If only to get off Murdoch-related postings for a bit, I turn my attention to an update on my book Rebuilding Brand America.
You will recall that when it was published in 2007, the reputation of the U.S. around the world was fairly miserable.
My book was an effort to explain why and to suggest what we could do as business people and as individuals to restore the country's rep.
Well, there's good news and bad news on that front. The good news is that -- outside most of the Muslim world -- America has significantly improved its standing.
According to a Pew Research Center report, "opinion of America is largely favorable on balance." The 2011 readings, especially in Western Europe, generally represent a significant improvement over those in 2008. In some countries -- like France and Spain -- U.S. favorability is better than it was pre-9/11.
But there's bad news too: Significant pluralities in almost every country believe that China "will or has replace the U.S. as the world's leading superpower." And the percentage has been increasing at the same time that our overall imaging has been improving.
More than half of Western Europeans think that the U.S. will take a back seat to China. Nearly half (46%) of Americans agree. To be fair, most people in Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia still consider the U.S. to be the world's leading economic power.
But it's interesting to ponder the reasons for America's apparent decline among developed countries.
Is it a reflection of people's envy -- i.e., it's easier to like us when we're no longer on top? A decline in favorability towards China seems to support this notion.
Or does it reflect an objective analysis of the facts -- i.e., the U.S. is a debtor country and China holds a lot of our paper?
Or something else?
What do you think? Please don't tell me you blame Rupert Murdoch.