New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman is worried that America is producing "sub-optimal solutions" to big problems like global warming, an education system in decline and a weak economy.
The author of Hot, Flat, and Crowded appeared on The Charlie Rose Show on Friday night to discuss President Obama's recent trip to Asia, and more specifically China. Friedman lamented the failure of US governance and the "forces of paralysis" that surround President Obama. He is worried that China's streamlined, one-party system will be in a better place to implement solutions to large global problems more quickly than the US.
Holding us back, Friedman argues, is a political system too closely connected with money and well-funded interests. Gerrymandering on the part of politicians makes it so that our leaders practically pick us, not the other way around. Friedman also thinks cable news television distorts the truth and that the internet (at its worst) can be a terrible thing for our nation's politics. He also says American businesses have gone AWOL, and hover over America, participating only when it suits their industry's needs.
Friedman says that better citizens--not politicians--can solve our nation's problems.