According to this article from The Economist Americans are apparently unhappy with the state of their country in general. According to the article 80% of Americans think the country is going the wrong way.
The article lists several reasons that the national mood is low – the war on terror and the economy are the major categories. The rising China also seems to be freaking the Americans out pretty badly – let’s see how they react when China wins more medals in the Olympics.
America has gotten into sullen moods before and recovered. But:
“Still, countries, like people, behave dangerously when their mood turns dark. If America fails to distinguish between what it needs to change and what it needs to accept, it risks hurting not just allies and trading partners, but also itself.”
There are things that do need to be changed. For instance: education, health, the war on terror and Guantánamo Bay. However, it is an attitude adjustment that is required when it comes to the rise of Asia and China.
There are two reasons not to worry about the rise of China:
- “Even at its present growth rate, China’s GDP will take a quarter of a century to catch up with America’s; and the internal tensions that China’s rapidly changing economy has caused may well lead it to stumble before then”
- “Even if Asia’s rise continues unabated, it is wrong-and profoundly un-American-to regard this as a problem. Economic growth, like trade, is not a zero-sum game. The faster China and India grow, the more American goods they buy”
I like the last paragraph:
“Everybody goes through bad times. Some learn from the problems they have caused themselves, and come back stronger. Some blame others, lash out and damage themselves further. America has had the wisdom to take the first course many times before. Let’s hope it does so again.”