So as of today, America is 235 years and 8 days old. And guess what? America’s on the decline; not because of the small problems but because the fundamental problems in America are getting worse and worse. Compared to some countries in Asia and Europe, the United States is nothing but a kid in kindergarten; and we’re already on the decline???? To paraphrase a line from the song We Are One – Lion King (listen to it on youtube!) “As you go through life you’ll see, there is so much that we, don’t understand. And the only thing we know, is things don’t always go, the way we planned.” So you probably don’t want to listen to this lecture, but it’s time America began knowing its place in this world and growing up.
Loving the ‘isms’: Every couple of years America gets itself heads over heals in love with some sort of “ism”. And after a while, the affair ends. What a waste of time. It’s like a teenager who becomes infatuated with every hot girl in school. Eventually, he wastes a lot of his teenage years in pointless love, and doesn’t find true love.
As any more experienced country will tell the United States, these infatuations are merely a fad. They are not the makings of solid, long-lasting philosophies. So instead of all those ideal ‘isms’, I think it’s time that us Americans put those aside and dedicate 100% of our time towards making this country the shining nation it once was.
Infrastructure: America was once a shining city on the hilltop. Our cities were once deemed as the most technologically advanced places in the world. Now, New York is still over 50% made up of boring old concrete. Our harbours were once praised worldwide for their beauty and pure awesomenessnessness (lol). And now, our harbours look pretty run down and broken (maybe because no one is using them?)
The United States had an amazing set of Interstate highways that criss-crossed the nation so that any traveller could literally go anywhere in the U.S. in his or her car. Now with the economic recession still around, I hear that many states are tearing up the asphalt roads and leavings a pebble road there instead (because it’s cheaper to maintain).
America used to have the world’s fastest and greatest railroad system. Our trains these days look like they’ve been made in the Stone Age compared to those in China and Europe. Using the train is a great way to travel around Europe.
Need I say more on the infrastructure problems in America? I’m sure you could think of more. It’s time the U.S. started taking care of its infrastructure. It’s like a person taking care of his or her body. It’s the only one you have.
Debt: So I’ve mentioned that America’s infrastructure problems are literally deteriorating. How can we fix that? By building new infrastructure of course! That sounds like a wonderful idea, but we hit a brick wall when America’s $14 trillion worth of debt is mentioned. We simply don’t have the money to renew our infrastructure. Heck, we almost don’t even have enough money to fund social security and Medicare! So if the U.S. doesn’t have enough money, then what do they do? Borrow the money of course! Unfortunately, America has hit its debt ceiling already, so borrowing money is no longer an option. Now all we can do is cut back on costs, and that means the United State’s infrastructure certainly won’t be rebuilt any time soon. Debt is the same as kicking the bomb down the road. Sooner or later, the bomb is going to blow up. We’ve been kicking the bomb down and road and borrowing money for decades, and now, we’re in deep bulls***t. We’re going to have trouble paying social security, pension plans, running the military, and just about everything else that involves the government and money.
Dreaming in La-La Land: Too many Americans (and not only Americans, the Japanese, Europeans …) are too easily swayed by magical thinking. Every time there’s a bubble in the markets, mom and pop rushes to buy the hot new thing, only to get killed later. You’d think that after so many booms and busts, people would have learned to stay rational in times of extreme exuberance or pessimism. But everytime the snake oil salesman rings the door, America falls for the oldest trick in the book.
One of the biggest problems in America is that we need to clear our heads and take a good look at the ugly head of reality.
- America must realize that we cannot go around policing the world and expect others not to hate us or retaliate.
- The U.S. must realize that a rainy day fund in good times is ESSENTIAL. Good times don’t last forever.
- It’s not fair that some people make millions of dollars a year while others are down in the dumps. Life’s not fair. And a lot of those CEOs are under pressures that can mentally break the average worker. So do they deserve what they’re paid? Maybe.
- The government is by the people, for the people. Not really. The government is by the politicians, for the politicians. You may say that the people vote the politicians. True. But politicians think in a short term time frame. “How can I make my term look good in office? To hell if the economy is bad next term. I just gotta spruce up economic the numbers this term.” If they really cared for the people, they would enact policies that may be unpopular, be at least are good for the long term future of America.
Every minute a wishful thinker is born, but must it be us every single time?
Health: I’m gonna leave you to fill in the details on this one. Obesity, skyrocketing healthcare costs…..
Society is valuing the wrong industries: Nowadays, everyone is going to Wall Street. That’s where the talent is. That’s where the money is. I think American society is valuing the wrong things. The talented are all going towards industries that don’t produce much, such as derivatives trading and creating financial products (which only end up crashing the financial system). Instead, society should value industries such as tech, or the construction industry which actually produce things that benefits America. How can the United States hope to get out of the problems where in when all our top talent is focusing on things that don’t really benefit the U.S.?
Teaching the wrong things: Elementary schools and high schools are the basis’s of any well educated society. Unless you can somehow invent a time machine, everyone still has only 24 hours in a day. The problem in America is that we’re often spending overmuch time teaching children the wrong things. Anyone recall Romeo and Juliet? My teacher spent two and a half months of my 9th grade English class focusing only on Romeo and Juliet. I try to be an excellent student (averaging 94%), and that experience wasted half of my semester digging out every detail of poetry, which isn’t the best learning experience. The time spent rewriting essays on Shakespeare could’ve been invested in Psychology or Anatomy. Think of all the kids in the U.S. who have ADD (and ADHD) thanks to the droning repetition in the school system. Students should be learning how to be a social worker, or advanced chemistry in their late high school years. Students in China are doing exceedingly well in subjects like Math and English (believe it or not). Instead of learning only Shakespearean literature in English, American school systems should be teaching students how to write essays of greater potency and improve presentation skills (the things that will actually help them in the future). I can also tell you that in the U.S., students are often learning the same things year over year. They’re learning addition and subtraction in 1st-4th grade, while kids in China finish addition and subtraction in the 1st.
F***ed up politicians: I’m not saying that all politicians are stupid (that would be incorrect and rude). All I’m asking for is “can we get some people into Congress that actually understand the economy? Maybe Warren Buffett, Jim Rogers, George Soros?” But those people have better things to do on their hands. One of the biggest problems with America is that we don’t reward our politicians enough. If we gave out big bonuses to Congressmen (and women), I’m sure the brightest and the best would all be rushing to the election nomination building.
Instead, we have a bunch of people in Congress who a) don’t know what subprime mortgages are b) don’t have a clue about what’s going on in the economy, and c) are haggling over $50 billion in spending cuts while the deficit is increasing by trillions a year.
Need I say any more? America’s problems are indeed severe, and if we’re not going to fix them, we need to at least acknowledge that they exist.
Hope I didn’t offend anyone in this post. If I did, please feel free to vent your anger at me below in the comments section.