Zakaria and the “Post American World”


Fareed Zakaria, one of CNN’s correspondents published an article addressing his views on Mitt Romney’s statements that Obama believes that this next century is a “Post-American” one.  Zakaria, the author of the book, “The Post American World,” said he felt the need to explain what that meant, exactly.

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Republican presidential candidate former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets supporters at his Nevada caucus night victory celebration in Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
The sound of the term “Post-American” sounds pretty alarming to the average American citizen.  We have been brought up to believe that the United States was a special, even blessed country.  This is the land of opportunity, where anyone can come and create a living for themselves that would not be available to them elsewhere.  In fact, Zakaria is one of these.  He was born in India, but came to the United States to study at Harvard and is now a leading correspondent for Time and CNN.  He is a living embodiment of the American Dream.

So what does he mean when he refers to a “Post American World”?  he explains it by saying that the book is “not about the decline of America but rather about the rise of everyone else.”  He says his book is optimistic about America’s future.  He has written several pieces before this one where he shows his enthusiasm for the United States and her economy.  He is not concerned for our future, he says that with some work we will come out on top in the end.

What he is addressing, however, is the fact that other countries are starting to catch up with us.  He claims in his story that China is estimated to have the world’s largest economy by 2018.  China’s economy has gone under considerable growth over the last several years, and it is continuing to grow.  In fact, in November of 2011, the Guardian reported that China owned $1.4 trillion of the American debt.

But it is not just about countries surpassing our economy, we are seeing countries all over the world growing their own economy to the point that they are self-sufficient and are no longer in need of Western support.  Zakaria uses Turkey as an example, citing their economic growth and increase in jobs over the past 4 years. They are not going to pass us up, but they are becoming viable players in the global economy.

What Zakaria claims is that while we are still a dynamic economy and we will not only survive this recession but emerge stronger and more larger than we were before, we must come to grips with the fact that we are now living in a global economy.  In essence, this was the goal we had when we tried to boost the economies of Japan and Germany in the 1950s, and it is the goal we have always had whenever we have invested in another country’s economy.  We wanted these countries to grow and eventually become self-sufficient, and then boost our economy in turn when they traded with us.  The U.S. is still an economic powerhouse in the world market, but that does not mean we are the only player.

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