Shivvers Memorial Lecture
February 24, 2008
Ames, IA, United States
We live in uncertain times. The future of our nation is at risk. At no time since the Great Depression has the U.S. been so vulnerable to economic chaos and collapse. U.S. federal budget deficits routinely sets new records, as we continue borrowing money to fund our military misadventure in Iraq and an unending global war on terrorism. Over time, we have become the world’s largest debtor nation, and more important ly, we are no longer borrowing the money from ourselves, from Americans. In fact, we owe much of our federal debt to China, the world’s leading communist nation. Our intern ational trade deficits also have reached historic highs as we come to rely on cheap imports from low-wage count ries such as Mexico, India, and China. Many Americans no longer make enough money to buy things “made in America.” The value of the U.S. dollar has declined precip itously in relation to other wo rld currencies, as the Federal Reserve periodically reduces interest rates in atte mpts to stave off domestic recessions. American consumers are also suffering under the burden of too much debt; yet the government’s response to the current economic crisis is to encourage more borrowing and spending.
Ikerd, John, "Family Farms in an Era of Global Uncertainty" (2008). Leopold Center Conference Papers. 12.