Niall Ferguson at Aspen Ideas Festival (ForaTV Video)
Harvard's Niall Ferguson was at the Apsen Ideas Festival on July 8, 2010 speaking at a lecture (with Mort Zuckerman) titled: The Financial Crisis: Will It Lead to America's Decline? The full video can be found at Fora.tv (hat tip zero hedge). In summary, Niall thinks the catalyst for America's decline could be the credibility of fiscal policy. That makes sense. He said to watch when the cost of servicing the debt exceeds the defense budget, which could occur in the next 5 years. On a positive note, Niall said there's a way out for the United States: 1) technological innovation and 2) entrepreneurship. Niall even brought up the possibility of a new Dark Age if the U.S. declines: "When the Roman Empire in the west collapsed, civilization collapsed." "I'm talking about how your daily life is affected. What happens when the aqueducts stop working, metaphorically. What happens when the roads are no longer maintained? That's what happened in the post-Roman world and I don't think the post-American world would be so very different." Wow, so municipalities shut down during the dark ages. Would there still be Facebook?
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Niall Ferguson Likens Post-American World to Dark Ages