According to Thomas Friedman, the erosion of US power and influence might be catastrophic for the ‘rest of us’ who have been nurtured and protected for all these years.
When the world’s only superpower gets weighed down with this much debt — to itself and other nations — everyone will feel it. How? Hard to predict. But all I know is that the most unique and important feature of U.S. foreign policy over the last century has been the degree to which America’s diplomats and naval, air and ground forces provided global public goods — from open seas to open trade and from containment to counterterrorism — that benefited many others besides us. U.S. power has been the key force maintaining global stability, and providing global governance, for the last 70 years.
Further, Friedman quotes Micheal Mandelbaum
“When Britain could no longer provide global governance, the United States stepped in to replace it. No country now stands ready to replace the United States, so the loss to international peace and prosperity has the potential to be greater as America pulls back than when Britain did.”
“Therefore, the world will be a more disorderly and dangerous place,” Mandelbaum predicts.
No system of global governance or regional alliances is likely to bail out the world either. Friedman doesn’t even give them a chance. Is there likely to be better regulated markets once the free market hawks are done away with? Well, who can say…it doesn’t work like that in Friedman’s flat world.
What’s the remedy then? Just wait until the next big brother arrives…