Prediction is always difficult, especially (as Yogi Berra is alleged to have said) about the future. Charles Murray’s brilliant essay on the future of American innovation handles the difficulties well—and, like all good forecasters, he knows when and how to be appropriately Delphic in his pronouncements. “Let Athens trust to her wooden walls,” said the Pythoness as the Persians approached, without specifying whether by “walls” she meant the fortifications around the Acropolis or the hulls of the Athenian fleet. When it comes to the future of American innovation, Murray concludes that it could go either way: European-style malaise, combined with the depredations of the tort bar, could slow innovation to a crawl and put America on the inexorable road to decline; but decline is still a choice, not a fate.
Fear of Falling
How global competition can spur technological innovation and keep America (and Israel) dynamic.