Society & Culture

An Infrastructure of Crumbs and Bananas

The current American cultural and economic transformation, which arguably started in the late 20th century, is now approaching its nadir.  Americans will more likely mourn this transition than celebrate it.  The United States has regressed in terms of the typical evolution of a country since roughly 1980.  Rather than evolving into a higher level of civilization with rising incomes and an improved standard of living, the U.S. has reversed that desired trajectory, doing everything she can to become a developing nation.  Historians, economists, and political scientists can point to mountains of data as evidence to this decline.  Sadly, philosophers will only drive themselves insane as they try to explain the suicidal impulses that drove us to this ignominious end.

The United States’ formerly robust physical infrastructure once provided the basis upon which the world’s largest economy boomed.  The American rail system offered commuters a convenient daily ride to work.  For those going farther afield, a trip from New York to Washington or Boston once required travelers to analyze the price and time differentials of intercity rail travel versus flying that same short hop.  Trolleys shuttled residents around vibrant cities such as Detroit, Little Rock, and Pittsburgh.  Freight lines crisscrossed the North American continent to move both manufactured goods and raw materials...

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