You know it’s bad when a European gets America more than Obama does. Thomas Straubhaar describes, in the German paper Der Spiegel, just how bad the economy is in the United States with the high short-term and long-term unemployment and heavily indebted state and city governments.
How do we fix it?
Thomas writes it’s not the European way that will fix things but the same way we became a great and powerful country.
The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve want to fix the United States economy by spending more money. But while that approach might work for Europe, it is risky for the US. The nation would be better off embracing traditional American values like self-reliance and small government.~~~
A firm belief in the individual’s ability, ideas, courage, will and a reliance on one’s own resources brought the US to the top. The American dream promised everyone the chance of upward mobility — literally from rags to riches, from minimum wage to millionaire. The individual’s pursuit of happiness was seen as the crucial foundation for the well-being of society, rather than the benevolent state which cares for its subjects — and certainly not the welfare state, which provides a social safety net for its citizens.
In the American system, every man was responsible for himself — in good times and bad. No one could count on government assistance, not even the wannabe millionaire who did not make it and ended up homeless.
For many US citizens, the financial crisis has turned the American dream into a nightmare. Millions of Americans are struggling with high levels of debt, and not only because they bought overpriced houses during the housing boom and can no longer afford their mortgages. Often families are burdened with loans they took out during better times for cars, furniture, electronic gadgets or university tuition. Uncertainty and worries about the future are keeping many families awake at night.
He further writes that the proposed new attempts to stimulate the economy by Bernanke would be a disaster:
Both the behavior of the American government and the Federal Reserve makes one thing clear: They do not see the solution to the US’s economic woes in a return to traditional American virtues. Obama is not calling for the unleashing of market forces, as Ronald Reagan once did during an equally critical period in the early 1980s. On the contrary: Obama, driven by his own convictions and advised by economists who believe in government intervention, has taken a path that leads far away from those things that catapulted America to the top of the world in the past century.~~~
…the move away from policies based on the American Way, which made the US by far the world’s stronger economy, is also making well-meaning observers increasingly nervous. They are asking questions like: Why should the government care about the economic status or health of individuals? Why should one person pay for the misfortunes or illnesses of others?
The American way has always been to be free of government. This is not the case in Europe and we fled that continent because we wanted that freedom. Our Constitution was written to limit the influence of government on the people…
…The state was seen as a way to facilitate this goal. The state should not interfere in people’s lives, aside from securing freedom, peace and security. Economic prosperity was seen as the responsibility of the individual.
If you take this belief away from Americans, you are destroying the binds which interlink America’s heterogeneous society. Removing this belief could lead to conflicts between different sections of society, clashes which have long bubbled beneath the surface.
What could help would be a return to the American Way, the approach which made the US so historically powerful. The success of this model is illustrated by history. In 1820, twice as many people lived in the United Kingdom as the US, and its economic performance (measured by gross domestic product) was three times as strong and the average standard of living (measured by GDP per person) was a quarter higher. Today, there are about five times more people living in the US than the UK, America’s economic performance is about seven times better than Britain’s and the average American is about 50 percent better off than the average Briton.
He ends with this somber note:
If the US manages to revert to its former ways, there is potential for hope. If not, the American age will have really come to an end.
And we are oh so close to seeing the end of the American age. These midterms are an important, VERY important step, in ensuring that our voice is heard. A voice in unison yelling that we will not let the American age be torn asunder without a fight.
Socialism is not the answer but the end of America as we know it.
This cannot be allowed to happen.