Must Read

PrintPrint EmailEmail ShareShare CiteCite
Style:MLAAPAChicagoClose

loading...

FP: Think Again: American Decline

Author: Gideon Rachman
March 14, 2011

Share

Gideon Rachman describes the economic threat that China poses to America.

"We've Heard All This About American Decline Before."

This time it's different. It's certainly true that America has been through cycles of declinism in the past. Campaigning for the presidency in 1960, John F. Kennedy complained, "American strength relative to that of the Soviet Union has been slipping, and communism has been advancing steadily in every area of the world." Ezra Vogel's†Japan as Number One†was published in 1979, heralding a decade of steadily rising paranoia about Japanese manufacturing techniques and trade policies.

In the end, of course, the Soviet and Japanese threats to American supremacy proved chimerical. So Americans can be forgiven if they greet talk of a new challenge from China as just another case of the boy who cried wolf. But a frequently overlooked fact about that fable is that the boy was eventually proved right. The wolf did arrive -- and China is the wolf.

Full Text of Document

More on This Topic

Backgrounder Authors: Roya Wolverson and Christopher Alessi

An undervalued Chinese yuan remains a contributing factor to the U.S.-China trade imbalance, but experts warn that labeling China a "currency...