Suicide of a Superpower
By Patrick J. Buchanan
October 3, 2011
This generation of Americans has been witness to one of the most stunning declines of a great power in the history of the world.
In 2000, the United States ran a surplus. In 2009, it ran a deficit of $1.4 trillion—10 percent of the economy. The 2010 deficit was almost equal, and the 2011 deficit is projected even higher. The national debt is surging to 100 percent of GDP, portending an eventual run on the dollar, a default, or Weimar inflation. The greatest creditor nation in history is now the world’s greatest debtor.
In the first decade of what was to be the Second American Century, a net of zero new jobs were created. Average households were earning less in real dollars at the end of the decade than at the beginning. The net worth of the American family, in stocks, bonds, savings, home values, receded 4 percent.
Fifty-thousand plants and factories shut down. As a source of jobs, manufacturing fell below healthcare and education in 2001, below retail sales in 2002, below local government in 2006, below leisure and hospitality, i.e., restaurants and bars, in 2008—all for the first time.
In April 2010, three of every four Americans, 74 percent, said the country is weaker than a decade ago, and 57 percent said life in America will be worse for the next generation than it is today.
Who did this to us? We did it to ourselves.