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Declining superpower, soft landing

The brief New American Century* lasted from 2001-08 and our decline from hegemonic status was set on a path.

The first declinist POTUS sorta tried to get us aligned on that path. The second is doing everything he can to accelerate it.

A trade deficit of 3.1% of GDP isn't the primary measure of our relative decline (although it has increased from around 2.7% since 2016.)

It is very hard for a high labor cost country to run a trade surplus although Germany does it by exporting very high value goods that are in demand around the world. 

*those New Pearl Harbor neocon guys

10 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

I don`t have time to post links, but China is declining as is Europe including super trader Germany.  You ask "why didn`t we join a coalition to confront China?"  I don`t think we needed to, Europe and other allies will dance to our tune in regards to China.  Because the US is a consumer nation, China will gladly sell you stuff, but drags it`s feet at buying from you.  "the TPP" there are plenty of liberal Democrats that had problems with it, TPP just had support from neo-con Democrats like Obama and Paul Krugman.  The trouble with making multi lateral agreements to pay countries to join us against China in trade is like what we`ve done in the past, giving allies sweetheart deals to join us to fight wars or at least look the other way, paying off those sweetheart deals are expensive.

The US is the top dog super power, we lower interest rates and the Dollar rises, the world shuns gold and puts their money in the Dow, the Dollar and US real estate where they can.  You don`t see the world flocking to the Shanghai market or the Yuan.   You have to break eggs to bake a cake even a gay wedding cake, you won`t get a cake made if you study it and form a paid coalition to assist, that`s what has been done in the past, promises, promises that "we`ll get `em next time!" next time never comes.


Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

Germany is certainly in trouble. Their model relies on exports and world demand is softening.

Demographics (they also need to find some young white people to immigrate) and bring pinned in by EU membership and their own national legends limiting fiscal expansion.

China has arrived and will be a force to be contended with for the rest of the century.

Senior Advisor

Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

And just how did China arrive? Why should they be ignored?


Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

They arrived in approximately the same mercantilist fashion as Japan and the USA had earlier.

As I noted elsewhere, America didn't pay a dime for the textile and steel technology we stole from Britain.

Fair enough, but time to say enough. Putting together a coalition of other developed countries to tell them that if they want access to global markets they're going to have to play by WTO rules should have been the primary objective.

A trade deficit of 2% of GDP isn't an existential crisis. But it resonates with the Trump base, who are certain that somebody did something to them.

Somebody did. Grover Norquist, primarily. We massively underinvested in ourselves while massively transferring wealth and income to the top tier.

That's why they have you guys hollerin' about socialism.


Senior Advisor

Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

They got here by slave labor and polluted environment supported by the American consumer.


Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

And even China's population will level off it is still 1.3B persons.

They suffer from immense land degradation and conversion, groundwater depletion and more ills. They're going to need to buy more food.

I do stand in awe at the Trump loyalty among farmers- really before the election when all the commodity groups mildly urged caution. This thing was never going to play out to the narrow self interest of farmers.

Senior Contributor

Re: Declining superpower, soft landing

I'd personally welcome a decline of the hegemonic empire.  However, not the economic superpower.  The two are not the same.   The suggestion that the USA should aid and partner with a nation of China's human rights record is something only an amoral person would do.