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It started with made in USA, JAPAN.

When I landed my first job as a junior accountant back when I prefer not to remember, the person I worked for was a very well read and intelligent individual.  He was an attorney and cpa.  He practices the latter only.  I remember him stating to a client when we at lunch one day that the gov't was intentionally dumbing down the citizens of this country.  His theory was based on the tests being given by the armed services and quite a few gov't agencies and also various and sundry grade requirements in colleges.  I thought at the time he was making an outlandish statement, but given today's public macro-economic knowledge and the lack of ability to figure the light at the end of the tunnell was a train puts him right on target.

When you continually mix a poridge of trade deficits, declining industrial jobs, increased public programs, mounting staggering budget deficits, and deceptive political and private practices, guess what??  Your living the product of the above.

This economic condition is going to continue for quite a while.  Our standard of living has been under attack since 1950 and our government and responsible private sector guru's did nothing to avert and correct the situation.  I'm sorry, they did do something., they swept it under the rug while we were living well on an upward spiral so we didn't pay attention.  It was pretty plain what was going to happen.

Folks, the rug is gone.