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The Decline of America

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The era of global leadership and domain of America, which began during World War II is over.  Once an economic and military powerhouse, America is now in intensive care, with an unsavory prognosis.  The catastrophic illness that America suffers from has been diagnosed by many over the past few years, but solidly ignored by both Democrats and Republicans - liberals and conservatives.

The astute could see that America had lost its power when Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez taunted and ridiculed America before a world audience at the UN with impunity.  To add insult to injury, Chavez began supplying oil to the poor and needy in North Eastern States at below market costs in 2005.  America was powerless to do anything.  Today Chavez is still using cheap Venezuelan oil to further reduce the power of America in Latin America.  He is all but giving it away throughout the region which increases his influence to the detriment of America.

Today with the nationalism of crucial parts of America’s financial systems, the American creed of free wheeling, unchecked capitalism has self destructed.  The downfall began after the Cold War as America preached to other countries about the necessity for sound finance.  Recipients of Aid from the International Monetary Fund, which basically controlled by America, and which enforced American orthodoxy forced recipients of the aid into deep recessions.  At the same time, America was borrowing heavily from foreign countries, cutting taxes and spending like a drunken sailor.

Over the years, America has relentlessly harassed China over what it called weaknesses in China’s banking systems, economic systems, and form of government.  China resisted America’s criticism which leaves three compelling facts to consider.  First, today, China’s banks are strong, well funded and performing strongly.  Second, even while America was criticizing China for its economic policies, China was funding America’s tax cutting and spending spree by purchasing almost $500 billion in US Treasury Securities.  Third, China also has foreign exchange reserves in excess of $1.5 trillion. 

Essentially, China holds at the very least, as significant lease hold in America.  This could perhaps be better stated as saying that China owns America.  Americans however, rather than taking a closer look at China’s economic and governmental policies, would rather place blame on China by blaming it for unfair trade practices and deliberately undervaluing its currency to boost exports and limit imports.  This is a typical American attitude:  Blame everyone else.

Today both the Democrats and Republicans are blaming China for everything that they can.  In typical American fashion, they are also attempting to instill fear in American’s by thinking of scenarios where China could totally dominate not only America’s military, but also the economy.

Technically, the only thing that China has done is to tell successive American Administrations to keep their noses out of China’s business.  By doing this, China has built not only a strong economy, but also a significant infrastructure that has brought more people out of poverty than any other country in the world or history in the last 20 years.  By doing the exact opposite of what America demanded, and has itself done, China has become a dominant power and proven America wrong.

There is little doubt that China could significantly hurt America economically, and hence, militarily.  If China were to dump American currency on the market and stop buying American debt, the country would be bankrupt.  It would cease to function.  It would quickly begin a decline into Third World status.

It is not likely that China would do that.  In fact, it is highly unlikely that China would do that, unless provoked.  Unfortunately, America with its relentless, blind push for democracy throughout the world, and in particular with Taiwan and Tibet, could force China’s hand.

Whether America is wise to be pushing for democracy in Taiwan and Tibet is a subjective question.  If we compare the American form of government to the Chinese form of government with an open mind, we can see that in many ways, the Chinese form of government is superior.  The economic stability of the two countries today is by far the first significant indicator.

The primary difference between China and America is quite simple.  In America, Americans work first and foremost for themselves.  They believe in individualism - the individual is more important than anything.  In China, the Chinese work together for the benefit of all society.  Successes, and failures, are shared equally.

Corporations in America, with their individualistic attitudes have helped to create the financial crisis.  Corporate greed has been rampant, and unchecked.  There is no indication that anyone in Congress is going to attempt to check that corporate greed across the board.  To do so would be to descend into “socialism” - a dreaded word in America.  Never mind the fact that with the nationalism of crucial and critical financial institutions, America has already made that first step.

Unlike America, China isn’t trying to take its form of government to the world, and impost it on other countries.  It is not telling other countries how to run their countries.  Venezuela is mocking America with impunity in Latin America and reducing its influence dramatically.  Russia is now loaning billions of dollars to other countries that have been hit by the economic crisis.

If America expects to recover quickly, it needs to start looking at the countries that it has spent the last 30 years criticizing and condemning for not meeting America’s double standards.  It needs to start emulating the policies and practices in those countries that have worked to build strong economies and strong countries.

At the same time, it also needs to cease and desist in trying to agitate and interfere in those countries internal affairs and policies.  America no longer has the money to be engaged in those pursuits.  Selling $6.5 billion worth of arms to Taiwan needs to be scuttled.  China clearly holds a better hand of cards than America does.

The Old Codger has left the room

 

Doc is semi-retired, currently living, working and investing in China. Background in medicine (trauma), business and education. Neither a progressive or a conservative; more of a centrist/libertarian who is a strong proponent of personal (more...)
 
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Thank you Old Codger for stating the truth. Americ... by Archie on Wednesday, Oct 8, 2008 at 2:51:06 PM