Decline of the United States by the numbers

Historically, the American dream was that each generation would be better off that the generation that came before.  By many measurements, this is no longer true.  Click on any of the charts to enlarge them.

More American women are dying in childbirth.  This is not the mark of an advanced nation..

More Americans are dying of drug overdoses.  This is not a characteristic of a nation that is hopeful about the future.


More Americans are committing suicide.  Neither is this the characteristic of a hopeful nation.

Labor’s share of the American economy is falling.

U.S. student loan debt

Young people are told they cannot advance without college degrees, but they risk being crushed by student debt.

The gains in the economy are going to the top 1 percent of income earners.

Americans’ confidence in our government is declining.

In fact, the trust in all institutions is declining, except for the military and police.  I respect the functions of the armed forces and the police, but it is not a good sign for a democracy when they are the most trusted institutions in society, and the elected Congress is the least trusted.

It also is ominous that only a minority of young people think it is essential to live in a democracy.

Dam failures in Texas. Source: Texas Observer

You can’t deal with your problems unless you admit you have a problem.  This is true for nations as much as for individuals.  I don’t think the United States is doomed to continued decline, but I believe we are doomed unless we Americans do something to reverse the decline.

LINKS

The American Empire Is the Sick Man of the Twenty-First Century by David Klion for Foreign Policy.

America: a Failing State by Ian Welsh.

How to Fight Maternal Mortality by Kevin Drum for Mother Jones.

Suicide Rates in the United States Continue to Increase by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Why We’re Doomed: Stagnant Wages by Charles Hugh Smith for Seeking Alpha.

Workers Are Down $10 Trillion and the Stock Market is Worried About a 9-Cent an Hour Raise? by Rex Nutting for The Wall Street Journal.

Income Inequality 1970-2015: USA and France Compared by the Real-World Economics Blog.

Eat the Young: Student Loan Version by Ian Welsh.

Public Trust in Government, 1958-2019 by the Pew Research Center.

Why Major Institutions Lost Public Trust and How They Can Get It Back by Shane Snow for The Content Strategist.

Dammed to Fail by Naveena Sadasivam for the Texas Observer..

Note: I replaced a chart on wages with a better one a few hours after making this post.

Tags:

One Response to “Decline of the United States by the numbers”

  1. Benjamin David Steele Says:

    “In fact, the trust in all institutions is declining, except for the military and police. I respect the functions of the armed forces and the police, but it is not a good sign for a democracy when they are the most trusted institutions in society, and the elected Congress is the least trusted.”

    Trust in military going up as trust in the rest of the government is going down, along with trust in big biz and media likewise going down. Trust in religion is not exactly going up either. Not a promising situation. That is how police states develop and military coups happen.

    “It also is ominous that only a minority of young people think it is essential to live in a democracy.”

    That piece of data requires some interpretation. The young have been lied to. They were told we have a democracy, but we don’t have a democracy. If this is democracy, then I’m against democracy too. The thing is we don’t have a functioning democracy, except to some minimal degree at the very local level.

    The word ‘democracy’ in this context has become next to meaningless. It’s become dangerous rhetoric to rationalize the anti-democratic. To make democracy a worthy aspiration again, that would require people learning what democracy means, not limited to politics but in all areas of live and society, including economics.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: