Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Elecciones globales en EE. UU.

NUEVA YORK – La mayoría de los habitantes del mundo no podrán votar en las próximas elecciones presidenciales estadounidenses, aún cuando su resultado pone mucho en juego para ellos. Por abrumadora mayoría, los ciudadanos de otros países prefieren la reelección de Barack Obama a una victoria de su retador, Mitt Romney. Y tienen buenos motivos para ello.

En términos económicos, los efectos de las políticas de Romney, que crearán una sociedad más desigual y dividida, no se sentirán directamente en el extranjero. Pero en el pasado, para bien y para mal, otros a menudo han seguido el ejemplo estadounidense. Muchos gobiernos adoptaron rápidamente el mantra de Ronald Reagan sobre los mercados desregulados –fueron políticas que eventualmente desembocaron en la peor recesión mundial desde la década de 1930. Otros países que siguieron el liderazgo estadounidense han experimentado crecientes desigualdades –más dinero para los ricos, menos para los pobres, y el debilitamiento de la clase media.

Las políticas contractivas propuestas por Romney –en un intento prematuro para reducir los déficits cuando la economía estadounidense es aún frágil– casi seguramente debilitarán el ya anémico crecimiento de EE. UU. y, si la crisis del euro empeora, podrían producir otra recepción. En ese punto, con una reducción de la demanda estadounidense, el resto del mundo sí sentiría en forma bastante directa los efectos económicos de una presidencia de Romney.

Eso trae a colación la cuestión de la globalización, que conlleva acciones concertadas en muchos frentes por parte de la comunidad internacional. Pero no se avanza sobre lo necesario para el comercio, las finanzas, el cambio climático, y una gran cantidad de áreas adicionales. Son muchos quienes atribuyen parcialmente estos fracasos a la falta de liderazgo estadounidense. Pero, si bien Romney puede bravuconear y mostrar una fuerte retórica, es poco probable que otros líderes mundiales lo sigan, porque consideran (y para mí están en lo correcto) que conducirá a los EE. UU. –y a ellos– en la dirección equivocada.

El «excepcionalismo» estadounidense puede venderse bien en casa, pero cotiza mal en el extranjero. La guerra en Irak del presidente George W. Bush –posiblemente una violación del derecho internacional– demostró que, aún cuando el gasto militar estadounidense equivale casi al de todo el resto del mundo combinado, EE. UU. no logró pacificar a un país con menos del 10% de su población y el 1% de su PBI.

Más aún, resultó que el capitalismo al estilo estadounidense no fue ni eficiente ni estable. Cuando el ingreso de la mayoría de los estadounidenses se estancó durante una década y media, resultó claro que el modelo económico estadounidense no entregaba a la mayoría de los ciudadanos lo señalado por los datos oficiales de PBI. De hecho, el modelo estalló incluso antes de que Bush terminara su mandato. Junto con los abusos a los derechos humanos bajo su presidencia, la Gran Recesión –la consecuencia predecible (y predicha) de sus políticas económicas– debilitó tanto el poder de persuasión estadounidense como lo hicieron las guerras en Irak y Afganistán con su poder militar.

En términos de valores –a saber, los valores de Romney y su compañero de fórmula, Paul Ryan– las cosas no pintan mucho mejor. Por ejemplo, todos los países avanzados reconocen el derecho a una atención sanitaria asequible, y la Ley de Cuidado de Salud Asequible propuesta por Obama representa un paso significativo en esa dirección. Pero Romney ha criticado este esfuerzo y no ha ofrecido nada en su lugar.

Estados Unidos se distinguió y por estar entre los países avanzados con menos igualdad de oportunidades para sus ciudadanos. Y los dramáticos recortes presupuestarios de Romney, dirigidos a los pobres y la clase media, limitarán aún más la movilidad social. Al mismo tiempo, ampliará el sector militar, destinará más dinero a armas que no funcionan contra enemigos que no existen, enriqueciendo a los contratistas militares como Halliburton a costas de la tan necesaria inversión en infraestructura y educación.

Si bien Bush no se postula, Romney no se ha distanciado verdaderamente de las políticas de su presidencia. Por el contrario, su campaña ha incluido a los mismos asesores, la misma devoción por un mayor gasto militar, igual creencia en que los recortes impositivos a los ricos son la solución a todos los problemas económicos, y la misma matemática borrosa en sus presupuestos.

Consideren, por ejemplo, las tres cuestiones centrales de la agenda global que mencionamos antes: cambio climático, regulación financiera y comercio. Romney ha mantenido silencio sobre la primera, y muchos en su partido son «negadores climáticos». El mundo no puede esperar un genuino liderazgo de Romney en ese tema.

Respecto a la regulación financiera, si bien la reciente crisis ha resaltado la necesidad de reglas más estrictas, ha sido difícil lograr acuerdos sobre muchos temas, en especial porque la administración de Obama está demasiado próxima al sector financiero. Con Romney, sin embargo, no habría distancia en absoluto: metafóricamente hablando, él es el sector financiero.

Un problema financiero sobre el que hay acuerdo global es la necesidad de cerrar los paraísos bancarios, que existen principalmente para eludir y evadir impuestos, lavar dinero, y facilitar la corrupción. El dinero no viaja a las Islas Caimán porque el sol lo hace crecer más rápido; ese dinero prospera a la sombra. Pero, ante la falta de arrepentimiento por parte de Romney sobre su propio uso de los bancos en las Islas Caimán, es poco probable que veamos progresos incluso en esta área.

Sobre el comercio, Romney promete lanzar una guerra comercial contra China y declarar a ese país un manipulador cambiario desde el primer día –una promesa que le deja poca capacidad de maniobra. Se rehúsa a notar la importante apreciación en términos reales del yuan en los últimos años o aceptar que, si bien las variaciones en la tasa de cambio de China pueden afectar el déficit comercial bilateral, lo importante para Estados Unidos es el déficit comercial multilateral. Un yuan más fuerte simplemente implicará que EE. UU. cambie a China por nuevos productores de textiles, indumentaria y otros bienes a bajo costo.

La ironía –que pasa inadvertida a Romney– es que otros países acusan a EE. UU. de manipulación cambiaria. Después de todo, uno de los principales beneficios de la política de «flexibilización cuantitativa» de la Reserva Federal –tal vez el único canal con efecto significativo sobre la economía real– se deriva de la depreciación del dólar estadounidense.

Hay mucho en juego para el mundo en la elección estadounidense. Desafortunadamente, la mayoría de los afectados –casi todo el mundo– no podrán influir sobre el resultado.

Traducción al español por Leopoldo Gurman.

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  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.

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