Oh well, it's been a while since one's been deleted anyways. We can't let the admin drop their guard.
As far as America being the innovators, I think that's true absolutely... in the past. Now, however, I'm not so sure. Which companies successfully developed the first hybrid cars? Which companies provide us with our technology and advances in cell phones, MP3 players, and other consumer electronics? As far as I know, none of the recent (10 years) technological breakthroughs have occured in the US - they've been a product of Japan. (whose economy, strangely, is doing bad too, but thats for another topic)
Markets are finicky things. Just because you develop the best technology doesn't mean it will even sell, it requires the right je ne sais quoi
to catch on and bring record profits.
I do beleive the US will develop the most permanent solution for oil... eventually. But what we do need is something to catalyze us to action - slowly rising gas prices will make everyone uncontented, but not angry enough to stop paying.
Demand drives the economy, demand drives pricing. If there's no demand for an alternate fuel (whether that be because people don't want it or can't
want it because they have no car to put it in.
If we had another oil embargo directed at the US, we'd have new attempts at alt energy popping up everywhere - the US has proved time after time that we work our best work in a crunch. Rubber was embargoed during WWII, and we couldn't make plane tires. As fast as you could say "oh no" scientists had developed and implemented synthetic rubber, and our planes could once again land.
If we get a similar oil embargo, we'd have scientists coming out of the works to develop something new (partially because they'd know the demand for such a technology would be enormous and they'd make a fortune.) But with the slow way prices are increasing, we may not have quite so much capital to do that in the future.
As far as the US's global popularity, hatred and envy aren't that much different. A country wants something - you see someone else has it, you complain that "its not fair" because you don't have it, and you develop a way to alter your thinking enough (over time) where it becomes everyone elses fault that you were denied
what you should have because it's your right. It turns into hatred, over time, regardless of the humanity of the country you're hating. I think were seeing the beginning stages of this "hatred/envy" in the form of terrorism - we're stilll in the early stages.
The US, when in a global spotlight like it is, can do no good. Tens of thousands clamor that we stop the genocide in Darfur, and many of those same tens of thousands claim that we shouldn't even be helping in "other places."
We give billions in aid to many many countries, in fact we gave a great deal to all of Europe after WWII in an attempt to revitalize their economy.
But you will always have someone else that sees that money being given out, and asks "Why don't I get my piece of the pie?" Having the US seen as a "pie" is dangerous because then people see the money then as theirs to be taken, because its their right to have what the others have.
Thats just the nature of the beast. You can't please everyone, if we did, the US wouldn't exist.
To sum it all up - the US needs to stop buying everything from China - we can't continue operating on a gigantic trade deficit, its impossible. If the United States were to suddenly lose all of its money, China's economy would stagnate immediately. Remember Japan in the 50's? Almost all the stuff they shipped to the US was garbage. It took them about 30 years and they started to be taken seriously.
Well, at the rate technology is accelerating, its not going to take China 30 years to be recognized as quality - they will begin producing equal quality goods to the rest of the world market in a short while. Once people start buying Chinese cars, Chinese equipment, etc, it isn't going to slow down, the amount of money we send to China will speed up.
Of course, you have to consider, by the same token, as the standard of living raises in China, the better the rest of the world market has the ability to do, as a billion consumers will start having enough disposable income to purchase goods. If the US can develop a technology that we can export to China, especially one that can reduce dependence on oil, I have no doubt the Chinese would go for that. It just comes down to developing it - since China is drawing more and more oil, AND its in the first stages of developing an energy infrastructure, introducing an alternative energy source and a method of delivery could work wonders.
Of course it could also turn China into a mass of economic power that sucks up the rest of the world like "The Blob," but hey, nothing risked, nothing gained right?
I think China can either be the key, or the hammer that unlocks or destroys the rest of the world. Because of the enormous demand that is just waking up there, the feasibility of alternate fuels jumps immensely - infrastructure and distribution systems could be tested there - would they work on a large scale basis, and be cost effective, etc, and then slowly implemented in the US. We just need a decent alt energy solution, and a company willing to try it in China. We could bring some profits back to this side of the pond.
The US is an innovator. They are less so than they have been in the past, because we are pretty complacent - theres no crunch to force us into action (and when we go, we go brilliantly) We just need a kick in the pants to get us to do it.