America in Decline?

There was an interesting article in the Financial Times yesterday about how America is going to decline, in fact we’ve already begun, and the best thing we can do is talk honestly about it so we can manage is correctly.  It’s an interesting read.  Some will react viscerally to it (just read the comments to see that).

Without a doubt, we need to have a rational national discussion about how we want to proceed as a nation as we move forward.  Also, there can be no doubt that we seem hellbent on refusing to have it. 

But my big question when it comes to the predicted decline of the USA is: so what?

Really, all sorts of people are making hay over the fact that, for instance, China’s economy is expanding and will probably become larger than the US’s in a few years, and that’s a sign that the US is on the downswing.  Well: duh!  1.5 billion people vs 300 million.  That math’s not hard to do.  Unless the Chinese are willing to remain socialist and keep their people in abject poverty (which by all appearances they aren’t, at least not totally), then of course their economy will eclipse ours someday.  Same with India.

Does that then mean that we’ll somehow be worse off?  Far from it!  Having more people getting more wealthy, anywhere in the world, benefits everyone everywhere.  A wealthy China and India will be a great thing.  Not only will hundreds of millions of people be lifted out of poverty and ignorance, but it will make us richer as well.  That is, as long as we ignore economic protectionists who would seek to prevent us for participating in their growth.

Other countries doing well does not mean that somehow the good o’ USA will stop being special, or stop doing well.  That we’ll do to ourselves if we continue to choke out individual liberties in favor of collectivism and stifle free enterprise in favor of the delusion of being “progressive”, which is a misnomer if ever there was one.  “Progressive” ideology is merely a re-packaging of the same old Marxist-Leninist-Maoist philosophies that, throughout history, have always failed to achieve anything except poverty, virtual enslavement, and misery for everyone except for a select few in the Party elite.  There’s nothing forward-looking, positive, or progressive about “Progressive” ideology at all.  There’s certainly nothing new about it.  It’s a philosophy that exploits the masses while playing to their most base instincts, namely envy, tribalism, laziness, and greed.  It ought to have been thrown into the trashbin of history and its proponents removed from the public discourse long ago, for everyone’s benefit.

But of course, we refuse to learn from history.

Just look at the Occupy Wallstreet idiots.  They are proof positive that there are many in this country who are eager to kill the golden goose.  And there are plenty of people with political power who will gleefully wield the axe so they can, in the short-term, increase their own personal power and wealth while grinding the rest of us underfoot.  And while they do so, they will laugh at the useful idiots who protested in favor of their own demise.

If any real decline occurs in the USA, and not merely decline on a relative scale as other nations begin doing better for themselves, it won’t be because of external pressures.  It will be something we did to ourselves.  And it’s completely predictable and avoidable, if only weren’t hellbent on being stupid.  And if only we bothered to include basic economics in our educational system.

0 thoughts on “America in Decline?”

  1. Nice rant. I try to avoid discussing politics as part of my author platform, but it’s pleasant to hear some honest-to-goodness opinions in times like these (particularly since I agree with you, although I admit to being mildly sympathetic to OWS because they are putting a scare into the oligarchs).

    Since we’re on the topic of suggesting that kids be taught basic economics, they also need to learn about entrepreneurship. They never taught me that in school, and it’s something I need to use every day.

    1. Who exactly are these Oligarchs you refer to? I would submit that they don’t exist except as a hollow talking point.

      I have no sympathy for OWS or their fellows. Because by all appearances they have, apparently without thought, fallen hook line and sinker for the tired old “Rich People Are Screwing Everyone Else” meme. They’re protesting Wall Street and rich people, but they should be protesting DC. Because it is politicians and government that are responsible for the current economic woes. Whatever excesses happened during the housing bubble and the subsequent bailouts (which we all hate) had their root in government action and in perverse incentives that government promoted.

      But of course we can’t say that. We can’t actually look at the root cause of anything. We just have to jump on the easiest, most trite scapegoat and run with it. Otherwise we’d have to think for a change.

      And if we thought, we would no longer fall prey to the demogogues. We can’t have that.

      1. My definition of oligarchs can be classified as powerful people who use government coercion to maintain their wealth and status:

        1) Politicians
        2) Lobbyists
        3) Union Leaders (see #2)
        4) Banking CEOs that took bailout money (I didn’t hear a lot of criticism of government intervention from Wall Street in 2008)
        5) CEOs of rent-seeking companies (Intel, GE, the auto companies, Solyndra – haha)
        6) The self-serving bureaucracy
        7) Lawyers that create laws to create jobs and money for themselves (the health care debacle comes to mind)

        I think young people have a right to be pissed, but the problem with these left-wing protests is you get all the freaky-freakies out in force (the anti-zionist weirdos, socialists, people who never got out of the 60s, etc.) I like what Herman Cain said about them going out there and getting a job or starting a business. However, it’s very difficult to start a small biz in America with all the ridiculous regulations that are perpetuated by, you got it, the Oligarchs.

        1. Ah.

          What you call Oligrachy is what economists refer to as Crony Capitalism. I think that’s a better definition, because it better describes the problem. But either way, it’s repugnant. So I guess we agree.

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