Budgetstup och budgetkris, American Exceptionalism dör, robotarna tar över på arbetsmarkaden, USA tappar inflytande

Wall Street

En av de mest intressanta böcker om USA som jag någonsin har läst är Thomas Benders bok A Nation Among Nations
America’s Place in World History
som representerar en ny generation av amerikanska historikers syn på USA:s historia. Ett USA som aldrig har haft den exceptionella ställning i världen som traditionella amerikanska historiker ofta har påstått, och som alla amerikanska skolbarn har fått lära sig. USA har istället utsatts för precis samma inflytanden som Europa och alla andra världsdelar.

Grunden till USA:s stormaktsställning lades efter slutet av det amerikanska inbördeskriget 1865 och fram till 1914. Och fick sen en gigantisk push framåt när Europa begick självmord inte bara en gång utan två, i Första och Andra Världskriget.

Den stora immigrationen till USA av för det mesta högutbildade flyktingar, bl.a. många nobelpristagare, från Tyskland och resten av Europa, tillsammans med Europas och Ryssland kollaps ledde till USA:s ställning som världens enda supermakt mellan 1945 och 1990.

Men USA:s stormaktsperiod skulle bli kortlivad och med globaliseringen började Kina, Indien, Brasilien och resten av världen att utvecklas allt snabbare. Och den amerikanska marknaden, som hade varit avgörande för USA:s stormaktsställning, började bli mindre central.

Som Nick Summers skriver i San Francisco Chronicle, där han påpekar att Apples framtid inte längre beror på den amerikanska eller ens europeiska marknaden utan på marknaderna i Kina och resten av världen:Will Apple shares keep falling in 2013?

“In 2013 or 2014, the biggest shift is going to be that the analysts relevant on Apple are those who understand emerging markets,” he says. “The playing field will shift away from the U.S. and Europe.”

Den bittra striden om det amerikanska budgetstupet har lett flera bedömare att se det som ännu ett tecken på USA:s försvagade internationella ställning.

David E Sanger skriver i New York Times: Fiscal Deal Fails to Allay Doubts on U.S. Global Power

Two years ago the departing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, declared that “the most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” After a decade in which the nation had chased Al Qaeda and invaded Iraq, Admiral Mullen was saying, in essence, that the biggest enemy was us.

Now that Congress and President Obama have slipped past the latest budget deadline with a bill that does little to address the country’s long-term debt issues — and by some measures might worsen them — the worries of the national security establishment have been reignited. Most pointedly, military and diplomatic experts wonder whether the United States is at risk of squandering its global influence.

“There’s a sense that we’ve been playing roulette with our position, and this deal does nothing to stop that,” Richard N. Haass, the president of Council on Foreign Relations, said in an interview. His coming book, “Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” is part of a wave of recent literature arguing that America’s reduced global ambitions are linked to its status as a debtor nation.

Vali Nasr, who will soon publish “The Dispensable Nation,” argues that the debt, among other economic woes, has allowed Mr. Obama and other Democrats to justify a retreat from global engagement. “It’s made it far easier to say ‘We can’t do more,’ ” said Mr. Nasr, the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “And without addressing the debt issues, it will be easier to make that argument for years to come.”

Paul Krugman skriver i New York Times om hur den förbittrade amerikanska budgetstriden kommer att fortsätta
: Battles of the Budget

According to the normal rules of politics, Republicans should have very little bargaining power at this point. With Democrats holding the White House and the Senate, the G.O.P. can’t pass legislation; and since the biggest progressive policy priority of recent years, health reform, is already law, Republicans wouldn’t seem to have many bargaining chips.

But the G.O.P. retains the power to destroy, in particular by refusing to raise the debt limit — which could cause a financial crisis. And Republicans have made it clear that they plan to use their destructive power to extract major policy concessions.

Now, the president has said that he won’t negotiate on that basis, and rightly so. Threatening to hurt tens of millions of innocent victims unless you get your way — which is what the G.O.P. strategy boils down to — shouldn’t be treated as a legitimate political tactic.

But will Mr. Obama stick to his anti-blackmail position as the moment of truth approaches? He blinked during the 2011 debt limit confrontation. And the last few days of the fiscal cliff negotiations were also marked by a clear unwillingness on his part to let the deadline expire. Since the consequences of a missed deadline on the debt limit would potentially be much worse, this bodes ill for administration resolve in the clinch.

Economist skriver om budgetkrisen i USA och gör en intressant jämförelse med EU:s ekonomiska kris, ett tecken på hur lika de båda kontinenterna har blivit: The fiscal cliff deal
America’s European moment .The troubling similarities between the fiscal mismanagement in Washington and the mess in the euro zone

This week’s agreement, hammered out between Republican senators and the White House on New Year’s Eve, passed by the Senate in the early hours of New Year’s Day and by the House of Representatives later the same day, averted the spectre of recession. It eliminated most of the sweeping tax increases that were otherwise due to take effect from January 1st, except for those on the very wealthy, and temporarily put off all the threatened spending cuts (see article). Like many of Europe’s crisis summits, that staved off complete disaster: rather than squeezing 5% out of the economy (as the fiscal cliff implied) there will now be a more manageable fiscal squeeze of just over 1% of GDP in 2013. Markets rallied in relief.

But for how long? The automatic spending cuts have merely been postponed for two months, by which time Congress must also vote to increase the country’s debt ceiling if the Treasury is to be able to go on paying its bills. So more budgetary brinkmanship will be on display in the coming weeks.

And the temporary fix ignored America’s underlying fiscal problems. It did nothing to control the unsustainable path of “entitlement” spending on pensions and health care (the latter is on track to double as a share of GDP over the next 25 years); nothing to rationalise America’s hideously complex and distorting tax code, which includes more than $1 trillion of deductions; and virtually nothing to close America’s big structural budget deficit. (Putting up tax rates at the very top simply does not raise much money.) Viewed through anything other than a two-month prism, it was an abject failure. The final deal raised less tax revenue than John Boehner, the Republican speaker in the House of Representatives, once offered during the negotiations, and it included none of the entitlement reforms that President Barack Obama was once prepared to contemplate.

Så precis som EU så brottas USA idag med fundamentala ekonomiska och sociala problem, problem som amerikanerna inte verkar vara kapabla att lösa på egen hand.

På plussidan så lyckades Obama tvinga republikanerna att gå med på skattehöjningar för USA:s allra rikaste, men på minussidan så väntar sig nu republikanerna att Obama kommer att skära ner USA:s redan trådtunna sociala skyddsnät.

USA:s inflytande minskar runt om i världen samtidigt som det ökar på IT-området med datormolnen, och fortsätter starkt inom vetenskapen.

Men huvudproblemet för USA är inte utrikespolitiken utan jobben, och som Catherine Rampell skriver i New York Times så skapas det inte på långa håll nog med jobb för att den amerikanska ekonomin ska kunna återhämta sig: Job Creation Is Still Steady Despite Worry,

Despite concerns about looming tax increases and government spending cuts, American employers added 155,000 jobs in December. Employees also enjoyed slightly faster wage growth and worked longer hours, which could bode well for future hiring.

The job growth, almost exactly equal to the average monthly growth in the last two years, was enough to keep the unemployment rate steady at 7.8 percent, the Labor Department reported on Friday. But it was not enough to reduce the backlog of 12.2 million jobless workers, underscoring the challenge facing Washington politicians as they continue to wrestle over how to address the budget deficit.

“Job creation might firm a little bit, but it’s still looking nothing like the typical recovery year we’ve had in deep recessions in the past,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “There’s nothing in the deal to do that,” he said, referring to Congress’s Jan. 1 compromise on taxes, “and nothing in this latest jobs report to suggest that. We’re a long way short of the 300,000 job growth that we need.”
A showdown over the debt ceiling expected in late February could also damage business confidence, as it did the last time Congress nearly allowed a default on the nation’s debts in August 2011.

Och en av huvudorsakerna till det är den snabba datoriseringen, automatiseringen och robotiseringen av det amerikanska näringslivet. En utveckling som ser precis likadan ut i EU, Kina och över hela världen.

Det USA traditionella USA som nu går i graven kommer därför inte igen. Istället kommer vi att få ett helt nytt USA, som mycket väl kan komma att bli två eller fler USA om inte republikanerna och demokraterna kan enas om nationens framtid.

USA-jobb ökade lite mer än väntat,Vad har USA emot tv-kanalen al-Jazira?,USA-politiker i bråk om oljan i Arktis,Budgetpaniken i USA växlar upp ytterligare

[tags] Budgetstup och budgetkris, American Exceptionalism, USA tappar inflytande[/tags]

One thought on “Budgetstup och budgetkris, American Exceptionalism dör, robotarna tar över på arbetsmarkaden, USA tappar inflytande

  1. Peter Andersson

    Du skriver ibland att USA är skyldig Kina en massa pengar p.g.a sin budgetobalans – men inte hela skulden väl? Om du känner någon journalist så skulle du ju kunna tipsa hen om att leta reda på den person som sitter på USA:s allra äldsta skuldsedel, det skulle kunna bli en intressant story, vem/vilka har landet varit skyldig pengar allra längst nu?

    Jag ser iofs framför mig mest som en Saturday Night Live sketch e.d.

    -Hallo, this is the White House!
    -Hallo, this is John Postponerous.
    -Hallo John, how are you today?
    -Fine, thank you, I’m calling to ask about my money again.
    -Yeah, I know, that money you lended us in 1972.
    -Yeah, that, can I get my five hundred dollars back today?
    -No, sorry, we just had to lend another ten billion trillions from China to cover running expenses for the week!
    -Can I get my five hundred next week then?
    -Well, propbably not, but as our longest running creditor you are always welcome to call again, I’ll be busy on tuesday through thursday though.
    -Well, having my five hundred on friday would be good enough, I’ll call you then, goodbye for now.
    -Goodbye John, and thanks for calling.

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