David’s Friend Goliath: Inevitable Ingratitude

"In the end, however, what other nations do or do not say about the United States will not be crucial to whether, or for how long, the United States continues to function as the world’s government. That will depend on the willingness of the American public, the ultimate arbiter of American foreign policy, to sustain the costs involved. In the near future, America’s role in the world will have to compete for public funds with the rising costs of domestic entitlement programs. It is Social Security and Medicare, not the rise of China or the kind of coalition that defeated powerful empires in the past, that pose the greatest threat to America’s role as the world’s government.

The outcome of the looming contest in the United States between the national commitment to social welfare at home and the requirements for stability and prosperity abroad cannot be foreseen with any precision. About other countries’ approach to America’s remarkable 21st-century global role, however, three things may be safely predicted: They will not pay for it, they will continue to criticize it, and they will miss it when it is gone."

1 comment:

Paul Hue said...

Amazing article. How and where did you find it? People around the world say negative things about the US, but indeed their actions belie their attitudes. This is true also about various people in the US, including our friends Nadir and Tom. Their words are savage against the US, but their actions approximately indistinguishable from those with opposite commentaries. As recently as the 1960s, a very large fraction of people with negative words about the US backed those words with remarkable actions that came with heavy, heavy prices. Blacks in Alabama openly violated serious laws, and did so with real expectations of severe beatings and serving hard time, and really did face losing their jobs and deadly vigilante justice, countananced by the legal system. The answers to survey questions haven't changed much, but the behavior sure has: it no longer matches those survey questions.