Thursday, June 3, 2010

Letter to Mennonite Weekly Review

I appreciated the May 10th column by Elaine Sommers Rich on the rise and fall of civilizations. She is of course correct in her observation that all civilizations rise and fall, and keeping this in mind is helpful for those of us who are given to despair at the direction our country seems to be going.

What is perhaps shocking is how fast the U.S. is disintegrating. The signs are everywhere. In the last ten years we have dropped from producing 32% of the world's gross domestic product, down to 24%. Over one-fourth of our manufacturing jobs have disappeared during this ten-year period. Our national debt is now more than fifteen times what it was in 1980, and is increasing at an unsustainable pace.

Our childhood obesity epidemic shows no signs of abating. With our fitness and our productivity spiraling downhill, the end is far closer than any of us would care to acknowledge.

Of some comfort is the thought that centuries from now the U.S. will at least be remembered for three lasting contributions to the world's culture--baseball, jazz music, and the Constitution.

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