05 December 2008

America is Last in the Race to the Bottom

Russia is a poor country with a rapidly aging population and a bleak future. The productivity of Russian workers is lower than that of workers in Botswana. Russian experts project that over the next 15 years, Russia’s working-age population could collapse by 14 percent to 25 percent. _American.com_via_StaticNoise
Multi-talented blogger, writer, artist, IT guy, philosopher and proto-human renaissance man Craig Wilms, discusses the growing sense of malaise in the US. Is America declining? Is there hope for the future?
Even when you consider that we have huge and looming problems as a nation our starting point as compared to the rest of the world is our ace in the whole. It has been said that when America catches a cold the rest of the world gets pneumonia. I think this is mostly true considering that the subprime mortgage disaster that set off this economic tailspin occurred in the U.S. and has now affected the entire global economy. Amazingly America has prospered despite everything the Congress, the unions and big business has done to neuter our competitiveness with our foreign rivals. Of course there is only so much even the remarkable resilience of the American backbone can withstand. We may be buckling, but so is the rest of the world. _StaticNoise
It may be cold comfort to tell ourselves that we are doing well--at least compared to the rest of the world. But cold comfort is better than no comfort at all. Seriously, Craig is correct. The US founding fathers, and the US Constitution gave the upstart colonies a "rule of law", opportunity society that produced the most economically dynamic nation the world has ever seen. Like a wildfire, Capitalism naturally generates its own "weather." There will always be ups and downs -- sometimes in very dramatic turns.

The trick is not to cripple your capitalist dynamos, so that your economy can recover from the downturns naturally. Europe has made the critical mistake of crippling its own capitalism almost beyond recovery. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have been flirting with the same "point of no return," only to step back from the brink time and again. With the election of the Obama / Pelosi reich, the US has embarked upon the same quasi-suicidal course as most of the developed world. The US under Obama / Pelosi is threatening to starve itself of energy, and to cripple its capitalist and innovative energies beyond repair.

Demographically, the US may look better than Europe, Russia, China, Japan, and the rest. Economically, the US starts from a superior position, and has much farther to fall. But with the election of Obama / Pelosi, the US has taken a huge downward lunge that threatens to make up much of the difference.

The resilience of democracies lies in their ability to vote out dysfunctional politicians and governments. But the weak spot of democracies is when the electorate becomes "dumbed down" in a sinking spiral. The US media, and US educational institutions have been "dumbed down" for decades, and have exerted a considerable dumbing down influence on recent generations of students and the public. It is impossible to build a solid structure out of crumbling concrete, rotted timbers and corroded steel (as China is also discovering).

If the downward freefall of the US (Canada, NZ, Australia also) lags somewhat behind the fall of other developed nations, it is possible that immigration of productive persons from the rest of the doomed, previously developed nations into the Anglospheric diaspora, will help maintain the superior productivity of the Anglosphere. In addition, at least 10% of children inside the US (and Anglosphere) are being given solid academic, emotional, and ethical foundations which will allow them to use the neo-technological tools of productivity to sustain their societies.

Kurzweil looks for the Singularity to save society. Drexler and others look for salvation in nanotechnology. Venter looks to synthetic biology. Some look to space, and space resources.

Here at Al Fin, we believe that it is the maturation and enhancement of the human mind that will create the circumstances that will allow the rest of the cornucopian and quasi-utopian expectations of The Next Level to come to pass.

Is America doomed? Perhaps. Perhaps all nation-states as such are doomed. A collapse of nations such as is described in Neal Stephenson's novel The Diamond Age, may come to pass within the next few decades. The possibility looks more real with each passing year.

In the meantime, pay attention. Recent events in Mumbai (Bombay) suggest that it is easier to cause extended critical disruptions in civil society than many people may have thought. The chaos of the third world will not remain there. Chaos and violence have a busy travel schedule planned, around the world. No nation will be immune. In the race to the bottom, it is the loser who wins.

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Blogger Snake Oil Baron said...

So if America is the last in the race to the bottom, when things turn around it could very well be the first in the race to the top. America has a culture of free enterprise and liberty which is far more culturally ingrained and institutionalized than other nations of the world.

Friday, 05 December, 2008  
Blogger Eshenberg said...

1) Yes immigrants from Latin America,Africa,Asia make U.S, demographic better than Europa and East Asia!(They also can import more)
2)Anglospheric diaspora it's not the same what European ethnos! What is good for One,don't means than it is good for other;)
Maybe I'm wrong but it's only my pessimist view.

"The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
George F.Will"
Auf Wiedersehen'

Friday, 05 December, 2008  
Blogger Ugh said...

thanks for the shout out. As a wannabe optimist I was compelled to try to spin a bad situation - "yeah we suck, but not as bad as you" - but I think I was being realistic.

Just this last month or so I have finally seen friends and family members lose their jobs. These losses were not a result of their own doing, ie bad decisions, rather a result of the decisions of the government, business leaders and the something for nothing crowd. Yet, none of them seemed defeated or even forlorn. As of now optimism is valid... We'll check back in 6 months.

Saturday, 06 December, 2008  
Blogger al fin said...

We'll just have to hope that Obama doesn't fulfill any of his main campaign promises. He is stupid enough to do so, but we all should hope that the people actually doing the administering are not.

With Pelosi and the other idiots in charge of Congress, there are no guarantees.

The Al Fin educational curriculum provides high school graduates with at least 4 profitable ways to make a living. Add a year or two of post-high school education and they should have significant diversified income earning potential.

At that point they can either work their way through professional training or save up enough to pay their own way.

Such a student is far ahead of his cohorts who win scholarships or have their way paid by others (or by loans) through the long academic process, only to find at the end of a long journey that their specialty has become obsolete, or is not really what they had wanted.

Saturday, 06 December, 2008  

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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