Here’s a truism that Americans need to better absorb: U.S. policy is global in impact and is the concern of a good portion of the world’s inhabitants. And here’s another truism: a lot of people out there are deeply frustrated because they can’t vote, so they intend to do everything in their power to liberate themselves from U.S. influence. But as this column by Maksim Blant of Russia’s Yezhednevniy Zhurnal shows, that doesn’t mean they don’t admire certain aspects of U.S. democracy.
For the Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Maksim Blant writes in part:
Having transformed the once perfunctory technical procedure of raising the debt ceiling into a topic of hard political bargaining, the Republicans have reminded the world once again of how dependent the global economy is on the stability of U.S. currency. And also, that this stability is in the hands of a few dozen people who act solely on the basis of their perceptions of what is good and bad for American voters. Throughout the talks, the president and opposition lawmakers all appealed exclusively to them – ordinary Americans.
America’s creditors are obviously unhappy to have had this reminder, and the search for alternatives to the dollar as the world’s reserve currency are likely to intensify for the foreseeable future.
Republicans are right about one thing: the path of growth through government economic stimulus by further expansion of government debt is a dead end. The pre-crisis economic model that allowed the United States to demonstrate a fairly decent rate of growth has exhausted itself, and attempts to reanimate it with such dangerous medicine is likely to cause an “acquired addiction” that can only exacerbate the consequences of the next crisis.
Republicans, among other things, have let their constituents know that they are ready to fight the administration for every taxpayer dollar and that not a dime will be spent inefficiently (to say nothing of being stolen). As wild as it may sound given the conditions of the Russia’s “managed democracy,” the U.S. Congress is not just a “vestigial organ” of the executive branch, but one of the instruments that contain it.
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