Sometimes Tom Friedman drives me crazy, but he often has a good nugget hidden in the middle of his columns, like this one last Sunday:

A few weeks ago, my wife and I flew from New York’s Kennedy Airport to Singapore. In J.F.K.’s waiting lounge we could barely find a place to sit. Eighteen hours later, we landed at Singapore’s ultramodern airport, with free Internet portals and children’s play zones throughout. We felt, as we have before, like we had just flown from the Flintstones to the Jetsons. If all Americans could compare Berlin’s luxurious central train station today with the grimy, decrepit Penn Station in New York City, they would swear we were the ones who lost World War II.

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I’ve often wondered what would happen if Germany, Italy, and Japan fought a world war against the U.S., Russia, and Britain in today’s world — but on a more positive note, perhaps we can move past the “private wealth, public squalor” contrast that John Kenneth Galbraith pointed to long ago.

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