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U.S. Congress: Hypocrites, at the Very Least

The Spanish word berrinches means "tantrum," but it also refers to spoiled little rich kids, blind to their privilege and the effects of their misbehavior.

That is how people in places like Greece, Argentina, Mexico and Russia - who experienced government defaults - are viewing politicians in Washington these days. These people worry that the actions of the Washington berrinches might have disastrous consequences for their lives, not just for the U.S. economy. At the very least, U.S. policymakers are looking like hypocrites.

"The really ironic thing is that advanced countries spent the better part of the 1980s and early 1990s preaching to developing nations what they needed to do to turn their economies around," Peter Henry, Dean of NYU's Stern School of Business, told Big Think in a recent interview. "And now we find ourselves in a position where advanced nations need to learn from developing nations about how to get their economies back on track."

They key to this is discipline. But the problem, according to Henry, is that so-called first world nations like the U.S. are looking like third world nations were three decades ago, with an economy characterized by "high debt, slow growth and a lack of direction."

As Henry tells Big Think in the video below, as a result of the disciplined policies exercised in emerging economies over the last two decades, we now see a very different global economic landscape.

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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