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Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change the Way You Live and Work Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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FUTURECAST was chosen by the US Chamber of Commerce as one of the 10 "Books that Drive the Debate" for 2008
"Rob Shapiro's prescient and insightful book probes the confluence of challenges that society will face in the coming years. He argues that our world has become increasingly interdependent, and we must foster global cooperation to achieve a sustainable existence with equal opportunity for all. Futurecast is a vital resource for anyone seeking to understand the world our children will inherit."-- President Bill Clinton
“a storm warning at a time when food shortages, higher energy prices and a credit crunch are forcing our heads out of the sand: if they turn to Futurecast 2020 , they will find an argument that gives us a measure of what we should expect from our political leaders - and from ourselves - if we are to continue our civilisation on the high plateau we have managed to reach.”--The Financial Times
"Entertaining and educational. Shapiro deftly pulls together facts and figures to back up his statements. An illuminating, satisfying read."--Kirkus
"Alarming but challenging. A dense yet well-written overview of teh heavy factors that will remake the world. A thorough and gifted analysis."--Management Today
“A new world economy is emerging before our very eyes. Robert Shapiro not only understands the breadth and depth of these enormous changes but also is able to communicate them in a way that is clear, powerful and readily understandable. This is a brilliantly written book and a compelling analysis -- that provides extremely valuable insights into the enormous and historic transitions now underway that will profoundly affect the world's major economies for decades to come.”--Robert Hormats, Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs International
“In America today, we are sorely in need of the big ideas that will elevate our electoral and legislative processes above the level of fundraising and high stakes lobbying. In Futurecast, Robert Shapiro creates the fertile ground from which these big ideas will spring by accurately predicting how all our lives will be changed, in the near future, by aging populations, globalization and the rise and fall of the superpowers. This book is a must-read as we head into this first half of the twenty-first century."--Al From, CEO of the Democratic Leadership Council
“Robert Shapiro understands the world and all of its complexity from the rise and fall of nations to the problem of aging populations. No one is better equipped to tell us where we're headed in the not-so-distant future.”-- Rolf Ekeus, High Commissioner on National Minorities (UN), former Executive Chairman of the United Nations Special Commssion on Iraq and former Swedish Amassador to the United States
“In 1992 Rob Shapiro's analysis of the big changes in globalization became the intellectual framework for the Clinton campaign and Presidency. In this new book Rob returns to the subject and has written a book that is likely to do in 2008 what he did once before - offer the economic framework for the President and the nation. This book is a must read for any one trying to make sense of how the global economy is changing in the early part of the 21st century.”--Simon Rosenberg, chairman, New Democrat Network
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Top Customer Reviews
It is difficult to grasp the massive dislocation brought to us by globalisation when you have countries like China and India entering the world stage changing completely the job market everywhere. In his view America will remain a superpower, but the rules are different. Robert focuses on US, China, Japan and Europe, with occasional touch on Ireland, UK, France, Germany, Italy and South Corea. The book has a lot of factual information and it contains, based on that information, predictions on future trends that are likely to occur until 2020. Suprisingly, there is not much about India, Canada and Australia (the last two countries have massive natural resources that have a key strategic importance in the evolution of global balance of power).
The main factors that Robert predicts will have a significant influence in the evolution of world order are demographic, economic and political. The demographic factors are staggering. For instance China will have by 2020 over 170 million people over 60. Or consider the fact that in Europe and Japan the elderly will represent over 50% of the working-age population.Read more ›
This book is well written and a pleasure to read. It discusses the main trends that will shape the future, and then goes on to discuss the unknowns, such as major technological changes or catastrophic terrorist events that could make major changes the current trends.
I don't doubt that if you read this book in 10 years it would seem dated and you would smile at many of the incorrect predictions, but reading it today has given me a fine experience of thinking about what is happening in the world.
"Futurecast: How Superpowers, Populations, and Globalization Will Change The Way You Live and Work" (358 pages) brings the "big picture' of what we can realistically expect in the next 15 years so so. Shapiro focuses on several general themes (geopolitics, globalization of the economy, and the global demographic shift) and the incredible shifts that they will INEVITABLY will bring about. Praise yourself lucky that you are is the US, as Shapiro's outlook for Europe and Japan is bleak at best. Observes Shapiro: "The geopolitical marginalization of Europe seems all but certain. It may be hard to imagine today when much of Europe disdains America's power and its president, but these developments could strengthen the Atlantic alliance." (He goes on to explain in great detail how that would happen.) Shapiro points out there are two wild cards in all scenarios: terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism (which are not the same thing, of course). The effects of the global demographic shifts are devastating, yet certain to happen (Russia is losing about 1 million, yes you read that correctly) people every year) and certain to cause huge political consequences, particularly in Europe and Japan. And on and on...
Be forewarned: this is not a book you'll read in a couple of hours (or even days). This is dense and serious writing. It took me a good two weeks to read the book from start to finish, but it was so worth it. This book for me is as essential as Thomas Friedman's revolutionary "The World Is Flat" book 3 years ago. This book should be required reading for all college students, and frankly our politicians. Are you reading this, Wahsington? Absolutely essential reading.
megatrends he sees in our future. For instance,
globalization will shift labor intensive jobs to
areas of the world where labor costs are cheaper.
The USA and China will emerge as superpowers and
dominate globalization. As the number of working people
go down- the quality of life goes down and the various
social programs will be under funding strains as in
The author sees overall challenges in health care,
globalization and climate change. The traditional
economies will experience slower growth with higher
taxes, more elderly and a shrinking labor force.
Globalization also encourages costly new medical
procedures due to technological improvements.
The government must find ways to control costs in
this area by merging partnerships with industry.
The USA will build and maintain global information
networks. This is our area of strength. The USA
labor force will grow decently over the next few
decades due to the current stock of immigration.
The new immigrants are needed to replace the labor
pool of retiring baby boomers. There will be no
baby boom in Sub Sahara Africa and Russia. These
countries may suffer for the lack of a labor pool.
In summary, Americans have produced more children
than Europeans or the Japanese. The price of the
baby bust is the end of strong growth in Europe
and Japan according to the author.
China must build its infrastructure and manage the
coastal information technologies with the needs of
inland China. Outsourcing does cause the loss of
some jobs; however, there is a counterbalance to
increments in productivity.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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