Americans may have celebrated July 4th with the usual hotdogs and fireworks, but Uncle Sam was a sick old man on his 235th birthday. Deficits and debt. A moribund economy. Appalling unemployment. Crumbling infrastructure. Endless foreign wars. We all know the litany of ills. It's long and grim and the question for most observers is not whether Uncle Sam will continue to decline, but how far, and how fast.
The more excitable sorts, like the journalist Chris Hedges, foresee the end. Or rather, The End. "We stand on the cusp of one of the bleakest periods in human history," Hedges wrote, "when the bright lights of a civilization blink out and we will descend for decades, if not centuries, into barbarity." But even the sane are glum. "These trends will see a continued erosion of America's ability to provide a good, middle class standard of living at home and to extend security abroad," wrote policy analyst Clyde Prestowitz in Foreign Policy. "The really smart people have already put their money in gold bars and moved to New Zealand."
Somewhat less dramatically, but no less certainly, Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail compared Canada and the United States. "It seems to me our problems can be solved," Wente concluded, "and theirs can't."
Click here to read the entire article at the Ottawa Citizen.