Tag Archives: economics

Managing American Hegemony: Essays on Power in a Time of Dominance.

Shadow Government has a very good interview with the Kori Schake, the author of this new book. Here is what she says about this book in her own words:

It’s a book about American power: why it’s so predominant in the international order, whether it’s likely to remain so, and how current practices can be revised to reduce the cost to the United States of managing the system. Despite clarion calls about the end of the unipolar moment and the demise of American moral, financial, military, and diplomatic power, the United States remains the defining state in the international system and is likely to be so for at least several more decades. If there were a market for state power, now would be a great time to buy futures in American power.

Here’s the first question of the interview:

SG: How does the United States end up so successful in this round of globalization?

Schake: The resilience with which Americans have found new professions as manufacturing migrated to cheaper labor markets contrasts favorably with revanchist efforts by other wealthy states to artificially preserve the eroding economic order rather than encourage and shape change. It helps that the U.S. economy is an engine of job creation, but that is a result of explicit choices about labor market flexibility. The signature advantage of the U.S. economy is the risk tolerance of its work force: the economy sheds and create jobs, and people mostly accept that the nature of economic activity is uncertain.

The adaptability of American workers mirrors the general malleability of the country. In a globalizing order in which many societies are attempting to shield their traditions from external influence, American culture voraciously seeks out and incorporates new elements that further broaden its appeal. Americans are so accepting of change and risk that we have come to exemplify what others fear: globalization is often equated with Americanization.

Click here to read the rest of the interview…

Here’s a very insightful quote that poses fighting terrorism as a luxury that most other countries don’t have: “Compared with the ravages of HIV/AIDS on the labor force, managing food scarcity caused by environmental change, or establishing basic governance and education, America’s preoccupation with terrorism appears a luxury. It is therefore in our interest to devote more attention to solving the problems we are not afflicted with but that are essential to securing the assistance of states whose help we need.” Make sure to read the whole thing!

A Roadmap for America’s Future

Here is the introduction by Paul D. Ryan, a Republican congressman from Wisconsin and a member of the Budget Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, to his legislative plan to secure the fiscal future of the United States:

merica faces a choice between two fiscal and economic futures.

In one, ever-rising levels of government spending overwhelm the Federal budget and the U.S. economy with crushing burdens of debt and higher taxes. It is a future in which America’s best century is the past century.

The second future is one in which the principles that created America’s freedom and prosperity are restored. It is the path set out in my plan, A Roadmap for America’s Future.

Currently, we are on a path of unsustainable Federal spending. The main problem is the looming crisis of entitlement spending. The well-intentioned social insurance strategies of the past century – particularly Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – are headed toward financial collapse.

Not only will these programs grow themselves into extinction, they will immensely burden our economy and budget – piling massive amounts of debt on future generations, crippling our ability to compete in the international marketplace, and dramatically reducing Americans’ standards of living.

We can and must set a different course. But the time for talk has passed. We need a plan.

Based on the input of many, I developed A Roadmap for America’s Future to:

1. Ensure universal access to health insurance, fulfill the missions of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, and make these programs permanently solvent.

2. Return Federal spending growth to sustainable levels and lift the debt burden looming over future generations.

3. Promote sustained economic and job growth and put the U.S. in a position to lead – not merely survive – in the international marketplace.

We are going to have to tackle these problems, or they’re going to tackle us. My plan addresses all these issues at once because piecemeal, incremental “fixes” cannot match the magnitude, the urgency, and the interrelated nature of these challenges.

It’s an ambitious proposal. Not everyone will agree with every aspect of it, and that’s fine. But if nothing else, it’s my sincere hope that it will spur Congress to move beyond simply rehashing the problem – to debating and implementing actual solutions for the American people.

It is a real plan, with real proposals, real numbers to back them, and real legislation to implement it.

The details, including an independent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, is available here: American Roadmap