Nearly twenty years ago, Edward Luttwak addressed the issue of American decline, surprisingly enough in Commentary. (Their website is read for pay, so isn’t worth the trouble of linking to). It stirred a medium sized debate, where most conservatives considered Luttwak’s worries (infrastructure falling apart, collapse of the manufacturing economy) overwrought. Luttwak opened his piece with a description of what the traveler experiences at JFK, compared to airports at other advanced industrialized countries.
I picked up a daughter coming home from college there yesterday. In addition to the unavoidable flight delays, there was a madhouse as three flights at the Delta terminal were served on one conveyor belt, which frequently broke down. So, two plus additional hours to get luggage. Then a walk to the parking garage, where the elevators weren’t functioning. Some lugging very heavy bags up a winding staircase.
Luttwak compared JFK with airports in Tokyo and, I think, Singapore. The said daughter is traveling to Mexico this summer, and India in the fall. I wonder how JFK these days will compare Mexico City and New Delhi. I’m not too optimistic.
But, yes, America, world’s only superpower, does have many aircraft carriers and thousands of nuclear weapons.