2016 . . . the end of America’s era

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Earlier this week, a rather shocking announcement was made by the International Monetary Fund. The IMF said “the United States of America will no longer be the world’s economic power by 2016.” According to the IMF, China will surpass America in purchasing power, a real indicator of the strength of a nation. 

This groundbreaking announcement came on the heels of Standard and Poor, a rating service, threatening to lower America’s bond rating if American public officials could not contain the budget deficit relatively soon. I have written about our nation’s debt crisis on numerous occasions because it is the single most important issue facing our country.

According to the IMF, China will overtake America in purchasing power, how much spending power a country has, in the year 2016. To put his into its proper perspective, the last time an economic power shift occurred was around 1890 when America passed up Great Britain. 

There are no books in business schools that teach how America should deal with playing second fiddle to another country. Our elected officials and the heads of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department have never had to deal with worrying about what another nation did with their monetary policy before making a decision about America’s. This will soon change and

it might be sooner than anyone thought. 

Some might say it doesn’t matter who is in control and that America “deserves what it gets.” America has not had a perfect history, but it has been the major reason for the rest of the world rising out of “third world” status and becoming economic powerhouses. This is the case in China where only10 years ago America’s economy was three times the size of China and now the IMF is predicting that in just five years China will overpower us. Other examples of rising economic stars are Brazil and India.

We hear a lot about bubbles when the talking heads on television debate the next economic boom or bust. The tech bubble, the housing bubble, the oil bubble, etc. I hope the next bubble written about in the history books isn’t the “America’s economic power” bubble. Unfortunately, I fear that as soon as the illusion of the strength of our economy is gone, the world will flee our dollar, our bonds and our companies faster than rats jumping off a sinking ship.

Our window of opportunity to alter the course of the American Titanic is closing fast, and I hope our elected officials can see the economic iceberg through the political fog.

The last bite…

What an amazing weekend of food! Friday was a massive crawfish and crab boil and Saturday I ran the Crescent City Classic, so I had an excuse to eat like a king at Ruffino’s in Baton Rouge later that night. At Ruffino’s, I had crabmeat cheesecake, blueberry lemon drop martinis, two center cut pork chops topped with BBQ shrimp and steamed asparagus and cotton candy! Easter Sunday included two feasts at family gatherings, where the amount of food consumed by me should be considered a crime. The pork and beans cooked by my cousin, Tanya Price, were sweet, smoky, and topped with sautéed bacon and garlic! I give the weekend 5 (out of 5) crumbs!

Buddy Boe, a resident of LaPlace, is a former parish administrator and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears every Wednesday in L’Observateur.