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US Is Land of Opportunity — No More?

Sarah Rappaport|News Assistant
Wednesday, 9 May 2012 | 1:07 AM ET

The biggest risk to the United States' position in the world is unemployment, Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group and author of "Every Nation For Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World,” said Tuesday.

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“There is structural unemployment in the United States as a consequence of globalization. Those are jobs that have gone away and are not coming back. There are large numbers of Americans that just don’t have opportunities—they’re not college educated and they’re not going to get jobs in this environment,” Bremmer said on 'Squawk Box Europe'.

Bremmer pointed to the discrepancy in the unemployment rate and access to opportunities between those who have degrees and those who are not college educated.

“There are folks with college degrees, and the world is their oyster. They don’t need to move to Singapore—they need to stay in the United States and they can do just anything. They’ve got access to the equity markets, they’ve got houses, they live in good areas, their property rates haven’t been hit," he said.

"And then you’ve got folks who actually don’t have the same opportunities, and their marriage rates have fallen, their religious and church participation has fallen, their community participation rates have fallen, and their employment rates have fallen, and these are the folks who don’t see the United States as the land of opportunity,” said Bremmer.

He added that discouraged American workers might lead to the United States taking an even larger step away from global leadership and toward isolationism.

“The real concern is that over the longer term these folks will say U.S.-led globalization hasn’t benefited me, so why should I support a global free market? Why shouldn’t I support protectionism? And if that happens in the U.S., ultimately the U.S. is hurt the most,” according to Bremmer.

While Bremmer mentions college graduates as a bright spot in the U.S. economy, that may not be the case for young graduates who have just received their degrees.

An analysis of government data conducted for the Associated Press showed that one in two new graduates are jobless or unemployed, and the unemployment rate for 20-24 year olds was 13.2 percent in April, higher than the national average of 8.1 percent.

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