Anthony J. Pennings, PhD


The Price of Neglect

Posted on | October 8, 2011 | No Comments

I don’t always agree with Tom Friedman but the guy thinks about important questions and is an active contributor to major economic debates. Lately he has been promoting his new book with Michael Mandelbaum on the American predicament called That Used to be US: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back. They list the main challenges for America as they see it:

  • Globalization
  • Information technologies
  • National debt
  • Patterns of energy usage

I like this interview on Charlie Rose.

Their basic contention is that America is neglecting the basic formula which has made it great. And that is the focus on four aspects of American society that require some collective action:

  • Educate people up to the latest developments in science and technology
  • Rebuild American infrastructure such as airports, energy, roads, and telecommunications
  • Open up immigration to allow the brightest and hardest working to come to America
  • Restructure investment capabilities to support innovation and production capabilities

We’ll see if I have more to say on the book after I get some more time to read it. I like their focus on collective action but unfortunately too many Americans believe government investments go to someone besides them. Collective action for them means bailing out Wall Street, providing healthcare benefits for illegal aliens, overpaying government bureaucrats, or providing welfare for people who don’t want to work. And while a case can be made for each of these arguments, we are throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. This is the real tragedy of our times.


Anthony J. Pennings, PhD has been on the NYU faculty since 2001 teaching digital media, information systems management, and global communications. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


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    Professor at State University of New York (SUNY) Korea since 2016. Moved to Austin, Texas in August 2012 to join the Digital Media Management program at St. Edwards University. Spent the previous decade on the faculty at New York University teaching and researching information systems, digital economics, and strategic communications.

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