The Mighty, Messy Power of Europe | Newsweek Business | Newsweek.com

Just a few short years ago. Remember? When the idea was proposed of a Union of Europe? I remember thinking, wow – how would any of these proud, old countries and their citizenry be willing to give up an inch of autonomy on even just economic policy – let alone political ideology and goals?

The main focus of course was on economy because the proposal was to replace the Franc, Mark, Lire with a European currency. Blasphemy! I remember thinking, that I couldn’t imagine America being willing to give up the Dollar in exchange for a unilateral currency. And, of course, the idea at the time was preposterous. Why would America give up anything, let alone it’s mighty dollar.

For years we have been the pre-eminent in all things fiscal. We have set the policy or at the very least had a modicum of influence in nearly every world wide matter. Just by virtue of the dollar being the ‘standard’ by which most things were measured. Oil? Sure it’s in the middle east, but it’s traded for in Dollars. China’s trade surplus? Sure, it’s huge. And, it’s measured in dollars.

But somewhere along the way, oh say between 2000-and-2008 America lost it’s focus, if not its way. Political ideology leaned conservative at all costs. Anti gay and pro corporate welfare? Vote Republican. Pro school voucher and anti democrat-anything? Vote Republican, Pro military, pro life, pro religion taking over social welfare programs, etc. You get the idea. Vote Republican.

In fact, I’d argue that the down fall of America can be traced to the Gays. Well, not the Gay’s in as much as American religious intolerant hatred of them. “Oh boo” you conservatives say. We don’t hate gays. We love them. We just wish they were us. That’s all. Ok.

As a result of years of being steered by a President who claimed to have a monopoly on a moral compasses but would appear no real world fiscal, political, or intellectual leadership we have come to this. We have countries pushing for a new standard and to de-dollarize the world from measurement. China being a chief advocate of this and no small wonder as it enters the stage posed to be the new eminent power – and some would argue already is.

So, we could spend the next decade (and probably will) pointing fingers to determine exactly who is at fault. I would argue that we’ve been headed for these rocks for sometime. Republicans would try and have you believe this all just came about in the last 10 months. Ever since Obama was elected, the worlds gone to shit. Really? Wow. We’re in deeper doo than I thought.

So here’s a radical idea. What about an American Union? That is, a Union of the Americas. North, Central, South. It’s time we realize we may have to swallow our nationalistic, jingo-istic pride and chart a new course. One that includes our neighbors and begins to look – at least in our own backyard – to other countries as equals. Sure, Mexico and other countries have severe problems. And, Venezuela might rather we fall off the face of the earth than join a picnic with us let alone an economic alliance. But, as we wrap up the first decade of this century, we’re in poor straights than where we were just 10 years ago.

And, given the challenges we have and the benefits which could be had from linking our combined currencies and efforts with those around us, is it really that radical of an idea? Oh, American’s will never have it. I’m just dreaming out loud of course. But think about it. It could be the next big thing.

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