WASHINGTON—After nearly a decade of promises that the nation was on the brink of a technological, economic, and scientific golden age, citizens across the country confirmed Monday they are now realizing a bold new era of American innovation is just flat-out not gonna happen.
Citing the fragile economy and an exceedingly volatile political landscape, many Americans told reporters they are now fairly certain that the chances of the United States spearheading global advancements within the likes of biotechnology, health care, or manufacturing are pretty much zilch.
“I always hear politicians talk about America being at the forefront of technological achievement, and it’s just now hitting me how completely absurd that sounds,” said 37-year-old Seattle resident Daniel Townsend. “They’ve been saying that stuff for years as if it’s always right around the corner. If we’ve really been at a crossroads with the next wave of cutting-edge innovation at our fingertips, wouldn’t we have seen at least one huge breakthrough by now? Like something more important and life-changing than a new type of phone?”
“God, even hearing myself say the words ‘next wave of cutting-edge innovation’ out loud makes the whole thing sound even more ridiculous,” Townsend added. “Can anyone honestly say they feel like America is leading the rest of the world into a bold new tomorrow?”
Saying that the United States pioneering daring advancements in clean air technology ain’t gonna happen now, not 10 years from now, not ever, millions of citizens also confirmed they are now coming to terms with the fact that a grand era of sustained American prosperity just isn’t in the cards.
“During the last election, I admittedly got really excited when Obama proposed things like a high-speed rail system, a modernized and more efficient national power grid, and affordable college educations for every American,” said physical therapist Chris Donner, 42, of Wilmington, DE. “But now that I’ve had a chance to sort of step back and calmly assess where we are as a country, I can say with full confidence that we’re not taking any bold leaps into a bright future anytime soon.”
“I still drive a car that runs on expensive gasoline along dilapidated, crumbling roads, I put my kids through an education system that’s as broken as ever, and my sister died of cancer last year,” Donner continued. “So, unless every other part of America is experiencing a bold resurgence that just hasn’t gotten to Wilmington yet, I can safely say I’ll be long dead before any of that happens.”
Though they conceded that more tax incentives for startup businesses and a $100 million initiative to map the human brain “sound great on paper,” many citizens reportedly admitted that such endeavors are seeming less and less likely to fuel a powerful new engine of American enterprise. Residents of all 50 states also told reporters they are gradually learning that greater incomes, higher-quality jobs, and vastly improved standards of living are not headed their way anytime soon.
“Listen, I’m sure we’re going to come out with better computers and video games and the internet will get a little faster, and that’s fine, but I assume that’ll just about be the extent of it,” said 29-year-old accountant Jessica Bradford, adding that the concept of American entrepreneurs spurring new, flourishing industries based on inventions comparable to the telephone and the computer chip is “pretty much out the window at this point.” “Who’s supposed to be thinking up all these groundbreaking ideas and investing in these emerging markets? Because I’m not doing it, I can tell you that much.”
According to a recent survey, 41 percent of Americans said they had abandoned any hope of the U.S. developing a progressive blueprint for reversing global warming. Seventy-nine percent claimed that the idea of social media companies like Facebook and Twitter blazing the trail to a new technological paradigm is “just plain dumb if you really think about it.” And when asked if they truly and honestly believed the United States would at any point pioneer a new age of research and development rivaling that of the Space Race era, 45 percent of survey respondents immediately replied with a simple “Nope,” while the remaining 55 percent stared silently at the ground for several moments before quietly chuckling and shaking their heads.
“I’ve always been told to believe in the hard work, resilience, and ingenuity of the American people,” said 33-year-old graphic designer Glen Claremont of Raleigh, NC. “But, look, I’m not an idiot. I know how math works, and I know we can’t usher in a revolution of American manufacturing when it’s way, way cheaper to outsource to Asia. We’ve just been kidding ourselves this whole time.”
Many experts have reportedly echoed the increasing skepticism that rapid and broad-based scientific growth would ever arrive in any form whatsoever.
“The U.S. can certainly remain competitive with the rest of the world in some fields,” said Columbia University economist Dr. Thomas Kenner. “But leading? Nah. Those days are over.”