Owen Ullmann, Washington Editor for USA Today,
Interview on Morning Edition with Liane Hansen
Sunday, July 23, 2000
What were the subtexts of these meetings [of the G8 Countries] in Okinawa?
…The Europeans think that the United States is so wedded to economic efficiency and is so driven by the need to create economic prosperity that we don’t take the time to smell the roses. You know, we are still debating in this country whether we should have universal health care for people, whether we should have prescription drug benefits for seniors who can’t even buy their drugs, and a lot of the Europeans are saying, you know, it’s worth having a little higher unemployment and a higher tax load to take care of these needs for people. We have a different social contract. There’s more to life than simply accumulating wealth and being on a rat race treadmill….
These countries are trying to adopt their own model. On the other hand, the international capitalist system is quite ruthless. They are looking for the greatest return on investment, and they don’t care what the lifestyle choices are different countries. And because the United States has adopted a much more efficient model of growth, we are a better country for investments. And that has discriminated against these other countries, and they are very resentful. And the United States is kind of lording this success over them.
And remember this, Liane, at some time, it doesn’t last forever, and there is going to be a big fall. And I fear that a lot of the world is rooting for the United States when it finally turns and we then have our decline….