I believe what I'm about to write here goes beyond routine events in the life of the US, and hence is appropriate for this branch of the forum.
We keep hearing about competitive pressures the US is facing in the world, the trade deficit etc and we sort of make a mental note of it and move
forward. I was looking up some statistics today and what came up made me nervous. For example, the export statistics available on
is simply stunning: our exports in virtually all categories
have been steadily shrinking
since 1996, often by a factor of two or even an order of magnitude! It's not a 50 year time span or anything -- this is very recent past. Check the
numbers for yourself -- you'll be unpleasantly surprised.
To add to that, here's a graph of our trade deficit:
This gap effectively translates into the money we borrow from abroad.
Now, I believe that living on borrowed money is a bad thing to be doing, especially on that grand scale. You of course remember that our domestic
borrowing is also astronomical.
I'm not an alarmist by nature, but facing these facts isn't easy. How come they are not given a priority in the public discourse? I know politicians
have agendas and all, but does it not occur to them that they might be presiding over a sunset of a once grat nation? We produce less than we consume
and keep doing that in truly biblical proportions.
Instead of focusing (for real) on our country competitiveness and fiscal and industrial strength, we are squandering time and resource and other
things on the adventure in Iraq, which seemingly has no end to its bloody course. Congress is debating the admittedly imporant issue of gay marriage
and the less important issue of raising their own salaries, but somehow the dire state of affairs in this country never truly comes to the public eye.
Maybe we collectively became fat and dumb, but that's just another uncomfortable thought.
Is there a conspiracy of some sort behind all this?
[edit on 20-7-2006 by Aelita]