.
October 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Is America in denial about its decline?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

"America must manage its decline."

That's the title of a sobering piece in the Financial Times.

The article explores what the U.S. must do to come to terms with its changing role in the world. If the U.S. and its leaders could actually acknowledge that our global power is in decline today, it would be easier to figure out what comes next.

But politics being what it is, big surprise that no one is being honest here. Instead, it's practically unacceptable to suggest that there may be no "coming back" for the United States of America. And that is the cold, hard truth: There may very well be no coming back.

For now, the U.S. is still the world's largest economy and the top military and diplomatic power. But - a time when China will become the largest economy doesn't seem all that far away.

This article suggests that's why now is the time for America to have a "rational debate about what 'relative decline' means." Decline may not necessarily mean the end of prosperity, but it likely means making choices and alliances.

Turns out, those who refuse to even talk about decline may actually speed up the whole process. By not addressing our changing position in the world, we won't be dealing with other issues that need attention now: Things like deficits and educational reform.

Lastly, the Financial Times article says managing decline has as much to do with psychology as with politics or economics.

Listen, because this is interesting:

Britain had an easier go of it at the end of World War II because it was essentially handing over superpower status to the U.S., a country with a shared heritage. But this could be a much more difficult task for the U.S. if we have to eventually hand over power to China.

Here’s my question to you: Is America in denial about its decline?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Susan:
Yes. All I hear is that this is the greatest country in the world. This is nothing but propaganda. And people are drinking the Kool-Aid by believing this nonsense. Our educational system and health care system are rated at the bottom compared to other countries. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The only thing this country knows how to do is war. War. War. War. And that's where all of the tax money that could go to other things goes. To the Pentagon. It's a shame what has happened to the USA. When I retire, I am leaving here for good. And I won't miss any of it.

Ann in Charleston, South Carolina:
I think so. I don't think Americans see a global economy. Americans want merchandise made in America, yet they don't want to pay the price of American-made goods. Many don't see that our lifestyle of consumerism is ruining the planet. There seems to be a sense that if one goes to church, one is a Christian and all is well with our country while our moral fiber is deteriorating all around us and greed pervades our society. The values that made our country great are slowly disappearing.

Steve:
No, I don’t think America is in denial; I think the government is.

J.K. in Minnesota:
It depends on who you talk to, Jack. I'm sure the 1% doesn't think so. But the U.S. is looking more and more like it to me. The wealth and power in so few hands. A big hand goes to the Supreme Court in their Citizens United ruling. It's sad when it's thought a corporation is a person.

Peter on Facebook:
What decline? Only the "left" thinks we are declining. Everyone else thinks it is just a bad patch that will smooth out as soon as we can get rid of the apologist currently in power in D.C.

Mr. Nero:
I can't hear you, Jack. I'm busy fiddling.

Posted by
Filed under: United States
soundoff (239 Responses)
  1. Albert Sims

    No, being out of work for quite some time, and seeing some of my friends getting laid off left and right, I can definitely tell this country is going to heck in a handbasket! We'll be a third world country in no time unless things drastically turn around!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
  2. Jerry Driskell

    Does a cancer patient want to be told he has cancer ? Does an alcoholic want to be told he is an alcoholic ? Does anyone WANT bad news ? Of course not; but just because we don't want it won't make it go away. As a nation, we may NEVER bring ourselves to admit that we're on a sinking ship and have only a little time to turn to the one and only God that can save us......and time is runniing out. Hopefully, we will realize we can not accomplish this task by our own efforts and look to Him to direct us.
    Jerry
    Blairsville, GA

    October 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  3. TomInRochNY

    I'm not, Jack. I'm hording seeds and boning up on raising small live stock. My aim is getting better, too.

    Tom, Rochester, NY

    October 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
  4. Stephen Paul

    Americans' aren't but our government (small g) is. It's clear; here in America for some time the governement (small g) has been using distractions to hide the smoke. Now everyone is smelling the smoke and some are fanning the fire. We're very close to hearing someone yell "fire" in this crowded auditorium we call home. Let's go slowly and deliberately to smother the flames so we can all survive.

    Steve Paul
    Nashville, In

    October 18, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
  5. Patrick Oyulu

    ...until the Republicans & extreme right realize there's a WORLD out there with huge demands on the global economy, and that the US isn't adapting fast enuff and can ONLY unite to fight this decline, we have a huge challenge. Obama said it all, the US is soft today, it's A FACT!

    October 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  6. Jk from Minnesota

    It depnds on who you talk to, Jack. I'm sure the 1% doesn't think so. The US is looking more and more like it to me. The wealth and power in so few hands. A big hand goes to the Supreme Court in their Citizens United ruling. It's sad when it's thought a corporation is a person.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Noel Sivertson Roswell New Mexico.

    Only the Republicans and the one percenters are in denial. Those who are experiencing wage and benefit reductions and layoffs with no light at the end of the tunnel know only too well we are in decline.

    October 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm |
  8. Richard

    Richard Clifton Park, NY
    This is the "Elephant in the Room" that everyone seems to be ignoring. The reality of it is not something we want to deal with....along with all the "other stuff" we need desperately to deal with. The thing about solving problems is, that if you don't actually solve an issue so that it goes away and doesn't bother you anymore, then you get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of symptoms caused by these issues you never got fixed. To the extent that we continue not resolving problems permanently, our decline will continue. On and on.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
  9. Michael Bindner, Alexandria, VA

    Militarily it has not declined at all. Financially, it has lost some ground to China, but is still so far ahead of it as not to matter. It would be behind Europe if Europe had a more unified government, but right now, that is not the case. The biggest threat to the US is a EuroDebt, EuroTax and EuroPresident, but that is not happening any time soon. America's dollar, debt, consumers and universities are still dominant for now, although certainly not forever unless we can figure out how to collect more revenue from wealthier taxpayers.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
  10. steve

    No I don,t think america is in denial,I The goverment is.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  11. David Rand

    We are in a decline, but I don't think decline is inevitable. We as a nation just need to come to grips with the reality that:
    – We can no longer live beyond our means....which mean
    – Pay more taxes for SS in future
    – Reduce Military drastically
    – Recognize that our education system is failing and re-invest in the future.
    – Accept that there needs to be limits on healthcare. The Gov't can't pay to keep everyone alive forever!
    – Recognize that the American citizen pays less taxes than most others throughout the world!
    Simply put....Accept Changes now and our own lives and kids lives will be stronger in the future.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  12. John from Alabama

    Jack: America is not in denial, but it is hurting from in action from Congress. People are afraid Congress will change social security, medicare, and how the cost of living allowance(COLA) is calculated. Veterans are afraid Congress will cut the gains they have made in the past few years. America realize that the deep,deep recession of 2007 was worse than expected or planned for by Congress. We have a do nothing Congress, who believes the American people will wait for them until 2012. They will wait to vote them out of office, if nothing is accomplish to help Americans and this economy. Americans have been screaming for Congress to get off it's ass and go to work for us.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  13. raymond

    If we dont sober up and look at reality of china emppowered off our 2 party trade policies , in 20 years it will be to late.Maybe the fine folks in this country know its bad but there is no way out of it when the banks caused the depression got bailed out then refused to provide entreprenurial loans becuz they could make more money speculating demise of others after they got permission through financial reform to continue the same investments that dont empower ,only devour.There is so much malt liqour and drugs that others are dragging every one down with them that they can..and uncle sam looks the other way cuz desperate states want tax dollars to spend onspecial interest projects that pay them off.. The 3rd world is here , How long it stays depends on integrity and morality presently undermined by the rule of law written by the 2 party monopoly special interest cognress run by the seniority of deplority.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
  14. Larry -Denver

    Its too late for denial- America has declined and sinking. YES, most of us just do the day to day to get by and cant stop to worry about what will happen tomorrow, they want to survive today. If we are in decline must not be serious enough for anyway to care except the Occupiers.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    Of course. It's that American exceptionalism and machismo getting in the way. As long as we can continue to borrow to blow up other countries, we'll continue to think we're the greatest there ever was. Don't pay attention to the fact that we can't take care of our own. That's just a little inconvenience in the whole picture, you know.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:22 pm |
  16. David of Alexandria VA

    No, Jack. We are not in decline, but in a really soft patch. If anything, too many people are is such a malaise about the here and now that America's "decline" will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Unless we get some leadership which sets out a compelling vision for the nation, one we can rally around, one which shows that it will get better eventually, and one which does not blame someone for everyone's ills, we'll simply expire from terminal enui. That's not the change I hoped for.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:23 pm |
  17. Alex in Bremerton, WA

    Definitely yes!!! American Exceptionalism is a nice concept where, for instance, a biracial boy can grow up to be president of the US! But the way the conservatives have enshrined the concept, it is as jingoistic as the way Manifest Destiny was used to conquer the Native Americans.
    We have much to be proud of, but we are no longer #1 in many comparable statistics like life expectancy, infant mortality, graduation rates and advanced education. In many cases we are no longer even in the top ten. We often trail behind the "evil European socialist countries" that the GOP and FOX often warn us that the liberals want to transform America into.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  18. Russ in PA

    The politicians certainly are, as they manage to find new ways to spend worthless – or nonexistent – money. And new ways to try to control the economy and the population. Even though history has shown that central banks and central planning have been a disaster for the average person, our politicians continue to go down that road. Thank heavens for Ron Paul, and his voice of reason.

    Ron Paul in 2012...

    October 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
  19. Jayne in NH

    American politicians of both parties are in denial. Why else would they sign on to more trade agreements that even contain provisions for workers who will lose their jobs as a result of enacting them? What we need in this country is some protectionism.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
  20. Dave

    We are not in decline, we just aren't growing as fast as we used to, and other countries are catching up to us. Our GDP is growing very slowly, but it's still bigger than China and Japan combined, who are number 2 and 3. Just because China is gaining on us does not mean we are declining. Its kind of like living in the big mansion on the hill and someone finally builds a house in our neighborhood. It doesn't mean we are forced out of our house.
    Dave
    Seattle

    October 18, 2011 at 1:33 pm |
  21. Bob D Iowa

    Yes Jack for those of that are in the middleclass, if you can call it that any more, the Far Right and Left are pulling are limbs off. You have 15% that are defending the 1% er’s or just bigots or Religious wackoos. Then there are the 15% that have found ways to live without working and will not give that up. Plus 18% over 65 that don’t know who to believe about the Social Security and Medicare and they want to protect what they have work for. Then there are the Corporation spending billions trying to close down the EPA and reverse regulations for the profits. Then lastly there is the 52% that just want to feed their families and see them get a good education.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  22. Pete from Georgia

    Americans could eventually be standing in a government controlled "bread line", living under a bridge somewhere with no job and none available anywhere thruout the land, looking forward to voting for the next great "Deceitor" promising them the moon and taxing the evil rich that are still left in North America and as long as these duped brainwashed disciples still have their government handouts from cradle to grave......................and their cellphones.....................they would never DREAM of America in decline.
    It could never be incline. There's too many evil Rich out there still holding everything together....................right ???

    October 18, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  23. Doug

    Yes a large segment of the population is in denial about Americas decline. If you havn't been affected yet, you don't want to hear about other peoples misery. The Government is also in denial about Americas decline. The Government is in denial of how steep the decline is, and how much further it is going to go. Real estae values are still 100 times what they were in the 60's even in the depressed areas. You will need a telescope to see the bottom from here. Doug.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
  24. Mel - Houston

    Just as the extinction of a species is an indicator of stress on the ecology of the planet, so is the failure of the educational system in this country an indicator of a failing nation.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
  25. Jesse from DFW

    Depends on your point of view:

    Republicans – yes, how often do we have to turn down plans to help the people for them to understand once they suffer under the Obama Administration and we get control again we will have plenty of minimum wage jobs to go around. Our approach to dictatorship will rise once again.

    Democrats – No, just keep printing the money Ben, we will get our competive edge back, because soon the dollar will be the equivalent of the Chinese currency and our business will be force to bring the jobs back because we will have the cheapest labor force on earth. We will make our ancestors proud and reclaim the South once again from the Republican party.

    Please pray for our nation.

    Are we becoming one nation under Satan?

    October 18, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  26. bonnie from NJ

    Not if you are out here in middle classville. If bad things haven't happened to us personally, certainly a friend or family member is unemployed, underemployed, facing foreclosure, cannot get and/or afford heath insurance. I am a baby boomer and this is not the future I imagined for me or my country. When I reach retirement in approx a dozen years, will I have social security or medicare, its a crapshoot! The people in denial are our government and the upper class, they are all doing just fine and see no need for any changes.

    October 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
  27. Ed from California

    A recession is when your neighbor/friend loses their job. A depression is when you lose your job. American has been on the decline since Reagan and his trickle-down economics or Voodoo economics. Regan deregulated everything which set the tone of the way American corporations look at their country and it's workforce. With the demonstrations in Wisconsin, Ohio, and now Wall st. This 99% movement is going worldwide.Because we are now in a Depression with 26 million Americans out-of-work. And Europe's feeling it too. I sure hope we all get out and vote this time, and vote for our common interests. And lets put all the Kochplicans in a depression. Let's, let them see and feel exactly what we all felt for the past thirty years.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  28. Rick McDaniel

    America is in total decline. The sad part is, most Americans don't even recognize the problems with what they are saying.

    I listened to a black woman, making nasty racist remarks about Jews running the Fed. We see, now, how racist the black community has really become. The back community, has become the "new racists".

    We see how much drug use is going on, among the "occupy" demonstrators, and we have to discount their activities as totally without merit.

    We have A President, who is the socialist President in our history, and is destroying the country from within.

    We have a population, that is 2/3rds in favor of welfare hand outs, rather than work.

    We have a government who is actually encouraging Mexican citizens to come into our country, illegally, and seize control of this country, by their sheer numbers.

    In California, we have the state government now not only allowing illegal immigrants to go to college at in-state tutiton rates, but they are even going to provide them with taxpayer backed college loans.

    Our government has allowed our American corporations to send their manufacturing off shore, and leave the middle class and many of the poor, with no chance of getting a job, because an entire class of jobs, has been eliminated from this country.

    I mean.......when does the stupidity end?

    This country was founded on the principles of small government, independent people who earned their own way in the world, and every man was equal to every other, despite personal wealth. Now all of that, is being thrown out the window, and even the Republican Party, who founded this country, is being attacked for their adherence to those founding father principles.

    I see nothing but bad things ahead, in the US, partly because the Spock generation, has raised kids to expect everything for nothing.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  29. Martin Blied

    While it hasn't been said, it seems to be suggested, "Let them eat cake". The have's have taken the same stance the French did in the late 17 hundreds. If you don't know history, you might just re-live it.

    My home is in a very bright red area, Naples, Florida, and I'm just a small blue dot in the pot of red.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  30. CRAIG R. MCNEES

    tampa, fl well at least to our politicians and the media that serves them. they keep telling us everything is great, no recession, open borders are great, illegals are great, let's build more, let's start more wars, we need more immigrants, fair traade agreements means more jobs for us, and we need to borrow money to give to nations that hate us as that's good, and no one needs a cola (except them)since there is no inflation. we will soon be a 3rd world nation, and the world as a whole will suffer for it.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  31. Terry in Virginia

    The entire world is in a period of flux. Is that decline? Maybe. All that's certain is that the rich have gotten significantly richer on the backs of the poor and middle class who struggle every day to put food on the table. Our elected representatives have been bought and paid for to do the bidding of the very rich who've helped destroy America's economy. Right now history is repeating itself. Our current leaders think the underclasses will continue to buy what they're shoveling. They are wrong. Those who fail to learn from history may very well find themselves embroiled in a new revolution. A good place to start to take back our country is at the ballot box. Imagine if every eligible voter went to the polls on November 6, 2012 (election day), to send a strong message to our so-called leaders by voting out the incumbents regardless of party, because if we don't, one day we may wake up and find out that we in the underclasses no longer have the right to vote.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  32. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I suppose it all depends on where your standing Jack. America still has a lot to offer but what it does not have is good leadership. You can not expect the country as a whole to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix if you have the same political mentality and spending habits stoking the furnace to burn it down. People are finding it harder each and every day to follow what they no longer believe in. When people refuse to follow a leader becaomes obsolete.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
  33. Mr.Nero

    I can't hear you Jack. I'm busy fiddling.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
  34. Loren

    America isn't in decline, it is its leaders that are in decline. Too many have no idea of what it means to be an American, the toil and sacrifice that was made to make this a great country and are willing to give away its heritage for campaign contributions. You can be sure that the press has its hand in this as well, pushing the vain and vapid into the public consciousness to such an extent that the American people can no longer recognize the truth from campaign puffery. The resouces that exist in this country can restore its greatness, but only if we recognize that as our common goal.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  35. Carl

    Jack,
    I'am not in denial at all. Our corrupt and self serving politicians are what got us in the horrible mess. I know it's only going to get worse. I truly believe their isn't one politician running for office, are that's already in office, worth voting for!! They are all corrupt and evil scum with their own self serving agenda. We are in big trouble Jack!!!

    October 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  36. Jim, Denver CO

    Jack,
    America is in denial about a lot of things, with our decline in status in the world as one of them along with our denial that the average person has let things in the current economy and society get out of control. Our own hubris and egotism is catching up with us.
    We need to get back to basics regarding our society and government. We don't have to go back to the 1950's (though some wish we would), but the american citizenary need to get back to a government for the people and not corporations or Wall Street. The majority needs to rule and not the minority. And the majority is now waking up and saying enough. Time will tell.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  37. Ken in Seattle

    The middle class certainly has to be aware there financial well being is in decline, if not already greatly diminished. However, the sole-less amoral jackals populating Wall Street who greedily gamed the financial system, at the expense of the middle class likely have a very different view. As do the unsavory scoundrels who populate all too many corporate board rooms. George W Bush and the Republicans threw the middle lass under the bus for the benefit of their Wall Street and corporate handlers. It is beyond belief that so many in the middle class still believe the horse manure the Republican Party shovels regarding the economy. Are their memories so short they've forgotten how good the economy was when President Clinton left office, and before Bush and his henchmen and their handlers stole the economic well being out from under the middle class? It is unbelievably shocking that the middle class is willing to allow the decline to continue. While one can sympathize with the middle classes economic plight one also has to wonder why the hell they seem unwilling or incapable of standing up and fighting for their fair share of the country's wealth. The country needs a "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore" moment from the middle class. For the sake of the country's economic future let us all hope they find the courage to have that moment soon.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  38. Henry Williamson

    Apparently,America is denial about why we are experiencing this decline: The bailouts, the trillions in overseas spending on endless warfare, and the absolute folly of allowing the private central bank (the federal reserve) to manipulate our currency, give out 16 trillions in secret loans to foreign central banks and governments and artificially set interest rates. Until the root cause of this decline is understood by all and not just Ron Paul and his growing number of supporters we're in deep, deep trouble.

    Henry Williamson
    Austin, TX

    October 18, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  39. Tony

    America is not in denial, it is in a state of pure ignorance. What American's don't know is that it isn't "politics" that is robbing them of their Constitutional, and basic human rights. It is an ignorance of Philosophy. The American Founders didn't turn to a bible to create the Idea that is America. They turned to Locke, Hobbes, and Ancient Greek/Roman Philosophers to create this Nation, and until modern day American's are able to do the same, they will never return to the blissful idea of America that they mistakingly perceive to still exist. Hence, protests filled with contradictory agendas, if they have one at all, while politicians continue their agendas with no need to even consider incoherent protests, much less pass legislation that would have any real systematic changes. Why should politicians change the system when it works so well for them?

    October 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  40. bud rupert

    If you mean decline as in the Great Depression, 1929 – 1939 The Panic of 1893-1896, Panic in 1837-1843 and all those down turns in between, then NO the American people only have to weather this storm like all the others. This country for the most has always been a nation of the haves and the have nots. The exception is the period from 1945-lmid 80's where we chugged along on baby boomer -with huge demand – and a cold war defense economy. So the term American exceptionalism was born. That has dried up. Now we have to figure out the next step – and we will. At least I hope so

    October 18, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  41. Ann from Charleston SC

    I think so. I don't think Americans see a global economy. Americans want merchandise made in America, yet they don't want to pay the price of American made goods. Many don't see that our lifestyle of consumerism is ruining the planet. There seems to be a sense that if one goes to church, one is a Christian and all is well with our country while our moral fiber is deteriorating all around us and greed pervades our society. The values that made our country great are slowly disappearing and the American dream of opportunity for all now means get rich by any means possible. The scariest part of all to me is the megalomania of those who refuse to acknowledge the diversity of opinion in a country such as ours, who refuse to seek common ground but instead insist that their point of view prevails.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  42. Jim

    Jack,

    I think people are realistic about our economic decline, and justifiably hopeful about a recovery. This is still America. We have a capitalistic system that can work brilliantly when the greedier among us are properly restrained. Our political system could use some overhauling though. It's just too easy for the wealthy to buy political influence, and too easy for those bought to gum up the works with filibusters and the like. I think folks are rightly concerned about the way things are just now; maybe some are feeling down and running out of hope. But "in denial?" Nope, I don't see that.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    October 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  43. Steve, Clifton, VA

    Just like America has been in denial for decades on the issue of race relations in this country, America is now in denial with regards to our decline in status and power on the world stage. For some strange reason, when America look into the mirror and doesn't like what it sees, the country immediately goes into denial. We seem to think that we don't acknowledge it or talk about it, it will go away or resolve itself.

    October 18, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  44. guy power fresno california

    i dont think most of america is in denial i beleave we r very aware of our decline we cant help but see it in the lack of jobs and the weak economy all around us.we spend a lot more for a bag of groceries then we did before 02-03

    October 18, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  45. Greg McCarthy

    Jack, America itself isn't in denial. It's the lawmakers who we elected into office and are not doing much of anything concerning 'what the people want' who seem to be in denial. What the people do want has been made pretty clear recently and our requests are falling upon deaf ears. Even more denial seems to be coming from The Tea Party representatives. They wanted less government,no taxes,and fiscal responsibility. Less government meant anti-abortion laws,basically telling women what is best for them. No taxes meant 9-9-9 which is a 9% sales tax on top of the existing sales taxes. Fiscal responsibility meant not paying any bills and bankrupting the entire Nation. Lunacy run amok. That cannot be denied. Greg M. FL

    October 18, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  46. Jim, Cranford NJ

    I was born at the end of the baby boom in 1963. The country in which I was born was dynamic, powerful, ambitious and hungry for more. Today I'm afraid the boomers have taken far more than they have contributed. What's even worse is our failure to equip the next generation to maintain the America we inherited. The next generation will have to take a new path burdened by our mistakes.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  47. Rex in Portland, Oregon

    Decline? What decline? Since 1980 our debt has increased regularly. Since 1980 our military might has increased both in volume and disposition. Since the fall of the USSR our prestige has ballooned (well, forgetting that China thing). Since WWII our costs have grown steadily and the rate of inflation has gone up and up. Since the turn of the 20th century our greed has multiplied many times and the destruction of the planet because of this greed has taken a violent upswing.

    What has declined? If you mean the economy, morals, honesty, stuff like that – just a bump in the road, Jack. Trust the media.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  48. Craig

    OF course we are. If you dont believe me, just check out the empirical evidence on housing, education and jobs for the last five years. Any jackass with a little common sense can draw the same concusion. The psychological and symbolic evidenc is that rich white men no longer run everything, and we dont have a space program. We only have a WAR MACHINE......Now go and take that to the bank.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
  49. Fr. Tony Clavier

    Yes, America is in denial, which partly explains the rise of the "tea party" and other nationalist groups which cling, against all the evidence, to claims of American exceptionalism. However decline doesn't necessarily imply fall. The US will have to adjust to a new world, in which it continues to play a leading, but not dominant role. Much depends on whether it can return to governing itself and restores confidence in Congress's ability to lead.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  50. Ron WPAFB

    Ah, Close Jack, you're getting closer. Absolutely, especially if you are Republican! They don't see it, at all! It's all Money and Power mixed in with a helping of GREED! A new book out ,"Retirement Heist", shows how Big Business stole billions in retirement funds by lobbying Congress during the Bush years and lying about propping up Retirements. No , they were robbing them blind. Then, then, blame it on to many people retiring, Baby Boomers! In the 80's regulation made retirement funds untouchable, regulations were to make sure there were funds available. But CEO's pensions and Golden Parachutes grew at alarming rates, and where does that money come from, Retirement Funds!!! Couple that with deregulating the Banks and of course that ended badly, and an Insurance giant going south and you have the fall from greatness!!
    And they still don't see it! Well, some of the American public do, as much as the Republicans and Fox News try to make it look like hippies in the 60's and 70's, Occupy is growing. And when this book goes viral, I don't think, We the People, are going to take it well! Let me explain this in common terms, Big Business and the Republicans and their mouthpiece Fox news are complicit in the destruction of this country, everything from Retirements, Health Care, and now their after Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Education is being destroyed just for Bottom lines, (Lies) on the Business Reports and fat retirements of CEO's who failed at their jobs. GE pays out 5.1 Billion in CEO retirements and it all comes from the work force retirement funds???? And it keeps going up. Falling from grace is the least of this country's problems! The sad part is that it isn't higher math, it's really common sense math, but Big Business has been making the books look like the Tax code, so confusing you can't see the heist! Congress is as much to blame as anyone!
    Jack, get ready to see this a lot: That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–

    October 18, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  51. Summer from California

    This isn't about the inevitable, as what we're facing is entirely man-made. As is the solution. I am tired of this defeat mentality that plagues our Congress, our President , and by way of the media – the American people. Abraham Lincoln said it best : "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. " He also said "A house divided against itself cannot stand." He lead and brought us back together during a time of Civil War with ourselves....we can come together again.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  52. Bill of New Mexico

    Yes! and America is in denial about the seriousness of its total debt as well as its annual budget deficit:

    A) America believes it can continue the entitlements as in the past.

    B) America believes it can continue all its vast military:

    -1) America continues its armada of aircraft carriers. (No other country does this. The aircraft carrier takes the fight to the other country–it is not a weapon of defense, not for the last 50 years.)

    -2) America has just sent soldiers into a couple of new African countries to advise. Is there money for these to expand to tens of thousands.

    -3) America dictates that there will be no new nations with nuclear weapons.

    C) America thinks that its economic growth could once again return to a high percentage.

    D) America thinks that it can still produce millions of new, high paying jobs regularly. (At 55 years of age, high paying employees are being let go with very little retirement available.)

    E) America ignores that it is losing high paying manufacturing jobs to foreign shores. (The only jobs being produced are low paying service jobs.)

    F) America ignores that highly technical jobs go unfilled because no one is qualified to fill them. (Until they too go to foreign shores.)

    G) America ignores the plateauing of the world's oil production and what that means. (Without cheap energy–cheap food cannot be provided for the 7 billion people on this island planet.)

    H) America believes there is no need to improve or to change. (The total debt and foreign goods trade imbalance grows.)

    I) America believes its schools are the best. (The teachers and the communities have lost control to the students' refusing to learn other than what they want.)

    America believes that it can continue the above as though continuing business as usual–as if nothing has changed. (China is growing at a huge rate without the hobbles that binds America. India has surged forward and stands to pass. Russia has gotten back onto its feet with its great resources.)

    If America accepts reality–can America also rise? America does not have the resources that Russia has. America has coal and some gas resources. America's oil is making the slurping sounds of "empty."

    October 18, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  53. Lori - PA

    Jack,

    The only people in denial are the wealthy and Republican members of Congress and the Senate because they don't have to do without health insurance, don't have to worry about how they are going to feed their family, and aren't about to lose their home.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  54. Richard, in Kansas

    On the contrary, we are accutly aware of it. The problem is that we cant agree on what to do about it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:17 pm |
  55. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    This decline started with RR and his trickle down economics and then people saying that sending jobs overseas is good for economy. The middle class and the rest of us ordinary Americans are not in denial but are the ones that are being brutalized by the GOP and their wealthy friends. It will only get worse and if the GOP gets in control we'll sink like the Titanic.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  56. Dave

    I think those in the top 1 percent are in denial but the little guy is quite aware of america's decline. we haue been living it for the last ten years! there is alot of denial in congress. they need to pull their heads out of the butts of big business and special interest and remember who they really work for.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  57. Abby in Florida

    Most are in denial of the US decline because they can not deal with that idea. I for one welcome it. If you look at other countries that are not world leader but are also not 3rd world countries, their military is sufficient to protect their own country but not large enough to police the whole world. All that extra revenue is invested in their own country and it's people. Many have free medical care and free college tuition. They are able to keep their citizen healthy and educated. To me that is a much better future to look forward to than the one we have. Just ask Sweden. They were recently declared the country with the happiest citizens.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
  58. Sylvia from San Diego

    Yes, we are in denial.... We need to come to the realization that we are competing against the rest of the world for jobs and exports. Americans will have to get used to making less than minimum wage if we are going to stop the exportation of jobs overseas and likewise, merchants (suppliers) will have to get used to lowering their prices if they want to sell their goods and/or services here and abroad... Get used to the "New Global Economy" if you want to trive!!!

    October 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  59. Dan from Stewartstown PA

    I don 't think everyday working Americans are in denial about our decline. We want to think and hope that the politicos and corporate executives will come to their senses and start doing what is right for the bulk of our citizenry. Maybe reigning in the out of line banking and securities executive remuneration or rebuilding our manufacturing sector and capability rather than off-shoring manufacturing for the quick gain. Either the leaders of the "plutonomy" are in denial or they think that everyone else will buy the lie.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm |
  60. Susan

    Yes. All I hear is that this is the greatest country in the world. This is nothing but propaganda. And people are drinking the koolaid by believing this nonsense Our educational system and healthcare system are rated at the bottom compared to other countries. Our infrastructure is crumbling. The only thing this country knows how to do is war. War. War. War. And that's where all of the tax money that could go to other things goes. To the Pentagon. It's a shame what has happened to the USA. When I retire, I am leaving here for good. And I won't miss any of it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  61. Darrin

    Yes. Americans think we will always be #1 just because we are Americans. We need to quit living in the past and realize that a lot of countries are better than us.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
  62. Pat in Michigan

    Yes it is.This country is also in denial about a congress full of special interest politicians. The Republicans cater to the rich and business community that don't want to be taxed while the Democrats cater to those who believe that no one should be poor.
    We as a country have to face facts. The govt.cant help everyone.The few of us who are working at the jobs that do create something cant foot the bill for the rest of you.The free ride is over and everyone must pay their way.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  63. Kathie

    the rich, corporations, congress, wall street all have their heads buried inthe sand. we the people can see our country being flushed downthe toilet by the super rich/corporations/congress as they worship their money gods. I can only pray the occupy movement brings congress back to representing us and our country before it is too late.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  64. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    In 2011, the United States ranked 14th in education, 34th in infant mortality, 37th in health systems, 39th in income inequality, and 61st in environmental protection.What should all Americans is not only our decline, but our acceptance of it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  65. LJH

    Absolutely! Not only are we in denial, there is such a political divide in this country that it is going to be next to impossible to find actual solutions. It is crazy how one side actually believes they are right and the other is wrong. The art of compromise, working together, listening to each other, and pulling the best ideas forward are skills lost by our countries leadership.

    It is insanity. If you vote the same people into office expecting different results, then not only do we deserve what we get but we have lost our critical thinking, logic, and sanity.

    I doubt very many Americans actually know that reality we face..... and no politician is going to be honest. They are motivated by self-service rather than stewardship for their citizens.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  66. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    In 2011, the United States ranked 14th in education, 34th in infant mortality, 37th in health systems, 39th in income inequality, and 61st in environmental protection.What should scare all Americans is not only our decline, but our acceptance of it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  67. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    I know the Wall Street Weasels and Corporate Outsourcing Quislings are in COMPLETE denia about the decline of America. this country was based on a strong and vibrant manufacturing economy who's good wages produced a consumer middle class. outsourcing whole industries to third world countries combined with Wall Street money manipulation has destroyed that.

    not that either of those two groups of economis tratiors really cares. they will just move on to the next country where they can exploit the people after the fall of America.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  68. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    In denial? Only since the Reagan years.

    But we must congratulate the rich who were not in denial but accomplished most of their goals; deleting the middle class while increasing their wealth, creating confusion by denying the truth of global warming, promoting greed is good, and not in denial about what politicians are their servants.

    We will reap what we sow.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  69. Tom Bulger, Canandaigua, NY

    America is a big ship. Not everyone is waltzing in the ballroom with the Koch brothers. The engine room sees we're taking on water, and the deck hands are counting life rafts, while the captain orders mutineers to pass the bill.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  70. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Absolutely. Our national debt exceeded $1 trillion during Reagan's administration. The debt went down during Clinton's 8 years. George W Bush ran the debt from $4.6 and almost doubled it in 8 years, all we got were 2 concocted wars. From Reagan to Bush, minus Clinton's years, the debt has gotten completely out of hand. Republicans sure know how to conserve and spend wisely. HA!

    October 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  71. Bert from L.A.

    Hi Jack, No, the majority are not fooled but aware that America’s middle class wealth is being siphoned off to a deregulated, low or untaxed, global corporate economy. Aware the tallest buildings and fastest trains are built in foreign lands. Aware the American Revolution stopped the Mother of all deregulated, untaxed global corporations, the East India Tea Co., and that Reaganomics revived that monster's dream!

    October 18, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
  72. Russell in LA

    I don't think people are in denial about the decline as much as they are in denial about the causes and solutions (if solutions are even possible at this point.) The sheeple blame partisan nonsense but the real causes of our economic woes were all done with Bi Partisan enthusiasm and people need to blame the guy in the mirror for allowing a bunch of crooks at the banks to steal their government and tax money. It's not just the banks fault for being greedy scum it the citizens fault for allowing it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  73. Gary H. Boyd

    Tge scale is definitely tilted in that direction Jack. A whole lot of folks have fallen off the far end and many more seem headed that way. But, to say the country is in denial at this moment is a bit of a stretch. The answer will be much clearer after the November 2012 election.

    Gary in Scottsdale, Arizona

    October 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  74. Dan in Albuquerque

    I don't think so, Jack. However the Tea Party/GOP candidates that have vowed dramatic and sudden changes by instituting massive spending and government cuts only, really don't have a grasp of the depth of the economic crisis, They are not facing the fact that balanced and long term bold measures are required to end it. We could easily see even worse conditions if the super committee fails to enact bold cuts with revenue enhancement. Another downgrade crisis?

    October 18, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  75. riley oday

    Yes, Denial. Some folks dont understand that MFG has left the country never to return. Many unemployed now will remain so. I do see many people with jobs or retired that dont understand.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
  76. leemarie50

    Yes, It is in denial fueled by politicans and the media. The decline is not necessary, but before we can turn it around, we as a nation must face the reality of the situation. THen we must decided what to do about it. Doing does not mean fueling the fire with more give aways, it means taking our lumps, getting them out of the way, and starting again.

    Washington needs to learn how to be the adult and say "no" we can not afford that increase. More and more we are looking like Greece, where ever one is asking where is mine.

    Mine does not exist. Mine is what you worked for, not what you are handed.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  77. Dave - Phx

    Our leaders certainly are denial. Make no mistake about it, the 99% are not.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  78. calaurore9

    Americans in denial? Nah. They're too busy with reality shows, so-called celebrities, video games, sports. They don't have time to notice the crumbling education, infrastructure around them. But, take their big screens and big cars away. Then they'll notice and get mad.

    Carol in Northampton, Ma

    October 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  79. HJ - Saint Paul, MN

    Not at all. We're in denial about how to fix it.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
  80. Pete from Milton

    As long as FOX is the most listened to news network in America, ignorance and misinformation will continue to be the order of the day and our decline will continue. We look an awful lot like the 5th century Romam Empire to me. Which is why the rich and powerful are amassing vast fortunes – they know the end is coming for America. When you see them fleeing for foreign shores, we'll now the end is nigh.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  81. Rich in Gainesville FL

    Of course we're in denial, otherwise we might have already reversed our decline. As it is, our debts will lead to a debased dollar, printing dollars out of thin air will cause inflation that ruins everyone's savings, and our economy will go further into the tank than it already is. And even after all that happens, there will be nothing but denials that anything could have been done about it. We've got to stop electing candidates who want to tinker at the edges and that includes someone who just wants to re-arrange how we tax ourselves. Yes, I'm talking about 9-9-9. What we need is cut-cut-cut.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  82. Dale

    Hello Jack

    Try to get this picture in your head, everyone in Washington DC and Wall Street wearing togas.

    Dale NM

    October 18, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  83. DCarey

    The decline of the USA started with George Bush and the lack of financial regulatory practices combined with two unnecessary wars. The lack of cooperation between the two parties hasn't helped alleviate the problems. History has shown that every great nation does decline at some point as others rise.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
  84. Rob in NC

    I am pretty sure the "average American" realizes this. It was apparent when every thing we bought said "made in China" on it.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  85. Dennis north carolina

    we are a spoiled and now under educated country. We think that we are on top of the world but we are failing each day. we have not learn from history that every great societies of the past failed not from the enemy on the out side but from the in side. we need to take a hard look at our selves and make the hard choices especially in education and take care of our country and citizen first before solving the world problems.. I am not saying isolation but first take care of us before spending our money on some other country. I took a two thousand mile car ride last week on the east coast and to my home town and I must say that our roads and cities are starting to look like a third world country and if you follow the news you will see our lack of education or its failures. wake up America, wake up before its is to late that is the call from our founding fathers!!!

    October 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  86. roger from phoenix

    Decline that's a bunch of bull. Hermans cain's 999 plan that's garbage we need the 2229 plan. 2 percent federal sales tax, 2 percent capital gains tax , 2 percent personal federal tax , and a 9 percent surcharge on 500,000 or more. flat and simple. Other part of my plan is term limits , no campaign contrbutions, tax payer funded campaign only , repeal the 5 percent pay raise congress get every year , sell congressional country club , but see none of these things will happen because you have nothing but crooks running a corrupt system nothing is going to change no matter who the president is. Time to over throw the government Jack I hate to say it but that's what is going to come down too.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  87. ken, atlantic city, nj

    Most people get it but unfortunately the politicians don't get it or are bought off. The honest truth is that that main street is finished, there is no hope. The rich and powerful shall inherit the earth not the meek.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  88. Eve of Texas

    Many of those who got their information from Fox news were in denial, but those who possessed the mental acuity to detect and analyze the reason for the widening of the rich and poor, were not. After decdes of writing my (Texas) republican congress members, and getting a form letter that answered nothing in my letter, I knew we were doomed. I hope the most recent revolt wakes up the sleeping sheeple. Eve of Texas

    October 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  89. John Blythe

    America has experienced increased decline for years now and it is apparent that this continues at an accelerated basis and it is staggering. Unfortunately Jack, we don't have the time, resources or the will necessary to make the changes in time to prevent the country from total collapse, because too many Americans are indeed ignorant. Congress can't do anything and this president won't do anything. We have college students that just want to party all the time and have no idea about how bad their future will be, you've got people still buying into this Democratic or Republican party talking points garbage, and politicians that work for Wall Street. Our government is totally broken. We have $14 trillion in debt, over $115 trillion in unfunded liabilities, and negative trade deficits since 1976. We're not a superpower anymore, and nobody wants to acknowledge this. As far as I'm concerned, if you're ignorant about America's enormous problems, then you should have to suffer the consequences.

    John in Los Angeles

    October 18, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  90. chris

    it is not our fault the american taxpayers we have a currupt govt that did this to us over many many years and they are the ones who don't give a dam about the decline as far as the u.s goes

    October 18, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  91. Mr. D

    China is going to have its hands full with the rest of Asia as well as their own internal problems. Let's stop wringing our hands about not being "no. 1". This could or could not become a reality. The future will determine that. In the meantime, we have to "tend to our own business" and get this country moving again.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  92. Don Desaulniers (Belleville, Ontario)

    It's more than just America in decline. The brand of capitalism that has evolved seems to be perfectly designed to enrich banks and Wall Street investors at the expense of everyone else. It really does look as if the current economic system is some form of giant Ponzi scheme, in which western governments are perfectly content with making themselves (and therefore the unsuspecting public) guarantors of the world's bad debt. Pity that the best and brightest over the past decade or two have devoted their brainpower to concocting this horrendous house of cards and transfer of paper wealth. It's also sad that politicians are so eager to take advice from "donors with strings attached". A perfect storm of deceit and corruption has resulted.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  93. Paul P.

    Some people are, its a disservice for politicians to continue to serve the same old patriotic garble when America is falling behind in the global economy. It seems America has forgotten how to compete and stay ahead of the curve. While we've been engaged in conflicts all over the world draining our resources, time and money, other countries have been focused on their own affairs and getting them right.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  94. Brian in IL

    I believe that all the folks partaking in the Occupy movements which have now graduated to worldwide status are aware of this and is quite obvious. And yet our politicians and other leaders are engaged in a big dance of denial, and I believe it is long past time for the ballroom to be closed.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  95. Terry Wells -Hoosier Hillbilly-IN

    it's practically unacceptable to suggest that there may be no "coming back" for the United States of America. And that is the cold, hard truth: There may very well be no coming back.
    'i' don't find it hard to believe @all! "WE"ve lost the momentium, drive, and inspiration that made "US" the country "WE" were! "&" since the "PEOPLE" are no longer in control the country is 'doomed'! The rich, wall street, bankers, politicans, and the like will soon come to the realization of what they've done but it will be too late - we'll all be working for China as share croppers to take care of what they own that "WE" use to!
    'i' know this senerio doesn't sound good + being unbelieveable but ???????????????

    October 18, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  96. Larry in Houston

    Is the U.S in denial about it's Decline ? WoW Jack, what a question. That's like saying : Will America ( or the U.S. ) Ever get out of Debt ? There has been bad times in the past : WW1 / Great Depression / WW 2 / Vietnam & the list goes on & on. But we were NOT (ever) 14 trillion in Debt, (in those days) and to the point where money isn't hardly worth the paper it's printed on. I'll be shocked if you print this one. If we get someone in the white house in 2012 who will take the regulations off, we can drill in alaska, in addition to other areas in the U.S. and the pacific & atlantic coasts.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  97. Mitoosense Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    After World War Hank Williams wrote "My Buckets Got a Hole In It. He didn't mean his buckets got a whole in it. America is suffering from forty years of poor decisions. If we make good decisions we can lead the world again.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  98. roc from selkirk

    Yes, some people are in denial and it appears to be that most of them are in politics. Thousands of people in the streets screaming for justice and our senators and representatives are busy voting such inane amendments to bills like allocating money for turtle protection and street signs (on C-SPAN right now). Hope they have suntan lotion for their butts while they have their heads stuck in the sand.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  99. Jeff in Bishop, Georgia

    Mr. Cafferty, our status as a super power is threatened because of our crippling debt... a debt that has accelerated exponentially under the present administration. My recipe for dealing with the debt is-

    1- stop adding to the debt
    2- start paying down the debt
    3- wash
    4- rinse
    5- repeat

    October 18, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  100. Ken Victoria BC

    America is in decline and that includes both Mexico and Canada. The problems are similar and can only be remedied by politicians that care for the majority of its citizens and not business or party interests.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  101. Peter, Tarrytown, N.Y.

    The biggest, strongest man in town eventually gets old, loses his ability to 'go the distant' and becomes a target for the new guy in town that wants to make a name for himself. We are the current biggest guy in town. China's the new guy in town. We will never return to our standing as the "Manufacturer to the World" but we can be the leader in technology which will drive all future world wide industry. We must promote innovation and invention. We can't turn back the clock but if we want to retain any standing, at all, we must educate our youth. Our future doesn't lie with old politicians, old corporate executives and hedgefund managers.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  102. Ralph Nelson

    Absolutely. The only hope I have to offer is I thought Reagon-Bush cooked our bacon, than the Clinton Keysian miracle happened (balanced budgets, surpluses, low taxes on rich, 38%). It's just a matter of good management and a president who knows how to properly apply Keysian economics and fairly tax the rich. Plus, reverse shipping factories to China, bust up the six big banks (Sherman Anti-trust) and make banks local again (lending to small business), and analyze internet businesses effect on local jobs. We just need a good leader, a good manager. The future is bright, but we keep voting for our economic ruin.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  103. Gigi Oregon

    I think everyone in the United States knows we are in decline accept the upper 5% and the government. I love it when they say "In God we Trust". The "Good Book" says "God will not be mocked". The Republican Party keep telling us that capitalism is the way and no taxes for the rich...they will trickle down to the masses. . Yes, it is "The Way" for the top 5%. But trickle down stinks when the sweat rolls off half our backs and the other half is out of work.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  104. Mark from New Jersey

    We are in denial about a number of things, like money is speech, and corporations are people, too, Like "petitioning the government" means paying them off to ignore what they were elected for. We are in denial that religion shoud have any place in poltics, and its really OK to ignore that separation of church and thing. We are in denial that "family values" and "faith" are more important than intelligence, logic and education, and that it is OK for some to make the most personal of decisions for all. We are in denial that it is OK for any country to have military bases in 175 other countries, and that is more important than health and welfare of its own citizens. It is OK to believe you are the best, but when you start to say it all the time it becomes less and less true.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  105. s in fl

    America isn't in denial, but the GOP and the media seem to be. But in their defense, the GOP actually precipitated the decline and the media seems more interested in clowns.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  106. Jan K. in Asotin,Wa.

    Our goverment is in denial and I guess so are we. "we the people" put these people in office so we get what the big corps (who "are people too") paid for. The turnout for elections is terrible. The everyday person needs to get out and vote to get us out of our decline. Go voter go!

    October 18, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  107. Karl in Flint

    The only people in denial of our decline is anyone that would vote for any Republican in the next election. The past ten years has seen a tremendous widening of the have and have-not gap. The top 1% don't care, they have it and they are going to keep it, and the next 30% think they are actually part of that top 1% and think raising taxes on the wealthy will affect them but have little more then the rest of us, in reality.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
  108. Bob K Youngstown Ohio

    America has been in denial before, but we usually wake up and fix the problem. We woke up to the falacy of the Vietnam War. We corrected our mistakes by passing Voter Rights Acta and Civil Rights Legislation. We are starting to see the error of the Iraq War. We continue to make strides concerning Gay marriage isses. We may be in denial now, but it won't last. Occupy Wall Street is just one more indication we will be okay.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  109. Randy

    I think America has been in denial for quite some time about numerous things. The average person underestimated the greed of the "investor class", now we have questions asking "who will be Americas first trillionaire" not understanding that one persons billions costs hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  110. Bill in PA

    Jack,
    The United States is NOT in decline. We have the most fearsome weapons arsenal the world has ever imagined and several agencies with access to them: CIA, all military branches to name two.
    For example, we have a minimum of 60 top secret drone air bases capable of hitting any target on earth in minutes.
    These weapons have been used to kill an American out of the country so we have shown the world we are ready to use the weapons we have.
    The public loves wars and military action. We do not whimper at all at our two wars funded with deficit tax payer dollars at millions of dollars each and every day.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  111. Jerry in Alaska

    Thats a GR8 BIG YES, Jack.
    If one would read the Bible concerning the Last Days Nations like Ezekiel 36-39, Zachariah 12;-14; & other places one would notice that America is not mentioned as a nation.
    Russia, Iran, Libia, Sudan, Etheopia, Turkey, Syria & mostly Israel back in THEIR LAND that God gave them with all these other nations trying to destroy Israel & control Gods People, Land & Holy city Jerusalem.

    America is going down & the OBAMANATION OF DESOLATION is Gods choice to GET-R-DONE, some times God allows us to havbe it OUR way & then comes the time to pay for those choices.

    Jerry in Alaska

    October 18, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  112. Roy Birdzell

    We’re into an American decline because we are in denial on how to change and adapt to the new world order of a global economy. America. England lost its superpower status because it lost its empire to a changing world where her wars and conquests was coming to an end after several centuries, not because she couldn’t adapt. We’re letting our politicians blame each other for our decline instead of acknowledging the truths of the real reasons we cannot compete with the world’s global economy players. We let politicians tell us we can’t compete because of the low paying salaries overseas, but that is just a copout, they won’t tell all the truth because they fear a backlash by acknowledging their past policies caused the movement of business and jobs overseas. America has the greatest work force on the planet. We have more energy resources than any other nation including China. Our infrastructure is still the world’s best. And above all, we have a priceless asset the others do not, and that is political and social stability. Instead, we are fixated on taxes, our regulatory policies are massive, and we are ignoring our greatest asset, that of energy resources. We could easily do away with corporation taxes, have basic regulatory mandates, and develop our fossil fuel resources in an environmental manner to provide low cost energy for industrial production. Given these changes, corporations and business enterprises around the world would be setting up shop here in America, providing America with well paying jobs and re-establishing our eminence as the number one economic power of the world.

    Roy, Jacksonville Florida

    October 18, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  113. curtis in philadelphia

    Yes Jack, but this has been the plan of the Republicans for years: to wipe out the middle class and create a two-tiered society. Universal health care is truly a conservative value because "conservative" means: less risk; a healthy workforce equals a more productive workforce, equals a more profitable workforce, however its better for wealthy stockholders to have a unhealthy workforce who have to pay for health care and pharmaceuticals, making the rich richer and even wealthier when corporations ship jobs overseas in favor of cheap labor. Jack, when Republicans say the government is broken, they're not complaining, they are bragging.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  114. Rod Mannion

    You cannot force business to hire. You cannot force banks to lend. This stupid healthcare law has every business scared to death of what they will have to be responsible for. No one knows how the tons of new regulations in the Dodd Frank fiasco will effect them. The current administration just forced it all down everyones throats and said you just have to vote for it to find out what's in it without any thought of the possible outcomes or how to pay for it. There is just too much uncertainty for anyone to make a committment to new business ideas and hire new workers. Until there is a change in the White House leadership, this country will not come out of this decline, period!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
  115. Phyllis G. Williams

    Is America in denial about its decline?

    Yes, the answer is with its Congress.
    If the President makes proposals to assist the country
    and they refuse them and do nothing the Country will decline

    October 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  116. Dee in New Paris OHIO

    Of course America is in denial about whether we can ever recover our superiority and way of life.

    But part of the reason is that those who really do understand the problems we are facing are involved in the most massive cover-up ever! They want us all to think everything is just fine, as they salt away as much money as they can to "save" them when the big fall happens!

    But they should do more than just hoard money. When the American People finally get their collective heads out of the sand, it's not going to be pretty. What if we all at once realized how dire our situation is? Would there be a real revolution? And if so, how bad would it be? After all, the Russians and the French had huge revolutions that changed their countries forever, and they did it with plowshares and shovels and sticks! Here, where every Tom, Dick and Harry has a gun, I look for it to be a lot worse!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  117. Linda in Arizona

    I'M not. Most people are so preoccupied with the pop culture dreck they're being fed, they don't even think about it. Gotta see who gets the votes on Dancing With The Idiots. Face it, the Chinese are smarter than we are.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
  118. Bob T - Southfield, MI

    Decline – my eye. Just a minor set back. All we have to do is deregulate the banks, scam the public with subprime mortgages, create derivatives with phony AAA ratings, increase executive bonuses for poor and deceitful performance, enter at least one more unjustified war, torture more enemies, and borrow more money from China to buy our way out of our minor set back. Decline – my eye.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
  119. Patrick

    Of course we're in decline. Have you read some of the comments on your blog?

    October 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
  120. lindaglenn

    Jack to make a long story short. YES!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  121. Jade

    The media tends to portray America like China's deadbeat brother-in-law who keeps borrowing money and promising he's good for it. But the truth is that China is far more dependent on the U.S. than the other way around. If they decided to pull the rug out from under the U.S., they'd be pulling it out from under their own economy. So in other words, yes and for good reason.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  122. vicky

    We no longer have Democracy in America. Our Politicians stumped all over the Constitution and then burned it and flushed it down the toilet. Is it on the decline???????

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  123. Renee Peoria,Ill

    The British empire is no more, Rome fell; but London and Rome still exist. By some accounts there used to be a place called Atlantis; assuming it ever existed, just look what happened to them! There are worse things than not being the alpha dog anymore. Certainly, a lot of Americans are in denial, but that's always been true. I used to live in Europe during high school and you should have heard some of the day-to-day comments on 'those loud, obnoxious, arrogant Americans' that I heard from Europeans, usually after a group of American tourists swung through complaining loudly that no one spoke English. Imagine! Speaking your own language, in your own country! But Americans seem to think the entire world should bend over backward to accomodate us. We could use a dose of reality. We are not #1 anymore. And by the way, we did it to ourselves. Don't blame China or anyone else because we sent all our jobs overseas.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  124. Annie, Atlanta

    Wage disparity the likes of which we haven't seen since the Gilded Age. Corporations, bankers, and billionaires writing the laws to benefit only them, with the attitude that the rest of us can just drop dead. One party doing nothing but drumming up hate of the other. Not only are we in decline, we're not even a democracy anymore. If we don't get the money out of politics, we're screwed. "We the people" can't afford to buy our own politicians.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  125. Butch Griggs

    The simple answer is no. "We the people in order to form a more perfect union" America has two strengths. Compassion and ingenuity. We are the great melting pot. Americans are simply to hearty to fail. The ship will right itself, it always has.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm |
  126. Shan Nanji

    I think our government knows that we are in decline, but it is hard for them to admit that publicly because of our fragile economy. Just look at recent moves by China and Iran. The U.S. Dollar will cease to the the worlds reserve currency. We simply can't continue to print money to solve our problems. We are already in debt way over our heads, but our leaders choose to wag the dog over issues that in the long run will prove to be inconsequential. We simply can not continue to devalue our currency and hope that the global markets will forgive us.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  127. Chris

    America is in denial because we have been brainwashed by the media. Keep watching Dancing with the Stars and Jersey Shore, and ignore real issues like a government controlled by corporations,a failed education system, going to war with every country, and sending billions to countries who hate us. America needs leaders, not cowards like Romney and that goober Bush-clone Rick Perry. I look forward to a revolution.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  128. Victor

    YES. Just yes.

    Newark, Delaware!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  129. zack

    Most of the political establishment may be in denial about America's decline, but Ron Paul is unafraid to tell us the truth. We are in decline because we have spent too much and grown government too much. Ron Paul introduced a plan to cut $1 trillion in spending in his first year in office, including hundreds of billions of unnecessary military industrial complex and all foreign aid.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  130. Brandon in Small Town, PA

    While we are seeing a bit of stagnation in our growth, China is as well- seeming to almost freeze now as manufacturing jobs are beginning to be transferred to other, less developed Eastern world nations.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Anthony from Western Maryland

    Our decline is due to our ignorance! We cannot keep thinking that we can finance our desire to "Nation build" around this world with taxpayers's money and not think it has a direct reflect on our nation. Why are the Chinese, Germans, Japanese and South Koreans surpassing us it is because they do not get themselves involved in quagmires and put their citizens first. I am sick and tired of paying for these actions when we are asking an American to sacrifice! Enough!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  132. David

    Our politicians certainly won't admit it. It would mean their ruin.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  133. john magosh

    John Minnesota. offcourse America is on decline. every nation that showed arrogance and invasion expirienced a painful decline: why would the United States be different from the Soviets, British Empire, or even ancient Greece. the truth is, its time for Chine Empire now

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  134. John

    America is not in decline, not even relatively. China has an aging problem and can't continue on at 10 percent growth without a recession/depression which could bring the whole society down. Even if China got past that they'd still have the problem of rising wages and lack of domestic demand, not to mention a growing middle class that expects better goverance and environmental protection. Instead of speaking of America's decline we need to debate Chinas and how it effects our policy.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  135. Vivien

    This is the world as sound-bite drenched in nostalgia for another and not necessarily better time.
    America is not in denial about its decline except when told it is by the media. We should worry not about being
    biggest, richest, most militarily might, but about being the best educated, best read, most tolerant,
    most democratic, most creative..and then we would be best, and probably biggest. In ways that matter.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
  136. James Evans

    We are in decline although only one man has been talking about this for 20 or 30 years. Maybe some more people should start opening there minds and take a better look at Ron Paul.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Mike in Pekin

    Yes, we are. And we are in decline because we have lost touch with our core values. Our nation was founded on a sense of self reliance. Neighbors helped neighbors, but at the core, every person was expected to pull their own weight over the long haul. You earned what you got, and you did not begrudge others for their success. Hard work defined a persons character. That is all gone. Far too many people in our nation today look for others to make up for their own shortcomings. The welfare-nanny state has finally eroded any sense of individual responsibility to the point that our spoiled population actually has the temerity to simultaneously turn down a job that is "beneath them", while simultaneously whining about unemployment. And we are now talking about extending unemployment beyond the unprecedented ospan of 2 years that is currently in place. Until we stop molly-coddling each other, we will continue our slide into oblivion.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  138. Ryan D, Sedona AZ

    Denial?! We are are down right delusional. Our debt is screaming into the stratosphere, and your average American is more concerned with the latest fashion that the state of our union. The united states is a run-away train and we are quickly running out of track.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  139. Doc Martin

    Witnessing the Republicans and the Democrats bicker over the U.S. debt is like watching two drunks argue over a bar bill on the Titanic.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  140. Bob from Syracuse, IN

    Jack, the U.S. has been in steady decline since the 80's. We've convinced ourselves that we can do everything anytime we want. Well, we've forgotten how to inovate and create anything more than a Facebook social culture while countries like China push technical inovation and global economics. We're not quite yet a second-rate nation but will be in a few years because our political leaders wear blinders and maintain their denial of the true reality.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  141. Donna Hart

    Well, how about we DON'T DECLINE? I think we have a choice as a nation. We have abundant natural resources, but impose so many regulations that we cannot use them. We have the best military in the world, but persistently talk about downsizing it and defunding it. We have a strong religious and moral core, but are so politically correct that we can't appeal to it. We really do have the ability to get ourselves on a more sound financial track, but no one in Washington has the common sense and backbone to do it. Whether we fall into decline or not really depends on us.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  142. Carlos

    Yes! We as American are fearful of being 'number 2'. Perhaps this would be the best thing for this nation, we would be able to grow up and join the rest of the world

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Ron from Calif.

    Economy, Energy, Environment...
    Welcome to The Great Decline!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  144. Ed From Orange County, CA

    Of Course the United States is in denial. Look at the politicians, each time they speak of America's decline they either blame it on the other side or claim that it is unpatriotic to talk like that. AND THEN politicians talk about cuts to important things like Education when we are slipping through the ranks of the world. Recent college grads such as myself go through the Educational system so that we become payers to the tax system and then they have the nerve to CUT educational spending. Both parties need to admit the decline that started this past decade due to the MAJOR focus on foreign policy when the entire infrastructure and domestic issues of the U.S. has been ignored in the last 10 years. It is very sad. And now they want the current President to make up for it in 3 years. I think we have gone insane, Jack.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Abbey in San Francisco, CA

    In my opinion, simply put, America is quickly turning into a third world nation. I've felt this for a while now, but just witnessing the idiocies of what the people we've all elected it's more apparent to me more than ever. I know there are many Americans who are in so much denial about this, refusing to ever believe that the US could never be less than 'the greatest country in the world'. For myself, and I do believe for countless others as well, America is definitely anything but 'the greatest country in the world'. If America were so great we would be first in quality of life. Instead we are placing practically last, sometimes behind even third world nations. If America were so great also all of its citizens would be afforded true freedom instead of being harassed for exercising our rights to freedom of assembly and speech such as the OWS protesters are being treated.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:17 pm |
  146. Stephanie Angelos

    I'm afraid so. Are politicians fall all over themselves and each other to see who can waste the most money. They talk about the crisis yet their special interest, good old boy wasteful spending continues. Much of our youth has had it so easy that they have no idea how to take responsibility for themselves and they can't grasp the concept of earning or working their way to the top. Many of them along with most of the adults have gotten so used to the government meeting their needs that we've become weak, lazy, short sighted and we refuse to take off our rose colored glasses. Wake up America. We've got a tough road ahead. We need real leadership and we have to ALL be ready to sacrifice and let's don't shoot the leader that finally tells us the truth.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  147. Glen

    Of course it is. But its human nature to ignore the negatives while always hoping for the best.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  148. Audrey Marie

    Our problems is the media decides a lot for those who donot follow all the news. Not Good.
    I also know that if the Republicans would allow our President to help him bring more jobs we would be much closer to being okay. Eric Cantor is a trouble maker. Sen Boehner listens to him and Sen. McConnell is too old to make big decisons. Lets stop the bull and help our Americans work again. Very possible ........Hear me GOP>""Our country is much more important than the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Be ashamed .

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  149. Craig Chilton of Evansdale, Iowa

    In 1987 - 24 years ago - I mailed dozens of picture postcards from Beijing to friends all over the USA. All of their cards reached them by 3 days later. Is the USA in decline? Compare the postmarks of your incoming snail mail with the dates when you receive them, and decide for yourself.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  150. Glenn Osrin, Miami Florida

    America most definitely is in denial about our decline. Is it any wonder in a country where Madison Avenue, Major Media Outlets and our Politicians continually 'sell-the-sizzle' because the truth about the substance is incomprehensible? How can a nation that hasn't won a war since Iraq I claim to be the World's Greatest Superpower? How can our military be the Greatest In The World when Iraq and Afghanistan are 'draws' and financial quagmires? We are not all our spinmasters would have us be: the evidence is everywhere that better days are behind us and a long, tough divisive road with unwelcome choices and less options we've had before is on the menu.

    Finally, one need only look at the grotesque charade our political process in Washington has become to see that the denial begins with those we elect. A great nation is governed by politicians who rise to the occasion by compromising and having the courage to make individual decisions for the common good of the people, even if it means being in disagreement with their own party. What we have now is a process backed up like a toilet; sadly, there isn't a rooter big enough to clear it.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  151. Robert Read

    Yes, America is in denial.America is now a Third World Nation thanks to those in power in Washington, Wall Street Bankers, corrupt politicans. Our leadership of all stripes are a complete failure. Now is the hour for change according to The Declaration of Independence. VOTE None of the Above!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  152. Jim from Peoria

    No, not all , Americac are in denial only the politicians and that is because they, the politicians, have never had to have a real job. The ordinary citizen who has to work every day to suport his family are well aware if the decline. politicians have always had it too easy because of their perks and money they receive from lobbyists. They need to wake up and really see what is happening.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  153. Barb in Va

    We don't have to be in decline if we would quit spend money saving other countries!! The number one cause of our decline is the 2 most recent, unfunded wars.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  154. Bob

    Yes, despite blaring evidence within six months of GW Bush and Dick Cheney occupying the White House that they had already drug the US and any strides in world peace, back centuries. The Republicans have systematically pulled the US back to the Dark Ages. They are ignorant and proud of it. Republicans are determined to make the US a third world country and they prove it every day by blocking every positive thing President Obama has tried to do for this country. Republicans have ensured that America has among the worst records in the world for healthcare and education. The shame and blame lies squarely with Republicans and Tea Partiers and any Democrats who forgot that they're supposed to represent the American People, not the undeserving rich and ruthless.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  155. Heino Molls

    America is not in decline. It is a culture. It's a spirit. It is a dream state that thrives throughout the world and lives in the United States of America. China's economy may pass the USA financially but it will do so based on the American dream of a home, a family, business success all founded on Hollywood based movies and the sidewalks of New York.

    America will never be in decline. It thrives in the hearts and minds of the entire world. If you don't believe that then you are in denial.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  156. meredith

    Yes, we are in denial... we will not get back to the power at home and worldwide if we contiue down the path we are on now. No one wants to step up to the plate and do something consructive or give up anything in their lives to help us get back on our feet. After all, The Greatest Generation that helped make us great are dead or dying and there is no one left to take their place.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  157. raymond

    i think Obama realizes this. He was more than willing to hand over the Lybian relief to Europe. It also seems that he has taken a hands off approach to the Arab Spring in general. What is strange to me is the position of the most capable country in Europe, Germany?

    October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  158. Lisa Petrov

    Absolutely, as the United States is in denial about so many things. We are in decline if you look at any of the global indices that measure us against other countries with respect to education and general quality of life (happiness, vacation time, maternity leave, etc.). But, we are also in denial about our Empire, for example, about our dependence on the military and prison industrial complexes for some of our local and state economies, and most disturbingly about our various addictions: to Middle Eastern (non-democratic) nations' oil, to illicit drugs of all kinds (creating dangerous chaos in Mexico). In the end, Jack, we are in denial about the levels of violence our society depends upon to live from day to day whether abroad or at home, and about how much that violence is rotting us from the inside.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  159. Stacy R

    We will never admit to being in decline, we forget that in the history of civilization we are only teenagers and like teens we have hormonal insanity and a sense of invincibility.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  160. Octavio Sanchez

    I really do not think that the US is in a decline. Superpowers come and go but the ideas and values of the American culture are so strong that there is no way that the US will lose its superpower status for many more years. Our trust in capitalism is a double edged sword, at times we experience high growth and at other times we experience economic depression. Like the Great Depression we will come out of this hole and continue to strive. We are still far ahead of China, the number two economy, and we forget that China still faces its challenge of balancing a communist government and a capitalist economy. Almost all economist agree that communism and capitalism are not meant to exist together, we just need to watch the next couple years how China deals with this growing tension.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  161. Andrew

    America is not in denial, nor in decline. We as a nation are in transition. The entire global economy is in transition. The reason I don't say we are in decline is because by the time we are a 3rd world nation, the political borders currently in place will be more clearly defined by financial/class division. The US, as a nation, will still have a substantial amount of money, and clout – but those with will have more, and those without will have less...unless, of course, the wall street protest movement makes a substantial change. (can you tell I am one of the 'withouts'?)

    October 18, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
  162. Ellen

    Judging by the lack of a comprehensive plan to restore America, I would say we likely are in denial. We are so enamoured with our freedom to express ourselves freely, that we have forgotten what it is to shut up and get to work. Maybe being number 2 will be the catalyst to get us focused again.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  163. shelby

    Hey folk...You gotta lighten up!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  164. ru4peace2

    The US will never be the "Super Power" it once was. Until the US awknowleges, the Crimes Against Humanity, being committed in Bahrain. The perception that money, access and oil out weight Human Rights – resonates loud and clear - 5th Fleet is more important than human lives

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  165. Jay

    Sure we're in decline – 50 years of liberal entitlement spending has driven us to the point of being completely dependent on government. We're a bunch of helpless idiots, looking for Pelosi to tell us what to think, what to believe, with our hands out. The left has pushed us to the brink of being irrelevant.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  166. steve

    Steve from St Louis

    We had over 200 years of prosperity. Guess it's our turn to live like the rest of the world!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  167. Sebastian

    Yes, we are in denial. Our dollar is down, production in this country is declining, the deficit is climbing, and China's economy just grew by 9.1% in a bad global economy. Our political system does not allow us to address America's decline because the system looks to benefit party interests rather than American interests. When you have a leader in the Senate who says his goal is to make the President fail that should tell you a whole lot. If I heard this of another country, where their government leaders are actively participating in their leaders failure, I'd think they were crazy. It's an absolute embarrassment to our country, and because of this mentality we will not be addressing our decline until it is too late.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  168. James PDX

    As long as we keep electing these same 2 parties into power, the decline will continue. They are old dogs. They are set in their corrupt ways. For the US, change requires a change of the guard.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  169. Chris

    Coming from a Canadian that cares about U.S. the answer is a resounding "yes". Both of your political parties live embeded far into the past, are unresponsive to needed change and uncapable of identifying a very obvious problem, but more disturbingly are not showing signs of evolving emotional intelligence. Being crazy with the rest of the world is not a recipe for outgrowing it's mediocracy. Your problem would be easily solved if you looked at your economic problem as an opportunity to grow instead of treating it as an elephant in the room. The question is not whether your government should look left or right. The question is when will your government become aware of it's function. Turn your production inwards. Finance small businesses and rebuild America. Your roads are sublass anyways...

    October 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  170. Larry in Houston

    unless we get someone in the white house who can come up with a balanced budget amendment, this country will Never get out from under it, Ever. 14 trillion (& counting) is "unfathomable" and Yes, it's a word, look it up. So far, it looks like Ron Paul has the best approach, if he's saying that he can cut a trillion in his first yr.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  171. Pilar in Washington

    Americans think they are the best, but in fact they are most uneducated and stupid about the world affairs.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  172. Mark

    Yes! America is still a power but no longer a super power. During the Iraq war VP Chenney was quoted as saying that America was the New Rome. We all know what happened to the old Rome. God forgive us for listening to the galactically stupid.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  173. D.K.Kelly Kentucky

    Jack, Denile is not a river in Egypt, it is something called greed and China. American greed and a lack of ethical/moral principles have created a cesspool of individuals who are now the stakeholders in shady backroom deals selling out to the highest bidder. While those at the top have taken their share and run with no accountability, the middle class, and even the upper class pay for all those misdeeds. The average Americans have become immune to their environment because they feel there is nothing they can do about it; except protest on Wallstreet. Who ever has the biggest bucks speak the loudest, and it is evident in every campaign for governmental positions. Look at the awesome selection of candidates who are running for president; I feel as though I'm looking at the latest selection of bobble heads Walmart might sell one day. Give me a break, when America wakes up, it will be too late and we will be speaking Chinese!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  174. hjs3

    No Jack the vast majority of us as fully functioning literates have a pretty good idea...TKU very much
    It's that pesky 1% that wants us to eat cake.....

    October 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  175. Carol Z in Scottsdale, AZ

    As long as the right continues to preach "exceptionalism," even as all our statistics continue to decline, many choose to keep their heads in the sand and ignore the reality of what's occuring in this country and the world. Since "progressive ideas" are shunned by half the country - and valuable time is wasted trying to dictate morality and other social/religious/conservative issues - China and others are leaving us in the dust. Our ability to wage war does NOT make us "exceptional" and as our population continues to slide more and more into poverty and despair, people need to get a clue as to what will be necessary to regain what's been lost in the last decade.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  176. Mike from Massachusetts

    Americans must first and foremost begin to think anew about themselves in this modern changing world..We have to redefine our identity as a people who want to move from seeking dominance amongst ourselves and other nations of the world. It will take a leader of strong vision to make Americans realize that the "decline" of America can be defeated on all levels by what unifies Americans Belief in the rights of all Americans to "life ,liberty and the pursuit of happiness and the global vision of a democratic world based on respect for other nations and their people.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  177. BG

    Obama gripes repeatedly that the republicans are obstructionist – but he's gotten stimulus one, Dodd/Frank, the health care bill, etc. None of these things bailed us out or helped the nation. Are we in decline? Yup – faster than ever, thanks to $1 trillion deficits brought on by democrats, spending like drunken sailors.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  178. QS in Seattle

    "This article suggests that's why now is the time for America to have a "rational debate about what 'relative decline' means."

    First mistake Jack – conservatives not only don't want to admit or acknowledge the decline, but on top of that they won't, or can't, have a rational debate about anything.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  179. Maryjane Caporale

    America should not be concerned about a decline unless that decline threatens our security or preferred way of life. Our concern must beon the effect our leaders choices have at home. That is where we need the focus until we are again healthy here we have no right turning our focus away from our domestic issues. It is time to allow any other country that wants that role to have it so we can bring our troops home and face the issues that threaten our own citizens not those who never wanted us in power within their boarders to start with. Please make our current leaders know that regardless of the poles or any of the political rhetoric, election day is coming and we, the voters, will be focused on what they have done for us not those overseas. It's time to isolate our influence in making the lives of Americans better......after all that is what they were elected to do.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  180. George J

    People tend to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This often results in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of the government to include the populace in its disaster preparations. If America were able openly to acknowledge that its global power is in decline, it would be much easier to have a rational debate about what to do about it. Denial is not a strategy.
    It only makes things worse for the America's future.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  181. ChinaontheMap

    The U.S. has been in a state of decline for years. I told my co-workers this back in 2006 and they thought that I was the most Anti-American person alive, however, all of the markers were there: huge reliance on consumerism, falling dollar against international currencies, war mongering, higher technological industry (which ultimately leads to a sunset industry of jobs), greater trade deficits, growing EU states, fewer educated Americans, etc. What frustrated me, a non-expert, is that you had economist on the TV back then stating that a weak US dollar was actually GOOD for the economy. We are in way too much denial and will ultimately become like the French, whom I love, in the fact that we will still be under the assumption that we still rule the world when we are relegated to a developing nation behind China, Norway, Sweden, Singapore, Russia and Japan, depending on which markers you use! China 2, US 1.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  182. David Rossiter Peachtree City, GA

    This decline is an official crisis-mode catastrophe that our so-called leaders will never acknowledge, and no amount of political cheerleading will alter our course toward the rocks. The policies from Washington over the past two decades have been disastrous and, anathema to our continued economic success in the world. The long era of crooked crony-capitalism is over so, watch the horizon, Washington. We're coming for you with pitchforks and torches.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  183. Tom in Milwaukee

    Of course it is Jack.The U.S. is falling behind other countries in so many ways. One of the biggest reasons why our country is declining is because of our education system. For example, I am a recent high school graduate and it just so happens that out of almost 400 seniors, the valedictorian ended up being a Chinese student. Not just any Chinese student, but the only one in the entire school! If this doesn't say our country is declining then I don't know what does!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  184. vicky

    A Country that terrorizes and murders it's citizens; holds children hostage and promotes crimes against humanity spells out destruction, which is worse than decline.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  185. Gail, Plano TX.

    Actually, Jack, this nation has been in decline for at least 30 years. You cannot sustain your household if all you want is cheap goods. Hence, everything is made in China and sold in Wal-Mart. China has cheap labor and Wal-Mart feeds the American thirst. China will eat our lunch soon and we deserve it. Just consider how much money is going into the Presidential elections! Wow! We could feed a small country!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm |
  186. Corey from Minnesota

    Jack it's clear to me that everyone except us thinks that our role in the world is in decline. Facts be spoken, isn't that how we got to where we are today? The moment Congress voted for America's entry into World War I our isolationist ideals that we've had since the revolution were challenged by those who thought America needed a larger role in the world. In my opinion a declining role wouldn't be so bad for us because I believe that we need to sit back and assess the situation at home with the growing gap between the wealthy and poor as well as the declining middle class. We also need to focus on growing our economy. Jack, I'm confident that should China become the world's leading economy, they wouldn't be there for very long. They have over one billion people to feed and no resources to fuel their economic and military aspirations. They are essentially a 21st century Japanese Empire and we all know how that story ended. The United States of America has abundant resources of pretty much everything people need to be prosperous and we've shown that time and time again. My solution is simple: Close all U.S. military installations that aren't part of the NATO treaty and aren't in the Western Hemisphere. Focus on defense at home, reform Wall Street and the tax code, repair our crumbling infrastructure, and grow our economy so we can pay down our debt. Tighten the belt, Jack. Our survival as a nation is at stake.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  187. Justin from Pittsburgh, PA

    I think that Americans are more in denial about the capabilities of foreign countries. America has taken some hits lately, but a big factor to our "decline" is that other countries are catching up. The U.S. found itself in an unatural position of power after the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was never going to last forever, foreign powers would eventually rise. Americans need to embrace this eventuality, and we need to try to grow strong ties with the various rising powers, like China and India. There can be benefits to "decline" like not having to be the world's policeman. Americans tend to think that its impossible for other countries to catch up to us, that its something we are doing wrong. Yet, pre-1945 it was we who were "catching up" to the superpowers.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  188. LaVon Hummel

    P.S Jack this is a great question. We need to learn that 360 horse power cars, Three stall Garage, 2 vacations a year instead of one is just not living the American Dream. Tell that to your Grandparents and there before, and on. We can live a full life with out a life full of things.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  189. the_dude

    "The last official act by any government is to loot the treasury" – George Washington

    October 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm |
  190. Jeff In Minnesota

    Societies come and go and we may be heading for the bone yard with Greece, the UK and other great societies of the past. I think we can avoid that fate for a while, but ultimately another society will take the lead.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
  191. conoclast

    The robber barons certainly aren't in denial; they're making money hand-over-fist and have never fared better! Only that part of the rest of us who insist that our "government" is capable of fixing things is in denial!
    Eugene, OR

    October 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  192. Allen Seiple, Vermont

    Jack – We are in decline because we have become a society of takers rather than makers. In order to pay for and deal with social issues, our economy needs to generate private sector growth. Our first move as concerned citizens is to make a constructive effort to buy American. If we create demand, manufacturing can come back to America. Just ask yourself "does your made in China refrigerator last as long as your grandparents?"

    October 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  193. Veta Sims

    Thank goodness for this decline! We will come to our sences finally! Economically and politically. If this stupid and arrogant notion about American exceptionalism comes to en end, we'll end up living in a country that everyone else respects, not fears. Veta Sims, California.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:32 pm |
  194. DMoneyx2

    does it really matter? we spend so much of our time tearing people down. blaming those around us for whatever our lot may be in life. this is a pointless question Jack. if we cared we would do something about it...instead we talk a good game then go back to herding the same lame sheep that have us all feeling abandon. yes Jack the media plays a ridiculously large role in this entire scenario...blind them with meaningless news and questions and flatten anyone who comes to the table with an idea...good, bad or indifferent. the better question – "is our denial the reason for the decline?"

    October 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  195. rc

    Anybody digging tunnels to get into China? People like to quote statistics to make their points. Failing education system, maybe we count the scores of all students not just the over achievers. Shorter life expectancy, maybe we're not aborting all the female infants. The true measure is quality of life, freedom to believe without persecution, and the opportunity to pursue your dreams. As imperfect as she may be America is still the greatest place on earth.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  196. Lisa

    Americans are not in denial (see OWS and even Tea Party). The government, however, is a different story ...

    October 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  197. Valerie in Raleigh

    The decline of America started under Ronald Reagan, a good man, who got it wrong. Recovered under Bill Clinton and then hit the bottom under George Bush and Cheney. I still do not understand why Bush/Cheney have not been charged with war crimes. Obama is the right man for the presidency but is up against a Republican Party whose sole aim is to cause him to fail even if the country fails. Every intelligent and thinking American needs to go to the polls in the 2012 election and re-elect president Obama, send the Tea Party nut-cases back from whence they came and carefully select votes for only Republicans whose goal is for the good of the country and not the good of Wall Street, Big Banks and the wealthy 1%. We need two strong parties and I believe the Republicans can recover if the Tea Party is out and good men work together. God Bless America – we can do it!!!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  198. Jack

    We have been in decline for over 20 years. I never quite understood the correlation between New Housing Starts and the growth of this country. Too much of this county's wealth was based on housing. People should have been buying what they ACTUALLY could afford. The government is partially to blame for Encouraging/Mandating banks to loan to people who were not credit worthy. Obama's plan is to spread the existing wealth to everyone, and that will cause serious class fighting. First thing would be to stop involvement in all war zones. Second is to mind our own business and not take sides. Third would be to REDUCE the money supply, not expand it. Federalize all banks. Start PUBLIC Works programs in all states to repair/replace infrastructure and train people in the construction of them. Stop all WELFARE programs and put people to work, even if they have to bring their kids. MAKE them earn the dollars they get. Only the disabled and old are to be excluded.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  199. Wil Keenan

    Being in decline dosnt mean that we cant rebound!
    How? JOBS! What jobs..doing what..?
    Using our natural alternate energy resourses. What natural resourses?
    WAVE, WIND & SOLAR off-shore platforms!
    The -US only- jobs to build/convert, & maintain such platform projects.
    Such platforms would desalinate H2o into fresh H2o & pumpit inland to plant food & bio-fuels, ETC!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  200. Jack

    Heck no Jack. We innovate, the Chinese imitate. Even if they can grow economically forever, they will never impact our decline.They wept for Steve Jobs' death, along with Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, and practically every icon in every industry. Who did we weep for in their land? Mao Tse Tung or was it Confucious? Let us wake up and realize that our only enemy is ourselves. And if we defeat ourselves, there is no one to replace us. The Chinese will be desperate.

    Jack from New York

    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  201. Mark Burt

    No one ever wants to believe that somewhere out there is someone who is faster, smarter and srtonger than they are or were. We are no different. America needs to learn to adapt to the changes and let go of the past.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:34 pm |
  202. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    America is not without money. We bailed out the big banks with the intent that they would loan it out, but instead they hoard it off shore. We elected a republican congress with the promise that they would create jobs, but instead they filibuster and obstruct and lie. Then they go on vacation. America is not in decline, America is betrayed by greed and stupidity.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
  203. Greg Rockford, IL

    Yes, because it refuses to admit that our country is lacking in basic social functions like educating our children and providing health care; but if a politician even hints at anything but the notion of "American exceptionalism" on any issue, the "Git R Done" crowd goes nuts

    October 18, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
  204. J. Tata

    I think most people accept the fact that we are in recession and our economy is declining. But our heads are too fare up our "you know what" to ever accept the fact that another country could be better than us. We will always have a stronger military force than any other country because we will continue to spend spend spend on defense, we should call it offense spending. lol. There is nothing defensive about it. While every aspect of American life declines that's one thing we will never let go of. As long as our military is the superior military force we will always just assume that we trump all other countries. Education, social equality, technology, imports, exports, clean energy... everything else is just an aspect we are oblivious to of how we judge ourselves.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  205. Larry

    Every politician tells us what the majority demand to hear: "America's best days are yet to come!" We've dealth with lies for so long that we wouldn't elect anyone who told the truth. Unfortunatly, the greatest generation was followed by self indulgent boomers who have no concept of sacrifice. We've demanded tax cuts for years, knowing full well we were building up massive debt that would have to be paid someday. Boomers never grew out of the fairy tale stage and the more we avoid reality, the harder our eventual landing will be. There is an incredible arrogance to our positions that we are all that matters. I hope when the Chinese inherit the dominant role that they do better than we did.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  206. Rubby Nwonye

    America is declining because her citizens have no jobs and John MCcain worries about the bus used by Obama for tours when ordinary citizens cannot afford $9.99 pizza from Herman Cain. Mitt Romney knows that the book of Luke 16:13 says that, "You cannot serve God and mammon” and continues to deny he's not a Christian. Is it not a moral decline to deny the obvious?

    RUBBY NWONYE
    Michigan

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  207. Jausan

    I see America as a casino, the middle-class tax payers put their money in, the people at the top get comped with tax-breaks and the majority of Americans wind up out on the street broke. Funny, we see that today, my American Nightmare came true!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  208. Logan P

    20+ years of significant decline in almost every possible way....and finally the people see it. However, with 99% of the people still completely brainwashed by the left/right paradigm, all thinking the "other" party is evil, when really its just 2 branches of the same evil party. It's called divide & conquer....until Americans can get past the petty divisions for the common good, it doesn't matter whether you admit you are in decline or not....you are still destined for complete disaster. If you don't elect Ron Paul this election, I'm afraid you are screwed. Your time will be up. Obama is no better than Bush, and neither will the next president, unless you people wake up and elect Ron Paul.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  209. Eric, Staten Island, NY

    Partially.
    I believe there are some who acknowledge it from any side you look at, I know people from different beliefs including political who discuss it.
    But I do not think the discussion should be limited to economoics or America/China. For example, Canada has gained some leverage globally, they are the country where Occupy Wall Street started something that is not discussed much and should be. Canada also has close ties to the USA, a bit of a friendly competitive nature with us and has made more prominent moves in the global picture lately.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  210. Pete in Coarsegold Ca.

    About 40% of our kids don't complete High School. Basic manufacturing jobs now require basic technology that folks in their 30's and 40's don't understand.. Greed has become acceptable on Wall Street, in Congress and at the local bank. No question about it: We are second rate!!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  211. deborah ballweg Seibert, co

    Yes and we have to act now and decisivly to be able to regain our leadership in the world. Our people and money need to come home and we need to focus on the US for a change. We cannot lead if our ecomony is in the toilet and if we continue to remain a divided nation. " A house divided cannot stand". We need to pick ourselves up and rely on our people not government, and not envy (ie class warfare) to propel ourselves forward.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  212. Scott Francis

    The only thing in real decline is the hard power of the US. We are relying more on soft power to get things done internationally. Yes other nations are devloping stong economies and China's may surpass ours in the future. That doesn't mean we won't be well-off or even prosperous. Our role in the world is changing and others states are beginning to exert their influence within their respective regions. Non state actors such as NGOs are also gaining increasingly important roles. However, Politicians are too busy trying to hold on to their power to have a discussion about this topic and the extremes on both sides of the political spectrum don't want them to acknowledge the fact that our role is changing. The political extremes on both sides want the US to be the most powerful nation on the planet in EVERY possible aspect forever and they refuse to recognize that its no longer possible. We need politicians that are willing to discuss and plan for the changing role of US soft and hard power around the world and it won't happen as long as the political extremes control the debate. We need to stop the partisan politics that plagues our government. We need to make the political extremists on both sides, the minority. We need politicians who arewilling to compromise and talk about controversial issues such as this.

    Scott Francis
    Roaming Shores, Ohio

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  213. John Powalisz

    I think that many people know that the U.S. is in decline but do not know how much our paradigm has changed permanently. I consider myself and my peer group ralatively intelligent but none of us feel confident in predicting where the U.S. is heading, where we are in the process or how big future drops might be. The one constant is that eveyone agrees that we are never going back to where we were pre-2008. Our country's lack of leadership is delaying any kind of recovery or re-invention of the U.S brand if you will. What does the U.S. want to be when it grows up? There are plenty of lessons looking at England, Japan and other European countries.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  214. ken

    This is what happens after you elect a Liberal Democrat Congress and a Liberal corrupt Chicago Democrat! Junk science dominates technology and corruption dominates politics! Hope and change has created Despair and Corruption. The US looks like Chicago!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  215. Martin, New Orleans

    America has been in decline since the 60's. Moral decline always precedes economic decline.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  216. david, CA

    Republicans are in total denial. They go golfing to raise millions for their re-elections while refusing to even vote on a jobs bill for the middle class or come up with a jobs bill, healthcare bill, economic plan of their own. SSDD for republicans. All they're good for is paying lip service to the "family values" crowd and obsessing over same sex marriage.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  217. Martin, New Orleans

    America has been in decline since the 60's. Moral decline always precedes economic decline

    October 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  218. BIll in VA

    Perhaps, perhaps not. We can save ourselves if we get rid of the left's entitlement mentality, keep the federal government where it belongs – national defense, homeland security, and not much else – and free business from anti competitive regulation and we would not have to be in decline. Keep doing what the left has pushed on us since World War II and decline is inevitable.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
  219. DAVID IN FLORIDA

    Absolutely.
    Look at the similarities to ancient Rome.
    We don't invest in our infrastructure anymore. We do not have a citizen army.
    We are lost our sources of cheap foreign resources and now cannot actually pay for what we import (oil being #1).
    As an aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, we now are turning our country into a fortress and overspend our limited resources in a defend mindset that fits the Roman "Attila at the Gates" mindset.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  220. Peter in VA

    Most Americans realize that we are in decline and even the Republican politicians know it but don't care because they're getting their pockets lined by the wealthy to stay in office. The last time the wealth gap was this big was in 1928. Well here we are again heading towards another depression and our own "Arab Spring" here in the USA. Wake up America, the GOP doesn't care about you, they'll be okay and that's all that counts.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  221. Johnny C (Los Angeles)

    Hi Jack –

    The only people that are in denial are either living under a rock or that they are benefitting from this downturn. Let's see, those doing well are the banks, wall street, and the governments (local, state & federal).

    Entrepreneurship has been the one defining point in our US History ... "The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of lower and into higher productivity and greater yield". If anything, we should actually be on the incline, instead of the decline because Americans now have a greater marketing capability due to world internet communications.

    So, what has changed? With this scenario and the American spirit to invent and improve, we should be doing great. Perhaps it is because the Banks are not loaning, the Stock Market has taken away financial resources that could be utilized to get an idea off of the ground, our governments are bloated and non-effective, oh, and the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

    Perhaps there is a lot more going on behind the scenes driving "Occupy Wall Street". And do you really expect the ones in denial to do anything to help out? Especially if they are the ones that are succeeding under today's conditions.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
  222. Damie

    Our politicians are certainly in denial publicly, if not privately, about the decline of the US. Republicans seem to be particularly slow to own the fact that the USA is not the greatest country on earth – at least not for long. Only in the aftermath of Lehman has the Average Joe taken note of our decline. Many want to blame Wall Street, but the fact is that corruption runs deep in our society. Those who took out mortgages they could not afford were no less greedy than the bankers. Parents who failed to discipline their kids properly and instill values that would help them get ahead have given us an over-abundance of "losers" who think they are entitled to everything from a job to healthcare to good pay, etc.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  223. James

    Jack,
    I don't believe that anyone is in denial over our decline, they are just in denial that their chosen party is as much to blame as the "other" one.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  224. Blue Jade

    Definitely and I could not agree with you more. Just go to Asian and you will s and hear signs everywhere. But we have to
    get used to the idea that the world is not and should not be ours ONLY to take. We have to grow up and learn to share.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
  225. Gloria in the NW

    I think those of us watching our jobs and houses disppear while the Congress is held captive by the 1% paid helpers know perfectly well we are in decline. Unfortunately the power elites that need to acknowledge the facts and get their heads out of the sand will wait 'til they are falling down the approacing cliff before they start thinking, "Gee, maybe I should have paid better attention." Learn how to form new communities, build your own shelters, and grow your own vegetables - and figure out how to get water - because unless some political miracle happens, we are on our own.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  226. Danny T.

    Of course. Why? Because Marx & Engels were probably correct. At least Groucho & Harpo were!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:43 pm |
  227. James Robishaw

    Yes Jack it is and you know it. Where does one begin? The slashing of the defense budget as China and Russia increase their's? Obama's trillion dollar stimulus packet that he does not talk about, the one where now one knows where the money went. So now he touts another "Jobs Bill" and he states that that will relieve unemployment? This man does not have a clue.
    I could write a thesis on this subject but I think that you get my point.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
  228. mach1pony

    American exceptionism? What makes someone exceptional is not how you view yourself but how you are viewed by others. Calling yourself exceptional is ... well... truely an American trait. Rude, arrogant, and not deserving of the title. In very few ways is America exceptional. Health care, infant mortality, longevity, poverty rates, crime rates.... all below most industrialized countries. Politics is a complete failure. Education system is an utter joke, graduating a bunch of morons. We work 51 weeks out of the year and can barely afford things.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  229. Whome

    It's not a matter of being in decline, it's how fast the decline will be and how far down it will be.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  230. AB

    America is definitely in denial about what is obvious to the rest of the world-The decline of America as a economic and world power. We need to face the fact that we no longer produce anything of value in this country. Every product that we use is made in China which is a developing economic and world power. The quality of our educational attainments and quality of life are also in decline. We have a dearth of people who knowlegeable about math and science. Other countries surpass us in that department. This decline has been decades in the making and cannot really be reversed. Every superpower will experience this decline and America is no exception.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  231. Logan P

    You really need to take your remaining time in power to right the wrongs of the past....stop murdering innocent civilians from other countries, bring your troops home, and use your remaining power and money for good, not evil. And maybe, just maybe, the next super power will not wipe you out completely.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  232. StaciB

    The sooner we admit it, the sooner we can get the "lose face" stage out of the way and then make some intelligent decisions to attempt to re-build our nation. ie: End the wars. Cut back on our "buy temporary foreign friendship" programs.

    Our Employment-Population ratio is presently 58.3%. No wonder those who have jobs are tired. They're carrying quite a load and it can only get worse.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
  233. Ray from TN

    I don't think Americans are in denial but I'm quite sure these morons in Congress and the Senate are. These clowns have no clue. Until we fire all these clowns, stop patrolling the world , we should start thinking of taking of ourselves and screw everybody else.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  234. Kristi in Texas

    Yes, and it’s solely because of the failure of our education system. If we were educated, we wouldn’t have been talked into accepting bad moorage loans. If we were educated, we wouldn’t be losing out to foreign countries for high tech jobs. If we were educated, we would see through the lies our politician are telling us. If we were educated, we would understand history and know not to make the same mistakes. Only if we were educated……

    October 18, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
  235. AB

    America is definitely in denial about what is obvious to the rest of the world-The decline of America as a economic and world power. We need to face the fact that we no longer produce anything of value in this country. Every product that we use is made in China which is a developing economic and world power. The quality of our educational attainments and quality of life are also in decline. We have a dearth of people who are knowlegeable about math and science. Other countries surpass us in that department. This decline has been decades in the making and cannot really be reversed. Every superpower will experience this decline and America is no exception.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  236. Bruce of DE

    jack,
    The Occupy Wall Street participants are well aware of the decllne, and want change before the greed get brutal. It is the Republicans, particularly the Neocons and pro-corporation Teabaggers who are in denial. Some call it class warfare. Some call it survival. I call it evolution via revolution.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  237. John Daniel Tatman

    Yes we are in decline. Yes we are the largest economy, the top military and diplomatic powers... But I bet with the emerging markets our percentage of the world economy is much less than it was at the end of the cold war. That was the last real change of power as USSR collapsed. We were handed even more power than ever before.

    We need a message that can put a positive spin on the fact that we are declining in power. EVERYONE needs to bring back the JFK mentality. "Ask not what your country can do for you..." We've seen how Americans can team together and bring about positive change. That's the kind of attitude needs to gain traction.

    We have got to figure out a common ground and get there as fast as possible!!

    October 18, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  238. Eardley Ham Woodbury, MN

    That this country is in decline should not come as a surprise to anyone. The middle class is shrinking at an accelerated rate, our nation has lost relevancy in many parts of the world, we no longer are the breadbasket of the world, and beyond the fact that our military power is still overwhelming (thanks only to our large nuclear arsenal), we really don't count for much nowadays.

    "Not with a bang, but a whimper" T.S. Elliot

    October 18, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  239. TerreG

    We ARE in decline but the powers that be are in total denial. Their arrogant attitudes and lack of honesty in assessing their complicity in this debacle is incredible.

    October 18, 2011 at 5:53 pm |