“Are America’s best days behind us?” is an article by Fareed Zakaria, which discusses the reasons why America, in spite of having the largest economy in the world and being military strong, remains stagnant in its developments. The author presents certain solutions for America to grow economically. The growth that America is experiencing today is as a result of decisions that were made a long time ago. Instead of financing and implementing policies related to education, technology, and scientific research that would help improve the country economy, the USA government focuses on debates which are less important and are aimed at reducing budgets allocated in areas that would improve its economy in the long run. The author later asserts that for America to grow economically and achieve visions of its forefathers, the government, just like companies, should be efficient in both its decision making and resource allocation and be ready to learn from mistakes. The article sets an example of Germany experience, which, after being destroyed by World War II, managed to reconstruct its infrastructure and restructure its major institutions such as “the political system, the guilds, and the economy” to achieve a long term improvement (Zakaria).
I was surprised to learn that the current economical success of America is as a result of the decisions and policies made a long time ago. I realized that the policies regarding education, scientific research, and education, which determine the country’s future economy, should be prioritized for a better economy in future. I also found that it is important to learn about the experience of other countries, and learn and from their past mistakes. It was a surprise for me to read that the size of a country determines the size of its economy. As mentioned in the article, the small size of Japan hindered it from dominating the world economically, and in order to be the strongest economically, it has to have a gross domestic product per capita two times bigger than that of the United States. I also learned from the article that unscrupulous politics coupled with poor implementations can hinder the economic growth of a country. The article portrays the United States president, Barack Obama, as the one developing policies that can help to improve the country’s economy, while his senate refuses to pass the laws for implementation. I realized that the level of democracy in a country also determines its growth. The democracy in America that “works too well” has prevented it from development. Most politicians strive to satisfy the needs of their constituents (Zakaria). Lobby groups in America are not interested in where industries will be in future, their only concern is what they can gain at the present. It also was a great discovery for me that it is important to invest in the youth rather than the old since the youth determines the country’s future economy.
In my opinion, this timely article is a wakeup call not only to America, but also to other countries with bad governance. To encourage other countries to develop and create a fair competition in the world’s economy, other factors that would make small countries become winners should be put in place while some, such as country’s size, removed. The idea of letting politicians make key decisions in government should be refused from. This is due to the fact that most politicians would knowingly or unknowingly criticize the laws that determine their country’s future economy. Instead, they would tend to implement laws that would help them gain popularity, but are short term. In my opinion, governments’ key decisions should be made by professionals. I find the idea of outlining how small countries compete the United States economically encouraging, as it makes them work extra hard, hence raising the world’s overall economy. I believe that a country that invests in scientific research, education, and technology today creates a firm economic foundation for the future.
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