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August 18, 2011

Blogging After America - Day Seven
Chapter Six - Fall [ArthurK]

Welcome to the Seventh Day of Blogging After America. On the Seventh Day, God rested. But Steyn never rests when there's DOOM to spread!

This was the toughest chapter to summarize. So my little extracts and high points won't be as coherent as previous days.

This chapter's theme is Fallen America as a jigsaw puzzle. Steyn looks at each piece - for example: Detroit, the fallen city. Sexual Revolution and the fallen family. Illegal immigration and fallen local govts.

Page 211-212 - Many American's are poorly educated or trained. They can only do low skill jobs. What happens when those jobs are automated away?

P213 - What jobs are on the rise? "An America comprised of therapeutic statists, regulatory enforcers, multigenerational dependents, identity-group rent-seekers, undocumented laborers, stimulus grantwriting liaison coordinators, six-figure community organizers, millionaire diversity-outreach consultants, billionaire carbon-offset traders, a diversionary-leisure 'knowledge sector', John Edwards' anti-poverty consultancy, John Kerry's vintner, and Al Gore's holistic masseuse will still offer many opportunities, but not for that outmoded American archetype, the self-reliant citizen seeking to nourish his family through the fruits of his labor." That list of jobs sounds like the gang that was exiled in one of the Hitchhiker Guide novels. Instead of exiling them we're led by them!

P214 - Big Govt. loves the ever increasing dependent class. What happens when the checks stop arriving? Austerity riots as in Europe?

P214-217 A look at life in Fallen America.

P217-223 Detroit.

GM has 96,000 workers and provides health benefits for one million people.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get bailed out". America rewards failure. If you reward it, you get more of it. And you squeeze out success.

Forget Detroit's physical decay - the human infrastructure is worse! 44% of adults can't read at the 6th grade level.

Musings - How do you recover from that? The survivors of Hiroshima were better prepared to rebuild!

Detroit's school board president, a college graduate*, is less literate (by a lot!) than an uneducated maid in 1888 England. Writing examples are presented to prove the case. This school president holds himself up as a good example for Detroit students.

*He had to sue the college to get the degree.

"Detroit did this to itself". "It's prolifigate past destroyed the present and its present will ensure there is no future."

P230-234 Sexual Revolution.

Consider the Moderate Republican - a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. "To those who say we should simply focus on fiscal issues, I say you would not be able to print enough money in 1,000 years to pay for the government you would need if the traditional family collapses." - Congressman Mike Pence

P235-236 Big Govt. is not just growing, it's replacing local govt. (this idea is prominent in the rest of the chapter)

From the founding of the Republic to 1929, spending by governments at all levels, federal, state, and local, never exceeded 12 percent of the national income except in time of major war, and two-thirds of that was state and local spending. Federal spending typically amounted to 3 percent or less of the national income. Since 1933 government spending has never been less than 20 percent of national income and is now over 40 percent, and two-thirds of that is spending by the federal government... By this measure the role of the federal government in the economy has multiplied roughly tenfold in the past half-century. - Milton Friedman 1979

Municipal and state bankruptcies aren't a problem for the Feds. They're an opportunity for the Feds to bail out or expand.

P237 - As healthy states bail out busted states they're tempted to secede.

P238-239 "What is there to hold a post-prosperity, constrained-liberty, un-Dreamt America together? The nation's ruling class has, in practical terms, already seceded from the idea of America. ... Why would they expect their discontented subjects not to seek the same solution..."

P259 - Secession by states, cities, individuals could be informal and still real. Aren't "sanctuary cities" doing something like that now?

The rest of the chapter is dominated by illegal immigration.

P241-242 Mass immigration is a way for Big Govt. to get a more pliant ruled class. The Feds don't worry about the financial costs of illegal immigration - those are paid by states, cities and school districts. This leads to more dependency on the Feds. Remember - bankruptcies are an opportunity. Can't let those go to waste!

This is all very nice for Big Govt. Except when there's a recession. Welfare is overwhelmed both by natives displaced by illegals and illegals out of jobs (because of the recession).

P248-249 The Southwest will be part of Mexico in fact if not in law. Demographics.

P250 -

Consider life in a permanently poorer America with permanently higher unemployment, less social mobility, and any prospect for self-improvement crushed by the burden of government. Will that mean more or less marijuana? More or less cocaine? While America’s Big Government pursues the same failed "war on drugs" decade in decade out, Mexican cartels account for approximately 70 per cent of the narcotics that enter the United States. Arizona already has a kidnapping rate closer to Mexico’s than to, say, New England’s or the Midwest’s. Are the numbers likely to rise or fall in an ever more Mexicanized US?

The more mexicanized parts of America become, the more of Mexico's drug war we'll see.

p254-256 - A Prediction. Rising crime rates and less money for police will lead to protected and unprotected areas. There are already no-go zones in Arizona. Our elites will have their gated communities. You'd better get a gun while you're still allowed.

P258 - BTW, half the illegal population in the US came here after 9/11. Yay Security!

If you got the impression of bleakness and despair - yup, this was the roughest chapter in the book. So Far.

Previously in the series - Day One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six.

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posted by Open Blogger at 03:08 AM

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