Ten years ago, a general pessimism began to set in among some pundits and technologists who convinced themselves that America can’t do big things anymore. But they only got it half right.

Although the U.S. had created digital services like Facebook, these thinkers noted, massive technological efforts to match the scale of the Manhattan Project to develop nuclear weapons, the Apollo moon landings, or big infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam or the interstate highway system, seemed out of reach in the modern era. Countries like China boasted massive dams and ultra-fast trains, while the U.S. could barely repair its roads or keep Amtrak running.

Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.