Skip to main content

How America Arrived at This Point

James Howard Kunstler is a voice in the planning wilderness. In this blog post, he discusses the reasons why America ended up in the financial and political situation it is in today. Here is a snapshot from the post…

Clusterf*ck Nation by Jim Kunstler : A Ripe Moment

Of course, the trouble in a situation like this, where absolutely everybody is trying to pawn off assets, is that there are very few buyers on the scene, so the prices of all these things go down down down. Everything is for sale and nobody has any money.


This was essentially the state of things in the Great Depression of the 1930s, and the only escape from that turned out to be the mobilization for war. And in the aftermath of that terrible war, we were the only industrial nation that hadn’t been bombed to rubble. What’s more, we had a very handsome supply of industrial world’s primary resource, oil, at our disposal. So we spent the next thirty years making oodles of things and selling them to people in other lands (lending them the money to buy), until these nations were back on their own feet and solvent. And after 1975, the industrial club picked up a bunch of new members and they all began to clean our clock.

So, as our industrial base waned, and our factories got old and brittle, and our labor force was steeply under-bid by cheaper labor forces, we embarked on a quest for "the new economy." This was represented in successive turns as the information economy, the consumer economy, the high-tech economy, et cetera. They were all ruses, aimed at concealing the truth — which was that we had become a society no longer producing things of value, no longer generating real wealth. The final act of this farce has been the so-called "financial industry."

[ad#200-left]Do you feel comforted that this great big bus we are all on is being driven by corporations who’s only motive is to make a better bottom line than last years, and their prime competition’s?

His campaign against the Republican Party has some merit…

So, to begin this process, and to clarify the situation, I urge readers of this blog to identify the Republican Party by its new brand-name: the party that wrecked America. At least, then, we can reinstate one cardinal value into the juddering structure of what we claim to believe: that actions have consequences, that you can’t just swindle and loot a society and walk away with the swag.

Unlike many Americans, I’m not one to get all worked up about politics, but it is vitally important that all educated people realize the mess that the country is in, and the direction the bus is pointing. As I’ve stated before, living in Rural BC, we are somewhat insulated from the majority of the political and economic fallout from South of the border, but the forecast isn’t looking real promising.

Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas P.Eng. ENV SP, is the author of UrbanWorkbench.com and Director of Engineering at the City of Revelstoke in the Interior of British Columbia, Canada. If I post something here that you find helpful as you navigate the world of engineering, planning and building communities, that’s wonderful. But when push comes to shove: This is my personal blog. The views expressed on these pages are mine alone and not those of my employer.