Parallels of National Decline: Poland and the US?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

August 2 is one week away, and Congress still has yet to make a deal to raise the debt ceiling. Both sides of the debt debate are reluctant to compromise — both the Democrats and Republicans have now put forth plans to avoid a default on U.S. loans. The Republican plan includes immediate cuts and caps in discretionary spending, and raising the debt ceiling by less than $1 trillion. The Democratic plan includes a $1.2 trillion reduction in both defense and non-defense discretionary spending.

America's debt problem developed because of a very modern set of circumstances, but our guest Tom Streithorst says our current situation is beginning to resemble 18th century Poland, where any nobleman could nullify legislation passed by the house. The government eventually collapsed because of the peoples inability to reach a unanimous agreement, on any matter. 

Streithorst, a contributor for Prospect Magazine, speaks about the similarities between the U.S.'s current predicament and Poland's centuries-old one.


Tom Streithorst

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [2]

Wojtek from Woodland Park, NJ

The picture shows the Presidential Palace not the Parliament house.

Jul. 26 2011 10:01 PM

There are big differences between Poland then and the US now. We are not talking about just a single representative of the legislature holding a veto power (though it certainly seems that way when it comes to committees). The President (or a King) rightly has such a power though, and while I think Obama is usually pretty reasonable, he has certainly pulled some last second shenanigans in this debate.

Further, I disagree, wholeheartedly with the OPINION of Mr. Streithorst regarding just how acceptable it is for any nation, let alone the US, to continue to happily accept and use whatever credit is offered to them.

Jul. 26 2011 05:15 PM

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