Decline in America Essay

Decline in America Essay

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During the Cold War, Soviets and Americans raced to be the best at everything. From the “Space Race” to economies to education and technology, the feeling in both countries was that the loser would be annihilated. Since the end of the Cold War, the drive to be the best is no longer fueling such determination. As a result, over the past two decades or so, Americans are increasingly aware and afraid of decline. There is a raging debate as to the current state of America both compared to where it was 40 years ago and relative to other countries. Some, like New York Times columnist Bob Herbert, contend that there is a “fire in the basement” and we don’t even know it’s there. These “declinists” feel that America has a serious problem and its stature is steadily falling in various categories such as technology, education, and economy. On the other side of the debate are people like Alan Dowd who feel that America is still a leader of the world and is in great shape. While I agree that America still may be clinging to its leadership role, as Americans, there is much reason for pessimism about the future of this great country.
In a 2006 Time magazine article entitled “Are We Losing Our Edge,” Michael D. Lemonick outlines a number of reasons to be skeptical about the future of America. Among his various reasons, he outlines three specific reasons why business and academia experts are warning of trouble specifically with regard to science and technology. He claims that the Federal government has not been investing nearly enough in research and development, big corporations are more concerned with a quick buck than with spending time researching the next big thing, and that the “quality of education in math and science in elemen...


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.... The Cold War was certainly a frightening time in American History, but it produced great results such as NASA and medical and scientific breakthroughs. We need to have a similar sense of urgency driving us to unprecedented exploration and innovation. If not, we will quickly find ourselves with even worse economic hardships than we face today.



Works Cited


Herr, Phillip. U.S. POSTAL SERVICE Broad Restructuring Needed to Address Deteriorating Finances. Rep. no. GAO-09-790. United States Government Accountability Office. 30 July 2009. Web Accessed 18 Mar. 2011. .

Obama, Barack. "State of the Union Address." Address. United States Capitol Building, Washington D.C. 25 Jan. 2011. The White House. Web Accessed 18 Mar. 2011. .

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