We are opinionated tonight; feel free to disagree. We have been observing folk increasingly predicting war resulting from the receding world economy. That is how it appears to them; this is how it appears to us:
To begin, the world is now a single economy, or almost. Transport and technology have made it so. American and European capital and tech have been invested in India, China, Mexico and other poorer places to take advantage of the cheaper labor available there. Or, to avoid the overpriced labor in America and Europe, to be more realistic.
Such labor is overpriced because union labor became a political player, using government to overwhelm free market economics. Whether one approves or disapproves of this description, it is a fact. It is notable that the anticapitalist Left opposed European and American manufacturing monopolies as exploitation while approving of Chinese and Indian manufacturing monopolies today. It seems a bit odd since said politicians are elected by the current losers whose political heedlessness has brought the situation into being, but there it is.
When American products became too expensive as American labor costs rose under political pressure, American capital naturally flowed to lower cost places and set them up in competition. That’s basic economics, after all. And for a while, America and Europe bough the cheaper stuff happily. It provided a lot of Americans the ability to buy things that, had they been made in America, (or Europe) they could not have afforded. Win – win, right?
Not quite. The sellers’ market finally ran out of steam as the erstwhile buyers ran out of money with which to buy. They had after all, been running on debts – borrowed money – for too long, both government and consumers. Their governments then ran up more debt to ‘stimulate’ their weakening markets. Yeah, trying to lift their economies by their own economic bootstraps. As cynics pointed out in the 1930’s Great Depression, you can’t really spend yourself rich.
Now folks are pointing to parallels to that time as economic weakening proceeds. One of the parallels being mentioned is WWII. The increasing aggressiveness of Russia (Georgia, Ukraine, Syria) and China (South China Sea) are on point. So is the unholy mess in Syria, where U.S. supported rebels are now fighting each other. Wars are handy distractions from worsening hard times at home, as history reminds us. We note too that the U.S. has been essentially permanently at war since WWII, if one cares to notice.
We note especially that not one of our current Presidential candidates has addressed the world economic decline, nor have the major media. It is somehow invisible, except to citizens trying to make financial ends meet at home. Per historic clues, the right time for a war will be about when too many folk begin to notice this.
Please note that we aren’t predicting war ourselves, just reporting what some ‘experts’ are saying. We have no idea what will happen. One comment that we can make with assurance though: No matter who is elected U.S. President, we expect that things will proceed much as they have been, just as President Obama ended up expanding his predecessor’s programs.
President Obama complained of President Bush for invading Iraq; he is presently expanding Middle East intervention, right? And the GOP complained of Obamacare after adding prescriptions to Medicare, right? No matter who wins, the show goes on. Until, as Margaret Thatcher had it, we run out of other people’s money. And the Federal Reserve ‘Quantitative Easing’ was the marker of that event.
So, will our leaders escape their responsibility by hiding in a massive war? We have no idea. See what you think …