Sunday, November 16, 2014

Wars And Rumors Of Wars: It's Still The Economy

I've just finished teaching a short Norse myth unit. Ragnarok is fresh on my mind. Coincidentally, PNR has an interesting post contending that Obama's foreign policy ensures a 21st Century World War. I have little doubt that there will be another war before my 80th birthday. Laying the blame on Obama's foreign policy which, by and large, is a continuation of the policies of previous administrations means that one should also blame every post Cold War President including Bush I, Bush II, and Clinton.

The reason for war will not be foreign policy. Writing a short post for The Week, William Falk sums it up well:
Wage stagnation — and the resulting erosion of the middle class — is this country's biggest problem. When hard work no longer produces upward mobility for workers who lack elite skills, America's implicit promise is broken. At National Review, conservative Maggie Gallagher complains that "for more than a decade Americans have been losing ground financially, and the GOP has yet to address the issue." In The Washington Post, liberal Harold Meyerson grouses that "the Democrats have had precious little to say about how to re-create…widely shared prosperity." Perhaps that's because the standard liberal and conservative nostrums (Tax the rich! Eliminate regulations!) won't address the fundamental problem: Globalization and technology have devalued both labor and workers, and made companies more ruthlessly competitive. Here's a scary thought: Neither party is offering a remedy because there isn't one.
When hard work produces disillusionment not advancement, governments will distract the populace with foreign adventures. Given that nations' economies are becoming entwined in a Gordian Knot, the distraction will be monstrous.

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