We are our own worst enemy in the biggest economic war in world history. And Asia loves it!
Our do-nothing Congress, our no-compromise politicians and our austerity-obsessed Luddites controlling Washington are killing America’s economic growth, killing our superpower role, killing our future … and, yes, Asians love it.
Old warriors like Sen. John McCain plus the neocons who conned us into the $3 trillion Iraq War still believe the future will be won by aggression, big armies, battleships and a Pentagon spending a half trillion a year … while our infrastructure crumbles, our educational system decays, and jobs and profits go overseas fattening foreign economies.
By 2040, China’s GDP is 40% of world, America’s GDP shrinks to 14%
Forget war, take off the blinders. It’s “the economy, stupid,” more jobs, not more war debt. Unfortunately, America’s myopic right wing acts like ninja saboteurs, unwittingly aiding and abetting growth in foreign nations. China keeps investing in its future, creating jobs, building infrastructure, funding education and technology and its GDP soars.
And America keeps sliding into a no-growth economy, to 1% GDP growth in a generation.
Yes, Asia is speeding way ahead of us, winning the economic war. By 2015 China’s GDP will overtake America’s. And still we refuse to compete, thanks to the myopic Luddites running Congress. A few years ago the headline of a Foreign Policy feature by Nobel economist Robert W. Fogel, a renown China scholar, made clear what’s ahead: “$123,000,000,000,000: Why China’s Economy Will Grow to $123 Trillion by 2040.”
China is the new economic superpower because it is stealing the best of our capitalism, mixing it with government planning, racing to win the prize as the No. 1 global power. And while they’re planning, our saboteurs inside Washington are surrendering the economic war to China. Here’s Fogel’s disturbing forecast in Foreign Policy:
“In 2040, the Chinese economy will reach $123 trillion, or nearly three times the economic output of the entire globe in 2000. China’s per-capita income will hit $85,000, more than double the forecast for the European Union, and also much higher than that of India and Japan as China moves “from a poor country in 2000 to a superrich country in 2040.”
America’s per-capita wealth may be higher, says Fogel, but “China’s share of global GDP — 40% — will dwarf that of the United States (14%) and the European Union (5%) 30 years from now.”
America wears blinders, Asia unstoppable, so America loses the war
Asians must be laughing loud at Washington’s blind stupidity, how we are sabotaging our own economic future. They see America as narcissistic, selfish and totally blind to how self-destructive we are. Worse, Asians are not only aware of our stupidity, they’re taking full advantage of it.
Here’s how one Asian leader recently challenged our politicians. In “America’s Blinders,” a Project Syndicate column by Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore and author of “The Great Convergence: Asia, the West, and the Logic of One World:”
“The time has come to think the unthinkable: the era of American dominance in international affairs may well be coming to an end. As that moment approaches, the main question will be how well the United States is prepared for it.”
Warning: “Asia’s rise over the last few decades is more than a story of rapid economic growth. It is the story of a region undergoing a renaissance in which people’s minds are reopened and their outlook refreshed. Asia’s movement toward resuming its former central role in the global economy has so much momentum that it is virtually unstoppable.”
Mahbubani says politicians “bear a responsibility to prepare their societies for impending global shifts. But too many American leaders are shirking this responsibility.” Then he describes a session he chaired at the 2012 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Topic: the “Future of American Power.” In the audience: Two U.S. senators, a member of the House and a deputy National Security Adviser.
What did they see ahead for American power? “They predictably declared that the U.S. would remain the world’s most powerful country. When asked whether America was prepared to become the world’s second-largest economy, they were reticent.”
But they couldn’t tell the truth. Why? “Even entertaining the possibility of the U.S. becoming ‘No. 2’ amounts to career suicide for an American politician.”
Then Mahbubani exposed the real depth of America’s blindness: Unlike blinded politicians, all intellectuals “have a special obligation to think the unthinkable and speak the unspeakable … consider all possibilities, even disagreeable ones … prepare the population for prospective developments. Honest discussion of unpopular ideas is a key feature of an open society.”
But American intellectuals are also blind. His two examples: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote we “could already be in the second decade of another American century.” And Clyde Prestowitz, president of the Economic Strategy Institute, says “this century may well wind up being another American century.” If they “prove accurate,” says Mahbubani, “ no preparation is needed.”
Americans ‘woefully unprepared’ for Asia as the global superpower
But, “if the world’s center of gravity shifts to Asia,” as Fogel predicts, “Americans will be woefully unprepared.” He warns that “many Americans remain shockingly unaware of how much the rest of the world, especially Asia, has progressed.”
Most Americans are blind to “a simple, mathematical truth. With 3% of the world’s population, the U.S. can no longer dominate the rest of the world, because Asians, with 60% of the world’s population, are no longer underperforming.”
Unfortunately, American leaders stay blind, refuse to listen, especially our neocon war-lovers. Asians see Americans lost in a fantasy land, believing we are “the sole beacon of light in a dark and unstable world.” And since leaders like Haas and Prestowitz also believe this illusion, don’t challenge our fantasies, the public is ignorant, unprepared.
Mahbubani tries to soften the blow: “Asia’s rise is not really bad news.” Asians “are seeking not to dominate the West, but to emulate it. They seek to build strong and dynamic middle classes and to achieve the kind of peace, stability, and prosperity that the West has long enjoyed.”
Wake up America: Asia will soon be 5 times bigger, more powerful
Asia’s transformation is accelerating, will “catapult Asia from economic power to global leadership. China, which remains a closed society in many ways, has an open mind, whereas the U.S. is an open society with a closed mind … with Asia’s middle class set to skyrocket from roughly 500 million people today to 1.75 billion by 2020.” America, with just 400 million people, can no longer “avoid the global economy’s new realities for much longer.”
Now you’ve had a look inside one of Asia’s leading minds. The leader of a major Asian university sees the world “poised to undergo one of the most dramatic power shifts in human history.” But “to prepare for the transformation, Americans must abandon ingrained ideas and old assumptions … liberate unthinkable thoughts. … think the unthinkable” … and stop denying the end of American dominance in world affairs.
America must wake up to the fact that we will soon be No. 2 behind Asia, as China’s economy explodes, three times bigger than America’s by 2040. Wake up before Sen. McCain’s neocon and tea party buddies push Washington into a real war.
[by Paul B. Farrell for MARKETWATCH]
As always, posted for your edification and enlightenment by
NORM ‘n’ AL, Minneapolis