America! Is it too late?
"Should it really matter if some other country is richer and more militarily powerful? Who cares if some other country has economic supremacy as long as your country is prosperous and can manage its own internal affairs. For example the countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, each economically advanced, seem to have no qualms about who rules the world as long as they are left alone to be prosperous and peaceful, though their attitude might well change were whoever held the purse strings to start to curb their freedoms and encroach upon their way of life. But until that happens, whether the global financier is China, Russia or America seems, for them, largely irrelevant." How the West Was Lost Dambisa Moyo
America is losing it and it will take drastic action for us to get back on course. Why has this happened?
- We forgot, never learned, how to compete.
- We allowed our government to fail
- We put ourselves in too much debt and became over leveraged.
- We mortgaged the future.
- Education has taken a back seat and thus, so has our future.
Failing to Compete: We were spoiled by the greatest generation. They won World War II and there was no competition standing after that horrific event. As a result we indeed did prosper; however, we did not learn to compete globally because there was no one to compete against.
Consumption: We learned how to consume and became addicted to it. We consumed for the sake of consuming without paying attention to the economic progress that was being made by the rest of the world. Eventually we began to distribute our wealth to the rest of the world by our addiction to consumption.
Government Failure: Our Politicians, who in fact are us, also got intoxicated with consumption. They failed to look out for the general welfare of the Union. They have allowed the free markets' power to create wealth and goods to be destroyed by oligopolies. Our representatives failed to create and enforce rules that would guarantee the freedom of "free markets". Instead, these oligopolies have bought off our representatives as a result of their addiction to consumption.
Further the politicians bought off many voters by allowing the creation of expensive pension plans, both private and public, that are not totally funded. This shoe has yet to drop.
Over Leveraged: We borrowed money from future generations and have no plans in place to pay them back. We have not used the money to invest; but rather, we used it it to feed our addition to consumption. The sub prime crisis brought it to a head, but the problem has existed for some time. The problem is further exasperated by the enormous amount of unfunded and hidden costs of future pension benefits that we are obligated to fund.
We are Squandering our Education System: When you have an addiction, education is neglected. Our education system use to be the best in the world. We are slipping and parts of society do not look at dollars spent on education as an investment. Instead, it is looked at as something that limits our ability to consume even more.
To solve these problems, we must take drastic action; sooner rather than later. I don't think we have the will to do it. Do You?