When the Capital is in Shambles, the Nation isn't Far Behind
Truth be told, the signs of decay could be seen throughout the capital in the years leading up to the crash. I had the opportunity to visit Athens back in 2007, and while I found it to be a wonderful city for the most part, you didn't have to look very far to see cracks in the veneer.
For one, there were packs of feral dogs roaming the streets. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen before. Fortunately they were quite friendly, but only because the city made sure to keep them well fed. Before the Olympics, the city began a campaign to deal with the dogs by setting up feeding stations to keep them docile, and spaying them to control their numbers. Still, you couldn't walk more than a couple blocks without being approached by a feral dog (or two or three or six).
That wasn't the only problem though. There might have been issues with the water as well. I was told not to drink out of the tap, and treat the water the same way you would if you were in Mexico. From time to time you could see soldiers (or police?) on the streets with MP5 sub machine guns, standing around with no clear purpose.
If you walked the road leading up to the Parliament Building you could find diseased beggars huddled along the sidewalk, afflicted with something I could only compare to Leprosy (could you imagine seeing that on the way to your state capital?). Once you reached the Parliament building you would be swamped with outraged leftist protesters.
Overall, the city was a powder keg. It wasn't obvious to me at the time, but it's apparent now, that Greece was in the early stages of collapse. There was just enough smiling people and busy restaurants to make you think you were walking through a clean city with a bright future. Once you dug a little under the surface though, it was clear that the city, and by extension the whole country, was on the brink of disaster.
So, if it were possible to judge a nation by what you saw on its streets, what would your conclusion be for America? If a nation's capital is in shambles, what does it say about the future of that nation? If we took a look at Washington D.C. will we see what's in store for the rest of the nation? Let's take a look at the conditions in D.C and see what our children can look forward to:
In Washington, the right to protect yourself has been completely discarded. It's impossible for a civilian to conceal carry a firearm without breaking the law, and the types of weapons you can own are severely restricted. You can't store a loaded gun in your vehicle, and God help you if you happen to have a weapon that's legally registered out of state.
But don't worry, there's plenty of cops around to keep you safe. Washington D.C. has the highest number of cops per capita in the nation, with an average of 61.2 officers for every ten thousand residents. Perhaps if D.C. was its own state, they could rename it the Police State.
And after thoroughly neutering their residents of the right to defend themselves, and putting an armed guard on every street corner, they still have one of the highest violent crime rates in the United States. To their credit, they only rank 46th out of America's most dangerous cities, which is a far cry from even a decade ago when they had more than twice as many murders every year.
However, the cops can't pat themselves on the back for this one. The lower crime rate is due to the gentrification of the city, not gun laws or police patrols. Which brings me to another point. The city also has one of the widest wealth gaps in the nation:
The booming District of Columbia features the wealthiest high-income strata among big U.S. cities and more poor people than the national average, leading analysts to call it a microcosm of the larger U.S. economy.
Middle-class jobs hollowed out by the 2007-2009 recession have failed to come back. A flood of mostly young, educated newcomers has helped revitalize once-blighted neighborhoods, but is wiping out low-cost housing within sight of the Capitol.To top it all off, their infrastructure is crumbling at a frightening pace. 99 percent of their roads are in poor or mediocre condition, 30 bridges are considered structurally deficient, and their water system is going to need over several billion dollars for updates and repairs over the next 30 years. The state of their roads is costing drivers $311 million in repairs every year, and their public transport system is sub par to say the least.
You have to remember, if you live in a country where the power and authority is heavily centralized, whatever manifests in the capital is eventually going to make its way to the rest of the nation. And we can already see the writing on the wall. An infrastructure that is in pieces, a wealthy elite telling us what we can and can't do, and an oppressive police state to back them up.
I was lucky enough to see a beautiful Athens before it was squandered by elites and burned to the ground by riots. I can't say I feel lucky now.
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