October 14, 2012

U.S. Super Power Decline

The world is changing and it is hard to accept. We are declining in our superpower status and this is not totally bad. We helped bring it about. Our decline is less the result of becoming weak, but rather other countries becoming stronger economically as a result of our quest to help them be free.

Our country has always been a promoter of democracy and free markets. We have always opposed repression, dictatorships and central control. We cherish our own freedom and the freedom of others. A historically defining moment was the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It was the beginning of the fast end of the Soviet Union. It was also the beginning of other nations believing they also could be free and determine their own future.

China is another example of peoples quest of freedom. China's ruling power in the 1970's made a strategic decision to convert much of its economic apparatus to a more open system to unleash the power and ingenuity of its people by capturing the benefits of our free market system while at the same time centrally controlling other strategic decisions of their country. This central control will not be able to withstand the power of the people. The freedoms given to China's economy will slowly and surely wrestle control of the central government from the communist party.

The China experiment is another example of the United States relinquishing some of its world influence by promoting freedom and free markets in other parts of the world. China will be the historic legacy of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, far surpassing Watergate.

We are slowly waking up to the fact that our promotion of freedom also means we are promoting competitors to our standard of living. As these countries become better competitors wanting more of the good life and using more energy. As this happens prices will rise and we will have little choice but to find other sources of cleaner energy.
“Per capita consumption rates in China are still about 11 times below ours, but let’s suppose they rise to our level. … China’s catching up alone would roughly double world consumption rates…
If India as well as China were to catch up (with the United States), world consumption rates would triple. If the developing world were suddenly to catch up, world rates would increase eleven fold. It would be as if the world population ballooned to 72 billion people (retaining present consumption rates).” The York Times, January 2, 2008
The above quote is somewhat outdated but the reality remains even more serious. Russia and Brazil are forming a middle class and free markets. Countries in southern Africa are becoming more prosperous as a result of gaining freedoms and exploitation of their abundant natural resources. The Arab Spring will mean more prosperous countries and citizens in that part of the world competing for the worlds bounty.

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