When the media in the
UK and probably
in much of Europe look over the Atlantic to the USA
it is usually to New York, California
or . Washington DC has a number of
mentions, especially in the hurricane season, when it is active. For the rest it is only when some disaster,
dreadful crime or particular human interest story happens. Florida
Our ideas about the rest are more or less conditioned by TV programmes, films and the stereotypes derived from an
of the past and still too often put over as somehow the present. But when you look at the detail a different
country emerges. America
The Burning Platform is a web site of a commentator who writes long posts where he tries to make sense of what is going on there in the economy. This time round he gives a personal take on a very practical experience.
He takes his son across the State of
his University to begin the next semester (term) and describes the he sees
in a journey of 200 miles each way.
There are a few rude words and the nature of his comments in some cases
will not be to the liking of many. America
But this is not the
we see in our media and it is difficult to see how it fits with all our
preconceptions. Obviously, this is just
one small part of the whole so the question is what about the rest of it? As the web is trawled for news and views
how does this fit? America
It may be that it fits all too often and the picture of a
as a once major power about to
go into a period of rapid decline is a true one. Can a country go on like that for long after
its authority and riches have been dissipated? USA
Historically, yes it can. The
Empire staggered on in one form or another for decades during
which it went bust during the Second World War.
The old Ottoman Empire was the Sick Man
Of Europe for a century. The Tsarist
hung on for at least fifty years in decline.
took a lot longer. China
In all those places there were elites resolute in failing to admit that the game was up and both their allies and their enemies did not understand the realities and extent of the declines. As the
became one of or the biggest and richest political entities in world history
the effects of its decline and the rapidity of it will be all the greater. USA
The figures are beginning to look bad again and population increase far outstrips real economic growth. A great deal of the growth that is reported is simply money being sloshed around in extreme consumerism and patching and mending, never mind that given over to propping up the political and banking structure.
While this is going on there is another Presidential election where the opponents are each trying to persuade the people that one or other of the America’s they imagine is a reality when they are just illusions.
To put into footballing terms, the home squad is now forced back into its last quarter and the opposition has brought on its big hitters. Survival is all you can hope for. But out there in the sticks hope is a diminishing asset.
What sort of Thanksgiving will it be this year?