I believe that the only way you can know which way to go is to look as forward as you can.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Is US loosing Europe?

Well... here there are my opinions regarding this article.
The subject is really hot and interensting for me. Because is about global... and about lookin forward ;)

Source: http://www.conference-board.org/articles/atb_article.cfm?id=308

I think the most remarkable quotation of the article is this:

Finally, at the national and international level, there are signs that the U.S. model of globalization is losing popularity and momentum. The American corporate approach, based on turning iconic U.S. brands into global brands, is under attack; and the recent scandals have sapped the credibility of U.S. management principles -- the same ones that dominated the first phase of globalization.

The article gives a nice overview of the phenomenon: the Europeans do not like to do business with USA any more. Some time ago America was an economic model for the entire world… but not anymore. Now there is a strong European Union. Euro proved to be able to compete with the dollar. The entire idea that Europe can be united economically and get stronger made everyone view things from a different angle and behave differently. The article itself gives a very relevant quotation: "Attitudes have changed," confirms Marjorie Thompson, an American management consultant who has been based in Europe for twenty-two years. "I came here when Ronald Reagan was president, but at that time, people separated the administration from Americans here on business. Now, there is a sense that we are held responsible."

I agree that the scene of the global market changed a lot once the European Union became stronger. But… the article seems to me is not making a big effort to be exhaustive in giving reasons. Why the Europeans changed their direction? Why they are not pleased anymore to make business with the American big corporations? The article emphasizes excessively the political aspects. Is seems indeed that the European business community is disappointed by the US political context: does not like the USA president, and strongly disagrees the Iraq war. But this is not enough for businessmen to do this:

It's brought out the worst in many French and Europeans. In short, just about anyone now feels they can tell you what they think of America right to your face, whether they know you or not. We're all guilty by association for being American, and we're learning what it's like to be on the receiving end of bigotry.

Further, in my opinion the article is very optimistic when giving such conclusions:

Is this anti-Americanism significant? I'm not so sure. We have so much trade and so much influence that it would really take a cultural tsunami -- even more hostility – to

significantly affect how we're perceived and how we prosper in Europe.

I think the Americans image is affected significantly in the European business community. I do not see a global market still dominated by the big American corporations in the future. It is not “bigotry” the one that changed the European business men attitude. I think is all about the consumer behavior. The Europeans do not want to hear any more about the “Americanization of Europe”. They consider that the united Europe provides enough cosmopolite, trendy and healthy life-style and values than USA.

The Europeans step by step are giving up to the unhealthy American Fast-foods, cola... In the hi-tech area, I see rather global market dominated by Asian corporations in the future. Bill Gates position sustains the last affirmation:

"If you look at the trend 10 years ago, the U.S. and China were not that different in terms of the number of engineers graduated," Gates said. "Now we have one-quarter the number of engineers, and the trend is continuing, with the U.S. number going down, and China going up quite a bit...We need to improve our own game, to make sure own slice of the pie stays very large." Gates is among a handful of technology executives who have issued periodic warnings that the United States is in danger of losing its mantle as high-tech center of the world as the skills of other countries catch up or even surpass those of American workers.

Gates: Get U.S. schools in order

The article brings a quotation that suggests that the Middle East might be a bridge that could improve the American image.

Wittes' recommendation to Hughes: "Work with Congress to increase spending on rebuilding American libraries and cultural centers. It may be impossible to make people happy with your foreign policy, but at least you can still create a broader opportunity for people in the Middle East to learn about America."

But…the authors forget to say also about the fact that UE is with some steps in front: European scholarships like Erasmus or Mary Currie are bringing thousands of Middle East students to the best European universities. Why would they turn suddenly to America, where the entire industry seems to start a smooth but still visible decline?

From here to loosing the “high-tech center of the world position is not more than a step

I think the article ends in a very optimistic grace-note, considering my previous affirmations:

A lot of the time, the people who seem the most anti-American are in fact, deep down inside, hugely admiring of America, what it stands for, in the finest sense. As the French say, Qui aime bien, chatie bien --who loves well punishes well. So if you happen to be the type of person who is readily going to agree with any criticism that's leveled at the United States and join in on dumping on your country, that's not going to elicit much respect from your opponent. You have to stick to your guns without drawing them.

From a business perspective, I think the serious effects will be that we as Americans will be forced to be ever more innovative, ever more competitive. Which is as it should be. We Americans thrive on competition, and now we have some.

Energie alternativa

Super imbucurator articolul despre

Ah.. ce ma bucur... Chiar se poate renunta la benzina! Mult timp oamenii au crezut ca nu pot sa zboare. Apoi ca nu pot ajunge pe luna. Chestia asta cu combustibilii mi se pare o incercare modesta. Totusi... merge greu researchul. Nu sunt fonduri pt cercetare? Sunt companiile de petrol asa puternice incat sa influenteze directia vantului? Acum un an-doi am eram detul de optimista incat sa fac un calcul cam asa: voi avea bani sa imi cumpar masina exact atunci cand vor trece pe energie alternativa si nu vor mai fi la stadiul de prototip. O masinuta mica, pt o persoana, hai fie 2... cu poluare ZERO. Dar timpul trece... si stirile ca cea de azi sunt rare...