Pinpointing America's Demise

wintonheights's picture
Rank: Orangutan | 331

this will probably set the world on fire...but ive been thinking this lately and i need to get it out of my head.

the prevailing wisdom of today's masses thinks that america's demise as a national power will come from emerging nations currently undergoing massive amounts of economic growth (ie, china and co). i disagree. i see a few problems with this view, but the major issue is that chinas domestic and foreign policies/ideology are so fundamentally at odds with long term economic growth, and unless there are more progressive/drastic changes in this regard (i doubt it), i see their recent strides as more of a short term phenomenon that is likely to end haphazardly or at best be hoarded domestically (do people really think china has interest/capacity to be the new super power given its history and the way the role is now defined by todays global standards?)

i believe the greater threat to americas dominance is its politics. the displacement and upheaval from the 60s has dissolved into an absolutism that has crippled the promise of any kind of practical, functioning government working to resolve the countries issues. Legitimate debates have been thinned into soundbites for the masses and the thirst for power for power's sake (mostly by the republicans) has taken/pushed things to the extreme. Its winner take all. choose sides or be damned. to be flexible or compromise is to be weak. meanwhile, america has massive issues that need to be resolved. the mounting burden of its debt, the gap between the rich and the poor growing again, health care coverage for the masses, social security for soon to be retiring baby boomers- these problems are all snowballing into each other. these problems are heart-stoppers, yet the public is disaffected and the politicians shortsighted by the next election. and the worse part is that everyone sees it coming.

no. americas biggest problem isnt the threat of an outsider. its that its cannibalizing itself from deep within.

Comments (18)

Apr 13, 2010

In the 50's the US had a very strong middle class that was upwardly mobile due to the "melting pot" US sociology that had dominated the first almost two centuries of the country. The middle class voted in large blocks so politicians could pitch to large blocks of voters with like expectation and mainstream debate was manageable because it was on only a few issues (compared to today). In the 60's and 70's astute observers began to see and worry about the progressive eroding and demise of the middle class. The "melting pot" sociology began to give way to diversity and separate groups.
More and more popular movements started saying 'I'm different I want mine", the media fanned this diversity and at the same time more and more lobbyists gained more and more political influence saying "we want ours, for out region and our industry." Responsive politicians began playing "wedge politics" and started to pander to to this group and that group, trying to cobble together the biggest loose coalition of constituencies.
Astute observers warned that we were headed to an ungovernable state in which the middle class of the 50's will completely fracture into hundreds of conflicting confusing self centered groups all fighting everyone else for what they self righteously claim as their "owed piece of the pie." This is the place we have reached today.
Under these conditions politicians doing what they do, that is, always seeking office have only two mega strategies to choose from:
Play wedge politics, as mentioned, and try to put together the largest coalition (which alienates many) or try to play" centerest" and offend the least people (which because they don't want to offend they do very little)

Given the frationisation of the middle class and the many different voting blocks with the consequent huge number of issues that arise form this, today neither of these two political strategies results in a positive movement in any real direction. Its two steps forward-two back-two to the left-two to the right. There is so much pull and push from every direction by so many groups with relatively equal power that the great issues of the day, that you mentioned, never get moved upon in any meaningful way because no one can get enough of these self interested groups of today all agreeing on an action. It is absolutely evident in the US today and the Health Care issue is a perfect example.

Apr 13, 2010

Don't worry about China. When the Chinese real estate bubble pops, it will make Helicopter Ben and the US look like infants.

I won't touch your political motives, or anyone else's for that matter, with a ten foot pole. Especially on the internet.

Apr 13, 2010
FXTrading:

Don't worry about China. When the Chinese real estate bubble pops, it will make Helicopter Ben and the US look like infants.

I won't touch your political motives, or anyone else's for that matter, with a ten foot pole. Especially on the internet.

I don't get it, why "helicopter" Ben?

Apr 13, 2010
helphere:
FXTrading:

Don't worry about China. When the Chinese real estate bubble pops, it will make Helicopter Ben and the US look like infants.

I won't touch your political motives, or anyone else's for that matter, with a ten foot pole. Especially on the internet.

I don't get it, why "helicopter" Ben?

ha ha. "helicopter ben!" that brings back memories. that nick was a trading floor favorite. it is a general reference to the fed printing money willy nilly through open market operations but specifically nankes got the tag because he actually mentioned dropping money out of helicopter to prevent deflation or something like that in one of his speeches back in the day.

Apr 13, 2010

Liberals are responsible for most of our nation's domestic problems since the 1960's. The Great Society in particular has been especially harmful.

Apr 13, 2010

I believe that fears of America's demise are overblown. As we are still relatively young as a nation, we have a strong inclination towards self-doubt despite all of our successes. There are many historical examples of this over the past couple hundred years. We are the equivalent of an adolescent, still unsure of who we really are and where we are going. America has many great natural advantages. These include our collection of the most dynamic and venturesome (those willing to immigrate) and their descendants from around the world, natural resources, abundant water, some of the most fertile argicultural land, physical isolation from opponents, efficient waterways for transportation and a population that is still growing (an incredibly amazing asset to have in this day and age). We lack any revolutionary fervor, ethnic tension or geographical disparities at a level where it would pose a threat (not saying they don't exist here). Also, we can't forget our constructed advantages, such as our military, research universities, entrepreneurial environment, reserve currency status and banks (with a hint of irony).

I absolutely agree that our political system is dysfunctional and will significantly magnify all the problems that we face. But as a nation, although we are perhaps not the greatest when it comes to timing, we eventual rise up to the challenges that we face.

Apr 13, 2010

Bernanke wrote an academic paper where he mentions the use of "dropping money out of helicopters" if necessary to pump money into the economy. It was written in the early 2000s and his later policies when the crisis struck are almost exactly as outlined in the paper.

Apr 13, 2010

Diversity training and idolatry has crippled America in all manners and will be the downfall of the nation. Hordes of unqualified people have been put into significant positions at every major level of society from law and government to business to media to even the White House. The country has become so morally corrupt as a result that the very concept of "diversity" in many way now takes precedence over "survival itself. Forget the leftist madness that everybody from all sectors of society must always be equal in every way all the time with no regard for individual responsibility or choice; this experiment of the blind idolization of diversity has been far more destructive.

Who will take America's place? None. All cultures of the world have fallen into a suicidal madness.

Apr 13, 2010

America will fall, the same way all other great societies and empires have. It's a given, call it the natural order of things.

But to put it into perspective here is what we have survived:

A revolutionary war against the giant of its time, England
The Whiskey rebellion
The War of 1812
The attempted Impeachment of a president
The expansion of slavery
The Civil War
The assassination of a President
Reconstruction
The assassination of another president
Prohibition
Women getting the right to vote
World War I
The Great Depression
World War II
Korea
The Soviets Getting the Bomb
McCarthyism
Brown V Board
Sputnik
A Catholic becoming President
Assassination of another President
The Great Society
Vietnam
Race Riots
Women in the work place
The Oil crisis
Watergate
The resignation of a President
The Iranian hostage crisis
Reagan
Japan taking over [allegedly]
The Cowboys losing Jimmy Johnson
The impeachment of a president for getting a blow job
Bush Jr.
and a black man becoming president.

And that's the short list....

Put down Atlas Shrugged and Road to Serfdom down and read about our history.

All this crap about America going down b/c of Socialism/Debt/China is just the latest in a long line of reasons that didn't come to pass. In the past 200 plus years, Americas was going meet it's end because of: minorities, immigrants, Jews, Catholics, women, communists, socialists, unions, terrorists, Muslims, Japan, Indians, the opposing political party, Masons, Illuminati, etc.

America will meet it's end at some point, just not today. Or tomorrow, or anytime in the near future.

Apr 14, 2010
dzx162:

The Cowboys losing Jimmy Johnson

LOL

What made this even more devastating was how, afterwards, he pretty much destroyed Dan Marino. As a Dolphins fan, the world had truly fallen apart.

Apr 14, 2010

America's downfall was the baby boom generation.

Apr 14, 2010

overpopulation and fighting over resources

or asteroid known as Apothis in 203x

=========================================
We are excited to formally extend to you an offer to join Bank of Ameria

Apr 14, 2010

Whoa!!
A guy who thinks coaches destroyed Dan Marino. I know there is a lot of this weird thinking in South Florida but hopefully not on WSO, Not the case at all. It was th eother way around, Dan destroyed coaches. He destroyed the great Don Shula before he hogtied and destroyed JJ.

How? Why? As an ex-football coach I'll mention a few for anyone interested.
Dan gave away every running play ever called so other teams knew instantly whether it was a pass or run. He stayed in a crouch for a run and instantly stood tall for a pass.
Because of Dan's great talent at throwing the ball it didn't matter for the pass, he still got it in there, but he killed the run. So the coach calls a run on first or second down which go no where and Big Dan had to come to the rescue with a third down pass. Often he did successfully but not enough to win in the winter or in the playoffs.

He had good runners and great O linemen but no team with Dan on it could run the ball well. So Dan had no faith in the run and stopped using it and threw as often as possible. A bit like Brett Farve taking the ball out of the hands of Adrian Peterson.

Well, sorry I am completely off topic.

Apr 14, 2010
medward:

Whoa!!
A guy who thinks coaches destroyed Dan Marino. I know there is a lot of this weird thinking in South Florida but hopefully not on WSO, Not the case at all. It was th eother way around, Dan destroyed coaches. He destroyed the great Don Shula before he hogtied and destroyed JJ.

How? Why? As an ex-football coach I'll mention a few for anyone interested.
Dan gave away every running play ever called so other teams knew instantly whether it was a pass or run. He stayed in a crouch for a run and instantly stood tall for a pass.
Because of Dan's great talent at throwing the ball it didn't matter for the pass, he still got it in there, but he killed the run. So the coach calls a run on first or second down which go no where and Big Dan had to come to the rescue with a third down pass. Often he did successfully but not enough to win in the winter or in the playoffs.

He had good runners and great O linemen but no team with Dan on it could run the ball well. So Dan had no faith in the run and stopped using it and threw as often as possible. A bit like Brett Farve taking the ball out of the hands of Adrian Peterson.

Well, sorry I am completely off topic.

I don't care if you're a coach, I don't care if you are Dan Marino himself, your argument is asinine. You have effectively taken one flaw in his game, blown it out of proportion and gone as far as to saying that that same flaw has killed coaches.

Yes, in the later part of his career Dan Marino had trouble handing the ball off. It doesn't take a coach to see that. Go back and look at the tape of Dan back before the knees went, not only was he quite agile but he was very smooth on the handoff. So, immediately, you're basing your argument on 96-99 Dan. I don't blame you, you probably didn't watch him play every week for twelve straight years the way some of us did.

Your argument completely falls apart on the following line "he had good runners and great O linemen." Half of that argument is half correct. He had an amazing pass blocking O line for the early part of his career, one of the best in history. In the later part of his career he had a decent offensive line, but he never had elite run blockers in front of him in either period. As for saying he had good running backs, this just proves you didn't watch much Dolphins football. Take any part of Marino's career, heck, take the Dolphins during their 82 Super Bowl run before Marino got there, can you name who their running back was? Of course you can't, he was a nobody and for good reason. Let's look at the timeline, if you call Tony Nathan, Bernie Parmalee, Irving Spikes running into the line and falling down "good running backs," I'd have to question your football I.Q. And this was when Marino could still hand the ball off. Karim Abdul Jabar for crying out loud. I suppose he had good receivers after Clayton and Duper also? I suppose he had an underrated defense as well? NOBODY did more with less than Marino. You know how many painful weeks I had to watch Ken O'Brien and Freeman McNeil look like hall of famers against those Dolphin teams?

Don Shula, who's obviously my favorite coach of all time, killed Don Shula's career. It pains me to say this but he did a lot towards destroying Marino's career. We see this with successful coaches who have had a history of winning with defense and running the ball as soon as they get some offensive weapons, they completely give up everything they once believed in. We are seeing right now with Belichick, it's no secret why the Patriots aren't competitive lately, even with all that offensive talent.

The Jimmy Johnson experiment...let's not even go there, it was a disaster from day one. Johnson's philosophy was one of the worst possible matches for Marino. The only positive he brought was that he improved the defense and toughened them up a bit, although they still folded like a deck of cards against any legitimate offenses. Marino still had his share of magical games under Johnson, but when you are trying to rebuild a team that was in desperate need of a "win now" mentality...it's not going to end well. But the end came when he took audibles out of Marino's hands, which was the heart and soul of that Dolphins offense. The only guy who I can think of that could control a game from the line of scrimmage the way Marino could is Peyton Manning (who's legitimately good at it), but that's where the comparisons between Peyton and Marino end...you're barking up the wrong tree if you think that's even a debate.

Apr 14, 2010

I love Shula and Marino. Thanks for throwing down an epic defense for my previously beloved team.

Apr 14, 2010

if there is just one more fkg post about football in this thread...

Apr 14, 2010

Political correctness is the problem. It's turning our nation into a bunch of pussies

Apr 15, 2010
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