Economic Crisis Shakes “Old Order”

by Ryan on July 25, 2011

in Economy,Election 2012,International Relations,Politics,Stupid government

The post-World War II economic and political order is showing signs of serious strain.  Robert Samuelson calls it “the crisis of the old order“:  an order created from the ashes of the Great Depression and World War II characterized by a robust welfare state, faith in taming economic cycles, and an international trade regime serving everyone’s interest.

Therein lies the systemic problem exposed in our current crisis:  the welfare state has grown beyond our ability to sustain it;  in order to get back to normal, predictable economic growth needs to return, but that seems unlikely given our aging populations, bad government policy, and the particular nations being effected;  and finally, China and the emerging economies could be there to rescue us, but China’s view of trade is not for mutual benefit, only its own.

Some people understand this (read: Tea Party) and want to make adjustments now so that our problems be less severe in the future.

To those paying attention, the larger problems become manifest:  people like their goodies and politicians like winning elections;  our politicians are getting in the way of economic stability;  and China can’t trade if no one’s buying — their future will be tied to ours.  What to do?

The word “unsustainable” is critical to recognizing and dealing with our problems.  Unfortunately, in a transparent democracy we get the government we deserve.  So as our leaders shirk from their responsibilities, it is we the people who are ultimately responsible for the mess we’re in.  And so it must be we the people who move us out of this mess and towards restoring something which works.

Solving the problem then is fundamental.  However, both birth and death come with a lot of pain — pain which we are obviously not ready to accept from sacrifices no one is yet willing to endure.

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