We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
But he thinks he knows what the next 100 years will be like. 40 years ago I thought I'd be doing my lawn work with a nuclear powered leaf blower. Not that I knew there'd be leaf blowers in 40 years time. Of course I was only 6...
No, he's giving reasons why it won't be an issue in the future; reduced population (?!) and reduced dependence on fossil fuels. He is therefore assuming that global warming is a problem today and that these two questionable occurrences will solve the problem. I began to wonder about him when he placed so much value on the Navy, not that it isn't significant, and then that rubbish about Turkey. I stopped at his global warming comment. Will not be buying his book.
My point of contention is Mexico. As with other immigrant groups we've been Americanizing the Mexicans who come here. The difference now is that the population of recent immigrants has been reinforced generation by generation. Still, even the illegal immigrants get Americanized.
Which has implications for the Mexican government, for if we ever did manage to deport all however million illegals there are, Mexico would find itself having to deal with millions of citizens used to dealing with their leadership in the American way. Think of a motivated revolutionary movement numbering as many as 20 million people in a nation of 100 million.
Mr. Friedman also says Mexico has the 13th largest economy in the world. With 100 million people, should that economy be larger?
There's no mention of India or China. These countries both have much bigger populations than the US and despite bearing the brunt of huge impacts from the recent recession, they have economies that are continuing to grow.
I predict the US will forget the very reasons for its success; it's politicians will become more authoritarian and apply stratagies that call for more politically correct rules to govern its once free economy. Strangled by a self-imposed bureacratic noose, the US economy will slow right down - the US may even follow the european nations on their long and slow path into socialist inspired oblivion.
In the second half of the 21st century, when space, not the sea, becomes the focus of the military stage, India and China will be major players. This will become more obvious when both of them have landed men on the moon (maybe before 2030).
Interesting, If energy shifts to the US the Middle East including Turkey goes back to being a back water. The reason for its importance before was because it was between Great Britain and its Indian empire. That's not needed now. I agree with Paul that space will be much more important.