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The American Ideology – TINA (There is no alternative)

 America, for long has preached and practice democratic norms based on freedom and liberty. Modern day America finds itself stuck between its ideologies and alternatives. The Country is just isn’t flexible to the changed global equations. Once it was a bi-polar world, then for a short time after the demise of Soviet Union it kind of became a uni-polar world – now it is more of a flat world. Lot of forces have assumed significance and no force is stronger than the other. America still is the strongest of all, but by no means indispensable – either economically or polically then its peers. America today needs others just the way others needs a strong America. Here lie the paradox – America isn’t really very strong fundamentally now. Militarily it still is. Economically, it is questionable.


Reasons for America’s current state of affairs is attributable to its lack of flexibility and adaptable to change. As China spread its wings, America still stuck to its import (of consumer goods) heavy policy. Manufacturing boomed elsewhere – whereas it lagged considerably in US – leading to widening of trade deficit. Today’s America CAD (Current account deficit) has risen to “proportions” which would have collapsed any other global economy but America. America over dependency on exporting fighter jets and militarily goods are not a sought after commodities and the premium from these goods have just vanished and there is a global cut on defense budgets. Many Countries (even warring neighbours) have for decades learnt to live in a state of suspended animations wherein there are discmofort signs but no one is too eager to pull the trigger on the other anytime soon. Demand thus for American products have fallen considerably.


Global economy have added outsourcing to their product portfoli – an industry which has siphoned a huge American jobs overseas. This is not because the global players have stole any job – prima facie reason is that global players have provided more value for the buck. Movement of technology today has no barriers, America because of its reluctance to change, has actually aided the global economy – because American wage is still way too high. It actually supports an American standard of living which by and large is non-compromisable. Owning multiple cars in a household is a necessity and not a luxury here and these are the small but meanigful change which needs to happen here to be more competitive. Somethings needs to be curtailed to encourage an American to accept lesser paid jobs for similar skills – America has no choice but to travel this route to be competitive. It is a tough ask to change the way of living – but for a sustained growth of America, sacrifices have to be made by current generations.


Insurance is one sick subject in America. Virtually everything from a freak electronic gadget to a potential auto accident is insured. Lot of money out of almost all household in America is payable to host of insurance providers and insurance payments are arguably the biggest expense of any American household. It is high time, people learn to live with calculated risks – it is not imperative to ensure every damm thing of your house, neither it is in your long term best insurance to budget for a car accident every year or a parking ticket or a minor violation. Practice like car pools and safe driving and drive below speed limits has to be resorted to. If extra safety of driving at posted limits comes with savings of $ in terms of avoiding a speeding ticket – then why not? Laptops and digicams are getting ensured – there is no reason why they should be ensured. Its not austerity which is being preached but misuse of hard earned money. House and auto are the two things which must be ensured apart from health and everything else can wait.  


Health insurance cost has to come down. A tap on legal suits against healthcare industry in general and medical practictioner in particular has to be sorted to. This alone is the single largest reason for high healthcare cost in the Country leading to extraordinary medical insurance premiums.


Cost of higher education has to come down. It will take out bunch of young population who begin their first career job laden with education debt. Only if cost of higher education is cheap can the service provided by these scholoars graduating from these schools be cheaper. It’s a way to control inflation in education. Not all inflations are bad – but an inflation which does not aid growth is definetely bad.


No one is taking jobs out of America, America is giving it to others. Make most of the stuff which you can at home. Best entrepreneurs are in America where there is no reason why industrialisation in small scale industries cannot grow in each and every corner of vast geographical borders and not just restricted to east and west coast. Settlement this way will have a better spread across America reducing real estate prices in inflated geographical location which is the reason for expensive deals in these regions.


American money needs to stay in America and stimulate growth. Banking reform must happen. FII money borrows money at low interest rates in America and move it to developing economies for better yield. It makes economic sense to do this – but a Country cannot be allowed to suffer on account of that – America has indeed suffered from flight of capital out of this Country.


America needs to learn to conserve energy – it wastes precious oils like water. Electricity waste is also pervasive. All these savings will actually bring the cost of living in this country. Only when this happens – America can be competitive to global players in terms of wages.


Visa rules are already tight for this Country. There is no reasons to make it tighter – however let the visa have a better spread across Industries and let more professionals who can help grow America other than Software professional also come. Today vast quota of visa are exhausted by software professional. It is not that Software professional do not add value – they do. However, America needs more professional with an SSI mindset to come –artisans and craftsman.  America, can however look towards changing its citizenship rules. It should come with proven record and commitment of individual seeking one – not just the convinience of those seeking for his/her own personal gains.


Last but not the least – If cutting down on expenses is the buzz, bring the ticket prices down for various ballparks and there is no need to pay millions and trillions to support single player. They deserve because they are entertainers but let clubs like yankees have a salary “cap”. It looks ugly and has the potential to make league “uncompetitive”.


America the way it lives right now – It appears there is no alternatives. Some of the alternatives are narrated above, which at best are indicative and neither exhaustive nor inclusive. America can continue to be at centerstage if it adapts to the changing world rather than sit on its laurel past.

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