Enjoy The Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States

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The high inflation of the s prompted Chairman of the Federal Reserve Paul Volcker to pursue a course of aggressive interest rate increases that increased the value of the dollar and decreased U. Unemployment skyrocketed, reaching Layoffs were common— In the face of such instability, companies found that workers in the manufacturing sector were both more willing to accept lower wages than they might have previously been, and more receptive to warnings that unionization campaigns could jeopardize their job security.

Meanwhile, popular sentiment in the country around economic policy was shifting. In the face of wage stagnation, Americans started to demand lower taxes, and resentment for public-sector workers grew. Politicians of both parties threw their support behind deregulation and free market reforms, arguing that only the forces of the free market could end stagflation and unleash the kind of innovation needed to improve living standards for all. There have, over the years, been legislative efforts to restore unions to a measure of their former glory.

In , labor groups mounted an effort to repeal the section of the Taft-Hartley Act that allowed state-level right-to-work laws, with the support of President Lyndon B. It was successfully filibustered in the Senate. In , another effort to reform labor law and institutions was also successfully filibustered. Likewise, a effort to pass legislation blocking employers from hiring permanent replacements for striking workers also died in the Senate.

Why rural America isn’t dead

These failures highlight another difference between European and American unions. In many of the Western European countries where unions have maintained their strength, the relationship between organized labor and political parties takes two forms: unions either enjoy broad-based support from politicians across the political spectrum, or they have an extremely close relationship with one political party that consistently advances their priorities. Consider, for example, the experience of Germany as compared to that of the U.

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And that means that whenever the Republicans get in power, they do everything possible to weaken the unions. Nor does organized labor in the U. Sweden enjoy with certain political parties. Democrats have, after all, proven themselves to be unreliable allies. In the s, Democratic mayors won praise for various "strike-breaking" initiatives with respect to municipal initiatives, and the party has also supported the deregulation or privatization of previously heavily unionized industries like the sanitation, print, and telecommunications industries.

When priorities had to be set, the Democratic Party's willingness to prioritize labor was never quite there. Historically, that happened repeatedly. That made it hard for unions to advance a public policy agenda.

Is America in Decline?

But as much as all of these factors explain some of the precipitous decline of unions in this country, many of the experts I interviewed for this article also pointed to something bone-deep in the American psyche, dating all the way back to the country's founding, that has simply made the country less fertile ground for labor unions.

Even simple geography played a role in shaping a different kind of corporate culture in America. America is simply much bigger than many European countries, which employers worried made it harder to construct the kind of stable, mutually beneficial relationships between labor and capital that are common elsewhere. Against this backdrop of a vast country filled with "Wild West" markets untethered from a national bureaucracy, business in America also evolved in an environment in which the government was never seen as a partner, as it is in many European countries.

Anticipatory Grief: the nitty gritty

Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States [ Aaron Clarey] on leacounsubccon.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The End of . leacounsubccon.tk: Enjoy the Decline: Accepting and Living with the Death of the United States (Audible Audio Edition): Aaron Clarey, Nathan Dabny aka Jim Fear .

Introducing a weeklong Pacific Standard series on America's labor unions. In Denver, a worker center provides everything from lockers and ID cards to protection from wage theft for workers with nowhere else to turn. That membership dropped only slightly is somewhat surprising given how unfriendly the current administration is to organized labor.

An expert gives us an overview of the movement sweeping labor reform. Crystallized intelligence, in contrast, is the ability to use knowledge gained in the past. Think of it as possessing a vast library and understanding how to use it. It is the essence of wisdom. Careers that rely primarily on fluid intelligence tend to peak early, while those that use more crystallized intelligence peak later. For example, Dean Keith Simonton has found that poets—highly fluid in their creativity—tend to have produced half their lifetime creative output by age 40 or so. Like what?

As Bach demonstrated, teaching is an ability that decays very late in life, a principal exception to the general pattern of professional decline over time. A study in The Journal of Higher Education showed that the oldest college professors in disciplines requiring a large store of fixed knowledge, specifically the humanities, tended to get evaluated most positively by students.

Enjoy the Decline

This probably explains the professional longevity of college professors, three-quarters of whom plan to retire after age 65—more than half of them after 70, and some 15 percent of them after The average American retires at He laughed, and told me he was more likely to leave his office horizontally than vertically. Our dean might have chuckled ruefully at this—college administrators complain that research productivity among tenured faculty drops off significantly in the last decades of their career.

Older professors take up budget slots that could otherwise be used to hire young scholars hungry to do cutting-edge research. But perhaps therein lies an opportunity: If older faculty members can shift the balance of their work from research to teaching without loss of professional prestige, younger faculty members can take on more research.

There are many exceptions, but the most profound insights tend to come from those in their 30s and early 40s. The best synthesizers and explainers of complicated ideas—that is, the best teachers—tend to be in their mids or older, some of them well into their 80s. That older people, with their stores of wisdom, should be the most successful teachers seems almost cosmically right. No matter what our profession, as we age we can dedicate ourselves to sharing knowledge in some meaningful way.

One day I asked a wealthy friend why this is so. Many people who have gotten rich know how to measure their self-worth only in pecuniary terms, he explained, so they stay on the hamster wheel, year after year.

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They believe that at some point, they will finally accumulate enough to feel truly successful, happy, and therefore ready to die. This is a mistake, and not a benign one. At some point, writing one more book will not add to my life satisfaction; it will merely stave off the end of my book-writing career. The canvas of my life will have another brushstroke that, if I am being forthright, others will barely notice, and will certainly not appreciate very much.

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The same will be true for most other markers of my success. What I need to do, in effect, is stop seeing my life as a canvas to fill, and start seeing it more as a block of marble to chip away at and shape something out of. I need a reverse bucket list. My goal for each year of the rest of my life should be to throw out things, obligations, and relationships until I can clearly see my refined self in its best form. Last year, the search for an answer to this question took me deep into the South Indian countryside, to a town called Palakkad, near the border between the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

What Workers Gain at Worker Centers

We also avoid constantly thinking about the purpose of our lives and the mark we will leave. Enjoy the Decline is mandatory listening for all conservatives, libertarians, Americans, and lovers of freedom who are mourning the slow-but-sure death of their culture and their country. American alliances in Asia have arguably grown stronger over the past few years, and the United States has been able to strengthen relations with India that had previously been strained. Other articles you might enjoy. Ray Pennings Publisher Follow. According to the National Vital Statistics Report, life expectancy for American males born in is Don't know why people panned it so badly.

Acharya is a quiet, humble man dedicated to helping people attain enlightenment; he has no interest in Western techies looking for fresh start-up ideas or burnouts trying to escape the religious traditions they were raised in. Satisfied that I was neither of those things, he agreed to talk with me. I told him my conundrum: Many people of achievement suffer as they age, because they lose their abilities, gained over many years of hard work.

Is this suffering inescapable, like a cosmic joke on the proud? Or is there a loophole somewhere—a way around the suffering? Acharya answered elliptically, explaining an ancient Hindu teaching about the stages of life, or ashramas. The first is Brahmacharya , the period of youth and young adulthood dedicated to learning.

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The second is Grihastha , when a person builds a career, accumulates wealth, and creates a family. Vanaprastha is a time for study and training for the last stage of life, Sannyasa , which should be totally dedicated to the fruits of enlightenment. In times past, some Hindu men would leave their family in old age, take holy vows, and spend the rest of their life at the feet of masters, praying and studying.

I told Acharya the story about the man on the plane. He listened carefully, and thought for a minute. Any glory today was a mere shadow of past glories.

There is a message in this for those of us suffering from the Principle of Psychoprofessional Gravitation.