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chucklmiller's avatar

Has America passed its prime?

Asked by chucklmiller (386points) March 27th, 2009

Throughout history great countries have risen to world power, then crumbled for various reasons. Is our time up? Is 233 years the beginning of America’s downturn as the most powerful country in the world? Have we passed our prime…?

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21 Answers

TheIowaCynic's avatar

Yes. We gave up the Ghost, post world war 2. We stopped lending and started borrowing. We stopped exporting and started importing. The once hardy American people have come to see their government like the candy man. We’ve lost our vigor and sense of independence. We’re also standing idle, watching our nation get invaded by 10’s of millions of illegal immigrants who see themselves as victims; something our forefathers never would have dreamed of. They’re turning over in their graves.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, it’s more like a teenager suffering from hormone surge.

scamp's avatar

Nah, We are still very young as far as countries go, and we are just hitting our stride! The best is yet to come.

marinelife's avatar

It’s too soon to tell. We need to turn several things around:


Dog's avatar

No. We have not even entered it yet!

All countries go through ups and downs and the USA is no exception. I agree with @scamp the best is yet to come.

seekingwolf's avatar

Yeah, we’ve passed our prime.

We’ve risen so much in a remarkably short amount of time. How do you think we’ll fall? Sharply and quickly.

When that will happen, I don’t know…

ABoyNamedBoobs03's avatar

Have we hit the breaking point? yes. But are we too far to turn it around, I don’t think so yet. This presidency is pivotol. Many changes are planned in the next four years, if they begin to pay off then it’s reasonable to assume we’ll see another large surge, but if we don’t pay off, I think we’ll hit a full blown tail spin.

SeventhSense's avatar

Hopefully we’ll learn to stop damaging and start contributing to the common international good and then maybe we can be a world leader once again. Perhaps we’ll have to learn to take our rightful place in the world but that may have the benefit of allowing us to focus on our domestic concerns. If we can’t get out of our adolescent angst as a nation we may just crash and burn like a drunk teenager after the prom.

Knotmyday's avatar

No. As long as we let freedom ring… And I agree with Marina on education.
Teachers are our only hope…

I’m not a teacher, by the way. If you are, bless you for that avocation.

SeventhSense's avatar

Letting freedom ring and ring and ring.
It’s enough to wake the dead already.

LostInParadise's avatar

The era of Western dominance (Europe and U.S.) is coming to an end. The world is becoming multi-polar. So the relative power of the U.S. has been diminishing, but that does not mean that we still can’t be a significant player.

SeventhSense's avatar

Teaching and education have nothing in common in this country. There are only a handful of areas that have anything remotely passing for education and among those only a handful of teachers that have the guts to actually introduce critical thinking. We need to encourage people like these to change the system.

Knotmyday's avatar

@SeventhSense – That’s an interesting blanket statement. As is the case, it is also not altogether true. It may provoke a fiery debate for ya, though… Let me know how that goes.

Jack79's avatar

yes, it has passed its prime. But it’s not failing just yet. Mainly because there’s nobody else to take over. But I think we’ll see it within our lifetimes.

2corgis's avatar

Has there ever been a time when we were really at “our prime”? If we haven’t been at war, then some group has been oppressed. I think it depends on what you call “America”. If we are referring to the nuclear family, 1950’s post WWII utopia, then I’m confident that we won’t return that “prime”. But, I think it depends on who you are, your race, your history in order to answer this question. I can’t think of a time in our history that we could really pin down a time of stability and peace either domestically (sp?) or abroad.

tabbycat's avatar

I agree that it is too soon to tell. We have definitely hit a rough patch, but I don’t believe it is too late to turn things around, provided we are willing to seriously reassess some priorities. I believe that President Obama is on the right path, but change usually comes slowly.

SeventhSense's avatar

Granted my statement is pretty vague and general and I would have a hell of a time doing that research. Maybe when I’m paid for it I’ll pursue it.
But it is from experience after having gone through the system and having been a teacher in it.
The groundbreaking educational theories of person like Paolo Freire which I learned as an educator are being implemented rarely if at all. He challenged the “banking theory of education” which states that children are just repositories for facts and given instruction in this manner. We reward this type of parroting and recitation as learning. Consider the countless tests that we’ve aced but have little recollection. Furthermore the instructor and instructed are both actively learning in his model. The instructor is as much taught by the students as student is taught by the teacher.

To think that such work can be realized when the theoretical context is separated in such a way from the learners’ concrete experiences is only possible for one who judges that the content is taught without reference to and independently from what the learners already know from their experiences prior to entering school….
He argued against models of education that are still extensively used to instruct:
Content cannot be taught, except in an authoritarian, vanguardist way, as if it was a set of things, pieces of knowledge, that can be superimposed on or juxtaposed to the conscious body of the learners. Teaching, learning, and knowing have nothing to do with this mechanistic practice.

Nially_Bob's avatar

The US has not been what could be reasonably perceived by most as a ‘superpower’ until the early 20th century, not for 233 years.
In answer to the question, it’s difficult to predict, there are a few key traits that great powers have displayed shortly before their downfall (intrinsic turmoil being one many historians agree upon) but none so conclusive or consistent that they could be applied for predictive purposes to any substantially useful degree, especially when taking the gradual develop of humanity as a whole that has occurred between each powers rise into account. If I am to make an educated judgement based solely upon what I understand of the current status of institutions and societal dynamics within the US I would predict that it has not yet reached it’s prime in terms of economic power and sociological development but, as previously hinted towards, when this pinnacle is reached I believe the ‘fall from grace’ shall come suddenly and be exceedingly severe.

TheKNYHT's avatar

Empires of the past have endured for about 200 to 300 years before they start to deteriorate and become less than what they envisioned for all their ideals and dreams, and more than what they bargained for when they became too powerful and thus autonomous politically speaking (unaccountable), and that’s when they become Empires that push their weight around.
Not to worry though about America, her demise was well thought out, and those that are executing these plans are doing quite the splendid job! : D

quarkquarkquark's avatar

America, and with it the concept of capitalism as we know it, might be approaching its sell-by date. It’s starting to seem like there’s just too many people and too complicated an infrastructure for traditional capitalism to continue existence. All of the USA’s significant social and political systems are designed around this one economic ideal. With the collapse of capitalism will come the collapse of America.

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