Why the World Needs to Reinvest in America
Economic instability throughout the world is forcing many corporations and investors to redevelop their global financial strategies. While government debt is a pressing issue, especially in Europe, traditional markets like the United States do offer some degree of stability as well as risk associated with national debt. With Asia, minus Japan, looking as though it offers the best opportunities for growth, investors are tempted to take their money out of traditional markets and into emerging markets, despite the risk of geopolitical shifts in power and weakened consumer demand undermining these prospects. These trends in global commerce seem to be pushing businesses and investors toward safety nets, such as the certainty of growth in Asia, yet what many see as a save choice may not actually be the best bet, especially for America as a nation and the world as a whole.
Looking back on fairly recent history, the British Empire collapsed after World War I and World War II, because it could no longer afford to sustain its international obligations. Unfortunately, the world has failed to publicly consider what would happen if the "American Empire" could no longer sustain its obligations. Instead, much of the world has spent the past few decades economically undermining the United States while asking for more and more. Countries like China, India, and, even, Japan have blatantly stolen our intellectual property and their workers have undercut the rights of our workers by absorbing the costs of labor abuse. Most Americans, however, do not blame foreign workers for our pain as we recognize they too want to improve their lives. World players, corporations and governments specifically, have betrayed the US to fulfill their short-term needs without considering whether or not America can sustain its positive influence in the world.
Between our ballooning National Debt, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Great Recession, recent events should be enough to convince the world that American power has limits and we cannot afford to simply subsidize the needs of the world as we have done for so long. Foreigners have always looked to America to provide an extra billion per year more for the UN, for humanitarian aid, for military aid, and so on, even as we largely subsidize world stability through our military and other vast programs. The world sees America going through the pain associated with the Great Recession then, as one example, scoffs off our promise to help raise one hundred billion a year in order to deal with the effects of climate change on poor nations. Quite frankly, American power is unsustainable at this current time and the average person in America has been hurting for quite some time as we have leveraged ourselves to death with credit to pay for our lifestyles and the global stability our economy created.
Furthermore, the somewhat erratic nature of US foreign policy often angers foreign interests and leaves people around the world feeling betrayed, yet there is also a feeling of betrayal shared by many Americans when it comes to our foreign assistance. Americans are generous as many pro-America foreigners might attest, yet we are not a benevolently generous nation looking to establish ourselves as a moral superior like some might believe. By our very nature, Americans are enterprising investors, so we seek out investments that we believe will create a sustainable cycle for future success. It was our view that we were investing in the world to build a self-sustaining democratic order that would help sustain our Nation with the indirect return of a better world. As such, we have actually always acted in our self interest as all nations do, yet we have tried to make the world a better place.
The United States has been mothering the international community toward a better world for the larger part of a century, but no one is here to mother America now that she is sick. Instead, the world asks for more and undermines our efforts to rebuild our Nation. In terms of trade, Asia and other third world nations do not want to play fair by taking on the actual costs of labor, environmental protection, and other displaced costs. As such, they can grow faster, so investors will be attracted to these markets. On the other hand, these behaviors fail to address the need for stability in these nations while less investment in America, when she needs it the most, will eventually result in greater instability in the global economy. Of course, this instability will then be exacerbated by America being forced to further disengage from the world and leave global crises to be dealt with by other world powers.
If America cannot act as the global superpower, thereby creating stability for the entire world, then rising powers like China will be the future leaders of the international community. American history is relatively short, thus America defines itself with a national identity associated with democracy; whereas, China has a very long history, so it does not need to define its self as a champion of the People. Democracy versus communism to the Chinese culture is more or less another era in an ancient land while their communist government certainly does not espouse the same views on human rights and civil liberties. In addition, China does not generally concern itself with the interest of Western allies; therefore, China cannot be relied upon once it reaches superpower status to maintain a healthy exchange in the international community.
Consequently, the world needs to start reinvesting in America. In other words, it is in the best interests of all nations to help ensure America can maintain its superpower status. Might makes right unless the mighty say otherwise. Despite all of America's shortcomings, it has tried to foster a world in which the mighty protect the weak and their right to exist as they please. The only way this can continue is if the world shows some faith in America as America has done for the world by supporting and bolstering the US economy, instead of just bankrolling our debt. From transinternational corporations to private investors to lobbyists to foreign governments, ensuring America's success needs to be a topic priority of everyone involved in the global economy; otherwise, there may not be a stable international community and global economy in the near future. While the world is moving away from a US dominated international community and individual nations want to reinstate their sovereign rights without regard to US policy, helping build a strong US economy is the only means of strengthening the global economy.