Monday, February 04, 2008

Admit it America You're Yesterday's News

Not So Fast...

While the New York Times Sunday Magazine gives us "Waving Goodbye to Hegemony'' America's economic and military dominance need not be so sentimental. We really don't need to do any chest beating because according to every measurable statistic the United States of America has no equal. None.

Even as we consumers notice that every single thing we buy seems to be labeled "made in China" we wonder how this country can possibly survive if we don't make anything anymore. According to statistics I have read just the manufacturing sector of the U.S. is larger than the entire Chinese economy. Believe it or not we still do make things in this country.

Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute points out in his Bloomberg piece called "Ignore the Obituaries, U.S. Reign Will Endure" that with less 5 % of the world's population the U.S. generates about 20% of the global GDP. It has been that way since 1975 or so after peaking at 28 % in the 1950's. Hassett's overriding point in this article is that a minor 1% tick down from 21% in 2001 does not a cover story make. Again the New York Times is bent on manufacturing dire economic news where none exists.

Hassett explains:
The U.S. economy continues to be positively awe-inspiring compared with the competition. The value of U.S. imports in 2006 was roughly the same as the entire GDP of France. The U.S. is the world's largest exporter; indeed, if all U.S. exporters banded together and seceded from the country, they would have the eighth-largest GDP in the world.

The economy of Brazil is about the size of the economy of Texas. The economy of India is about the size of the economy of America's Plains states. The economy of Venezuela is about the size of the economy of Alabama.

This is awe-inspiring indeed. After listening to the news these last several years you'd think American economic obituary was a forgone conclusion. The only thing possibly more awe-inspiring is the military might of the U.S. While you may ask why does America need to be the world's policeman with this massive (and expensive) military - hearing the words "well someone has to do it" - isn't all that satisfying. Satisfying or not it is essentially the truth and the point is - who would you rather have in that position? Russia, China, Iran or for God's sake France?

Yes, we have our flaws but, don't kid yourselves the world is a far better place because of the United States. The fate of the world economy sways in the wind in the face of stagnant U.S. economy (and the rest of the world knows it). Without the U.S. leading this technological marvel called the new economy and stoking the economic engine of the world this obsession with the environment would take a backseat behind a desperate race for mere survival. I boggles the mind to hear the very rich and privileged in the celebrity class denigrate American exceptionailsm as if the world would better off with another very large Mexico.