“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

All The Best

THE ELEPHANT BAR IS CLOSED

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Elephant Bar over the past twelve years. We had millions of visitors from all around the World and you were part of it. Over the past dozen years, two or three times a night, I would open my laptop and some of you were always there. I will miss that.

My plans are to continue my work with technology and architecture. You know my interests and thoughts.

At times, things would get a little rough in the EB. To those of you that I may have offended over the years, I apologize. From all of you, I learned and grew.

An elephant never forgets.
Be well.

Deuce, 21 June 2018

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Is the US in an advanced state of cultural decadence?



America clocked up a record last week. The latest drop in house prices meant that the cost of real estate has fallen by 33% since the peak – even bigger than the 31% slide seen when John Steinbeck was writing The Grapes of Wrath.


Unemployment has not returned to Great Depression levels but at 9.1% of the workforce it is still at levels that will have nerves jangling in the White House. The last president to be re-elected with unemployment above 7.2% was Franklin Delano Roosevelt.


The US is a country with serious problems. Getting on for one in six depend on government food stamps to ensure they have enough to eat. The budget, which was in surplus little more than a decade ago, now has a deficit of Greek-style proportions. There is policy paralysis in Washington.


The assumption is that the problems can be easily solved because the US is the biggest economy on the planet, the only country with global military reach, the lucky possessor of the world's reserve currency, and a nation with a proud record of re-inventing itself once in every generation or so.


All this is true and more. US universities are superb, attracting the best brains from around the world. It is a country that pushes the frontiers of technology. So, it may be that the US is about to emerge stronger than ever from the long nightmare of the sub-prime mortgage crisis. The strong financial position of American companies could unleash a wave of new investment over the next couple of years.


Let me put an alternative hypothesis. America in 2011 is Rome in 200AD or Britain on the eve of the first world war: an empire at the zenith of its power but with cracks beginning to show.


The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead: military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working. The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence. Decline and Fall of the American Empire

3 comments:

  1. If you have the time to listen to this video, it is useful to do so. It is worth thinking about.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has today revealed UK car sales fell by 1.7% in May compared with the same month in 2010.

    ...

    Last month, the SMMT revealed a sharp fall in UK car production for the month of April, disrupted by supply shortages, resulting from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

    UK car production fell 12% versus the same month a year ago, the SMMT said, with the total number of cars produced at 86,306.


    Fall In May

    ReplyDelete
  3. How can you be in an advanced state of cultural decadence. Why not just say we're living in a sewer?

    dwr

    ReplyDelete