rivers-of-the US-CC-Nelson MinarMany 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,” writes Farred Zakaria, that points out, “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.” (The Chesapeake Bay alone “boasts longer stretches of deep-water ports than the entire continental coast of Asia from Vladivostok to Lahore.”)

But that’s just the beginning.

(WATCH the CNN video below or READ the column in the Washington Post)

Photo credit: US rivers in the contiguous 48, by Nelson Minar (CC)

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