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February 13, 2010

With Washington Stalled, China And Others Race Past Us

-- by Dave Johnson

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America's Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture as part of the Making It In America project. I am a Fellow with CAF.

Bob Herbert has a column today, Watching China Run, asking our country's leaders to get moving on the country's problems,

Our esteemed leaders in Washington can’t figure out how to do anything more difficult than line up for a group photo. Put Americans back to work? You must be kidding. Health care? We’ve been working on it for three-quarters of a century. Infrastructure? Don’t ask.

Meanwhile China and other competitors are moving ahead with their national plans. (We don't even have a national economic/industrial plan to move ahead with.)

“China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines and is poised to expand even further this year.”

China also has become the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels and is pushing hard on other clean energy advances. ... “These efforts to dominate renewable energy technologies raise the prospect that the West may someday trade its dependence on oil from the Mideast for a reliance on solar panels, wind turbines and other gear manufactured in China.”

We’re in the throes of an awful and seemingly endless employment crisis, and China is the country moving full speed ahead on the development of the world’s most important new industries.

One party in Washington is following a strategy of obstructing everything, believing that the public will blame the other party for nothing getting done. The other party refuses to use the powers it has to act on the nation's agenda, fearing that the public will thing they're being mean or something. So we're stuck, standing still, getting nothing done. And the rest of the world moves forward with the green manufacturing revolution, taking the jobs, taking the industries, taking the momentum, taking the future.

Mr. Herbert concludes,

And what’s at stake is the future of the American economy. The low-carbon era is coming. We can be dragged into that newer, greener world by leading countries like China; or we can take up the challenge and become the world’s leader ourselves.

Posted by Dave Johnson at February 13, 2010 9:15 AM


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