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In the Long Run We Are all Dead: Hey Keynes, What Is Long in the Contemporary US Case?

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Abstract

The idea of declinism of the US had emerged in every decade after the World War Two and so it was as well after the end of the Cold War. The article argues that such a phenomenon may be attributed to the nature of the international system, where through the globalization the US enables ‘the rest’ to grow on its expense. China and other export led economies, made great benefit of the US open market that is functioning as a ‘big vacuum cleaner’. The focal question of article is two-folded: first, is ‘the raise of the rest’ causing the geoeconomic centre of power to shift from the Atlantic to Pacific; second, is the US in decline? Article presents economic data that show that there are no economic incentives for the geoeconomic shift. The geopolitical centre may indeed by shifting, but not due to the geoeconomic reasons, but rather due to military, political, and ideological power factors. The US has been in relative decline since the end of the WW2—other international actors seized the chance that the international system created by the US provided. Thus, the relevant question about declinism is—is the US in absolute decline? The article argues that the 2008 financial shock was not cyclical in nature, but rather systemic. It is the first time since the WW2 that the US was unable to answer to the challenge adequately. The main reason for that is not external, namely, the relative decline of the US—G8 was replaced by G20—but internal—the US is not tackling the core of its systemic economic problem. This suggests that the US is marching towards an absolute decline. To avoid its demise, the US has to change its Keynesian pragmatic short-sighted economic mentality and do the well needed structural reforms.

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Author information

Correspondence to Igor Kovač.

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Cite this article

Kovač, I. In the Long Run We Are all Dead: Hey Keynes, What Is Long in the Contemporary US Case?. Transit Stud Rev 19, 275–290 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11300-012-0248-0

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Keywords

  • USA
  • China
  • EU
  • Economic power factor
  • Geoeconomic centre
  • Declinism

JEL Classification

  • E12
  • F30
  • O10