This argument was taking place over on the Syria thread, so I thought I would move it over here:
Whatever time you want to argue that the zenith of America occurred, I would have to argue that our best years are behind us. And that goes for the entire world, not just America. IMO, the well being of humanity is directly tied to it's population, which determines the availability (and cost) of the basic necessities of life. At 7 billion, we have reached the breaking point. Already, we can see that the most advanced countries in the world can no longer cope with the societal pressures of their populations. Countries, including the U.S., are buckling under the economic pressures of caring for aging populations. You can't provide health care to that many people. You can't create enough jobs for the generations that follow. The impacts on the environment of food production on steroids is unsustainable and the oceans are crashing under the human burden. A report came out the other day that enormous amounts of sea life, enmasse, are migrating away from the Equator as the oceans heat up. Those that can't migrate are dying.
How many millions in the Tropics rely on that protein source? The effects of advancing climate change, hand in hand with concurrent water shortages, have already led to some political upheavals, like in North Africa. Meanwhile, at this critical phase in civilization, the uber-rich have figured out a way to remove much of their assets from the world economy, to the tune of $32 trillion dollars. Every man for himself, eh? Or maybe they're just smart enough to look down the road a bit?
What do you think it will be like in 2050 when there are 9 billion of us? We're headed for an inevitable crash, IMHO.
Not only that, but the least developed countries are leading the world in population growth. In other words, those countries already unable to deal with their current populations are the ones producing the most new people, and that is the recipe for disaster. http://www.prb.org/Publications/Data...opulation.aspx
Those people are going to have to go somewhere to find something to eat and drink.
This is one of the key reasons we need to fight back against the Right Wing revolution taking place in America. When the **** hits the fan, they will undoubtedly morph into a nationalist, fascist movement. IMO, there are signs of that already happening. The Nazis started out as a "fringe" movement too. The chaos of post-WWI Europe provided them with a path to power.
Meanwhile, on the so-called Left which I suppose Obama represents (and who I would argue isn't "left" at all) they seem to be relying more and more on the power of the state. The Left Wing tyrant is not any better than the Right Wing tyrant, IMO. Perhaps both "wings" find some comfort in the idea of a law and order police state that their faction controls? It's an easy abyss to fall into when chaos hits.
The U.S. government is already failing under the pressures of its current load of problems. It has become entirely dysfunctional, as a matter of fact. They couldn't agree on a resolution to make it National Pineapple Day in honor of Hawaii. So what happens as those pressures are incrementally ramped up, year after year? More storms, and much worse ones? More chaos abroad as regimes fall and vital resources are threatened? More crashing food supplies like the one in Pakistan that set off the Arab Spring?
Here's who we get most of our crude oil from, in order:
Other than Canada, not a picture of stability. The Sauds hold their position intact by the use of dictatorial police powers. We all know how long that kind of **** lasts.
Anyway, I don't see how anybody can argue that our best days are still ahead. Doesn't make any sense.
Or is it just the irrational belief that technology will bail us out?