Thu Jan 17, 2013, 01:59 AM
Speck Tater (10,618 posts)
"The Road Down from Empire" Archdruid Report
Itís worth taking a few moments to go over some of the more visible signposts of the road down from empire. To begin with, the US economy has been crippled by a century of imperial tribute flowing in from overseas. Thatís what happened to our manufacturing sector; once the rest of the industrial world recovered from the Second World War, manufacturers in an inflated tribute economy couldnít compete with the lower costs of factories in less extravagantly overfunded parts of the world, and Americaís industrial heartland turned into the Rust Belt. As the impact of the tribute economy spread throughout US society, in turn, it became next to impossible to make a living doing anything productive, and gaming the imperial system in one way or anotheróbanking, investment, government contracts, you name itóturned into the countryís sole consistent growth industry.
That imposed distortions on every aspect of American society, which bid fair to cripple its ability to pick up the pieces when the empire goes away. As productive economic sectors withered, the countryís educational system reoriented itself toward the unproductive, churning out an ever-expanding range of administrative specialties for corporations and government while shutting down what was once a world-class system of vocational and trade schools. We now have far more office fauna than any sane society needs, and a drastic shortage of people who have any less abstract skill set. For the time being, we can afford to offshore jobs, or import people from other countries to do them at substandard wages; as our empire winds down and those familiar bad habits stop being possible, the shortage of Americans with even the most basic practical skills will become a massive economic burden.
Meanwhile the national infrastructure is caught in a downward spiral of malign neglect made inevitable by the cash crunch that always hits empires on the way down. Empire is an expensive habit; the long-term effects of the imperial wealth pump on those nations subjected to its business end mean that the income from imperial arrangements goes down over time, while the impact of the tribute economy at home generally causes the costs of empire go up over time. The result can be seen on Capitol Hill day by day, as one fantastically expensive weapons system after another sails through Congress with few dissenting votes, while critically important domestic programs are gutted by bipartisan agreement, or bog down in endless bickering. The reliable result is a shell of a nation, seemingly strong when observed from outside but hollowing out within, and waiting for the statistically inevitable shove that will launch it on its final skid down the rough slope into historyís compost bin.
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"The Road Down from Empire" Archdruid Report (Original post)
|Speck Tater||Jan 2013||OP|
Response to Speck Tater (Original post)
Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:18 AM
gejohnston (15,198 posts)
1. happens to every empire
public treasure goes to make private profit. Before and during WW2, Japan had a big assed empire, a big assed military the first aircraft carriers, largest battle ships, advanced submarines that could launch aircraft, the I-400 class, and they were working on the Bomb like everyone else. They were working on a death ray too. They had one mile of paved road. Had WW2 not happened, they would have imploded like the USSR and their empire.
The DoD budget is something like $800B a year. We can cut about a quarter of it just getting rid of stupid shit and save more pulling out of Germany.