The struggling U.S. economy is spoiling Independence Day celebrations this year. The traditional barbecue is getting much more expensive and traveling by car is becoming a luxury due to record-high gasoline prices which have risen nearly 56% over last year.
No wonder the vacation spirit is dampened. Americans are cutting back on spending as inflation in the U.S. hits a new 40-year high. According to official data, consumer prices rose 8.6% last month compared to 12 months earlier. The U.S. economy contracted 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022, and the capital market closed its worst six months in at least 50 years.
On one hand, the economy always fluctuates between ups and downs. On the other hand, Americans today can no longer live in the same conditions they once did. They accept many immigrants into the country and run many programs that their financial system cannot support.
I am not an economist and certainly do not have the grasp over the American economy that the experts do, but it seems that America is not taking all the global data into consideration.
The situation is more complex than being just an economic problem. The economy itself reflects the way that people relate to one another, and these relationships need care and correction. It is a mistake to think that the world will be able to operate on a “business as usual” basis, because it is the quality of the interconnections between people that stabilize social and economic systems.
Americans continue to behave as they have always done, however, they are gaining less and less, or even losing ground because they fail to take into account that people are continually changing, that human society is changing, and that it is imperative to adjust and improve relations accordingly: social development must be adapted to the laws of the interdependent global world, otherwise America will continue to fall further and further behind.
While the U.S. economy is still more important and larger than that of China and the rest of the world, if America loses power significantly, it will affect the whole world. At that point all of us will finally understand that we are locked into an integral system, an interdependent system. When each nation and individual within the nation clearly sees that harm to another either directly or indirectly harms itself, we will be alert and ready to communicate and cooperate properly with one another.
It is still possible for America to lead humanity on the right path. The country is no longer as strong as it appears either to itself or the world–because strong is a country that knows how to control itself by considering and balancing the needs of everyone, and Americans still lack this skill–but America is still considered an important nation.
May the 246th Independence Day reveal to America its close ties with other nations and peoples. Independence describes not only the state of a free and liberated nation that has an independent government and is not under foreign rule, rather, independence is a state in which the nation itself can determine and choose what to do next to strengthen its relations with the other countries–it describes an ability to perceive its interdependence. For it is only within close relations between countries that prosperity and flourishing will prevail.
In the global world where every nation is connected to another, the time for old notions of the independence of individual nations has ended. We see this today with Russia, and soon we will see it with China. If America will learn to connect with the rest of the world in good relations, it will be broadly successful. It will be able to set positive laws in society that will be passed on to everyone, and it will gradually recover from its socioeconomic problems. Happy independence, America!