American Decline is a Choice

Victor Davis Hanson has a pretty long piece in National Review reminding us that American decline is a choice. For some reason, the “smartest thinkers” for almost a century have told us we need to follow one foreign model or another – the efficient fascists, then the Soviets, then the Japanese, now China. (Speaking of China, have you heard about all of the cities they’ve built that now stand empty?) The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way.

American petroleum engineers over the last decade have discovered radical new methods of recovering previously unknown or unreachable reserves of oil and gas. Contrary to all conventional wisdom, America’s natural-gas and petroleum reserves just keep growing. Suddenly, we have enough known natural gas to supply 100 percent of our domestic needs for the next 90 years — a huge window of opportunity in which to transition to competitive renewable energy. That is on top of trillions of dollars’ worth of new oil finds offshore and in Alaska, the Dakotas, and the West, which will create millions of new jobs and help pay down the deficit — if we have the will to extract such energy resources. The real story is not the pathetic machinations surrounding Solyndra, a statist, corrupt model that will never produce competitive power, but a quiet revolution in North Dakota, which is emerging as the new Texas. Within 15 years, North America could reinvent itself as completely independent from Middle Eastern gas and oil. Indeed, from Calgary to Argentina and Brazil, new petroleum and natural-gas finds may soon make the Western Hemisphere the world’s new Persian Gulf. That fact will change the entire global geostrategic and financial landscape in ways that are scarcely imaginable.

And that’s just the energy sector. As Hanson points out, we’re “light years ahead” of our competitors. Read the whole thing.

That’s not to say that we don’t have some obstacles to overcome, as Ayn Rand pointed out so many years ago.