The Reign of Obama May Close Out the Age of America
It’s not the current president’s fault (although many of us would be inclined to suggest that he hastened the end result), but if Barack Obama wins a second term, it may be that he’ll turn out the lights on the Age of America… at least according to the International Monetary Fund:
According to the latest IMF official forecasts, China’s economy will surpass that of America in real terms in 2016 — just five years from now.
Put that in your calendar.
It provides a painful context for the budget wrangling taking place in Washington, D.C., right now. It raises enormous questions about what the international security system is going to look like in just a handful of years. And it casts a deepening cloud over both the U.S. dollar and the giant Treasury market, which have been propped up for decades by their privileged status as the liabilities of the world’s hegemonic power. …
The IMF in its analysis looks beyond exchange rates to the true, real terms picture of the economies using “purchasing power parities.” That compares what people earn and spend in real terms in their domestic economies.
Brett Arends, who wrote the above, suggests that the Age of China won’t be as benign a hegemony as has been the past few “ages” dominated by Western democracies. He also quotes NYU Stern business professor Ralph Gomory as suggesting that the United States has “traded jobs for profit,” leading to “a small, very rich class and an eroding middle class.”
On the latter count, I’d say that business leaders’ transition of jobs to lower-cost foreign markets is only part of the story. As seems to be a repeating theme, in our society, the trouble arises by our failure to follow a particular governing philosophy. What I mean is that the pursuit of cheaper labor for reasons of profits has had to combine with government imposition of regulations, mandates, and other market controls in order to trip up the United States.
With ever-increasing barriers to entry, the middle and working classes have been unable to compete with established companies, decreasing the risk for the internationals in turning toward distant employees. Displaced workers, and those who would employ them, have also been restricted in their ability to explore new means of making a living.
The way through this is to trust in the American people by removing government manacles, despite the fears and selfish interests of our ruling class, and begin to rebuild the character of the nation.