In the latest episde of our weekly Bloggingheads series, "Fireside Chats," Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Mark Schmitt and Edward Luce of the Financial Times ask whether the American decline we hear Republicans bemoaning on the campaign trail is really such a bad thing. In the clip below, Mark notes that as we fall, others rise. "One part of it is simply relative economic growth compared to China and India, and some of that is either that's just how life is going to be, or maybe you even want it to be that way."
Given that the economic dominance of the U.S. and Europe was never a natural state of affairs and that something truly awful would need to happen to keep countries like China and India from gaining power at this point in their development, Mark argues that "a certain amount of relative decline is not in itself the end of the world."
Mark and Edward also examine some of the growing disfunctions in America's political system, from rising inequality to political gridlock brought on by Republicans. Mark notes that "it's a poltiics in which paralyis benefits certain players, and they're going to use that." He explains that "we tend to think of paralysis in sort of game theory terms," as a "tragedy of the commons with two people each trying to do good things," but "that's not always true. Sometimes that's exactly what people want to create and benefit from." For more, including Mark and Edward's thoughts on the benefits of the German education system and the inside dirt on Larry Summers, check out the full video below: