America's foreign policy is hurting tourism and we need to find a way to make some more money.
The US share of international travel has been falling since 1992, but the decline has accelerated since September 11, 2001. Since then America has lost an estimated $286 billion (£152 billion) in revenue from foreign tourists.
While global travel has grown by a fifth, the the US travel industry’s share of the world tourism market has shrunk by a third, from 9% to 6%.
Wait wait, nevermind that the drop in tourism started during the Clinton administration, let's skip forward...
Tough security measures are only part of the problem, however. Surveys show that America is becoming unpopular with the rest of the world, partly because of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.
Since 2000 the percentage of people holding favourable opinions of the country has fallen from 83% to 56% in Britain, from 78% to 37% in Germany and from 77% to 63% in Japan.
It's obvious that doing good by freeing gazillions of people from tyranny hasn't won us any points with the world, so I say it's time to stop making friends and start making money, Roman style. Rather than freeing all these people, protecting Europe from commies and Nazis, policing the oceans, and saving Tsunami victims, all gratis, it's time to start extracting tribute from every country that has benefitted from American foreign policy. Here's the tribute menu:
- Saved you from Nazis: 10% GDP
- Saved you from Communists: 10% GDP
- Special Commie and Nazi combo: 15% GDP
- Freed you from insane Muslim dictator: 20% oil discount in perpetuity, plus free airbases
- Every time one of your citizens bombs American property: $1 billion cash or 10 times the damage cost, whichever is higher
- Each one of your ships that transports goods without being attacked by pirates, Nazis, or Commies: 10% of the value of the goods
- Rescued your country from a major natural disaster: 10% GDP for the first disaster, 5% each additional disaster