What ultimately caused America's downfall? I was talking about it with a friend and he said it has to do with Bush. Bush single-handedly destroyed country.
In order for George W. Bush to be possible, you have to go back.
You could start with the Puritans but who's got the time? I'd put the beginning of the end at the Kennedy assassination, followed so closely by Vietnam and Watergate that the mirror cracked.
Reagan and Bush just exploited the fault lines.
i think the seeds were sown during Reagan's presidency.
Of course Bush didn't do it single-handedly. The man doesn't even wipe his ass single-handedly.
Definitely during ray-gun....everything stated to topple then.
Heterosexuality is the primary culprit.
Not over yet, but it will be
If the liberals keep giving huge chunks of money to parts of society that only take and never give anything back, then doom is certain.
Of course, America has passed, this is true, but the remaining rich will continue to become even wealthier but fewer of the poor will manage to escape poverty. The US is not an education focused nation. This has and will continue to hurt the poor on an ever increasing manner. The ranks of the wealthy will include more foreign born and educated people than ever before. The greatest growth in wealth will be in China and India with a lagging US.
Hourly wages, adjusted for inflation and productivity, haven't moved since Nixon was President. Start there.
(One day) I was leaving quarters to go back to my ward, when I had to wait to let a large contingent of troops march past me... Though the sight of soldiers marching was now too familiar to arouse curiosity, an unusual quality of bold vigour in their swift stride caused me to stare at them with puzzled interest.
They looked larger than ordinary men; their tall straight figures were in vivid contrast to the undersized armies of pale recruits to which we were grown accustomed...Had yet another regiment been conjured out of our depleted Dominions? I wondered, watching them move with such rhythm, such dignity, such serene consciousness of self-respect. But I knew the colonial troops so well, and these were different: they were assured where the Australians were aggressive, self-possessed where the New Zealanders were turbulent.
Then I heard an excited exclamation from a group of Sisters behind me, "Look! Look! Here are the Americans!"
I pressed forward with the others to watch the United States physically entering the War, so god-like, so magnificent, so splendidly unimpaired in comparison with the tired, nerve-wracked men of the British Army. So these were our deliverers at last, marching up the road to Camiers in the spring sunshine! ... The coming of relief made me realize all at once how long and how intolerable had been the tension, and with the knowledge that we were not, after all, defeated, I found myself beginning to cry.
Nurse Vera Brittain, V.A.D.
Memoir, TESTAMENT OF YOUTH
A country that exists for no reason other than glorifying wealth is doomed to fail. Big surprise.
Blame it on Peak Oil. Our time passed when we ran out of oil. When oil was plentiful again, we prospered again. It could have been any president in power, it is not a matter of who was in office at the time. What did us in was our need for resources, and then going to war for them time and again. We are not the first nation to become overextended in wars of conquest,and we won't be the last.
I recently saw the movie "You've Got Mail" with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. She had the mom and pop bookstore that's forced to close because Tom's Barnes & Noble store has priced her out of the market. That movie was made in the late 1990s and now even Barnes and Noble is struggling to hang in there against Amazon.
The economy is getting so that you have to be an Amazon or an Apple to stay viable. And the local economies seem like they've had to defer to the Amazon.com's of the world and small business just can't compete for the most part.
Now we're just a global economy of Starbucks on every corner around the globe. Yet Starbucks is constantly under pressure to continue growing to keep the almighty shareholder happy. The shareholder needs Starbucks to stay dominant so the shareholder's 401K can make enough for them to retire.
So it seems like we're stuck in this creepy world with an economy dominated by these huge companies that can cut employee hours/benefits in order to stay profitable, etc. Somehow we've created this economic monster that must be fed or it will be even worse for us if they go under.
I wish I could press a 'do over' button and somehow make the economy more of a level playing field but I realize that's hopelessly naive. And throw in the greed and predatory lending practices that some bad apples did in the mortgage/financial industry over the last 15- 20 years and we've got ourselves a real mess.
The decline/increasing vulnerability of the middle class in America is such a painful reality. And I wish we could all figure out how to get back to 'the way we were' but I also realize that's childish thinking as well.
Free trade agreements.
Suburbanization. We've grown and grown and grown and we now have three times the infrastructure to maintain but the same number of people.
Corporatization and globalization have played a role too. We waddle to Walmart to pay $5 for a t-shirt, while the $30 t-shirt our countymen and women would have made would be better quality (and kept that money in our economy and our communities).
Hubris and military overstretch, just like the Romans.
The Kennedy assassination. It was all downhill from there.
Every empire has it's day, and then crashes and burns. My question is what will be the next dominant country.
The U.S. is already several years into a new Dark Ages.
Greed is to blame. It's that simple.
What 21 says. Greed, pure and simple.
"Nixon the nadir, downhill then on"
R12, look up "nadir" and revise accordingly.
History repeats itself, doesn't it?
The separation of classes becoming greater and greater.
Overall moral decay of society. More and more shootings. Putting hollow celebrities ("Teen Mom") on a pedestal.
It's happening, and people are just too busy, too stupid, too greedy, too power-hungry to notice.
Our government has made secondary education into a dare that many are not willing to take.
Read it all for depression.
[quote]In part, Asia was attractive because the semiskilled workers there were cheaper. But that wasn’t driving Apple. For technology companies, the cost of labor is minimal compared with the expense of buying parts and managing supply chains that bring together components and services from hundreds of companies.
[quote]For Mr. Cook, the focus on Asia “came down to two things,” said one former high-ranking Apple executive. Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” The result is that “we can’t compete at this point,” the executive said.
The normalization of the two income household and the war on drugs are the two biggest culprits.
Having read the threads here, the greatest threat appears to be Anne Hathaway
The Railroads in the 1870s. They were the first mega-corporations to secure control of the political process so that the government defends their interests and not those of the people. Everything else is a result of that.
r15,r19, got it right. There seems to be almost no way for a normal guy/gal to get a start. And college is once again becoming something for the wealthy only.
To answer a previous poster, China will be the next superpower, but not for long. Again, Peak Oil will see to that. Then, it's Dark Ages time for ALL of us. This will be a Dark Ages from which we will not emerge.
R23, lower than lowest.
USA, aaaaalll the way...
But I have an inkling that the US is righting itself (again, perhaps poor choice of words) and Europe having serious race-hate issues causing a rise of reactionary "conservatives" read "white supremacists."
As Syrian refugees flood in, and the middle/working classes are ground under by money hoarders and their hate directed towards the newcomers, a thinning war is brewing.
The States under Bush almost killed me. Now I have to step away from the same tide rising here.
Never knew it was such an issue, not having suffered from it. US is doing better with it, and violence is at least under discussion there.
Lol-yeah, we all know how wonderful the economy was doing under carter, then that idiot Reagan got in-no wonder the American people hate him so much. Thank god Obama is in-he is a godsend to our economic troubles.
"The greatest growth in wealth will be in China and India with a lagging US"
Something is going to go WILDLY wrong in China and India - it is IMPOSSIBLE to build sustained economic growth on the back of shit quality, shit service and shitting on the workers...
R32, you are correct and that is why the economic miracles of those countries are not sustainable. Bring the jobs back home!
[quote]the economic miracles of those countries are not sustainable. Bring the jobs back home!
When India and China collapse, some other third world country will take their place. The jobs won`t come home until he USA has a living standard comparable to the third world.
Your friend is a dumbass. It didn't start with Bush.
[quote]The golden age of America has passed?
I hope not
Golden age of America?
OP watches too many movies.
Gee, let me see, not even a century ago blacks had no civil rights. Yep, the golden age of America ended with Raygun and co. Want to go back pre-1900s, OP? There was never a golden age. There was an age where America seemingly ran the show, but socially America was always running behind. Maybe when they stopped making government propaganda films, which made the likes of you all warm and fuzzy inside. Only whites remember a golden age.
[quote] Bring the jobs back home!
Only if you agree to work for slave wages. Hmm, let more of those illegals enter. America is still using slave labor to sustain itself.
America has always had problems and issues. However it was Reagan who put together the structure that became our collapse.
It's the long festering division within the country that still remains unresolved. Racism and homophobia, as a part of that division, as well.
It was globalization.
Americans were always amongts the richest people. Even poor Americans were considered rich in the eyes of the majority of foreigners. Yet with the spread of knowledge and information. All that wealth is being spread and redistributed.
No R41. Wealth is concentrated to the top 0.5% and is not being at all distributed. That's the problem.
Globalization is fake, a lie perpetrated by the rich.
It's the Military Industrial Complex. Ike tried to warn us, but it was already too late. We've spent 60 years with a wartime economy, and we've sacrificed investment in our cities, schools, roads--you name it.
The cost of the new aircraft carriers (inc. planes and misc) is 26.8 BILLION Dollars, and we're planning to build 10 of the damned things.
Take one carrier and spend a billion on each of the 25 largest cities and see what we could get in terms of infrastructure, public transportation, rehabbed housing or better schools.
And that's the tip of the iceberg. I'm not even talking about the never ending wars.
r15 is the most correct response here.
r37 is making this a race issue, when the issue is 10x bigger than race.
Greed is color blind, asshole.
[quote]Greed is color blind, asshole.
It was greed that brought millions of Africans to the US to be enslaved. The American Dream was for the most part, the White American Dream.
A plurality of whites are now living a life that black people experienced since the end of slavery, as a result of rampant greed and unfettered capitalism.
Greed. Pure and simple. Greed.
R42, one doesn't negate the other. Most wealth is concentrated, but the remaining is being spread around. The average salary for an average American has dropped while the average salary for a person from a third world country has risen.
Countries like China and Brazil and other growing 3rd world nations have risen.
R43= fool. I'm not from this country and have traveled pretty much everywhere. Lots of lower class people from other countries have benefited from the USA exporting a large chuck of it's jobs away. Before, American corporations needed the American middle class to succeed. That's not true anymore. American corporations no longer care about the American middle class, they now care about the middle class of rising nations.
R45, no need to call anyone here an asshole. Everyone is entitled to their view informed by their experience.
And of course racism is part of it - racism and homophobia is a by-product of greed and selfishness, unjustly stacking the deck against others to have more for yourself. You think white heterosexual man's sense of privilege and entitlement isn't driven by greed? What do you think the slave trade was about? Dehumanising your fellow man for trade.
r49, you're right, I shouldn't have said asshole. It was incredibly rude. And this is an America-centric thread, where yes, the blacks got the rough end of the stick.
But thinking historically and globally, America didn't invent slavery, racism or bigotry. We're not the first nation to grow on the backs of slavery, racism or bigotry either. America is not an isolated incident in greed, America is part of a never ending humanity problem. Racism is just part of the recipe for growing powerful.
But let's face it, it's not about color.
Powerful people will always put their thumbs on weaker people. By enslaving a whole race of people, another race of people grew prosperous, and I'm not talking about America exclusively.
America never had a golden age. It was richer, relative to the rest of the world, in 1776 than it is today. People had a lot more freedom too.
Except African Americans, indentured servants, and native Americans of course. And women.
And gays in some places but not others.
A terrible education system controlled by the unions.
Parents who aren't involved enough with their children to drive them to get a good education
A population that is happy not working and just collecting government largess
So many idiots on this thread.
Our education system is not terrible. It is the best in the world. No, we don't score at the top in tests written by Europeans, but that's of minor import. Our labor force is by far the best educated in the world, far above those of Canada and Japan and India and China and Britain and Germany. It is neither the highest paid nor the most productive, but education is not the answer to those dilemmas, is it? Fairness and opportunity, that's what leaves to productivity gains. Unions are certainly not to blame for any relative decline in the United States. True, Americans seem stupid, but so does every other people in the world if you consider the average.
Neither is globalization. That's what the rich want you to believe, of course, that the middle class cannot be sustained and that the normal model for development is a rich corrupt oligarchy and a mass of starving sick peasants and proletarians, but it is not the model, and no developing country would ape that model. Looking back to colonial times when America was wealthy in a way European society had long forgotten, we find the government regulated prices, wages, and output, and that the rich had very little or were heavily in debt.
November 22, 1963.
Kennedy was the first rich tax cutter, so I'm no persuaded he was the high point of the American golden age.
Religion has ruined America.
Who knew the Christian Coalition could do so much damage?
R54, I don't know where you're getting your evidence the American education system is the best in the world, but it sure isn't where I am getting mine. According to the Economist Intelligencer the US falls after every country you cited, save China.
If you can name a source other than the lyrics to America The Beautiful, I'd be pleased to see it.
The first step for America to return to a greatness it did once have is to stop kidding itself.
Seriously, all this greatest country on earth stuff is just painful to watch. You need an intervention.
Blah blah blah. Germany spends less than half what we do on education as a percent of GDP and only 11% of their employees are university trained, v. more than 40% in the USA.
There is no question the USA has a more educated workforce. But Germany has a stronger economy because they aren't run by fucking idiot conservatives and libertarians and CEO-thieves and banker-thieves.
Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Wharton have a lot to answer for in celebrating and promoting sociopaths in the last two generations.
The difference between the USA and all the other countries in the world is the poor quality of our elites. They are not educated, they are not moral, they are not intelligent, and they despise their fellow citizens.
R60 is quite correct with his statement "...they despise their fellow citizens." Yup,they sure do. The stories I could tell.
Something started going off the tracks economically when CEO's, movie stars, elite athletes, and other marquis names started making ungodly sums of money.
Yes, historically they've always made more than the rest of us. But when I grew up in the 70s, it cost 75 cents to go to the movies. You could go to a baseball game in the cheap seats and get a hot dog for under $15.
Now you have an A-list celebrity making 20+ million A FILM or an A list athlete making tens of millions of dollars a year and the fans pay $15 a ticket for a movie or $100 up to go see a concert or pro athlete event. (I would rather have that movie star make $2 million a picture instead of $20 million so that the ticket prices could go back down to, say $5 a ticket. But I realize that's laughably naive. But it galls me to read about these astronomical salaries of the elite.)
When the market started allowing for these astronomical salaries to celebs, CEO's, top legal and financial advisers, etc. it totally screwed up the game for the rest of us. Nobody, no matter how talented, needs to make that much money compared to the rest of us.
Something is off majorly to have an economy that overly values the elites to such an extreme extent. (I work for a guy who is a top legal consultant who charges $750/hr. He could pay my rent by working for less than 2 hours!)
There's the famous argument about the lowest ranking NBA player who warms the bench all year who is making $600K a year. Is he worth that? Probably not. But that's considered the fair market value in that NBA economy.
I'm sure this comes off as sour grapes and I'm sure some economist will set me straight immediately on these ramblings but something got way off track in the last 20 years when going to college, to the movies, to a baseball game or a concert, etc. got so ridiculously expensive.
No nation or planet will thrive when so much is going to so few.
[quote]But Germany has a stronger economy because they aren't run by fucking idiot conservatives and libertarians and CEO-thieves and banker-thieves.
Such bizarre ignorance.
[quote]A terrible education system controlled by the unions.
[quote]However it was Reagan who put together the structure that became our collapse.
Why the F&F, r66? It's the truth. I had terrible teachers who never, ever should have been in the profession. They were protected when they should have had their employment terminated. They never should have been in front of a classroom. Ahh, but the darn union and tenure protected them.