Tuesday, October 2, 2012

America Is in the Thrall of Future Shock

Observing what's happening in the US as Americans are only six weeks from electing their president, I am struck by a society in complete disarray.

A stalled economy, more than 40 million people living on food stamps, the lowest labor force participation rate since the end of the second world war, millions living in houses with underwater mortgages, real wages dropping for the majority of the population while the super rich are taking a greater share of the national income, elections during which corporations can spend unlimited amounts and states adopt legislation to suppress the vote, crazed gunmen that go on killing sprees, and the list goes on.

It's as if there is no glue that can hold the fractured population together.

The American dream is dead.

A university education used to be the way to a better future, but lately it has become a debt trap luring a younger generation into a wage slave existence.

All in all, I would say that America is a victim of future shock: too much change in too short a period of time.

In fact, the turn of the century brought about the demise of the American empire.

Securitization, off-shore jobs, lack of effective financial regulation, and tax cuts for the middle class and the rich combined with unfunded entitlements has left the US a mere shadow of its former self.

In the meantime, a dispirited population is pumped with the hype that it still lives in the best country of the world.

In what I find to be a pathetic spectacle, the hope for the future comes down to a cool black dude saying "yes we can" and a rich white guy who is doing everything in his power so that "no you won't."

Glad I live in Canada.