I don’t come to the United States very often, and when I do there’s usually a pretty good reason. In this case, it’s because of the annual Atlas 400 meeting which kicks off today in New York. I get a ton of value out of the group, and for me it’s worth making these trips (you can find out more about Atlas here.)
Because my US visits are generally short and sporadically infrequent, I’m highly attuned to little changes; this is something like out-of-town relatives who notice how much a child has grown over a period of several months, whereas parents seldom notice the small, daily changes.
On the surface, it seems like a pleasant enough place. Underneath the facade of shopping malls and little league, though, there are clear signs of decay. Eroding economic opportunities, increased bureaucracy, emerging class warfare, police state conditions, deteriorating infrastructure, reduced quality in service, etc.