The Decline of America

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Kendall Tompkins

America has always been thought of as number one in the world, but now many people are questioning that thought. Has America peaked? Is it declining or are other countries just catching up? Yes, America has the largest economy, strongest military, the most dynamic technology companies, and a highly entrepreneurial climate; however, the U.S. is falling behind in other areas such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare.[i] Harvard historian Niall Ferguson said that some countries now know the “secret sauce” of western civilization, which is competition, modern science, the rule of law and private property rights, modern medicine, the consumer society, and work ethic.[ii] These countries around the world now have the understanding of how to become one the top dogs and are catching up to America. Other nations are improving faster than our own, which will ultimately remove us from being number one.

The majority of the America’s problem is that it is making across-the-board cuts in discretionary spending, where there is much less money and considerably less waste. Our infrastructure, education, and healthcare are all victims of this. For example thirty years ago, 10 percent of California’s general revenue fund went to higher education and 3 percent to prisons.  Today nearly 11 percent goes to prisons and 8 percent to higher education.[iii] The effects of what this has done to education are astonishing. Our 15-year-olds rank 17th in the world in science and 25th in math. We rank 12th among developed countries in college graduation (down from No. 1 for decades) and we come in 79th in elementary-school enrollment.[iv] Although America’s secondary schools are not attended to very well, college level education in America is at the top. International students are attending these schools, but then returning to their homeland with this new found knowledge and therefore helping advance their country and not the US, particularly China. China is...
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