Can the US Adapt to a Rapidly Changing World?

As a country, the United States has a dearth of new ideas. Our Washington establishment is mired in outdated concepts and beliefs which prevent the US from moving forward. We are not in this position because our people are not hardworking or inventive but because our national political caste is more focused on their own survival in office than the greater good.

There is no longer rational or calm discussion between political parties... only invective. I am never quite sure if our political class believes their myopic and idiotic statements or if they are setting up straw issues in order to excite the extremes. For some time now, our bureaucrats and elected leaders have spoken in sound bites and talking points. This has translated into individual citizens doing the same. There is no exchange of new information or ideas only the repetition of tired dogma which has long been irrelevant because of a changing world and circumstance.

In order to solve the problems faced today, we must stop using the outmoded methodologies and theories of another era. We need to change the paradigmatic processes to reflect the current world. Society and government need to accept the premise that the United States is not the same country as it was in 1932 or 1980. Presidents Roosevelt and Reagan put forth policies and ideas that were relevant to their times. The programs they conceived were to solve problems as they existed then. Nothing they proposed or enacted should be sacrosanct. The one similarity that both those presidents possessed was flexibility. Either man had no qualms about discarding policies that no longer worked. Therefore we should not consider their policies as sacrosanct and as Holy Writ.

Some of our most pressing problems that need to be solved such as our tax code, regulatory apparatus, or retirement system are operating on programs conceived in the 19th and early 20th centuries. While they may have been admirable in their day, these solutions no longer are adequate for today's society. What we have done is continue to apply band aids to antiquated programs. At best, this briefly mollifies but does not correct the underlying challenges we currently face.

Our existing government structure has become moribund since it refuses to act in a cohesive and communal fashion. The politicians of both parties are all too willing to curry the favor of entrenched interests and the extremists on both ends of the political spectrum. The results of this quagmire are that we, as a nation, seem unable to staunch our deterioration. Our national outlook becomes more and more insular. The entrenched interests, whether political or economic, are more concerned with maintaining the status quo than finding modern solutions. New answers that will affect the existing profits or position of the entrenched are discarded. Instead jingoistic rhetoric is espoused that give the illusion of our national superiority while, in actuality, our world position is sadly eroding.

We need to confront and solve our problems now. They are not impossible or insurmountable. Waiting only increases the chance that they will become so. Eventually the U.S. will fall under the weight of sclerotic programs and institutions. Most of these programs should be abandoned and something truly new will have to take their places more in keeping with today's needs. The sooner we act, the less disruption will occur to society. If we continue to substitute illogical rhetoric for concrete solutions, then we are doomed to lose our economic, political and moral standing in a changing world.

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