Maybe it's just me feeling gloom and doom, but I do not see a bright future for America. The number one thing that I am worried about is the economy -- with everything that the current administration has done, and everything they are continuing to do, I see a massive destabilization of the American economy heading our way. A year ago, the exchange rate vs. Canada was $1 CDN to 0.75 US. Today the same $1 CDN is worth about 0.83 US. In the course of a year, the Canadian dollar's worth relative to the US dollar has risen about 10 percent. The Canadian economy has not improved 10% in the course of the year, but rather the US dollar, with the massive amounts of loans and bonds undertaken by the US Government, has dropped in value 10 percent.
For those history buffs out there, let me just segue to Brazil in the 1970s. In the late 60s, Brazil had undergone an industrial revolution of a sort, growing the GDP 12 percent annually, and it looked as if was going to be an economic miracle, demonstrating the power of military and economic rule. They invested heavily into the infrastructure of the country, building dams, atomic energy plants, highways, which all came to a standstill when the oil crisis happened. They reduced their trade exports, the price of imports increased, their currency was overvalued, and so the government borrowed billions (this is 70s era money, mind you) to get them through this crisis. They were 80% dependent on imported oil, a statistic not too far from where the U.S. stands now (The US imports 56%, which is projected to rise to 68% by 2020). Brazil became a credit risk, inflation soared, productivity declined, and foreign debt increased. 30 years later, they still have not recovered, and most families still live in poverty there.
That's America 5 years from now. Instead of spending on infrastructure costs, we've squandered our wealth on the military. We've overextended our credit, and that will come back to haunt us. When the war in Iraq is over, when Americans return from their tours of duty, when massive unemployment and inflation runs rampant, when we are down, the U.N. will kick us in the teeth by demanding war reparations for starting a war in Iraq. Can we take enough of the oil wells in Iraq to make this worth it? Because it's all about resources. Osama may have had the idea to bring the World Trade Center down by the events in Lebanon, and I'm guessing that seeing the troops light Kuwait's wells on fire as they were withdrawing made an impression on Dubya. Everyone needs oil, and as demand for the black gold increases, the price will increase. Perhaps Bush intends on using the oil reserves to finance the war, but if the reserves can only satiate America for 60 days, what then when day 61 rises? Won't the gas price still be upon the American consumer? When people look back at 4 years ago, and they look at today, can't they see that life was better 4 years ago? That with Bush, things have only gotten worse? That unemployment has risen, that we've become involved in a war we didn't need to be involved with? Afghanistan in 2001, Iraq in 2003?
Whenever a dictator rises, there are those that quietly leave the country. People think in this day and age that things in America can't get bad enough to warrant leaving. And maybe they're right. Maybe these next 4 years will be peaceful and prosperous. Maybe the Bay Area is enough of a bubble to keep conservatism from creeping in. But, just in case it does creep in, I'm keeping the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website bookmarked, and keeping an open mind about moving to Vancouver.