Working in engineering we are faced with problems that effect how efficiently we can get our work done. Computer programs or models we use slowly overtime grow and become less efficient and make our work harder and more expensive. We call this "efficiency creep". The problem starts with areas that start out fast but over time they get modified (new features etc..) and affect how they run and function. A test may take 60 seconds to run at the beginning of project A, but by the end of the project A its now running 75 seconds (25% slower). The next project team takes over and they never saw the original 60 second time and so the 75 second time becomes the new "baseline". Over the course of the second project B it slows down to 90 seconds (20% slower). Not bad but nothing to worry about either. Project C takes over and the 90 seconds is the new baseline and it slows down to 120 seconds (33% change). It may be of some concern to some in the group, but no one has time to fix it (too busy) and so they say they will address it later. It doesn't. After several projects the test is now running 250 seconds (over 4 times slower than when it started). This costs the company large amounts of money because we don't just have 1 test, but instead we have 1000's of tests just like that are all running 4 times slower and so we need 4 times more hardware (equipment) to get the tests done in the same amount of time). Below is a graph illustrating the problem:
As you can see each project doesn't see that the test used to run in 1 minute at the beginning of project A. Instead of comparing to Project A, they only compare to what they saw at the beginning of their project and by the send of 7 projects, the problem has "compounded" itself (like interest on a loan) to where its a "bloody mess".
The same holds true for us as a country. Without going back to the original government, each subsequent generation only thinks their government is only a little worse than the prior generation. Some call this "boiling a frog alive" but that is more folklore than fact and is often dismissed since "who wants to boil frogs?". This I think better illustrates our problem as its not so much an organized effort (though there may be some of that element as well), but instead its a lack of historical reference.
Using this illustration, the way engineers keep this from happening is that we must constantly go back to the original baseline and proactively fix problems so they do not compound over time
As seen above each project compares constantly to the baseline and makes THAT its target or goal and so proactively fixes the problem throughout the project.
This is why teaching our children REAL HISTORY is so important. Our schools are not doing an adequate job. They are effectively erasing the baseline hoping we will forget how it used to be. How politicians put COUNTRY before SELFISH-AMBITION. How real people like George Washington said NO TO POWER (he could have made himself king). How our federal government was set up to be small and limited and not all-powerful and controlling.
Let's get back to the baseline and show our children what America was supposed to be about: limited government, free-enterprise, and self-control.