Monday, August 30, 2010

The Decline and Fall

This morning, I noticed that the little screens in the elevators in my office building were displaying the same 5 pieces of trivia they'd been displaying for all of last week. They used to change the trivia, not to mention weather reports, stock reports, etc., every hour at least. I turned to a co-worker and said, "This is what the decline and fall of an empire looks like. The little things at the edges crumble to dust first."

This decline and fall has been going on since not long after I was born. The economic elites were so frightened at the prospect of the disadvantaged in our country gaining more power and influence that they decided they would rather see the country crumble to ruins. And why not? If they themselves get to keep their wealth and power, why not let the country slide toward decay (if not actively push it along). So infrastructure, education, democratic engagement are all failing at an increasing level, and we cannot expect the economic elites to step up and lead us out of the mess.

Frankly, I do not know what to do. If there is one thing I've learned in life, it is not to count on the good sense of my fellow human beings. We seem to have a knack for aiming for the low side of mediocrity. The continued decline of the US empire will take years, I suspect. Still, if I get an opportunity to leave and go someplace better (and take Manu with me) I think I'd take it.

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