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eBook The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies epub

by Josef Joffe

eBook The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies epub
  • ISBN: 0871408465
  • Author: Josef Joffe
  • Genre: Social Sciences
  • Subcategory: Politics & Government
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Liveright; 1 edition (November 10, 2014)
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • ePUB size: 1385 kb
  • FB2 size 1458 kb
  • Formats rtf lrf azw mobi


Josef Joffe is a brilliant observer of international politics. He is also a keen student―and admirer―of the United States.

The Myth of America’s Decline effectively lays to rest the belief that America has lost its preeminence. It is a book that should be of interest to all who may be worried about America’s future. Josef Joffe is a brilliant observer of international politics. He combines these two passions in this remarkable reflection on America’s role in the world. It is the best book on the subject in years.

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As a believer in America's gradual decline, I admit I picked up Josef Joffe's book with a haughty sense that I could defuse his argument somehow. And indeed, for much of the book I believed that he was simply missing the point. Here's a brief rundown of his argument, from my notes. The very belief in the decline of American power - military, cultural, diplomatic - represents an abdication of responsibility to foreign powers

The Myth of America's Decline Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies.

The Myth of America's Decline Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies.

In a world where America bashers constantly chortle that the United States is in decline, Josef Joffe, using lively .

In a world where America bashers constantly chortle that the United States is in decline, Josef Joffe, using lively historical examples and empirical economic models, demonstrates that these doomsday contentions are flawed, and that America-even when compared with a resurgent China-is the land where the future is being born. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2013, The Myth of America’s Decline is a highly provocative look at how the United States, for all its failings, continues to be the leading business, political, and intellectual model for all other nations.

While it may be catnip for the media to play up America as a has-been, Josef Joffe, . .Gloom is a prophecy that must be believed so that it will turn out wrong. Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2013, The Myth of America s Decline is a highly provocative look at how the United States, for all its failings, continues to be the leading business, political, and intellectual model for all other nations.

Buttressing his argument with facts, Joffe demonstrates that America’s future is sanguine. In contrast to the Carter years, the economic woes of the Obama era look more like a nasty migraine. By historical standards, the . defense burden today is extraordinarily low, hence sustainable over the long haul.

Books related to The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies. Books related to The Myth of America's Decline: Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies.

The Myth of America's Decline : Politics, Economics, and a Half Century of False Prophecies.

Josef Joffe, a German newspaper publisher and Stanford University academic, begs to differ, urging us to hold the despair. That Harvard professor he quoted was Henry Kissinger, writing in 1960. The Frenchman? Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, who died in 1788.

“A bracing and intelligent reminder that, for all its woes, America remains extraordinarily dynamic, innovative, and resilient.”―Fareed Zakaria

Hailed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best books of 2013, The Myth of America’s Decline is a highly provocative look at how the United States, for all its failings, continues to be the leading business, political, and intellectual model for all other nations. In a world where America bashers constantly chortle that the United States is in decline, Josef Joffe, using lively historical examples and empirical economic models, demonstrates that these doomsday contentions are flawed, and that America―even when compared with a resurgent China―is the land where the future is being born. 32 illustrations
Comments: (7)
Broadraven
Josef Joffe is a former German newspaper editor. He sets out to prove that reports of America's demise are greatly exaggerated and he produces a lot of data to back up his arguments. Joffe believes that Americans like to fret about losing their top dog status but he claims they have nothing to fear. Joffe describes the numerous crises of confidence that have afflicted the US since Sputnik in 1957. He explains that every twenty years or so, Americans get a little insecure about their future. China is just the latest in a series of potential rivals that America has seen off. Japan and the Soviet Union were the bogeymen in previous decades.

Joffe produces tables to show that America still leads the world in many areas. Its universities are the best. He shows that the country has the most powerful military. It spends more on R&D and has more inventors. However, you would expect the US to come first on many lists, like the total number of Nobel Prize winners. It has a population of over 300 million and more university graduates than anyone else. It was also the first country to have provide free high school education to everybody.

America has been the world's leading economic power since the 1870s. US share of world GDP in 1945 is estimated to have been about 50%, it is now about 25%. In the 1960s the US was the global leader in just about everything: business, technology, and culture. What is worrying many is that according to the IMF, China will overtake America this year to become the world's largest economy. This is based on calculations that take into account the cost of living. Joffe does not believe that China will pose a long-term threat to US hegemony.

Some relative decline was inevitable, but Joffe claims that American politicians have liked to talk the country down in order to win elections. Kennedy, Reagan, and Obama all told the public that the country was in decline. Joffe writes: "The country is on the skids, but tomorrow it will rise again - if only you, the people, will anoint me as your leader."

Many American intellectuals are now writing about decline and this book is a response. Ian Bremmer, Tom Friedman, Dinesh D'Souza, Pat Buchanan and Robert Kaplan have all produced books recently making this claim. There is no doubt that the US will remain a powerful force in the world, the question is whether it will be able to retain the hegemonic role it assumed in 1945. If you want evidence that America will remain top dog, this book is for you.
September
As Samuel Clemens said "the report of my death was an exaggeration." Of course our government is flawed, in many ways more flawed than the traditional top-down form of governance. The "Declinists" argue that we are doomed, but as Joffe notes, they also have a solution which usually involves placing them in total control.

As I read the arguments that Joffe made, I had one big take-away - running government like a business is a really bad idea. Businesses are not democratic, they are autocratic. No, business leaders do not listen to "The Market" until they are forced to. That is usually after a long series of failures and loss of lots-and-lots of money. And then there are the crashes and bubbles that burst, all wreaking havoc on the general public.

Will the USA crumble? Perhaps, but not tomorrow, or anywhere in the foreseeable future. If we do it will be because We the People no longer want it to run. Our experiment in Democratic Republicanism is still in process and still adapting and evolving. Yes there are those who want to establish a Rousseau based society of non-government where each individual is a government unto himself (with an emphasis on eliminating taxation - actually you can keep the government as long as I don't pay taxes).

Churchill was right - this is a miserable form of government, except when you compare it to all the others. I think that We the People can resist the onslaught of those who want to remake our nation into something else other than the messy Democratic Republic that it is. What many see as our weakness (rule of We the People) is our strength.
JoJogar
This book is very interesting in many parts. The author has gone to great lengths to research and present a factual case supporting the title of the book. However, he often times gets so tied up in presenting his facts and statistics that it leaves my head spinning. It is sometimes very difficult to keep up with him and he too often uses overly complex or little known words in his writing. If you read this book, be sure you have a dictionary handy. I think this book needs a much simpler re-write that would still present the case but also be less taxing on the reader. Above all else, I am glad I read this book because it gave me a great deal of confidence and belief in the continuing strength of America. We are not even close to a decline as so many talking heads on news programs would have us believe. We are not going down the same path as Rome or Greece or other "empires". We are unique as a country and probably the only country in the world that has the unique strengths that we have and I believe in the final analysis, that after all is said and done, America will still be standing and strong. We may be one of only a small handful of countries left but we will still be there.
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