Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apollo Programs

With the talk of an Apollo-like green energy program during the next administration, I'm reminded of a TV series I saw about the original Apollo program. In watching the series, it was hard to recognize the America of the original Apollo program as the same one that exists today. The self-confidence, pride in scientific achievement, and general technological superiority over the rest of the world is largely gone. I wonder if that's the root of the persistent fake-moon-landing conspiracy theories. The country has deteriorated so much over a generation, many people don't remember an America that was confident and proficient.

Similar parallels exist in calls for Obama to enact a New New Deal. I'm not sure the America that existed in the 30's is around anymore. You can hear it in the speeches of the Presidents over's a steep decline from the 'nothing to fear, but fear itself' of Roosevelt's inaugural to the 'this sucker's going down' of Bush II. More fundamentally, the U.S. has gone from the being the world's largest creditor nation, pre-Great Depression, to the world's largest debtor nation. The former titan of American industry, General Motors, lingers on the edge of bankruptcy. And the former center of world industrial manufacturing, Detroit, has houses that sell for $1.

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