The Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio
Brian Gongol

Podcast: Updated weekly in the wee hours of Sunday night/Monday morning. Subscribe on Stitcher, Spreaker, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or iHeartRadio

Even a road trip is far different today from what it would have been a decade or two ago. On a road trip to Chicago, we had not only the radio going, but also a portable DVD player, an MP3 player, and an Internet-enabled smartphone. Obviously, those tools are great simply for keeping us entertained, but they also can be used to accelerate the pace of our own skill development. The DVD player could have been playing an educational DVD. The MP3 player could have been playing language lessons. The smartphone could have been downloading a technical journal. That we chose to use those tools for entertainment instead speaks to the fact that we still have a lot of time for leisure in this country, no matter how bad anyone tries to suggest that things have gotten in the economy. But the fact that these tools are at our disposal, helping us (if we should call upon them to do so) to make us smarter and more competitive, is a wonderful sign for our future. This doesn't diminish the pain that will be encountered during this economic recession, but it does tell us that we have a very good chance of emerging much better-off when it's over.

If the US loses some of its prominence in world affairs, it's likely that China will benefit more than any other country. China's already working on warming up relations with Latin America -- including a big increase in trade with Brazil. The United States decidedly needs to become more engaged with Latin America, and quickly.

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