Dispatches from China

America must invest in infrastructure to keep pace with China

The Shanghai Expo recently held its closing ceremony, with the long, congratulatory speeches made by the usual cadre of political types covering the usual ground, but much was left unsaid.

The Shanghai Expo is part of a tradition of international world fairs and expositions that began in 1851, when the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All continents was held in London. Organized by Prince Albert as a showcase for Victorian England’s power and accomplishments, it became an international triumph. It was a new vehicle for England’s technical and industrial prowess, which created a line of eager emulators from both Europe and America.

Between 1851 and 1984, the United States dominated the hosting chores with 17 World Fairs and Expositions. Both Chicago and New York hosted twice. Given that the Shanghai Expo is the 41st, it demonstrates the dominance we once had in this area.

Read more here.

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