Part of what makes a SF story good is that it presents the plausible in an interesting way. Or maybe it’s the interesting in a plausible way. Maybe hopeful, maybe dystopian, but it takes current trends or historical cycles and projects them into the future in a way that people can easily buy into it, nodding their head and muttering I can see that happening.
The same idea can be applied to political punditry. I came across an article that doesn’t say anything surprising to me – in fact they are the well, duh sort of observations – but I’m sure will cause many of certain political persuasions shake their heads and say “but this time it’s different!”
The article is 5 Mistakes That Will Lead To The Fall of America by John Hawkins.
The five things are:
1) Unsustainable Debt
2) Enormous Centralized Government
3) An Overly-Progressive Income Tax Code
4) Moral Decay
5) Backward Immigration Policies
What many don’t realize is that they are all very interrelated. #1 is the direct result of #2 and enabled by #3, and both of those are the direct result of #4. #3 is a governments’ attempt to buy votes via “making someone else pay for it.” This setup leads to #5 in an attempt to rectify the problems caused by the other four, again by “making someone else pay for it.” We are seeing this all around the world today. Sorry ta’ tell ya’, bub, but TANSTAAFL. Still. They refuse to learn.
People are not fungible. No matter how hard they might want to work, an 85 IQ illiterate illegal immigrant from central America, or a “refugee” bringing all their dysfunctional home culture from the Middle East, or a gang-banger angling for local connections of his drug gang, are NOT drop-in tax-paying replacements for the average out of work American for all sorts of (hopefully obvious) reasons. Bringing in more people when you have an employment and spending problem is exactly the wrong thing to do. I’ve got no problem with immigrants in the best of the American tradition that truly add to the nation and pay their own way. But…
The USA is in steep decline, the only remaining unknowns are the details and timing. I’m not a big fan of hardcore religious morality, but it’s undeniable that there are things there which got there because they work. What I see today is the political left using the 10 commandments as a “to do list,” all the while preening about their superior morality when they really don’t understand it at all. They are often nice people individually, and on certain topics, but they don’t realize what they are doing in the bigger picture. Such is the blindness of man, I guess.
Later Edit: Whether moral decay is the cause or result of enormous government is a chicken-and-egg problem. A moral and decent people don’t need, and won’t tolerate a huge government. A huge government tends to make being moral and decent the equivalent of being a chump to be fleeced, and the harder you work the more they’ll take. I think it’s sort of that each nibble around the edge of the other, with small, marginal things. Like Social Security. You don’t want orphans and widows that have bad luck to starve, do you? Well, no, of course not. So gradually church and community programs to take care of such things are ceded to the government, a bit here, a bit there, each piece sounding small and reasonable, until the government programs are so big and demanding that the hard worker can’t support doing both, and when the tax-man has a gun to your head it’s an easy choice to make. And then the pro-government forces say “see, private charity CAN’T meet the demands of social care,” and the cycle escalates. In the US in the 50s it was still balanced toward church and community. In the sixties it all went to hell with LBJ.