Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Rise and Fall of America

Historians have written on the fall of mighty empires, such as the Roman Empire and the Third Reich. I’m sure books will write of our rise and fall as well. While it is inevitable that every country and empire will reach its peak and will then decline, there are hopefully things a nation can do to slow that decline. Looking at history is one way we can determine what to do and what pitfalls to avoid.

We think of the Romans as decadent, and they were. However, early on, during their rise, they had a republican form of government, fairly high moral values, and public servants who were dedicated, served their terms, and then went back to their regular lives. As time went on, the Romans lost those original values that helped make them great and they became decadent and corrupt. Eventually they became so weak that Rome fell to the barbarians and the Western Empire collapsed.

I believe the United States peaked in the 1960s and has been in decline ever since. Here’s what I believe is contributing to that decline:

(1) We have lost our Judeo-Christian ethic that helped make us a morally upright and decent country. Sure, we weren’t perfect, yet today we have abandoned God, we are yielding to forces who want to push God out of our society, and have trampled on the Constitution. Our culture is trashy and politicians have made a career rather than serving their terms and then going back to the farm. We must get back to God, our earlier values, and the original intent of the Constitution to slow down the decline.

(2) Our economy is being drained by expensive wars, importing billions of dollars worth of oil, having more imports than exports, and wasteful government at all levels. We must quickly end our dependence on foreign oil by having an energy policy that reduces petroleum usage ASAP.

(3) We have shot ourselves in the foot by reducing our manufacturing capacity and importing most of our clothing, appliances, steel, and many other things. We need to have decent jobs and a robust manufacturing sector to avoid further decline.

(4) We have a crumbling infrastructure that we’ve neglected for too long. We need to build modern nuclear power plants, keeping the old coal-fired plants for peak summer usage. We must upgrade our rail system, the power grid, airports, bridges, roads, and other infrastructure to be competitive in the global economy.

(5) We have let greedy forces ruin our economy, and I’m not just talking about Wall Street and the banks. Absurd demands by unions have forced jobs overseas, because the labor component of American-made products was simply too expensive. The power of unions must be curtailed to some extent to prevent further outsourcing of jobs.

(6) Americans are under-educated compared to much of the industrialized world. Tenure should be abolished at all levels of the education system, and primary and secondary teachers must be held accountable and ineffective ones terminated. There should be more programs for gifted students rather than eliminating them to reduce the budget. To keep school taxes from rising, schools should institute more fees for extra-curricular programs and sports. Why should our taxes pay for a football team when only a handful of kids can play?

Let’s make our newly-elected representative accountable so we won’t find ourselves a second-rate country working for the Chinese.

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