A German economist bemoans the decline of Americanism

In Der Spiegel, of all places, one finds an article bemoaning, loudly and strongly, the profound mistake inherent in the Democrats’ Europeanization of America:

The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve want to fix the United States economy by spending more money. But while that approach might work for Europe, it is risky for the US. The nation would be better off embracing traditional American values like self-reliance and small government.

There’s no question about it: The 20th century was America’s era. The United States rose rapidly from virtually nothing to become the most politically powerful and economically strongest country in the world. But the financial crisis and subsequent recession have now raised doubts about its future. Are we currently witnessing the beginning of the end of the American era?

A firm belief in the individual’s ability, ideas, courage, will and a reliance on one’s own resources brought the US to the top. The American dream promised everyone the chance of upward mobility — literally from rags to riches, from minimum wage to millionaire. The individual’s pursuit of happiness was seen as the crucial foundation for the well-being of society, rather than the benevolent state which cares for its subjects — and certainly not the welfare state, which provides a social safety net for its citizens.

In the American system, every man was responsible for himself — in good times and bad. No one could count on government assistance, not even the wannabe millionaire who did not make it and ended up homeless.

Read the rest here.  Thomas Straubhaar essentially argues that America must be true to itself in order to reinstate its former economic greatness. Sounds right to me.

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  • http://home.earthlink.net/~nooriginalthought/ Charles

    “In Der Spiegel, of all places . . . “

    Actually, Book, I expect to see more of this attitude from Europeans asking America to return to our values being publically mentioned.  I don’t disagree, I repeat, I do NOT disagree with you or the article; I just question their motives.

    America, afterall, is their “goose that lays the golden egg.”  Europeans would be at each other’s throats (especially France and Germany – that sibling rivalry since the days of Charlemagne’s sons) if it were not for the fact that American troops are stationed in Germany and Italy.  France and the rest of Europe don’t fear Germany, even a strong one, precisely because any military action by Germany would have to involve the US troops stationed there.  And, Germany doesn’t fear it neighbors precisely because any military action against Germany would be an attack on the US troops.  Around the rest of the world, Europe has the good ol’ US of A to fight its “foreign wars.”  What all of this means is that Europeans are free to NOT spend money on military security and, instead, spend it on popular social programs.

    No other country, not even the UK which once “ruled the seas,” can do militarily what the US can do around the world.  While some countries are helping out in trouble spots (I think I just read a report about a Danish warship helping to prevent a pirate attack off the coast of Somalia in the last couple of weeks) this burden of “world cop” falls mainly on US shoulders; AKA US taxpayers.  US taxpayers which are funded by our capitalistic and free-market, small-government, can-do, individual responsibility, self-reliance values. Smart, intellegent non-US folks know this; they just don’t say it too loud. They either call us reckless cowboys, or remain silent while others insult us; knowing full well that we do their “dirty” work so they can sip their lattes in sidewalk cafes in relative safety and comfort.

    And, don’t get me wrong, I think we (the USA) should be world cop and have no problem with being in that position.  Afterall, no matter how much we might not want to be involved with the world, the world is involved with us.  We have only two choices in this matter, be involved with the world on ITS terms or be involved with the world on OUR terms. I prefer the latter.  A third choice, Isolationism, is NOT an viable option. Two world wars have proven that.

    However, if the US were to ever pull out of Europe, stop spending money to fight overseas (such as Iraq and Afghanistan) pull US warships from patroling pirate waters, pull out of South Korea, keep Chinese influence in Southeast Asia in check, etc. that means Europeans will have to step up to the plate militarily in dealing with Muslims invasions, Russian aggressions, etc.  So, while this economist might be pleading for America to return to her values.  I think the real plea is for America to continue its “laying of golden eggs” (AKA military welfare) for Europe and the rest of the world.  If America were to ever return to isolationism (an idea that many, MANY, Americans find attractive) that would be killing Europe’s “goose that lays the golden egg.” 

    They would be screwed; and smart Europeans know that.  After Obama leaves the US economy a wreck, we might have no other choice but to withdrawl from the world to lick our economic wounds – and that, in my opinion, is what really motivates them to write such articles as this linked in Der Spiegel.  They just won’t say the real reasons out loud.

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