23 March 2009

Of Bread and Circuses

Professor Hanson at PJs wonders publicly if America is going the way of the Roman Empire due to crooked politicians and rude businessmen on planes. The piece is worth your time:

It is easy to dismiss our ancestors as illiberal, or with the caveat “Oh, but if we were as poor as they were, we’d have to prove just as tough”, but we still sense they were different in the sense of far better. When I drive up to see those Sierra dams poured in the 1920s, one wonders how they made such things with only primitive machines, and in contrast, are amazed with our sophisticated tools, we do so much less.

This self-congratulatory generation can hardly, as we are learning, build a Bay Bridge again. Yet when we see on the Internet pictures of a new aircraft carrier we are stunned in amazement—we did that? We built such a powerful, sophisticated ship? We—at least someone— can actually still do things on rare occasion like that?

Lately, there seems to be a lot of concern about America becoming some second-rate entitlement state. But what are you gonna do?


Bag Blog said...

If we have to post the calorie intake of a Bic Mac on the menu, because people are too stupid to know that a hamburger is more fattening than a salad, I fear we are doomed.