Friday, January 22, 2010

Does how little we know about other countries matter? Probably.

I am currently in India, and went out for beer last night with a number of people, all of whom seemed very engaged in the outcome of the Massachusetts Senate race; there was in particular a lot of curiosity about what it meant for US policy going forward.

Yet I would guess that very few Americans know the name Jyoti Basu (I know that if it weren't for the fact that I have now visited India 4-5 times, I would not know who he is). Basu died a few weeks ago, and it is fair to say that he was at least as important to India as Ted Kennedy was to the US, and probably more so.

It seems to me that as India and China's influence continue to grow, it will become increasingly important that more of us in the US know more about their politics and their leaders--beyond heads of state. But then again, maybe I am just getting on my high horse, which I am known to do from time to time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The US used to produce 60% of world GDP, now it is 40%. This trend is intensifying because the US doesn't bother to buy capital goods with their savings. McMansions don't produce anything that can be traded for oil and other strategic international resources.

Both Indian and China have far more people than the US. When they catch up in the use of machines to make things, they will both produce more than the US.