These actions were taken by Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, India, Luxembourg, and the United Kingdom, respectively.

Meanwhile, in the United States, six million more youths dropped out of high school to join a cadre of similarly situated youths—over half of whom under 25 years of age are currently without jobs.7 During the abovementioned interval, another $2 trillion was spent on K-12 public education while K-12 students remained mired near the bottom of the developed-world class.8 Labor costs in the United States continue to eclipse those in developing nations, although in some cases by narrowing margins. Over 8.4 million jobs were lost in America … and the dollar dropped 9 percent against the Euro.9 The United States share of global high-tech exports dropped from 21 percent to 14 percent while China’s share grew from 7 percent to 20 percent.10 The stock market declined 57 percent before beginning a halting recovery, and some seven trillion dollars of wealth disappeared.11 The national debt grew from $8 trillion to $13 trillion. Federal debt per citizen increased from $26,700 to $42,000.12 The nation continued to be dependent upon others for 57 percent of the oil energy it uses.13 China continued to graduate more English-trained engineers than the United States. A number of other countries, including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, conducted their own competitiveness assessments, some patterned after the United States Gathering Storm study, and many moved aggressively to implement the actions that were thus identified.14


Alliance for Excellent Education, High School Dropouts in America, February 2009; Available at:; A. Sum, I. Khatiwada, J. McLaughlin, and S. Palma, The Consequences of Dropping Out of High School, Northeastern University, October 2009; Available at:


U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Statistics of State School Systems, 1969-70; Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education, 1979-80 and 1980-81; and Common Core of Data (CCD), “National Public Education Financial Survey,” 1989-90 through 2006-07, May 2009. Available at:


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employees on nonfarm payrolls by industry sector and selected industry detail, August 2010. Available at: and; Euro-dollar rate was 1.1714 in October 2005, and 1.2703 in August 2010, calculated at


National Science Board (NSB), Science and Engineering Indicators 2010. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation (NSB 10-01), Table 6-19.


S&P 500 1565.15 all-time high in October 2007, reached a low of 676.53 in March 2009. $7.1 trillion in wealth based on peak to trough fall in the Wilshire Total Market index, see:


For national debt, see Table 7.1, Federal Debt at the End of the Year: 1940:2015 at: (accessed August 23, 2010); for U.S. population, see


U.S. Energy Information Administration, Petroleum Statistics 2008, Available at:


The Royal Society, 2010; Panel to Review the National Innovation System, Venturous Australia, 2008, see:; Science, Technology

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