As a historian, I can attest that every empire rises and falls, and the United States is no different ["9 Signs of America in Decline," usnews.com]. It is unfortunate that since Reagan, our decline has been steadily accelerated. The United States manufactures very little. Most of these jobs are in Third or Second World nations. We have become a largely service industry. Service industries suffer the most during recessions. If few businesses are manufacturing things, then all of the secondary industries associated with these are weakened. If these are weakened, who has the money to buy things to keep the economy going? It is a vicious circle that will prevent the United States from ever being No. 1 again. We are also acting as the world's policeman... a duty once held by Britain. Look what happened to them! We spend more money on our military than any other nation in the world. We spend more money on our healthcare and have less to show for it. We have become a nation obsessed by capitalism and its failed promises that every American can one day be rich. Illogical! We are a nation torn politically. Only fear binds us together, and this is a very dangerous idea indeed.
Comment by Devin of OR
This is what the liberals or progressives just don't get—it is the moral decay of our nation, just as it was with Rome, that rots us from the inside out. The cultural war is real. The issues that give breath to that war are likewise real. If you take the unbridled thinking since the 1960s, the collapsing of traditional religious institutions, the casual divorce laws, drugs, and the incredible rate of illegitimacy out of the equation, suddenly things don't look so grim anymore. In 200 years from now, the 1960s will be first on every historian's list of reasons why America receded from its former greatness.
Comment by Larry Fox of FL
Ask any non-American and you will find they agree that the defining characteristic of an American is arrogance. We are so sure of our superiority that we are incapable of learning from others and changing in any meaningful way. When you think you know everything, you don't learn anything. We are well into the same decline from empire that the Brits went through after World War I. Whether we decline with grace or belligerence remains to be seen.
Comment by Scott U . of CT
The money that we have spent on our war machine is what has brought this country down. If we had reinvested the cost of every bomb into our infrastructure and education system, we wouldn't be in this predicament. Bombs are not like trees, and they do not bear fruit. It's like burning money and starving the country.
Comment by Michelle of CA
I find it interesting that the top nations would be characterized as "socialized" nations under the Fox News model. They spend little of their Gross National Product (GNP) for defense hardware, have universal healthcare, the population is generally secular. Yet, they're happy. They don't seem to be fear-driven societies like ours. In Switzerland and Norway, the focus seems to be to invest in their people. Education—pre-school, high school, and college or technical training are guaranteed. There is far too much emphasis here on defense spending, too many people obsess over religious nonsense which encourages women to be submissive and discourages education in sciences, which disprove their religious tales.
Comment by Vance of GA
The more prosperous countries are more democratic than the United States. The authors of the Constitution did what they could to protect the elite from democracy. That's why they included a Senate not popularly elected and invented the idea of special presidential electors. The universally praised balance of powers was designed to allow the few to countervail the many, and the result has been that it requires a national catastrophe to change anything that favors the wealthy and powerful in the United States.
Comment by Jim Lacey of CT