America And Economic Collapse: Will Obama Share the Fate Of Gorbachev?
When the global financial crisis first arose, leading to a worldwide credit crunch, it became apparent that the economic policies of George W. Bush would be the defining issue of the 2008 presidential campaign, spelling doom for the Republican nominee. When the Republican candidate, Senator John McCain, proclaimed that the economic fundamentals of the U.S. were sound, he insured that Barack Obama would win the election and become the 44th president of the United States. In fact, the fundamentals of the American economy are as feeble as were those of the Soviet Union before it collapsed.
Barack Obama is a very intelligent politician, and is already being compared to President Franklin Roosevelt, who presided over the New Deal economic policies of the 1930s in the depths of the Great Depression. However, Barack Obama may also be compared to Mikhail Gorbachev, the last leader of the once-mighty Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Gorbachev, like Obama, is a highly intelligent man. He was selected by the Soviet elite as their last-ditch candidate to save the crumbling Soviet Union. In spite of his best efforts, he failed. The economy of the Soviet Union imploded, leading to the total disintegration of the Soviet State, which once was deemed an equal superpower rival to the United States of America. Will Obama’s fate be that of Franklin Roosevelt, or Mikhail Gorbachev? There are disturbing parallels between the United States of 2009 and the Soviet Union in its last years of existence. These may prove more relevant than the comparisons some American economists are trying to draw between Obama’s and Roosevelt’s America.
Consider the following: prior to its extinction, the Soviet Union was driven to bankruptcy by bloated military expenditures, exacerbated by a losing war in Afghanistan. Its economy was immune to reform due to the tyranny of central planners. In the America that gave birth to the global financial crisis and credit crunch, the government’s finances have been driven to the brink of bankruptcy by vastly excessive military expenditures, run amok by a losing war in Afghanistan and an unnecessary war in Iraq. Its economy, supposedly a paean of free-market flexibility, has now proven to be a myth constructed by the financial alchemists of Wall Street and pseudo central-planners of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department. Just as the Soviet Union used tax-payer money to bail out failed industries, the United States through its Treasury Department and Federal Reserve Bank have deemed failed financial enterprises “too big to fail,” warranting hundreds of billions of dollars in deficit borrowing that tax payers are responsible for in an equally futile rescue bid.
Obama, like Gorbachev, will be tied to an elite that has a vested stake in salvaging a doomed system, even at the risk of national insolvency. If Barack Obama has the intellectual stamina to resist the American financial elite and recognize that the Global Economic Crisis calls for a total restructuring of the economic order of the United States, he will go down in history as the president that saved America’s economy and preserved its status as the dominant economic power in the world. If, however, he is unable to unshackle himself from the failed policies of the American financial elite, he will be doomed to share the fate of Mikhail Gorbachev as that of being a valiant failure.