Catalog of Institutional Decay

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Updated 5/30/2016 – 1:32 am

Our societal institutions are dying. They have been dying slowly for the last 40 years.

Emerging victorious and hungry from World War II, America embarked on a grand experiment of rebuilding the nation from the ground up, and many of the institutions of life that we now interact with everyday were conceived during that time. But institutions do not simply persist unchanged into perpetuity. Like any worldly creation they have a tendency towards increasing entropy, and without effort and maintenance will inevitably fall into disrepair.

We all see it in our daily lives, but it has become clear to me that it is impossible to understand the magnitude of the problem without seeing all the details collected in one place. To that end, I have begun this catalog. The objective is to show readers that if, for every one tiny, incremental step forward we then take two enormous leaps backward, we’re going to be in trouble.

This is our fault. For a generation we have been under-solving our problems, doing the minimum needed to maintain our current standard of living in the short-term. Institutional decay is not something that we can blame on this particular politician, or that particular decision. It happens because of mass cultural acquiescence. And the only way to heal will be through collective will and sacrifice. I am very optimistic that in the near future we will be able to summon the political will to solve these problems. Though for now, many of these issues are only getting worse.

Please feel free to submit links that you think should be included.

Government and Politics

The decay of American political institutions.

Murders committed by “terrorists” are actually mostly from homegrown extremists.

Economics

Long-Term Structural Trends Have Killed The Middle-Class

Wage Stagnation Despite Increased Productivity

The Great Productivity Slowdown

Low Wage Jobs Pay So Little That Workers Must Rely On Public Assistance To Survive

Nearly All “Welfare Fraud” Is Actually Caused By Managers And Executives

All of the banks that were “too big to fail’ in 2008 are now bigger and still growing.

The Workplace

Wage Theft, where businesses simply don’t pay the full amount owed to their workers, is spreading.

Ten years ago the government discovered that the meat industry is incredibly dangerous. Since then, it has only gotten worse, but now the industry takes steps to avoid reporting it.

The Media

A small number of billionaires is exerting increasing influence on media content.

Our Profit-Seeking Media is Creating a Misinformed Public

Trust of the media has been falling for at least 20 years

Infrastructure

Enjoy America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

Specific example: the DC metro catches fire 4 times per week.

Criminal Justice

Our Police Kill Lots of People, Our Prisons Are Full, And The Whole System Is Racist

How America’s gun background check system has major holes.

Healthcare

Medical Errors Are Now The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death

America Puts Its Mentally Ill In Jail

Science 

Our broken science funding system is getting worse, and it’s hurting results.

It’s possible that as many as 1 out of 5 opinion surveys contain fraudulent data.

Global Institutions

Rampant Ineffectiveness at the UN

 

And you can be quite sure that there’s more to come.

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