2) Debt: We've come a long way since the early days of the American republic when Thomas Jefferson had ferocious debates with Congress about whether we could afford to build a four-ship Navy to defend American shipping from the Barbary pirates. Today, even the almost half a billion dollars a year in corporate welfare that we give to PBS is considered to be a budgetary necessity in D.C. Additionally, we have a 16 trillion dollar debt that we're adding more than a trillion to every year. Despite the fact that members of both parties agree that this is "unsustainable," the most serious plan put forward to deal with it that could conceivably pass Congress (Paul Ryan's plan) wouldn't balance the budget for another 28 years and NOBODY seems to think that we can pay off the debt we already owe. By 2020, the United States is on track to need 19% of the world's GDP to fund our debt. It's frightening enough to think that we could be that dependent on other nations just to continue to function, but it's even more terrifying to realize that Washington politicians have no intent of stopping there. They intend to keep the pedal all the way down to the floorboard until we run right off a cliff into hyperinflation or default.
3) Decay In Entertainment: During WWII, when we had troops in the field, Hollywood made movies portraying them as heroes fighting for a just cause. Today, Hollywood undermines the war effort and talks about the troops like unstable drones. Actors openly encourage hatred against the country where they became rich and famous. Fifty years ago, Hollywood was much more culturally conservative and concerned about the moral values that television and movies promoted. Today, Hollywood generates a cultural sewer so rank that you'd have to go back to some of the more perverse Roman emperors to find anything comparable -- and that's before you even consider the habitual rudeness, stupidity, and ever present pornography of the Internet. You can’t expect a generation of kids who grew up without dads, never went to church, and spent their formative years watching Jersey Shore, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and anti-American garbage like Machete to produce an overabundance of model citizens.
4) Politics: As a society, we moved from expecting politicians to be better than the rest of us to expecting them to be more degenerate than the rest of us. Ted Kennedy left a woman to die in a tidal pool and was reelected. Marion Barry was reelected after being caught smoking crack. Barack Obama is the first President to be elected after admitting he used cocaine. Barney Frank had a prostitution ring run out of his apartment. Just this last election cycle, Jesse Jackson, Jr. was reelected from the Mayo Clinic. Because of the partisan leans of states and gerrymandering, for a majority of politicians, they have lifetime appointments and elections are mere formalities. Additionally, because of the corruption in Congress and the big money to be made off government decisions, serving in Congress has become a distressingly lucrative job. In 2010, the average net worth of a senator was 13.1 million dollars and the average member of the House was worth 5.9 million dollars. It's ironic that we hear so much negative talk about the "1 percent" from politicians in Congress because most of them are in the 1 percent and the majority of them got there through connections, corruption, and by handing out favors instead of earning it. If the people get the government they deserve, what does the quality of the representatives we have in Washington say about our people?
5) Marriage: Between 1890-1950 black Americans had higher marriage rates than white Americans. Since then, we’ve seen the unconscionable slaughter of more than 50 million innocent children since Roe v. Wade, an explosion of out-of-wedlock births and a deterioration of marriage. In 1900 the divorce rate in America was 8.1% while in recent years, it has hovered between 40%-50%. Additionally, the illegitimacy rate has gone up 300% just since 1970. Today, amongst under 30 women, 73% of black children, 53% of Latinos, and 29% of white children are born out-of-wedlock. Marriage in America is going through a Great-Depression-style crisis and there is nothing on the horizon that seems likely to lift us out of the tailspin.
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