With a growing number of people dissing America these days, I thought I’d take the contrarian position and explain why America wins. Before I list the reasons, I think we need to explain what it means to win. To win is to be better the competition. It doesn’t mean things are getting better, because they aren’t. Everything is relative.
Whenever someone predicts the decline of America, I always ask compared to who? I’m not being argumentative, I really am interested in finding out. America certainly isn’t the best of everything, so why do we win?
- Welcome To Foreign Citizens – We take the best and brightest talents from around the planet and welcome them. Unlike other countries, we provide paths to citizenship, regardless of income level. Jared Diamond states in his book Collapse that 12% of Americans were born in a foreign country. He referred to our culture as having plasticity. We embrace and assimilate all cultures into our Melting Pot. Those ambitious immigrants can’t contribute to their home country.
- Open Accounting – This is bound to draw some chuckles at first, but stay with me. America historically does more to protect investors than anyone else. We go through periods of fraud (we are in one now), but we always emerge with more transparency. Emerging markets come and go. Investors chase high yield and make lots of money until the bottom falls out and the cycle repeats itself, only this time with a different emerging market. Anyone remember how Japan was going to be the dominant economic force 20 years ago? Turns out they were using shady accounting to hide loan losses and run everything from cash flow. Zero Hedge just posted Galbraith On China’s Drastically Overstated Trade Surplus. An economics professor has gone throw all the numbers and came to the conclusion that the China story may be riddled with fraud. Really? Bad loans being covered up through cash flow. Here we go again. I could go on and on. We tend to focus on our own problems and not notice that the fraud is just as bad and often worse in other countries. Winston Churchill once said: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.” Other countries can’t make the same claim.
- Protected By Two Oceans and The US Navy – This idea came from George Friedman. We are protected from foreign invasion by two massive oceans. During the time periods when other countries are fighting wars and rebuilding from those wars, we keep growing. We have a geographical advantage over other countries. He states the US Navy controls every ocean on the planet. Every trade shipping lane is under our control. All the other navies in the world combined don’t match the power of the US Navy. We can shut down or choose not to defend any ocean we decide to. Free trade isn’t free. For another country to step up and displace America, they will have to resolve naval issues and building a Navy is extremely expensive and time consuming.
There are other reasons, but those three I think are unique. We recruit the best people and most investment and then we protect them. #2 is a real concern for me. The sooner America cleans up the fraud, the sooner we can win back the trust of the worlds investors and grow again.
I hope this post doesn’t come across as the ranting of a blind patriot. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see any up and coming countries that will be to the world what America was to the world in the 20th century. Do you? I see great places to travel to, great places to retire to, but no place better for economic and personal freedom.