“For the first time in our country’s history, there is more social mobility in Europe than in the United States. More and more I get the sense that we’ve lost it. Everywhere you turn, the evidence mounts. American schoolchildren aren’t anywhere near the head of the international pack, and American adults, according to one recent study, lack the technical skills that peers in many other developed countries have. American bridges crumble. American trains crawl. American flights leave from terminals that pale next to many Asian and European counterparts.”
“As America’s new economy starts to look more like the old economy of the Great Depression, the divide between rich and poor, those who have made it and those who never will, seems to grow ever starker. I know. I’ve seen it firsthand, the cumulative effects of years of deindustrialization, declining salaries, absent benefits, and weakened unions, along with a rise in meth and alcohol abuse, a broad-based loss of good jobs, and soaring inequality seemed similar enough to me. The destruction of a way of life in the service of the goals of the 1%, whether in Iraq or at home, was hard to miss. I grew up in the Midwest at a time when the country still prided itself on having something of a conscience, when it was a place still built on hope and a widespread belief that a better future was anybody’s potential birthright. Inequity was always there, and there were always rich people and poor people, but not in the ratios we see now in America. What I found in my travels was place after place being hollowed out as wealth went elsewhere and people came to realize that, odds on, life was likely to get worse, not better. For most people, what passed for hope for the future meant clinging to the same flat-lined life they now had.Visit Atlantic City in 2014 and it’s again a hollowed-out place. The once swanky mall built on one of the old amusement piers has more stores shuttered than open. Trump Plaza, a monument to excess and hubris, is now a catalog of decay. The pillows in the rooms smell of sweat, the corners of doors are chipped, many areas need a new coat of paint, and most of the bars and restaurants resemble the former Greyhound bus terminal a few blocks away. People covered with the street gravy that marks the homeless wander the casino, itself tawdry and too dimly lit to inspire fun. There were just too many people who were clearly carrying everything they owned in a backpack.”
“Schools, health services, libraries – and the salaries that go with them – are all on the chopping block as states and cities face their worst cash squeeze since the Great Depression.”
“I’ve said it again and I’ll say it now, the US is in terminal decline. The fact that they have to run trillion dollar deficits with 0% interest rates and QE infinity and can only get 2% growth proves my point. I give the US another 10 years before their giant debt based Ponzi scheme comes crashing down and the United States economically collapses like the Soviet Union and the US might even break up politically. I live here in the US, and I can tell you that there is absolutely no rule of law here, it’s corrupt to the bone. The politicians are bought by interest groups and the Caucasian population is dumb as a doorknob.”
“As a Chinese living in America, I’ve seen the US and I can tell you this country has no future; the education system is failing, crime is off the scale, drug use is rampant, adultery is out of control, teen pregnancies are at all time highs. The debt is actually a lot worse than the official numbers say, it’s sometimes double or triple the official figure. The US government fudges its books to appear strong, don’t believe a single number they say, it’s all manipulated. Here in the US, there are two books, one book for the public and one for the officials. Vast majority of the innovation done here is all done by Asians, mostly from China. Nearly all the top universities are filled with Asian students. The white students just aren’t smart enough or hardworking enough to beat the Asians. Anyone thinking this will be the century of America is beyond delusional. It’s a country on the way down and fast. I give it another 10 years before this facade comes to a crashing and painful end. Folks you are witnessing the decline of the United States.”
Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. His writing has been translated into more than 20 languages and is available on more than 100 foreign-language websites around the world. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Romanoff is one of the contributing authors to Cynthia McKinney’s new COVID-19 anthology ”When China Sneezes”.
Copyright © Larry Romanoff, Moon of Shanghai, 2020