Miscellany16: The Last Days of the United States

 

© 2006 Joseph George Caldwell.  All rights reserved.  Posted at Internet web sites http://www.foundation.bw and http://www.foundationwebsite.org .  May be copied or reposted for non-commercial use, with attribution.  (18 February 2006)

 

Commentary on recent news, reading and events of personal interest.

 

 

Contents

 

The Last Days of the United States. 1

 

 

The Last Days of the United States

 

The United States is in the final stages of its glory, prior to its speedy collapse as soon as global petroleum production starts its inevitable decline.  In its greed to increase economic activity and accumulation of material wealth, it opened its borders to mass immigration and free trade.  In 1965, it passed the Immigration Act of 1965, allowing the entry of millions of immigrants from foreign cultures.  The US population in 1965 was 194 million.  Today (2006) it is 298 million.  The addition of 104 million people from foreign cultures has destroyed the culture that made the country great.

 

It has been estimated that each additional citizen added to the United States population causes the destruction of about one acre of natural land, in conversion of the natural land to urban concrete and steel (for houses, roads, schools, stores, hospitals, and the like).  That’s one hundred million acres of natural land that have been destroyed by mass immigration, since the passage of the 1965 Immigration Act.  In 1965, a man of average means could own a vacation cottage on a lake or at the seashore, in addition to his regular home.  That is no longer possible, except for the wealthy.  In 1965, it was possible to visit national parks and raft wild rivers on a moment’s notice.  Now, the crowding is so bad that it may take a year for to obtain a reservation to see the nation’s natural wonders.  In 1965, wildlife flourished in many parts of the United States.  Now, wildlife has been crowded out by urbanization in most places.

 

When I was in graduate school in 1963, a Volkswagen Beetle automobile cost $1600, a Ford Falcon (a compact car) cost $1800, and a full-size, fully equipped Chevrolet station wagon cost $3000.  Back then, $10,000 a year was a good starting salary for a person with a bachelor’s degree, and $15,000 was a good salary for an average worker.  Top civil servants and physicians made $30-35,000 per year.  A new three-bedroom house on a half-acre lot in a nice neighborhood cost about $15,000 ($22,000 for a four-bedroom one), and the interest rate on a home mortgage was about 4.5 percent.  Except for catastrophic medical events, and there weren’t many of those back then (since extreme treatment measures such as organ transplants were not around), most people could pay their medical bills by themselves, without insurance.  The physician’s bill for delivering my first son was $125 – the room rate in the hospital was about the same as in a good hotel.  Things were stable, and life was good.

 

Our leaders have squandered all of this.  John Kennedy got us into the war in Vietnam.  His brother Ted Kennedy bears significant responsibility for passage of the Immigration Act of 1965.  Lyndon Johnson started the “War on Poverty.”  Johnson and all of the presidents that followed him have pressed for mass immigration and massive free trade.  Profligate spending has bankrupted the country (US currency is worth but a fraction of its value when I was young).  Mass immigration has destroyed the European-derived culture that founded it and made it great.  Mass international trade is lowering the US standard of living to that of a third-world country.  Mass immigration is changing the US culture and population density to that of a third-world country.

 

Why would our leaders do this?  Why would they destroy a fabulous, wealthy, stable country?  First, it is important to recognize that, even in a democracy, it is the wealthy who control everything, including whom the people elect.  The “problem” with America, from the point of the wealthy, is that they were not wealthy enough.  With wealth, there is never enough.  The American wealthy envied the super-elite of other cultures – not just those in the “old countries,” but those in third-world countries.  The income distribution in the US was too “even,” too “flat,” too egalitarian. The middle class in America could afford just about the same things that the wealthy did – a nice home, two cars, a lake cottage, some travel.  The rich could not personally consume or use any more material goods, and everyone else in America enjoyed them, too.  The only way left for them to be recognized as super-wealthy was to impoverish everyone else.  What was needed was a much greater separation of the middle class from the wealthy, as in most of the rest of the world.  How to bring this about?  There were two very effective means available for accomplishing this.  First was to flood the country with immigrants, to destroy the cultural homogeneity of the middle class.  Second was to open our borders to massive international free trade.  There was no way that American workers’ salaries – tens of thousands of dollars per year – could compete with third-world salaries of a few hundred dollars a year.  The middle class would be driven into “third-world” status, and the wealthy, who controlled the economic process, would now achieve their goal of becoming “super rich” – not just in absolute material means, but in socially relative terms as well.

 

The ruling elite have profited much by the sale of America, and the middle class have paid the cost.  In 1965, a single man could afford to own a nice home and one or two cars, and have his wife stay at home to care for the children.  That is no longer possible for the US middle class.  Both man and wife have to work in the competitive labor market if they ever wish to own a nice home.  The cost of sending a child to college was modest in 1965.  Now, it is beyond the reach of many, without years of financial sacrifice or going deep into debt.

 

When Senator Ted Kennedy was pressing for passage of the Immigration Act of 1965, some people, such as Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina warned that mass immigration would destroy US culture.  We now see clearly how correct he was.  The US government is paralyzed by “tyranny of the minority” – the fact that, under democratic rule, any small minority of the now-heterogeneous country can thwart the will of European culture that created the country.  This does not bother the wealthy, of course, since, whatever their original ethnicity, once wealthy they possess a culture of their own.

 

By opening its borders to mass immigration and massive international free trade, the US government has destroyed good paying jobs for most of its citizens, except for the medical establishment, whose high salaries it subsidizes by means of public health insurance programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.  It has flooded the country with low-cost goods and low-cost immigrant labor, forcing its citizens to compete with world-labor wage rates, such as a dollar a day.

 

All US economists care about is economic efficiency and maximizing economic activity.  To them, culture and the environment are irrelevant “externalities.”  Massive free trade (North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA)) do promote economic efficiency and growth – but globally, not locally.  Unfortunately, massive international free trade is destroying the US middle class, since the US standard of living and wages are very much higher than elsewhere, and they must ultimately and inevitably fall to the levels of the third-world nations with whom they are now being forced to compete with by their economic masters.  Mass immigration causes economic growth in the short term.  Unfortunately, the destruction of the European culture that made America great will ultimately lead to the destruction of the US and kill the goose that laid the golden egg, as the US is transformed into a third-world nation, culture, and environment.

 

Our leaders, representing the wealthy elite, are in the process of transforming the US into a third-world country, with an impoverished, vastly diminished, middle class.  This is being done by means of mass immigration and massive international free trade.  Because of our policies of mass immigration, the US population is exploding, at the rate of about one percent a year, or about three million people a year.  This is comparable to the growth rate of third-world countries.  In third-world countries, high population growth is largely the result of a high birth rate.  In the US, it is because of immigration.  The US currently accepts about a million legal immigrants a year and about two million illegal immigrants a year.  In 1965, the birth rate for US whites was less than replacement level, and the birth rate for US blacks – the largest minority, representing about 10 percent of the population – was just above that.  The US had completed the so-called “demographic transition,” and its population had about stabilized.  Immigration at that time was about 300,000 people per year, almost exclusively from European countries.

 

By deliberate, conscious action on the part of the ruling elite – the wealthy, and the US political leaders who do their bidding, the stable, relatively homogeneous country of 1965 has now been largely destroyed.  As noted, the population has been increased from 194 million in 1965 to 298 million today (2006).  Overcrowding is becoming severe.  Racial and ethnic strife are increasing, as the once-dominant European majority is pushed out of the way.  The ability of an average citizen to own his own home, without his wife having to work in the competitive labor market, has been destroyed.

 

The US leaders were bent on destroying the middle class, and they have just about completed the accomplishment of that goal.

 

The changes that have taken place in the US over the past fifty years may not be apparent to our young people, but they are very apparent to a person of my age (63).

 

As historian Will Durant observed, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.”  America has destroyed itself from within, and will soon be conquered from without.

 

Our government repeatedly and continually claims that it needs low-cost immigrant labor “to do jobs that Americans are no longer willing to do.”  Previously, with our borders closed to cheap foreign goods and cheap immigrant labor, manual laborers in the US made many times the wage rate that foreign workers did.  It is impossible to compete with labor that earns one-fiftieth as much as the US paid its workers, unless borders are closed.  By means of open borders, mass immigration, and massive international free trade, the US government is now in the process of making its own workers as poor as the workers in the rest of the world.  It has betrayed its own people.  In this context, it is of interest to note the advice of Artembares to Cyrus (see A Study of History by Arnold J. Toynbee, Abridgement of Volumes I-VI by D. C. Somervell, Oxford University Press, 1946, pp. 85-86).

 

 

 

The Advice of Artembares

 

“Herodotus has a story which is very much to the point in this context.  A certain Atembares and his friends came to Cyrus with the following suggestion:

‘”Now that Zeus has put down Astyages from his seat and has given the dominion to the Persians as a nation and to you, Sire, as an individual, why should we not emigrate from the confined and rocky territory which we at present possess, and occupy a better?  There are many near at hand and many more at a distance, of which we have only to take our choice in order to make a greater impression on the world than we make as it is.  This is a natural policy for an imperial people, and we shall never have a finer opportunity of realizing it than now, when our empire is established over vast populations and over the entire continent of Asia.’

“Cyrus, who had listened and had not been impressed, told his petitioners to do as they wished, but he qualified his advice by telling them in the same breath to prepare their minds for exchanging positions with their present subjects.  ‘Soft countries,’ he informed them, ‘invariably breed soft men.’”

 

The Dream about the Man Feeding Pigeons in the Park

 

As you may know from my writings, I am somewhat of a mystical bent.  When I was very young, I had a dream about a man feeding pigeons in a park.  I had this dream many times, and it is always the same.  Each day, an elderly gentleman came to a park, lined with large trees and park benches.   He carried with him a bag of peanuts, and he sat on one of the park benches, feeding the pigeons.  When he first came to the park, there were few pigeons.  Over time, the number of pigeons gradually increased.  Before too long, the old man no longer had enough peanuts to feed all of the pigeons.  But the number of pigeons increased each day.  One day, when the man had exhausted his bag of peanuts, the hungry pigeons savagely attacked him.  He fell to the ground, where the pigeons swarmed over him, tearing at his flesh, and pecking his eyes out.

 

I asked my father, what does this dream mean?  He explained to me that the old man represented the United States, and the pigeons represented the world’s poor.  The US will give and give, but the numbers of poor will grow without bound, to the point where they overwhelm and destroy it.

 

The Dream about Missing Class

 

I have one other recurring dream.  I have had the dream throughout my life, since graduating from college.  The dream changes a little each year.  In the dream, I am a student back at my alma mater of Carnegie Tech (Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie-Mellon University).  Much of the semester passes, and I attend my courses.  One day, I happen to see a copy of my course schedule, and I am shocked to see that I have forgotten all about one of my key courses.  Unfortunately, it is now far too late to drop the course.  Final exams are in about a week, and there is hardly enough time to make up all of the work.  The dream ends in a never-ending state of agony of knowing that I have made a terrible mistake, and it is so late that I cannot see what to do about it.

 

Over the years, the dream has recurred.  The dream is always the same, except for the fact that each time, there is less and less time before the end of the semester.  The last time I had the dream, a few weeks ago, classes were over and it was now the final-exam period.  It was now absolutely too late to do anything about it.

 

What does this dream mean?  Is it a story of my life?  Have I forgotten to do something that is terribly important, and it is now too late?  Is my dream an allegory of what is happening to the United States and the western industrialized world?  The Western world learned the technology to create an incredible industrial civilization, but it forgot to study one key topic – spirituality? – so that all is now lost.