Perhaps the most intriguing thesis in American Theocracy is that America is likely to be dethroned as the world’s preeminent economic power within this century, because it insists on repeating the mistakes of great powers that have gone before it. The parallels Phillips cites are the fall of Rome, Spain, the Netherlands, and Great Britain. In each case, the rise of religious fundamentalism, the dramatic accumulation foreign debt, and military adventurism all coalesced to bring down these once-great empires.
Having read lots of interesting articles & books, as well as having seen a few interesting movies regarding the current status of the US, it dawns on me that the “mainstream media” is truly doing all of us (worldwide) a dis-service.
If you’ve never heard of American Theocracy ,you are truly missing out. Click on the link to order it from Amazon.com … it is an awesome read.
Fall of the USA you giggle.
Well, if this country were a family, it’s credit rating would be a 350 (the lowest possible score), and it’s bank loans would be so over due that the decision to shut off the phone would be an easy one. The roof and toilet would both be leaking… and lots of the wiring would be shot.
Take a look at this link; it shows the current US National debt . What an astonishing quantity of money.
The Infrastructure of the USA
The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $1.6 trillion is needed over a five-year period to bring the nation’s infrastructure to good condition. And that doesn’t include population growth requirements. Some marvelous facts about our infrastructure:
- Total capital spending from all funding sources was $12.3 billion in 2002; the FTA estimates that $20.6 billion is needed annually to improve the nation’s transit systems to “good.”
- In 1999, the US Department of Education stated that $127 billion was needed to bring the nation’s schools into overall good condition
- 34% of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
- To maintain current share of freight carried, and accommodate the anticipated increase in total freight carried, railroads would require $175 billion to $195 billion in investments over the next 20 years.
- Three railroad bridges used by Amtrak in the Northeast Corridor will be closed within two years if not repaired, shutting down passenger travel on the busy New York to Boston route.
- Since 1998 the number of unsafe dams has risen by more than 33% to 3,500.
- There were 29 dam failures in the past two years in the United States.
- The Big Bay Lake Dam in Mississippi failed in March 2004, destroying 100 homes. The Silver Lake Dam in Michigan failed in 2003, causing $100 million in property damage and economic losses of $1 million per day.
- Since 1998 the number of high-hazard potential dams has increased from 9,281 to 10,213. High-hazard potential dams are those dams whose failure would cause loss of human life or significant loss of property.
- $10.1 billion is needed over the next 12 years to address all critical non-federal dams
- 27% of America’s bridges–more than one in four–are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
- FHWA estimates that it will take $9.4 billion a year for 20 years to eliminate all bridge deficiencies
Their report card of the USA’s infrastructure is almost laughable.
Then there is the $44,200,000,000,000 debt owed by our government to pay for Social Security & Medicare. It’s so much money, even those that should know can’t figure out EXACTLY how much is needed.
How the expected budget shortfall of $44.2 trillion breaks down
Social Security……. $7 trillion
Medicare……….. $36.6 trillion
Other…………….. $0.6 trillion
*Based on current government revenue and spending.
Sources: Census bureau; Smetters and Gokhale
So that’s a MINIMUM of:
$44.2 Trillion for Social Security & Medicare
$ 2.0 Trillion for our infrastructure
$10.0 Trillion for our national debt
$56.2 Trillion is the minimal debt that we, the people, have to cover for the United States of America to be fiscally at a ‘break even’ point.
The problem with that number is … the USA’s gross domestic product (GDP is the total market value of all final goods and services produced in a calendar year) is only $13 trillion (2006).