travelling in brazil and buenos aires recently I was wondering why has North America been (generally) more successful than South America? Brazil and Argentina had economic booms... and busts. I think it is because historically N. America has had a more stable and relatively less corrupt government, a strong middle class, strong work and values ethics, creating an infrastructure of trust and opportunity. It is important that the government provide a education , opportunity, a safety net , but at the same time the people should not depend on the government to provide for them.
I have repeatedly heard politicians say that free trade has led to greater prosperity here and abroad. China has become the global factory, Brazil the world's farmer, and India its back office, this is not viable longterm.
Right now we don't have "free" trade, its not "free" when pollution is so bad the olympic athletes were concerned about breathing in Beijing, and green stuff had to be removed for the rowing competition. Its not "free" when we import almost everything and some of our best exports--- movies and software-- are not purchased but copied illegally. What we need is fair and balanced trade.
Limits should be set so that we only buy as much from a country as they buy from us (I mean real products not debt). We should make sure to keep some manufacturing here, we can't just be a country of services. We should make sure that we keep enough hi-tech jobs here to encourage future generations to study science and tech in college.
It is risky to depend on other countries for food, manufacturing , or hi-tech. The philippines used to export rice, now they import it. I think every country should be able to feed itself, at least I want to live in a country that grows enough food to feed itself.
It is wrong when the country's largest employer is walmart, what kind of future does that offer? A country of have's and have nots.
The strength of our country is a strong middle class, a mostly stable incorrupt government, an infrastructure of trust and values, a work ethic, and a future of more than flipping burgers.