We are, a society in decline. If you would like to read an excellent series of novels, that give the basic tenants used to identify the symptoms of declining civilizations, I would suggest the Foundation Series by Asimov. Written in the genre of Science Fiction, the corollaries are never the less valid.
Stagnation, of course is the main symptom of a society in trouble. The root cause of which tends to be disunity, which leads to stopping anyone else's progress as an act of vengeance for the perceived lack of one's or one's groups' own progress.
The immediate effects, in our own Republic can be seen in literally thousands of examples. Some of the more obvious are...
Control. A declining society will make a great show of "doing" , when in actuality, it is all show. Lofty goals, that were to be achieved by control, ie legislation or court rulings, eventually are forgotten, and it is the control itself that becomes the means and the ends. This of course leads to the lofty "goals" not only never being achieved, but conditions that this control was meant to better, become progressively worse.
Gun control, is one example. The lofty goal, of course, was to reduce violent crime. In the beginning, a few laws were placed on the books, to try and keep these weapons out of the hands of criminals. Then, more legislation and judicial rulings, were aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of not only criminals, but potential criminals. The third phase, the first two having failed miserably, was to keep guns out of the hands of everybody. It was during this phase, that the goal of reducing violent crime was lost, and are current fourth phase, sees meaningless legislation passed to give the appearance of doing something, legislation from the bench in the form of successful civil suits against weapons manufacturers, which leads to an ignoring of the original problem of violent crime, and in its place extortion of said weapons manufacturers to fatten the coffers of various political groups. To whit, we have gone from a few laws, that to some extent reduced the potential of violent crime (ie. no convicted violent felons get to have a concealed weapons permit) to over 21,000 gun control laws on the books, that do absolutely nothing to stem violent crime.
Insert the words civil rights or tobacco into the above paragraph, heroin, or a host of other problematic labels, and you see the same scenario, with the same lack of result. Stagnation, much work to avoid the problem at all cost, and problems worsening.
Dr. Mike Adams, www.dradams.org, a criminologist, scholar, writer, and University Professor, by trade; Wrote that in his own discipline, Criminology has not managed to come up with a new theory or technique in over 30 years. Stagnation.
Despite other nations doing the opposite (China is an excellent example) the US has not built a major power producing facility in over 35 years. Stagnation.
Heroin for use as a pain killer, for terminally ill patients, has been repeatedly rejected by the Congress for decades now. There is no moral ground for this, as the addictiveness of the drug, is far outweighed by the elimination of pain for people who would not live long enough, in any case, to pay for the consequences of addiction. The problem is, that our enforcement structures have degraded, to the point, that the heroin could not be controlled to the point, that it would only go to those for whom it was intended, and no politician wants to be branded as soft on drugs. Stagnation.
And of course medical care itself. The federal govt, is becoming woefully short of options, for access to specific drugs in the event of epidemic. The reason is legislation passed that greatly curtails profits on said drugs. Hence, many companies that we now rely on, are located in Britain, Europe, or the third world. It costs literally billions of dollars to develop vaccines and wonder drugs. It takes years before these billions are recouped and a profit is shown. What this legislation has done, is not punish the "evil rich", but has made it impossible to develop these drugs. You cannot spend the money for research and development, if you do not have it.
Lastly, let us revisit oil again. Of all the gazillions of dollars that the "evil oil companies" have made in profit, appx. 1.5 billion is domestic. The rest is foreign, and I would venture to say, that said profits greatly fall short of those made, for example, by the Chinese or Germans (in their North Sea Platforms). Add to this that said domestic oil firms are public companies, which means that over 60% of Americans have their CD's, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Plans tied to Oil Company Profits. This means that when said firms do well, these investments do well. Conversersely, when these firms do poorly, many Americans loose money. But, NO POLITICIANS, least of all from the GOP, who should be screaming from the heights, say anything in defense of these profits, and how they BENIFIT working Americans; But instead try and weakly either blunt the assult by the Left, or join in watered down versions of "control" or propose useless legislation. Again, stagnation is the result, due to disunity, due to the propaganda of rich vs. the perceived poor.
But, these examples point to one of the real degrading factors that have infected the Republic. That is, that one who produces, works for something practical, or succeeds, is now inherently evil and must be controlled and milked, for the benefit of those who will not work for the practical.
Dr. Mike Adams