Amerika: The No Growth Society

What does ‘leading from behind’ embody?

It basically turns American exceptionalism on its head.  According to this progressive thought, America isn’t a nation conceived as liberty in equality but a power that needs to be constrained or at least a co-equal partner managing the affairs of the world.

Funny thing, this progressive idea of eviserating American exceptionalism isn’t sufficiently informed from reality.  The American Navy has kept the commons open for commerce since the British empire failed around 1945.  But I suppose that why its called propaganda, facts can’t stay in the way of a good yarn.

The problem you see is that this revisionist template is being used to ‘govern’ our foreign relations with Libya, Syria, Iran, Russia.

Did I mention the U.S economy?

We’re leading from behined there too.

GDP is barely 1.8%.  Our inflation rate is around 8% if you include energy, food and health care.  That leaves us in negative territory.

What’s the norm for growth?  Around 4%.  Oh yeah, that with wage growth and disinflation.  Our faltering, choking economy is literally no-where.

I should also note that the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009.  Nevertheless, the world’s people have missed out on a lot of productive meaningful growth.  This has consequences when you’re a hyper-power.  THIS has yet to play out!  But it will.

What will it look like?

When the world’s only Superpower starts leading from behined permanently, we’ll start to see how the sinews that have underwritten the global economy come untethered.  Those bonds are social, political, but they often only demonstrate/exert themselves in monetary, fiscal policy.  Say Venezuela or Bolivia.  Know what I mean. . .

What we’re witnessing throughout the world now is a complete breakdown in what has underwritten GLOBAL ORDER.  Namely a benevolent regime that enforces standards.  Without it, other regimes start to take over.  Its called power politics.  And progressives aren’t good at it.

Weakening political economies breed anger.  Low/no growth breeds political volatility.  Think the 1930’s.  Just what are politico’s the world over supposed to do with millions of unemployed youths who cannot find work.  Look at Egypt.  How about Yemen.  In fact, except for Israel, the entire Near East as a region is soon to be set ablaze by current conditions.

Just what are vain and decelerating economies to do when their advanced policies no longer work?  Well, the muddle though.

Remember Angus Maddison, the OECD eminent economist?  He taught that if you look at world history synoptically, you’ll see that from about the Garden of Eden to the early 19th century, economic growth didn’t exist.

Can you say FLATLINE!

Then something happened.  Its called the Industrial Revolution.  And what we now call first world economies sprang to life.

Maddison describes 1820-1950 as the capitalist epoch.  Economic growth began and Judeo-Christian nation states enjoyed what we call growth.  For the first time since PERHAPS ANTIQUITY the human person was not static, but moving along a bell curve shaped by means of production.

Cultures, nation states that never experienced the Judeo-Christian heritage never had the chance to grow.  Now, they’re revolting.  We call it the Arab Spring.

As Daniel Henninger wrote, “there is no alternative to strong economic growth.  NONE.

They know it in Beijing, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Warsaw, Bratislava, Taipei even Hanoi.  The missing piece is a global growth agenda led by an American President” who understands the role of American exceptionalism as an underwriter to the aspirations of millions of people who hope for a way out of poverty.

About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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