Saturday, November 06, 2010

Pitfalls of American Model

[A break from my East Java series]

In my post dated Oct 22, 2010, I hailed America’s decentralized government over Malaysia’s centralized model. Nonetheless, I must admit that American model isn’t all perfect. Here are some pitfalls:

Short term focus

The United States is the champion of capitalism. Typical Americans are more concerned with quarterly bottom line than long term profits.


Not in my backyard!

American homeowners do not want infrastructure to be built near their houses, for fear it would affect the property values. Such mentality has negative impacts on development.

(Read related post here.)

Economy based on consumption

The 2008 economic downturn has proven that America’s economy based on consumption is not sustainable. It is also bad for the environment.


Business groups have too much influence over the Congress.


  1. Their approach focuses more on themselves and short-term...that is why they are badly affected by the recent economy recession. :/

  2. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on the America system.

    I like to think of it as "The Americans live for today, the Asians live for tomorrow." Americans spend to boost the current economy, Asians save to ensure they have enough for tomorrow.

  3. I would also add short-term thinking... Americans are like kids sometimes, they do whatever they want and don't think of the consequences. Cf. the wars... no real exit plan.

  4. No model is perfect. What matters is when the policies do more good than harm.

    NIMBY however does not apply in LA where houses next to an oil well are of higher value and oil wells are not an uncommon sight in that city if one is observant enough.

  5. shingo
    You are spot on.

    Hmm... not sure what you describe regarding houses near oil well is true...