News broke last year informing the residents of Phoenix that we were now living in the kidnapping capital of the country. Though it had reached a small decline in 2009, the Valley of the Sun had reached a 10-year high in 2008 with 359 kidnappings. Authorities were quick to try and relieve fears by insisting most kidnappings were related to the drug cartels. However, the metro are was seeing a sharp increase in abductions for the purpose of child prostitution and what is termed as "express kidnappings". "Express kidnappings" are abductions in which victims are held for a short time and either used to extort money from family members or forced to deduct money from their bank accounts.
I do not know what is more disturbing the idea that it is happening or the idea that we are adding slang language to our lexicon to describe these acts. This is how the decline into the third world happens. Not with a single cataclysmic event but with a slow trickle of rot and ruin. Suddenly, we have all adapted.
I would even venture to say if we go third world, the term third world leaves the lexicon. It just becomes the way things are. For the whole world.
Large healthy middle classes are what provide for stability. A country can handle a certain number of very poor people but not a majority. That means the hard working but not overly educated or especially brilliant guy gets to have a decent enough job that gives him something to care about.
The important class is the middle class. All third world countries have a small wealthy class and a vast poverty class. Mexico for example is one of the world's wealthiest nations. The rich class is small but extremely wealthy and decadent. There is a tiny middle class. The majority are very, very poor. Poverty leads to desperation. All the child labor laws in the world will not stop a hungry, amoral and ambitious sort to sell off a mouth that they can not feed. Or conversely to nab one off the street to make a few thousand dollars.
Often making the Argentine analogy, I think it is important to point out that Argentina was once on the trajectory to be like the United States. European immigrants, often times, were torn between choosing the United States or Argentina. It was the world's tenth wealthiest nation in 1915. That should be where the similarities end.
The decline was not sudden as many would lead you to believe. It was a slow death brought on by decadence of ruling European blood lined elites, welfare statism and the borrowing, spending, printing and debt to pay for those welfare statist promises.
I follow the Surviving in Argentina blog with some degree of regularity and I was disturbed to see his February 5th posting was titled Kidnappings in the USA: How to Prepare for Them. Link. He gives the warning that "how suddenly, things that supposedly didn’t happen anymore, like kidnappings, well they do." Though coming from a man who has lived it and continues to live with the fall out, we should heed his warnings and take his advice seriously.