“A long habit of not thinking a thing is wrong gives him a superficial appearance of being right.” –Thomas Paine
In 1991, two wise Southern gentlemen, professors at the University of South Carolina Law School, realized that there was something radically wrong with the way things were going. Duly alarmed, they wrote a book about it titled Forsaken: The Betrayal of America’s Middle Class Since World War II. Their book chronicled how an elite globalist agenda was supplanting democracy, with profound ramifications for families:
…Since 1972, the average real wage of workers has been steadily falling… Families have maintained an appearance of prosperity by dramatically increasing borrowing and having two breadwinners instead of one. But, right now, middle-class kids don’t care and parents can’t help it because they’re just clinging to themselves. [emphasis added]
The government, once it overthrew democracy, was able to pursue policies that its allies in academia and the media loved but the people hated…
Truer words have never been written. Professors William J. Quirk and R. Randall Bridwell were prophets in their time.
How did this unhealthy situation arise?
As the only major industrial power still standing after World War II, America went from a democratic republic to an empire. The lack of competition after World War II and the global dominance of the dollar fueled a powerful welfare war state. Rather than expanding and defending America’s domestic market and industrial capacity, the powers that be instead decided that the United States would be king of a global economy. The money-making mania, always a double-edged sword, has taken hold like never before.
Global economic dominance has fueled productivity and profits at the expense of American families. Immigration without borders has driven down wages in the country, to the detriment of American families. “Free trade” agreements such as NAFTA and most favored nation agreements have been a boon for big business. Corporate profits and stock prices have been boosted by the relocation of manufacturing to cheap-labor regions such as Mexico and China.
At first, it all worked like a charm. easy money changed the mind people, fueling materialism and consumerism, addictions which in turn fueled debt financing. As a baby boomer myself, I lost count of how many times my cohorts ridiculed the penny-pinching, risk-averse ways of their parents who had lived through the Great Depression. “What does it mean to ‘save’ for something?” You can have it now!“More and more Americans have followed the example of their government and have accumulated unprecedented personal debt, a godsend for the financial sector.
While big companies took advantage of this, wages stagnated at home. Quite quickly, the US economy shifted from industrial (productive) capitalism to finance capitalism, a rentier economy heavily dependent on income from property, securities and financial services, aka FIRE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate).
Twenty-five years later Abandoned hit the shelves, the harvard business review published “Why Wages Aren’t Rising in America:”
The majority of Americans participate in economic growth through the wages they receive for their work, rather than through investment income. Unfortunately, many of these workers have behaved badly over the past few decades. Since the early 1970s, inflation-adjusted hourly wages received by the typical worker have barely increased, rising only 0.2% per year. In other words, although the economy is growing, the primary way most people benefit from that growth has almost completely stalled.
It wasn’t just Harvard. The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University published “What’s Causing Wage Stagnation in America?” stating that “American workers have been grappling with wage stagnation for several decades…Since the 1970s, the growth of “real wages” (i.e. the value of dollars paid to employees after adjusting for the inflation) has slowed relative to overall economic productivity. “Joe Sixpack understood this a long time ago.
One thing that set America apart in the post-war world was a huge, warm middle class that spawned the baby boom. Baby boomers had a standard of living that was the envy of the world. Such prosperity depends on consumer confidence (spending), which is rapidly fading. So many consumers, consciously or not, live for today and believe that tomorrow will be a continuation of the present. The good times made them credulous.
Now, yours truly is not an economist. But I see what I see. Rather than address declining fertility in the United States, the powers that be have sought to maintain the workforce through immigration, even turning a blind eye to illegal immigration. It was easier than doing something for families. Western Europe, a prosperous annex of the American empire after the war, followed suit.
In 1940, after eleven years of the Great Depression with no end in sight, the US fertility rate dropped from 2.7 in the 1930s to 2.06 below replacement level in 1940 – a drop of 24%. World War II lifted the United States out of the Depression and fertility soared to 3.6 in 1960. It then fell to 1.77 in 1980 and rose to around 2.0 in the early 2000s, mostly due to the higher fertility of recent immigrants and their families. Today, the families of these recent immigrants have joined the baby bust, and the overall US fertility rate is the lowest it has ever been.
A major problem for the American family is today’s materialistic, consumerist and politically correct philosophy. By putting prosperity ahead of family, we end up in a situation that puts both at risk.
Can it be repaired? It will require a radical change in the way people think. With generations of advertising indoctrination, number one thinking, and radical social engineering, we’ve lost our way. If the decision-making elites can’t bother to deal with it (they won’t), then the rest of us should do something that was once considered completely American: think and act for ourselves. and prioritize the future.
It will involve sacrifice and inconvenience, virtues that are not celebrated in today’s world where feeling trumps thinking. We had it easy for a long time and we got softer. But with the ongoing social collapse in the United States, there will be a mass attitude adjustment as people rethink the colossal list of commodities that have been sold to us over the past few decades.
We are first and foremost human beings, not producers and consumers. We are families, tribes, nations, and believers who can still build a better world when we stop prioritizing creature comforts and start thinking straight.