Policies are a means to an end. In the US policies are often used to attract a voting constituency, but what are we trying to create? India has a vision to become a leading global exporter. indiabudget.nic.in/es2011-12/echap-14.pdf China wants to become a high tech nation. Lateline - 02/07/2012: China sets manufacturing standards higher Russia sees itself becoming a center for energy and natural resources: an energy superpower. MIT CIS: Editors' Picks: Audit Some countries in Africa see their future as world-class manufacturing and service centers The hopeful continent: Africa rising | The Economist Policies are being enacted in such countries to attain these goals. Each recognize their own strengths and are working to develop these in order to create a sustainable advantage for their respective countries. Another challenge for us is that emerging market countries are already poised to surpass the GDP of developed nations: According to Euromonitor International, 2012 will be the year when emerging market economies surpass developed economies in terms of GDP measured at purchasing power parity (PPP). Special Report: Rebalancing Economic Power to Emerging Markets - Analyst Insight from Euromonitor International Whether we like or not, no other country is going to sit around the campfire with us, hold hands and sing "Kumbaya". It's not because we are the disliked USA. To be fair, they wouldn't do it with another country either. In fact try to name one country that is competing economically on the world market and that wouldn't put its own economic interests above that of another country you can't - perhaps shocking, but all too true. The US was once a manufacturing powerhouse, which employed a large percentage of the population. Although we still have great manufacturing power, employment has been lost to automation and overseas suppliers. Another pillar of our strength was in our power to consume. Disposable income and personal credit made us the most desired market for foreign companies. But our ability to purchase is weakening and some see our losing that role. How will we compete? What jobs will this bring. What is our vision for the future?