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Archive for October, 2010

Empires fail when the elites start believing their own press releases.  American Exceptionalism is no exception. 

Our relative wealth and comfort in the world rests on a foundation of having had something that others wanted.  In the prior century, the then-center of the developed world, Europe, badly needed what America could provide – the industrial and military capacity to fight and end Europe’s internal wars.  We were richly rewarded for that effort, with global economic, political and military dominance.

Now, our conservatives continue to peddle the same export – military might and power.  However the conditions have changed.  No one is a buyer anymore, and, quite the contrary, our muscle flexing around the world is seen as unnecessary and unwanted.

Why care what others think?  Well, because our wealth depends on it.

What we need is a new export.  And the good news is we have it – if we will redirect our national resources away from military adventures and towards our best exports, high technology, high value add manufacturing, medical technology, and cultural exports are just a few examples.

Failure to refocus our resources will be tragic.  We will find our ability to manufacture at home gutted beyond repair, and that our trade and finance deficit will ultimately undermine our ability to import the goods we need from China, the oil we need from everywhere, our capacity to send the military around the world, and our ability to float the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  We will all suffer if that occurs.

Export – or die.

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