Just the other day I blogged about China’s culture being all about persistence as a skill the West is more and more lacking, and today I came across this article from ‘Business Insider’ with a speech by Niall Fergusson, an Economist and Harvard Professor. Its a very interesting read and listen to this:
If we look at the US and China per capita to GDP ratios we find that in 1978 the average American was 22 times richer than the average Chinese citizen. Today, that ratio is down to only 5 times. The great divergence of prosperity that was generated by the strength of capitalism is now the great re-convergance.
There were “6 Killer Apps” that defined the U.S. during its great economic growth cycle.
2) Scientific Revolution
3) Modern Medicine
4) Consumer Society
5) Work Ethic
6) Property Rights
Those issues allowed for growth, innovation and rising economic prosperity during the 20th century. Today, while the rest of the world has slowly been adopting these “killer apps” the U.S. is slowly losing them.
Innovation is rising but is moving to the East. Patents granted by country in 2008 showed Japan with almost 250k patents with the U.S. trailied with just a little more than 150k. However, China, which virtually had no patents in 2000 has risen in number of patents to 50,000 in just 8 years. It is unfortunate but the “work ethic” which was the backbone of the western ideal and the strength of the U.S. economy. The psychology of Americans during the 20th century was that hard work led to prosperity. Today, that work ethic has shifted to the East. As an example the average Korean works 1000 hours more a year than the average German. That is why when you go on vacation the German’s are already there […].