While the Corporate Media headlines are stirring up this week's outrage here in the Prozac Nation---which currently is over football jerseys and supposedly sexist girls' clothing---important developments are happening in more emotionally stable countries. Most notably the G-20 Economic Summit, hosted in China this year.
President Xi Jinping opened the conference with an inspiring speech outlining China's innovative approach to the global marketplace. Now in the 2016 elections, globalism, like social justice, has become a taboo subject. The Chinese President made some interesting remarks on this phenomenon, expressed in an interesting editorial in China's official party newspaper The Global Times.
When we speak of globalism in economic theory, it is really the classical free-market model actually practiced by the United States from the post-Civil War Era to the 1980s which we are discussing. The new course that China is following in global economics is similar in its pattern to our former one. The Chinese currency is backed by gold, as ours formerly was, enabling China to create the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank---an alternative to the IMF and World Bank. The New Silk Road Project is based on bilateral trade agreements---unlike NAFTA or the EU models which feature inflexible politically-motivated bureaucracies.
Contrary to the heated rhetoric thrown about in the Government-Media Complex, global free trade is not a bad thing. As Xi pointed out, the real source of Western discontent with international trade is that the West's own economic policies---which it has pursued since the 1990s---has failed.
The early 1990s saw Reagan-Era prosperity in the US break down---due largely to the 1st Bush Administration's abandonment of Reaganomics. At the same time, the Soviet system in Russia and the Maoist system in China were abandoned. A technology revolution brought the US economy from the brink of collapse, but it also left the US the world's lone Superpower. This has been the geopolitical premise the US has followed since roughly 1989. The so-called Pax Americana: world domination by the economic, political, social, and military American elite permeates the thinking of nearly all American policymakers and pundits. And this is essentially how Western thinking understands globalism.
This same policy has been applied domestically as well as abroad; and we see in the West the same elites benefitting through a network of cronyism and corruption while unemployment and underemployment swell against a backdrop of sluggish economic growth and inflation. The civil unrest this situation has caused led to the urban street riots and the rise of the Alt-Right here---and the rise of chaos and terrorism in countries like Iraq and elsewhere that US elites have occupied.
As the Chinese article points out, "The West has never recovered from the 2008 financial crisis and shows no signs of doing so. Policy response in both the US and Europe has been grossly inadequate, where monetary policy and quantitative easing have failed to stimulate growth."
Arguably, we have never really recovered from the financial crisis of 1991-92. The technology industry provided a stimulus, but our infrastructure and our agricultural and industrial base has never recovered. The dollar has continued to be devalued and public debt is running out of control unabated since that period. The response has not only been inadequate---it has been nearly nonexistent. American politicians have mostly engaged in window-dressing augmented by considerable Corporate Media propaganda keeping the public in a state of denial about any of this.
China, meanwhile, has become the unquestioned leader in the world economy, which is why this G-20 Summit may be the most important in history. The balance of power is clearly shifting in China's direction---because it's leadership is facing problems and solving them, unlike ours. As China's Xinhua News reported: "As Xi stated, this sought-after world economy should be established through exploring new sources of growth, expanding space for development, joining forces, and laying the foundations for win-win solutions." Contrast that with the gloomy rhetoric of Trump and Clinton: who talk of building border walls or expanding the welfare state.
The worst-case scenario is that US elites will react to Chinese economic dominance the only way they know how: start a shooting war, an idea that some Neocons are already floating. It would make a lot more sense to abandon our failing economic policies; focus on becoming internationally competitive again; and working with, not against, China because they've proven that they can get the job done without destabilizing governments or launching airstrikes.
But until the Ameroboob pulls his head out of the Hookah Lounge and stops worrying about sexist t-shirts and racist football jerseys, China will go on to world leadership in global economics.