Thursday December 2, 2021
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com

 

Jul-05-2010 18:32printcomments

They Gave Away the Store

I am not optimistic about America’s future because of its ingrained attitude of “every man for himself.” If I was an American, I would be afraid. I would be very afraid.

Salem-News.com
Courtesy: treehugger.com

(CALGARY, Alberta) - That’s what American politicians and business leaders have done. You, the ordinary citizen, are left behind to suffer and fight your fellow citizens for scraps of whatever you can get, and resent it if some other deprived citizen is given support. I deserve help, they don’t. That seems to be the dominant creed of most Americans today.

Andy Grove was one of the founders of Intel Corp. (2009 revenue $35 billion). He was President (1979) CEO (1987) Chairman and CEO (1997).

On July 1 he published an article in the Bloomberg press, titled “How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late”. (You can read the complete article here: How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late: Andy Grove)

Grove’s starting point is his disagreement with an article by Thomas Friedman in the New York Times. Friedman argues that if the government wants to create jobs, it should be funding startups, not doing bailouts of tired old companies. This approach, says Groves, is wrong.

In a startup, entrepreneur(s) invent something in their garage, persuade some angels to invest money and go on to mass production. During this process more people are hired, factories are built and the business grows. It’s called scaling.

Scaling is hard work but necessary to make innovation matter. The scaling process is no longer happening in the U.S. And as long as that’s the case, plowing capital into young companies that build their factories elsewhere will continue to yield a bad return in terms of American jobs”.

There’s the problem with America in a nutshell.

As time passed, wages and health-care costs rose in the U.S., and China opened up. American companies discovered they could have their manufacturing and even their engineering done cheaper overseas. When they did so, margins improved. Management was happy, and so were stockholders. Growth continued, even more profitably. But the job machine began sputtering”.

This is the fundamental attitude problem in the U.S. It’s okay to make money. People don’t matter. This is the story of how American politicians sold their constituents down the river. And the American people, gulls that most of them are, fell for it, thinking that they were getting cheaper goods and everyone was happy. They had no awareness of the ground crumbling under their feet.

The beginning of the end was 1973. Until that time America had lived happily off the rest of the world—cheap labour in Third World countries and, most crucial—oil for under $2/bbl from the Middle East. In response to the U.S. arming Israel after the Yom Kippur war, on October 16, 1973, OPEC announced it was raising the posted price of oil by 70%, to $5.11 a barrel. In December the Shah of Iran said:

Of course [the world price of oil] is going to rise. You [Western nations] increased the price of wheat you sell us by 300%, and the same for sugar and cement...You buy our crude oil and sell it back to us, refined as petrochemicals, at a hundred times the price you've paid to us...It's only fair that, from now on, you should pay more for oil. Let's say ten times more.

And so it came to pass.

America was going to have to live within its means, but it never took that lesson to heart. The American people continued to believe its own mythology while the rest of the world moved on. I noticed the decline myself as a lowly reporter in the 1970s. I discovered, using the Fortune magazine lists, that in 1969 U.S. companies occupied 36 of the top 50 spots in the world accounting for nearly 80% of the total revenues. By 1980 the American representation had fallen to 22 companies accounting for 52% of the total revenue.

In 2009, there are only 15 American companies in the top 50, accounting for only 33% of the total revenues. In forty years, 21 American companies have fallen off the list and the American proportion of revenues has fallen by nearly half.

What happened, unnoticed by most people, was that the rest of the world was growing and catching up to the U.S. Ignorance is normally bliss, but there is no bliss in America today—at least among the disenfranchised middle class.

Whenever you buy a computer from Dell or HP; a Nokia cell phone; Xbox 360—you’re giving away your country and the future of your children. Those products, and a host of others, are made in China. As Grove summarizes:

Some 250,000 Foxconn employees in southern China produce Apple’s products. Apple, meanwhile, has about 25,000 employees in the U.S.—that means for every Apple worker in the U.S. there are 10 people in China working on iMacs, iPods and iPhones. The same roughly 10-to-1 relationship holds for Dell, disk-drive maker Seagate Technology, and other U.S. tech companies.

In terms of alternate energy, photovoltaics (solar panels) were invented in the U.S. But, says Grove:

Last year, I decided to do my bit for energy conservation and set out to equip my house with solar power. My wife and I talked with four local solar firms. As part of our due diligence, I checked where they get their photovoltaic panels—the key part of the system. All the panels they use come from China. A Silicon Valley company sells equipment used to manufacture photo-active films. They ship close to 10 times more machines to China than to manufacturers in the U.S., and this gap is growing. Not surprisingly, U.S. employment in the making of photovoltaic films and panels is perhaps 10,000—just a few percent of estimated worldwide employment.

Another industry about to take off is the mass production of electric cars and trucks. They require advanced batteries. But, Grove says:

The U.S. lost its lead in batteries 30 years ago when it stopped making consumer-electronics devices. Whoever made batteries then gained the exposure and relationships needed to learn to supply batteries for the more demanding laptop PC market, and after that, for the even more demanding automobile market. U.S. companies didn’t participate in the first phase and consequently weren’t in the running for all that followed. I doubt they will ever catch up.

Grove concludes with:

I fled Hungary as a young man in 1956 to come to the U.S. Growing up in the Soviet bloc, I witnessed first-hand the perils of both government overreach and a stratified population. Most Americans probably aren’t aware that there was a time in this country when tanks and cavalry were massed on Pennsylvania Avenue to chase away the unemployed. It was 1932; thousands of jobless veterans were demonstrating outside the White House. Soldiers with fixed bayonets and live ammunition moved in on them, and herded them away from the White House. In America! Unemployment is corrosive.

This is something that FDR recognized at the time. In his 1936 presidential acceptance speech, he said:

An old English judge once said: ‘Necessitous men are not free men.’ Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives a man not only enough to live by, but something to live for”.

Tens of millions of Americans are unemployed or underemployed which means that, through no fault of their own and not for lack of trying, they are denied the liberty so prominently promoted in the Declaration of Independence. Liberty is one of the so-called inalienable rights--but it is routinely denied to millions. They have life-but what kind of a stunted life is it? And it's hard to pursue happiness when your more pressing and urgent pursuits revolve around things like food and keeping a roof over your head and that of your family.

In America, government is the problem because it is effectively run by and for the interests of the corporate world. Americans have to learn that government can be a solution. Grove explains:

The rapid development of the Asian economies provides numerous illustrations. In a thorough study of the industrial development of East Asia, Robert Wade of the London School of Economics found that these economies turned in precedent-shattering economic performances over the 1970s and 1980s in large part because of the effective involvement of the government in targeting the growth of manufacturing industries”.

Fundamentally, the problem is not the corporations, or the government. It’s the American people themselves who choose the government--their representatives. As the French philosopher Joseph de Maistre observed: "Every country has the government it deserves”. To have had eight years of G. W. Bush is a lesson in itself although most Americans seem immune to learning.

Overall I am not optimistic about America’s future because of its citizen's ingrained attitude of “every man for himself.” If I was an American, I would be afraid. I would be very afraid.

============================================

Daniel Johnson was born near the midpoint of the twentieth century in Calgary, Alberta. In his teens he knew he was going to be a writer, which is why he was one of only a handful of boys in his high school typing class — a skill he knew was going to be necessary. He defines himself as a social reformer, not a left winger, the latter being an ideological label which, he says, is why he is not an ideologue. From 1975 to 1981 he was reporter, photographer, then editor of the weekly Airdrie Echo. For more than ten years after that he worked with Peter C. Newman, Canada’s top business writer (notably on a series of books, The Canadian Establishment). Through this period Daniel also did some national radio and TV broadcasting. He gave up journalism in the early 1980s because he had no interest in being a hack writer for the mainstream media and became a software developer and programmer. He retired from computers last year and is now back to doing what he loves — writing and trying to make the world a better place




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.



Hank Ruark July 14, 2010 3:47 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Daniel:
My superb response to your note "endorsing" my Comment seems not to have been published at the time.

Did you receive it ? I understand Comments come to you directly, as others seem to have done...

SO will pursue general topic elsewhere soon...

Editor: Hank neither DJ or I know what or where on that, so please resubmit if you have and forgive me if it happened at this end, I honestly don't remember it, but we did look for it!


Hank Ruark July 10, 2010 3:15 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Daniel:
Yep, Founders did don pants same way all of us do, even in America...
But to state they were not prescient is to defy, deny and reverse solid historical documentation by some far more qualified than you or me.
You now have sure reference to at least five volumes of that level/reference; have you had time (and any energy left over ?)to seek any one or more of them and explore ?
EA nation is "exceptional" via its historic experiences;"American" is of interest simply because 250 years of exploitation of a new continent, by strange, then unique, mixture of people and philosophies and pragmatic exploration and extremely potent other characteristics created a unique people.

AND YES we have our own peculiaties, more than our share of difficulties and far more political and other very odd peculiarities.
BUT we remain most potent nation on this Earth; still safest place for ANYone's dollar-investment; and perhaps still the ongoing strongest provider-purveyor of concept of democracy...while we still work hard, every day, to NOW PERFECT that prescient concept left us as legacy by those same Founders...

When they got their pants on perfectly, that is...

You write as if you actually believe the FF were prescient which means they possessed foreknowledge of events before they happened. If so, you're subscribing to a national foundation myth, common to many nations, like Rome being founded by Romulus and Remus or the various Greek founding myths, all of which, in their time, were treated as facts. If the FF were prescient, as you argue, why was slavery allowed to continue? They set up a nation of such solidity, that it started to fall apart a mere eight decades later? 

I can see things differently because, as a Canadian, I only drank a diluted American Kool Aid. The effects wore off many years ago. 


Ersun Warncke July 8, 2010 8:03 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel, as you should know from my writings, I am not an adherent to "American Optimism." I fully expect the U.S. Federal Government, in its current form, to collapse within my lifetime. However, I view this as an optimistic turn of events. The U.S. Federal government has been completely reformed at least three times: after the collapse of The Articles of Confederacy, during the Civil War, and at the beginning of the 20th century. Our "written in stone" Constitution, a wonderful propaganda prop with obvious biblical origins, has been "interpreted" over time to justify a variety of laws so divergent and contradictory that they put The Bible itself to shame. To say that "America" is on a fixed course in any direction belies both common sense and history. The people here, some 300 million in number and occupying the largest/most-productive contiguous land mass in the world, will muddle through whatever comes their way in the same ad-hoc way that all people do. There is a current of thought that supposes a fiery end to the "American Experiment" which, as the previous commentator points out quite accurately, is shared by some on the religious right with some on the left. While this possibility cannot be discounted, I personally view it as being unlikely. The collapse of the Soviet Union was certainly devastating, but hardly apocalyptic. I find it hard to believe that the collapse of the "American Empire" should come out worse than in the case of the Russians, given the much longer tradition here of republican government, which the Russians and their colonized states had little or no experience with. The various States of this country have an established system of laws and governance to fall back on if the U.S. Federal government collapses, which was certainly not the case with the Soviet Union. Consequently, the most probable outcome, in my view, is that the U.S. will go on in much better shape than the old S.U. when the wheels come off of the Federally seated "American Empire."

Ersun:

You've read my comments about American Exceptionalism. The idea that somehow the U.S. is a political entity that exists outside history is, on its face, absurd. The statement that somehow the FF were prescient accords with your suggestion that the Constitution, etc, is Biblical in origin.  The FF put their pants on one leg at a time as do you, I, and every other American male, both today, and throughout history.


Hank Ruark July 6, 2010 3:31 pm (Pacific time)

Daniel:
  I'm well familiar via both personal and professional experience with the symptoms of psychological illness you've described so well.
 
  Ties to neurology provide a  proper view of far too many responses here, some obviously from similar situations not recognized by participants but surely recognizable from their remarks.
 
  Happens I had 3 yrs. very close personal association with working psychiatrist in Chicago, whose clients, mostly children-youth,reflected some of same, mainly due to events within Chicago school/system.

  Also agree with 90 percent of your continuing diagnosis; but decades of devotion to American history still brings me to analytic conclusions denying your current analysis as final or even close to that future for this nation.

  Numerous past versions of the same-symptom diagnosis, differing in detail, timing  and even components, but the same end-phase, have occurred ever since Federalist Papers includes some similar stuff.
  You'll recall direct contact
reflecting ties to this...
 
  Future hard to see no matter how sharp mind or materials in hand may be...may not be here for end-game, but appreciate what you THINK it may be...
  Which doth not make it any closer to certainty but only offers one-mind analyis, demanding full  comparison with other-minds as available to THINKING public.

  Per all communications, any time, any place, this one too
doth come down to the "source credibities", I think you will  agree.

  For early signs of deeper, more meaningful widespread American understandings and beginning of moves to action NOW, see 7/12 issue of TIME, cover story re lobbyist/monies
corruption in D.C.

Hank:

I am using the term anansognosia metaphorically and not medically. The meaning is the same though: The majority of American people, you included, believe in a mythology without knowing it is a mythology but treating it as factual.

It doesn't matter what the FF said, or what you believe they said, the reality of the here and now is something else entirely.  The hard reality is China. They own so much of America (through debt) and, Americans are so eager to buy their cheap goods, that China is going to increasingly dictate American policy and actions simply through economic power. They are not going to act from a belief in American exceptionalism. Economically the US is in a hoop of poop, notwithstanding what the authors of the Federalist Papers said or believed.


Hank Ruark July 7, 2010 3:32 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Daniel: Your dismissing-story to Mike distorts well-known solid piece of university/college management: Simple planning for future facilities, costs and staff on basis of all good information re need for any group of specialized grads. You make it cabal to force market-massage, when in fact for decades it has been well evidenced as plain old common sense management. In fact, cogitation on the distorted version will show clearly that such action in long run damages economy of those so indulging in such distortion. Most such college/univ.work demands actions for ten-twenty -year future status since the facilities demand not only planning but dollar support and absolute necessity of full staff to support that dollar-support !! Since much such comes from philanthropy, as for decades, this is crucial issue in any future for any institution --now playing out in detail at U/Oregon via bended-knee approach to heavy-dollar philanthropist whose every wish/whim/will replaces decisions perhaps better made in more democratic fashion.


student July 6, 2010 4:18 pm (Pacific time)

I guess "catastrophe" is a relative term. What I had in mind was 3 mile island, lack of safe and sufficient storage, and Hanford. I consider all three to be catastrophic.


Natalie July 6, 2010 1:01 pm (Pacific time)

Ultraconservatives believe that we are witnessing the "end" of America. They think, though, it's happening because US became too liberal. That's the meaning. Probably irrelevant, but I find it to be interesting that you have more things in common with them than me. Especially, when it seems like you blame Christianity a lot for whatever is going not the right way.

I don't blame Christianity but just mention how the religious right have influence beyond their numbers although in the U.S. this might actually be true. The complacency and blindness of the American electorate over the last half-century or so is the source of the country's ills. They let themselves be bribed by cheap gas, big cars, cheap goods from third world countries and a military might not unlike that of the ancient Romans. In the 1970s, GM was the largest corporation. No empire lasts indefinitely, a lesson America will learn despite denying that it is or can happen.


Mike Fitzpatrick July 6, 2010 12:48 pm (Pacific time)

From the few responses to your article, it's pretty obvious that most have never really grasped the idea of why America is. The poster "student" stated "...allow the catastrophes to repeat, ad infinitum (such as with nuclear power and oil exploration)..." What nuclear power catastrophe? How many people have been killed during nuclear power accidents? As far as oil spills, well that is really the pits, but it has been made far worse because of dullard leadership. Frankly I give America high marks and expect that we will always be able to overcome most any problem, especially from our detractors who will never give up, but also never have any real relevance to begin with. Now our diminutive neighbor to the north is having serious problems as referenced by your major media. My hopes are you will work out things because you always provide such interesting observations as you shuffle around trying to pretend you are relevant to the planet. "A Health Care Horror Story From Canada
Clearwater Gazette ^ There are howls of outrage coming from the liberal community in Alberta, Canada. It seems that some doctors, desperate to protect their patients from the overcrowded and failing socialized medical system in their country, have set up private clinics to treat them. To circumvent Canadian laws, which prohibit charging for medical care, they have set up private, membership clinics where, for $2,000 a year, patients can access well staffed and equipped clinics and avoid the long waits and compromised care of the public system.
The leading Canadian newspaper, the Globe and Mail, reports that "critics say that the clinics are taking physicians away from the public system making it even harder…to find a family doctor." David Eggen, executive director of a group that supports the Canadian socialized system, Friends of Medicare, said that it's already hard to find a family physician in Canada and that clinics like these, springing up in several Canadian cities, could make it even harder.
It does not seem to have occurred to defenders of socialized medicine that the system itself is causing the doctor shortage. Cuts in medical fees, overcrowding of facilities, shortages of equipment and space, and bureaucratic oversight have all combined to drive men and women out of family medical practice. Now, with a critical shortage looming, those who can afford to pay for adequate care are opting out of the public system and, literally, taking their lives into their own hands.
But it is illegal to make patients "have to pay a fee to gain access to health services" that are provided free by the government system. So patients and doctors are forming membership-only groups to avoid the legal penalties that could potential stop them from getting or giving the care that they need.
This is where the United States is headed. Socialism dries up the supply of medical care and forces ever stricter rationing of the available resources. As Margaret Thatcher famously said, "Eventually socialism runs out of other peoples' money."
The Canadian Gubmint seems to have made one critical error before they instituted their current health care system;
They forgot to ban free enterprise, free thought and imagination."

So, Mike, you cherry pick a few details and think you have answers.

When I was at university in the 1970s I was amazed to learn (but it wasn't much more than curious at the time) the the doctor-run medical schools intentionally capped enrollment in order to make sure there weren't too many doctors graduating to flood the market. Now, if only lawyers had done the same thing. LOL 


student July 6, 2010 12:22 pm (Pacific time)

Harvard certainly is no guarantee of everything. True academic freedom allows all viewpoints to be expressed and, when humans are involved, you never know what the product will be. Nevertheless, it was where Stephen Jay Gould taught. His evolutionary theory goes a long way to help understand all social interactions among animals. Regarding human political behavior, Karl Popper wrote the authoritative book "The Open Society and its Enemies" which provides a historical and academic basis to understand the relationship between evolution, behavior, and politics.

Harvard was also the decades-long academic home of John Kenneth Galbraith. But an academic imprimateur is not only no guarantee of anything, being blinded by authority is one of the greater, if not the greatest, of logical errors. Popper, btw, was at the London School of Economics. Sir Mick Jagger studied business there before dropping out to sing for the Stones. And while I'm travelling down memory lane, Richard Starr (only an MBE) turns 70 tomorrow. 


Hank Ruark July 6, 2010 11:27 am (Pacific time)

Friend Daniel:
Strikes me I had better refer you et al to major work setting frame for deeper understandings here:
The Failure of the Founding Fathers;BruceAckerman;Belknap, 2005;ISBN 0-674-01866-4.
Please note copyright is by Harvard President and Fellows, which constitutes extremely strong endorsement.

Ackerman dissects Jefferson, Marshall, others repairing flaws, damages in election of 1800, focused on unforeseen growth of political parties, leading to "plebiscertarian presidency" --one reacting to mandate from "the people".

This may be missing piece for you (and others !) perhaps distorting current views of real American history...which I doubt you could begin to absorb while still bound in your baby high/chair !

The book is super; you need only explore Introduction: America on the Brink to get the major impacts here, which surely will re-shape some, of not the major, part of your current (somewhat-obsessed ?) view of our history --and our still overwhelming future.

Note responses from Jacob and Natalie to see evidence of new/trend towards fuller understandings, and coming changes, of which I write...

Your incisive(!),penetrating
analyses greatly appreciated since they force tighter and continuing focus NOW right where we need it badly...

 Harvard is no guarantee of anything. That's where B. F. Skinner spent his "academic" career and he and his ideas have done untold damage to humanity. It's also currently a hotbed of evolutionary psychology with Stephen Pinker, et al.


Natalie July 6, 2010 10:57 am (Pacific time)

Amazing... hard-core atheist represents the views of ultraconservative circles of the American Christians re "U.S is toast". You just need to shift your opinions a little as for "why" to get a warm welcome among them.

Sorry, but I don't get the meaning or relevance of your comment. 


student July 6, 2010 9:30 am (Pacific time)

Darwinian theory postulates that animals behave in ways that promote their individual reproductive success. Most evolutionary scientists consider concerns for the welfare of larger groups to be a minor or non-existent motivator of behavior. As the world becomes a smaller place and dangers which threaten the larger group (such as global warming) become more relevant on an individual level, then those individuals can be expected to respond in more appropriate ways. Americans tend to respond to catastrophes - forget about what happened - then allow the catastrophes to repeat, ad infinitum (such as with nuclear power and oil exploration). Americans are resilient, but without a sense of history and without being aware that the rest of the world can no longer tolerate dominance without responsibility, it seems that we will continue to lose relevance. A more immediate threat is that we will become even more inept when it comes to choosing future leaders. Marketing of candidates has become highly sophisticated and effective and the recent Supreme Court ruling effectively grants office to the highest bidder.


Jacob July 6, 2010 7:41 am (Pacific time)

Canada is in a downward trend and has no historical "toughness" to ameliorate that trend, whereas America does. In the fullness of time, say approximately 7 to 10 years we will see America back to normal. Normal equals top of the world, aka, U.S. Exceptualism. Even with all our problems and the growing incompetence coming from the Whitehouse, we will overcome our current problems because of our historical "toughness." For those who depend on entitlement benefits, they have never really learned what America is about, regardless of their education or age. They will always fail to see or understand their environment and it's dynamic nature.

So, how does America get back to "normal"? Magic? Or a second application of your nuclear weapons? There's another nation called China which, being an American, you've probably never heard of... 


Natalie July 6, 2010 12:39 am (Pacific time)

Oh, come on, D.J., you can't be really serious with your "nation of anosognotics". Americans are just being trained from their very first cry to be optimists. They are trained to look optimistic even when they don't feel like it. That's who they are. Sure, they see the tunnel. But they believe that every tunnel comes to its end. That's it. I sure hope this optimism will get us to the end of the dark times faster. (don't want to get disoriented)

Natalie: There is optimism and there is also false hope. Psychologically, they feel the same and can be indistinguishable. I am an outsider. I have not been drinking the American Kool Aid since I could sit up in a high chair.

There is a huge segment of the population that is unemployed, underemployed, overworked, stressed out and fearful. That's tens of millions of people. There is the ethic of every man for himself so that cooperation is hard to come by in a global American sense. There are millions of Americans with no health care, and tens of millions of other Americans who don't oppose them actually getting health care, but oppose the way they see it being done. It's like someone trapped in the middle of a river and someone is going to swim out and rescue them and they begin. Then a huge contingent on the shore starts to yell at them: No, No. You're using the breast stroke. That's wrong. You have to use the Australian crawl! And so on. Then the person drowns. This reminds me of the British attitude of, I think it was the 1950s--"I'm all right, Jack!" and that's as far as it goes.

I saw some pictures of some tea partiers the other day. They were decked out in 18th century replica clothes and it was clear that these people were well off. The poor and economically struggling in America do not have the time or resources for such nonsense. 

 Then there is another contingent of tens of millions who want Obama as the symbolic leader of the optimists, to fail. This group is the republicans, the religious right, the tea partiers, etc. If the whole country goes down the drain, they will have the satisfaction that they were right and Obama and co were wrong.

There is no unified vision as to what America is anymore. This is what I mean by anosognotia. There are tens of millions of Americans who not only don't know, but they don't know that they don't know.

It's like trying to explain colors to a blind man. Be optimistic all you want, but it's not going to happen. 


Henry Clay Ruark July 5, 2010 8:12 pm (Pacific time)

Friend Daniel:
What you describe here so elequently is highly accurate.

What, perhaps, is now lost or at least lacking is the fact of changes and further trends already underway and beginning to surface where it counts.

For 250 years this nation has over and over again been noted for demonstration of the timely wit, wisdom and will --including political will-- of its people, with leadership emerging notably "just in time and as badly needed".

Would require much more time and space-here than possible currently,but will try to fill in the details documenting all of this as possible soon.

Meanwhile thank you for your well-intentioned and finely crafted continuing alarm and warning to us "South of the border" --and I will refrain from reference to past times when help from down here was as badly needed as may be the reverse-case now.

 It gives me no pleasure to say this, but I think the U.S. is toast. The problems are national, pervasive and catastrophic. The nation may have, in the past, demonstrated wit and will "of its people, with leadership emerging notably 'just in time and as badly needed'." Those days are over. The only thing that can pull the otherwise irretrievably fractured electorate together would be a real national emergency, like terrorists detonating a nuclear weapon in New York or Washington. Even that probably wouldn't do it as the Republicans would  blame everything on the Democrats and, if they were to regain political power, would just continue the American people's march to a police state. You're almost there, now.

I recently ran across a new word which I was going to make the theme of an article and I might still. The word is anosognosia. It means a person has a disease or disability but they deny having it. It's not even a conscious denial. They are unaware that they are unaware.  It comes from neurology and an anosognostic patient who is paralyzed doesn't know he is paralyzed. You can see where I'm going with this. Another aspect of awareness is revealed in neurological patients who are unaware of their impairments (anosagnosia) and fail to comprehend their problems, or even deny them.

America is a nation of anosognotics--people who are in total trouble but don't know they are in trouble. Another definition is of people who are too clueless to even know they are clueless. Overall, I see America as a nation of anosognotics. Your continual denial of the larger reality suggests a classic anognotic state of mind. Shoot me if you want.  I'm just delivering the news.

 


Mary July 5, 2010 6:43 pm (Pacific time)

I gave up hope for America shortly after leaving it. GWB was all I could stand. Seems like such a contradiction, a house divided and so so fractured. up is down and down is up, more than just a little schizophrenic. Glad I discovered Canada. Thank you Daniel for putting your observations to words so eloquently.

I say welcome to Canada, but with some sadness, because it's so unfortunate that you have to leave the land of your birth. It was the same in the late 60s when, because of the Vietnam War, many came here, even if they weren't draft dodgers. My key advisor at the University of Lethbridge, was a psychologist from Texas. He had served in Vietnam but, when he was released from the service, he couldn't stay there any longer. He had basically his whole career as a psychologist here in Canada and was an asset to us and a loss to the U.S. He just recently retired in southern British Columbia after thirty years as a clinical psychologist in private practise. 

[Return to Top]
©2021 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


Articles for July 4, 2010 | Articles for July 5, 2010 | Articles for July 6, 2010
Use PayPal to
support
Salem-News.com:


Support
Salem-News.com:



Tribute to Palestine and to the incredible courage, determination and struggle of the Palestinian People. ~Dom Martin

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley

Donate to Salem-News.com and help us keep the news flowing! Thank you.