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America's century is over

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Interesting essay in the Guardian:

Giovanni Arrighi in his book The Long Twentieth Century argues that there have been four major phases of capitalist development since the Middle Ages, starting in Genoa and moving on to Holland and Britain before the start of American dominance during the Great Depression of 1873-96.

It was during this period, Arrighi argues, that commerce started to play second fiddle in Britain to finance, just as it had in Genoa and Holland when their phases of pre-eminence were drawing to a close. The financialisation of the American economy in turn can be traced back to the mid-1970s, so by this interpretation of history, the dotcom collapse of 2000-01 and the financial crisis of 2007-08 (with the military entanglements in Iraq and Afghanistan sandwiched in between) are part of a much longer term development. According to this thesis, the concentration of economic power on Wall Street, the stagnation of incomes for all but the rich, the structural trade deficit, the military overreach, the switch from being the world's biggest creditor nation to its biggest debtor add up to a simple conclusion: we are in the twilight years of the long American century.

Such a conclusion is contested in Washington but may help explain why, as Albert Edwards of Société Générale puts it: "Unprecedentedly strong monetary and fiscal stimulus has led to unprecedentedly weak recovery."

Arrighi's books -- The Long Twentieth Century. and the more recent Adam Smith in Beijing -- are, along with Mandel's Late Capitalism and Baran and Sweezy's Monopoly Capital, among my favorites.
 
Is everything you read anti America? Jesus dude, I thought this was a quant board, not shit on the USA. You are a broken record.

What is anti-American about discussing the rise and fall of power? Paul Kennedy discussed the same phenomenon about 25 years ago in his book, "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers," which sold like hot cakes in the USA, and prompted soul-searching discussion in NYC and Washington.

It seems you convert everything into something personal, something ad hominem, something absurd, and cannot hold up your end at any sort of discussion. Try sticking to the point and coming up with effective counter-arguments.

---------- Post added at 10:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:00 AM ----------

It's a British newspaper, what do you expect?

American conservatives like Pat Buchanan and Paul Craig Roberts are arguing along similar lines.

---------- Post added at 10:04 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:01 AM ----------

Well, would you rather sit under a rock with fingers in your ears saying "lalala can't hear you!"?

Things aren't going to fix themselves you know...

Looks like some of the people here have their heads stuck resolutely in the sand. Any talk of what is actually happening in the USA is -- gasp! -- heresy and anti-American and should be referred pronto to the HUAC.
 
This is your second post in as many days directly or indirectly being overly pessimistic about the USA. Try posting from a source that isn't extremely left leaning and obviously no fan of the United States. I should just quote random pro American articles from Fox News. That is in essence what you are doing.

Stay on topic and argue with you? No sense wasting my breath.

The American century is no over. The American century has naturally progressed to the Chinese/Indian/etc century. We are a fully developed nation with a leveled off growth rate. Things are bad right now, every country goes through these cycles. Europe is in a worse situation IMO. China has issues that they will no begin facing as their population ages, middle class develops and workers demand more rights and higher wages. India is dealing with its own growth issues.

I really didn't feel personally offended by your post. Anytime I see you post something it is either about America declining or how the middle class is being destroyed/attacked/taken advantage by the rich. Same thing over and over again.

I also have no problem discussing the multitude of issues going on with the USA. My issue is that there is no discussion with you because I never see you post anything positive or supporting about this country. I will happily talk about things wrong here, but not with someone who can only see the bad and not the good.

Oh, if you are going to allude that I have my head stuck in the sand at least have the balls to directly call me out.
 
This is your second post in as many days directly or indirectly being overly pessimistic about the USA. Try posting from a source that isn't extremely left leaning and obviously no fan of the United States. I should just quote random pro American articles from Fox News. That is in essence what you are doing.

That is your opinion. Back it up, the way I do. Cite credible sources that portray a more optimistic picture.

Stay on topic and argue with you? No sense wasting my breath.

More mindless hogwash. Then why respond in the first place? The point is you can't hold up your side of a discussion and in the manner of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, you make it personal.

The American century is no over. The American century has naturally progressed to the Chinese/Indian/etc century

Ponder the absurdity of what you are writing. The Chinese century tautologically means the end of the American century.

We are a fully developed nation with a leveled off growth rate. Things are bad right now, every country goes through these cycles. Europe is in a worse situation IMO. China has issues that they will no begin facing as their population ages, middle class develops and workers demand more rights and higher wages. India is dealing with its own growth issues.

If you read some of the books I've cited, you might understand the arguments about how great imperial powers rise and then decline, and the inerplay of military, social, and economic factors. Since you haven't, you're incompetent to discuss such matters and hence your ineffectual flailing about "being too pessimistic" and "going through cycles."

I really didn't feel personally offended by your post. Anytime I see you post something it is either about America declining or how the middle class is being destroyed/attacked/taken advantage by the rich. Same thing over and over again.

Au contraire. Decline is a complex, multi-hued phenomena. I occasionally cite different aspects of an unfolding complex reality.

I also have no problem discussing the multitude of issues going on with the USA. My issue is that there is no discussion with you because I never see you post anything positive or supporting about this country. I will happily talk about things wrong here, but not with someone who can only see the bad and not the good.

I get a more forthright discussion with American white nationalists, who at least have no illusions about the way the country is going. Looks like you've been indoctrinated.

Oh, if you are going to allude that I have my head stuck in the sand at least have the balls to directly call me out.

Sure, not a problem. You have your head in the sand. Wake up, look around you, read a bit, look at the unequivocal tell-tale signs. This is precipitous imperial decline. same as happened to Holland and Britain earlier. Nothing personal, purely business.
 
So you are associating me with white nationalists now? That is rational.


This is not a zero sum game, just because the Chinese are growing at a much fast rate then us does not mean the USA is destined for the scrap heap of history.

You cite the Guardian. It is an extremely left wing newspaper. How about I refute your opinion with Fox News or a Rush article.

Why post in the first place? To simply call out the fact that everything you post has the same theme.

I know full well about the ebb and flow of power. I am not saying or arguing that the USA has not reached a certain level or possibly plateaued. I am simply saying that all is not gloom and doom as you regularly post.

The United States is very much in a tough situation. We are not alone as the rest of the world is facing very complex issues. To single out the USA as if we are a sinking ship while the rest of the world is flying high is simply targeted rhetoric.
 
So you are associating me with white nationalists now? That is rational.

You urgently need a class in reading comprehension. Read my post carefully. I said I talk to them. Capiche?

This is not a zero sum game, just because the Chinese are growing at a much fast rate then us does not mean the USA is destined for the scrap heap of history.

*Sigh* Who said that? Britain and Holland are still around. US hegemony is unravelling. The US is in trouble domestically because of increasing polarisation. Now just read what I said again and again until it sinks in.

You cite the Guardian. It is an extremely left wing newspaper. How about I refute your opinion with Fox News or a Rush article.

No, it is not. It is is centre-of-the-road, with liberal sympathies, that supports the status quo. Left-wing is something else altogether. By the way, go on and cite something credible from Fox or Limbaugh. I notice a certain coy reluctance on your part to post something upbeat. Stop these vague and general complaints about my pessimistic posts and cite some credible upbeat news. I'm waiting. Anything showing unemployment is going down, foreclosure rates are abating, personal and small business bankruptcies subsiding.

I know full well about the ebb and flow of power. I am not saying or arguing that the USA has not reached a certain level or possibly plateaued. I am simply saying that all is not gloom and doom as you regularly post.

Still waiting for some concrete and credible information on why I'm wrong to be so pessimistic ....

The United States is very much in a tough situation. We are not alone as the rest of the world is facing very complex issues. To single out the USA as if we are a sinking ship while the rest of the world is flying high is simply targeted rhetoric.

A tectonic shift in the power constellation is taking place. Everyone is being affected. But what will emerge from the rubble will be a diminished USA. It will still be a great power. It will just not be the unchallenged global hegemon anymore. All the actions of the US establishment are designed to keep that day at bay. That's why the US -- on top of its unsustainably expensive occupation of parts of the Middle East -- is now rattling its sabre at China. Again, read what I have written carefully. Try to understand. You might even learn something. And stop ascribing statements and motives to me that are not there.
 
List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That is all.

Edit, well for good measure: China Might Rank Second by GDP, But Ranks 99 for Per-Capita GDP -- Seeking Alpha

And for anyone who might rebut: well what about the poor? I discussed that in my post in the other thread... With governmental benefits, some are getting tired of caviar. Specifically, senior "daycares" (which are covered by medicaid) have ridiculous benefits including 50$ theater tickets, free access to amenities, and daily cuisine.
 
"I get a more forthright discussion with American white nationalists, who at least have no illusions about the way the country is going. Looks like you've been indoctrinated."


That struck me as an association.


Either way posts are being deleted so I see no need in continuing this argument.
 
I saw euroazn mentioned about posts being deleted so I did some investigation to see who did such a thing.
It turned out he posted on another similar thread started by BBW, and he referred to this particular post

Since the two threads are terribly similar, it's easy to think you post on the same thread. Freedom of press is well and alive on Quantnet.

To conclude, we never tolerate censorship of personal views and opinion as much as we don't agree with them. We just request that our members attack the arguments, not the posters.
 

DominiConnor

Quant Headhunter
Note that bigbadwolf mentioned Genoa, which was then a city state.
It ain't any more. Nor is Prussia, the Soviet Union, the British Empire, and France is in no way the state it was then.

Those who go one about the rise of country X or the decline of Y almost always fail to spot that the chance of a country lasting long enough to decline are quite slim.

Imperial Russia, the Shah's Iran, and the Soviet Union exploded in times when their economic growth was high.

Fact is that nation states have a half life of around 40-50 years.
Since I graduated 1/3 of the members of the United Nations have been through involuntary discontinuities that killed their governments.

I laugh openly at the idea that any nation state is immune to this. Size is no protector, and as the British Empire and Soviet Union showed, being big just means you get to face bigger problems. America isn't exactly dodging that bullet.

The USA has a substantial % of people who believe it's president is a Moslem plant, and we even now see a "tea party movement" some of whom think that he's doing a good job in the Middle East because he's a moslem.
Any country where Sarah Palin is seen on any TV program more serious than the Muppet Show is in trouble, or where simply being a Kennedy gets you a seat in the legislature.

China's economic model is based upon it's people being worth less than any people anywhere else in the world. Hard to see that as sustainable.9% growth simply can't go one forever, and what then ? The "one child" policy has left a huge demographic hole, but in a culture whose racism would make a Klan member wince, so they can't import people.

Britain is 25% smaller than when my father was born, Scotland may drop off, or it may merge with a European superstate. Italy, Spain and especially Belgium have strong regional forces pulling them apart.

Scandanavian states have demographic issues, a gentler but equally implacable racism as China, and so will share rough times as their ratio of pensioners to workers
goes bad.

The Vatican may have it's leader taken out and hung for their leadership in sex crimes, and Japan has really scary tectonic issues.

We haven't even had a proper war between large countries for a while. Many dimwits believe this to be impossible. Oh how we laughed.

So of course the USA has serious structural risks, it is a democracy which gives it greater resilience than China, but it's not a cure all.
 
I agree with the premise that at some point the American Century will end, but to say it has ended already is probably inaccurate. We are too big of an economic/political influence on other countries for now.
 
Actually, USA is the second-greatest country to live in (after Canada). But China's economy WILL overtake the economy of USA in 10 years time and China's economy WILL overtake the combined economies of USA and European Union in 20 years time. There's really nothing that can stop this from occuring.
 
ut China's economy WILL overtake the economy of USA in 10 years time and China's economy WILL overtake the combined economies of USA and European Union in 20 years time.
May I see a source for this?
In addition, what measure are you using? GDP? Do you think that's such a good idea - considering that China has 4 times the population of the USA?
 
Either way posts are being deleted so I see no need in continuing this argument.

C'mon, don't back out now. I'm just beginning to have some fun. Quantnet is usually quiet and devoid of animated discussions. And Dominic has joined the fray.

This is not the United States I remember when I first came here in '79. It has changed almost beyond recognition, as has the world it inhabits. And back in '79 we never expected the Soviet Union to implode -- and look at the alacrity with which it occurred when it did occur. Now people are watching the United States for the same symptoms of senescence and decline. Dimitry Orlov draws some interesting parallels here.
 
There a magnitude of differences between the U.S and the Soviet union (I can say this as a Russian.)

For one, it has a larger presence over the world, whereas Russian presence was for the most part militaristic and relatively confined to Eastern Europe.

Second of all, the Soviet economy was never good. It artificially whipped up the military industry out of nowhere but it is a well known fact that the Soviet economy (as evidenced by the standard of living) sucked. A Russian leader that toured the united states thought that the grocery stores had too vast a array of selections, and were merely a prop for propaganda purposes.

The U.S economy is relatively stable and strong. We've injected our money everywhere, so a huge part of the world (including China - who has an artificially deflated currency [why do you think Companies build factories there? Workers are cheap due to the currency]) is dependent on us.

The U.S may stagnate but it won't collapse.
 
Actually, USA is the second-greatest country to live in (after Canada). But China's economy WILL overtake the economy of USA in 10 years time and China's economy WILL overtake the combined economies of USA and European Union in 20 years time. There's really nothing that can stop this from occuring.

It depends on your perspective. If you're living in Tent City and subsisting on food stamps (like 40m of your compatriots), then you might not agree with the premise that the USA is all that great a place to live in. The thesis of this essay is that, say, Germany is a better place to live if you're in the bottom two-thirds. This is emphatically not the United States of 1960.

To those who say there are problems in other countries, I wholeheartedly concur. This is the situation in Greece, and this is the situation in Ireland.
 
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