'That Used to Be Us': Staging America's Comeback

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Tonight, President Obama will unveil his plan for creating more jobs in America. Obama returned from summer vacation to the dismal news that the country gained no new jobs in August. Unemployment continues to hover around nine percent and it is likely to stay that way through 2012. While the U.S. faces a slow economic decline, countries like China and India are on the rise. "It makes no sense for China to have better rail systems than us, and Singapore having better airports than us," the president noted in his speech following the 2010 midterm elections. "And we just learned that China now has the fastest supercomputer on Earth — that used to be us."

Many think America has fallen behind. What does the country need to do to to catch up? That’s the question Tom Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum try to answer in their new book, "That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back." Friedman is a columnist for The New York Times, and Mandelbaum is a professor of American foreign policy at Johns Hopkins University.