Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5

Note: the image above is a Worldle word cloud of the Executive Summary of Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5, a report released today by the US’ National Academies Press.

See this NatureNews story (‘“Gathering Storm” back on the radar‘) for one perspective the report development process and (alarmist) message, as well as below for the official summary description:

In the face of so many daunting near-term challenges, U.S. government and industry are letting the crucial strategic issues of U.S. competitiveness slip below the surface. Five years ago, the National Academies prepared Rising Above the Gathering Storm, a book that cautioned: “Without a renewed effort to bolster the foundations of our competitiveness, we can expect to lose our privileged position.” Since that time we find ourselves in a country where much has changed–and a great deal has not changed.

So where does America stand relative to its position of five years ago when the Gathering Storm book was prepared? The unanimous view of the authors is that our nation’s outlook has worsened. The present volume, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited, explores the tipping point America now faces. Addressing America’s competitiveness challenge will require many years if not decades; however, the requisite federal funding of much of that effort is about to terminate.

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited provides a snapshot of the work of the government and the private sector in the past five years, analyzing how the original recommendations have or have not been acted upon, what consequences this may have on future competitiveness, and priorities going forward. In addition, readers will find a series of thought- and discussion-provoking factoids–many of them alarming–about the state of science and innovation in America.

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited is a wake-up call. To reverse the foreboding outlook will require a sustained commitment by both individual citizens and government officials–at all levels. This book, together with the original Gathering Storm volume, provides the roadmap to meet that goal. While this book is essential for policy makers, anyone concerned with the future of innovation, competitiveness, and the standard of living in the United States will find this book an ideal tool for engaging their government representatives, peers, and community about this momentous issue.

3 thoughts on “Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5

  1. Thomas Friedman has an article on this today in the Times.

    I would like to say that while the country is so polarized on many topics. I hope this is one we can agree upon. We MUST train our children to be competitive in this global economy.

    The fact that this message has been lost in the dysfunction we call Washington D.C. is sad and also telling.

    We must try to improve the economy and encourage JOBS.
    We must buy American Products.
    We must learn more about science and technology and health issues.
    We must try to understand that the spin we get is counterproductive and we must learn to see beyond it.

    We must have the SAME facts to argue with. We cannot use two sets of facts.

    I hope we can manage to right our sinking ship called the American Economy.

  2. I read the article stated above as well and the facts are startling. Philip Chao, in the above comment, offers some great concepts to think serious about. Hopefully, “the big picture” does not become a reality as Friedman feels, and change is recognized as good, and not as a roadblock to success.

  3. America’s competitive edge is waning. Regaining it means being the go-to place for companies who want to hire highly-qualified workers. (Which means America must lead in basic and secondary education in math and science.) It means America must have, at least, fit-for-purpose infrastructure that makes doing business easy. It means the American government must spend enough money on R&D that the world’s most important innovations over the next half-century come from our labs.

    Earlier last month the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its annual Global Competitiveness Report. This year, we are the fourth most competitive country in the world, behind Switzerland, Sweden, and Singapore. Last year we were second.

    On health and primary education, the U.S. ranks 5 slots behind China. That’s right; the U.S., with a per capita income nearly 7 times bigger than China’s, ranks lower on what I think are the most basic measures of competitiveness. If we aren’t healthy and well-educated at the most basic level, can we really continue to be the most innovative?

    At the end of the day, the kind of multinational corporations that drive the global economy don’t pay allegiance to any country. They go where the talent is. Will it continue to be in America? The trends don’t look so good. But it’s not too late.




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