US system of hegemony is sustainable because the US disproportionally benefits – trade, economy, and security
Norrlof, 10 Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Carla, America’s Global Advantage; US Hegemony and International Cooperation, Cambridge University Press, p. 1-4
In sketching my argument, I will show that the United States gains both materially and in terms of policy autonomy from running per- sistent deficits because of its multi-purpose power base. It gains eco- nomically by absorbing more capital and goods from the rest of the world and through capital and exchange rate gains on the international investment position (IIP).2 It also gains in terms of policy autonomy. Because foreigners have a wide range of incentives to invest in dollar- denominated assets (in the United States) and, when necessary, help soft-land the economy, the United States can adjust imbalances over a longer time horizon. The gain in policy flexibility means it can adjust imbalances using its preferred policy instruments, and that its ‘pol- icy error’ threshold is higher than it is for other countries. Therefore, it can more easily avoid the kind of shock therapy that is normally associated with a consistent pattern of trade deficits and high exter- nal liabilities. My claim is not merely that America has benefited from its hege- monic position but that it has benefited disproportionately, and that the system through which it benefits is sustainable. By disproportion- ate I mean that it has received more than what it ‘pays’ for the public goods it provides, and that it reaps a higher benefit than other states. I argue that the United States reaps increasing returns in trade, money, and security – in other words, that it gets more back than it puts in. In the trade realm, it systematically absorbs more imports than it gives back to the world in the form of exports. In the monetary sphere, it makes more money from its lending than it pays on its borrowing. In the security domain, it is well known that the United States spends more on security than all other states combined. Just how much mile- age the United States gets on its military spending is not common knowledge, however. At least part of the reason the United States has been able to attract capital on a grand scale is that it provides a safe investment environment, which is tied to a strong tradition of property rights protection, and the ability to secure American territory militarily. A portion of defense spending has also been used to protect and expand foreign investments, and to protect allies. The economic return on this stabilizing role has been huge in terms of allied support for dollar adjustment.
The US can continue its dominance well into the future
Thayer, 07 – Associate Professor in the Department of Defense and Strategic Studies, Missouri State University
(Bradley A., American Empire, Routledge, page 12)
The United States has the ability to dominate the world because it has prodigious military capability, economic might, and soft power. The United States dominates the world today, but will it be able to do so in the future? The answer is yes, for the foreseeable future—the next thirty to forty years.17 Indeed, it may exist for much longer. I would not be surprised to see American dominance last much longer and, indeed, anticipate that it will. But there is simply too much uncertainty about events far in the future to make reliable predictions. In this section of the chapter, I explain why the United States has the abil-ity to dominate the world for the predictable future, if it has the will to do so. There are two critical questions that serve as the foundation for this debate: “Can America dominate international politics?” and “Should America domi-nate international politics?”
Heg Good – Thayer
Hegemony prevents war, spreads democracy and peace, protects human rights, and encourages economic cooperation and growth.
Thayer 6 Associate Prof, Department of Defense & Strategic Studies at Missouri State University
[Bradley, In Defense of Primacy, The National Interest, December (lexis)November 10, 2006 http://nationalinterest.org/article/in-defense-of-primacy-1300, accessed June 29. 2011
THROUGHOUT HISTORY, peace and stability have been great benefits of an era where there was a dominant power--Rome, Britain or the United States today. Scholars and statesmen have long recognized the irenic effect of power on the anarchic world of international politics. Everything we think of when we consider the current international order--free trade, a robust monetary regime, increasing respect for human rights, growing democratization--is directly linked to U.S. power. Retrenchment proponents seem to think that the current system can be maintained without the current amount of U.S. power behind it. In that they are dead wrong and need to be reminded of one of history's most significant lessons: Appalling things happen when international orders collapse. The Dark Ages followed Rome's collapse. Hitler succeeded the order established at Versailles. Without U.S. power, the liberal order created by the United States will end just as assuredly. As country and western great Ral Donner sang: "You don't know what you've got (until you lose it)." Consequently, it is important to note what those good things are. In addition to ensuring the security of the United States and its allies, American primacy within the international system causes many positive outcomes for Washington and the world. The first has been a more peaceful world. During the Cold War, U.S. leadership reduced friction among many states that were historical antagonists, most notably France and West Germany. Today, American primacy helps keep a number of complicated relationships aligned--between Greece and Turkey, Israel and Egypt, South Korea and Japan, India and Pakistan, Indonesia and Australia. This is not to say it fulfills Woodrow Wilson's vision of ending all war. Wars still occur where Washington's interests are not seriously threatened, such as in Darfur, but a Pax Americana does reduce war's likelihood, particularly war's worst form: great power wars. Second, American power gives the United States the ability to spread democracy and other elements of its ideology of liberalism. Doing so is a source of much good for the countries concerned as well as the United States because, as John Owen noted on these pages in the Spring 2006 issue, liberal democracies are more likely to align with the United States and be sympathetic to the American worldview.3 So, spreading democracy helps maintain U.S. primacy. In addition, once states are governed democratically, the likelihood of any type of conflict is significantly reduced. This is not because democracies do not have clashing interests. Indeed they do. Rather, it is because they are more open, more transparent and more likely to want to resolve things amicably in concurrence with U.S. leadership. And so, in general, democratic states are good for their citizens as well as for advancing the interests of the United States. Critics have faulted the Bush Administration for attempting to spread democracy in the Middle East, labeling such an effort a modern form of tilting at windmills. It is the obligation of Bush's critics to explain why democracy is good enough for Western states but not for the rest, and, one gathers from the argument, should not even be attempted. Of course, whether democracy in the Middle East will have a peaceful or stabilizing influence on America's interests in the short run is open to question. Perhaps democratic Arab states would be more opposed to Israel, but nonetheless, their people would be better off. The United States has brought democracy to Afghanistan, where 8.5 million Afghans, 40 percent of them women, voted in a critical October 2004 election, even though remnant Taliban forces threatened them. The first free elections were held in Iraq in January 2005. It was the military power of the United States that put Iraq on the path to democracy. Washington fostered democratic governments in Europe, Latin America, Asia and the Caucasus. Now even the Middle East is increasingly democratic. They may not yet look like Western-style democracies, but democratic progress has been made in Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt. By all accounts, the march of democracy has been impressive. Third, along with the growth in the number of democratic states around the world has been the growth of the global economy. With its allies, the United States has labored to create an economically liberal worldwide network characterized by free trade and commerce, respect for international property rights, and mobility of capital and labor markets. The economic stability and prosperity that stems from this economic order is a global public good from which all states benefit, particularly the poorest states in the Third World. The United States created this network not out of altruism but for the benefit and the economic well-being of America. This economic order forces American industries to be competitive, maximizes efficiencies and growth, and benefits defense as well because the size of the economy makes the defense burden manageable. Economic spin-offs foster the development of military technology, helping to ensure military prowess.