Sidetracked by Globalization
Free trade and globalization are sinking the United States further into debt every day. If we do not start making changes in policy, the consequences could be frightening to behold. There are warning signs everywhere. Moody’s, a firm that rates how safe it is to loan a business or government money, lowered the U.S. government’s credit rating, opening the door for increased interest rates on foreign debt. Higher interest payments are something we simply cannot afford at this point.
By 2027, interest would be the largest item in the federal budget. In an unlikely but possible scenario if we do nothing, interest would take up 100 percent of all the money the federal government collects, leaving nothing to pay for the things government should do, such as education, research and development and other investments that will make our economy stronger and more competitive. Interest rates could rise, costing Americans more and more each month on our own mortgages and loans, many of which are already underwater. It could even threaten the sovereignty of our country: owing so much to foreign countries could give them unprecedented and unacceptable influence over us. All of these factors could lead to devastating changes to our economy and our way of life.
Things have been poor for local and state governments as well. To avoid budget collapses, many local governments have turned to selling parts of their cities. States have leased away the profits to their own toll roads to help pay for services. California has been unable to pay state workers from time to time over the past several years. Experts such as Meredith Whitney, who accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis, have warned of entire cities going bankrupt. The situation is critical.
Other countries may talk about globalization, but they truly consider their own country’s needs and well-being first. We have been sidetracked by globalization. We must begin to concentrate on doing what is best for America first and foremost. Protecting our own economy and reducing our national debt through spending cuts, tax increases, and procedural reforms is a crucial step in this process.