Monday, September 1, 2014
27

关乎全球的美国选举

发自纽约——世界上大部分人都无法在即将到来的美国总统大选上投票,尽管大选的结果与他们的利益息息相关。相比米特·罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)——美国以外的大多数人更希望巴拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)能连任。他们有充分的理由支持奥巴马而非罗姆尼。

就经济而言,美国之外的人们并不会直接感受到罗姆尼创造一个更不平等更分裂的社会政策所带来的影响。然而一直以来,无论美国的做法是好是坏,其他国家通常都会争相效仿。之前许多政府曾迅速追随美国前总统罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)放松管制市场的口号——这种政策最终酿成了自1930年代以来最严重的全球经济衰退。其它以美国为榜样的国家都经历了日渐恶化的不平等状态——富人越来越富有,穷人越来越穷困,而中产阶级的力量则日渐薄弱。

罗姆尼推荐主张经济紧缩的政策——当美国经济仍然很虚弱时贸然试图降低赤字——几乎必然会削弱美国本已乏力的增长,而且,如果欧元危机继续恶化,将会引发另一轮衰退。到那时,随着美国需求萎缩,世界其他国家将真切而直接地感受到罗姆尼任总统所带来的经济效应。

这就引出了全球化的问题,全球化在许多方面都需要国际社会一致行动。但在贸易、金融、气候变化以及许多其他领域上需要做的事情都没有实现。很多人把这些失败在某种程度上归咎于缺乏美国的领导。然而,尽管罗姆尼或许会发表强硬的言论甚至虚张声势,世界上其他领导人也不大可能会追随他,因为他们认为(依我判断这是正确的)罗姆尼将会把美国以及他们带往一个错误的方向。

美国“例外论”在其国内也许很得人心,但国外却不这么看。前美国总统乔治·沃克·布什(George W. Bush)所发动的伊拉克战争——可以说这违反了国际法——显示了尽管美国国防支出几乎等于世界其他国家的总和,它也无法使一个人口只有其10%, GDP仅相当于其1%的国家屈服。

此外,事实证明美国式资本主义既没有效率也不稳定。从大部分美国人的收入停滞了十五年的情况看来,不管官方的GDP数据怎么说,显然美国的经济模式并不能给大部分公民带来益处。确实,这种模式的弊端甚至在小布什离任之前就显露出来了。加上小布什政府对人权的滥用,经济大萧条——这是布什经济政策可预见(确实被预测中了)的后果——确实像伊拉克战争和阿富汗战争削弱了美国军事实力的可信度一样削弱了美国的软实力。

在价值观方面——也就是罗姆尼和他的竞选伙伴保罗·瑞安(Paul Ryan)的价值观——情况也不甚理想。比如,所有其他的发达国家都承认其公民有获得价格合理医疗服务的权力,而奥巴马的可承担医疗法案(Affordable Care Act)则代表了朝该目标迈进的重要一步。罗姆尼对此大加批判,但却未能提出任何可以替代这一法案的政策。

美国现在是给本国公民提供机会最不均等的发达国家之一。而罗姆尼针对穷人和中产阶级的大幅预算削减政策会进一步阻碍社会流动性。同时他还会扩大军队,花更多的钱在武器上——这些武器并不会对不存在的敌人起到任何作用,只能使哈利伯顿(Halliburton)这类国防军工企业更加富有,而这是以牺牲急需政府投资的基础设施和教育为代价的。

虽然小布什没有参加竞选,罗姆尼却没有和小布什政府过去的政策划清界限。相反,他的竞选活动使用同样的顾问团,同样致力于更高的军事支出,也怀着同样的信念——即给富人减税是解决所有经济问题的办法,还有同样含糊不清的预算计算方法。

细想一下,比如之前提到的全球议程最关注的三个议题:气候变化、金融监管和贸易。罗姆尼对第一个问题一直保持沉默,而他所在的共和党人很多人都“否认气候问题的存在”。在这个问题上,全世界都不用指望罗姆尼了。

至于金融监管,最近的危机凸显出人们需要制定更为严格的监管规则,然而在许多问题上所达成的协议被证明是逃避问题的,这一部分是由于奥巴马政府与财政部门过于亲近。但对罗姆尼来说根本不存在距离的问题:形象地说,他本人就是财政部门。

一个全球已达成协议的金融问题就是需要关闭离岸银行这个避风港——离岸银行的存在主要是为了避税漏税、洗钱和贪污。钱流入开曼群岛并不是因为那里的阳光让这些钱增长得更快,这些钱本来就是在黑暗中积累出来的。然而,罗姆尼自己就使用开曼银行,而且对此毫无悔意,我们也不大可能会看到他会在这方面有所作为。

在贸易方面,罗姆尼许诺要跟中国打一场贸易战,并在上任第一天就宣布其为汇率操纵国——这把他逼到了墙角。他拒绝关注这几年来人民币汇率的大幅度实际升值,或者说拒绝承认虽然中国的汇率变化可能会影响双边贸易逆差,但更重要的其实是美国的多边贸易逆差。人民币走强直接意味着纺织品,服装和其他商品的低成本制造国从中国变成了美国。

讽刺的是——这依然无法引起罗姆尼的注意——其他国家正谴责在美国操纵汇率。毕竟,美联储的量化宽松政策的其中一个主要好处——也许是唯一一个能对实体经济产生重大影响的渠道——就来自于美元的贬值。

美国的总统大选对整个世界来说影响都很大。不幸地是,大部分即将受到该选��影响的人——几乎是整个世界——对结果却没有任何的影响力。

Hide Comments Hide Comments Read Comments (27)

Please login or register to post a comment

  1. CommentedROBERT BAESEMANN

    Please consider this shopping list or wish list for the future:

    1) Restore the Chairmanship of the Council of Economic Advisors to a Cabinet level position with the intent of building the economic literacy of voters and making policy that makes sense;

    2) Make a clear unflinching assessment of the financial health of the US financial sector including an unflinching assessment of its ability to withstand a run on the banks (Keeping in mind that we are still in a liquidity trap which seems to be inexplicable);

    3) In the style of the new economic history, create a reliable assessment of the consequences of a second financial crisis and global bank failures meaning estimates of where the Second Great Depression would leave us (Assuming the world can deal with knowing the stakes of the game we have been playing):

    4) Ask that President Obama award the Medal of Freedom to Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner, and Ben Bernanke for their courage and decisiveness during our blackest hours in the fall of 2008;

    5) Demand that the Justice Department to initiate grand jury investigations of all of the major banks who participated in the financial collapse of 2008, the rating agencies who were paid to rate toxic assets AAA, and the Government regulators who failed to do anything to stop the destruction;

    6) Make economic policy and put it before Congress, and then hold the Republicans in Congress accountable for making a different policy on their own;

    a) Work with the newly elected Senator from Massachusetts to propose and pass new regulation to strengthen Dodd-Frank;

    b) Develop and propose a new stimulus package and send it to Congress and force the House Republicans to accept it or take responsibility for not passing it;

    c) Demand that the Congress pass a new debt ceiling or take full responsibility for the consequences; and

    7) Propose and insist on legislation to return our Country to a non-regressive tax structure while remembering that a regressive tax structure is impossible in a democracy where voters are adequately represented and that taxation without representation is tyranny.

  2. CommentedTed Peters

    A weak and ineffectual United States will mean that the world is bereft of leadership and moral standards. This is the situation in Syria and Afganistan, where only the very strong and very ruthless survive. Obama has proven entirely feckless when it comes to leadership (from behind?). We may well be heading for another dark ages... or worse, the world of Mad Max.

  3. CommentedVan Poppel charles

    I understand Mr Stiglitz is an oppnent to Mr Romney as future USA president;but this is not a reason to advising US people going to live in russia or china; the Reagan deregulations of governmental regulations introduced to combat the 1930 great depression and administer the war 1940/45 , nevertheless has brougt the sovjet empire to his knees;the actual economic regression is not the fault of american capitalismbut but should be attributed to the stupidity of economists; they should have known that hubris is folloxed by nemesis and defeat; even you mr Stiglitz never proposed during the elysian economic growth during the years 2003/07 to apply the Keynesian principle " the boom, not the slump is the time for austerity; and be not afraid: if the US government should embrace deflationary policies, enhancing unemployment with rising poverty, it could be confronted with social upheaval and be overwhelmed with requests which they will hate more than the simple remedies for the moment.

  4. CommentedPrasanna Srinivasan

    Its show time now and we'll know who's won. However, Mr Obama is on record with a lot of protectionist rhetoric (outsourcing, manufacturing jobs etc), so maybe you shouldn't consider your personal views as "global opinion". Historically, things have moved better between the US and India (particularly on issues of defence, terrorism etc) with a Republican President (whatever be the reason) than with a Democrat.

  5. CommentedKaleem Alam

    I am a non-American. Mr. Romney doesn't seem to have a stand on anything. He is willing to utter anything and everything that can get him edge. I am sure he is not going to do anything he has promised. He would be more than a fool to go for any type of war including trade war with China. And if he wins, I would be left questioning American intelect.

    Kaleem Alam

  6. CommentedProcyon Mukherjee

    When America goes to vote today, we know it would be a tough battle of ideologies that have an eternal divide; the fathers of the constitution wanted a four legged platform, where democracy by discussion supposedly was to function- the judiciary, the two legislative wings and the executive authority in the Presidency to be intertwined with the advocacy of a suffrage. We are here dealing with just one, the Presidency, in our discussions, trust that the other three is not kept out of sight for the true functioning of the government.
    For the developing world, either way we see the diminutive spell of influence to continue, as China, more than the U.S. still takes the path of ascendency, although without a song and dance. It is just another decade away that the next change of leadership in Beijing would find more media space than several bouts of U.S. presidential elections.

    Procyon Mukherjee

  7. CommentedPaul Jefferson

    China's yuan has appreciated only 3.5% per year for the past two years. That is not enough, considering how low Chinese wages are, and how many jobs and business America has lost to China. China should be declared a currency manipulator -- along with all other countries that peg their currencies to the US dollar. The smaller manipulators will behave better only when they know they will not be undercut by China. Romney has this much right.

    In contrast, Obama's weak China policy has clearly been a failure. Yet I support Obama, because I cannot trust Romney, after his frequent position changes, outright lies, and massive funding by the ultra-rich.

  8. CommentedZsolt Hermann

    I am one of those non-Americans who cannot vote, but I tell you why I would vote for Romney instead of Obama.
    Today the world is in turmoil, humanity is in crisis at every front.
    But the general attitude of the leaders and professionals in office is to kick the can, to sweep the real problems under the carpet, nobody dares to show their true colours, everybody tries to be politically correct, nice and gentleman-like.
    This fake-liberal wishy-washy attitude is killing us because we are smearing pain relief ointment over all our wounds and by the time we truly reveal the disease it will be too late.
    This is true to the economy, to the financial system, to the geo-political flash-points all over the world, or to our relationship with the natural environment. The whole world is in chaos but we pretend to be in control.
    In such a scenario putting "a cat among the pigeons" is better, even if first it creates scary, frightening scenarios, but at least it would dust off the fake cover and we would truly see what the problems are, who is who and what is what.
    Only when we know the true diagnosis of a disease, when we know where things are broken can we start talking to each other and administer the cure. Today the world has the necessary interconnections and strength to make it work, provided we are not afraid to tackle the problems.
    We have to look into the mirror so we do not think are so beautiful.
    Romney has a better chance of showing the mirror than the "cool" President Obama.

  9. CommentedNabaraj Gautam

    The US election always creates vibration around the world. The media focuses only two candidates.... Do USA following multi-party democracy or only promoting dualism in political system? They are just interchanging leadership in 2 tenures between Democratic and Republican which can be stated as political syndicate. So US citizens should start to search beyond these. Anyway this time, all the best to OBAMA.

  10. CommentedAndrés Arellano Báez

    This election should not be Obama Vs Romney, It should be "Obama And Romney" Vs "The Other Candidates". There is no real difference between Obama and Romney. The real change for US are in the "Other Candidates".

  11. CommentedCamouflage Artist

    People vote for Obama because he is cool. Once he is re-elected we can tax the rich. We’ll start with Michael Moore and Arianna Huffington. Let’s tax them at 75% like they do in France.
    Tax the Rich at : http://reoa.net
    Camouflage – the Famous Detroit Abstract Artist

  12. CommentedJose Luis Gambande

    After reading this I was tempted to questioning because the feeling that I was reading a piece of political advertising and not a dispassionate analysis of the future consequences of the U.S. election.

    To begin let me clarify two things: first, nobody can doubt even one minute on the professional qualifications of Mr. Stiglitz, impressive qualifications and brilliance; second, I am not sympathetic to Republicans and feel much closer to Obama than Romney. If I were an American citizen probably vote for the current president, but does not mean we get carried away by emotions in what should be a cold analysis of the situation.

    Mr. Stiglitz associated Ronald Reagan deregulation policies with the seeds of the 2008 financial crisis. This may be fine as a campaign slogan, but is overkill on the historical point of view. In the thirty years between Reagan reforms and the 2008 financial crisis many Democrat administrations could have detected the germ and cure the disease. And they did not.

    It seems that toxic mortgages and Mr. Summers's 1998 opposition to regulating financial derivatives and their support for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act have nothing to do with the crisis. Mr. Summers was Treasury Secretary under President Clinton and Director of National Economic Council under President Obama. In any case, financial markets deregulation fans seem to be on both sides, not just Romney.

    It's easy to endorse Mr. Stiglitz's arguments about the dire armament policies of President Bush and his unjustified and unsuccessful wars, and his favoritism with the military-industrial complex. Everybody agree with the American failure to impose democracy in countries where they deposed dictators. But it seems too light to assume without further argument that Mr. Romney will follow the same paths. Mr. Stiglitz knows that President Bush inherited a country with a surplus in its public accounts after the successful Clinton Presidency, which made it easy to engage in military adventures as world police officer. Today, the U.S. fiscal situation is differentand its precariousness, while acknowledged by Mr. Stiglitz, would prevent any attempt to re-engage in wars, even for something as necessary as oil. Even if wanted to, a Republican president would not embark on such adventures.

    Accusing Mr. Romney for using tax havens to put their money, is an argument for a campaign speech. Mr. Stiglitz must remember that what is not prohibited by law is allowed, and can not be an argument for voting against a candidate. It is in this kind of arguments that I would notice an "excessive enthusiasm" in the article in favor of Democrats, closer to the visceral rejection by Republicans than to the cold analysis of a great academic.

    Finally, replacement of the armamentistic race that Bush has done, and provoked so much damage to the world, by selective drone attacks that kill innocent and suspected terrorists, which are not accountable for being covert, does not seem to be a change politics in the sense of the search for global consensus and peaceful solutions to regional conflicts involving U.S.

    This demonization of candidate Romney appears to come from the stomach, not the brain. By contrast, it seems that in the administration of President Obama all the news are good, and that is not true in the last four years. The broken promises of candidate Obama on immigration reform, which extend an internal conflict that has become chronic, is one of them. The closure ofGuantanamo prison, with all that implies of illegality and human rights violation, is another. Seek for political consensus has not been a key element in his Presidency, as promised. Hope we all feel when it opened its mandate traveling to Egypt to show that was a different President, is gone for the sake of pragmatism in relations with Israel.

    As Mr. Stiglitz said, future affected by the election of U.S. President cannot say a word or influence the outcome. However, we care what happens because we know it will affect us. The vision and the arguments of the article seem destined to make us believe that the "demon" of Romney opposes to the "angel" of Obama. My opinion is much less optimistic. I think Obama will win the election, but his political future actions will be much closer to Romney ideas than to his promises of 2008 campaign.

  13. CommentedWayne Barker

    Just read a commentary on this site about the decline of India and how the reforms of the 90's (following Reagan's lead) led to advancement and prosperity. Contrast that to the current Indian malaise related to excessive government corruption and government-insider / business cronyism. Further contrast that to the extreme corruption of China's leaders (many of whom have accumulated many billions of dollars in riches--on a "pauper's" salary).

    What path should the world follow--the successful path of freedom and less government or the failed path of government control, cronyism and corruption.

  14. CommentedWilliam Wallace

    @Marc Sargen,

    You'd best review GAO data for 1980-2010 or so. Cutting taxes without cutting spending for 30 years, plus recent off-budget major wars, plus TAARP will give you the real, trackable causes of the deficit. Vastly lowered tax revenue following the meltdown these fiscal policies led to is another major reason for the current deficit. Go ahead, blame the poor soul who walked into the china shop just after the bulls had their way, but that is partisan and counter-factual.

  15. CommentedCarol Maczinsky

    We don't know Mitt Romney but he seems more moderate and principled than current President Obama. I'd say change is a good thing. The world mostly benefits from US military spending. Here I trust Mitt Romney to continue international interests of the US and also take the Transatlantic Alliance seriously, and confront Iran and Syria. Ronald Reagan was a friend of Europe, one of my idols.

  16. CommentedUttam Sen

    How do people deal with this situation, particularly in a country like India? The received wisdom among the middle and upper classes is overwhelmingly that they never had it so good, fobbing off the mischief of deregulation as a left-wing myth. This condition is exacerbated by literature that liberalization and “reforms” have been setting the record on mismanagement straight since 1991 and that what is required is more of the same viz. liberalization or removal of controls, some of which is admittedly desirable, but potentially dangerous as an instrument for selfish gain. Prof Stiglitz seems to suggest that similar abandon in the event of a particular electoral outcome in the US will trigger a global recession rather than the self-fulfilling prophesy of prosperity. His caveat has hopefully spread wide and fast enough to stave off disaster!

  17. CommentedKodjo Adadevoh

    Professor Stiglitz, it is really refreshing to read your eloquent assessment of where this great nation stands and the two options the lie before us with respect to the type of leadership that we need to get us through the challenges that lie ahead. I am often perplexed by how ignorant people are of the extent of the economic crisis that we all experienced in 2008 (1 in 80 year event) and how close we were to falling off the cliff. I am also perplexed by how uninformed people are about the structural problems we face and how a total change in course is required. Addressing the educational system, energy independence, the debt and deficit problems and the growing gap between the rich and the poor (via tax reform) are critical elements to getting this great nation back on track.

  18. CommentedMarc Sargen

    Reduce the deficits prematurely? When would it be better? The deficit is large because of a stimulus. Whether you agree that it has helped or not, the spending has happened & it is time to go back to pre-stimulus levels.
    Let's face it. We shot our wad & now everything is out of balance. We are addicted to the drug of loose money & fiscal spending & we no longer get that high. Because we are so out of balance, every situation is a crisis.
    Now is the time for us to face the truth that we have hit the limits of what we can do, take the pain, & cut back to what the economy can afford so it has the ability to face the next situation without it becoming a "crisis".

      CommentedJohn Brian Shannon

      Hi Marc,

      As I had made some assertions in my previous reply to you, but did not have a ready link to prove them, I felt I owed you this link.

      My assertion:

      "Without the stimulus, there would have been a full-blown and long-lasting depression.

      "Without continuing stimulus, the anemic growth forecast for the U.S. next year would completely disappear.

      "Although an over-simplification, some might say that the overly optimistic >1.6% growth forecast for next year is only due to the present stimulus spending (remove the stimulus and remove the growth)."

      Hopefully, you will find this link useful. Best regards, JBS

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/07/canada-flaherty-idUSL1E8M7NZV20121107?type=companyNews&feedType=RSS&feedName=companyNews&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FcompanyNews+%28News+%2F+US+%2F+Company+News%29

      CommentedJohn Brian Shannon

      Hi Marc,

      Without the stimulus, there would have been a full-blown and long-lasting depression.

      Without continuing stimulus, the anemic growth forecast for the U.S. next year would completely disappear.

      Although an over-simplification, some might say that the overly optimistic >1.6% growth forecast for next year is only due to the present stimulus spending (remove the stimulus and remove the growth).

      To lower the deficit now, would easily choke off and reverse any forward economic progress -- almost all economists agree on this point regarding America's present economic situation.

      I agree with your statement; "Because we are so out of balance, every situation is a crisis."

      The economist John Maynard Keynes suggested that "the time to pay down debt was during periods of growth" -- for obvious reasons.

      Government debt is merely accumulated deficits.

      When nations pay down their debt during periods of growth, this automatically re-balances the economy and allows leaders more maneuvering room at the onset of the next recession.

      For example, not so long ago, the U.S. economy was running record surpluses. Surpluses which could have been used to pay down government debt and to 'bank' for a rainy-day.

      With low government debt, no deficits and running surpluses, the U.S. government might never see a recession. But, if it did, such minor annoyances could rightly be taken care of with ease if they maintained a balanced economy.

      Instead of borrowing money at interest from increasingly reluctant lenders, the U.S. could have drawn on multi-billions or low trillions of such 'cash on hand', to stimulate the economy fast and hard at the first sign of recession -- effectively nipping any recession in the bud.

      With high government debt, high but necessary deficits and their resulting debt load, you are right, every situation becomes a crisis.

      Canada has already gone through this entire exercise and it succeeded spectacularly.

      Some information for you here:

      http://jbsnews.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/last-chance-for-the-u-s-economy/

      http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/canadas-fiscal-success-story/2012/10/28/4861723e-193a-11e2-bd10-5ff056538b7c_story.html

      http://jbsnews.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/the-canadian-austerity-success-story/

      Best regards, JBS

  19. CommentedS.Mahmud Ali

    Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, possibly represent the two faces of the same coin - that of America's leadership of the international security, economic and political-diplomatic systems. For much of the world, US approaches to the lands beyond the water's edge will not change drastically irrespective of who occupies the Oval Office on January 20, 2013. However shrill the rhetoric before the polls, US Presidents - with a few exceptions, such George W. Bush in his first term - have a way of approaching a pragmatic centre once in office.

    While the two men bring to the table almost diametrically opposite perspectives on domestic policies, especially with regard to the relationships between the citizen and the state, they are united in their insistence on the perpetuation of US primacy at the systemic level.

    The only apparent difference between their global perspective on US systemic leadership is in the manner in which that leadership has to be exercised. Mitt Romney appears to believe that at 4 per cent of the US GDP under his command, defence expenditure will secure for America global pre-eminence on the strength of America's lethal destructive power. Obama appears to believe that lethal force alone may not serve America's purposes in an increasingly complex and intricately inter-linked milieu, and that America must first regenerate its domestic capacity to rebuild its national substance before it devotes some of it abroad. But both of them are committed to securing America's planetary primacy into the indefinite future.

    Given that fundamentally shared vision of America's broad role in the world, non-voting non-American observers may be forgiven for watching the campaign and waiting for the outcome of the elections with muted trepidation rather than an alternating combination of febrile ecstasy and unmitigated melancholia.

  20. CommentedSimon Gatt

    Surely Maggie Thatcher matched Reagan's deregulatory zeal, and possibly predated his campaigns. This was not just an American thing.

  21. CommentedMark Slater

    Why are we having this discussion about the US election when the Chinese are about to switch leaders? Aren't we asking for a say about Xi Jinping?
    For that matter, what say do Americans get about the President of the European Union, German Chancellor or Russia President? Answer none. Yet all are very significant in global terms.

  22. CommentedGregory Kruse

    Just an anecdotal comment: As an almost life-long expatriate, I found myself, for the first time in my life, embarrassed to be an overseas American during the Bush administration. My international friends' and colleagues' views of the US, its role in the world and the extent to which America lives up to its own espoused values, deteriorated dramatically during the Bush administration.

    Despite his shortcomings and his failures to deliver on very ambitious campaign promises, President Obama has done a great deal to re-establish the credibility of the US and what it stands for during his administration. I see this in my every day interactions with people outside the US.

    It would be a shame to lose the momentum the President has built up. And it would undermine efforts to promote real American values abroad.

  23. CommentedChris Gedge

    Godfrey, I think you may be buying in to the cult of celebrity. Even if it is true that "the majority of the world does not even know who Mitt Romney is" the effects of his presidency could have global consequences. Prof Stiglitz makes the claim that Gov. Romney's policies are likely to be bad for the US and bad for large swathes of the rest of the world. The sufferers do not have to know from where or by whom their pain was caused. But, rest assured, they'll feel it.

  24. CommentedGodfrey Barborous

    Actually, most people will not be affected by the outcome at all. The majority of the world does not even know who Mitt Romney is. Even though the author creates a negative and pessimistic tone, his effect of elevating the United States to this level of importance should be questioned.

    What is more "unfortunate" about the election is the fact that almost a majority of Americans themselves do not vote. Instead of worrying about the global, perhaps Stiglitz should address the root cause of this problem at home.

  25. CommentedThomas Haynie

    With all of our military spending I’m constantly reminded of the book “Rise and Fall of the Great Powers” by Paul Kennedy where he asserts that exceeding a threshold in military spending tends to precede the end of great nations. Namely the Militarized state in the constant war time economy is a nation killer.

    I’m not an ancient history academic but if memory serves the Spartans were famous as a military power in their region. Feared to be sure, they were also famous for being rather shallow on the intellect and culture contribution to the Greek world (outside of war). They didn’t sell themselves as thinkers but prided in being excellent killers. How long did their society last in comparison to the other Greek States?

  26. CommentedCaitlin Casement

    US policies as determined by the President can have a huge and direct impact on the lives of people all over the world. In addition, another president like W would demonstrate our lack of respect for our increasing role in the world. We can't be just about ourselves anymore--we have global responsibilities that matter.

Featured