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As Long as We Remember...

March 7, 2011

Absent A “Balance of Power”

Steven R. Berryman


Is the Middle East on fire with revolution simply as a domino effect born of circumstances? Are public labor unions suddenly at odds with their government simply because of some newly empowering force? There are greater, overarching factors in play in both cases, not fully recognized.


Just as nature abhors a vacuum, the world misses the yin and yang of a past-polarized world with two recognized “superpowers.” The sides were fairly matched, a polarized world largely kept peace with itself, known as détente, as nations were all on one side – and beholden to – or the other.


At the same time, big-labor unrest was kept in check as money flowed as freely as promises to future generations; unions were awarded raises, adjustments, and pensions without examination on spreadsheet, or in any other way for that matter. Current dollars flowed, and satisfaction was maintained between union bosses getting what they wanted and a government maintaining its constituency by mortgaging future office holders.


The phrase “kicking the can down the road” works.


Balance of power concerning labor relations was easily kept harmonious for years until the money ran out. In Wisconsin, it has been often reported that public workers now easily out-earn their private sector counterparts; this circumstance will surely not be allowed to endure in the current declining economy as forces balance out with reality.


This occurs as entire classes and strata of our population writhe with the pain of the new order. Loss of money upsets the balance of power until it regains some irresistible equilibrium.


Back to the North of Africa and Arabian Peninsula, we notice that the stability born of the Cold War with the Communist Block is gone. The U.S.S.R. can’t pull rank on Egypt (or the United Arab Republic) for instance, for bad behavior.


Currently, long-term economic warfare is being conducted – albeit passively – by a new collusion of Russia with China. By allowing the instability of the OPEC nations and their neighbors, their energy interests become more valuable and strategically in more demand.


Massive oil and gas pipelines now become smart returns on their massive investment. Russia will become more empowered, as they are a net exporter of energy to their region and all of Europe. China has cornered the market in purchasing future petroleum reserves and refining capacity in places as far removed as Brazil.


We must look hard at the forces that benefit from a destabilized and uncoordinated America now. Which nations and what parts of our national self-interested parties benefit from a weaker America, at odds both with the world, and inside our own borders?


Exactly why does our White House encourage labor unrest? Why do we only enter the fray of world conflagration after outcomes are already determined? Both of these items fly in the face of the history of an empowered America, once the real force for democracy and an example for the world.


If the fate of our unfunded liabilities and price of gas at the pump concern you, then now would be a good time to become more politically active, even if this means simply writing a Letter to the Editor of




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