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Why America Is in Decline

The United States has been the strongest and most powerful nation in the last century, a beacon of progress and the good life for the world, but that view is becoming suspect. While predictions have been made before about the decline of America, there is good evidence now that makes the prediction more valid. Read More

USA leads world in violent crime? Really?

So, we have far more rapes per capita than civilized nations like Sweden and the Netherlands, right?



And, of course, Americans are FAR more likely to be assaulted than Danes or Frenchmen, right?



Maybe you might want to rethink your assumption that America has more violent crime than other Western nations.

USA leads the world in violent crime? Really?

You might want to look more closely at the data info from the cites you use.

Response to Why America is In Decline

To A Skeptic:

First, I don't understand why you wouldn't want to identify yourself to stand by your beliefs rather than be anonymous.

You might want to check out this data.

Ray Williams

Mr. Williams-I enjoyed your

Mr. Williams-I enjoyed your post as it has made me think quite a bit today. It seems that for many years (or even decades) many have debated whether America is in decline, and although I agree with all of your statistics, I wonder if it isn't time to change paradigms when examining nation-state power in the 21st century. For example, some argue about the "rise of the rest" or note that we should pay more attention to multinational corporations as centers of power rather than nation states. I cannot help but think that the unique circumstances of the 21st century-globalization, international trade (and free trade), the slow spread of democracy, etc. makes comparing nations an increasingly harder thing to do, but as a nation our domestic situation isn't so much in decline as it is stratified. As you mentioned, more and more authors talk about the decline in equality and the increasing gap between the haves and the have nots in America which erodes trust, health, etc. For example, comparing our nations schools to other industrialized nations gives us mediocre results, but in reality the kid who goes to the wealthy suburban high school is getting the best education in the world and the kid who goes to the inner-city school in Chicago or L.A. is in the opposite position which drags down our overall ranking. Additionally, the same is true of many of the statistics you bring up- those who are educated, have health insurance, can afford quality food, have good homes etc. seem to still have quite a bit of power/leverage in America and internationally whereas America's underbelly and dwindling lower-middle/blue collar workers struggle to get by. It is hard to determine how much is determined by state and federal policies and how much is due to increasing competition from other countries/outsourcing.
On the other hand, America still has by far the largest economy, a strong agricultural base, the best universities, and a history/spritit of entrepreneurship. Additionally, it seems that comparing America to other industrialized nations in particular isn't fair because Finland and Switzerland are smaller than metropolitan Chicago, and many of these nations have relatively homogenous populations whereas we are a nation of immigrants.
Lastly, it seems that long-term predictions are always wrong because we cannot predict economic, social, and political upheavals that change the nature of the world. For example, 9/11, the internet, the Arab spring, and especially the 2008 financial meltdown are all things that were not foreseen by experts that continue to be significant to our lives, and there are bound to be many more upheavals in politics and technology that will change the nature of nation-states, communities, and individuals.
Many questions remain about how we could fix this situation, especially with the era of austerity sweeping certain the country whereas it seems obvious we should raise revenues, invest in infrastructure, fund education (from birth to college), and invest in many other measures but it seems that that is unlikely to happen.
I apologize for that rant and thank you for your post. I welcome your comments. :)

The core of the decline

I certainly agree with a lot of your points, but I see many as effects and not the cause. I believe at the core of all of our problems is that we are reaping the results of decades of irrational philosophical leanings of the so-called 'intellectuals' of this society.

The main issue with the current dominant philosphy is detachment from reality. For example, let's take life expectancy. Many will cry that our falling LE is due to health care or guns or some other favorite of the media. What is the main cause? Eating poorly, and it isn't eating to little! The reality here is no matter how wealthy you are if you wish to enjoy the bulk of your heridetarily bestowed LE you need to follow some rules of nature, namely eat the right kind of foods, the right qty, exercise and keep stress down. But instead, many Americans have been conditioned by the popular leftist culture to eat what you want and then scream "Where is my free health care!"

Another complete detachment from reality is just about everything the Obama admin is doing. If a good friend of yours came to and said: "Ray, I spent WAY too much money the last 40 years and my life is a mess! I can't pay my house, boat, car and plane payments!" Would you advise him to take out a loan for 1 million dollars and keep his habits? NO! And I know that TARP and all of those scams were Democrat slush funds but if the bulk of Americans had half a shred of wisdom they would have screeched their heads off if anyone even mentioned that.

And the whole 'equality' concept is a major part of the problem, at least the way the left serve it to us. They speak of equality of outcome and not opportunity. Have you sat around and smoked weed for the last ten years while your best friend worked her butt off in college and a career and now you can't afford the nice home and health insurance she has? Tough nuggets!!! If the Liberals weren't teaching all this whiny equality and diversity crap in school and instead inculcated hard work and self-responsibility in the little tykes we wouldn't be in such a mess now.

As long as we follow the dominant neo-Liberal culture we are going down the rabbit hole at an accelerating rate. When the bulk of us worry more about image than character we are insuring we will be a third world country in the near future.

Decline of the USA

As long as Americans remain in denial about the state of their country the more it will decline and, worse, its rate of decline is likely to accelerate. For Americans today patriotism is mainly about finding the courage to face up to the facts of their country’s decline, and anti-patriotism about hiding those facts from view. So far the anti-patriots are firmly in charge. But that could change very quickly if American’s were to reconnect with their history. The recent substantial article “America in denial: We're number 29 (of 30)” http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/07/2012717104035237926.html on Al Jazeera by Paul Rosenberg is packed full of summaries of quality of life data (56 indicators) for 30 OECD countries. Have a look.

Rise of the third world nations.

I enjoyed your artical so much. The facts you provided are very accurate. I think the shift in paradimn is essential. Nation rises and falls. You can't stop this process. The only thing you can do is to slow down the process. History is just repeating itself but this time the characters are being played by China, India, Pakistan and Brasil instead of England, USA, USSR and Germany respectively.

Rise of the third world nations.

I enjoyed your artical so much. The facts you provided are very accurate. I think the shift in paradimn is essential. Nation rises and falls. You can't stop this process. The only thing you can do is to slow down the process. History is just repeating itself but this time the characters are being played by China, India, Pakistan and Brasil instead of England, USA, USSR and Germany respectively.

To inquire at greater depth

To inquire at greater depth into the causes of America's decline, I recommend the following three books by Morris Berman:

The Twilight of American Culture (2000),

Dark Ages America (2006), and

Why America Failed (2012).

Also worth reading is Ronald Wright's What is America? (2008).

Political corruption is our #1 problem...

Ray, America has many "little" fires and one major one... corrupt politicians at the top. Follow any of the little fires to the top and you'll find the money given to politicians as being key. But the "little" fires are key to diversion and allowing the big fire to continue. See http://moneyedpoliticians.net/2013/05/24/political-reforms-2/

ONLY public funding of campaigns will reverse it.

Correct -- a corrupt political system is at the root of our decline

You hit the nail on the head, my friend. We are being led by the moneyed classes and corporate interests down the path to ruin of our democracy. I suggest checking out Prof. Larry Lessig's organization to take action: www.rootstrikers.org.

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Ray Williams is the author of Breaking Bad Habits and The Leadership Edge.


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