Russell and Duenes

Decline is Not Inevitable; It’s a Choice

with 4 comments

This accurate little assessment of America’s continued slide by the always trenchant, Mark Steyn…

As my fellow columnists Charles Krauthammer and Victor Davis Hanson like to point out, decline is not inevitable; it is a choice. The voters of New York’s 26th district chose it just the other day, presumably on the basis that it will be relatively pleasant, as it has been in certain parts of Continental Europe. But genteel Franco-Italian decline is not on the menu. As those numbers suggest, the scale of American decay is entirely different: a trillion-and-three-quarter dollars in regulatory costs, a trillion dollars in college debt, four-and-a-half billion dollars spent by Washington every single day that we don’t have, 70 percent of which the United States government “borrows” from itself because nobody else wants to lend it to us — and a governing party whose Senate leader boasts about not passing a budget and whose plan for Medicare is not to have a plan at all and whose crusading regulatory reformer’s greatest triumph is getting Daisy the cow moved out of the same federal classification as the Exxon Valdez.

Read the whole piece here.



Written by Michael Duenes

May 28, 2011 at 6:47 am

4 Responses

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  1. What do yout think Steyn means by “college debt” as part of America’s “choice” in decline?

    russell and duenes

    May 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    • For starters, let me state what we both know: I’m taking on debt for college. I would rather not, but I think it is a fine option, particularly considering that I’m debt free at the moment, and have already paid off one college loan ahead of schedule. What I’m guessing he means is, not that all debt to pay for college is out of line, but that a) the government shouldn’t be covering so much of it, or really any of it, and 2) because the government is covering so much of it, college costs have skyrocketed, forcing students to take on debt, which means the government can turn around and loan more of it out. We have indeed chosen this fate, but we’ve done so for a variety of reasons and over a period of some decades. Many students are going to four-year colleges who, in my opinion, shouldn’t be.

      What do you suppose he means? Do you agree with him, as far as you understand him, or not?


      russell and duenes

      May 28, 2011 at 9:23 pm

  2. He means what you said he means. I disagree with the idea that this type of debt would be problematic, but I have said for years (on this blog too) that government loaning and spending to aid the populace can be beneficial. To pay for things like higher education, I would be willing to take a tax increase so that grants and loans like yours can be given. I wish The Church did this, but because they don’t I have argued that government might be our best bet. You now seem to agree. Because I believe government has a place in our lives in this way, I don’t find Steyn to have an “accurate assessment” of America’s continued decline.

    russell and duenes

    May 29, 2011 at 12:21 am

  3. Indeed this is the second time that I’ve taken government loans for education. I’m not opposed to loans for such a purpose, though I do wonder if this kind of thing could be taken over by private entities, including but not limited to the church. I think Steyn is largely correct not because I see no role for government (I even see a large role for the government in health care, but not surprisingly, different than what Dems and most Republicans envision), but because we’ve come to a point now where the government is functioning a lot like many American’s private lives, with out of control spending, skyrocketing debt, and smashing of the factors that lead to growth.


    russell and duenes

    May 29, 2011 at 12:56 pm

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