoseconds after living abroad (and that was 14 years ago). And I don't live THAT far abroad. I live in Vancouver, BC. 40 or so miles from the U.S. border.
If it becomes the World against the U.S., who is the bad guy?
Posted by: Jon at April 4, 2007 09:09 PM
A few years ago, I received a letter from Norman Mailer's wife, Norris, politely alerting me to the correct meaning of the word "factoid."
It is true that it has COME to mean "little, or apparently insignifant fact," but ... In fact it was a Norman Mailer coinage that meant a "fact" that people beleived to be true, but that was not. Like a pseudo-fact. He advanced some examples involving Marilyn Monroe. The Oxford English Dictionary confirms Ms. Mailer's story.
Posted by: Alex Beam at April 5, 2007 02:16 PM
K always thought you traveled in exotic circles and getting a note from Mailer's wife Norris proves it. I had no idea that Mailer, one of my heroes of course, had actually coined "factoid" and that it had evolved in meaning over time.
Now I understand "hoi polloi" has evolved as well from meaning the vulgar lower class to the rich upper class but I don't know who coined that term. Probably French. "Hoity-toity" comes from "hoite-come-toite," right?
Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum at April 5, 2007 03:11 PM
America is in decline, however it is a 'relative' decline, i.e. the rest of the world is catching up with America. However recent unilateral policies by the current administration are hastening the decline as they are alienating countries that used to form part of America's soft power and see America as an ideological beacon.
Posted by: Justin Smith at April 26, 2007 11:43 AM