While Spain is in economic crisis I expect it will end relatively soon. The same cannot be said for the US crisis. It will last for 20 years or more. So many different, seemingly intractable, factors drive our insanity:
· Culture that values individual rights to the exclusion of the communal good. No matter how many massacres happen, we will always make sure that everybody can buy a gun at any time. A majority of the American public is against gun control.
· Hyper-Christian, anti-science, anti-critical-thinking, poorly educated population. Seriously, as we experience huge droughts and the polar ice cap melts, there is no global warming?
· Moral failure—as a society we have forsaken the poor and disadvantaged in favor of pedantic, dogmatic, hypocritical, religious literalism and the “right” of individuals to make mountains of money. Our poverty rate is high and growing higher by the day.
· Unbridled, rapacious corporate capitalism that has corrupted government beyond belief. Still, nobody has gone to jail for the crimes that caused the financial crisis and drove so many into poverty. While Bernie Madoff, who stole, relatively, a tiny amount of money from a privileged few, does go to jail.
· American exceptionalism—the modern incarnation of “manifest destiny.”
· No meaningful public recognition that the US cannot afford to spend 50% of its budget on the military without becoming a second world country, nor that power in today’s world comes less and less from the barrel of a gun
· Political parties that are either afraid to lead with their values (Democrats, and I know you think the Democrats have no values—I live in a country where the major parties have no real differences, from a European perspective) OR have been hijacked by their ultra-right wing (Republicans)