In short, in December 2000 I had naively and optimistically predicted that within a few years of suffering under George W. Bush regime, the American economy would be so far off-course by 2004 that the combination of neo-conservatism and neo-liberalism would be shamed out of office.
I was extremely certain in my naivety that the American political pendulum could and would swing back to the eras which had brought America recovery and social-political-economic expansion, like those decades between the mid-1930s and 1960s.
WHY WAS I OPTIMISTIC FOR THE OPPORTUNITY OF RENEWAL?
These weapons and war bonds would lead to wounded veterans and worse, without really gaining much in the way of better transportation, educational, nor energy infrastructures. In short, American standards of living have only barely been treading water--despite the greatest growth in the stock markets which America has known in over half a century.
Only the booms (1) in the aircraft industry and (2) in areas of communication technology have really improved the homegrown U.S. economy much over the past 3 decades. For example, in my home state of Kansas, Cessna and the aircraft sector did particularly well for the last two decades of the 20th Century. Meanwhile, the related IT sectors and cable satellite sectors also expanded quickly, paving the way for a world of internet for nearly all.
Why? Because homegrown debt is not a positive export product for most developing countries to try and mimic.
From 1983 to 2000, I had traveled and worked in regions around Japan, the UAE, Western Europe, and Nicaragua. Everywhere I went as a lifelong educator, I have bemoaned the hype about America Inc. as “the business model” for either the developed or developing world.
I, therefore, advocated that travelers from various lands not constantly look to the USA to find models for development. I had told several Brazilians and Argentineans whom I met in Hungry in 1987 specifically not to copy the USA in terms of getting their housing sector improved and developed. I explained that the USA model was based on debt or expensive rent—with only a little government help in the getting-the-loan stage.
These South Americans looked at me in dismay and said, “Where should we look for a model? Our country only looks at El Norte for its business and socio-economic development models these days, especially as communism and socialism seems to be collapsing around us.”
ONE NON-USA EXAMPLE: THE POST OFFICE-BANK
These nationwide-post-office-banks should have gained great appeal for most of the developing world in the era before micro-lending began to be practiced—banking by cell phone became possible. Especially, small businesses and farms should have liked the idea of keeping banking local when possible.
Threats of run-ons of banks would have become lessened for many people throughout the 20th century had there been a greater variety of types of global banks. Moreover, better access to locally based loans could have been possible by creating banks wherever a post office existed across the globe.
In summary, I am fairly certain that the idea of doing banking and encouraging savings at a local post office bank would have brought savings & loan service to millions in even the most rural areas of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Such nationwide systems would have allowed loans locally to exist where they were otherwise being ignored by city- and international banks.