“All this would be interesting if the US had limitless resources, a booming economy and a solid financial base. But the US is now fatally, chronically, bankrupt for a generation at least – the way all over-reaching imperial powers become bankrupt. Washington is currently unable to do anything but spend money for special interests. Even a new president with big majorities can get nothing done on fiscal discipline except hold summits on it and propose reforms that will make things even worse. If he believes that the crippling debt of the next decade (let alone after) can be ameliorated by Orszag-style reforms in healthcare privision (however admirable they might be) he’s more delusional than Cheney. In the end, Obama will have to decide if a country this utterly bankrupt has any business running a vast global empire that keeps expanding. He may be the last president with any ability to make such a decision, and callibrate it to America’s advantage. After that, the global financial markets will decide it for us. At that point, it may come as a relief. As it did, in the bitter end, for the British.“
This is what my gut feeling has been telling me for the past 8 years… but in truth, any sort of “decline” – term it as you will – has really been in progress since the end of WWII, the very last time we were able to fully dictate a structural model to the international community almost entirely on our terms. One can only read so much, and fascinate so much over the Fall of the Roman Empire… must remember to read up on the decline of the British Empire. They seem happy enough now though… who’s to say we couldn’t turn Bill Clinton into the American Jeremy Clarkson?