In "Wealth and Democracy", I am reading a chapter titled "The World is Our Oyster". I am reading about the 3 preceding international wealth powers leading up to the current dominance of the United States. They are, in reverse chronological order, Britain, The Netherlands and Spain. Phillips outlines parallels between the situations that these countries found themselves in during their rise and fall of economic power, and similar situations in the United States over the past fifty years. The most relevant example is of Britain, if only because the parallels are so striking, but also because this is the example that is least aged. Some of the parallels that Phillips elaborates upon are:

1) The growing dependence and direction of the economy on finance.
2) The growing disparity between the very rich and the middle class.
3) The increase of women in the workplace, to support the status quo lifestyle that the middle class was used to.
4) The noticeable increase in foreign investment by the United States, bypassing domestic industry investment for foreign opportunities that presented more attractive financial returns.

Phillips writes that the United States is still on its upward trajectory of economic leadership, but signs are obviously present that signal parallels to the former power nations prior to their downfall.


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