You know that times are bad when even landfill owners are complaining about the drop-off in the amount of refuse produced by Americans. I see this as a good sign, however. Not only good, but both inevitable and soon to become something akin to the sea change from high tide to low.
The United States of America has--for 170 years since the time of Alexis de Tocqueville--been the world's favorite son. The Dutch Empire lasted for about 150 years and the Second British Empire for about 130. Both owed their decline in major part to the obsolescence of their power generation systems--for the Dutch, it was their hydrology and for the British their coal-fired industrial revolution. When their source of power diminished, either through inefficiency or resource depletion, their empire withered and died.
The U.S. is faced with exactly the same circumstance today. Geopolitics has driven American foreign policy since the end of the Civil War and the concomitant rapid growth of industrialization in this country. We are a leviathan empire whose culture, machinery, and arsenal are slickened with oil. With the arrival of peak oil production already upon us, the end is in sight for U.S. supremacy over world commerce and economic growth.
China has outmaneuvered us in buying up the rights to the rare earth metals that are needed for the production of computers, cell phones, and hybrid electric car batteries. Unwilling to sell the U.S. the raw materials, China will only allow us to purchase the end products. Thus, we will continue to be in debt to them for the foreseeable future.
I expect to be blogging on this subject much more in coming days. Climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, and America's public debt are the issues that will result in our continuing decline in status as a world power. They are really the only issues that matter. They are the issues that most threaten an oligarchy such as the U.S. That is why they are below the radar screen--made in China--of the mainstream media, the president, and the Congress. I will be the ant knocking on the door of the drawbridge, trying to wake the sleeping giant.