The United States Has Fallen from that Shining City On the Hill to a Banana Republic
After all, the oligarchs simply purchase politicians (the chairman of the Department of Economics at George Mason University explained that American politicians are not prostitutes, they are pimps … pimping out their services to the highest bidder). And there are now two systems of justice in America … one for the super-rich, and one for everyone else.
But runaway inequality has another effect as well … it’s undermining America’s geopolitical power in relation to the rest of the world.
Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs from 2009 to 2013 Kurt Campbell notes:
Other countries have long emulated aspects of the American Way in designing their own development models. Having access to higher education, creating conditions that support innovation and allowing for greater upward mobility have all been deeply attractive qualities to many nations. But it is the construction of a durable U.S. middle class that has been perhaps most compelling to highly stratified societies across Latin America, Asia and Africa. Now, however, the United States is moving in the other direction, toward an unstable society divided between astronomically rich elites and everyone else. This undermines a critical component of U.S. soft power and is a model for societal engineering that few would choose to emulate.
A corresponding consequence of growing inequality has been a reduction in support for these building blocks for comprehensive and sustained international engagement.
The worrisome dimensions of income inequality on the quality of domestic American life should be enough to cause us to consider enacting remedies. However, the potential negative implications on U.S. performance internationally can only add to the case. Ultimately, a sustained and purposeful American internationalism is inextricably linked to the health of our domestic life, to which gaping inequality is the biggest threat.
Sadly, bad government policies, coupled with systematic crime and manipulation by the big banks, are fueling rampant inequality … turning the United States from a leading power and shining city on the hill into a banana republic.