April 2, 2010

Read this book: The Next 100 Years, by George Friedman (STRATFOR).

Easily the best non-fiction book I've read this year.

HP and S&A have been about what comes next. And although nobody can accurately predict the future, some do come close.

Get popcorn. Enjoy The American Century. Watch Poland and Turkey. Say goodbye to old dying decaying Western Europe. Get ready for us to start PAYING people to come to America. Wait for drone wars, country break-ups and space power. And seriously, read this book. It's a fun one.

The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century


yoski said...

The guy is full of it up to his ears and the rest are corn cobs. Keith, no wonder you are having strange ideas as of recently.

SeattleMoose said...

Wow this guy went back 50 years ago and extrapolated from there.

America USED to have a strong education system that provided an educated workforce that could push technology and development

America USED to actually have such basic industries as steel, electronics, etc.

America USED to have a healthy economy that didn't depend on every more frequent bubbles

America USED to have a strong work ethic embedded in the population

America USED to have a government that didn't run up catastrophic debts

America USED to value accountability

America USED to be a place where the best and brightest aspired to the "noble professions" instead of get rich quick outfits like Goldman Sachs.

Other than that this guy is a genius.

Anonymous said...

I dont know what the previous posters are thinking about, but I agree with this dude. America done? Come on guys, let's be honest with ourselves. When the US took a dive last year everyone was against the ropes. We are the engine of the world.

Yes, we do have problems with education, industries, yada, yada yada. But let's be honest, who is going to take our spot. Come one, anyone. Who, China? EU? Japan? Russia? Who are you guys kidding?

The US will take another dive, at least I believe so. Our financial system is still in trouble and quite honestly; this issue won’t be resolved until we clear our credit markets. The next leg down will take care of that, believe me. Expect this to happen soon as the bond watchers force the fed to pull liquidity from the markets.

When this is all set and done, the US will be AGAIN ahead of our friends in EU, ASPAC, Russia, etc. And AGAIN the US will be the engine of growth.

This dude hits on an excellent point, that the stupid tea baggers and Republicans miss. The US is the master of integrating immigrants into its society. The best!

Quite honestly, I would never even attempt to go to Europe because of their unwillingness to accept people like me. It's no wonder that everyone wants to come to the US, making the US WAY WAY WAY more competitive than any other DEVELOPED nation. Period.

I dont think those nations even know the word brain drain. Just go to NYC and see how many Indians are working in the technology industry, for lower salaries.

Again, I disagree with Keith in that we are not out of the woods. When the next dive comes, everyone else will go down with the US, and when this is set and done, the US will be the only remaining super power, as it is right now. Even if it may not look like it, we have the most transparent institutions in the world. Don’t think we do? Than go to China, EU, Russia, Japan, etc...

Stop kidding yourselves. I am also quite sure that while we move forward, the US will continue to create cutting edge technology systems and tools as it has in the past (not the freaking iPad, that's retarded Keith). Creativeness is part of American culture. We don’t hold on to our past, as the gentleman mentioned (well, maybe we tried with our banking garbage, but we will get over that).

Another thing Keith. I like your positive spin. Honestly. Keep it up!


keith said...

I sure hope a few of you are intellectually curious enough to actually read the book.

Please do. Seriously a great one. Even if I disagree with some of his prognastications, it's a great read.

If some of you do read it, I'd add one key country to his list - a bridge between east and west, a source of future conflicts, maybe even a big one.


Bukko Canukko said...

So which Amazon review was yours, Keith? There's 161 of them, and I don't want to plow through a whole lotta of pages looking for a sock puppet icon from Scottsdale.

The top reviews I read had a good discussion of the pros/cons of the book. Friedman -- is he any relation to that flat-earth free-trading Tom of the New York Times? -- seems to be heavily war-based in his analysis. One reviewer called him "Bismarckian" with his focus on Great Power vying and not so much on social factors. I wonder how much economic analysis he gets into. I'll have to go back and read more reviews. Cheaper than buying the book.

Fark -- I gotta get me oneathem iPads so I can read stuff like that in the bathroom. Best thing about an electronic device you read while you're sitting on the toilet? Once everybody else knows what you do with it, NOBODY else is going to touch that thing!

Bukko Canukko said...

Speaking of Ukraine, have you read William Engdahl's latest piece analyzing the power balance there, and U.S. meddling in the "color revolutions"?

I don't know if you know about Engdahl, Keith, but you're pretty well-read. For any comment readers who don't know the guy, he's a 60-ish American professor based in Germany. He's written several books on oil and geopolitics. Engdahl is a deep strategic thinker who gets into the plate tectonics of international relations. Heavy stuff about hidden battles between power blocs, macro-economic sabotage, with lots of history and factual stats to back up what he's saying. He tends take an down-on-America view of things, and he's too pro-Russian for my tastes, but he's got a shrewd mind.

I first got interested in contrarian economic analysis in 2006 after I read something Engdahl wrote about how Paul Volcker ramped up interest rates on the U.S. dollar in the late 70s-early 80s not just as a way of taming inflation, but also to trip up other world currency systems.

The way he laid it out, how the high rates sucked all sorts of capital INTO the U.S. and out of other currencies, made a lot of sense. This happened not long after Bretton Woods was overthrown, and when oil countries were thinking about going to other kinds of money instead of the shaky U.S. dollar. But by making people pour into the high-interest paying dollar, it made the oil countries dependent on U.S. money and wrong-footed the pound, yen and any potential future competitors that might want to be the "Number 1" kind of money. It was one of those chess moves that was wicked but brilliant.

I've had a lotta respect for Engdahl ever since, because he changed the way I look at the world. He's not ALL right -- he believes in "abiotic oil" for one thing and is a global warming skeptic for another. But I like his geopolitical stuff. Worth a read, because he writes a lot about Ukraine.

yoski said...

A great guy to read/listen to is Helumt Schmidt. He was the German Chancelor from 1974 til 1982. Real intelectual with a 9th grade education. Absolutely brilliant guy despite lacking a formal education, a great thinker. He said something to the extend of "the Amreican vitality is unmatched by any other people in the world". He was referring to the fact that the people that moved to the new world would get of their lazy butt and went into the unkown to carve out to new existance. People form Europe, Asia, you name it. That made for a gene pool of people that are genrally a bit more motivated than the average slacker. Well anyway, that's his argument in a nutshell. I sort of agree with the guy, Amricans are by nature pretty resillient and come up with solutions. However, in the last 40 years things have run off the track in a bad way. It started with unfunded entilements under Kennedy, unfunded wars and corruption. Lobbying is the death of this democracy. We are drifting into facism. Reagan was the beginning of the end, Obama is the final act. We will survive. The US has the best piece of real estate in the world, industrious people a fair amount of resources, lots of knowledge...a good base. But first we need to purge the excesses of the last 40 years before things will get better. It will invlove lots of pain and tough coices. We will prosper again, but not until the people in charge today will have been removed from office.
Deomcrats and Republicans are vermin. We need to subvert the curent system and put the people back in charge.
Sorry for the rambling, I'm an my
2nd 6-pack.

yoski said...

...and another point, Amreicans are great "out of the box" thinkers. The only people I met that are truely innovative are Germans, Russians and Americans. Asians will always think within given parameters. Its their culture. The rest of the world is not much into thinking, period.
We will survive, but first we have to take care of some unpleasant business which keeps on getting pushed into the future by our corrupt and incompetent politicians. The sooner we face the "music" the sooner we can get back on track....peace

edd browne said...

Fine, but one institution the US
has destroyed is functional education.

That can only be corrected with functional
education, and in the ten years that will take,
all hell might be break loose (worse than now).

These are forward looking statements of a fallible
genius, and are not to be relied on for the nestegg,
endtimes preparations, or general mood.

edd browne said...

Ukraine and the US have
one thing in common.

If they ever clean up even half their act,
they could be amazing.

Banana Republicrat said...

It's a little whimsical for my tastes, but I'll read it on the condition that you pick up Zygmunt Bauman's book "Globalization: The Human Consequences". That book pulls back the curtain in a big way, I felt totally at peace after finishing it.

You should totally start the S&A required reading list. Maybe a Sasher book club?

investorinpa said...

John Mauldin recommended this book some time ago and I bought it but have not read it yet...thanks for the reminder! I'll write an opinion for ya on it sometime soon


Anonymous said...

I'll check the book out. Hey Keith, what did you think of Nassim Taleb's "Black Swan" book? My favorite non-fiction read of the past five years.

Anonymous said...

Where Friedman is wrong is that US innovators have been doing R&D on synfuel, geothermal, solar stations in space, etc, since the 1970s, however, they can't implement half of their ideas. Instead, the private sector is offshoring much of core R&D to Asia and thus, the next generation of whiz kids are focusing on getting jobs at hedge funds, patent law firms, and becoming another doctor.

I suspect that as a result, despite China's internal fragmentation, they will be one of the key development centers in the globe along with Vietnam, rest of Southeast Asia, India, etc.

Anonymous said...

This guy sounds like a conventional ivory tower idiot. Is he really so disconnected that he thinks mass immigration and population explosion are beneficial to Americans?