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James Cumes

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America's Suicidal Statecraft"
Monday, November 06, 2006  2:10:00 AM

by James Cumes

Political Science
"Civilisations Die from Suicide, not by Murder"

America’s Suicidal Statecraft” tells the story of more than thirty years of flawed economic and financial policies that have driven the United States into steep self-destructive decline – with a withering of its political and strategic power as well as its economic strength. The flawed economic and financial policies have transformed the United States from the most productive economy and largest creditor in history, with high and rising living standards for its people, into the world’s largest debtor, with massive trade and budget deficits, its people and environment neglected, its foreign relations lacking vision or enlightenment. Public, corporate and household debt is immense. Except for an ultra-rich few, living standards of the American people have stalled or fallen, their savings have turned negative and a crushing burden of household debt has turned the American dream into a nightmare of trying to survive. Phoney official statistics give a misleading picture of economic growth and employment, of inflation and production, of real investment and productivity, of wealth based on asset-price inflation and of income from sliding wages and welfare. Some thirty-seven million live in poverty. Some forty million have no health insurance. Speculation and a fast-buck culture have destroyed much of the great American heritage. United States industry has been drained away. Manufacture has been gutted – and its most skilled and highly paid jobs have been lost. Trade unions have lost their power. Democratic representation of the everyday American has largely disappeared. The country’s armed forces, even excluding most of the huge costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, cost half a trillion dollars a year – more than all other major countries put together - and American capacity to maintain them constantly drains away. At the same time, its policies have built up, at a speed and on a scale that is historically unprecedented, the economic strength and, with it, the political and strategic clout of its rivals in the superpower stakes. In short, the world’s single superpower is well along the road to self-destruction. Unless the United States can change its policies quickly and fundamentally, the American hegemony will be over and a dangerous struggle will ensue to determine on whose shoulders the superpower mantle should now rest. Those countries that have followed an economic and financial model contrary to the American – a model that emphasises real investment, enhanced productivity and higher production are the countries to which power will continue to flow. “America’s Suicidal Statecraft” not only describes the problems that confront the United States and other countries which have followed the American economic and financial model, but also proposes the lines along which, even at this late stage, we might find a way to establish an environment dedicated to stable, sustainable economic growth and peaceful global change.

James Cumes

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