(America got Tesla)
I can’t stop crying.America died.— Victoria Jackson (@vicjackshow) November 7, 2012
Lack of - what’s really going on in the outside world. Real lack of awareness, interest, curiosity, focus. There really is real lack, gigantic lack of intellectual capacities for comprehending outside world - and how America is placed within it.
From Japanese perspective, 60s-70s was one key point in this. With USA’s massive help (with (stupid) Cold War (and World War 2) context) Japan and Europe caught up. Rebuilt. Exporting. Need markets. Then how USA reacted.
Then 80s. The point probably many Japanese sensed changes in USA. Economy, financial markets, new gimmicks. And symptoms of USA’s industrial decline.
It’s like Americans stopped questioning: Why do I want BMW?
Why do I want BMW,
Why do I want to buy BMW?
But why not - I want to make BMW?
Something much superior than BMW?
(Maybe it’s like America needs at least one hundred people spontaneously asking questions like this to themselves, in all of its metropolis.) (Point here is they are not asking how to make (more) money. They are asking, focusing on, yeah, different question. In imagination.)
*Japanese carmakers tried similar challenging questions to themselves - but I don’t know where and how they settled their answers. Probably they didn’t come up with real clear answers, or settled on somewhere - not so clear.
80s. Then 90s.
Seems - America’s education (at high school and college and universities) really don’t teach real histories.
Real American histories - which you can kind of sense and feel - by looking at how many awkward, terribly unprofessional paint layers are covering some cheap old Brooklyn apartment’s walls and doors.
Or visiting some inexplicably abandoned brown patches outside of some satellite cities or small towns, hamlets several hundreds miles away from Metropolis.
Something took place here - before Great Depression, and then Great Depression, then Wars (military revolution? I think some called - like industrial revolution), 20th century America’s industrial revolution, some Govt funded programs to create middle class, dominance, then immediately pulled back into international/global competition -
then story broke. (to my Japanese eyes)
But then, that break is not considered - isn’t registering to American eyes? (But that was probably very similar experience - which writers of shows like “Wire’ are pushing to explore and present (though without any much real thinking, that’s the tough part) - post-industrial America.
As if post-industrial America came all of sudden. In 90s or since 80s. Well, if there are storylines suggesting something went wrong from 80s - that’s great.
In terms of ‘income level’ discussion, many are saying ‘past 30 years’ *(substantial income hasn’t gone up for median Americans etc).
Why and how. And even likes like David Brooks points out (now) that actually America’s Govt is no different from Europe’s socialist welfare type Govts (in terms of budget, scale) - and America’s social mobility has been worsening - and some experts say social mobility here in America is now worse than ‘Socialist’ Europe.
And place like - Amsterdam (NY), Jamestown (North NY), Scranton, Syracuse - or Niagara Falls (people are leaving, city, towns are perishing), or Philadelphia’s poverty.
Or place like Richmond (Iron Triangle) in Bay Area.
To me these looks more like real ‘bread and butter’ history of America, which seems America’s high schools, colleges, universities, graduate schools never touches, authors and educators in America never really handles. (Say DC’s poverty,- abandoned neighborhood.)
When America died?
I still suspect it died some decades ago in a way. And it might have been just only failing to grasp that.
Or those poverty - places feel like ‘death’ has encroached on - is just something of a real margin, side show, something in the trash bag or bin - for the pragmatism and (in)sensitivity - the way place called America runs itself. Maybe they look looming so large and telling because I’m a foreigner. And also, maybe because America does not have clearly written, articulated consciousness about what it pushes aside, what it places in ‘the trash’.
Or - will America evolve out to something miraculous. Again. 1. Without really coming down to feel and grasp its layers of social and economic history? 2. Some says its ‘structural’ transformation will take few more decades. There are some number crunchers and ‘trend’ analysts. They are thinking ahead. Predicting. Assessing. Charting prospects. Surely. Somewhat clearly and confidently.
Gah. I need to compile articles and reading list more seriously.