A bearish case for America

This will be a bit of a rant looking into why I believe the best of America is in the past and it's outlook is not as optimistic as it once was. I very well might be wrong, in fact, I hope I am.

This is just going to be rambling ideas. Not going to really source any of this but it is all derived from data I have seen as well as the reality I am observing around me. Eventually I will re-write this and include more evidenced based arguments, but for now it is me putting my thoughts out into the ethos.

I will break this down into the following:

  1. The Molestation of Culture
  2. Americas Edge has Diminished
  3. Life is too Good

The Molestation of Culture

It is generally accepted that we are in one of the most polarized forms of America. The country is split into partisan viewpoints and the loud ten percent seem to have sized complete control over the overton windows. Today we see terms such as cancel culture, hate speech, privilege. These terms come along with a polarized behavioral framework that makes innovation, risk taking, and efficiency die.

Today American culture is overrun with people who are scared to speak, scared to act, and scared to fix. Companies are being bombarded by government regulations, keeping the loud ten percent happy, keeping their investors happy, and dealing with their childish employees who sue their own employer on baseless claims-because they know the employer will settle.

The administrative costs of a cooperation are blowing up to such outrageous proportions they cut into the operational costs and research and development costs. This leads us to a cooperation more concerned with keeping their employees happy than building a better product.

The culture has become so unforgiving that nearly any un-woke stance on a topic can leave you jobless. And the bar for what is woke keeps on moving. This is why we see woke people being canceled and out-woked by their more ambitious counterparts. It is a self destructive ideology. This so called cancel culture means the hard conversations that drive innovation forward no longer are happening. Now it is too risky to point out the obvious inefficiency in a workflow or point out the absurdity of a new company policy, infinitive, or action.

To step out of line is to put your head on the chopping block.

Finally, the external pressures of so called diversity lead to affirmative action like polices that render plenty of identity diversity at the compromise of intellectual diversity and merit.

This molestation of culture has created an environment that kills innovation, kills risk taking, and kills efficiency. If it is too risky to say what might offend then it is too risky to talk. To talk is to risk offending someone with what you may say.

America's Edge has Diminished

What really gave America the footing it has today? The dollar, the lack of destruction during the 20th century, and the bleeding innovations of the 20th century come to mind. Most of the other major world powers were blowing each other up and fixing themselves. Populations wiped out. Sure America played a large role in the world wars and cold war but the domestic soil was not impacted to any severe degree.

Yet, today the dollar is at great threat. We have been printing money far faster than we can ever reasonably pay it back, foreign powers have all the incentive to get away from the petroldollar and remove the dollar as a reserve currency of the world.

The globalization of the world economy and industry has allowed for countries to rapidly catch up to the skills and production levels of America. Now its no long as much of an advantage as it had been in the decades prior to be an employee in America.

The innovations are still vibrant but no longer the only shining star. Asian countries are shamelessly stealing our developed technologies and then improving on them, and out innovating America.

A lot of what made the late 20th century one of the largest periods of secular economic growth in Americas history is no longer really the case. Foreign countries can now steal any innovation that comes out of the country and then innovate and improve on it faster than American companies can. What made America the place for innovation and business in the past is no longer the selling point is once was.

Life is too Good

Nowadays, it is far too easy to live a very comfortable and easy life without producing much. So long as you have your Starbucks, iPhone, and reality TV shows, life is good.

As life becomes better for everyone, the ambition for further improvement will be increasingly harder to instill. It is very easy to convince a person to work hard to get themselves out of a bad situation, but not so easy if they are in a very comfortable situation. Why sacrifice my comfort now for a slight marginal increase in comfort in the future? It is simply a harder sell.

This means that generally the smart are getting smarter and the dumb are getting dumber. There are less and less that are actively trying to join the smart side and more falling waste to the dumb.

This has also created a lazy population surrounded by distractions. Social media, news, culture clashes. All of these keep the average American distracted from learning and distracted from innovation. It is so easy to find yourself in a simple job living a simple life and being content with this. That is not to say that is a bad thing, but it does mean that we are loosing many potential inventors and engineers to this attractive comfort life.

When life is this easy and this good, the incentive structure that yields innovation slows down. Should this slow down to a rate lower than our foreign counter parts, now we will see American innovation decline.

The only sector where America is still the clear and essentially unchallenged leader? Culture.

Brining it all Together

So, we have an America who's culture and regulation are anti-business, no longer has the competitive advantages it had in the prior century, and who's labor force is becoming less competitive and productive.

Meanwhile, foreign countries cultures are built around channeling all their focus into academics, regulations are pro business (so long as they align with the governing body), and who's population is living a hard life and working their ass off to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

This does not paint a great picture for the future of America. Unless America has radical shifts in its regulations, cultural values, and academic regimes, it does not stand a chance against the hungry and ambitious countries that are coming for its neck.