Mar 27, 2008

The Decline and Fall of America! (yawn)

Well it looks like hard times have come again once more, but it helps to keep a sense of perspective on these things. It may be bad, but we'll get through it; we always have in the past. People have been predicting the fall of the United States ever since the rise of the United States. Here's a list of some things people thought would ruin the country. I have categorized them loosely by the last four generations of my own family, starting with the most recent. Some of the concerns listed were serious and some were laughable, I'll let you decide which were which.

First Generation (Me, Mine)
  1. Communism
  2. Capitalism

  3. Japan and Saudi Arabia

  4. Iraq and Iran

  5. Nicaragua and Grenada

  6. The "Asian Tigers" and "The Pacific Rim"

  7. Immigration

  8. 911

  9. Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Nixon, LBJ, JFK

  10. Global Warming

  11. Computers

  12. Rap

  13. The United Nations

  14. Drugs

  15. Television

Second generation (My Parents)

  1. Communism

  2. Capitalism

  3. Nazism

  4. Radio

  5. Immigration

  6. Fluoridated Drinking Water

  7. Drugs

  8. Secular Humanism

  9. Civil Rights, Feminism, Hippies, AIM, etc.

  10. Overpopulation

  11. The Great Depression

  12. Huey Long

  13. FDR

  14. The League of Nations

  15. Rock and Roll

Third Generation (My Grandparents)

  1. Communism

  2. Capitalism

  3. Labor Unions

  4. The Kaiser

  5. Cuba

  6. The Gold Standard

  7. William Jennings Bryan

  8. Charles Darwin

  9. Immigration

  10. Alcohol

  11. Moving Pictures

  12. Jazz

  13. The Panic of 1907, 1893

  14. Herbert Hoover

  15. Suffragettes
Fourth Generation (My Great-Grandparents)

  1. Communism (First Red Scare? 1848!)

  2. Capitalism

  3. Rum

  4. Romanism

  5. Rebellion

  6. Sitting Bull

  7. Immigration

  8. Mexico

  9. Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, James K. Polk

  10. Charles Darwin

  11. Railroads

  12. Novels

  13. The Panic of 1884, of 1875, of 1857, and of 1837.

  14. Reconstruction

  15. The Tariff

Fifth Generation (Bonus!)

  1. The British
  2. Witches
  3. Immigration
  4. Pontiac, Tecumseh, Cornstalk, Osceola
  5. Aaron Burr

Barrington Boardman wrote, in "Flappers, Bootleggers, "Typhoid Mary" and the Bomb: An Anecdotal History of the U.S. from 1923-1945," about a man who reacted to the stock market crash of 1929 with something like the following, "Well it doesn't mean we have to take to the trees and throw coconuts at one another." My sentiments exactly.


Kim said...

Yeah, I think we'll get through this one too ;) As they say, "this too shall pass"

falmanac said...

People of all stripes seem to love the apocalyptic. I don't know why.

wvgirl said...

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

OK, maybe not. ;-)