Little notice is given to international news by our major media outlets as more often they turn to pop culture to fill air time in prime time news shows. American’s are often ill-informed or totally in the dark when it comes to world affairs. The world is changing and the economic future and world standing of the United States is being questioned. Is the United States a glass house, a shinning edifice on hill with BRICS coming our way?
BRICS is an acronym for an alliance of five internationally emerging economic powers that by some accounts collectively will be larger than the United State economy by 2015. Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are the five countries that are emerging as the growth markets, blowing winds of economic change across the globe. Five countries of vastly different styles of government, drawn together by a commonality of belief in their exclusion from the main institutions of global governance and they are calling for change.
The BRICS view the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization and the U.N. Security Council as institutions organized in another era that have not recognized the importance of their growth and emerging economic power. They feel they have been bullied and ignored by the Western economic powers prevalent in the World War II era.
The United States as the dominant super power of the time is now being viewed as an economic bully and the BRICS want that to change. Together the BRICS are saying, “The governing structure of the international financial institutions should reflect the changes in the world economy, increasing the voice and representation of emerging economies and developing countries”.
The BRICS are now the engine of global economic growth with projected rates of growth for each of the next five years between 4 and 9%. Five countries growing faster than the United States and other western economic powers of the past and they can not be ignored. Recently at their third summit meeting the BRICS voiced a unified and stronger call for “a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty”. This was a remark directed at the United States and reflects their feeling of negativity toward what they perceive as the depreciation of the dollar due to economic policies within this country. Our dollar as a world currency is becoming a product of the past in the world view.
Calls for a change to the global monetary structure and an end to the dollar as the only recognized reserve currency are not new but are gaining support. Our economic world leadership is eroding, our debts are raising and the world is watching.
The “economic bully” image of us is being transferred to other areas of American policy in foreign capitals. The BRICS were unified in voicing concern about turmoil in the Middle East and urged all parties to “resolve their differences through peaceful means and dialogue.” It was clear that Libya was the topic when they issued a statement that said, “The use of force should be avoided.”
Clearly the BRICS views of the United States have changed, times have changed and the growing views of our country as an “economic bully” does not bode well for the future. Sooner or later all bullies are faced down and get their comeuppance, when they do there is little sympathy from others on the schoolyard. World politics is much the same and the United States would do well to be advised and move forward with an improved foreign policy.