Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Generation in Gathering Gloom

A strong sense of deprivation is eating at the heart of America. The belief that the present generation will always be more fortunate than the previous is being eroded by a pall of gloom that persists within the realities of their current environment. Americans are discovering to their dismay that the promise of a better life through hard work is insufficient, that forces beyond their knowledge and control can, and have, corrupted their dreams, and continues to rob them of their birthright to a prosperous future.

Americans feel a shortness of breath, an emptiness sunk deep into the bottom of their gut - like a nine inch diameter hole at the center of their chest that makes breathing agonizing - when they scan the horizon for a sign of life in the economy. This year alone, two to three million homes are threatened by foreclosure; and this is not confined, as generally believed, to the underprivileged class. The once throbbing communities of scenic porches, lawns, spacious rooms, and chimneys are no longer homes but boarded up properties left to the elements to decay, or for vandals to destroy. The entire community is a reflection of inner city disintegration and economic decline.

A generation of workers who find their lives facing the burden of higher medical costs, plus the certainty of additional taxes to support the social security of the retiring bigger generation, in addition to their own. A generation who has to contend with rising fuel prices that seem to have no ceiling, which affects the price of anything they use. An emerging workforce that is less educated and even less prone to solid work that would cripple its competitiveness in a highly demanding global market. An infrastructure that is collapsing from neglect which has become inadequate to even meet current capacity. And saddest of all, an education system that cannot be trusted to satisfy the learning needed to give a minimum degree of reliance on the next generation - a generation full of itself but too young to know the depth of its flaws.

The economic anguish gripping the country cannot possibly morph into optimism even if there are those who claim that the cycle will correct itself. Many are unconvinced that the recession and slump will roll itself over and return the bounty they so deserve. They cringe at the personal debt they are saddled with and realize there is hardly any relief as the government itself is overburdened by excessive spending. They know China holds the major portion of America's public debt and are aware of the continuing dollar decline that reflects the weakness of the economy. The ability of America to remain a superpower in this century is a growing concern, and its military strength may logically be surpassed by those who benefit from the power shift from West to East. In the back of their minds, as they come to grips with the hardships they face, they know America is a nation in trouble.

In a year that is expected to trigger renewed vigor because of the forthcoming Presidential elections, Americans are reining in their enthusiasm. Both presumptive nominees of the two major parties express hope and change, but disagree on the direction. The politicians and leaders are disunited and sectors of American society are pulling in opposite and conflicting paths. Old wounds on racism are being reopened, and questions about America's ability to unite and forge a common objective are in serious doubt. As the elections draw closer, speeches about hope and change by both candidates cannot seem to take root in the confused mind of the electorate. The messages are incomplete, perhaps change is not enough, and America may be ripe for a revolution.



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ZenDenizen said...

All that lottery spam was somehow very fitting for your post.

ZenDenizen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kim said...

these little spam critters are everywhere Durano...
and that cute avatar on berto's comment..:)
an excellent post !!!
I feel that Australia is doomed to go in the same direction...sad ..very sad..
I think I may move to Paris one day ;)...or Italy...or Greece..
hmm...maybe I can find an uninhabited island :0

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Zen,

What is this, a spam attack? This is the first time I've encountered these gremlins.

Are you saying it's fitting because lottery is the only chance for Americans to ensure a prosperous future? That's really sad. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hello Kim,

I'm swamped by these spammers. This is a first invasion and I hope there isn't another.

You mentioned a wish about being on an island sometime ago, in a comment box in either your site or mine. But the difference is that you want an uninhabited island this time. Total isolation eh? :-)

I think most countries, even Japan will go this route with the post boomer generation. This should have been studied and resolved years ago but few people thought it was going to be this bad. No one predicted that the world will be in crisis after globalization.

My choice is going to Italy, but the problems exist there too. The moon seems to be the only peaceful option. LOL! :-) --Durano, done!

Jenaisle said...

For me, I want to go to Austria...or venice or visit the place where they had filmed the Sound of Music. It is sad to hear that the land of milk and plenty is not being assailed by economic problems like our own.

But If i ask relatives, they still would stick it out there. Probably because their families are there.

Jenaisle said...

That should read :"IS NOW BEING ASSAILED..thanks.

Jenaisle said...

That should read :"IS NOW BEING ASSAILED..thanks.

Bradley Hankins said...

I'm part of this rising generation, you know, the lazy ones who are getting no education, who don't want to work real jobs, and have been spoiled by the government their whole lives.

Well, I for one don't feel like I am one of the above. I've been given the opportunities, just like many of the people my age. A good and free education, a chance to get a jobs, and the best family there could be.

I've took the education and ran... then jogged with it. In a year times I will be getting ready to attend college, a good college, four years, and majoring in political science.

I currently have a job, and I am working my butt off at it. Other employee sees it as an easy five hour money making play around session, but I actually work. I've seen people come and go, for various reasons, and I have climbed the seniority ladder, and have been mention for promotions despite the fact that I have only been working a little over six months. I love my job, and no matter how hard or terribly it can get, I and the employer knows I will be ready the next day to do better, and do my job.

The family think isn't totally in my hands, but I'm not one to cause problems. I've been blessed to have such a great family, and one that remains intact. Sure we have had hard times, but we will always stick together, and I'm glad to know that.

So, I say this. Yes, I would be worried about what will happen with the current rising generation, as I am quite worried. But I know that there is hope, and I will be the ones fighting to get America back on her glorious feet, and to bring her back to the top to take over as being the best country at everything, and when I watch the next generation after me come, I hope I see an even better chance for the country to grow and to better itself, and to live long and prosperous.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Jena Isle,

The location of the Sound of Music film was Salzburg, Austria. The place has been preserved and the manor remains the same as it was in the 1960's when the movie was made.

Millions of tourists visit the place to relive the experience they saw on film.

The land of milk and honey is being plagued by economic, political and social difficulties, just like other countries in the world. Food scarcity and fuel prices affect everything and everyone - so I guess your relatives will find those same difficulties wherever they go, and might as well stick to where they are.

However, the United States is hard hit because of its foreign debt and budget deficit as a result of overspending, - especially the costly wars it continues to sustain. :-) --Durano, done!

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Bradley,

I know that you don't belong to that part of your generation that you described in the first paragraph of your comment here. I've been reading your posts on your site and see the concern in your words and thoughts.

I also recall you making comments on my guest post at the Bobo Files. As a matter of fact, it was Bobo's introduction of your site and your situation that led me there.He was generating support for you in the pursuit of your education.

But in your recent post, you yourself questioned where America is - the difference is the desire you expressed to fix it. However, the feeling is there, a feeling that it's in trouble. Wishing that health care, competitiveness, education, etc., would be improved is one thing, but to go about doing it is another. The fear that some of these may become too socialist is a hindrance. I don't know if there is an equation of socialism with communism in the minds of many Americans but these two concepts have similarities but are not the same. Even democracy has elements of socialism and communism. The concept of social security, minimum wage, workmens compensation, 8-hour work days were ideas of Karl Marx, the father of communism.

In truth, the radical left in the United States will be laughed out of this political spectrum by the old guards of Russia and China, and you're right about the left and the right being mere entertainment or mud throwers that amount to nothing. But it is the radical right that has brought America into wars, and deny as they may or cover it up by patriotic rhetoric, all wars are economic. Think about this when you get to college for your Political Science course. There are elements in the concepts of the right and the left that could be harnessed for a true democratic government, but no system is perfect.

If America wants to assume global leadership, it first has to free itself from fear and the fantasy that it has basked in for too long. If not, it will cost the country its biggest loss that it may never hope to regain. :-) --Durano, done!

Artbeat said...

Hi Durano

An interesting post indeed. I am not sure I would put Americas current woes at the feet of the young, yes! they have their challenges ahead.

America's current problems should be laid squarely at the feet of the supposed to be more experienced generation and business leaders making the decisions.

George Bush public enemy no. one should be dangled by his feet from a flag pole. Much of Americas current economic crisis being as a result of his wars.

The sub prime margage crisis was born out of greed by the major financial institutions handing out credit to all and sundry.

It astounds me that the government bails them out, when the warning bells were sounded way back during Alan Greenspans tenure.

If the little man fails in a business adventure he has to pay dearly for the error of his ways. Not so for the large corporations who screwed up, they received a "get out of jail free" card and the man in the street is left to count the cost anyway.

As for the oil crisis, based on economists perceptions of a shortage. Has America or any country for that matter experienced a situation where rationing had to be introduced because of a shortfall in supply. I don't think so!! Just another excuse for the large oil companies to beef up their bottom line at the expense of the man in the street. In simple terms the cost of producing a barrel is nowhwere near the current price.

It was often said that when Allan Greenspan sneezed the world caught a financial cold. Well the same is true of the US economy. When they screw up it has a domino effect and the rest of the world is plagued by their failure.

If America wants to remain the leaders of the free world, and economic powerhouse, then they need to get back to basics.

durano lawayan a.k.a. brad spit said...

Hi Caroline,

The point I am making is exactly that, the current generation of Americans face a bleak future because the generations before them have squandered the opportunities and wasted resources for personal gain and greed.

Principally, there's George Bush, who is responsible for the 3 trillion dollar budget deficit and the 9 trillion foreign debt because of the senseless war on terror waged in 2 fronts, which has no clear path to victory. I've said this before, Americans are the best trained and best equipped force in the world as long as the war is a conventional one. If it is Urban or Guerrilla warfare, they haven't got a chance to win because the enemy is willing to die while the US Military is answerable to their countrymen for every casualty.

Even prior to Bush, their infrastructure have been neglected and are 50 to 70 years old, which do not suffice to handle current capacity - what more 10 years from now.

Also, Ronald Reagan introduced a program for Public High School education covering a period of 20 years. Today,(20 years later) that program has failed, and the attitudes, values, knowledge level, learning abilities, skills, among others, of those in high school are even less than those in 3rd world countries.

The current generation, those working now and who are in their 30's will also have to carry the burden of the social security cost of the retiring baby boomer generation; a generation much larger than the one tasked to support it. This means additional taxes.

Being in a current economic recession and battered by a falling currency, in deep debt local and foreign, its manufacturing and construction industries - the engines of economic growth - in decline and decay, the current generation cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. This makes them demoralized and unenthusiastic about the hope and change expressed by the politicians running for president. They feel the reality and they know the country is in a terrible mess. Yet there are those who remain complacent and say it will rebound, or, it will correct itself. But that is no longer the case. They cannot take things for granted and should work to correct the mistakes, and work hard. Most importantly, they have to CHANGE their lifestyles and make sacrifices to get their country back on track. Otherwise, the American Empire as we know it will end sooner than later. :-) --Durano, done!

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