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Thread: The world has a stake in ensuring the USí continuing success

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    Default The world has a stake in ensuring the USí continuing success

    Like it or not....

    The world has a stake in ensuring the US’ continuing success
    By Richard Haass

    Let me posit a radical idea: The most critical threat facing the US now and for the foreseeable future is not a rising China, a reckless North Korea, a nuclear Iran, modern terrorism or climate change. Although all of these constitute potential or actual threats, the biggest challenges facing the US are its burgeoning debt, crumbling infrastructure, second-rate primary and secondary schools, outdated immigration system and slow economic growth — in short, the domestic foundations of US power.

    Readers in other countries may be tempted to react to this judgment with a dose of schadenfreude, finding more
    than a little satisfaction in the US’ difficulties. Such a response should not be surprising. The US and those representing it have been guilty of hubris (the US may often be the indispensable nation, but it would be better if others pointed this out), and examples of inconsistency between the US’ practices and its principles understandably provoke charges of hypocrisy. When the US does not adhere to the principles that it preaches to others, it breeds resentment.

    However, like most temptations, the urge to gloat at the US’ imperfections and struggles ought to be resisted. People around the globe should be careful what they wish for. The US’ failure to deal with its internal challenges would come at a steep price. Indeed, the rest of the world’s stake in US success is nearly as large as that of the US itself.
    Part of the reason is economic. The US economy still accounts for about one-quarter of global output. If US growth accelerates, the US’ capacity to consume other countries’ goods and services will increase, thereby
    boosting growth around the world. At a time when Europe is drifting and Asia is slowing, only the US (or, more broadly, North America) has the potential to drive global economic recovery.

    The US remains a unique source of innovation. Most of the world’s citizens communicate with mobile devices based on technology developed in Silicon Valley; likewise, the Internet was made in the US. More recently, new technologies developed in the US greatly increase the ability to extract oil and natural gas from underground formations. This
    technology is now making its way around the globe, allowing other societies to increase their energy production and decrease both their reliance on costly imports and their carbon emissions.

    The US is also an invaluable source of ideas. Its world-class universities educate a significant percentage of future world leaders. More fundamentally, the US has long been a leading example of what market economies and
    democratic politics can accomplish. People and governments around the world are far more likely to become more open if the US model is perceived to be succeeding. Finally, the world faces many serious challenges, ranging from the need to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction, fight climate change and maintain a functioning world economic order that promotes trade and investment to regulating practices in cyberspace, improving global health and preventing armed conflicts. These problems will not simply go away or sort themselves out.

    While Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” may ensure the success of free markets, it is powerless in the world of geopolitics. Order requires the visible hand of leadership to formulate and realize global responses to global challenges. Don’t get me wrong: None of this is meant to suggest that the US can deal effectively with the world’s problems on its own. Unilateralism rarely works. It is not just that the US lacks the means; the very nature of contemporary global problems suggests that only collective responses stand a good chance of succeeding. However, multilateralism is much easier to advocate than to design and implement. Right now there is only one candidate for this role: the US. No other country has the necessary combination of capability and outlook.

    This brings me back to the argument that the US must put its house in order — economically, physically, socially and politically — if it is to have the resources needed to promote order in the world. Everyone should hope that it does: The alternative to a world led by the US is not a world led by China, Europe, Russia, Japan, India or any other country, but rather a world that is not led at all. Such a world would almost certainly be characterized by chronic crisis and conflict. That would be bad not just for Americans, but for the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants.

    Richard Haass is president of the Council on Foreign Relations in the US.
    Copyright: Project Syndicate

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    If we will not stop using to much Resources in a hurry, then we will ALL go done the Drain in the not so distant Future...
    AND THE USA IS STILL THE ONE COUNTRY THAT USES MORE THAN ANY OTHER... TOO MUCH...
    The Ultimate Question: Will YOU pass through the Eye of the Needle?
    "In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves." -- Carl Sagan




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    I think Knowdafish's (Robert Haass) article is spot on in identifying the problems we are facing; however, like most articles it fails to offer what "they" think the overall solution is. A lot of very smart people have been working on this and, if it was that easy to solve, the dollar to peso here would be back to 48 (I'm dreaming).
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    International problems are never simple to solve. Much more complicated than people sitting behind a computer want to admit.
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    curveball_inside is offline DI Member
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    I'd say there wasn't enough 'trickle' in Trickle Down Economics. Time to re-examine NAFTA and CAFTA, for starters.

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    If you tax the rich too much and they piss off somewhere else the trickle down will be noticed. Very much noticed.
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    curveball_inside is offline DI Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wrye83 View Post
    If you tax the rich too much and they piss off somewhere else the trickle down will be noticed. Very much noticed.
    So your solution is to not re-examine trade agreements that have weakened our economy and let the rich do as they may out of fear they will 'piss off' to somewhere else?

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    I think if all the money spent by the US and it's Allies on "Peace Keeping" and Space travel/exploration, was spent on improving the Society we live in, the economy of the West might take a turn for the better.
    As the song goes It's the Rich that get the pleasure and the poor that get the blame.
    " If it wasn't for Faith, I'd have no Hope!"

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    Frankly, I am glad they spent the money for space travel because it led to little things like satelites without which I probably would not be posting this. I wonder what it would be like to lay a phone trunk line from the UK /US to the PI? There must be a billion other technological things we use often if not every day that would not be if not for the space race.

    As for peace keeping, I think the German language would be fairly widespread if the UK and US minded our own business, so to speak, after all there was meddling in the business of others long before declarations of war.

    If you are talking about occupation and rebuilding of countries after a war is over, I agree whole heartedly that that money would be better spent elsewhere.




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    If the rich piss off to somewhere else and the US closed their borders to the import of their product or taxed it at 100%, the rich wouldn't have just pissed off, they would have walked under the yellow stream.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wrye83 View Post
    If you tax the rich too much and they piss off somewhere else the trickle down will be noticed. Very much noticed.

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