US Presidential Election Has Global Implications

Even as Europe grapples with a debt crisis that threatens the whole region, and China attempts to put the brakes on a slowing economy - the U.S. election is commanding headlines around the world. Global citizens want to know who Americans will choose as their new leader. Because whoever wins in November will control the largest purse string in the world, and with it - the ability to shape the global economy.

If the polls are right, the 2012 election will be decided by a few crucial votes in a handful of hotly contested states. But far from being just a domestic ballot - Bruce Stokes at the Pew research Center says the U.S. election will have global implications.

"Oh absolutely, the Americans get to vote in this election but the world gets to deal with the consequences," said Stokes.

With a gross domestic product equal to about a quarter of the world's total output, no other country has a larger economic footprint.  A common refrain among economists is that when the U.S. sniffles, the rest of the world catches a cold.  

Desmond Lachman is a macroeconomist at the conservative leaning American Enterprise Institute.

"We saw that clearly in the 2008-2009 great economic recession, events that occurred in the United States banking system reverberated right through the globe," said Lachman.

On the campaign trail, both candidates agree a healthy U.S. economy is crucial to global stability.   Both have assured Americans they have a plan to bolster the economy - starting with Republican hopeful Mitt Romney, who promises to level the playing field by getting tough on China.

"On day one, I will label China a currency manipulator, which will allow me as president to be able to put in place, if necessary, tariffs where I believe that they are taking unfair advantage of our manufacturers," said Romney.

Fighting to win a second term, President Obama says U.S. trade has increased significantly under his leadership.  So has China's undervalued currency, which he says has risen 11 percent since he took office.  
The key to a strong economy says Obama is to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and he says Romney is the wrong person to do it.

"Keep in mind that Governor Romney invested in companies that were pioneers of outsourcing to China. Governor, you're the last person who is going to get tough on China," said President Obama.

But China is only part of a larger equation.  The debt crisis in Europe has reduced demand for U.S. goods. Desmond Lachman says deepening problems in the 17-nation eurozone could further slow growth - worldwide.

"My expectation is that Europe, being the largest trading partner of the United States is going to pose real challenges to the United States in the years ahead," he said.

Lachman says Romney offers a more business friendly approach to solving the nation's chronically high unemployment. But the Pew Center's Bruce Stokes says given Obama's popularity in many parts of the world, the image of the U.S. could suffer under a Romney presidency.

"China, very interesting.  I do think given Romney's rhetoric, there could be a short term hit to America's image in China.  The big hit is going to be in Europe," said Stokes.

A recent survey by the Pew Center shows Western Europe overwhelmingly in favor of a second term for Obama: 92 percent in France, 89 percent in Germany and 73 percent in Britain.  However, the president scored poorly in Greece where only 22 percent approved of his handling of the global economy.

Whoever wins, Lachman says there's a lot at stake, particularly if a divided Congress is unable to agree on drastic spending cuts at the end of the year.

"If things go wrong in the United States that would certainly have huge global ramifications, particularly right now with the rest of the world not being in good shape, the last thing they need is for the United States to be stumbling," he said.

History suggests the world will adapt to whomever America chooses. What is clear say experts is that the outcome will shape economic and geopolitical attitudes around the world for years to come.
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Comment Sorting
by: Cas Lee
November 04, 2012 1:20 PM
Reasons Why This Independent Feminist (Egalitarian) Voter Supports the Romney/Ryan Ticket

(1) Romney/Ryan will use their leadership, determination, knowledge, experience, and skills to deal with America’s problems.
(2) During the 4 DEBATES, Romney/Ryan reflected an understanding of the issues and won the debates with substance, directness, integrity, respect, clarity, facts, commitment, inspiration, credibility, and leadership.
(3) Romney/Ryan will get our ECONOMY back in shape (more jobs, higher wages, small business support, balanced budget).
(4) Romney/Ryan will refrain from implementing any more ineffective and costly QUANTITATIVE EASING (i.e., pumping money into the economy by printing dollars).
(5) Romney/Ryan will develop a desperately-needed coherent FOREIGN POLICY for America that will bring about strong international cooperation and keep us out of senseless wars.
(6) Romney/Ryan will bring about legal IMMIGRATION REFORM via Congress, including by (a) giving many illegal immigrants with historical long-term roots in America the opportunity to take responsibility for their mistakes and forge a path to a legal immigration status; and (b) securing America’s borders and sending an unequivocal message to potential illegal immigrants that America is NOT a place where they (and people smugglers who exploit them) will be able to thrive economically.
(7) Romney and Ryan are highly disciplined, methodic, analytical, and focused on PROBLEM-SOLVING, i.e., defining specific problems, studying them from all angles (which also includes analyzing indepth opposing viewpoints), breaking them down into their component parts, coming up with creative, practical, and workable solutions to them, and then implementing and refining these solutions. Since our America currently has plenty of truly complex problems, this indepth problem-solving approach is very much needed in the White House.
(8) Finally, I am an INDEPENDENT voter, having earlier been a Republican in the southwest and a Democrat in the southwest and northeast. I am also a female feminist (egalitarian) person who very much values and promotes human dignity for all people. The best option in voting is to vote FOR a candidate/party platform, rather than simply AGAINST another candidate/party platform. Unfortunately, during recent years I often find myself making compromises between these two options. The current Dem Party has become far too liberal in its ideology, while the current Rep Party has become far too conservative in its ideology. As a result, a lot of us Americans who do NOT see life in terms of stark contrasts (but rather in terms of a MOSAIC) find it difficult to support candidates from either of these parties. However, as in life generally, in politics there must also be compromise. Of course, I could vote for a candidate from a non-Rep, non-Dem party, but I want my vote to count in terms of actually getting someone elected whom I can expect to do the job in an excellent way. After careful research and consideration, I have made my compromise in favor of the Romney/Ryan ticket.

This election is NOT about who wins but rather about who is the best person and in the best position in terms of qualifications and character to lead our country. I am INSPIRED by the Romney/Ryan ticket since I envision how they will lead our country in a positive and productive direction - I hope that you too are inspired by them and will vote for them on Nov. 6th to help make America and us Americans strong, secure, and stable!

Best regards,
Cas Lee

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