Tom Friedman's Warning on American Competitiveness

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, right, talks with Energy Secretary Steven Chu at the White House, Dec. 3, 2009. (AP)

Jump off an 80-story building, and for 79 floors down you can make believe you’re flying, says New York Times columnist Tom Friedman. But that last floor is a killer.

Tom Friedman is yelling at the top of his lungs lately about the path America is on. The dream of glory and the real risk of a great fall. He’s yelling about clean energy and education, research and infrastructure, honest debate and international competitiveness, he’s warning, America is in big, big trouble, with not much time to get it right.

We talk with Tom Friedman.

-Tom Ashbrook


Thomas L. Friedman, columnist for the New York Times, bestselling author, and recipient of three Pulitzer Prizes. His lastest book, newly revised, is Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution– and How it Can Renew America.

In Friedman’s recent Times column “The Big American Leak,” he writes, “Fifty years ago, the world was shaped in a certain way, to promote certain values, because America had the leverage to shape it that way. We have been steadily losing that leverage because of our twin addictions to Middle East oil and Chinese credit — and the WikiLeaks show just what crow we have to eat because of that.”

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