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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 02:48 PM

25. "Why American and Britain are Self-Destructing" - great piece via Eudiamonics

How The Death Spiral of a Rich Society Begins With Austerity, and Ends With Poverty, Despair, and Collapse

https://eand.co/why-american-and-britain-are-self-destructing-a8693ebb097
There’s a simple fact that’s not noticed or remarked on nearly enough. The world’s two large English speaking societies, America and Britain, are collapsing. And they are collapsing in eerily similar ways, for eerily similar reasons, too. Yet in these societies, this basic point doesn’t seem to be understood much, if at all. And yet it’s not really a matter for debate. It’s a simple empirical fact.

There are only two societies in the rich world where life is getting shorter, poorer, meaner, and more hopeless — fast. Where life expectancies, incomes, and savings are all falling. America and Britain. Where middle classes have imploded, people live hand to mouth, and upward mobility has all but vanished. Where the idea of living a better life is somewhere between a joke and a distant memory. Where entire generations of young people — at last count, three, Gen X, Millennials, and Get Z — live worse lives than their parents and grandparents. Just two such societies where trust, happiness, and purpose have all imploded catastrophically — while depression, rage, anxiety, and suicide are all surging.

In fact, there are just a handful of societies with those grim statistics anywhere in the world — Venezeula, perhaps, Russia, North Korea, war torn African shells. Failed states, in other words. That is what America and Britain are becoming.

In a failed state, progress has become regress. That’s what happened to these societies. They are self-destructing. America, of course, is further down that road. But Britain is catching up fast. So how did they get here?

America and Britain have entered a vicious cycle, a death spiral. It’s a novel and bizarre phenomenon for a modern, rich society, unseen since Weimar Germany. It goes like this. In the 1980s, America began decades of underinvestment in public goods and social systems. It privatized whatever there was to privatize. The idea was that whatever it was — healthcare, education, finance — the private sector could do it better. The Reagan Revolution was in full effect — as a backlash to the advances civil rights made in the 1960s and 1970s, the good white American using “choice” as a shield to protect themselves from ever having to invest in or mingle with those dirty, filthy subhumans. All that was called “neoliberalism.” Let markets sort it all out! Translation: let the strong survive, and the weak perish.

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