2020 Vision: Peter and America
America has been the leader of the free world before I came into being. America has always been a role model and is meant to be setting the pace and leading us all. This is the responsibility you have when you are the richest nation, and when you have the world’s biggest military. Sadly though, America does not appear to be doing its job like it used to. The words “poor America” are often heard these days on social media commentary.
We all have a relationship with America. I don’t have a relationship with Argentina or Uganda or Spain. Or most other countries. But America is very much a part of who we are. Through movies, brands, tech, media, and more. Think of the podcasts you listen to, or the YouTubers you watch, or the shows you see on TV. Chances are, they are American.
I have lived in America and there is a lot I loved about the time I spent there. I know many good American folk and I also know some really nasty characters. America has good and bad, like all places. Perhaps it is the concept of the American Dream that we are all drawn to. And this is where things start to get confusing.
One of the biggest concerns is about the growing inequality. The “system” favours those at the top more and more, and the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. This is not an American thing though. We see it wherever we turn. As the leader of the free world, I believe America has the opportunity to set the pace once again, and show the rest of the globe how to rise to the occasion. I know it is easier said than done, but I believe it is within America’s grasp.
The Unraveling of America
“The vast majority of Americans — white, black, and brown — are two paychecks removed from bankruptcy. Though living in a nation that celebrates itself as the wealthiest in history, most Americans live on a high wire, with no safety net to brace a fall.”
This was from an article in Rolling Stone magazine and it appears to have got a lot of airtime. It was quite a read. The part that I honed in on was about the growing inequality. In my view, greed is the biggest disease in existence today. Makes corona look like a walk in the park. Greed is what is messing up the world.
One thing is for sure, some very hard times are still coming. I don’t believe we have even scratched the surface of the struggle that lies ahead for most. An existential problem is one thing, but moreover, there is going to be a survival crises as many many people go hungry.
“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne. You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us”.
I met a very cool guy called Peter and I got to know him a little bit. He has a sharp sense of humour and an adventurous spirit. He is a real artist. Peter has a super cool YouTube channel.
Peter shared some thoughts with me on this article from Rolling Stone:
“What is beautiful for entrepreneurship and democracy is a federalist system and not a command and control economy dictated from the capital. A federalist system isn’t good for pandemics.
Empires rise and fall of course. But currently, nobody from the world goes to China to build the future, they go to the US. And who’s going to start something bold and grand in Europe? Apart from governments aimed against the entrepreneur… the mindset of failure isn’t matured. People are afraid to fail in Europe, and that’s why it feels like pooled up water in a pond growing algae.
Sure America has many problems, it’s also a place that can reinvent itself and adapt to the future. I used to think like this journalist but after a lot of experiences traveling the world, living abroad, thinking about the country, and observing my opinions have changed.”
I hope that America continues to innovate and inspire. At this point in time I can’t see another nation that could take America’s place as the leaders of the free world.
Observations from Gus Silber: Gotta admit it, as unfashionable as it may be to say: I’m an unashamed Americanophile. Have been pretty much all my life, ever since I can recall. Thrilled, as a kid, by watching cowboys ride the wide and wild open spaces in the movies. Awed by the crackling transmissions from the Sea of Tranquility, on the night Armstrong and Aldrin took their small steps and giant leaps on the moon. Mind-blown, as a teenager, by the raucous, joyous noise of rock ‘n roll, the Blues, modern jazz, and everything in-between. Mind-opened by the novels, the poetry, the artworks , the whole vast canvas of the American landscape and its interior reflections. Moved to tears, on my first visit to New York City, by the sublime beauty of the Chrysler Building, the infinite view from the top of the Empire State, the torch in the hands of Liberty, standing sentinel in the harbour to welcome the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. “You have a blessed day now,” drawled the passport-stamping customs official at JFK, the last time I was there, a couple of years ago, and I took it as order as much as a greeting. America is the blessed land, the cursed land, the land we all look down on and look up to, for different reasons, according to our own shifting mood and the temper of the times. America is a dream, an ideal, a state of mind, and it will always rise, just like the skyscrapers, even after they fall. This is not its worst time, not by a long shot, not after all the wars and revolutions and meltdowns on Wall Street. It will be back, different, renewed, maybe unrecognisably so, but it will still be, just as it always has been, America.