It was fun while it lasted.
Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times the size of China’s. In five years, China’s will be bigger, according to the International Monetary Fund. Marketwatch notes that
…whomever is elected U.S. president next year — Obama? Mitt Romney? Donald Trump? — will be the last to preside over the world’s largest economy. … This is more than a statistical story. It is the end of the Age of America. As a bond strategist in Europe told me two weeks ago, “We are witnessing the end of America’s economic hegemony. We have lived in a world dominated by the U.S. for so long that there is no longer anyone alive who remembers anything else.”
I should probably come up with some insightful rant on what’s likely brought us to this point. I could start with decades-long blind partisan Beltway slugfests; then move on to the deeply-felt sense of gimme-gimme entitlement by a majority of voters; the high crimes of Wall Street, never on more naked display than during the 2008/2009 crisis and bailout; the interventionist policies and the unnecessary wars that have bled us dry; the pigheaded national insistence on a no-cost-is-too-high domestic-security apparatus that is is used bullishly (bullshittishly?) and indiscriminately. Yadda yadda.
But I’m weary, and suddenly a bit sad, and it occurred to me the Traditional Values Coalition will probably insist our decline is due to sexting teenagers and guys kissing, so who am I to argue?
Rogier is a Dutch-born, New-England-dwelling multi-media maven (OK, a writer and photographer) whose dead-tree publishing credits include the New York Times, Wired, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Reason.