Five Societal Trends That Signal Our Nation's Decline

California is a sad example of the consequences of a workforce becoming less educated.

In 1970 California ranked seventh among all states in the high school completion rates of its workforce. By 2008 it had sunk to 50 out of 50 states. Could there possibly be a connection between California’s financial woes and this statistic?

Four out of every ten births in America are to unmarried women.

This is according to a 2009 Centers for Disease Control report covering the year 2007.

Expect this trend to continue, for births to unmarried mothers were up 26% over 2002.

Why do I consider this statistic one of the five societal trends of decline? The answer is in the CDC report:

Nonmarital births are at a higher risk of having adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality than are children born to married woman. Children born to single mothers typically have more limited social and financial resources.

Here is yet another trend feeding the poverty cycle with all its associated woes.

Moreover, because “adverse birth outcomes such as low birth weight and preterm birth” often lead to more childhood and long-term health issues with the “limited social and financial resources” of unmarried mothers, these health problems will inevitably fall on the public health care system.

Could there be a correlation between 4 out of 10 births to unmarried women and 1 in 5 children living in poverty? Perhaps some sociology graduate student just found a thesis topic.

Only 53 percent of Americans are paying federal income taxes.

So with our nation’s population getting poorer, an increase in the number of high school drop-outs, and higher educational attainment on the decline, there will naturally be a greater demand for government services of all kinds.

But who is left to pay for those services?

A little more than half of our taxpayers, 53%, picked up the tab this past April 15th for the remaining 47% who didn’t pay any federal income tax.  According to USA Today:

The result is a tax system that exempts almost half the U.S. from paying for programs that benefit everyone, including national defense, public safety, infrastructure and education. It is a system in which the top 10% of earners — households making an average of $366,400 in 2006 — paid about 73% of the income taxes collected by the federal government.

The article goes on to say:

The bottom 40%, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax system, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment.

We have a national tax system where the top 10% of earners are paying 73% of the federal income taxes, while the bottom 40% are making a profit. What a country!

No wonder so many of the world’s citizens want to come here and stay.

When you consider all five of these disturbing societal trends, it is apparent why the two-thirds of adults who think our nation is in decline will be visiting our 51st state of Anxiety more often.

I hope they like it, because they'll be retiring there.