It is hard to argue with the conclusion. Likewise, it is hard to blame the Polish people for getting concerned when Russia gets frisky.
Yeah, I would agree with Poland on this, the US used to be the world leader in more than a few areas, but not anymore, Id say China is number one now.
I even question whether they should be called a world ‘super power’, If anything , they lead the world in amount of debt they can get into! LOL
Since Russia has been demoted to a “regional power”…
Mr Walesa was a very courageous man and leader. He really stood for his principles and the people he served. He helped change the direction of a nation and his people. I’ll have to agree with his assessment, but also with much sadness as to the direction our country has taken.
Our loss of leadership cannot be blamed solely on one leader, or even on a particular e party for that matter. It goes beyond even our politics and involves many aspects of our culture. I think to lead, like Mr Walesa did himself, involves several things that our government has lost. What we stand for and what we believe in often contradicts the acts of aggression we’ve taken. Syria is a perfect example We’re fighting and seeking to destroy Al-Queda in Afghanistan, yet we’re indirectly backing them in Syria to overthrow a government that does not serve our interests. At the same time, we are displacing many of our Christian brethren who are caught in the conflict.
Leaders must inspire us to want to take action, to sacrifice for others so that the change benefits the many, and not the few.
It could be a mixed blessing though that we lost the leadership role. I believe Pope Francis and one Orthodox priest I recently heard is on to something when they mentioned what could change the world. It isn’t love, power, and even faith alone. It’s humility. Our government needs some honest self reflection.
From the revised edition of “Padre Pio, the True Story” by C. Bernard Ruffin: p. 264. Padre Pio said “The Russian people will be converted. Their conversion will happen very fast. The conversion of the United States will be slow, but sure”.
Ibid. p. 266. Padre Pio said “Yes, Russia will be converted, as the Blessed Virgin said she would. However, Russia will teach the United States a lesson in conversion.”
Out of the world’s 75 largest economies, the United States has the 20th largest as debt-to-GDP ratio, standing at 94.3%, with a gross external debt of $13.454 trillion and an annual GDP $14.26 trillion. In fact, out of the largest 75 economies, this number is just above the worldwide average of 90.8% Western-European and North American countries dominate the upper end of the spectrum, with Switzerland (422%) and the United Kingdom (408%) at the #2 and #3 spots, respectively, and Ireland representing the most drastic debt-to-GDP ratio. According to the most recent World Bank data, Ireland’s number stands at a staggering 1,267%.
So, relatively, the United States’ debt isn’t all that bad.
The question of a government’s indebtedness really is a matter of its ability to repay its debt. I think the US debt should be paid down, and that the current level is a drag on the economy. However, the US debt level isn’t a shocking number.
As to whether the US is a world leader, I think the answer is obvious. This doesn’t mean that the US rules the world. However, the US is probably the most influential country, and leads what is likely the most important bloc of nations.
The article you quoted is from 2009…just after Obama took office.
US debt now is $17.5 trillion, and at 101.5% of GDP.
This probably made Obama’s day to hear this.
This has been his goal since he took office.
There are different kinds of leadership - moral leadership, political leadership, economic leadership, military leadership, spiritual leadership. The only area where the US still has outright supremacy is military leadership, although I think China will catch up eventually if they want to.
Back in the Cold War days, the leadership tussle was fairly clear. It was the USA vs. the USSR - Stalin vs. Truman, Kennedy vs. Kruschev, Reagan vs. Brezhnev / Gorbachev. But then the wall fell down.
Now the USA is facing a multifaceted challenge - a contentious Middle East (what’s new), a much more powerful China complicated by the presence of North Korea and arguments over the South China Sea; a rapidly growing nuclear India facing an unstable nuclear Pakistan; a serious religious challenge via Islam, a resurgent Russia increasingly aware of its imperial and religious past.
Hanging over all this are enormous national debts (not just the US) and a world increasingly reliant on Middle Eastern oil. I’d almost say we’re being set up for an economic judgement, with all that would imply.
You’d need to be superman to lead the US in this day and age, especially if you had expectations of reviving it’s moral and spiritual leadership, at the same time trying to cope with all these challenges.
I have to agree.
As another poster said… it’s not one leader or one party, but a shift in our entire culture.
I remember reading a story somewhere about a survey that asked elementary school children what they wanted to be when they grew up. I believe the top three answers were singer; athelete; and MIXOLOGIST! When we were kids, who ever wanted to be a bartender???
Was there ever a time when doctor, lawyer, and astronaut were the top three; or was that just my imagination? Once upon a time we strived for excellence; now we just want to party and have fun. No time for work when we can drink and chase girls/guys around. Someone else can do the work…
The United States will continue to sink toward “Third World” status as long as laziness and a lack of drive persists.
I also think that as long as the unwashed, uneducated, lackadaisical, masses continue to dumb themselves down; a handful of elites will establish themselves in positions of power. With these select few in power; they will make all of our important decisions for us - while an ever-growing majority won’t even notice (or care!). Important policy decisions will be made based not on what is good for the country (or the greater global good), but what is good for the powerful.
President Kennedy once said: “ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” Those words seem so dated today…
I think this quote from a 1990s children’s movie best sums up the era from 1990 - today; “You’ve heard of the golden rule; haven’t you, boy? Whoever has the gold makes the rules.” So sad. And so true.
The contrast between these two quotes, and the way our nation has changed for the worse are why Mr. Walesa is correct.
Its been the goal of the American left for years. All of my adult life, I have heard that Americans live too well, that we use too many resources, and don’t deserve our standard of living, etc.
So, how would one lower the standard of living?
- Burden the people with oppressive debt.
- Limit access to domestic fuel supplies, therefore sending American wealth overseas.
- Control healthcare, thereby raising the amount people pay for it.
Id say China is number one now.
They aren’t the top dog yet, but they’re gaining on us. The US still has a better military, but China has modernized for sure. We might get to see how much they’ve modernized with the current situation in Vietnam.