We are often told that we are only 5% of the world’s population. Whenever someone wants to emphasize our failures they use that number.
We are 5% of the World’s population:
- but we have 20% of the COVID deaths
- but we have 25% of the COVID cases
- but we use 24% of the world’s fossil fuels
- but we have 3.5 times the murder rate of the EU which has 25% more people
I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. There are a lot of ways to show how we are proportionately worse than the other 95% of the world in many areas.
But, since I am (or at least try to be) an optimist I look at our numbers and see tremendous opportunities.
95% of the world’s population is outside our shores.
For those of us who do not fear everything that is a huge opportunity to sell our goods and services.
We haven’t even begun cracking this golden egg yet. We might not be manufacturing as much as others, but our expertise is in great demand. We are still by a large margin the world’s leader in technology and advanced systems. Just look at Microsoft to see the opportunities. They presently generate about half their revenues outside the US when it could be much higher. Opportunities are huge for them and most other technology companies based in the US.
Of course, I know that about 90% of our goods are manufactured in China and Third World countries, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. As the world’s income rises our goods and services will be in an always increasing mode.
But to take full advantage of our technological superiority we must continue to elevate our educational and training systems to match the need. Without an educated workforce, we will lose our advantage rather quickly. That seems to be our biggest failure in seizing this opportunity. Right now technology companies must go off-shore to get a significant percentage of their workforce. There are just not enough homegrown people who have the necessary skills or education. This fact also is exacerbating the income inequities in our country. In many ways there is a catch-22 to accomplishing a qualified workforce. It requires higher education which is just not affordable by a large portion of our population. We have many of the best colleges in the world, but our citizens can’t afford them. If we can solve this catch-22 we will have huge opportunities and the future will be ours.