Saturday, January 28, 2012

Gary Judd: Arresting a Dangerous Decline

I have read claims that US capacity for generating entrepreneurship and innovation will be a pathway out of the current crisis and will lead to recovery and reassertion of US’s former economic ascendency. I disagree with that proposition.  If there is recovery it will be temporary and its situation will settle at a lower level of economic activity.

The US is in dangerous state (most of the world is, but in relation to the western world’s recovery, the US is the most important).  US government policies have progressively moved from the nearest any state has been to capitalism towards increasingly socialistic measures including continually increasing restrictions on business.  Companies like Microsoft, Google, Blackberry (RIM) have been able to succeed in spite of these policies, but are constantly under attack through the vicious anti trust laws and other restrictions.

Why?  – in essence because they are too successful.   The ‘intellectuals’ and the liberals laud egalitarianism and altruism (in the business context, this means the successful business must be sacrificed in favour of the less competent, the less productive).   Lip service only is paid to entrepreneurship and innovation.

To this is to be added the increasing pervasiveness of the ‘entitlement state’ mentality which is economically and culturally destructive. US policies in this regard are to be compared to Asian economies where this mentality and these policies (largely) do not exist, a critical competitive advantage.

The calls within G20 and elsewhere (e.g., within APEC) for so called ‘rebalancing’ envisage the creation within Asian economies of “safety nets” so that Asian people will be encouraged to spend more, save less, be less self-reliant and more dependent on the government.  The west would like to see Asian economies adopt the same type of structural social welfare which has been so economically and culturally destructive in the west.

The US has been in an accelerating decline, albeit with occasional moves in the other direction, since the 1950s, although the seeds were sown earlier.  There have been descending plateaus, the current economic and philosophic/cultural situation being the lowest so far.

The “remedies” for the economic decline introduced by Bush and added to by Obama are enacting the causes for the next downwards lurch in economic performance and the well being of the American people..

Historically, all civilisations have eventually declined and fallen.

The US could be an exception if it could recover the values it once had, but unless radical steps are taken it is likely to be in terminal decline.

The present Republican leaders will not initiate the radical steps which are required.  A Republican administration which does not understand and desire capitalism if elected will preside over a worsening situation which the Democrats will blame them for, paving the way for further Democrat onslaughts on the vestiges of capitalism which remain.

The only salvation for the US is the arrival of a new breed of leaders who understand what is happening and what is necessary to arrest the decline and are able to take the message to the American people.

Gary Judd is a Queen's Counsel, former Chairman ASB Bank and Ports of Auckland and a regular expert presenter, moderator and participant in training programmes, capacity building exercises and public private dialogues throughout the Asia-Pacific and beyond to promote financial inclusion, regulatory reform and coherence, improved corporate governance and enhanced investment opportunities.


Brian said...

Arresting a Dangerous Decline.
I agree with Gary Judd, we are, Worldwide with the U.S. promoting the Socialisation of Capitalism.
It arrived in Britain immediately after World War two, and despite Thatcherism has been the prime mover in British politics; for whatever Conservative Government was in power, they followed this pattern of socialistic policy to avoid extinction.
This modern form of liberalism is a fore-runner for the Green Party and Socialism worldwide, the centre of its web being ironically in New York, where the United Nations sits like a octopus. Its tentacles stretching out giving succour in the form of perennial aid to the ever increasing number of third world countries. This bureaucracy continual rise in costs has become the severed artery of economic capitalism which is only promoting itself as a World Power.

Regretfully it is hard not to be pessimistic about Western Civilisation, principally because it has lost its way both intellectually, morally and fiscally. However the present decline has occurred in history and Western Civilisation has always had the ability to adapt, stand firm and survive whatever the situation. Admittedly during these periods they did not have to contend with P.C., bureaucratic restrictions and costs imposed upon our present day business activities. A prime example being Government interference with Fonterra.

It is a factor that for some rather obscure reason in this day and age we in the West seem intent on prostrating ourselves, in somehow copying the Flagellantism of the 13th and 14th centuries. Our civilisation was built on capitalism, certainly nothing to be ashamed of; so we should stand tall refuse to be any more responsible for the past than anyone else.
One certain method of managing to stop this progressive hatred of our capitalistic society would be to counteract the socialistic indoctrination in our schools, perhaps by removing the State bureaucracy and allowing freedom of thought to prevail.

Lastly we in the West really do need leaders, not our present political hacks fearful of the next election, but Statesmen say of the calibre of Solon!!!

shirazstu said...

Judds summary is about the best short explanation of the malaise that affects the west I have read. So true and so accurate and to the point.

Anonymous said...

Yes...thats it in a nutshell. Its a cancer of values, that has spread throughout the west.
The people who dont produce wealth are controlling the redistribution of it, in what they percieve to be a "fair" way, and it has weakened us to the core.
When someone is down and out the media asks what the govt is doing for them but never ask what they themselves are doing about it or how they got there in the first place.

Socialism is a great thing..... until you run out of other peoples money.

Michael said...

Right now the US is undergoing a fascinating political battle (The Republican Primaries) to decide who will take on Obama in the presidential election at end of the year.

If Ron and/or Newt (Tea Party orientated) win against Mit (Republican establishment Bush orientated)then the US and Western Civilisation will be saved.

Anonymous said...

Socialism is the myth that two people can live off one another indefinitely without either of them doing any work.

There is NOTHING 'progressive' about socialism as its adherents claim. Socialism is a dishonorable 'intellectual' [sic] tradition going right back to Ancient Greece and a philosopher called Plato who around 2500BC wrote a book called "The Republic" in which he sets out his blueprint for an ideal society.

Plato proposed that mankind is essentially stupid and wicked. Left to their own deviced, people will destroy everything. Fortunately, there are a few individual who are better, wiser, and kinder than their fellow men. They have a right, indeed a duty, to ascent to power and nobly order everyone else around for their own good.

Socialism is truly the Opiate of the Intellectuals!

French political economist, Frederic Bastiat, had this to say about such pretenders:

"The claims of these organizers of humanity raise another question which I have often asked them and which, so far as I know, they have never answered: If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind? The organizers maintain that society, when left undirected, rushes headlong to its inevitable destruction because the instincts of the people are so perverse. The legislators claim to stop this suicidal course and to give it a saner direction. Apparently, then, the legislators and the organizers have received from Heaven an intelligence and virtue that place them beyond and above mankind; if so, let them show their titles to this superiority.

"They would be the shepherds over us, their sheep. Certainly such an arrangement presupposes that they are naturally superior to the rest of us. And certainly we are fully justified in demanding from the legislators and organizers proof of this natural superiority."