Victor Davis Hanson Private Papers

Tag Archives: Global Economy

Egalitarian Grandees 

If you’re loudly green, you can have a carbon footprint the size of Godzilla’s.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Photo by Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Photo by Chris Jackson via Getty Images

Charting liberal hypocrisy is now old hat. From academia to the Sierra Club, elite progressives expect to live lives that are quite different from what they envision for the less sophisticated. No one believes that Elizabeth Warren would wish affirmative action to work for everyone in the way that she herself subverted it. Nor would we expect Warren not to be in the 1 percent that she so scolds — any more than we would assume that Al Gore would not leave a carbon footprint as large as those of thousands of the less environmentally sensitive put together.

First lady Michelle Obama recently lamented that “many young people are going to schools with kids who look just like them.” And she added: “And too often those schools aren’t equal, especially ones attended by students of color, which too often lag behind.” But that anguish should not mean that the Obamas have put or would put their children in the inner-city public schools the way President and Mrs. Carter did with Amy.

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Why Aren’t We No. 1?

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

There is a pastime among liberal pundits — the latest is Nicholas Kristof — to quote a new center left global ranking (with unbiased titles such as “The Social Progress Imperative”) and then to decry that the United States is behind its 245px-Gold_medal_ribbon.svgmajor industrial competitors in things like “Internet Access” and “Ecosystem sustainability.” The subtext of these rants is that an illiberal, reactionary U.S. does not spend enough on government entitlements to promote parity, equality and social justice among its citizenry. These pessimistic rankings increase the angst about the American condition when viewed from scowling perches in Washington or New York.

Not surprisingly, the winners in these periodic gloomy assessments are usually smaller or intermediate quasi-socialist nations, with mostly homogeneous ethnic and religious populations (e.g., Switzerland, New Zealand, Iceland, Denmark, etc.). And the result is that Americans are scolded to tone down their pride at being exceptional and to begin to emulate such supposedly more livable societies.

Yet I suppose that if you were to assess, say, the mostly 5.6 million homogenously well off Californians, who lived within 10 miles of the coast, from San Diego to Berkeley, they would compare quite nicely with Denmark. Or for that matter, should the Danish system be applied to 300 million in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, I also think that they would sink a bit in terms of social progress.

The criteria by which America is to be judged are often both biased and historically ignorant. Why not rank the United States in comparison with other similarly huge countries that span three time zones, and include in their enormous populations radically different ethnic and religious groups? Read more →

Obama’s Ironic Foreign Policy

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

In the old postwar, pre-Obama world, the United States accepted a 65-year burden of defeating Soviet communism. It led the fight against radical Islamic terrorism. The American fleet and overseas bases ensured that global commerce, communications, and travel were largely free and uninterrupted. Globalization was a sort of synonym for Americanization. Read more →

The World’s New Outlaws

With America’s presence in the world receding, regional hegemons flex their muscles.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

The American custodianship of the postwar world for the last 70 years is receding. Give it its due: The American super-presence ensured the destruction of Axis fascism, led to the eventual defeat of Soviet-led global Communism, and spearheaded the effort to thwart the ability of radical Islam to disrupt global commerce in general and Western life in particular. Read more →

Obama’s Munich

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine 

The interim agreement negotiated by the Security Council and Germany with Iran is a serious advance toward what Winston Churchill called the Munich agreement: “a total and unmitigated defeat” and a “disaster of the first magnitude.” Nothing in the agreement guarantees that Iran will fulfill its promises, or that inspectors will be allowed access to all of Iran’s enrichment facilities, let alone its secret sites, or that serious consequences will follow violations of the terms of the agreement. Read more →

War’s Paradoxes II: From the Peloponnesian War to ‘Leading From Behind’

by Victor Davis Hanson

PJ Media

1. Why Did Athens Lose the Peloponnesian War?

It really did not in a way: Athens no more lost the war than Hitler did the Second World War between September 1939 and May 1941. Read more →

The Ahistorical Krugman

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Paul Krugman weaves a fantasy tale of how high taxes, big unions, and government regulations created a booming 1950s economy — the implication being that in reactionary fashion we can now in a second term return to our heyday under Obama’s envisioned union support, growth in government, tax hikes, and greater regulations. Krugman takes little note of history — that his redistributionist Fifties followed the near-complete destruction of what was then the industrialized world — a devastated Germany and Japan were still emerging from ruin; Russia and China were all but destroyed and suffered 50 to 70 million dead; there was no Taiwan or South Korean economic miracle yet; France, Italy, and most of Western Europe were still reeling from war, ruin, and occupation — all leaving an intact and untouched United States in a unique position in the 1940s and 1950s as the supplier for pent-up demand, and restorer of the world economy — all at a time when America was still almost self-sufficient in cheaply priced gas-and-oil production and cutthroat globalization was still a pipe dream.

In such a landscape of postwar monopoly, the United States, which had not recovered before the war despite eight years of statist policies, could sustain, for a brief time, Krugman’s dream tonics of a top income tax rate of 91 percent (with plenty of loopholes) — or almost any tonics within the broad parameters of free-market capitalism. Yet soon by the mid-1960s and 1970s, America reentered a competitive global economy, became increasingly dependent on soon-to-become-costly imported oil, and found its high-cost unionized labor, high taxes, and highly regulated 1950s economy inflexible and hardly able to adjust to the rise of dynamic competitors like Germany, Japan, South Korea, and later China. That is why the fossilized 1950s paradigm, which Krugman is nostalgic about, by the time of the Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter administrations had stalled and was plagued with periodic bouts of high inflation, high unemployment, high interest rates, stagnant inner cities, a growing rust belt, and a generally stagflating economy. If Obama succeeds in taking us back to Krugman’s 1950s dreams, then he likewise better hope that horizontal drilling and fracking, and in large part on federally leased lands, can return the US to energy independence, that technological breakthroughs increase productivity even more, and that rivals such as Japan, China, and Germany recede either because of demographic ossification or a desire to go backward and command and control their economies even more than we do.

©2012 Victor Davis Hanson

The New Reactionaries

by Victor Davis Hanson

National Review Online

Starting in the 1930s and continuing after the war, the Democrats offered a liberal critique of, or perhaps enhancement to, the Republican vision of rugged individualism. A modern American state now had the capital and the moral ambition to smooth the rougher edges of capitalism by insisting on unemployment and disability insurance, a 40-hour week, overtime pay, and what we now associate with the social safety net. Such entitlements, along with a rapidly growing economy, redefined poverty — so much so that whereas in 1930 malnourishment was endemic among the poor, by 2000 obesity was far more injurious to the nation’s collective health. Read more →

Romney and the Palestinian Culture of Destruction

by Bruce Thornton

Frontpage Magazine

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is under attack for speaking an important truth about the Arab-Israeli conflict. At a fundraiser in Jerusalem on Monday, Romney made the obvious, even banal, point about the economic disparity between nations. Read more →

The World Is Changing Minute by Minute

by Victor Davis Hanson

Tribune Media Services

We are witnessing a seismic shift in global affairs. The shake-up is a perfect storm of political, demographic, and technological change that will soon make the world as we have known it for the last 30 years almost unrecognizable. Read more →

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