Remember when Japan was the envy of the economic world in the 1980s? Their workers were most fit and efficient. Their products -- particularly cars -- were the most popular.
But few Americans know the rest of the story, as in the words of Paul Harvey.
The Japanese economy has been in recession for the past two decades. More senior citizens have resorted to crime to support themselves. And the nation's negative population growth threatens the economic infrastructure it now possesses. A government official recently told workers to go home and make babies.
Now back to home. While I can sympathize with Americans who claim this nation's spirit can conquer anything, it cannot overcome economic laws.
As Great Britain in the early 1900s, America will have to adjust to no longer being the greatest power on the earth, nor perhaps the greatest producer of wealth to raise the standard of living for all its citizens.
China and India now are emerging as consumer nations. And China is buying up all our debt, and will own more of this nation after the second half of TARP is used and the economic stimulus plan is passed.
What China could not conquer with Communism, it is doing so in our nation with a much more disciplined capitalism.
We have become our won worst enemies. There is plenty of blame to go around, from Congress to the White House to Wall Street to every mall where consumers have charged too many items on credit cards.
Before the economic downturn, America's credit card debt was estimated at $4.4 trillion. That figure may well now be above $6 trillion. And the crash in that spending in the financial markets is yet to come. Bankruptcy courts across this nation already are seeing it, particularly in Tennessee.
No one really knows America's economic future. There is one extreme, however -- and that is Japan.