I use the shock headline because this other dude is really worried about this problem:
Is America really in serious decline?
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t hear someone say so. Even President Obama captured this anxiety in his inaugural speech, pointing to a “nagging fear” that America’s “decline is inevitable.”
For starters, it’s illusion to assume that any society exists in the present time is going to last forever. Theoretically, it’s possible to design a society with longer-term potential, but nothing we have now seems to have the depth of thought required to produce that.
1.The United States still has the most competitive economy in the world.
According to the most recent Fortune Global 500 report, the US hosts more of the world’s major companies (153, to be exact) than any other country.
Data crunching reveals that in 1992, US companies accounted for about 27 percent of the Global 500.
The USA is huge. Also, he’s assuming that copmanies hosted here means our economy is successful. It doesn’t necessarily mean that — these companies are successful, and they’re hosted here for convenience. It makes sense that we have a lot of them because we have a lot of consumers and huge land-mass. Of course Germany or Japan aren’t going to compete… they’re tiny! But all of Asia, or all of Europe, versus North America? Ah.
2. The US is still a major international power broker…And that critical role enables it to capitalize on globalization better than can most major countries.
We are assuming that globalization is the way forward and will be successful, not like most large alliances in history a suicide pact, right?
That’s a big step there, sailor.
All dying civilizations have reached their apex of raw power. However, they have lost the wisdom to use it well. As a result, they take on lots of enemies and once and cannot keep tabs on their friends, so they get bled dry.
Nations don’t fall because one guy comes along and takes them out. At least, not big powerful nations. Empires fall because they become decadent and unrealistic, and then take on thousands of tiny tasks, and bleed through the death of a thousand microfailures. It doesn’t happen quickly. It happens over centuries. When the Vandals finally show up at the gate and set the place on fire, it’s a welcome anticlimax.
3. The US military is without parallel…As just one indicator of its high-tech advantage, it has mastered stealth flight, while the Russians and Chinese are still in the theoretical planning stages for such technology.
First, we don’t know for sure exactly what the Russians and Chinese have, and our espionage is not so superior we can claim this objectively.
Next, the problem is not that our military is bad. The problem is that our leadership is bad. Bad leadership cannot be compensated for with a strong military, nor can a strong military do much when it’s outnumbered. There’s a lesson from the Russian steppes of 1944 here somewhere.
4. America’s competitors lack good allies…in NATO, the European Union, the G-7 industrialized countries, and elsewhere that help it meet its national and international goals.
They don’t need allies; as Samuel Huntington points out, they’re going to pick people similar to them in values, culture, language, customs and heritage. That means Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America are all going to stick together internally. Comparing America to any one country makes us look good; comparing us to the allegiances that are going to form, and we look really not so good.
For example, Latin America is steadily turning toward socialism. Having a socialist-friendly (Democratic) president in the white house is going to just encourage this. They will also stick together. What are we going to do if 100 million Bolivians, Argentines, Mexicans, Venezuelans and Brazilians with a mid-leftist ideology come charging over the Rio Grande? Try to hire them to cut our lawns?
5. American ideals are becoming universal. Slowly but surely, self-government, free enterprise, and individual liberty are gaining ground around the world.
But these ideals aren’t new. Free enterprise and consumerism have existed as long as democracy and individual liberty; as many philosophers allege, these are signs of societies that have lost vital consensus so make every issue a battleground because no one any longer agrees what the goals or values of that society are.
There’s no reason to suspect these won’t be a trend, as they have been previously in history, culminating in ruined republics now turned into Crowdist paradises.
6. The US attracts the world’s best workforce. With global birthrates down, competition for the most educated workers has become more important. Many of the globe’s best and brightest still seek to learn, work, and live here, creating a wellspring of American renewal.
However, when they feel like it, they move back, and take away their expertise. I have not seen a shortage of quality native-born workers; what I have seen is a shortage of management who can tell the difference between an idiot and a craftsperson. That’s a huge problem right there. When idiots and geniuses seem the same, you know your society is circling the drain.
At bottom, America’s remarkable – and remarkably diverse – capabilities will ensure that today’s crises are merely temporary setbacks.
Diverse just means you have many different methods for tackling a problem. It doesn’t guarantee one will be right. In fact, since the diversity is made up of elements from other places, it’s possible that we’d do great if we faced the problems those other places have — but we have our own set of problems, so that seems moot.
It seems to me we should really worry when pundits are bloviating about the end, and offering so many irrelevant deflections as got thrown up above without mass voices in unison shouting them down as babbling bobbleheads.