Comments on: An unstable world doesn’t necessarily mean a declining America Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:27:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: BajaArizona Fri, 18 May 2012 04:55:29 +0000 usagadgly, you have made a poor choice of the Marshall Plan to deride giant give-aways. The Marshall plan, begun in 1948 and continuing for 4 years, was one of the most cost effective foreign policy decisions in the history of the United States.

From the Marshall Plan Foundation’s website:

“Europe was devastated by years of conflict during World War II. Millions of people had been killed or wounded. Industrial and residential centers in England, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Belgium and elsewhere lay in ruins. Much of Europe was on the brink of famine as agricultural production had been disrupted by war. Transportation infrastructure was in shambles. The only major power in the world that was not significantly damaged was the United States.

Shattered European nations received nearly $13 billion in aid, which initially resulted in shipments of food, staples, fuel and machinery from the United States and later resulted in investment in industrial capacity in Europe.

Marshall Plan nations were assisted greatly in their economic recovery. From 1948 through 1952 European economies grew at an unprecedented rate. Trade relations led to the formation of the North Atlantic alliance. Economic prosperity led by coal and steel industries helped to shape what we know now as the European Union.”

Without the Marshall Plan, it is highly probable that Western Europe would have fallen to the Soviet Union. With it, Europe was able to recover swiftly and did not fall prey to the same kind of fascist leaders which a decade of economic depression produced in Germany by 1933. The Marshall Plan also enormously enhanced the soft power of the United States and the willingness of Europeans to stand with us during the Cold War.

Without the Marshall Plan, the economic prosperity of the United States and Europe of the last 70 years would not have been possible.

The rest of your comment reveals an abundance of emotional bitterness which I can relate to somewhat but am having difficulty understanding your precise point. Yes, times are changing and old strategies will need to be changed. That’s certainly true. But it remains important to understand history as it happened, and not view past events through the filter of modern bias.

By: usagadfly Fri, 11 May 2012 22:41:26 +0000 Who wants the USA to behave like it did in 1947 with the Marshall Plan?? That was, simply, a giant give-away. And it became the model “Greatest Generation” politicians laid down for themselves and their children. Interventionist. Imperial. Military. Aggressive. Very manipulative and self-righteous.

Most of that generation are dead now, and their children who want to carry on the family tradition try to push one invasion after another, “free trade” that is not free, and a quasi-religious claim to America’s history. That kind of thinking is, simply, doomed. We are so indebted by those policies that ordinary Americans face a future that has not been bleaker since 1934, during the Great Depression. Most Americans do not want to finish the initiatives already underway.

This country has never been even remotely close to as diverse as it is today. This is no longer a run away British colony. It becomes less Western daily. The world has changed. If you are an old style, chest thumping Superpower worshiper you are simply out of touch. Do your own fighting, spend your own money, but leave the rest of us to try to survive changes we struggle with. Who cares if you have bragging rights in some Country Club??

By: SeaWa Fri, 11 May 2012 17:03:00 +0000 The West has evolved so much, it’s hard to tell. The West is not in a decline, and the United States is not losing political will. However, reminiscing on days or yore and reading ddavid’s post it strikes me that we have lost our broad American culture. It has been displaced by an even broader Western culture that we now share across North America and Europe as well as other places such as Australia. South America, Asia, and the Middle east will soon have a great influence in our culture, displacing what we all know today.

So, we have lost our cohesiveness, our uniqueness, and many of our liberties. The private sector has become the capitalist world, no longer loyal to the U.S., and our politicians are bought by special interests with tremendous influence from foreign cultures and governments.

Therefore, are we declining militarily, politically, or economically? No. Have we lost our identify? Yes.

By: WeWereWallSt Thu, 10 May 2012 06:22:47 +0000 Ian, besides hacking up that fabulous bear joke — tell it with some swagger, dude! — you could have tweeted your reply to Blathering Rush in two words “eff off,” and been done with it.

Henry Ford had it right: “Never complain, never explain, especially when it’s Rush Limbaugh on the other side.”

By: spaceshipblue Thu, 10 May 2012 03:06:26 +0000 Dear Ian, thank you for sharing your insight. I recently saw your Charlie Rose interview and look forward to reading your new book. Best wishes, Ruth ~ Houston, TX

By: dddavid Wed, 09 May 2012 23:08:11 +0000 You could add some double digits to your age. According to the replies, I must be the oldest on board – call me Senior ++.
BTW: 1957 was the best year for teenagers. You don’t know what you missed; You could buy bubble gum for a penny; I think gas was .25 cents; government didn’t intrude into your personal life; We had have half the laws that are on the books now; We had time for fishing and a weekly sock hop. TV was Black & White, but who cared? We listened to Dick Clark, American Bandstand, and 45 Record was .25 cents. Cops still forgave tickets, as long as you weren’t a repeat offender. One could hitchhike without worry – the 1st or second car would pick you up.

To be frank we are living in jail now without bars. The key to control is complacency and fear, and we allowed that generation after generation because no one looked back and a cohesive society became torn. Back then you didn’t have to be known or famous, everyone waved hello whether they knew you or not. Today we don’t even know who lives 3 houses down.

And most of all, it only required 1 wage earner to pay rent, feed the family, and have plenty left over for vacation or the savings account. A house was $5,000 therefore there weren’t too many rentals, other than in large cities. $2,000 bought a brand new screaming car, that today’s auctions brings over $100,000
I do wonder what future generations will say about today’s ? (It certainly has been a steady downhill road which is hard to imagine stopping any time soon.) Americans are know to have a short memory and an attention span of 30 seconds.