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I'm not patting any foreign entities on the back. I am more critical of corporate America and their aversion to risk. The CEOs and upper management of many (not all) US corporations are obsessed with earnings, not only annual earnings but quarterly earnings. Their annual bonuses are tied earnings, and therefore looking long term is secondary to short term gains that might inflate the stock price.
It is only through foreign competition that many US companies have been forced to be better. There are countless examples of "invented in America" but because of a lack of will to take risk, foreign companies have taken the lead in developing the products. Perhaps one of the most talked about examples is how Kodak invented the digital camera, but then worrying about how it would impact its film industry, did not advance its technology. Canon and Nikon, two Japanese cameras, are now the leaders in that lucrative market.
The electronic industry is now largely led by Japanese, Korean and Chinese companies, an area where back in the 50s and 60s, American companies like RCA were dominant. That's just one industry. Basically global competition from Europe and Asia has left many US companies in the dust, while others have thrived.
The Americans do indeed make some very good cars now but without the impetus from global competition, that would probably have taken much longer. That's the point I was making about the "Havana cars" that might have been misunderstood.