Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Ending of America's Financial-Military Empire

The Ending of America's Financial-Military Empire by Michael Hudson in CounterPunch lays out some of the international economic background which makes the transition to a peace economy even more essential. Here are some excerpts:

... At the root of the global financial crisis, he [Russian president Dmitry Medvedev] concluded, is the fact that the United States makes too little and spends too much, particularly its vast military outlays, such as the stepped-up US military aid to Georgia announced just last week, the NATO missile shield in Eastern Europe and the US buildup in the oil-rich Middle East and Central Asia. ...

Aside from no longer financing the U.S. buyout of their own industries and the U.S. military encirclement of the globe, China, Russia and other countries would no doubt like to enjoy the same kind of free ride that America has been getting. As matters stand now, they see the United States as a lawless nation, financially as well as militarily. How else to characterize a nation that proclaims a set of laws for others – on war, debt repayment and treatment of prisoners – but flouts them itself? The United States is now the world’s largest debtor yet has avoided the pain of “structural adjustments” imposed on other debtor economies. U.S. interest-rate and tax reductions in the face of exploding trade and budget deficits are seen as the height of hypocrisy in view of the austerity programs that Washington forces on other countries via the IMF and other Washington vehicles. ...

If China, Russia and their non-aligned allies have their way, the United States will no longer live off the savings of others in the form of its own recycled dollars, nor have the money for unlimited military expenditures and adventures.

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