Sunday, January 4, 2009

Is America's decline such a bad thing?

Reflection allows you the opportunity to both review history and chart your future path at the same time.The unparalleled rise of the U.S. for the last 232+ years is both a marvel and at times a tradegy when the inevitable mistakes were made to accomplish such growth.We have been witness to fantastic technological achievements such as space exploration, medicines, life expectancy and even broad wealth gains.One can only sit back and admire when the National Geographic documentaries roll.

I suppose you could equate it to a hurricane as you watch it strengthen and grow on the radar.But eventually it makes landfall or hits colder water and the fuel runs out.We seem to be reaching that colder water now.I wouldn't predict any imminent demise of America.Just a gradual pull back of it's power and influence around the globe.I,for one,don't see this as bad.When you're anointed as the lone superpower and the worlds policeman,you run the risk of believing your own headlines too much.Mankind's built-in weaknesses for greed and power can too easily snowball.

Today,you see Israel stepping out from under the shadow of America and taking matters into their own hands.This is likely to become more prevalent around the globe with other allies as well.We are seeing the limits of our economic engine.The ebb and flow of political parties power tends to stunt any further expansion globally as the checks and balances prevent dictatorial style ambitions.Countless other regimes have these ambitions,but have never had the massive economic power behind them as the U.S. has enjoyed.

The responsibilities of the U.S. position comes with great cost both economically and socially.We are all weary of endless conflicts over land and commodities.Religious differences have led to more death and destruction than can be counted.Whether it's foreign aid,military support or political influence,it consumes vast resources to be numero uno in the world.With domestic problems growing,the pressure is rising to take care of the home front and leave the rest of the world to themselves.Scholars,politicians and others will state the case that we must maintain our influence globally or face future ruin.

I've always liked the notion job seekers use that "I was looking for a job when I found this one".In other words,life goes on.The world was functioning when the U.S. was born and will go on after we have passed.Every great empire expires eventually as will we.I just think the notion of sitting back and taking care of ourselves has alot of appeal right now.A little less stress.Trying to solve all the worlds problems is tiring.

We still have our ace in the hole with our nuke stockpile to prevent any takeover.Reagan proved the viability of deterrence as the best weapon.Certainly,no one likes the idea of rogue nations obtaining nukes,but you can't even use the things because the following escalation guarantees the planet is obliterated.Didn't gain much there,did you?So,why not focus all of our resources on getting our own house in order?Let the neighbors beat each other up.I believe if there was truly a focused effort,the time frame would not be as long as one might think.America has achieved great things when dedicated to it.It's like winning the lotto.It's that first million I need to change my life.Anything beyond that is just gravy.Maybe we're better off long term just being really good instead of great.More to come...

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