The Once and Future Superpower: How to Restore America's Economic, Energy, and Environmental Security

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The Once and Future Superpower is a bold, myth-shattering agenda that can help post-cold war America regain our economic strength as we reduce energy use and curb pollution. Since 1945, the United States has concentrated on competing with the Soviet Union. To this end America directed not only its military policy but also its industrial, foreign, and trade policies. Now The Once and Future Superpower shows how America can turn its attention from the vanishing Communist threat to today's potent economic and ...
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Overview

The Once and Future Superpower is a bold, myth-shattering agenda that can help post-cold war America regain our economic strength as we reduce energy use and curb pollution. Since 1945, the United States has concentrated on competing with the Soviet Union. To this end America directed not only its military policy but also its industrial, foreign, and trade policies. Now The Once and Future Superpower shows how America can turn its attention from the vanishing Communist threat to today's potent economic and environmental challenges. This commonsense, nondoctrinaire book debunks a variety of firmly held notions. Myth: Wise energy policy would hurt economic growth. Myth: The free market, unaided, can revitalize America's economy. Myth: Combating global warming will be costly. Myth: Cutting the defense budget will put U.S. security at risk. Myth: Higher taxes are needed. The Once and Future Superpower reveals how an updated national strategy can restore America's manufacturing excellence and create the best possible jobs for the greatest number of people. This new national goal has its roots in dialogues from the earliest days of the Republic. Japan already has such an economically oriented national security strategy, which is a key reason why that small, resource-poor nation has had such remarkable economic success. Joseph J. Romm, in his ground-breaking first book, proposes a comprehensive set of programs for ensuring that America becomes the most economically competitive, resource-efficient nation in the world. America can and must achieve world leadership in energy and environmental technologies, which will be a key source of international trade and high-wage jobs in the twenty-first century. Written in jargon-free language, The Once and Future Superpower raises the level of American political discourse and offers practical solutions to our most pressing national problems.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With its wealth of concrete proposals, this remarkable, progressive blueprint for economic transformation stands high above most books about restoring American competitiveness. Romm, a researcher at the Rocky Mountain Institute who has taught at Columbia University, emphasizes rebuilding the United States' infrastructure, reducing wasteful energy consumption, switching to nonpolluting energy sources like wind and sunlight and revitalizing American manufacturing through investment in education, worker training and flexible, fast-cycle production methods that minimize wasted time and effort. He argues that the U.S. could cut its military budget in half with no harm to national security, thus freeing resources to devote to technology and people. He insists that the federal government has a critical role to play in fostering an ``industrial ecosystem'' aimed at drastically reducing pollution and the use of all resources. And he outlines a foreign-aid policy to promote sustainable development. This vitally important book should be required reading for the next President. First serial to Forbes. (Sept.)
Mary Carroll
Physicist Romm, currently a research scholar at the Rocky Mountain Institute, dedicates his analysis and redefinition of national security to U.S. Air Force Col. John Boyd, whom he credits with outlining, in a military context, the kind of time-based competitive strategy that has served Japan so well in economic competition. Romm calls for a paradigm shift, transferring government funds from military to economic security, from military to civilian intelligence, from military-oriented foreign aid to aid meeting civilian needs, and from traditional, polluting forms of energy to cleaner, more affordable energy sources in order to produce "a resource-efficient national and global economy that increases everyone's living standard without harming the environment." "The Once & Future Superpower" shows that a purely military idea of national security is relatively recent (and increasingly unrealistic); reviews the falling U.S. standard of living over the past 20 years and suggests a manufacturing industrial policy to reverse it; analyzes Japan's comprehensive security doctrine and Japanese regional industrial policy for Asia; examines our post-1980 energy industrial policy and proposes an alternative policy; describes environmental security threats and recommends "an industrial ecosystem--manufacturing that minimizes resource use and pollution--[to] make businesses more profitable and boost foreign trade while preserving the environment"; and outlines the potential for cuts in the defense budget and for more effective foreign aid policy. "Forbes" will publish an excerpt; requests should follow.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688118686
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Pages: 320

Table of Contents

Preface: The Once and Future Superpower 11
Introduction: Why America Beat Iraq but Loses to Japan 15
1 National Security, an Evolving Idea 39
2 Restoring Economic Security 59
3 Japan's Economic Security System 99
4 Achieving Energy Security While Saving Money 115
5 Environmental Security and the Industrial Ecosystem 151
6 The Old Order Collapses and the Old Order Continues 177
7 The End of Military Security 197
8 Conclusion: The End of Isolationism 219
Appendix: Pseudoscience and SDI 227
Notes 249
National Security Bibliography 299
Index 307
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