Top stories of 2011

December 20th, 2011

With the end of 2011 just a few days away, Professor Voices asked several of our experts to tell us what they thought were the top stories of 2011. We’ll be posting more lists over the next few days.

Tom Whalen, College of General Studies

The decline of American economic power internationally

Everyone knows the American economy has been on shaky ground since the 2008 financial industry meltdown. But when Standard & Poor’s downgraded the nation’s AAA credit rating, it has finally sunk in to many that our better days as a nation might be behind us.

A Global Spring

Though it started in far off places like Egypt and Tunisia, there is no getting around the fact that the political status quo is no longer defensible around much of the globe. Mass protest is the new norm. Nor is the U.S. immune. The Tea Party movement and the various Occupy groups that have sprung up on our shores these past months indicate a growing mass discontent with current economic and political conditions. Look for it to continue in 2012.

An ungovernable nation

A house divided against itself cannot stand, Abraham Lincoln once warned. Increasingly, that is the situation the federal government in Washington D.C. faces as Republicans and Democrats can’t even find common ground on such pro forma issues as the raising of the debt ceiling.

The inevitability of Mitt

Despite his lackluster performance as a candidate to date, it seems that the former Massachusetts governor will emerge as the GOP nominee in the new year. A weak Republican field, a solid ground organization, and lots of money will see to that.

The death of Osama bin Laaden and the withdrawal from Iraq

These two separate events were campaign promises made by candidate Barack Obama when he was running for the presidency in 2008. As of today, he has delivered on both of them. Being a man of his word should deliver some major political benefits come reelection time.

Contact Whalen at 978-888-3131;

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