The U.S.’s decline started with little things that people got used to. Americans drove past empty construction sites and didn’t even think about why the workers weren’t working, then wondered why roads and buildings took so long to finish. They got used to avoiding hospitals because of the unpredictable and enormous bills they’d receive… They grumbled about high taxes and high health-insurance premiums and potholed roads, but rarely imagined what it would be like to live in a system that worked better.
The most immediate cost of U.S. decline — and the most vivid demonstration — comes from the country’s disastrous response to the coronavirus pandemic.
You speak to an American, they’re convinced America’s the greatest country in the world. If you ask them why, they’ll throw out all manner of things, and indeed, there’s many things that are pretty good.
However, if you looked at America over the last 6 months, particularly as coronavirus has set in, as an independent observer you’d be hard put to say the trade-offs are worth it. It’s amazing if you’re rich in America; it’s terrible if you’re poor. I don’t know about you, but it’s not quite the balance you’d like to be living with.