The passage below is an excerpt of a WSJ summary of an article in the Autumn 2007 issue of The Wilson Quarterly.
Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, says many U.S. accomplishments stem from Americans’ ability to thrive in competitive environments. . . .
Mr. Cowen believes that the U.S. is particularly well-suited to the type of competition fostered by globalization, which he calls "invisible competition." Rivals in business, romance and life now compete anonymously and from a distance. Programmers compete with computer professionals across the ocean. Dating Web sites pit anonymous strangers against one other. Many American qualities suit the distinct challenges posed by invisible competition, says Mr. Cowen. A tradition of creative entrepreneurship is especially useful, since invisible competitors don’t have the same motivating power as rivals in the next cubicle or on the next block.
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(Note: ellipsis added.)