America in Decline

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Experts predicted America's decline and expected a new world order – Trump has proven them wrong

They seem most comfortable with unaffiliation, even anti-affiliation. This blanket distrust of institutions of authority—especially those dominated by the upper class—is reasonable, even rational, considering the economic fortunes of these groups were pinched in the Great Recession and further squeezed in the Not-So-Great Recovery. Pundits may dismiss their anxiety and rage as the by-products of college-campus coddling, but it flows from a realistic appraisal of their economic impotency.

🇺🇸 The decline of the American empire - Empire

Young people today commit crimes at historically low rates and have attended college at historically high rates. They have done everything right , sprinting at full speed while staying between the white lines, and their reward for historic conscientiousness is this: less ownership, more debt , and an age of existential catastrophe. The typical Millennial awakens many mornings to discover that some new pillar of the world order , or the literal world , has crumbled overnight.

And while she is afforded little power to do anything about it, society has outfitted her with a digital megaphone to amplify her mordant frustrations. Why in the name of family, God, or country would such a person lust for ancient affiliations? As the kids say, BurnItAllDown. Annie Lowry: The next recession will destroy Millennials.

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This spring, the researchers Kathryn Edin and Timothy Nelson at Princeton University, Andrew Cherlin at Johns Hopkins, and Robert Francis, now at Whitworth University, published a paper based on lengthy interviews conducted from to with older, low-income men without a college degree in black and white working-class neighborhoods in the Boston, Charleston, Chicago, and Philadelphia areas. First, these low-income working-class men are turning away from organized religion even faster than Millennials and Gen Z.

Since the s, church attendance among white men without a college degree has fallen even more than among white college graduates, according to the paper. They remain deeply spiritual without being traditionally devout, avoiding church and preferring instead to browse the internet and libraries for makeshift pieces of a religious self. Second, their detachment from religion flows from a feeling that elites have lost their credibility.

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Third, many poor working-class men now reject the nuclear family, in their own way. Their marriage rates have declined in lockstep with their church attendance. But the authors note that a number of these men were eager to have close relationships with their children, even when they had little relationship with their mothers.

Finally, as the older working class and younger generations struggle to renegotiate their attachments to faith, family, and community, they face similar challenges with regard to their mental health.

Jared Diamond: Here are the four ways America is ruining itself right now |

Anxiety, depression, and suicidality have increased to unprecedented levels among young people. Meanwhile, deaths from drugs and suicide—so-called deaths of despair, which are concentrated in the white working class—have soared in the past two decades, recently reaching the highest levels ever recorded by the federal government.

Across generations, Americans seem to be suffering from, and dying of, new levels of loneliness in an age of crumbling institutions. The older working-class men in the paper desperately want meaning in their lives, but they lack the social structures that have historically been the surest vehicles for meaning-making. They want to be fathers without nuclear families. They want spirituality without organized religion.

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They want psychic empowerment from work in an economy that has reduced their economic power. Burns, a former deputy secretary of state and ambassador to Moscow, was, by general consensus, one of the finest Foreign Service officers of recent decades, a man of unusual judgment and prescience. Suffice to say that back in , in a memo to the incoming Clinton administration, he wrote:.

The unhappy sidelining and devaluation of diplomacy is a theme of the book.

For Burns, the erosion of American power and influence long predates Trump. Now the Russian president claims liberalism is obsolete. He is wrong.

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It is more necessary than ever even as Trump scoffs at it. The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Here are some tips.

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