– John Krubski is an entrepreneur and the architect of The Guardian Life Index: What Matters Most to America’s Small Business Owners. He is currently working on his next book, “Cracking the America Code: How to Get US Back on Track”. The views expressed are his own. –

In their latest book — “That Used To Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back” — authors Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum maintain that our hope for a happy future lies in how we address four critical issues: resolving the impact of globalization, the revolution in information technology, the nation’s chronic deficits, and its pattern of energy consumption.

These are all very big issues requiring equally big solutions and presumably requiring some form of central planning.

The Messers Friedman and Mandelbaum have written a wonderfully articulated, excellently organized, and very informative book. The trouble is that they have pretty much altogether missed the point. The future of America will not be decided by how we tackle any one, or four, or any hundred particular issues. The future of the U.S. will be decided by how well we understand who we are, how we got here, and how effectively we tap into the fundamental operating system at work here for more than 250 years.

In other words, our future will be decided by us with the same tools we used to define our past. The real question is: Who that “us” will be?