American decline

Interesting thoughts on America’s decline. It begins:

It’s the oft-unspoken thought on many lips: America’s in decline. The glory days are over, the train’s left the station. So: is this a great decline? Unfortunately–probably. And I’d suggest that when you take a hard, serious look into the economy–when you voyage past it’s superficial, largely irrelevant position in terms of budgets, "gross product", or "unemployment"–that great decline is deeper and darker than pundits, beancounters, and politicians think, want to admit, or even suspect.

The great crisis is a story of structural decline: a decline that’s hardwired into the patterns amongst this great machine’s many parts. They’ve settled, over the last three decades and more, into fundamentally bad, toxic equilibria–where speculation precedes investment, model precedes reality, management and financial jargon is a substitute for real insight, cheap talk substitutes for hard work, and indulgence has replaced inspiration.

(Hat tip to John Robb)

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