Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The road ahead

I highly recommend this essay by Tom Engelhardt. I'm not going to quote from it or summarize it because I really want people to read it.

As the decline and fall of the American empire is upon us, what consequences should we prepare for, beyond the essentially emotional pain that Engelhardt foresees? He mentions more concrete costs only briefly, near the very end, when he refers to our shamefully low place on the global scorecard of health status indicators. In my view, it may well be that quite serious pain and turmoil is upon us, and may well be hastened by a cyclical economic downturn, in other words the recession of 2007 is likely here.

We can no longer sustain the cost of empire, and yet our political system is addicted to empire and will not put down the crack pipe no matter who is president in 2009. The price of petroleum will continue to rise, employment will continue to flow abroad (see the NYT today, even U.S. farmers are moving their operations to Mexico and Central America), the physical infrastructure of the nation will continue to rot away, and we'll keep borrowing a half a trillion dollars from the Chinese and the Saudis every year to manufacture weapons and to maintain hundreds of military bases around the world, until they call in the chits and the ponzi game collapses.

The American Century is over. What will be next for us?

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