A different America

Posted on: October 9, 2008

Barak Obama will be the next president of the United States.

In January of a new year, a black man will take the oath of the highest office in a country unrecognizable from the superpower America of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s when a black man would not be served in many restaurants. This new humbled America is a battered country. Its world prestige is at its lowest. Its glory days of Berlin Airlifts and moon walks are memory.

This new America needs friends and allies in a way it has never needed them before. Now friends and allies are not optional. Swept away will the the second Bush Doctrine of you are with us, or against us. The new president will seek friends and show he wants to earn their friendship, and that will be welcome.

The new president will be president of a poorer America. For generations, America had seen each new generation grow more presperous than the one that came before. That is no longer true in the new America.

The old America was astoundingly rich. In 1950 the USA produced more than half the word’s goods in dollar value. In that year the USA accounted for 54 per cent of the gross domestic product of the economic output of the entire world.

The new America is a rubble of bank failures, trillions in debt, its energy economy mortgaged to foriegn oil dependence. In July alone, the United States imported from China good worth $31.3 billion while exporting to that country $6.4 billion in goods. The year’s trade defict stood at the end of that month at more than $142 billion in China’s favour with almost half a year to go.

The old America could be counted on to perform miracles in space. The moon was a place where Americans not only could land and walk, but also, in casual whimsey, see how far a wacked golf ball could fly. The new America may see a Chinese astronaut walk on the lunar surface before an American gets back. Recently, as Americans looked on in shock as their investment bank giants failed, three Chinese astronauts circled the globe, one walking in space.

Just a decade and a half ago the Russian navy’s proud Baltic Fleet was a series of rusting hulks. There was no money to maintain them. The old America looked with disdain at such disintegration of economic stability of a former superpower.

The old America was the America of the Greatest Generation of young people who saved the world from great tyranny. Their work ethic and business savvy built an economic super power. The Greatest Generation are now America’s most aged citizens. Their children, the babyboomers, are retiring in great numbers. Their retirement and medical bills will be as much a strain on the American economy as their parents youth and input was a boon

The new president will be president of a very different America.


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