Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

The decline of the US

with 3 comments

It seems to be well underway. I was reading about the fight between Steve Jobs and AT&T—AT&T has not invested in keeping their network upgraded, and now the iPhone 4 has features that AT&T cannot support (though iPhone 4 uses in Europe, Japan, Korea, and other countries can readily use the features). AT&T, in the mindset typical of American corporations, attempted to get Jobs to remove the features from the iPhone and not talk about them, but Jobs rightly refused to cripple the customer experience simply so AT&T’s neglect of its networks would not be evident.

Of course US “broadband” speeds in general are a joke when compared to those of advanced nations. Our healthcare system is struggling to improve, but we still spend much more per capita than other nations for worse outcomes. And, of course, the plan has no public option.

Our politicians (who work at jobs that do not require heavy lifting or outdoor work in inclement weather or empathy or compassion or intelligence or knowledge—well, these last are desirable, but most politicians seem to lack them) are working hard to ensure that the Social Security system is dismantled to the extent possible, including requiring people to work until their 70’s to qualify (and good luck to the 65-year-olds who will be looking for work).

Steve Benen posts on how states are reverting from paved roads to gravel roads because people no longer want to pay taxes (though they do want the paved roads, perhaps thinking that the paved-road fairy will build them overnight if you leave out a saucer of milk). [UPDATE: The WSJ on the unpaving of roads. – LG]

The jobs situation is likely to remain bad for another decade or so because the GOP (and Blue-Dog Democrats like Ben Nelson) will block any additional stimulus. That means millions out of work, a depressed economy, and more falling behind, even as the country’s wealth goes to buy billions upon billions of dollars of military equipment that the Pentagon does not want and that Robert Gates has asked be eliminated. Better, Congress thinks, to piss the money away on military equipment than make the country better.

We get more and more bogged down in foreign wars and pay handsomely to maintain military bases all over the world—indeed, the US spends as much on its military as all others countries combined spend on theirs. That’s tax money unavailable to help the people of this country.

As Steven Benen notes:

The chart [click to enlarge – LG] was put together by the Brookings Institute, and highlights how long it will take our economy to return to the unemployment levels that existed before the Great Recession began. If the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs per month — a rate we’re still not close to reaching — it would take 136 months to get back to where we were. That translates to more than 11 years.

That’s not a typo. Moderate monthly job growth would get us back to a pre-recession job market in 2021.That’s how deep a hole we fell into. Obviously, more robust economic growth would get us back to pre-recession levels much faster, but by any scenario, we’re still years away.

From where I sit, it looks like decline, without even factoring in the damage that climate change will do. You think people are unhappy now because there are not enough jobs? Wait until you see what they’re like when there’s not enough food.

Written by Leisureguy

19 July 2010 at 8:45 am

3 Responses

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  1. Shhh. Everything is under control.

    Like

    Military Bases

    19 July 2010 at 10:36 am

  2. Very good comments and realistic…I might add that wait till people come to the realization that there is going to be an amazing fight for not just Jobs nor food but …Water and there’s going to be a worldwide crisis shortage quite soon …The USA has a lot of Water and China has none …where’s China’s water going to come from ?

    My prediction is that with all the debt China will not be able to collect so the only thing they can do is spend it in the USA, they will own the US water supply as they will begin buying up everything.

    Like

    Nick

    26 July 2010 at 11:11 pm

  3. These numbers really makes me thinking. I can’t believe that those number are so scary. I feel lucky that I still have a job at this point

    Like

    Michael

    21 October 2011 at 1:17 am


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