Borepatch weighs in on the theme of America. I link to him today because he is right, you can’t look at outcomes and pretend that the decisions that lead to that outcome didn’t have any effect. He uses Detroit as the canary in the mine, but the problem he identifies is far reaching.
It was decided to let all our manufacturing go overseas. It was decided that the capitalist system was evil and making a profit made you suspect. It was decided that many rules to control the actions of industry were necessary. It was decided that the economic engine that ran America was unnecessary.
Men built America, built from raw materials, work, and the creative genius of individuals, it once stood as an example to the rest of the world what free men could achieve. This image is from a railyard in Chicago in 1940. It’s one from a set of images of American cities from the Denver Post. If you wondered what we did with all that splendor, here’s a link to one answer.
…when you live in a rational society, where men are free to trade, you receive an incalculable bonus:the material value of your work is determined not only by your effort, but by the effort of the best productive minds who exist in the world around you.
–Ayn Rand, speaking as John Galt in “Atlas Shrugged”