There are dark clouds across the horizon. Anywhere you look, news is not good. USA seems to be in for a long haul given the near animosity between the Democrats and Republicans over How much government is good government and no consensus yet on the debt ceiling raise. Sure, I am an optimist and am sure that in the next few days, some kind of deal will be hammered out. But this will not help arrest the decline that the society is in with its emphasis on winner take all. The rising income disparities are not on anyone’s agenda since everyone is looking to drive home their own agendas. Americans are too much into looking good. Ever saw any American wearing shabby clothes. Anyone with a stubble, a dishellved look? Huge amount of money is spent on clothes, cosmetics, shoes, bags, furniture, furnishings, automobiles and other goodies of life. Who buys the maximum number of Iphones- yes, Americans. For US to regain its competitiveness, it has to reduce its costs, learn to have lesser laws to deal with, lesser compliances, cut down on current consumption and save more. Americans used to be hardy lot but the COLA and defined benefits have loaded corporations with too much to handle. So it is a given that US will not lead the world out of the looming recession.