It amazes me that we live in a system that emphasizes the value of economic competition, yet in Friedman's articles we have evidence that the US is in danger of falling behind places such as Singapore, India and China. Wouldn't you expect that since Americans (supposedly) value competition, they would rush to be the innovators and try to keep an advantage? If the complacency that is found among Americans when it comes to education filters through to the global marketplace, the world will flatten even more quickly.
Sometimes people learn their lessons before they need them; other times they wait until they fall on their faces to start catching up. Wouldn't it be better to stay in the lead (if that is still the case) rather than expend the energy needed to catch up?