Candidates can promise all the economic changes they want within their particular national bubble, but nothing will actually change without the blessing of the global market gods. So then, what's the solution?
Every recent political candidate around the globe who has been taken with any degree of seriousness by their respective electorate has made promises banking on the gullibility of voters when they have vowed to get the economy under control. A single politician can control the global economy about as effectively as someone can control the weather by holding an umbrella over their head. For that matter, it's laughable to claim that environmental laws in the United States have a significant impact on worldwide anti-pollution efforts when virtually the entire Third World is exempt and spewing pollutants freely.
Solutions to the current economic troubles will only come when politicians realize that they don't control the global economy -- it controls them. The larger forces will always win, even when confronted by gale-force political blowhardism. Arguably, economic forces on a global scale are the closest we might still come to an actual free market, if only because there is less regulation, more options, and considerably less ability to interfere and impose one's will or agenda across international lines than there is on a national scale.
The only politicians who will ever succeed in bringing economic improvement to their realm are those who vow not to fight natural market forces, but rather to work with them -- much like it's a mistake in judo to block an opponent's strike because it risks injury. The strategy should be to find a way to exploit the natural direction of any given force, whether positive or negative vis-à-vis one's own particular agenda.
In the current global economic crisis, this means maximizing market forces in your favor and making them your ally rather than hopelessly fighting against them. For example, foreign direct investments in stable overseas growth sectors in which Western companies already hold an interest create not only a bigger pie for everyone involved, but open a channel of market-driven influence that may extend to matters of national security and diplomacy -- and further economic opportunities.
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