So the US has lost its super-power rating. It’s global supremacy, largely economic has been downgraded by the appropriately named Standard and Poor (S&P), from AAA to AA+. Unlike triple A Duracell, that energising battery that goes on and on, the American economy is stuck in heavy sludge, up the creek and apparently without a paddle. President Obama may be African–American or of multiple heritages but he truly behaves as an American, brushing aside the rating or downgrading with these words: “Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency may say, we have always been and always will be a triple-A country.” Tragic, isn’t it? Even more desperate is the claim that S&P got their Arithmetic wrong. And to compensate, the pundits predict that feeble and vulnerable America will rise again like a Phoenix from the ashes. It may – but not in the near future it seems.
I wonder what kind of mathematics the administration operates by, as they seem unable to live within their means rather than increasing their debt level. This maybe tied to the habit of power – that is its toxic nature and a very hard one to kick. Indeed the comments/responses above point to the fear of a relapse back into the bad habit of living above one’s means whatever the cost! They were almost convinced of the need to “kick the habit”, except that the self-regulatory beat that strident capitalism gave birth could not be believed by its chief worshipper and main temple. Moreover the days when the US could have carved out/rearrange the world’s geo-politics and economics are long gone. Even China is daring to flex its muscles and dishing kung fu slaps at the US for behaving like an irresponsible teenager by not being able to manage some simple mathematics. Of course, it is only a matter of time before China will be swimming up the same creek!!!!
American capitalism, to which much of our economic life is tied up has been over reaching itself in the rush to establish some form of a grand Empire. But what shall it profit a nation, if it can pretend to gain the rest of the world, when its own brand of capitalism urinates on its own people. History has shown that empires do come to an end: the problem here is that because all of our lives are interrelated (whether we like it or not) the rest of us are being pulled into penury. In ‘God we trust’, as the dollar boldly proclaims is a sick joke given that it is the so-called free market that we actually prostrate ourselves before! Those roadside preachers after the tradition of the firece looking John the Baptist, with their call to ‘repent’ and ‘turn around’, may be more sensible that most of us wish to credit them!
© copyright September 2 2011