Manifest Destiny Grows Up
During the 1840’s politicians often talked of ‘manifest destiny.’ It represented the American ideals of the time: the extension of the United States all the way to the Pacific Ocean. After the realization of manifest destiny, during the 1928 presidential election, Herbert Hoover modernized the idea by promising, “a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” They were right – America is now the most prosperous nation in the world.
It seems now, though, that the American ideology has shifted from an optimistic outlook on the future to a pessimistic one. The new ideology is one of impending crisis: resources are being exhausted, urban sprawl is killing the environment, clean water can’t support the earth’s population… I ran across an article on the PERC website today that represents the kind of ideology that will continue to produce a prosperous and progressive America. It gave a poignant example of how technology can solve resource and environmental problems if we can just shake the chains of static rules, and the command and control mentality. The link is http://www.perc.org/publications/percreports/march2005/fresh_water.php