Collapse of the old American way

evan bakker

As people across America shake with fear over the security of their jobs, as traders sell off stocks like mad, and as the President tries to say in a steady voice that things will get better, the country faces a very broad problem: the collapse of the old American system.

For obvious reasons, America is by no means on the brink of collapsing into a second-rate, non-influential country. In fact, much of western Europe is teetering on the brink of collapse as well since the bond between our businesses and theirs is so tight.

But for many reasons, the broader problem of the downfall of the American economy can also be seen as the slippery slope that empires go down when their seemingly unbreakable, unbeatable systems are finally usurped by better ones.

For starters, America is no longer a nation that makes things. According to CNN, our Industrial statistics are at -12.1% since 1997. This means that we actually produce less than we buy.
Many of our factories have closed their doors, leaving a rustbelt from coast coast. Much of this is related to Bill Clinton’s support of globalization during his tenure in office.

Other countries can sustain factories with employees who will work for as little as four dollars an hour. This leaves millions of blue-collar workers in America with tools in their hands but no money in their pockets. This produces a crushed middle class who will no longer make up the backbone of America.

In short, we are having trouble competing with other countries. And they are beating us––at almost everything. In education, America falls significantly behind Japan, India, and many others. Since our children are not up to par in math and science, the future generations in other countries will be more capable of inventing things.

While globalization threw the carpet from underneath the middle class, deregulation since the Reagan era has given corporations like Bank of America the opportunity to bask in excessive wealth and pay for exotic vacations for all their employees.

Our auto industries cannot compete with foreign automakers because of a broken business model which does not work in today’s energy crisis.

Even the old American way of buying bulky houses has fallen through. The American people bought houses beyond their income and received bad loans.

Systems at all levels have imploded, partially by our own doing and the countries who have sprinted ahead in technology. Massive reform must be made to the major pillars of our industry and economy, or this recession could be fatal to our country’s sustained prosperity.

Does this sound anything like a thriving, progressing nation? Does it recall the glory days of production in the middle of the 20th century when America seemed to be at its height? All empires, from Rome to England, have their limits. And I’m sad to say I think we’ve reached ours.

We deregulated the markets for far too long and showed the side effects of capitalism without a leash, and we’ve seen jobs disappear via competing nations.

At the very least, America is in a dangerous situation.