JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHOM TO BLAME FOR AMERICA’S ECONOMIC CRISIS ?   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Clive Crook,

You should know the answer to this.

No one is ever responsible for anything in the United States. Americans are all victims.

America’s divided government has proved perfectly suited to the attitudes and ethics that have evolved there. You cannot fix responsibility on anyone for anything.

I think the perfect illustration of this is American behavior under some of its free trade treaties.

Treaties are supposedly on a higher level so that local laws do not interfere in international affairs.

But in fact the opposite happens all the time. A set of national trade laws, highly flexible to the need and thus effectively protectionist, allow local interests and politics to override international treaties regularly.

And with whom does a treaty partner deal when this happens? It is never clear, but in the end those local political interests will be satisfied before there is a resolution.

Much of the governing of the United States works this way. It is a poorly governed country because Americans are a people who essentially do not like government.

The real source of all these economic problems is a people living beyond its means, of wanting it all and wanting it now, and a set of governments which accommodate their doing exactly that.

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