Ten Signs the U.S. is losing its Influence

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 1:10 PM GMT
    This article is interesting. What are your thoughts?

    Provided by the Business Insider:

    We won't be the alpha dog in the western hemisphere forever.

    Even if the U.S. hadn't crashed into a financial crisis, there are demographic, material, and political forces that have been spreading power around the Americas for decades.

    Brazil is first among the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) -- four economies that are supposed to overtake the six largest Western economies by 2032.

    Mexico is first among the MAVINS (Mexico, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa) -- six economies we expect to blow away expectations and become leading powers in their regions relatively soon.

    Canada and Venezuela are oil powers of the distant future.

    Peru and Chile are sitting on a fortune of metals and minerals.

    All these countries are cranking up, while America faces plenty of fiscal and demographic problems at home.

    Here are Signs the U.S. Is Losing Its Influence In Its Own Backyard:

    Our most powerful regional ally--Brazil--refuses to follow our orders on Iran

    Hillary Clinton went to Brazil to beg support for sanctions against Iran and came away empty handed. Now the UN is counting on Brazil, which is friendly with America and Iran, to lead nuclear diplomacy.

    The World's Richest Man is now a Mexican, not an American.

    For the first time in 16 years, the World's Richest Man is not an American. Carlos Slim, worth $54 billion, is the first Latin American to hold that title and one of many emerging market billionaires to eclipse the U.S.

    Three years after a US financial crisis, Latin America is again growing rapidly. The U.S.? Not so much...

    Compare this to what happened during the Great Depression. Latin America was devastated when U.S. investment dried up and the export market soured in the 30s. A League of Nations report said Chile, Peru, and Bolivia suffered the world's worst depression.

    Today is quite different. Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico have led a buoyant recovery from the global recession, according to Reuters. The regional economy is expected by the UN to grow 4.3 percent in 2010. If the American consumer remains weak, Latin American exports will move elsewhere.

    Chile produces 300% more copper than America--the former world leader in copper production

    America used to lead the world in copper production. We produced 49% of the world's copper in 1929, according to this article from the archives. Today we produced 1.2 million tonnes yearly, compared to 5.4 million tonnes in Chile.

    Brazil now produces over four times as much iron ore as the U.S.. We used to lead that industry, too.

    America once led the world in iron mining. In 1892 we discovered the world's largest mine at the Great Lakes Mesabi Range. It was a wellspring for America's industrial might and the foundation of the rust belt.

    Now we claim reserves at 2,100 mt. Seven countries claim higher reserves, including Brazil at 8,900 mt. We produce only 54 mt yearly, while Brazil produces 250 mt.

    Canada and Venezuela will pass the U.S. in oil production in the next decade

    America produces around 9 million barrels of oil a day. Venezuela and Canada each produce around 3 million. But America's reserves are 21 billion barrels and may last less than a decade. Our oil-rich neighbors claim 99 billion bbl and 178 billion bbl, respectively, and will keep producing oil into the distant future.

    Now Brazil exports over twice as much beef as we do

    America used to lead the world in beef production. Although we still do, America exports only 800,000 mt of beef per year. Brazil exports 2,200,000 mt. Here's some ironic excerpts from a 1911 NYT article: "American-Canadian syndicate to have world's largest beef plant in Brazil... The chilled beef industry has never been tried before in Brazil and has only recently gotten under way in Argentina."

    Brazil is now a critical partner for Russia, India, and China

    The acronym coined by Goldman Sachs to describe the four key emerging powers has taken on a life of its own. Brazil, Russia, India, and China have held several summits and even discussed making a supranational currency -- that would pull the rug out from the U.S. dollar.

    What's important here is that global emerging powers have good relations and are inclined to work together. For instance, China just signed major contracts to build factories and a high-speed rail in Brazil.

    Brazil, Canada, and Mexico all invest a greater share of GDP in clean energy

    A Pew survey found that Brazil invests 0.37% of its economy in clean energy. Canada invests 0.25% and Mexico invests 0.14%. America is eleventh in the world at 0.13%.

    Hugo Chavez is still in power

    The CIA has a notorious history of interventions in Latin America, supposedly targeting Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán, Fidel Castro, Manuel Noriega, Rios Montt, Che Guevara, and many others. But they haven't stopped Hugo Chavez from railing against the United States for years. Clearly America has adopted a more passive regional strategy.

    [url]http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/10-signs-the-us-is-losing-its-influence-in-the-western-hemisphere-535456.html?tickers=eem,ewz,fxi,eeb,jjm,^dji,xle#mwpphu-container[/url]
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Sep 29, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    Why do people buy Brazilian meat- it's not very good! Argentina and Uruguayan meat is the best!

    I read something similar, but in terms of ecomomic booms in the world food supply with Argentina and Ukraine leading and Brasil I believe was 3rd, all outpacing the US in meat, wheat, grain, and other exports to the world market.

    This isn't the article I was looking for, but it's recent and touches on points of your article.
    http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:22700343~menuPK:34463~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

    Another article, but about the potential boom of Argentine gold.
    http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/NEWS/0,,contentMDK:22700343~menuPK:34463~pagePK:34370~piPK:34424~theSitePK:4607,00.html

    I will say I'm proud of Argentine and has so much potential within it's borders.



  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 5:04 PM GMT
    I believe we are losing our dominance in the world and it was bound to happen. Look at Great Britian, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, The Ottoman Empire, and Austria-Hungary. From the 1500's until the 1960's, these countries, at various points, were some of the most formidable powers on earth, controlling land on almost every continent, especially Africa, Oceania, Asia, and North America.

    The new super powers are China, India, and Brazil among others. Besides, do we really need to be the dominating power and world police constantly sticking our heads and arms where they don't belong???
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 5:06 PM GMT
    This article has very little substance. This is as creditable as tabloid writing. The writer should be fired.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 5:09 PM GMT
    AvadaKedavra saidThis article has very little substance. This is as creditable as tabloid writing. The writer should be fired.


    icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 5:52 PM GMT
    GHew said
    AvadaKedavra saidThis article has very little substance. This is as creditable as tabloid writing. The writer should be fired.


    icon_biggrin.gif


    Actually much of it is credible and the veneer has alread cracked. Take the European Union, the rise of China as an inevitable financial powerhouse. What about India. Here in Canada businesses are being lectured etc on how to reduce their reliance on the US market and shift some of it off to Europe, Asia and S.America.... I believe it is Brazil now as our 2nd largest customer. For simple geographic reasons the US will always be Canadas largest trading partner but on a slightly diminished scale

    As for Canadian oil that has already been addressed under NAFTA where the USA is by said agreement allowed first and equal access to purchase that oil for its requirements at no more cost than comparable Canadian companies pay for it. The only way the tap can be shut off is Canada would require the oil solely for its own purpose,,unlikely in any event.. or NAFTA was re-opened or done away with.. Remember Hilary campaigned to reopen it and get a better deal for Americans on some silly issues.. well that disappeared quickly when they found out re-opening NAFTA could mean an end to near unlimited access to Canadas oil futures.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Sep 29, 2010 6:18 PM GMT
    Don't get me wrong--I'm not disagreeing that the US is losing its influence relative to other countries, because I do think that other nations are catching up economically and are less-easily pressured by the US to do its bidding. However, I'm not sure that countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia are about to push the US off of its perch. All three have enormous problems with corruption that permeate all levels of their respective societies (in fact, in Russia, it's become more or less cemented into the general mindset that bribery is the only way to accomplish anything). There are also HUGE discrepancies in each of these countries between the wealthy few and the impoverished majorities, and in many cases these divisions grow with their growing economies--because the wealth essentially stays in the hands of the corrupt few. Finally, in the case of Russia, the primary reasons for its economic surge are oil and natural gas, and very little effort has been made to diversify beyond that. What happens when the oil runs out, or when dependence on oil diminishes? Unlike Norway, which also has an oil-dependent economy, Russia is not taking the long view to secure a future by investing outside of the oil boom. In Norway, the profits are carefully invested and endowed to ensure the well-being of the nation into the future, rather than going into the pockets of a wasteful kleptocracy.
  • KepaArg

    Posts: 1721

    Sep 29, 2010 6:26 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]NC3athlete said[/cite]Don't get me wrong--I'm not disagreeing that the US is losing its influence relative to other countries, because I do think that other nations are catching up economically and are less-easily pressured by the US to do its bidding. However, I'm not sure that countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia are about to push the US off of its perch. All three have enormous problems with corruption that permeate all levels of their respective societies (in fact, in Russia, it's become more or less cemented into the general mindset that bribery is the only way to accomplish anything). There are also HUGE discrepancies in each of these countries between the wealthy few and the impoverished majorities, and in many cases these divisions grow with their growing economies--because the wealth essentially stays in the hands of the corrupt few. Finally, in the case of Russia, the primary reasons for its economic surge are oil and natural gas, and very little effort has been made to diversify beyond that. What happens when the oil runs out, or when dependence on oil diminishes? Unlike Norway, which also has an oil-dependent economy, Russia is not taking the long view to secure a future by investing outside of the oil boom. In Norway, the profits are carefully invested and endowed to ensure the well-being of the nation into the future, rather than going into the pockets of a wasteful kleptocracy.[/quote

    agree with you!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 6:28 PM GMT
    So what.

    I never see anyone putting the Brits down because they no longer live in the empire on which the sun never sets.

    The US came to power on military dominance. Now we live in a world without any major conventional enemies so the role of military superpower is of less importance.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 6:45 PM GMT
    beneful1 said
    GHew said
    AvadaKedavra saidThis article has very little substance. This is as creditable as tabloid writing. The writer should be fired.


    icon_biggrin.gif


    Actually much of it is credible and the veneer has alread cracked. Take the European Union, the rise of China as an inevitable financial powerhouse. What about India. Here in Canada businesses are being lectured etc on how to reduce their reliance on the US market and shift some of it off to Europe, Asia and S.America.... I believe it is Brazil now as our 2nd largest customer. For simple geographic reasons the US will always be Canadas largest trading partner but on a slightly diminished scale

    As for Canadian oil that has already been addressed under NAFTA where the USA is by said agreement allowed first and equal access to purchase that oil for its requirements at no more cost than comparable Canadian companies pay for it. The only way the tap can be shut off is Canada would require the oil solely for its own purpose,,unlikely in any event.. or NAFTA was re-opened or done away with.. Remember Hilary campaigned to reopen it and get a better deal for Americans on some silly issues.. well that disappeared quickly when they found out re-opening NAFTA could mean an end to near unlimited access to Canadas oil futures.


    Did you read the entire article?

    Sure, there are some facts in there which I consider to be the little substance. There are also projections. I can't tell the future, can you? The author also uses subjective opinions. I don't even give this any weight, especially, after reading this "Hillary Clinton went to Brazil to beg support". Beg? Really?

    Finally, the author does not mention a thing about the development of the US yet tons about other countries. I can understand how this exclusion can cause some people to be convinced by this article. It is almost like implying that the US has hit their ceiling of economic and political development but everyone else is just getting better and better.

    Also, this is my favorite play on facts:

    "For the first time in 16 years, the World's Richest Man is not an American. Carlos Slim, worth $54 billion, is the first Latin American to hold that title and one of many emerging market billionaires to eclipse the U.S."

    Okay, one guy. Let's add up the net worth of all the Americans vs. Latin American on the list and compare. Will this still be on his list of signs?

    Article = FAIL

    Note that I was just slamming the article. The discussion about countries of increasing economic and political power would be a lot longer.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Sep 29, 2010 7:06 PM GMT
    NC3athlete saidDon't get me wrong--I'm not disagreeing that the US is losing its influence relative to other countries, because I do think that other nations are catching up economically and are less-easily pressured by the US to do its bidding. However, I'm not sure that countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia are about to push the US off of its perch. All three have enormous problems with corruption that permeate all levels of their respective societies (in fact, in Russia, it's become more or less cemented into the general mindset that bribery is the only way to accomplish anything). There are also HUGE discrepancies in each of these countries between the wealthy few and the impoverished majorities, and in many cases these divisions grow with their growing economies--because the wealth essentially stays in the hands of the corrupt few. Finally, in the case of Russia, the primary reasons for its economic surge are oil and natural gas, and very little effort has been made to diversify beyond that. What happens when the oil runs out, or when dependence on oil diminishes? Unlike Norway, which also has an oil-dependent economy, Russia is not taking the long view to secure a future by investing outside of the oil boom. In Norway, the profits are carefully invested and endowed to ensure the well-being of the nation into the future, rather than going into the pockets of a wasteful kleptocracy.


    Russia doesn't belong in that list. It is a dysfunctional kleptocracy indeed. The list of the BRIC countries is a little weird. Russia has no place in them.

    In this case as you write above, we're talking about Brazil, China, India, Mexico... not Russia.

    By the way, what you state as their liabilities are traits the US also has. Out of the western world, the US is by far the country with most traits of a 3rd world country and that is what makes it so vulnerable, as we see now. You can't run a capitalist system in a successful manner if half the population doesn't have the means to participate in the system.

    There are some very interesting parallels between the US and the USSR, but for some reason I never heard anyone say anything about it. Anyone remember what happened in the 1970s Soviet Union?

    Maintaining ridiculously huge military spending in an economy that's crumbling, neglecting basic tasks that need to be done internally (in the US's case, healthcare, poverty, political structure, debt; in the USSR's case consumer goods scarcity, agricultural output, political structure) - lead to stagnation.

    You see how the US structures (electoral, judiciary, executive) are reaching the limits of what they were designed for, and modernization (apparently) fails. The USSR stuck it out for another 25 years after the great stagnation began.
  • DanOmatic

    Posts: 1155

    Sep 29, 2010 8:43 PM GMT
    Well, like I said, I don't disagree with the general premise. Yes, the US has become fat, lazy and extravagant--which were also the hallmarks of declining empires thoughout history. Its obsession with consumption has become its undoing, and its need to be the dominant force in the world has outpaced both its resources and any notion of moral authority.

    But in one very important aspect, it's still different than most of the nations mentioned previously in this forum post: though the poverty rate is increasing, and despite the fact that we live in an oligarchy that essentially controls the strings of our government, there is a broad middle class that, while increasingly vulnerable, still is much stronger than in Mexico, India, China and Brazil.