Thursday, August 02, 2007

This is what happens when you don't maintain your country

The Minneapolis bridge collapse surprises me not at all. The nation's infrastructure has been suffering chronic neglect for decades, and even if it turns out that the cause of the collapse was something else, it's only a matter of time before things like this start becoming regular occurrences unless America changes its priorities.

Yes, I can hear you laughing.

The presidential race is still close enough that a clever political trick might be enough to put a Republican in the White House in 2008. Think about that. It is hard to imagine a more destructive, corrupt, divisive, unmitigated collossal disaster of a presidency than George W. Bush, and yet enough people are still willing to vote Republican that it's a close call. Civil rights evaporate, freedom becomes nothing more than a slogan, New Orleans is all but lost to the sea, our bridges are crumbling, and enough people still want to stay the course that it's a close call.

Ye gods.

The land of the free and the home of the brave is rapidly becoming the land of the surveilled and the home of the fearful. Frankling Roosevelt got it right when he said that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Well, I believe in that 100% and I'm scared. Our collective national freak-out over not quite 3000 deaths a little over six years ago continue unabated, and it's costing us everything that once made this country great. We are rapidly devolving into a third-world banana republic complete with crumbling infrastrcture, corrupt one-party rule, and an unbridgeable gap between rich and poor.

To say nothing of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.


Ross said...

Hillary winning the Democratic primary will put a Republican in office. No need for any tricks.

Hillary is not electable and registered Democrats who vote for her are losing the election for all of us.

As for the bridge: I suspect that there was ongoing corrosion in a critical and hard to inspect area and that the original engineers who originally designed the bridge will catch the blame for this one.

As for the rest of our infrastructure, well, it's been mostly holding up under loads that are enormously greater than it was originally designed to handle. Though I also despair about how taxes get spent in this country, the roads are doing pretty well.

denis bider said...

Oh, come on. As if the decline of the United States as a land of freedom and as a republic started only in 2001. And as if the only perpetrators were Republicans.

The decline of United States as a land of freedom started 150 years ago with the civil war, when the Federal government was strengthened to prevent the Confederation from achieving independence. This affirmed the power of the Federal government and enabled it to start accumulating more throughout the years, growing to the point where states now hardly get to compete on any material aspect of governance any more because the federal government is all-pervasive. It used to be that the states had to compete for citizens, but now that the federal government has become so powerful, there's nowhere left for a citizen to run. The Fed is therefore a monopoly; as such, it is inefficient, but because there is no choice, it can coerce its subject; because it can coerce its subjects (huge taxation), it has an awful lot of power; and because it has an awful lot of power, the Fed now has control over the states, instead of the states having control over the Federal government.

So now the country is in a situation where instead of the dog wagging the tail (the states controlling the federal government), the tail wags the dog (the Fed controls the states). And when a country finds itself in such a situation, it's usually the beginning of the end. Once this has occured, it takes about 2-3 generations for a once-great system to rot away. That's what is now happening to the United States.

The Democrats coming into power won't solve anything. It will just cause the rot to continue in a different way. Instead of people X benefiting and misguided policies Z being implemented, people Y will benefit and misguided policies W will be implemented. In the long run, though, the end result can be expected to be the same: unless there is serious political correction - not just from Republican to Democrat but something much more fundamental to correct the deterioration of the republic - the liberties will continue to be eaten away, the government will continue to impose more and more pressure upon the economy, and eventually the United States will become a has-been, overtaken economically by other countries, deteriorating to the point where it will struggle to carry its own weight.