Last evening, my teenage daughter,who is taking a U.S. History course as a Junior in High School, talked about a question posed by her teacher:What is meant by the term America as a Promised Land?The entire class   said that the term Promised Land can more properly be applied to countries in Asia, starting with China and India.One girl expressed it this way: What do we have left in this country? Our autos stink,our computers and software are all made in China or India, pretty soon many of our drug and pharmaceutical industries will also be gone.The only thing we will have left is making war as our major industry.

Coming as it does from the children of one of Central Indiana’s most affluent communities, and a rabid Republican area at that, I was taken aback by this gloomy assessment.I now have a newfound respect for our children.They seem to have the sense of foreboding my generation felt in the 60’s.

The War in Vietnam, entered into by a hubris drenched Lyndon Johnson, ushered in the era of deficit financing of wars by Presidents.The insatiable demand for war materiel laid the foundation for the rise of the Japanese Steel, auto and electronics industries.The consequences are now being felt by communities throughout the Midwest.The children sense a similar scenario unfolding for them with the War on Iraq giving an opportunity for the other Asian giants, China and India, to catch and indeed surpass us as we have become not merely dependent on the flow of goods and services from these countries but also need financing to maintain our lifestyle.

The massive transfer of wealth that is taking place under our noses to these Asian countries, the hemorrhaging of jobs is only one facet of this decline.The inevitable rise in petroleum prices and the growth in our own consumption is also contributing to this transfer of wealth.

To think that an ignorant man, devoid of any sense of history and drunk with hubris, can preside over the liquidation of the American Dream, is what gets to me.May be he needs to come to our high school and learn something from our children.They seem to know what is in store for them.

That is the only thing that gives me hope this morning.

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