I know there is much evidence for IMF’s forecast. I went to a large chain store last night and found almost all light bulbs were made in China. Some time ago it was reported that over 80% of all that Wal-mart sells is imported products. This trend has been steady, with little interference from Congress. When Wall Street was telling Congress the virtues of globalization, the pliant Congress had listening ears.
Economic well-being is a symptom and usually a latent symptom of the broad cultural condition of a nation. Although, some economic vitality can be present, even in an otherwise decaying culture. Consider present-day Europe ! It is the same with America. The stock market is rising today.
America’s cultural decline portended the economic result that the IMF sees today. The cultural decline goes back a while. There are many, many factors, not the least of which is the decadence of affluence. Sometimes, it defies statistics and maybe even observation. When our record divorce rate started rising we knew that it would soon show up in health costs, other entitlements, and last in the general economy.
It seems, that faith goes early in the decline of nations. Then, comes the social ills such as broken families, discipline, education decline, crime etc. and finally economic hardship. The churches lack power in our society, and common respect is diminishing too. In fact, many churches are unlike the secular world by about any measurement you want to use. I know our figures are better than much of the world in church attendance. Certainly, better than Europe, where faith receded more than a generation ago. But, those facts are deceiving. The church had more power in America when attendance was 20% of the population in the 18th and 19th centuries than it does today with an excess of 50%. Most of the 20% adherents were sincere; maybe that’s the difference.
When things get stretched economically, the politicians attend to the symptoms. They mess with the currency and the tax code or some other palpable tinkering. Anything, but the more basic problem and sooner or later you have major dysfunctions. Like Now !