November 6th, 2011
12:05 PM ET

Letters to the President #1021: 'Going less global'

Reporter's Note: Just in case you are wondering, President Obama did not write to me this past week, despite my ceaseless, daily letters to him; keeping the streak alive on both fronts!

Dear Mr. President,

I keep thinking about all these global economic problems and I have concluded that the fundamental problem with working toward a more universal economy, sort of like what they've been trying with the euro on a smaller scale, is the same problem with communism: What might work in theory just doesn't in reality.

Look, some folks might like the idea of all nations being somehow equal, filled with mutual respect, and populated by nothing but happy, productive citizens. But I've always loved the idea of flying horses, too.

The simple truth is that we live in a world that is still filled with wildly different views about government, human rights, freedom, and social structure. Heck, we can't agree in our own country on how things ought to work!

This is the simple, and I suspect, unsolvable puzzle of the world economy. We want to stress the value of cooperation, but human nature stresses the inevitability of competition, greed, and survival instincts.

As a result, I suspect what we will see in coming years as the global economy tries to right itselt will be backward steps....at least for a time.

Many people, and certainly many businesses, may not like it, but I wonder if it may not be...like Elton John songs on oldies stations...inevitable.


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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1 • Tom Foreman
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