Stepping Outside

All men and women achieving 18 years of age should be required to leave the country of their birth and live abroad for a minimum of 5 years. When forced to cut the umbilicus and remove the sweetened breast of “mother’s loving care” they could develop self-awareness and self-reliance. They’d learn about the world; not simply the chauvinistic doctrines and political dogma of their home nation. They’d learn how others accomplish similar goals and more importantly; they’d learn what other people think of them and their home country.

Americans have this ingrown sense of our importance to the world. It’s badly inflated at times. It appears we’re arrogant and unfeeling. People think we’re detached exhibit but that’s because so much we do in a charitable sense is attached to somebody’s political agenda. People abroad perceive Americans as haughty, pushy, demanding and rude. (Many are.) But, they too are haughty, pushy, demanding and rude in other lands. It’s a dislikable trait of humanity.

But there are inoculations against this common disease. The first is knowledge. But there’s little hope for us medicating this personality driven disease if we don’t get good examples of how to behave by our leaders.

Standard and Poor’s (S&P) was the first credit rating agency to “downgrade” the United States’ credit rating form AAA to AA+. This is advertised as an international financial disaster of the first order. Mr. Obama, Secretary of the Treasury Geithner and political pundits across the spectrum of Democratic Party (and Republican) politics agree. But, instead of learning and moving forward they’re (pardon the cliché please) trying to “kill the messenger”.

S&P is an internationally accepted (especially by American political operatives until this point) and respected financial rating company. With 23 offices world-wide, they know, understand and reflect the opinions of numerous foreign governments and their economic impact on world markets. But more importantly they know, understand and reflect the impact of the American financial influence on the world.

Obviously people in other countries don’t share our inflated impression of ourselves. Nor do they appreciate our new national tendency to forget American ideals. We claim to have novel and expansive ideas in the economic world. Since the Industrial Revolution we’ve been the primary stokers of the economic engines operating in the world theater (for over a century). Now we appear pursuant of an almost slavish appeal for European economic doctrines and what appears to be mismanagement of their economies and their impact on the world stage.

All of this is a matter of generational prejudice; theirs and ours. The French believe Charles DeGaulle liberated France unilaterally and without aid from England or America. They resent our interference with their take on history. The British are still stinging from an almost unforeseen invasion of American servicemen in World War II (“they’re over-paid, over-sexed and over here!”) Political realities being what they are, an alliance is only as good as the memory of the oldest citizen reflecting on life before America entered the war. And the problem with all of this is our leaders’ belief they can do no wrong either.

S&P said the downgrade was necessary because the POLITICAL Climate in America and the apparent inability of the Administration and Congress to work cohesively, consistently and coherently toward a common goal. We use a narrow-band, tunnel-visionary approach to the development and maintenance of this nation’s economic standards, is what’s being seen, understood and NOT appreciated across the globe. S&P was a wake-up call nobody wants to hear.

Every economic system is tied to the next by the understanding a government must have the respect & faith of its peers. Spain affects France. Germany affects Italy. Greece affects Russia. China affects all. America is in that class with China. What we do allow others to usurp American influence in world as China is doing now.

America has been disrespected for years because nobody, including this administration or the prior one, has bothered to step outside and see what the international economic climate is saying about how to conduct business.

Obama said, “we are a Triple A country”. That’s a fact. However we suffer from “F” class government.

Thanks for listening.

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