America’s decline and China’s rise?

Robert Kaplan sees President Obama’s refusal to sell the latest F-16s to Taiwan as a sign of America’s decline and China’s rise:

By 2020, the United States will not be able to defend Taiwan from a Chinese air attack, a 2009 Rand study found, even with America’s F-22s, two carrier strike groups in the region and continued access to the Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Moreover, China is at the point of deploying anti-ship ballistic missiles that threaten U.S. surface warships, even as Taiwan’s F-16s, with or without upgrades, are outmatched by China’s 300 to 400 Russian-designed Su-27 and Su-30 fighters. Given that Taiwan is only 100 miles from China and the U.S. Navy and Air Force must deploy to the Pacific from half a world away, the idea that Washington could permanently guarantee Taipei’s de facto sovereignty has always been a diminishing proposition. Vice President Biden’s recent extensive talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping (who is poised to succeed President Hu Jintao), may have reinforced the notion inside the administration that Taiwan is better defended by a closer American-Chinese diplomatic understanding than by an arms race.

Notice what is happening, though. The administration is not acting unreasonably. It is not altogether selling out to Beijing. Rather, it is adjusting its sails as the gusts of Chinese power, both economic and military, strengthen. Thus the decision to help Taiwan — but not too much — illustrates how decline itself is an overrated concept.

Decline is rarely sudden: Rather, it transpires quietly over decades, even as officialdom denies its existence and any contribution to it. The Royal Navy began its decline in the 1890s, Princeton University professor Aaron L. Friedberg writes in “The Weary Titan,” even as Britain went on to win two world wars over the next half-century. And so, China is gradually enveloping Taiwan as part of a transition toward military multipolarity in the western Pacific — away from the veritable American naval lake that the Pacific has constituted since the end of World War II. At the same time, however, the United States pushes back against this trend: This month, Obama administration officials — with China uppermost in their minds — updated a defense pact with Australia,giving the United States greater access to Australian military bases and ports near the confluence of the Pacific and Indian oceans. The United States is making room in Asian waters for the Chinese navy and air force, but only grudgingly.

Decline is also relative. So to talk of American decline without knowing the destiny of a power like China is rash. What if China were to have a political and economic upheaval with adverse repercussions for its defense budget? Then history would turn out a lot more complicated than a simple Chinese rise and an American fall.

Because we cannot know the future, all we can do is note the trend line. The trend line suggests that China will annex Taiwan by, in effect, going around it: by adjusting the correlation of forces in its favor so that China will never have to fight for what it will soon possess. Not only does China have some more than 1,500 short-range ballistic missiles focused on Taiwan, but there are 270 commercial flights per week between Taiwan and the mainland, even as close to a third of Taiwan’s exports go to China. Such is independence melting away. And as China’s strategic planners need to concentrate less on capturing Taiwan, they will be free to focus on projecting power into the energy-rich South China Sea and, later, into the adjoining Indian Ocean — hence America’s heightened interest in its Australian allies.

This is a power shift. Subtle and indirect though it may be, it is a clearer story line than what is occurring in the chaotic Middle East, a region less prosperous and less dynamic than East Asia in economic and military terms, and therefore less important. Taiwan tells us where we are, and very likely where we’re going.

via A power shift in Asia – The Washington Post.

I would say that it is absurd to speak of America’s military decline in relation to China or anyone else.   It isn’t simply that America’s military has a huge technological advantage.  That alone is significant.  But America’s military also has something that is priceless when it comes to an advantage over an enemy:  combat experience.  Our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have given us that, at least.

Still, decline is not just a matter of military prowess.  Certainly our nation is weakened economically and culturally.  Also politically and in our national mood.  Does anyone think we would defend Taiwan even if we could?  China is resurgent and energetic, with its particular hybrid of communism and capitalism seemingly carrying the day.  Do you think Kaplan is right?  If so, should anything be done, or should Americans just get used to a second-tier status?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kenneth

    It seems to me that Kaplan is partly right. We are decling but he does over state the case. Perhaps Australia and the US can form some better deterrent against China’s power. It is a dreary prospect that China in the south Asian seas would create hegemony in the hemisphere and beyond to a hyper social Darwinist (a gross capitalism) that has the potential of China’s increasing communist atrocites of the twentieth century into the 21st. And that is dreary indeed.

  • kenneth

    It seems to me that Kaplan is partly right. We are decling but he does over state the case. Perhaps Australia and the US can form some better deterrent against China’s power. It is a dreary prospect that China in the south Asian seas would create hegemony in the hemisphere and beyond to a hyper social Darwinist (a gross capitalism) that has the potential of China’s increasing communist atrocites of the twentieth century into the 21st. And that is dreary indeed.

  • SKPeterson

    I seem to recall a similar concern about 20 or 25 years ago with respect to Japan. It didn’t happen. The cracks in China’s economy are there and their GDP is somewhat artificial, so I’m reticent about crediting China with upcoming superpower status. Maybe, maybe not.

    The components of alternative power structures are there – Australia, Japan, the Phillipines, Indonesia, South Korea, as well as the nascent nation’s of Southeast Asia – Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos that are wary of growing Chinese influence and power projection. There’s also the old bear of Russia hanging around to the North and the lumbering giant of India to the Southwest. China’s ascension is by no means assured and faces far more formidable obstacles than the United States. What we need to decide is if empire is compatible with our democratic-republican values.

  • SKPeterson

    I seem to recall a similar concern about 20 or 25 years ago with respect to Japan. It didn’t happen. The cracks in China’s economy are there and their GDP is somewhat artificial, so I’m reticent about crediting China with upcoming superpower status. Maybe, maybe not.

    The components of alternative power structures are there – Australia, Japan, the Phillipines, Indonesia, South Korea, as well as the nascent nation’s of Southeast Asia – Viet Nam, Cambodia and Laos that are wary of growing Chinese influence and power projection. There’s also the old bear of Russia hanging around to the North and the lumbering giant of India to the Southwest. China’s ascension is by no means assured and faces far more formidable obstacles than the United States. What we need to decide is if empire is compatible with our democratic-republican values.

  • Jonathan

    Yes, get used to second-tier status. Good thing, too. Maybe without the empire we can focus on humanitarian things, rather than budget-busting military dominance.

  • Jonathan

    Yes, get used to second-tier status. Good thing, too. Maybe without the empire we can focus on humanitarian things, rather than budget-busting military dominance.

  • Gary Hicks

    This is an interesting process, with economic and fraternal ties eventually overwhelming military might. The USA spends roughly $682 billion per year on its military, which is six times more than China’s $112 billion. Maybe the USA could reduce its expenditures by (say) half if it has no plans of going to war with China?

  • Gary Hicks

    This is an interesting process, with economic and fraternal ties eventually overwhelming military might. The USA spends roughly $682 billion per year on its military, which is six times more than China’s $112 billion. Maybe the USA could reduce its expenditures by (say) half if it has no plans of going to war with China?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@3), I’ll go ahead and preempt DonS (among others) from having to say this. Our budget is presently (and all the more, as we look to the future) being “busted” in a far greater way by “humanitarian things” than by military expenditures.

    I’m all for more reasonable (i.e. reduced) military spending — and, more to the point, acting — but let’s at least be honest here.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Jonathan (@3), I’ll go ahead and preempt DonS (among others) from having to say this. Our budget is presently (and all the more, as we look to the future) being “busted” in a far greater way by “humanitarian things” than by military expenditures.

    I’m all for more reasonable (i.e. reduced) military spending — and, more to the point, acting — but let’s at least be honest here.

  • Cincinnatus

    Agreed with tODD here, though I am not facially opposed to second-class global status. I really couldn’t care less about our standing in the world. We were founded as a republic, not a global empire. And the two, I would argue, are incompatible.

    On the other hand, Jonathan, what exactly do you mean by “humanitarian things”? That’s one of those words that’s difficult to refute (or understand): “Yeah, I’m adamantly opposed to humanitarianism.” Like tODD, I condone decreased defense spending–dramatically decreased defense spending, in fact–but I’m also in favor of decreasing spending on the welfare/entitlement state, because it’s unsustainable regardless of the size of our defense budget. Does that make me anti-humanitarian?

  • Cincinnatus

    Agreed with tODD here, though I am not facially opposed to second-class global status. I really couldn’t care less about our standing in the world. We were founded as a republic, not a global empire. And the two, I would argue, are incompatible.

    On the other hand, Jonathan, what exactly do you mean by “humanitarian things”? That’s one of those words that’s difficult to refute (or understand): “Yeah, I’m adamantly opposed to humanitarianism.” Like tODD, I condone decreased defense spending–dramatically decreased defense spending, in fact–but I’m also in favor of decreasing spending on the welfare/entitlement state, because it’s unsustainable regardless of the size of our defense budget. Does that make me anti-humanitarian?

  • Rod

    I am amused by ads to volunteer in China next to this post. I thought I read recently that China’s economy was not as nearly robust as it likes to portray, or at least that it wasn’t filtering down to its people very well, and that was the source of the problem.

  • Rod

    I am amused by ads to volunteer in China next to this post. I thought I read recently that China’s economy was not as nearly robust as it likes to portray, or at least that it wasn’t filtering down to its people very well, and that was the source of the problem.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    American officers and NCOs are better than what you find in Russia, China or most other nations.

    Other nations read all our doctrine and think they’re ready for us. Their problem is that we don’t follow our own doctrine. Our NCOs and junior officers get out in combat and they take risks and use opportunities regardless of doctrine. We’re a much more flexible and adaptive foe.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    American officers and NCOs are better than what you find in Russia, China or most other nations.

    Other nations read all our doctrine and think they’re ready for us. Their problem is that we don’t follow our own doctrine. Our NCOs and junior officers get out in combat and they take risks and use opportunities regardless of doctrine. We’re a much more flexible and adaptive foe.

  • Tom Hering

    Strength isn’t just a matter of one’s military. China has become the world leader in the production and installation of wind turbines and solar panels. Read: a plan to achieve strategic energy independence. The U.S., on the other hand, continues to drag its feet on this issue. Thanks mostly to opposition from conservative Republicans. Read: oil and gas lobby. So, not only are we way behind in achieving strategic energy independence, but there isn’t a “green energy” future for the American economy anymore. It’s too late, now, for us to catch up with the Chinese manufacturers.

  • Tom Hering

    Strength isn’t just a matter of one’s military. China has become the world leader in the production and installation of wind turbines and solar panels. Read: a plan to achieve strategic energy independence. The U.S., on the other hand, continues to drag its feet on this issue. Thanks mostly to opposition from conservative Republicans. Read: oil and gas lobby. So, not only are we way behind in achieving strategic energy independence, but there isn’t a “green energy” future for the American economy anymore. It’s too late, now, for us to catch up with the Chinese manufacturers.

  • stevesque

    Tom, do you really think China will achieve strategic energy independence for it’s 1.3 billion population, 200 million of whom live on less than $1.25 per day, with wind turbines and solar panels? Really? Don’t you think a plan to placate 200 million angry poor would trump energy independence in the short term? Read: China is facing much of the same problems we are, only on a much larger scale.

  • stevesque

    Tom, do you really think China will achieve strategic energy independence for it’s 1.3 billion population, 200 million of whom live on less than $1.25 per day, with wind turbines and solar panels? Really? Don’t you think a plan to placate 200 million angry poor would trump energy independence in the short term? Read: China is facing much of the same problems we are, only on a much larger scale.

  • kenneth

    Lets talk a bit about what global empires are? It is an awfully big word and it certainly is not inimical to democratic concerns. Counties vie for resources to promote their populations. At least most do, North korea is a sorrowful exception.

    Empires, plural, perhaps are allied countires with trading agreement to various parties benifits. So however allies form around shared interests, sections around the globe have an interest in interacting spheres of economic gain for all. At least so for theory.

    Maybe China is not a moral monster but I doubt if they are not in the last analysis, just so. And with Russia as an ally it looks fearsome. Again, shared intersts should further some advances to various economies and thats the ideal of empire, minus oppresive practices at home and colonies. Each country needs to work for human rights and with China they are going to need a lot of persuasive prodding, within and without.

  • kenneth

    Lets talk a bit about what global empires are? It is an awfully big word and it certainly is not inimical to democratic concerns. Counties vie for resources to promote their populations. At least most do, North korea is a sorrowful exception.

    Empires, plural, perhaps are allied countires with trading agreement to various parties benifits. So however allies form around shared interests, sections around the globe have an interest in interacting spheres of economic gain for all. At least so for theory.

    Maybe China is not a moral monster but I doubt if they are not in the last analysis, just so. And with Russia as an ally it looks fearsome. Again, shared intersts should further some advances to various economies and thats the ideal of empire, minus oppresive practices at home and colonies. Each country needs to work for human rights and with China they are going to need a lot of persuasive prodding, within and without.

  • Tom Hering

    Stevesque, it would be nice if China failing meant the U.S. succeeding, but I think we’ve proven we can ruin ourselves – with or without China’s help.

  • Tom Hering

    Stevesque, it would be nice if China failing meant the U.S. succeeding, but I think we’ve proven we can ruin ourselves – with or without China’s help.

  • James Banks

    It’s somewhat odd to measure American prowess by China’s ability to invade Taiwan. It would be akin to talking about the decline of China’s military strength if they were unable to prevent a U.S. invasion of Baja California. That being said, the more China flexes its muscles in the region, the more up-and-coming Asian neighbors like Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and India will seek to strengthen their relations with the U.S. China’s ability to expand is limited by a less-than-strategic geographical location. They will need to be crafty as well as strong if they are to maximize their influence in the region.

  • James Banks

    It’s somewhat odd to measure American prowess by China’s ability to invade Taiwan. It would be akin to talking about the decline of China’s military strength if they were unable to prevent a U.S. invasion of Baja California. That being said, the more China flexes its muscles in the region, the more up-and-coming Asian neighbors like Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam and India will seek to strengthen their relations with the U.S. China’s ability to expand is limited by a less-than-strategic geographical location. They will need to be crafty as well as strong if they are to maximize their influence in the region.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    let the ‘lazy’ socialist germans fund their own military w/ their own $$$$ – then they would not ‘demand ‘ a month-2 months + ‘vacation’ and 4 day ‘work’ weeks and that goes for the rest of the anti-US countries that our tax $$$$ are going – to field our military on their soil,….
    as to our ally – Taiwan- help them – they are our ally!
    in fact- the US has continually- the the last 20+ years betrayed our allies and appeased our enemies…
    time for a change!!! a Constitutional (original intent) re-awakening!
    Carol-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    let the ‘lazy’ socialist germans fund their own military w/ their own $$$$ – then they would not ‘demand ‘ a month-2 months + ‘vacation’ and 4 day ‘work’ weeks and that goes for the rest of the anti-US countries that our tax $$$$ are going – to field our military on their soil,….
    as to our ally – Taiwan- help them – they are our ally!
    in fact- the US has continually- the the last 20+ years betrayed our allies and appeased our enemies…
    time for a change!!! a Constitutional (original intent) re-awakening!
    Carol-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CCS (@14), sorry, but I had to laugh at this line of yours:

    as to our ally – Taiwan- help them – they are our ally!

    Because, of course, you’d spent the first half of your comment accusing our ally Germany of being “anti-US”, in addition to being “lazy” and “socialist”. (As to the last one, does anybody think words mean anything anymore, or is it sufficient to merely not like something in order to use any sloppy old term? Honestly, Germany has a social market economy.)

    Of course, I’m still trying to work out how Germany’s work week affects their military spending, according to you. I would point out that in 2008, Germans worked an average of 41.2 hours each week — that’s five days, you might notice. Or what exactly the Constitution says about how we should treat our allies.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    CCS (@14), sorry, but I had to laugh at this line of yours:

    as to our ally – Taiwan- help them – they are our ally!

    Because, of course, you’d spent the first half of your comment accusing our ally Germany of being “anti-US”, in addition to being “lazy” and “socialist”. (As to the last one, does anybody think words mean anything anymore, or is it sufficient to merely not like something in order to use any sloppy old term? Honestly, Germany has a social market economy.)

    Of course, I’m still trying to work out how Germany’s work week affects their military spending, according to you. I would point out that in 2008, Germans worked an average of 41.2 hours each week — that’s five days, you might notice. Or what exactly the Constitution says about how we should treat our allies.

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    TODD-
    it is easy to be a lazy socialist when the US is paying for your military protection…
    BTW- a german official just stated that the US had no right to tell the german gvt what to do–charity wise-
    I agree-
    ASA we get our military out of there- they will have spend their ‘hard earned $$$’ on their own protection!
    then we can spend our hard earned $$$$$ managing sovereign borders and et al.
    what do you think?!
    Carol-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    TODD-
    it is easy to be a lazy socialist when the US is paying for your military protection…
    BTW- a german official just stated that the US had no right to tell the german gvt what to do–charity wise-
    I agree-
    ASA we get our military out of there- they will have spend their ‘hard earned $$$’ on their own protection!
    then we can spend our hard earned $$$$$ managing sovereign borders and et al.
    what do you think?!
    Carol-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    todd-BTW-
    I don’t see germany being threatened my the communist chinese-
    do you-
    rhetorical- no need to answer-
    C-CS

  • http://carolmsblog.blogspot.com/ C-Christian Soldier

    todd-BTW-
    I don’t see germany being threatened my the communist chinese-
    do you-
    rhetorical- no need to answer-
    C-CS

  • Ames Tiedeman

    Lower taxes? Higher taxes? Does anyone actually think being plus or minus 5% on taxes will make a lick of difference for the U.S. economy at this stage in the game? The economy will never again work the way we all want it to work with the current account deficit at 6 or 7 percent of GDP. You cannot get unemployment even under 6% without a credit bubble, with a current account deficit as large as ours. We have not had a trade surplus since 1974. We have been in decline for 40 years and this decline has only accelerated in recent years. We closed 55,000 plants in the United States since 1980. Your politicians won’t tell you this because some of them fed you the false promise of free trade. Others don’t want to admit NAFTA has been a complete failure for America. Great for Mexico as that giant “sucking sound” Ross Perot predicted has materialized. Clinton and Gore promised the American people ever bigger trade surpluses with Mexico and ten’s of thousands of new high paying jobs. Just pass NAFTA they exclaimed! Quite laughable, really. We have gone from a trade surplus of a few billion a year to a trade deficit nearing 100 billion per annum with Mexico. What is equally as laughable or insulting is the trade deal Obama has just signed with Columbia. Do we make anything they can afford? Of course not. Columbia will simply become a new launch pad to make textiles and sell them into America. How about the trade deal Obama signed with South Korea? This is an interesting one. Within the bill on the U.S. side is a provision to provide worker training for displaced Americans. So we are now so stupid that we are signing trade deals that we know will diminish the U.S. labor force. The insanity is just that! Does anyone think the South Koreans would agree to a trade deal if they were not sure to win? Does Obama understand that the South Koreans are fierce nationalists who will never let America win a trade contest? Did my ancestors lead pre-Revolutionary War skirmishes against the British at Lexington and Concord in 1775 and early 1776 only to have America end up how it is today? My blood has been on this land since 1635. How many of my ancestors ever dreamed that America would be so deep in debt and short in ideas? Would any of them ever have thought that such mediocre men would one day be leading this nation? America has done a terrific job of creating a low employment and low wage society, for millions. Quite sad indeed. No civilization has succeeded by consuming more than it produces. We must massively restructure. Until America decides to produce what it consumes you can forget about any long term economic recovery. The financial games all failed. The credit bubble is gone and now the U.S. economy is exposed as the biggest joke of all time. Credit bubbles have a way of masking the real issues. How do we fix the American economy? Start by making every American who has received a Nobel Prize in economics return the award. Why? because they were either 100% wrong or their work proved to be of no benefit to the American economy. Next, round up every economist who advised Nixon that if America left the gold standard and moved the world to a floating currency regime; that America would never, ever, run a current account deficit. And I am very sorry to inform everyone that this would include the late and great Milton Friedman. Sorry Milton, you were dead wrong too! Next, leave the WTO, end NAFTA, and go about setting up country-by-country trade deals that are realistic based on where America stands today. It is not 1955 anymore. The world has either matched us or surpassed us in industry after industry. We have literally become an emerging economy is some industries as we have faltered so badly. Next, move to a flat tax, and end all farm subsidies. Cancel most government social programs like food stamps and deport 100% of the people living in America illegally. Make it a high crime to employ anyone not here legally. Finally, for major industries such as steel and automobiles, move to a must-be-made-in-America policy. No longer allow imports of products in specific industries. They must all be made in America. We must employ our people. We can no longer employ the world via our consumption as so many Americans remain unemployed. We must use our 50 state union to our advantage. We must promote massive trade between the states. We must socialize CAPITALISM to avoid becoming a socialist state! We must reinvigorate the American people. We must manufacture. And who running for office can lead America on this grand and pious endeavor? Who running for office today has the passion of a General MacArthur or the skill of a Chester Nimitz? Who has the energy of a Teddy Roosevelt? The men who command the attention of the electorate in this age of mediocre ambition are all too small to make a difference…

  • Ames Tiedeman

    Lower taxes? Higher taxes? Does anyone actually think being plus or minus 5% on taxes will make a lick of difference for the U.S. economy at this stage in the game? The economy will never again work the way we all want it to work with the current account deficit at 6 or 7 percent of GDP. You cannot get unemployment even under 6% without a credit bubble, with a current account deficit as large as ours. We have not had a trade surplus since 1974. We have been in decline for 40 years and this decline has only accelerated in recent years. We closed 55,000 plants in the United States since 1980. Your politicians won’t tell you this because some of them fed you the false promise of free trade. Others don’t want to admit NAFTA has been a complete failure for America. Great for Mexico as that giant “sucking sound” Ross Perot predicted has materialized. Clinton and Gore promised the American people ever bigger trade surpluses with Mexico and ten’s of thousands of new high paying jobs. Just pass NAFTA they exclaimed! Quite laughable, really. We have gone from a trade surplus of a few billion a year to a trade deficit nearing 100 billion per annum with Mexico. What is equally as laughable or insulting is the trade deal Obama has just signed with Columbia. Do we make anything they can afford? Of course not. Columbia will simply become a new launch pad to make textiles and sell them into America. How about the trade deal Obama signed with South Korea? This is an interesting one. Within the bill on the U.S. side is a provision to provide worker training for displaced Americans. So we are now so stupid that we are signing trade deals that we know will diminish the U.S. labor force. The insanity is just that! Does anyone think the South Koreans would agree to a trade deal if they were not sure to win? Does Obama understand that the South Koreans are fierce nationalists who will never let America win a trade contest? Did my ancestors lead pre-Revolutionary War skirmishes against the British at Lexington and Concord in 1775 and early 1776 only to have America end up how it is today? My blood has been on this land since 1635. How many of my ancestors ever dreamed that America would be so deep in debt and short in ideas? Would any of them ever have thought that such mediocre men would one day be leading this nation? America has done a terrific job of creating a low employment and low wage society, for millions. Quite sad indeed. No civilization has succeeded by consuming more than it produces. We must massively restructure. Until America decides to produce what it consumes you can forget about any long term economic recovery. The financial games all failed. The credit bubble is gone and now the U.S. economy is exposed as the biggest joke of all time. Credit bubbles have a way of masking the real issues. How do we fix the American economy? Start by making every American who has received a Nobel Prize in economics return the award. Why? because they were either 100% wrong or their work proved to be of no benefit to the American economy. Next, round up every economist who advised Nixon that if America left the gold standard and moved the world to a floating currency regime; that America would never, ever, run a current account deficit. And I am very sorry to inform everyone that this would include the late and great Milton Friedman. Sorry Milton, you were dead wrong too! Next, leave the WTO, end NAFTA, and go about setting up country-by-country trade deals that are realistic based on where America stands today. It is not 1955 anymore. The world has either matched us or surpassed us in industry after industry. We have literally become an emerging economy is some industries as we have faltered so badly. Next, move to a flat tax, and end all farm subsidies. Cancel most government social programs like food stamps and deport 100% of the people living in America illegally. Make it a high crime to employ anyone not here legally. Finally, for major industries such as steel and automobiles, move to a must-be-made-in-America policy. No longer allow imports of products in specific industries. They must all be made in America. We must employ our people. We can no longer employ the world via our consumption as so many Americans remain unemployed. We must use our 50 state union to our advantage. We must promote massive trade between the states. We must socialize CAPITALISM to avoid becoming a socialist state! We must reinvigorate the American people. We must manufacture. And who running for office can lead America on this grand and pious endeavor? Who running for office today has the passion of a General MacArthur or the skill of a Chester Nimitz? Who has the energy of a Teddy Roosevelt? The men who command the attention of the electorate in this age of mediocre ambition are all too small to make a difference…


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