Samsung has GROWTH in spite of a large % of their business is DRAM and flash. We all know that memory is cyclical. If you can do this well at the bottom of the cycle, it means you will MAKE BANK at the top of the cycle. Samsung is destroying rival electronics companies (Sony, Panasonic, etc) and cell phone makers (Motorola, Nokia, etc), so a big part of their semi success is due to the success of their internal customers. Perhaps this sets a ceiling on how well they can perform as a semi company?
Intel is still the biggest in sales which is still significant in both economy and technology. It is true that Samsung and TSMC are next to Intel but technologically they can't be compared. I still believe US has to keep on investing more on technology in order to keep the leadership role in the world economy.