Their authors overestimate economic decline – demographics, social trends, education, tech, and manufacturing
Dunn and McClelland, 13 – Professor of International Politics and Head of the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham AND Associate Director for North America at the risk analytics consultancy Maplecroft in charge of energy policy (David and Mark, “Shale gas and the revival of American power: debunking decline?,” The Royal Institute of International Affairs, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1468-2346.12081/abstract)//eek
Weaknesses in the American economy have been widely expounded upon, especially following the 2008–2009 economic crisis. The debt burden hanging over the American economy—attributed by Democrats to unfettered and unregulated markets, and by Republicans to excessive spending—has loomed large in accounts of a power shift from the United States to China. Limitations in the American model, however, mask underlying, residual structural strengths upon which the United States can continue to draw to help sustain its hegemony, irrespective of recent developments in the US energy sector. Perhaps most importantly for the long term, the United States’ demographic prospects are much better than those of either East Asian or European states. The United States will retain a fertility rate above 2.0, owing to a combination of higher birth rate and immigration. New immigrants, both legal and illegal, tend to be younger than the average American, lowering the age of the population as a whole. Kotkin argues that the US population will rise by 100 million by 2050, ensuring the continued prosperity and power of the American state. This population increase could ensure that the United States keeps ahead of the debt curve in a manner that most European countries will be unable to do. Nye also points to a range of other demographic and social indicators that bode well for US domestic stability and the retention of American power, including reduced crime, divorce and teen pregnancy rates, a continued high level of religious observance, and a robust civil society. The dominance of American higher education and scientific research and development will also be a source of US strength. Of the top 20 universities in the world, 13 are currently located in the United States, and US scientific and technological dominance will be extended by the fact that it spends twice as high a proportion of GDP on research and development (2.7 per cent) as China does.26 The US also continues to lead the world in the number of Nobel prizes won: by 2011 it had won 39 per cent of the total and 47 per cent of those awarded in sciences, medicine and economics.27 American power is further likely to be fortified by a revival of the manufac- turing sector of its economy. After many decades of decline in which manufac- turing jobs were outsourced to low-cost economies like China, there is now startling evidence of a new blossoming of the domestic sector. The US manufac- turing labour force is becoming cheaper, more productive and more flexible— all features that are attractive to investors seeking new manufacturing locations. Sirkin, Zinser and Hohner argue that 800,000 new manufacturing jobs will be created in the United States by 2015, creating 3.2 million new jobs in total. They argue that the tipping point at which multinationals return their manufacturing operations to the United States has nearly been reached in several product areas including computers, motor parts, plastics and rubber.28 It is the nexus between energy and manufacturing in particular that suggests that current developments in US manufacturing will last, and portends a significant and continuing under- pinning of American power.