Those who forget the Past…..
Russia is again in tough shit. China could implode. Maybe nothing will save the Empire this time. With the governments all over the world cranking up the printing presses we shall see.
Probably the most interesting 20 years coming up since the fall of Rome. Wonder if historians will be able to scrape up these blogs and explain it properly:
people are people and will do what they do.
Beginning in the 19th century, factories in England and New England transformed the value of a working man. Instead of being equal to his counterpart in China or India – as he had been for a thousand years – he suddenly was superior; he could produce more. By the 21st century, the average day laborer in Britain and America earned 10 to 20 times more than his confrere in Asia.
Of course, the English speakers had rivals. They were challenged by other Europeans…and the Japanese. All learned that the same machines that produced wealth could destroy it even faster. The Germans were particularly tenacious competitors. By 1910, their factory output was greater than that of the UK. By 1940, they were trying to blow up England’s factories. But England and America ganged up against them. In a couple costly wars in the first half of the 20th century, the Teuton threat was finally crushed.
By 1945, The Anglo-American empire had only one challenger still standing – the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Militarily, the USSR was a real menace. But commercially, it was no more than a comic footnote in economic history. At first, the weakness in the Soviet’s system was not obvious…especially not to economists. The figures – put out by the USSR – showed rapid growth. But nobody flew to Moscow to buy the latest fashions nor bragged about his Soviet auto. Nor did people hasten to open accounts in Russian banks or seek heart transplants in Soviet hospitals. The Soviets had managed to create a rare thing – a value-subtracting economy. They took valuable raw materials out of the ground and turned them into worthless finished products. If he had a choice, no one would buy soviet-made goods. Every sale made the seller poorer. And the longer this went on, the poorer the Russians got. Finally, the whole system caved in – in 1989, leaving the Anglo-Americans masters of earth, sky and the seven seas.
This next era, 1989-2007, was remarkably pleasing to almost everyone. Even former enemies rushed to stock the empire’s shelves and lend it money.