“The truth is quite simple. An empire increases the danger for the American people, as empires always make more enemies than friends, not to mention inciting envy and hatred. Maintaining an empire will eventually break us, as it has every single empire of the past.” Theodore Roosevelt
I believe this quote of President Teddy Roosevelt’s is spot on, for as he wrote, and history has shown repeatedly, “maintaining an Empire eventually breaks us.”
Looking at the cost so far of the Iraq war to America, some $239,222,614,656 (that is two hundred and thirty nine thousand million dollars!), I find the numbers staggering with more and more costs still to come.
I appreciate that America is a massive economy but even behemoths have their limitations and when we start talking behemoths, let’s look at the two nations that are, as they say in the racing game, making a “rails run” for world domination – China and India.
In an excellent article in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Gittins made some salient points that I feel back up what I am saying.
With their populations accounting for some 40% of the total world population (as against the combined North America, Europe, Japan and Australasia’s 15%) their economies have been virtually doubling every 12 or 13 years. India’s growth rate is around 5.5% and China’s 9.5% annually.
The USA, with less than 5% of the world’s population, consumes some 25% of the planet’s bio capacity to support its people. Europe and Japan, with 10% of the world’s population, require another quarter and China and India, as mentioned above, with 40% require another quarter.
China currently uses 26% of the world’s crude steel, 32% of the world’s rice, 37% of the cotton, and 47% of the cement.
Those are scary, scary figures for the consumption of products to maintain what is having massive repercussions world wide, both now and into the future. What happens when (not if) the economies of India and China double?
Whilst the USA is now the worlds largest energy consumer, China is now second, and India sixth.
Whilst President Bush has goaded, or attempted to goad, his fellow Americans into not being “gas gusslers” any more, when you consider that by 2030 China will be importing 2/3rds of its oil needs and India over 90%, that l’il ole drop of oil is sure going to be stretched! And this is a finite resource we are talking about here!
I am not a harbinger of doom, although I must admit that I am sort of pleased that my time on earth will hopefully not show me the repercussions of what I have written.
Be that as it may, we ignore these figures at “our,” with “our” being mankind’s, peril.
We have the capacity and ability to lower the effect of what seems the inevitable. The question is: do we have politicians with the capacity to be big enough to put self interest aside and make decisions for the common good?