This is not just about statistics. It is about our quality of life and how long we will live. It is about where our children will want to live and who will be our neighbors in the future.
While entrepreneurs in the U.S. are focused on "disrupting" established products and industries, working in China raises no such concerns. With so much extra income being generated every year, there is plenty of space for the new and latest.
With prospects for success — and its sizable rewards — so much greater in China, our ability to attract and retain the best and brightest will be seriously tested. Although Americans may not be moving anytime soon, fewer young and talented Asians are now interested in pursuing their careers in the U.S.
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What can be done?
A lot is beyond our control. China is already large and is still growing quickly. Although the pace is starting to slow, the yuan is still undervalued by perhaps 10 percent or 15 percent, and it is hard not to see its economy making similar size gains for the rest of the decade.
But the U.S. can and should grow faster. It needs to grow faster. For demographic and budgetary reasons. And also to ensure it remains an attractive place for biotechnology, communications, electronics and other forms of frontier knowledge. Low growth perpetuates itself.