A Crumbling Empire

Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul made some pretty interesting comments about American imperialism last Monday. In the video below, Noam Chomsky gives his thoughts on the comments. Take a look:

Here is an article on how poverty is dramatically rising in the United States from the New York Times.

What do both of these stories say about the United States? As Historians, where do we start in order to unravel the story?

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17 thoughts on “A Crumbling Empire

  1. Both stories say that the United States is not doing very well. The fact that more people then ever are underneath the poverty line shows us that there is a distinct problem in the United States that we as historians must find the root of. We also must start with the opinions of people living in the United States. For example Ron Paul brings up points that make sense and are coherent. The fact that people disagree with him makes me wonder what their opinions are and if it is even possible to come to an agreement on how to run and govern the United States. The fact people were so unhappy with Ron Paul's statements makes me slightly confused. How come these people feel so strongly against an arguement that can be plausible and as historians we have to start there. We have to start with the point where things "went wrong", the point where all this disagreement began. I think the reason the United States is crumbling is because there are so many different beliefs out there and although one is entiteled to their opinion, spending tax payers money to be stationed in many countries for no reason is barely fair. I feel the root of the problem is where we should start.— Nicole .V. 🙂

  2. Both of these stories tell us about the problems facing the United States. As the story from the New York Times indicates, more people are under the poverty line than ever. This is obviously not a good thing and it is our job to figure out why this is happening and how to fix it. I agree that we should start at the root of the problem and work our way from there. In terms of what Ron Paul said, I think that what he said is not as controversial as many people believe. What he said was based off of his view and many of what he said is correct. The fact that the people booed him was because it has been drilled into those people’s head to believe what they hear in the media, which is a big problem. People aren’t analyzing problems on their own and are just believing what they are told to believe. We need to realize why everybody disagrees with Ron Paul and go from there. So many people are below the poverty line right now because all the tax payers money is going into being stationed in many countries. We as historians need to start by analyzing problems on our own instead of listening to the media.-Bilal Shaikh !!!

  3. Well it seems that the U.S. is falling apart, but because the united states is a country based off consumerism there will always be ebbs and flows, some years are better than others, just on a much larger scale. And as the U.S. faces economic issues of today, no one wants to spend money. If businesses aren’t making enough money they fire their employees and that is what we are seeing today. Eventually they will rebuild and grow, until this happens again. The fact that Ron Paul got booed down just shows how ignorant the republicans are. It seemed like they weren’t willing to hears another side of the story, and they don’t take accountability for these issues because they think that they are completely innocent witch is obviously not the case. Its people like that who booed Ron Paul that make many of the decisions in the United States, they are part of the reason that the U.S. is where it is today Carson Milberg

  4. I think that both of these stories indicate that the United States is not doing as well as it should. While the New York Times article talks about poverty in the U.S.A. The video shows that people in the U.S. A are unwilling to admit what they have done in the past could be wrong. And the video also talks about the amount of land America occupies. Which could be irritating the peoples land that they are on. The New York Times article says that poverty levels have not been this high since 1930, during the great depression. I think this shows that the U.S.A is falling back instead of continuing to grow. But the great depression also proves that the United states have been in this degree of poverty before and that they can get out of it. To start to unravel the story I think we should start at the great depression. What caused it and how the United States overcame it. The video addresses the fact that the U.S.A is occupying 130 countries and has 900 bases all over the world. Ron Paul makes a comment about if other countries did to them what they did to other countries they would react in a similar way. He also says that 9/11 happened to draw american troops to Saudi Arabia, and more people have been killed there in per month than people did all the years before 9/11. And for saying this he gets booed. I think the some people in the U.S.A are unwilling to accept what they did was wrong. And this is stopping them from making changes. I think to start to unravel the story we have to start when the United States Military went into Saudi Arabia. If we start here we can see what went wrong and why the United States set up bases where they did. Jane MacDougall

  5. Both of these stories show that the United States of America is not doing very well at the moment. The fact that more people than ever are under the poverty line, despite the fact that the US is currently being led by a left wing president, clearly illustrates the greed and capitalism that has engulfed the United States. Clearly, the nation cares more about defense than social welfare, and the result of this is that they have lost their standing as an economic powerhouse. Ron Paul's comments, of course, make complete sense. The fact that the general American public disagrees with them clearly shows that Americans believe that their country is in no risk, and that America shouldn't take responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. If Americans don't do something about their nationalistic, greedy ideaologies, they will clearly find themselves in a lessened state of global influence, with an even weaker economy. As historians we must try to discover; when did this American nationalism begin? At what point did defense surpass social welfare in terms of spending? What has driven this nation to become so greedy? If these questions are answered, we may begin to understand why the United States of America currently stares into the abyss.Mitch Cunningham

  6. Both of these stories show that the U.S.A. is starting to crumble and unless we do something about it things will get worse and worse. As historians, i think that we must look into the past to find out what the problem is with this great country. In my opion we must look all the way back to after the first world war to find out why middle eastern countries hate America and we should look back to the Clinton administration to find the cause of the economics problem.First off the video and article shows us (what we already know) that America is not doing to well at the moment. The article says that the poverty line hasn't gotten higher in the last decade and that everyones income in the US has declined. This is very bad because as a consumer economy, the less people buy, the worse the economy becomes. The video shows as that many Americans can't admit that the US is in the wrong when it comes to some of their foreign affair policies. They have over 900military bases in other countris and like Ron Paul pointed out, those countries aren't to happy about that. If the citizens of a country are getting poorer and they are wasting money on unneeded military bases then that country is in trouble.As historians, we must look into the past to learn while present day problems are occuring. In my opinion we must look at after world war one to discover why the middle east dislikes America. After ww1, new countries and boundries were formed in the middle east. When created their was no consideration about ethnic or religous backgrounds. This is when the "west" starts interfering. Through out the last century, America has been suppling arms to various groups in the hope of peace and democracy. In my opinion, because of how America has interfered in the middle east, various groups dislike the US. I think that to find the root of the economic problem we must look back at the Clinton administration. Durring that time, regulations on banks were lossened. The Glass-Steagall act that was created after the creat depression, was repealed. This act restricted what banks could and couldn't do. Also President Clinton want every American to own a home. (which isn't a bad thing) To do so, he let banks lend money to people who would have trouble paying the money back. With everyone having more money more jobs were created because people could buy more but when people weren't able to pay the money lent, the economy started to crash. In conclusion, the US is in trouble and as historians we must look at our meddling in the middle east and the deragulation of banks.Bryce Dunn

  7. Both of these articles really highlight the fact that the United States of America are not doing as well as in the past. Their poverty line is going up and the median household income is going down.I think we, as historians need to figure out when and why these problems originated in order to stop the problems from continuing in the future. Once we find the root of the problem, we can work from there.I think the fact that people were booing Ron Paul truly highlights the fact that the Americans do not realize why these problems are occurring. They feel that none of their problems are their fault and in thinking this they are attacking and putting up bases in countries that they feel are to blame for their problems when the true problems started from the Americans themselves. I think that once the Americans realize that they are to blame for some of their problems, they can start to fix them.Gavin S.*

  8. Both of these stories show that the american is not doing very well in some respects. Ron Paul talked about 9/11 in the first video, what he said was correct. As he said , we cannot blame all the faults on muslim because american has occupies 130 countries and it has 900 bases around the world. They didn't get the permission then they "invaded" into their countries casually. Like if china did that, what would america react? But people in america don't think what they have done was wrong, they against Ron Paul's statement,I don't agree with them. They should have think carefully about what they have done was wrong in the past.For the article from the New York Times, it shows us the bad situation in america right now. The percentage of poverty in population is higher than ten years ago. The teenagers are facing unaffordable education and living expense, and joblessness is very serious happened in median and low income family.As historians, they should look at the mistakes they have made in the past decade and try to solve the problems from the basic.Fei Hong

  9. Both of the stories are showing that United States is going downhill… As an historian, we should see from how it starts, when and how…Also, we should observe from the mistakes to avoid bad things happen again and again in the future. There are several reasons that others hate US, for example, Frequent International Interferences. The frequency with which US is involved in fighting other countries since 2001 is very high. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and now Libya. The costs are huge, but the benefits in terms of oil is greater for USA. But the skepticism of the world on its activities is increasing all the while. The conspiracy theory on the attack on the pentagon, the non-provability of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, Contradicting claims of the US and North Korea on the torpedo that sunk the South Korean ship, Doubts if Osama Bin Laden was actually killed by a US raid, etc are helping build the skepticism on what US says. Also, the Rising Developing Countries. The rise of the developing countries and their collective power to say 'No' to US to bulldoze its way in trade agreements and climate change conferences at the cost of others shows reduced US ability to force others. To keep it short, many people from the US think they're superior to everyone else simply because of their countries power.To conclude, US is going downhill and as asn historian we should look all the way back from where it started.By Nikolaus (sorry for poor English)

  10. Both those article's show that the U.S. is not doing well. There are more people living under the poverty line since 1993. As a historian, I think that we should try to figure out how this problem started, when is started and find out the mistakes that the United States have made to cause this problem with people living under the poverty line. Once we figure out the root of the problem, we can start finding ways to help solve the problem. I think the reason that the United States is falling into poverty and falling apart is because of they are trying to expand their "empire" and like the roman empire. The roman Over-expanded and this caused their empire to fall. This is exactly what the United States are doing right now. They are putting military bases all around the worldI think what Ron Paul was saying was right. People in the U.S. are thinking that the U.S. is not causing the problem of the terrorist attacks and all the uprising in countries such as Libya. The United States are setting up military bases in these countries and like Ron Paul said. How would the U.S. like it if a country like China came in a started setting up military bases all around the U.S. The Americans are coming into other countries and taking their land by setting up military bases. This may cause hostility between countries and the United States which may lead to terrorist attacks on the U.S.Tim "Tre" Dang-Starting SG #24

  11. I think that both of these stories say that the United States is not putting its money into the right places. The United States is spending far too much on its military, and far too little on social programs to help these 46.2 million people currently living below the poverty line. To begin to unravel the story I think we must take a look back to when America started imposing its influence around the globe rather than focusing on its own internal problems. This began to show itself way back in the First World War. Imagine if the U.S. started spending even a quarter of what it was spending on its military on its less advantaged citizens. I think that those poverty numbers would be a whole lot lower.-Sarah

  12. Both of these articles obviously show that America is not doing very well. As historians we must figure out around when did they start crumbling as a country and why did this all occur. Ron Paul tells us of how the USA has much to many bases and is trying to control way to many countries. He states that had a country like China done this to them the US would have reacted in the same way. I believe that this statement is mainly true. 9/11 was a horrible time and occurrence for America but they would have been arrogant to think that nothing could happen to them given how many countries the US were trying to control. To think that no one could come into America and do anything. To think that only the US can go into other countries and dominate them. The reason Ron Paul had drawn "boo's" from the crowd is that he was telling this to America and frankly they do not like to think of themselves making such large mistakes as they did. A lot of people may not have been educated on what USA was doing that they had been killing thousands of civilians throughout the countries. It is undeniable that America would have committed a war act towards another country had that country been occupying them. What may also be a factor is that 9/11 was most likely one of the most coordinated attacks we have seen and that America is dealing with a highly organized group of terrorists. America in a sense is losing their battle seeing how many soldiers they have lost and how many attacks the terrorists have made towards them. This is causing a huge dept, the largest dept in the world, of around 14.8 trillion dollars. Poverty is as low as it has ever since 1993 if America even wants to try to get headed back in the right direction they need to take it a few steps back and consider what has been happening and how doing certain actions has lead to such a large dept and crisis.As historians, we need to find out where it all went wrong and show how it lead to the disaster the USA is in to date.-Aidan Campbell

  13. I think both of the stories told me that the USA government have to do something now. Because now USA can't controll their poverty rate and they are occupying other countries. The both stories told us why is USA not doing well.Ron Paul said: " if we think that we can do that and not have retaliation, we're kidding ourselves." I think what he said maskes sense, USA is in 130 countries and 900 bases around the world. What would you think if their bases are in our country. Why do they even do that? He said that The purpose of al-Qaeda was to attack USA, and USA had bases on their "Holy" land? This gives them more reasons why they wants to attack USA.The article on The New York Times talked about the Poverty Rate in USA. There are 2.6 million people slipped into poverty last year in USA. In the story, Ron Haskins said: "This is one more piece of bad news on the economy." USA is one of the strongest and richest country in the world, and now look how many people are slipping into poverty, and it affects the economy around the world. And of course, other counties won't be happy about that.The both stories told that USA is uncontrolled. Their people are not working (Last year, about 48 million people ages 18 to 64 did not work even one week out of the year, up from 45 million in 2009, said Trudi Renwick) and the other countries are not happy about what USA is doing. What I want to ask is what is USA doing?Richard

  14. What is shown here is the reason the United States is failing as a country! Show them another point of view and you are seen as someone to be ridiculed. If the united states hopes to become a strong country once more then they must prevent their citizens from thinking this way. I may be scolded for saying this, but: Americans have shown that they can't handle having freedom. The only way we can fix this is to stop them from having it. If you don't deserve your freedom then it needs to be taken away. – Sam Cohn

  15. I think the idea of America being the most powerful country in the world is starting to crumble. America is on the verge of another recession, they are up to their noses in debt and inflation is climbing, they have military bases all over the world and yet they cant afford it. Many countries and political organizations in the world hate America and the more extreme believe in destroying them, for example groups like Al-Quaeda and Hamas regard America with contempt and Al- Qaeda claimed responsibility for the deadliest terrorist attack in American history, the 9 11 attacks. The Roman empire was at one time the most powerful empire in the world, they had military bases in most countries of the world but they could not afford to keep it up and with so much land under their control they were constantly being attacked from every where. The Roman empire fell and the American empire will too.Owen C.

  16. Both of these articles show that the United States is in a bad position. They are not spending their money on the right things. In the video Ron Paul stated that the United States occupies 130 countries and has over 900 military base around the world. Maintaining that amount of bases and equipment is incredibly expensive. Not to mention that the countries they have occupied do not want them there. Meanwhile, 46.2 million people in the United States are living under the poverty line. If the government spent less on it's military and more on correcting it's own problems, it would be much better off. As historians I think that we need to look back to when the United States first started occupying other countries after WWII.Duncan S.

  17. both of these articles have shown the united states is a crumbling empire, because the articles show they have military bases that they cannot afford. They are being targeted by different terrorists organizations which have caused national tragedies like 9/11.They have 46.2 million people in their country under the poverty line. The United States must start worrying about it's people instead of it's military; if it cannot do this then it will for sure crumble even more as an empire. Rhys K.

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