Winston Churchill once said “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”
I look back at history… and to see where we are heading now, maybe we had better look at those who walked, tripped and fell before us?
Rome – A combination of such factors as religion, decadence, lead, monetary trouble, and military problems caused the Fall of Rome.
China in the 1800’s – A combination of such factors as internal warfare, famines and epidemics caused the deaths of over 100 million and greatly reduced the economy.
Germany right after WWI – A combination of such factors as being heavily strained by the war and reparations in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles. Unable to raise enough in taxes to run the government and make reparations, the government resorted to printing money which resulted in the great hyperinflation.
Ancient Greece – The cities in ancient Greece were becoming bankrupt. In one instance, one of the cities had massive interest payments that they could not pay. The cities relied on benefactors that would bail them out on occasion and save them. The taxes that were collected did not completely pay for all of the things that the people wanted and, in some cases, needed. The ordinary people were having difficulty coming up with the money for their own survival, without relying on the uber-wealthy that would come and help them out. One city was plagued with marauding Thracians, who would swoop down and take their sheep. A wealthy benefactor came in and helped them, but he demanded power over the people in return.
Do you see any similarities between the above and the situation America is in now?
Historically these are the needs that must be met in order for a society to continue:
– Every society must be able to answer the basic biological needs of its members: food, drink, shelter, and medical care.
Currently we, as a nation, are not doing this. The food banks in my area are empty, as there are 120,000 more people on food boxes (which they only get 3x a month and enough for 9-15 days of food per month) than there were last year.
2,824,674 people’s homes were foreclosed on in 2010 due to lack of employment after losing their jobs. During the beginning of the Great Depression in the 1930’s, only 200,000 people lost their homes in the start of the depression.
Medical care. When I was growing up, I knew no one without medical and dental. Now I know too many without medical let alone for dental. If people had proper dental care, they would actually have less medical care needs, as poor oral care often leads to heart, liver, and kidney diseases.
– Every society must provide for the production and distribution of goods and services
…And we are sending most of our production out, even for the helplines, to people we cannot understand for their poor English. Build it here out of renewable materials, made from here, and sold from here. Quit shipping it all out and stamping a MADE BY A USA COMPANY on it! Tax the heck out of the guys who do this and give tax incentives/breaks to those companies who ARE making and selling products made by US citizens on US soil.
– Every society must provide for the training (education, apprenticeship, passing on of values) of an individual so that he or she can become a functioning adult in the society.
If it is mandatory that kids go to school, why are schools getting poorer and poorer grades themselves? Why are kids not getting the education they need? Why are vocational classes, arts and such being dropped? The USA is dropping MAJORLY in the smarts of our population compared to the rest of the world. In Chicago recently, 2,000 teachers were laid off.
The biggest deficits are found at the middle school level. In middle school, most countries shift curricula from basic arithmetic and elementary science in the direction of chemistry, physics, algebra, and geometry. Even poor countries generally teach a half-year of algebra and a half-year of geometry to every eighth-grader.
In U.S. middle schools, however, most students continue to review arithmetic. And they are more likely to study earth science and life science than physics or chemistry.
Among teachers of high school biology and life sciences classes, approximately 31 percent of them do not have at least a minor in biology. Among high school physical science teachers, over half, 55 percent, do not have at least a minor in any of the physical sciences.
A typical US eighth-grade math textbook deals with about 35 topics. By comparison, a Japanese or German math textbook for that age would have only five or six topics. Comparisons done elsewhere between French and American math books show more innovative approaches to finding, for instance, the volume of a pyramid. Fractions don’t lend themselves to computerization, so they’re relegated to an importance slightly above Roman numerals. Calculators are here to stay, so kids breeze through long division. They concentrate on how to use math rather than how to do math.
– Every society must provide for the maintenance of internal and external order (laws, courts, police, wars, diplomacy).
Courts can be a joke. We are overcrowded in our prisons and not enough staff. One prison my friend works at has 1,400 inmates in a place built for 900, and they just cut staff. To make things even better, they had the inmates make cardboard cutouts to put up in the prison towers. NO JOKE! It was to save money and cut jobs.
– Every society must provide meaning and motivation to its members.
Do we have this? During WWI and WWII we knew who we were fighting. In this war we have been in for 10+ years, we have no name or face to go with it, the faces we knew are gone, and the war continues. Are we motivated as a nation? I don’t think so. People either have an apathy, don’t care, grew up with lack of a meaning so why seek one out now, or are burnt out and would rather watch reality shows or Dancing with the Stars.
In my observations…
Does the American Dream still exist? I don’t think it does… depressed people seem not to dream and I think the whole nation is depressed and not just financially. 25 MILLION Americans are out of work right now.
Civil unrest is happening all over the USA. I am also interested in the media blackout on these events.
We are in a financial meltdown. The US is doing what the credit counselling service tells common citizens not to do, which got their bums into debt to begin with. If the CCS knows this, why haven’t the supposedly smart head honchos in charge of the country since 1776 figure this out?
I don’t think it is going to be any ONE thing which causes ‘The Next Depression”… I don’t think it will be instant. I could be wrong, but I think it will be a slow demise.
Will the US government survive? Hard for me to say, but it will be interesting to me to see how it all plays out, especially with all these scandals in recent months which are worldwide affecting. In itself, no matter which way it turns, it is a part of history. The question is… will it be remembered in history like the ancient Greeks, the Mayans, or the Roman Empire has been; will it fade into obscurity; and will anyone down the road in time learn anything from this history of the United States of America from this period of time?