Posted by: Nathan M. | February 2, 2009

The Uneasy World

The newest Stimulus Package brought forth by the Americans is demonstrating a disconcerting trend towards increased isolationism within American policy. I can only take this so far, since the new President has been in office for a very short time. However, the very first Bill that President Obama has being pushing forwards has dire implications for Canada and the rest of the world. The fact that the “buy America only” clause is even on the Bill in the first place is a demonstration of the American sense of America first. Now, I cannot entirely condemn this attitude, since it is somewhat necessarily in many situations. However, America needs to realize that the world has changed since the Cold War, and there is a need for cooperation, not merely selfish international anarchy. This may be the Canadian liberal internationalist in me speaking, but I do not see very much opportunity for the world to pull out of this economic turmoil without teamwork-again, selfishness is not something that this world can handle much more of.

I must admit, however, I am not particularly surprised at this knee-jerk reaction on the part of the Obama administration. America’s policy has, for quite some time, been a policy of self-protection. Generally, concerning foreign affairs, most steps taken by America must include some type of benefit to the home front, usually a large benefit. I am not saying that the only reason why America went to Iraq was Oil, but I am saying it was one of them. I am not saying that the only reason America went to Vietnam was rubber, but it was one of them. This economic stimulus package, however, is blatantly drawn to disregard the outside world in an attempt to protect American interests. The sad thing about it is that it simply will not work. As I mentioned earlier, the world has changed-it is an interlaced system. America may claim that all other nations rest on its mighty shoulders, but the fact is that the reverse is true as well. America needs buyers just as much as other nations need sellers. This article goes into much more detail on American protectionism, so I will not bother exploring it further. All we can do now is pray that America grasps the realities of the global world, instead of bring the economy and the world down more because, unfortunately, if America goes down, we all will suffer a great deal, and I’m not sure if Canada could handle the fall.

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Responses

  1. Are times of injury not the times to withdraw and tend your wounds? A recessionary period calls for drastic action to protect the nation! Are we not supporting similar propositions by our own government? Is a government not called to protect the interests of its nation? Why should the US of A be expected to go out of their way for other nations?

  2. The reason why the United States needs to avoid taking on an isolationist policy is simple: the worse off the other economies in the world are, the worse of America is. Fortunately, Canada is not a country that is taking steps to attempt an isolationist policy. Just the opposite in fact, Canada has reached out in attempts at working with America to deal with this economic crisis in the auto industry, in the banking industry, and in resource industries, among others. America is ignoring the fact that they may have a lot of industry, but they need buyers in order for industry to benefit them in any way. The world will either come out of this together, or we will continue to go down-hill together.
    This lesson should have been learned long ago after the Smoot-Hawley act that hiked tariffs to all-time highs on some 70 agricultural products and 900 manufactured items in 1929 made situations even worse for Europe and Canada, as well as America. Because of the isolationist policy which essentially pushed American buyers away from America, the country suffered from an even more severe depression which was even more difficult to get out of, since they no longer had the support or assistance of Canada and Europe.

  3. Too many big words…it’s too early in the morning to read this. GO OBAMA!!! Haha…n’ God Bless America…(for as long as I’m still here)

  4. Haha…Smoot-Hawley…like I care what they gotta say…sounds like they should start a cigar company!


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