America’s Future?

The economic crisis in advanced economies is accelerating the timeline in which big emerging nations like China rule the global economy. Instead of the market focusing on American shopping habits, they’ll be focused on consumers in Shanghai and Mumbai. Unless the US can recover the 8.5 million jobs it lost in the recession, and unless incomes begin rising, the US will be knocked off its pedestal within a generation.

In the US, the biggest problem is Washington. It is becoming clear that they work for maybe a hundred billionaires and five industry groups and that’s about it.

China still has a long way to go before it catches up with the US, and China is a command and control economy. China says that its style of economics is not for export, and other emerging nations, like Brazil, have not tried to emulate it. They don’t have to. Nor does India, or Thailand or Indonesia, for that matter. Their populations are getting richer, ours are getting poorer, with average incomes declining in 2009 and 2010, according to the US Census Bureau. Their corporations are investing at home and creating jobs; ours are either hamstrung from doing so, demanding more tax breaks from a revenue strapped government, or investing where the growth really is.

And where is it? Far and away from the US, new cities are being built, new industries, new entertainment centers rivaling Hollywood; new brands and a new middle class. In some of these countries, like Brazil, disparity between rich and poor is shrinking, not widening. It’s not Nirvana. It’s better. It’s worse. But it’s growing, and it’s hiring, and it is peaceful.

From “The Post-Western World“, posted in Forbes, by Kenneth Rapoza.

In making his case that the American reign is nearing its end, Rapoza quotes in his Forbes post from Noam Chompsky.

“It is a common theme” that the United States, which “only a few years ago was hailed to stride the world as a colossus with unparalleled power and unmatched appeal is in decline, ominously facing the prospect of its final decay,” Giacomo Chiozza writes in the current Political Science Quarterly.

The theme is indeed widely believed. And with some reason, though a number of qualifications are in order. To start with, the decline has proceeded since the high point of U.S. power after World War II, and the remarkable triumphalism of the post-Gulf War `90s was mostly self-delusion.

Another common theme, at least among those who are not willfully blind, is that American decline is in no small measure self-inflicted. The comic opera in Washington this summer, which disgusts the country and bewilders the world, may have no analogue in the annals of parliamentary democracy.

The spectacle is even coming to frighten the sponsors of the charade. Corporate power is now concerned that the extremists they helped put in office may in fact bring down the edifice on which their own wealth and privilege relies, the powerful nanny state that caters to their interests.

From “America in Decline“, posted in Nation of Change, by Noam Chomsky.

It’s a strange day when thinkers such as Rapoza and Chomsky, who are on either ends of the ideological spectrum, agree about America’s prospects over the next 10 or 20 years.

Both articles are worth reading in their entirety.

8 thoughts on “America’s Future?

  1. My 401K is tanking and my SS income has been static for two years. I have always existed on a near poverty level and I am creative at surviving. Nevertheless, I am extremely pissed at the TeaBagger downgrading of my nation’s economic standing, indeed of the TeaBagger downgrading of the entire welfare of my nation and my own economic well being.

    And the TeaBaggers are too damned stupid to even have any regrets.

  2. To some extent, our decline was inevitable. As Chomsky mentions, we were at a pinnacle at the end of WWII, with all the other large and modern countries in disarray or in shambles. That they would catch up to us was inevitable.

    Of course, that doesn’t explain our own rising economic inequality, nor our seeming neglect of just about everything that made us a great power in the first place. That’s down to us, and sadly, I don’t see us stopping that slide anytime soon.

  3. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: No More Avoidance Edition! | Main Street Plaza

  4. I think the real problem may not be “American” “decline” but a fundamental problem with industrialism as a system. China may be booming, but they are creating toxic wastelands and pillaging resource rich Third World countries for resources. India may have a few boom towns, but much of the country is so poor that Maoist movements are now setting off bombs…and the demographic time bomb has not been solved.

    Given the problems of peak oil and severe ecological stress, will the newly emerging economies fare well for very long? I wonder.

    Not that I am disagreeing with the other fundamental points of this post, but…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s