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Death Of An Empire

By David Vaughn      Printer Friendly Version
Apr 23 2008 10:06AM

What do you do when you no longer believe in something? I used to believe that economically things would eventually bottom out but I now believe we are due for hard times longer than I originally imagined. There are so many factors and fundamentals that refuse to quiet down. Instead, these issues are continuing to grow with a snowball effect. The momentum just grows higher and higher.

"The British Empire was the largest empire in history and, for over a century, the foremost global power." "By 1921, the British Empire held sway over a population of about 458 million people, approximately one-quarter of the world's population. It covered about 36.6 million km² (14.2 million square miles), about a quarter of Earth's total land area." "At the peak of its power, it was often said that "the sun never sets on the British Empire" because its span across the globe ensured that the sun was always shining on at least one of its numerous colonies or subject nations.”

So, what went wrong and how did the sun finally set on the British Empire?

"Undisturbed rule of such an empire needed acquiescence on the part of the ruled. Gradually that acquiescence was withheld." "By 1945 the home country itself was bankrupt from having fought the Second World War. The costs of the empire were rising, not least because of the threat of guerrilla wars."

Sounds a lot like the predicament the United States finds itself in today. The money is still in the till but for how much longer? The following comments below were quoted from the most recent meeting of the IMF/World Bank/G-7.

"We remain positive about the long-term resilience of our economies, but near-term global economic prospects have weakened. The turmoil in global financial markets remains challenging and more protracted than we had anticipated." “In other words:"Damn, we thought we'd be successful in sweeping the whole thing under the rug back when we last met in February in Tokyo, but it hasn't quite worked out that way". Not exactly the kind of thing you'd expect to read in a G-7 communique, we grant you, but the essence of the situation nonetheless."

Bill Buckler, The Privateer

And what of the American Empire?

"HISTORY TEACHES THREE pretty clear messages. One is that all empires die. Second, empires take a long time to die. Finally, the citizens of the empire rarely recognize the warning signs for what they are." "Empires think they have beaten the rule of change. They haven't. Empires think size will protect them. It won't. Empires think their military might will protect them. It won't. Empires think charismatic leaders will protect them. They won't. Nothing will. The old makes way for the new. The American empire is beginning to die."

San Francisco Chronicle

The US dollar is the component that helps to keep the US Empire afloat. What happens as the dollar continues to sink?

Laurence M. Vance -

"The kingdom of Alexander the Great reached all the way to the borders of India. The Roman Empire controlled the Celtic regions of Northern Europe and all of the Hellenized states that bordered the Mediterranean. The Mongol Empire, which was the largest contiguous empire in history, stretched from Southeast Asia to Europe. The Byzantine Empire spanned the years 395 to 1453. In the sixteenth century, the Ottoman Empire stretched from the Persian Gulf in the east to Hungary in the northwest; and from Egypt in the south to the Caucasus in the north. At the height of its dominion, the British Empire included almost a quarter of the world’s population. Nothing, however, compares to the U.S. global empire. What makes U.S. hegemony unique is that it consists, not of control over great land masses or population centers, but of a global presence unlike that of any other country in history."

What destroys empires? Often it is not a weakened military. Many empires throughout the ages have fallen having a strong military. Obviously there are other external factors that weigh in the balance. The financial stability of a nation affects its overall strength. The US is strong militarily but its economic structure is weakening more and more every day. And of course the elements we refer to as the agents of destruction are a heavy debt load and a currency that is losing its value around the world.

"Weakening dollar reflects USA's fading world status" "The U.S. dollar, long the undisputed king of international exchange, is - like this nation's prestige on the world stage - sagging badly. Economists differ over what this downturn signals, but this much is clear: The American greenback has lost its luster abroad." " The dollar's declining value, Cole says, results from this nation's growing national debt and staggering trade deficit." " We're running internal deficits, which we're asking foreigners to fund for us. And then we keep pumping dollars to those people so they can send us cheap goods. This depreciation of the U.S. dollar is in lieu of the United States ... paying our own way," Cole says." "Once the world's economic strongman, the U.S. economy is much less that today. And unless the United States gets its financial house in order, Cold War history might need to reconsider its verdict on winners and losers."

USA Today

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David Vaughn
Gold Letter, Inc.



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