Beautiful post! You're right on and we're in this mess with what history will record as being the worst US administration in history. I can't believe the American people elected these losers for a second term. I guess we can only say that we get the kind of leadership we deserve.
To some extent I agree with what you said: The US is extremely wealthy and extraordinarily powerful. Rumours of its death are exaggerated.
But as to your statement that "we have been here before", I disagree.
We are without a doubt entering strange, unexplored territory right now: Our social security crisis is looming, and America has never seen anything on this scale before. Personal consumer debt has never been this high. The national debt has never been this high, and we have never defaulted on a debt in US history until this past February. (We *did* default by the way, contrary to the political spin of delayed payments and raised debt ceilings). We have a PBGC crisis looming that NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT, and is so, so much close than anyone knows. The PBGC crisis will make the S&L crisis look like a walk in the park. We have never in US history simultaneously disemboweled our manufacturing base and thrown open the doors to foreign competition. We have never in US history ceased publication of the M3 -- a shocking insight into the mechanisms behind our new Fed policies. We have never had a national housing bubble before.
Economically we are entering a long-cycle Kondratief Winter and we have a Fed Chief determined to naively battle it out with more Keynesian policy rather than accepting Misesian fundamentals.
To say that we have been here before is simply not true.
It is easy to look at the 70's and 80's and draw parallels, but they are only skin deep.
We are in new territory -- and it doesn't look good.
I have read your post but I must dissagree. You have to look a little deeper. We have never been here before. The true advantage that has propelled all nations and empires to the top has always been the technology of the day. Recently we have become third and sometimes fourth in our spending on research and development. This one change is critical. Also nations rising to the top have always done so with an expanding manufacturng base. Things in the U.S. look good only by our limited views on time. This will not be a simple sliding in advantage . The effects will be real and lasting and ( We have never been here before.
It took rome several generations to become a super power (hard earned)and it stayed a super power for several generations. COmparavtively the fall took only a few generations.
If you comare to ROme, US has become superpower in a blink of an eye and stayed a superpower about the same time (2 generations). If you take Rome as a standard and assume that the US decline has begun today, it would take much less than a generation for a downfall. And a 1000 years from now, kids might have a cursory mention in their history lesson of this period because this would be such an insignificantly small period in history when US was superpower.
Of course this thesis stands on a bunch of shaky assumptions, albeit none shakier than the USD props.
On the lighter side. We were on the topic of age guessing. 22 chronological, 2.2 mental in human years.
I've been reading the SLW board for months now and this thread cracks me up. Heres another opinion:
The fiat currency of the USA is backed by F-15s, aircraft carriers, an atomic aresenal, Disneyworld, Las Vegas, Alaska, Hollywood, Microsoft, NASA, Boeing and a host of other things. Our government is simply our broker (currently a poor one). I am proud of this country and its abilities, even when we are too lazy to use them correctly. Other countries have their own things that make their currency valuable. The balance involved does not change overnight but, in the short term of a few years, we are sliding toward a disadvantage. We have been here before.
We are currently led by horrible political liars and this will cause significant pain for some time to come. The entire world knows this but they are very careful around 300 lb. gorillas, which is what the USA is. An astute Japanese commander that participated in attacking Pearl Harbor is rumored to have feared they had awoken a "sleeping giant". This country can be very formidable, in between our woeful lazy spells. The world knows this and will act carefully, but they will exploit us to the extent we allow them. We have been here before.
It took many generations for Rome to fall and the USA, when it falls, will be no different. Anyone willing to look at history might see our current situation as the beginning of another national "correction" but it will be nothing more. Yes, our stupid government has seriously diluted our stock (money) but it still has some significant value. We will probably fire some managers over the next few years (elect new liars). The world is capitalist and we are just a big version of Google. Arrogant and overvalued, due for a smackdown but far from failure. We have been here before.
After a few years of financial pain, we will start making things of value within our borders (again), import less and straighten up a little bit. Then the cycle will begin anew. Gold and Silver will rise, then they will fall. Things will get worse, then get better. We have been here before, I've seen it before and this time I intend to make some money!
Thanks for your time and thanks to Couplover and Crdnlau for their balanced views on SLW. To those of you that resort to profanity, trash talk and computer YELLING, you are part of the problem in America today. Grow up.