Monday, April 28, 2008

Have No Fear My Fellow Americans

I have to admit it is tough to be an American lately. Everyday I read about the weak dollar, soaring commodity prices, huge deficits, foreigners buying our country, collapsing Real Estate values and a slowing economy. Are we in the last Chapter of the sequel to Edward Gibbon's, "The History of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire ," entitled appropriately enough "The History of The Decline and Fall of the American Empire?" Will your children have to learn Chinese or Russian?

Fear not, my fellow Americans, people have written us off before and here for you amusement is a sample of some of that commentary, from the fear mongering media outlets that dominate our culture:


Time Magazine
For Sale: America
September 14, 1987
Link to Story

"Suddenly, the U.S. seems to have become a country for sale, a huge shopping mart in which foreigners are energetically filling up their carts. Result: foreign ownership in the U.S., including everything from real estate to securities, rose to a remarkable $1.33 trillion in 1986, up 25% from the previous year....By the end of this century, the U.S. may have the most modern manufacturing sector in the world, but it won't own it." Says Democratic Representative John Bryant of Texas: "America has been selling off its family jewels to pay for a night on the town, and we don't know enough about the proud new owners."

My Commentary: The Japanese were the main buyers of America back then, and they bought most of it at peak prices and sold it at a loss.


Time Magazine
The Seven Lean Years
Dec. 22, 1980
Story Link

"In all the sweep of postwar history, no event, no issue, no political or social process has more profoundly shaken the established world order, or brought about more rapid and tumultuous economic change, than the end of the era of cheap oil. This change has been called the energy crisis, but the term is too limiting. Rather than being merely an ongoing trauma over oil, the energy debacle has become a crisis of economics, of politics, of the very balance of power in world affairs. In short, it is an all-embracing, mesmerizing Everything Crisis....Since then, oil-consuming countries have paid the oil producers a staggering $370 billion for the precious black product that is essential to industrial survival. Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Sheik Ahmed Zaki Yamani warns that oil could easily rise to as much as $60 per bbl. in the foreseeable future."

My Commentary: Well not quite. In fact, the price of Oil collapsed by the mid 1980's.


Time Magazine
What to Do About the Dollar
Oct. 09, 1978
Story Link

"The fate of the dollar calls into question the way the whole world does business. The international monetary system is a precarious structure held together largely by paste, baling wire and confidence in the dollar, since it is the currency in which most international deals are made and which central banks keep in their vaults as reserves. During recent runs on the dollar, the first signs of financial panic could be seen."

My Commentary: Well, it looks like we survived this crisis too.

Oh wait...maybe its different this time.

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