The Establishment Is in Despair
by Gary North
Austrian School economists and analysts who have warned that we are facing a Federal debt cataclysm have now received grudging confirmation from a most unlikely source: the Council on Foreign Relations.
The Council on Foreign Relations is the single most influential discussion forum in the United States. Its quarterly journal, Foreign Affairs, is therefore the most influential publication in the country and therefore the world.
This is not to say that every article is influential. Most of them are not. They are often written by academic specialists in narrow fields. Their opinions are rarely translated into government policy. Equally rare is any Foreign Affairs article that winds up being quoted five years later. The journal is a kind of sounding board. The relative handful of key decision-makers in the organization want access to what “the best and the brightest” are thinking. This includes lots of academic busy-bees who are trying to break into the CFR’s inner circle. The decision-makers are never sure who has the best insight on the future, so the editor publishes lots of articles that sink without a trace.
Nevertheless, once in a while, one of these articles does become the basis of long-term government policy. Such was the case with the 1947 article by George Kennan, who published anonymously as “X.” It set forth the entire post-War policy of containment of the Soviet Union. So, it pays for columnists and analysts and investors to be aware of what the latest issue of Foreign Affairs has to say.
A TURNING-POINT ARTICLE
The November/December issue features an article that I think will become a turning point. A decade from now, or a quarter century from now, historians will return to it and summarize its contents. It will be regarded as the first official announcement in the highest of high places that the Federal deficit is out of control, and that this in turn threatens the survival of America’s position as the world’s most influential political-military participant.
The article is titled, “American Profligacy and American Power: The Consequences of Fiscal Irresponsibility.” I have been reading Foreign Affairs for about four decades, but I do not recall any article with a title this inflammatory.