The last twenty years have clearly illustrated the inevitable decline of America. Like Rome, and less-so the French (French revolution) and British Empires (Victoria) before us, we have begun an irreversible decline. Our people are obsessed with frivolous material opulance that was once considered in both Rome and earlier America, to be ostentatious and not fitting for the morale of the citizenry ( see the Roman sumptuary laws, and our rather Puritan Yankee tradition). We do not even bother to sacrifice our insatiable materialsm in times of war or disaster. Our army is stretched thin, has a hard time attracting recruits, and doesnt even have enough spare manpower to handle the problems of the hurricane at home. We can no longer protect or help our country from disaster and attack, and we spend more money on the military and homeland security and infrastructure than every country in the world. Our economy is clearly devouring itself, as we have trained and given jobs to the rest of the world in those sciences and techniques we developed and based our current success on. We produce nothing but debt, and services to facilitate debt. Our government is in debt, our people spend 100% of their income, and adding mortgages, spend 124% of their income (thats from the Economist). Our culture is neglible, and like Rome in it last 200 years, left to copy its prior masters, and even copy lesser works that are far from masterpieces. Our people have no higher aims in life but to be rats caught up in this maze of debt and material opulance, and work so many hours their mental health is beginning to suffer. We have no community at all. Everyone is left to fend for themselves, there is no community pressure, no pressure even to stay married. Everything is me, me. And with the hurricane, the final nail in the coffin was exposed; our government is not only poorly run, it is ineffectual, and cannot even offer security to its citizens. Every student of Roman history should know how the Roman republic and then Empire, crumbled, because its government apparatus was no longer up to the job of running a functioning government. I could go on, but whats the point? Its all so obvious. I would like to get reactions on this. Please, disagree with me if you wish, and call me a nut. I dont mind. Obviously, it will take some time before we crumble, but the writing is on the wall. I fully expect my children to have even worse schools, infrastructure, opportunities, and quality of life than I do--and besides having the access to so many technological marvels, I have experienced a general decline since my parents.