While the specific policies to which the U.S. committed itself (reducing the deficit and strengthening regulatory oversight of financial institutions) are laudable in themselves, the process and the precedent are frightening. We are to subject our most basic national economic policies to the review of a group of nations that includes autocratic Russia, China and Saudi Arabia. Even though our GDP is three times bigger than the second largest economy (Japan) and equal to that of 13 of the G-20 nations combined, we are to sit politely by with our one vote and submit to the global consensus. Europe has five votes (U.K., France, Germany, Italy and the EU) while we have but one.
And the process will be administered by the IMF, whose counsel to less developed nations over the past two decades has consistently called for social pain and economic austerity. The IMF’s misguided policies have been responsible for more revolutions than Marx, Engels and Lenin combined. Its bureaucrats’ arrogance is legendary and their search for appropriate punishments to fit the crime of spending too much on the poor smacks of colonialism and imperialism. They are our new overseers.
This combination of the IMF and the G-20 will not only work to structure national economic policies but to limit executive compensation at financial institutions. The watchful, wise leaders of such nations as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia — among others — will monitor Wall Street to assure themselves that its compensation is not out of line. One particularly looks forward to the views of the Saudi monarchy on this question of excessive personal enrichment.
Perhaps as part of his public spasm of apology, President Obama also strove, successfully, to increase the voting strength of the debtor nations on the IMF from the current 43 percent to 48 percent. This is the economic equivalent of giving deadbeat debtors more votes on their bank’s governing board of directors.
Thus, the world’s most successful economy — ours — which is the only one that has produced reliable economic growth for three decades and has lifted real personal incomes almost every year, is going to subject itself to the burden of justifying its own economic policies in front of a global community of 20 nations, some of which do not even embrace free-market economies in the first place. Indeed, it is only through access to our markets that nations have been able to escape poverty. Japan, Germany, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China and India have sequentially trod this path into prosperity.
Obviously, we live in a global economy. But the United States is 24 percent of it. We are entitled to more than one-twentieth of a voice, and it is the world that should be following our policies — not the other way around.
Much of the damage of the Obama administration can be undone at the next election. But such grants of sovereignty to autocratic, backward, bureaucratic and even communist nations will be hard to undo. The world is recovering from its leftist obsession — e.g., the Merkel victory in Germany. But by the time the voters discover how phony, failed and fraudulent these policies are, we may have given it all away already. Irrevocably.
Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonWhat we can learn from Bob Dole Hillary Clinton shares part of her 2016 victory speech for the first time Is the US capable of thinking strategically? MORE, is the author of Outrage and Fleeced. To get all of his and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by e-mail or to order a signed copy of their new best-selling book, Catastrophe, go to dickmorris.com. In August, Morris became a strategist for the League of American Voters, which is running ads opposing the president’s healthcare reforms.