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By Fareed Zakaria
Many believe the American economy has some inherent advantages over its major competitors – a more flexible structure, stronger entrepreneurial traditions, a more demographically dynamic society.
Well, along comes a fascinating new book that says, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Peter Zeihan's The Accidental Superpower begins with geography, pointing out that America is the world's largest consumer market for a reason – rivers. Transporting goods by water, he points out, is 12 times cheaper than by land, which is why civilizations have always flourished around rivers.
And America, Zeihan calculates, has more navigable waterways – 17,600 miles worth – than the rest of the world put together. By comparison, he notes, China and Germany have about 2,000 miles each and ALL of the Arab world has just 120 miles of river.
But that's just the beginning.
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