Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ottoman America

"America’s current trajectory seems like a speeded up version of the Ottoman movie," writes Eamonn Fingleton — How to Lose an Empire. We learn that it was not America who "pioneered the secular trend towards freer international trade," "resorted to spiraling foreign indebtedness to pay for its wars," and "first permitted large-scale foreign direct investment in its domestic industries and infrastructure."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The politest description for an article that takes a complex situation, boils its explanation down to 5 or so variables of particular concern to the author, and then draws conclusions for an entirely different situation is "nonsense."

The fact of the matter is that the powers that grew spectacularly in the time period in question were those with good preconditions for industrialization; a clement climate, access to coal and water power, and flatlands. There very are good reasons why America's steel mills were mainly in Pennsylvania, where winter and summer are cool, and not between El Paso and Albuquerque.

An economist who doesn't understand such rudimentary basics has all but disqualified himself.

The Ottomans were wise to import the capital goods it needed but could not, and would never, make competitively without slapping hefty tariffs onto them, and there was little to nothing it could do about tariffs set upon its agricultural imports.

The American situation is an entirely different one.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aetas parcet neminem.

11:35 PM  

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