The Decline Of the United States as the Worlds Only Super Power The United States has experienced a steady decline as the world’s only super power, and this steady decline will continue until the United States is no longer the world’s hegemonic state. There are a number of factors that directly influence this decrease in power from the United States on the world stage including: a struggle to sustain economic hegemony in part due to the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs and plants; the rise of eastern powers and other booming economies; the limiting U.S. foreign policy. The cascading effect of these factors poses a great threat to the western world and will ultimately drive the United States to lose its status as the world’s sole super power in the global power shift of the 21st Century. The United States is feeling competitive pressure on its global status as a result of the economic emergence of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China). These nations represent roughly 40% of global population and someSince the Industrial Revolution, the manufacturing of goods has played a significant role in the United States’ economy; the manufacturing sector has historically provided a substantial portion of middle class jobs in America.
However, in the recent years a large number of those manufacturing jobs have been outsourced overseas.  Outsourcing labor benefits manufacturers and multi national corporations because they can dominate the markets through the acquisition of low-cost labor and by limiting their exposure to regulation and taxation while translating into an increase in profits for stakeholders.However, the movement of a large amount of manufacturing jobs overseas employs negative effects on the United States working class, due to a reduction of jobs and sufficient wages.
The failure to invest in domestic job creation and the outsourcing of American jobs to foreign countries has undoubtedly contributed to soaring corporate profits, but these profits come at a clear cost. That cost is incurred by workers in the U. S.
that have lost or are at risk of losing their job due to outsourcing.  Manufacturing employment collapsed from a high of 19. million workers in June 1979 to 11. 5 million workers in December 2009 – a drop of 8 million workers in a span of 30 years. Between August 2000 and February 2004, manufacturing job opportunities decreased for 43 consecutive months – the longest stretch of employment scarcity since the Great Depression. In the last decade, manufacturing plants have also declined at alarming rates shrinking by more than 51,000 plants between 1998 and 2008.  These stable, middle-class jobs have been the driving force of the U.
S. conomy for decades and the loss of this stability has done considerable damage to manufacturing opportunities for middle-class workers and communities across the entire country. Due to the outsourcing of these jobs, economies overseas have multiplied. The middle class economies in the BRIC countries continue to expand and gain power due to a large number of jobs that result in a well-fueled economy. Meanwhile, the United States has seen a depressed economy with an unemployment rate that is well above the natural rate.Evidence that these economies, specifically the BRIC nations, have been expanding economically is presented by the fuel consumption and escalating coal shipments. The spreading economic growth is predicted to lead China and India to more than double their combined energy demand by 2035, accounting for one-half of the world’s energy growth according to EIA’s recently released International Energy Outlook 2011, IEO2011. The IEO2011 projects that China and India will consume 31% of the world’s total energy in the year 2035, up from 21% in 2008.
China, which surpassed the United States as the world’s largest energy consumer in 2009, is the predominant driver of growing energy demand.  China has developed into the worlds leading manufacturing powerhouse by reference to production volumes. In the Year 2010, China’s share of the global manufacturing exports reached 13. 7 percent, up from 12. 1 percent in 2009, with the trend of growth likely to persist.  When it comes to export volumes of electronics and consumer goods, China is the undisputed leader. As the exports of the Chinese increase, and the exports of theUnited States decrease, the Chinese GDP is rising at a much larger rate than the United States – and will eventually surpass the United States, altogether.
Although China is not yet prevailing in the services sector yet, the prosperous country is emerging as the world’s number one financial powerhouse. Soon, Beijing will become a key emergency lender for cash strapped Western governments. Western countries point to China’s non-existent labor laws and lack of minimum wage mandates as a reason to outsource and why companies such as Apple and Nike have a major portion of their goods manufactured in China.China is not only emerging as a powerhouse due to their means of production, but their unprecedented growth in foreign reserves. This has two major implications, most notably for the West but also for the rest of the world. First is Beijing’s position as the largest foreign creditor of the American government and the second being China’s ability to pursue foreign acquisitions and other overseas assets regardless of price. The Chinese buy foreign assets deemed important, even when their prices are so high that the cost drives away private Western investors.
This gives the Chinese government strong leverage to pursue its interests on a wide range of economic, political, and security issues. Furthermore, China is using Western reserves as a tool to boost its political and economic clout in the third world.  American power and its capacity to shape the world is declining. The country is in a state of financial, political, and military instability, and this is compromising the country’s appetite for global security duties and undermining America’s place in the world.The weak economy has not only made it difficult for people to find employment; it has made it easier for the United States to give in to the temptation of disengaging from the world. The biggest foreign policy problem facing the U. S.
government right now is not the lack of engagement, but the lack of leadership.  The most pressing factor contributing to the decline of the United States foreign policy is that the U. S. simply lacks assets because of massive defense cuts, as a result of the country’s troubled economy. Historically, the United States has been viewed as the overarching world diplomatic authority.The United States has played significant roles in brokering peace deals in times of conflict.
The USIP (United States Institute of Peace) is the country’s global conflict management centre created by congress.  The USIP has been engaged in global conflict management in Libya, Pakistan, Sudan and others. However, there has recently been a rise in the number of other countries who are beginning to take the lead in brokering peace deals or attempting to diffuse different types of cross border conflict as the U. S. idly stands by.
For example, France has been involved with the Syrian regime by taking the responsibility for supplying Syrian rebels with money and artillery on behalf of the US in order to broker a peace deal.  Missteps taken in the last number of years with the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are leading factors that have contributed to the decline of the United States foreign policy level. The war in Iraq and Afghanistan caused the U. S. to lose legitimacy on the world stage. Immediately following the attacks of September 11th in 2001, the “war on terror” received strong support in Western Europe but as U.S.
anti-terrorism efforts increasingly became associated with Iraq, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and other unpopular aspects of American foreign policy, support plummeted. For instance, a 2004 Global Attitudes poll found that the majorities in several countries opposed U. S.
anti-terrorism efforts and that the U. S. was overreacting to the threat of international terrorism. Moreover, most surveyed did not think the war on terrorism was a sincere effort.
Combating violent extremism may have been the stated goal of U. S. olicy but many respondents felt this was a smokescreen to hide the real objectives such as gaining control of Middle Eastern oil, targeting unfriendly Muslim governments, protecting Israel, and dominating the world. The intrusion into Iraq has caused great strainon Arab and United States relations.  As economies in countries all over the world develop, specifically in the East, it is inevitable that they will make great technological advancements.
These technological advancements include, but are not limited to, military technologies. This is already evident in China as the economic ransformation has led to a considerable military transformation as well. Military advancements are also seen with regards to India and Pakistan becoming nuclear powers and the possible proliferation of nuclear weapons into North Korea and Iran.
The military advancement in Eastern countries poses a threat to the United States and has potential to challenge, if not surpass, the Super Power’s military dominance. Chinese economic reforms have radically changed the Chinese economy, technology, and their military is strengthening as a result. The Chinese military has potential to develop so it is on par with U. S.This poses a big problem for the United States. China is dissatisfied with its current power status in the world and the fact that the core values of the United States conflict with those of China is problematic.
The Chinese communist leadership views any American influence as a challenge to China’s political stability.  The People’s Liberation Army, PLA, is the military arm of the Communist Party of China. It consists of land, sea, strategic missile, and air forces. The PLA consists of over two million men, complemented by the world’s largest air force consisting of more than five thousand aircrafts, and the world’s largest ship navy. 13] The reason why the PLA has not yet become a big threat to the U. S. is because of the obsolescence of the PLA’s military technology, as machine power is greater than manpower. However with Chinas economic growth it is inevitable that the country will invest in its military sector.
When the largest military in the world, gains access to modern military technology is will be a sure threat to the United States along with the rest of the world, and hold enormous power.  China’s technological advancement is not limited to the military.China is making significant progress and is achieving superior growth rates. One technological challenge in which China already excels is clean energy technologies; these consist of solar, wind, nuclear and others. China, Japan, and South Korea have already surpassed the U. S. in the production of clean air technologies.
With the lack of financial and human investment in new technologies the West will become increasingly dependant on foreign technological imports and on imported technologies from emerging markets. This will further undermine growth and economic security. Today the United States is the world’s only super power. The US holds the world’s largest economy, the largest military, the most dynamic technology, and a highly entrepreneurial climate yet these are only the static facts of the present moment. Looking at the current history of the United States, it is evident that the country is losing grip on the power it once held on an international level. The fall of the United States as the hegemonic state is foreseeable, as other countries gain the economic and technological means to satisfy their desire for power and international status. ———————-  Jack W.
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