What the USA would be like if the Berlin Wall had fallen the other way

 Great question that would require an alternative history novel to explore meaningfully.

The reason for a collapse of the west and the U.S.A. would have been financial, for that is the main point people bring out about the value of democracy these days. The economy was in something of a shambles after the Vietnam War yet it wasn’t terminally dire. If Hinkley had killed Ronald Reagan instead of wounding him maybe the supply side massive tax cuts and deficit spending wouldn’t have happened and the economy would have deflated.

A George Bush I administration wouldn’t have had Reagan’s ideas about getting rid of nuclear weapons at all- that idea and the ‘tear down this wall’ speech were entirely Ronald’s. Maybe the F.S.U. would have invented a cure for cancer and Yuri Andropov would have remained leader of the C.P.S.U. and not have died of lung cancer before mentoring the soft-on-capitalism Gorbachev.

With Andropov at the help of the Soviet Union during the critical 1980s Soviets might have invented a commie red shave cream that was the best stuff ever made for cold weather shaves heating right out of the can on exposure to air and the prestige of the stuff coupled with the decline of western economics would have brought more investors in the Soviet Union from Wall Street traders looking for a deal.

Gorbachev as a pupil of Andropov might have developed a theory about tolerating capitalist investment in the Soviet economy and given bargains to a flock of investors defecting with their money to build their prompting a run on the dollar and rise of the ruble.

The United States then would have withdrawn its military from western Europe and given them jobs making the U.S. capitol secure digging a moat around it to prevent looters and rioters from taking all of the good furniture during the final phase of decline when apartments with a view of Central Park in New York went for a fraction of the cost of new dachas in Venezuela and Siberia.

Today, if the wall had fell in the other direction., China would be expanding with Gorbachev’s mixed economy and CEOs and the U.S> government would be developing corporatism globally to build a brave new world order with benevolent plutocrats from the west and the former communist party leadership of the F.S.U. finding ways to improve the U.S> National Basketball Association and unfairly try to harm the L.A. Lakers chances of repeating as N.B.A. champions.