I finally figured out how to get Mellow Marc ticked off–talk about how other countries are catching up to the US. He got really animated about how he can’t believe how lazy we’ve become, and I have to say, I do agree with him.
The problem with Americans is that we live in the richest country in the world, and it’s made us spoiled. From its birth in 1776 up to as recently as the end of WWII, America was fighting to be recognized as not just a world power, but the world power. And so, all Americans worked hard to make that goal a reality. We built cities like NY and LA, we developed the latest and greatest technology, and created wealth for our populace the likes of which the world had never seen. That title was easily ours.
Gaining the prestige we wanted was a double-edged sword, however. Yes, countries around the world realized that in order to succeed, they needed to work with us, whether they liked it or not, but we grew comfortable and haughty, believing that nothing could touch us. The building projects ended, the innovations were outsourced, people stopped caring about the country as a whole and thought only of their own welfare. And now, we’re only 50 years ahead of everyone else.
50 years may sound like a long time, but in the course of history, it’s not even the blink of an eye. If we want to maintain our dominance, Americans need to start caring again. We need to start competing. This means getting off our asses and doing a little hard work. Sure, there are plenty of us who thrive on hard work and are “born and bred traditional Americans,” but for every one of us, there are several who would rather do nothing and expect the world to serve them. Those people are the ones costing the country as a whole.
And don’t even get me (or Marc, for that matter) started on the government. As Marc put it, “Congress used to get shit done, now all they do is absolutely nothing.” I couldn’t agree more. Our political system is much more concerned with playing politics and “making stands” than compromising to get things done. A long running joke is that, if con- is the opposite of pro-, then Congress must be the opposite of progress. It certainly seems that way. The only way to change this is for ordinary Americans to make a statement and refuse to re-elect those who do nothing, in favor of those who are willing to try. If we can’t do that, we might as well give up our top spot to China right now.