Financial Times columnist Edward Luce says America is on the decline internationally and domestically and we too often act like spoiled brats. He has written a book about it, Time to Start Thinking: America in the Age of Descent.
His basic thesis is that the United Sates is losing its pragmatism and that this leads to all manner of disasters. Polarization on ideological grounds increasingly means that nothing gets done. The two sides are deeply entrenched and highly suspicious of the other. Thus, needed reforms don’t happen, schools and infrastructure deteriorate, and America loses its edge. This process is aided and abetted by the “permanent election campaign” mentality which means politicians must always be raising money. The more polarized politics becomes, the easier it is to raise money by demonizing the other side. Thus the process feeds upon itself.