OCALA, Fla., August 22, 2013 — The boy throws a baseball to his father, and Dad catches it in the palm of his gloved hand.
“Nice toss, son!” He says with an encouraging smile.
Afterward, his daughter shouts “Here it comes, Dad!” and tosses the baseball. Like before, Dad reaches for the ball and catches it in midair.
“Great toss, sweetheart,” he states.
Later, a different boy warns “Get ready, Dad!” and sends the baseball off. Unlike before, Dad is not the typical suburban-looking thirtysomething, but a life-sized check from the federal government. The ball hits the check and bounces off of it, falling to the ground shortly before Uncle Sam’s subsidy does.
As the check struggles on the grass, a narrator offers some insightful words: “Government checks; they can replace fathers, but not very well.”
The scene then cuts to an advertisement for economist Aaron Clarey’s ebooks. One of these, released earlier this year, is entitled “Enjoy the Decline”. It draws the conclusion that America is so far gone socioeconomically that all concerned citizens can do is sit back and relax as the country deteriorates.
Yesterday, Clarey spoke about how and why he determined that our country is falling down. Today, he shares more of his views on the subject.
For instance, why has he encouraged people to enjoy the United States’s decline?
“What else are they supposed to do?” He asks. “If they try to stop it, they’ll waste their lives on a problem that cannot be fixed. Instead I’m much more practical. I recommend people take inventory of their lives and find out how to benefit the most from it, regardless of what’s happening in the public sector.”
Beyond economics, Clarey claims that “Kim Kardashian and the fact rap is more popular than jazz” lead him to believe American social values are crumbling
He elaborates on what he thinks caused these values to deteriorate: “The Baby Boomer Generation. Without a doubt. When you go from Frank Sinatra to Jim Morrison in 8 years, that’s not a slow transition from musical tastes of society, that is an immediate change purposely forced by a generation determined to ignore wisdom, taste, culture and value just for the sake of doing so.
“But music is only one aspect. Fashion turned hideous, divorce became an Olympic event, the idea of outsourcing your children to daycare became standard, nearly every aspect of work, effort, and ethic was thrown out the door and every non-economic aspect of society shows it.”
All of this might bring one to the conclusion that America has seen its best days. Does Clarey hold this view?
“Absolutely,” he remarks. “It was the 1940’s-1950’s and we will never see that again. The reason why is because not only are all the new Americans (immigrants) against adopting and pursuing traditional American values (excellence, individualism, capitalism, freedom, etc.), but the native Americans (not Indians, but non-immigrant Americans) are also becoming more and more against traditional American values.
“We mock classical American culture, we ridicule ‘hard work,’ we villainize success, we reward inferior performance and mediocrity, and we spend more time finding ways to feel sorry for ourselves and be ‘victims’ than we do finding ways to produce and succeed. Again, it won’t be until this unsustainable system collapses will ‘America,’ if it’s even around, will see a resurgence.”
It is easy to dismiss Clarey as a pessimist or grouchy capitalist who harbors irrational fears about the present and future. It is indeed easy — a bit too easy. There lies the problem.
While emotion would surely lead us to bury our heads in the sand and convince ourselves that things will be better tomorrow, do we have any honest reason to do such a thing? Will the skies brighten simply because we want them to? Have humans acquired some new metaphysical powers not known to scientists around the world?
Sad as it is to say, the future offers not a sunrise, but a sunset. The American Way has been lost amid too many crises to count — from mortgages that allow people to buy homes they cannot afford to free trade agreements to destructive tax loopholes to a culture which emphasizes style over substance to political extremism and much too much more.
The American Dream must persist for the sake of civilized society. The question is if most people have even a fleeting concept of what this dream means.
A tough question with a deducible answer that is almost definitely not what the masses want to hear.
Far-left? Far-right? Get real: Read more from “The Conscience of a Realist” by Joseph F. Cotto
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