Djcnor’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘United States

Isn’t it ironic that Americans are willing to come out into the streets to show they care about the Iranian election being stolen when they wouldn’t come out into the streets after their own elections were stolen in 2000 and 2004?

What can I say? I feel a responsibility to burst American bubbles, but I have the best intentions. The US needs to come out from behind its willful isolation and out-of-date concepts of how the rest of the world sees the US in order to deal with the rest of the world in a manner that  reflects the reality. Also, according to the article I am about to present, this is necessary in order for the world to come out of the present economic crisis as soon as possible and with as little human suffering as possible. (And the suffering of people outside the US really does matter.)

Here’s the article that led to this post:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/opinion/30krugman.html?emc=eta1

Yes, it’s opinion, not a news article, which leaves some room for discounting its points, but doesn’t it make more sense to consider them?

This is the section that made me say “Ouch!”

“Indeed, these days America is looking like the Bernie Madoff of economies: for many years it was held in respect, even awe, but it turns out to have been a fraud all along.”

And this one, “Eeeee!”

“[The economist Simon] Johnson, who served as the chief economist at the I.M.F. and is now a professor at M.I.T., declares that America’s current difficulties are “shockingly reminiscent” of crises in places like Russia and Argentina — including the key role played by crony capitalists.

In America as in the third world, he writes, “elite business interests — financiers, in the case of the U.S. — played a central role in creating the crisis, making ever-larger gambles, with the implicit backing of the government, until the inevitable collapse. More alarming, they are now using their influence to prevent precisely the sorts of reforms that are needed, and fast, to pull the economy out of its nosedive.”

Will Americans believe that the US really has lost a lot of its credibility? Or will they, like a child caught throwing stones at the neighbor’s window, use the defense of “Europe’s got problems just as bad” ? The difference is that Europe has never had that much credibility with most Americans, but the US has had a lot of credibility with Europeans in the past. The loss of that is a major change. American hubris and arrogance will not be tolerated as it has in the past, and that has consequences.

On the other hand, Americans are not likely to tolerate willingly what it might take to get that credibility back.


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