Is This The End of the American Century?

This site features updates, analysis, discussion and comments related to the theme of my book published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2008 (hardbound) and 2009 (paperbound).

The Book

The End of the American Century documents the interrelated dimensions of American social, economic, political and international decline, marking the end of a period of economic affluence and world dominance that began with World War II. The war on terror and the Iraq War exacerbated American domestic weakness and malaise, and its image and stature in the world community. Dynamic economic and political powers like China and the European Union are steadily challenging and eroding US global influence. This global shift will require substantial adjustments for U.S. citizens and leaders alike.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Facing Reality

Rosa Brooks, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, sees the U.S. economy in the same situation as The Titanic bearing down on the iceberg (Obama's, and Our, Iceberg). She faults both McCain and Obama for underestimating the seriousness of the economic situation and the long term prospects for recovery from the crisis. Addressing the October 7 debate, she writes:

And when asked by Brokaw if the economy will get "much worse before it gets better," Obama's response was quick: "No. I'm confident about the American economy."

Really? I'm not.

The main problem, as I see it, is the inability or refusal of our political leaders to recognize what all this means for the United States and for its citizens. We have reached the end of a long period of prosperity--but it was a prosperity built on debt. The current crisis signals the end of the line. As Rosa Brooks astutely points out, nobody "yet" knows how to solve these problems. But the first step in solving a problem is recognizing it. Only then can we begin to fix it.

(Thanks to Vivian Deno for sending this column to me).

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