In spite of America’s growing demand for energy, no new petroleum refineries have been built and no new nuclear power plants have been ordered in the past 30 years. (France now derives 78% of its electric power from nuclear sources; Lithuania, 72%; Belgium, 54%; Armenia, 42%; Japan, 30%; and the United States, 19%.)
Nearly 60% of the patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in the field of information technology now originate in Asia.
Once-mighty Ford and General Motors both have junk-bond ratings, and each has laid off over one-third of its dwindling North American workforce in the past 5 years alone.
Last year Toyota brought to an end the notion of the US Big Three automakers when it sold more vehicles in the United States than Chrysler.
This year, rapidly expanding Toyota ended General Motors’s 75-year reign as the world’s largest auto manufacturer.
Only one of the 25 largest initial public offerings last year took place on American exchanges.
China is on track to build 108 new airports between 2005 and 2010, including the world’s largest. The United States, in spite of stifling congestion, has built only one major airport in the last third of a century.
Low-wage firms, such as Wal-Mart and McDonald’s, created 44% of the new jobs in America during one recent period—a period during which high-wage firms produced only 29% of the new jobs.
Americans are now “saving” a net negative 0.4% of their disposable income.
In 2000, the number of foreign students studying physical sciences and engineering in US graduate schools surpassed, for the first time, the number of US students.
The Los Angeles Times reports that in the past 16 years two high-rise buildings were constructed in Los Angeles as the city executed its accelerated urban-renewal plan. In the past 10 years, 5,000 were built in Shanghai.