Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A country dies slowly

Tyler Durden 06/22/2014

Those living during the decline of Rome were likely unaware that anything was happening. The decline took over a couple of hundred years. Anyone living during the decline only saw a small part of what was happening and likely never noticed it as anything other than ordinary.  Countries don’t have genetically determined life spans. Nor do they die quickly, unless the cataclysm of some great war does them in. Even in such extreme cases, there are usually warning signs, which are more obvious in hindsight than at the time.

Few citizens of a dying nation recognize the signs. Most are too busy trying to live their lives, sometimes not an easy task. If death occupies their mind, it is with respect to themselves, a relative or a friend. Most cannot conceive of the death of a nation.....To Read More.....
Editor's Note:  This article was sent to me by a regular reader who is a retired scientist in Texas, with comments I wish to share with you. 

The Rise and Decline of the United States
We suspect that the US roots of a US decline were planted in 1913. The nation reached its peak in the 1950s and has begun to decline overtly since that decade.

The Founders were a remarkable collection of people who had undergone a unique combination of experiences. They constructed and codified a set of operating rules which produced a truly unique republic. Those Founders not only wrote a set of rules for operating the nation; they had the foresight to anticipate how human nature works and wrote rules taking these developments into account. They even recognized their own fallibility and include rules for correcting their initial rules. That nation was the United States of America empowered by its adult population based upon codified functional rules called the Constitution of the United States of America.

Pause briefly and feel for a moment how truly remarkable is such a combination of humans and the events they produced!!!

For over one hundred years, the people and their Constitution functioned remarkably well and the nation thrived. The three competitive branches of government were amazingly kept in equilibrium by the constructed set of checks and balances and the restraints imposed by enumerating specifically the powers given their government by the people.

In 1913, signficant changes were made by the elected representatives of the population of the nation.

First, in 1913 the Tenth Amendment (Amendment X) established the Federal Reserve. This arrangement enhanced the power of the Executive branch of government at the expense of the Congress which had the power over money and coinage.

Second, in 1913 the Sixteenth Amendment (Amendment XVI) to the Constitution revoked the explicit prohibition of a tax on individual income and the Individual Income Tax was born. And the means for a serious increase in federal power was launched.

Third, in 1913 the checks and balances were changed significantly by reducing the power of the Congress. One House of the Congress rather directly represented the choices of the people. Members of the House of Representatives were selected by the votes of individual citizens. Members of the Senate (two from each State) were selected by the respective State legislatures and represented the power of the States.

The Seventeenth Amendment (Amendment XVII) to the Constitution of the United States revoked the selection of Senators by state legislatures and established direct election of Senators by popular vote -- similar to selecting Members of the House.

Then came WWI (1914 - 1918) which in many ways set the stage for WWII (1939 -1945). One result of WWII was the so-called GI Bill. This was a government program of advanced education beyond high school to all WWII veterans. It resulted in higher education for an unprecedented proportion of the adult population. In spite of the Korean War from 1950 through 1953, the nation thrived. In my opinion, the United States peaked in the 1950s.

In the 1960s, the nation became involved in the tedious attrition of the Viet Nam War (actually 1959 - 1975) This was a grinding affair which led to decreasing popular support to the point of rioting in the streets.

Even though there have been many 'high points' such as a space exploration program along the way, the nation seems increasingly contentious, dissatisfied, and untrusting over the past sixty years.

Can we regain mutual good faith and happy days again? In the fullness of time, we shall see ..

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