|US America – Steering toward rocky shoals?
Diplomats, scholars, candidates, governors, and even the President of the United States are saying:
America has passed its high point like so many other civilizations.
The engines of economic growth have shut down.
Europeans and Asians are commenting that the United States is in decline.
The United States has fallen from a position of undisputed power … to the brink of possible disaster.
America is in the midst of unprecedented political troubles.
America has become a nation of idle industries and small dreams.
Our country is not strong anymore.
America is becoming a second-rate power.
President Obama: The state of the union is not good.
It seems that gloom has become fashionable, and amid the budget crisis, wars in stalemate and increased global challenges – America certainly looks like it is declining, and it is the mood as well. A poll revealed that 70% of Americans believe the country is in decline– and it isn’t just economics.
Looking at it objectively and not with patriot emotion – America has seen better days. But people must realize it is not just one thing that is the problem – and the issues cannot be resolved if we do not think like a united people in a nation of united states.
Beginning From the Beginning
The United States was originally thirteen colonies that were loyal to England’s king, just like Canada and Australia are loyal to the queen today. But things changed between the colonists and those that resided in England. After all, we were only colonies of England with no real representation in the Parliament or with the monarchy.
In 1776, America, the united colonies to become states, entered the world stage suddenly and loudly as the former loyal colonists fought against the greatest empire on earth at the time.
Thirty years later, the young republic was on the verge of being retaken by the same forces from across the sea in the War of 1812, where we had US forces routed and the capital of our nation was set fire. To those living at the time, America had suddenly declined drastically.
But the country endured, with heroes like General Andrew Jackson and countless patriots who sent the British packing back from whence they came.
America went on about its business, increasing its naval power and re-organizing its military so the incident in 1812 could not happen again. But relations with England had improved somewhat despite that attempt to retake America as its colony.
The war ended and the United States was made whole again, but then a southern actor at the Ford Theatreassassinated the beloved president who worked so hard to unite the nation. General William Sherman made a public comment that he feared that America would be slipping into anarchy. General Sherman stated:
…who was left on this continent to give order and shape to the now-disjointed elements of the government.
Sadness and gloom spread over our nation as the Lincoln funeral train proceeded from Washington to Abraham Lincoln‘s final resting place in Illinois.
But the country rebounded, these were Americans who were a generation or two away from when patriots fought to make this our national homeland. Time went on and by 1900, the United States was emerging as a global power. It was the beginning of what is termed as the Progressive Era. Paris might have produced the artists and latest fashions, but when Woodrow Wilson arrived in Paris for his first visit, the crowd was enthusiastic and American ideals were embraced by people of many nations.
When World War I broke out, American entered the war to side with France who had helped us when Americans were fighting for their independence and the cry was “Lafayette, we are here!” as American troops landed on the shore. The enthusiasm was short-lived as the reality of modern warfare with newly invented tanks and cannons blasting the landscape, and aircraft that battled gallantly in the skies over Europe over the trenches were troops on both sides were forced to defend.
When the troops returned, they found they couldn’t find work; yet the Roaring Twenties ended up an economic boom, with oil companies all over looking for and drilling for oil and industry giants along with financiers were making money and purchasing luxurious mansions and living the high side of life.
America is a stricken nation on the world stage. The future and the safety of our country … are overwhelmingly involved in events far beyond our borders. As long as the aggressor nations maintain the offensive, they – not we – will choose the time and the place and the method of their attack.
US power had declined back to where it was at one century previously, when other countries held the economic power and the fate of America’s fortunes.
In November of 1941, the program for the Army-Navy football game included a picture of the USS Arizona with a caption boasting:
No battleship has ever been sunk by air attack.
Imperial Japan proved otherwise a month later.
At the end of World War II, the US military, industrial, and economic power was unrivaled, and the Cold War began with constant imminent crisis and fear of nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. Debates raged over who lost China to the communists, once an ally in World War II, like Stalin’s Soviet Union. Debates centered upon Cuba and the Americans wondered how they had lost the space race to the Soviet Union – not realizing that much of their leaps and bounds in technology was stolen from the West, at a time when we trusted them even after being warned by Sir Winston Churchill that Josef Stalin once was an ally with Adolf Hitler and only changed when the latter turned upon Russia for conquest.
In the 1960s, it began with the dynamic presidency of John F. Kennedy, who addressed crisis after crisis with the communist world and opened the US involvement in the Vietnam civil war against North Vietnam’s communist troops and its ally, China. The Vietnam Warended like the Bay of Pigs operation. It was also the end of the American Camelot, which JFK and Jacqueline Kennedyrepresented. The American public was disillusioned after JFK’s death. Self-doubt opened the 1970s and foreign leftist organizations crept within the educational institutions of America made popular by socialist- and communist-backed demonstrations. America had tired of fighting communists in a ten-year war that seemed to never end.
In the 1980s, experts predicted that Japan and Germany, growing economic powers, would knock America off its perch.
In the 1990s, the United States was promoted from a superpower to a “hyperpower” and an historian declared that America had too much power for anyone’s good, including its own. This attitude, by some, came from the historical event that demonstrated that technology in warfare was changing the field of battles, from the planning boards to the engagement.
Despite economic woes in America today, the US economy remains a remarkable feat with a GDP at $15 trillion when members of the European Union conglomerate comprised of 27 nations cannot rival in its total. The US GDP is 50% larger than China, who is in the process of working towards economic domination worldwide. The labor force in the US is two-thirds the size of those in the EU nations (total), one-third the size of India, and one-fifth the size of China.
While China seems to be in aggressive planning to cause the American economy to fail, which makes Americans wonder why we are so friendly with them, and aid in their economic boon and endeavors. There is, however, a huge gap in per-capita income figures, where in the US it is $47,200 and in China it is only $4,260.
China has an immense source of cheap “slave” labor and its treasury is growing; however, it doesn’t have a stable middle class and the Chinese government does not put forth confidence in its trading partners, as well as a political system that is not close to free.
Once China had a population problem, but that demographic scenario has been changing. Jonathan Last reported: By 2050, China will be losing, on net, 20 million people every five years.
Japan and Europe lack immigration levels, has an aging society, and lower birth rates as well.
As far as America’s current economic health, the deep recession has exposed problems that have been complained about for the past two decades. We can no longer sustain the entitlement spending of the past and present. The US debt is at 38% of the GDP (2008) rising to 63% in 2010 and still rising to 85% of the GDP today, 2012. Yet, these are problems that can be solved with the right people in office to deal with it – and with zeal.
That latter point can only be if the American society changes itself in the way it looks at our government as a government that doles out “free” stuff at the expense of a smaller part of the population or whether we reform back to the state of limited government like that which the founders devised and set up – or continue on the same shaky bridge to oblivion.
We have challenges that spread across the issue spectrum that must be addressed because the major negative issues cannot be solved with one simple solution – for it was caused by a myriad of events and circumstances.
No matter what others think, I believe that the United States remains a key element in the global economy – and those that wish to attack that economy through a “different kind of warfare” via the use of 21sttechnology – cyberwarfare, financial manipulation, et cetera; will succeed if we do not address our weaknesses and fill the gaps.
As far as the domestic issues – the American society must first clean up its own act, educate or reeducate themselves in order to see actual and true reform in today’s government.
America still has 18 out of 50 largest companies globally – three times as many as the immediate challengers of economic power.
We still have the world’s largest aerospace industry (Boeing), biotech (Amgen), pharmaceutical (Pfizer), retail (Walmart), petroleum (Exxon/Mobil), software (Microsoft, despite Clinton administration’s attempt to weaken it), technological hardware (HP), computer services (IBM), communications equipment (Cisco), and heavy equipment (Caterpillar) firms.
China mass-produces, uses reverse engineering, and pirates its economic success in industries that is state controlled, which bring a formidable competitor into the picture. The biggest infringement culprit of copyright laws is China – where pirating is a muck.
In terms of US power of influence:
Libyans purchase iPhones, Nikes, Ford Mustangs, and Eminem CDs.
Cubans and Iranians are erecting illegal satellite dishes to watch US television.
China is the National Basketball Association’s biggest fan.
Of the Coca-Cola (Coke) drinkers, 70% live outside of North America.
Fifty percent of MacDonald restaurants are somewhere other than in the United States.
Walmart has 2,700 stores outside the United States.
Ninety-percent of the world’s PC computers run on Microsoft software.
In the top ten universities of the world, six of them are in the United States.
The United States hold the world record of international patent filings at one-third.
Our military, despite a dent into the present economic status, provides security for almost half of the world’s land mass. America has become the first responder to prevent big wars like in the 1940s, as well as being the last line of defense against aggression. We have globally multitasked our military without weakening it, but at a tremendous cost of lives and funding.
Foreign governments invite our military to maintain security in South Korea, Kuwait, Germany, and soon Australia to an extent. Those that fear China and don’t trust Russia are strengthening US ties.
While it seems we are “overstretched” when it comes to our military – compared to other moments in history – we are not. Seventy percent of our armed forces are based within the United States and its territories. American spends 4% of its GDP on defense – an actual number that dispels the myth that politicians would have you believe.
But these things will change for the worse if We the People do not insist proper action be taken to address the real issues that need to be solved.
As far as our morale, we must remember history that we have faced these situations before, some that were more dire and to others we impressed them with our fortitude and determination. This is what we cannot lose.
Americans need to put away those petty things that cause division – and when a politician tries to institute those divisions, be it racial or otherwise, they need to be booed off the stage.
We are certainly not a perfect nation of people – but we ARE a more perfect union. We must always pay attention to past mistakes as reminders – but never live in the past and continue the mistakes made by those of the past. People need to learn just what equality is.
Equality is and should be afforded to every individual; however, race or gender does not override qualifications or aptitudes. A person should be equal in progressing towards an endeavor, but not guaranteed that those goals will be achieved without qualifying and earning that goal.
All imaginable futures are not equally possible. – Kevin Kelly
Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity. – Irving Kristol
And, Martin Luther King pointed out that it was character that mattered, not the pigmentation of skin:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
A dirt bag is a dirt bag – no matter what the race, creed, color or gender they may be.
Character is what American society lacks – character is not what American voters look for nor credibility based upon their record of voting and history of actions.
These are the problems that society must address and achieve a higher goal – and, then, they can reform those that operate our government – expecting no less of character than we expect among ourselves.
If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will best be attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.– Aristotle
So, Americans, are we going to do something about this, or just leave it to the fickle finger of fate or the behest of those that look to make moot the Constitution and dissolve our rights and liberties – in the name of their special interests?
If we look to our American ancestors – the answer is definitely “NO”.
If we look to those who wish to alter our Constitution and dissolve our sovereignty and promote the welfare state – the answer is “Yes”.
We must begin reformation within our homes, strengthen our family bonds, and look to those that are elected in our community to handle affairs For the People – then work the reformation upwards until it reaches Washington, DC.
It will take as long as you take to gather and unify Americans. Unfortunately, it takes longer to fix something rather than repair it before it is broken. It is the same with government and society. But we must endeavor to succeed, without falling prey to America’s past mistakes.
We need educated and savvy leadership – not conniving lawyers. We need federal leadership that will gather the greatest minds in economics and other areas of issue and formulate a solid plan, not waste time pointing fingers. We are spending too much time complaining – Americans know there is something wrong and what it generally is – we need solutions.
No more talk – walk the walk.
We must regain pride toward ourselves and our nation, without being snobbish to other cultures and other nations.
We must return as a national symbol of a democratic republic – and ignore those who look elsewhere for other systems of government that they misconceive as “better”. They are misguided and We the People must set things aright.