Sometimes it's really baffling that Thomas Friedman is considered one of our nation's most important thinkers on political and economic matters. Here he is today (2/11/09) channeling what "non-Americans" have to say:
Dear America, please remember how you got to be the wealthiest country in history. It wasn't through protectionism, or state-owned banks or fearing free trade. No, the formula was very simple: build this really flexible, really open economy, tolerate creative destruction so dead capital is quickly redeployed to better ideas and companies, pour into it the most diverse, smart and energetic immigrants from every corner of the world and then stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat, stir and repeat.
If you don't understand that the United States developed its economy behind high tariff walls, then you probably believe the Earth is flat.