Broken America

Bananas

Endangered Species
#1
Is the USA really as abysmal and in such dire straits as people make out?

Seriously Im struggling to remember the last positive to come out of the States, all Americans seem to do nowadays is complain about the economy, the politicians and the sky falling on their heads.

Take California for example, until 10 years ago it was famous for Hollywood blockbusters, Silicone Valley and some rather good new world wines among plenty of other things...now all that gets reported on is immigration and the deficit.

What about the military, once it was all about strategic space defence programs, stealth planes and other cutting edge technologies, nowadays all you hear about is the struggle in Afghanistan and the cost of Iraq.

...and the economy, for a country with the 6th highest GDP in the world you all dont half moan a lot of how bad the monetary system is. Then there is standard of living and everything else that the USA is supposedly so great at, yet what happened? all the international community is hearing about is house repossessions, a burnt out fiscal system, corporate and political corruption and how the average American is being shafted by, well, ..other Americans mostly.

What happened to the audacious tenacity that once poured out of the USA? Dont get me wrong but in the last 15 years the USA has become kind of feckless, nolonger is there the glass half full and you'd do your darn best to fill the other half mentality,I get the impression its now seen as half empty and only a matter of time before the other half empties so why bother trying when its just as easy to moan mentality.

So am I right in noticing in this shift?

...& before anyone is moronic enough to take offence at anyone non-American suggesting anyhting negative about America you just have to , this is a genuine observation, you just have to look at many of the topics of discussion on GF or glance at google news. Its also not something that is exclusive to the US, a similar thing happened in the UK in the 70's to early 80's. After the struggles of the 40's and 50's a slight boom in the 60's then there was a period of sourness where everything became broken.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#2
I think you are right in noticing this shift. While the US is still in much better shape than most of the rest of the world, the problem is it appears that the country is sliding downward.

Of course there are numerous factors that have contributed to this but the biggest factor to me is the falling of the economy AND the reaction to it. It's not just that things look bleak, it is that there doesn't seem to be any light at the end of the tunnel.

I'm an optimist, and I believe in what this country was founded on. And ordinarily I would say it may take some time but America will find itself back on top again. Unfortunately, mainly because of the rising debt that we just cannot tax our way out of, I just can't be that optimistic.

You mention Hollywood blockbusters and Silicon Valley, those and others are the kinds of things we need to be encouraging. We need to encourage entreprenuership and investment. We need to encourage risk. Instead we're encouraging saving instead of consumer spending. And that's why, to me, things look bleak.

Let me add, I don't see the mentality of individual responsibility anymore. What I see are people expecting the government to take care of things for them instead of taking the initiative and sacrifice and taking care of themselves.
 
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Bananas

Endangered Species
#3
I think you are right in noticing this shift. While the US is still in much better shape than most of the rest of the world, the problem is it appears that the country is sliding downward.
...........

I'm an optimist, and I believe in what this country was founded on. And ordinarily I would say it may take some time but America will find itself back on top again. Unfortunately, mainly because of the rising debt that we just cannot tax our way out of, I just can't be that optimistic.
This is the thing, Im not hearing the optimism any more. Things have not been great around the globe and in the UK despite the economic trouble evn if you only made £1 today you would still go to work tomorrow to try and earn £2. I just get the feeling in the USA its a case of earning $1 and anticipate tomorrow your only going to earn $0.50. Its as if the way forward is negativity, its not just a lack of optimism but that lack of drive.


Let me add, I don't see the mentality of individual responsibility anymore. What I see are people expecting the government to take care of things for them instead of taking the initiative and sacrifice and taking care of themselves.
I was wondering this myself, not in a social context but by fortune of prosperity. Had the USA gotten to comfortable and complacent in its wealth?
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#4
This is the thing, Im not hearing the optimism any more. Things have not been great around the globe and in the UK despite the economic trouble evn if you only made £1 today you would still go to work tomorrow to try and earn £2. I just get the feeling in the USA its a case of earning $1 and anticipate tomorrow your only going to earn $0.50. Its as if the way forward is negativity, its not just a lack of optimism but that lack of drive.
In my opinion, I think in the US there is too much of the thinking of why wake up tomorrow and try and earn $1.50 when I can sit at home and the government will give me $2. This is where I agree with you in that there is a lack of drive.



I was wondering this myself, not in a social context but by fortune of prosperity. Had the USA gotten to comfortable and complacent in its wealth?
I don't think so, I think the US has become complacent with it's entitlement programs.
 

icegoat63

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#5
I was wondering this myself, not in a social context but by fortune of prosperity. Had the USA gotten to comfortable and complacent in its wealth?
This is exactly it. And I've heard it from many many local contractors both big and small. They all say the same story "If only I would have known, but instead I was just spending comfortably". Same thing with people, "if only I'd have known I wouldnt have bought this house at a 350% more than what its worth, etc etc etc.

30 years ago Minimum Wage was $1.60... now here in California its Five times that. But the problem is, the money hasnt become truly more...

I found this table on this website: (Federal Minimum Wage Rates, 1955?2009 — Infoplease.com) and it showed how that $1.60 was about the equivalent to making $6.47. Then you look at 2007 and the minimum wage was $5.85 but only equivalent to $4.41. So even though visually we feel like we've made more money over the years... we're actually living "above our means" so to speak, purchasing items in this generation that the consumers 2 generations ago would have passed out over.

I paid upwards of $12,000 for my fiances engagement ring... when I showed my grandma she told me the story about how her engagement ring cost my grandpa $300 back in the 40's and that was really stretching his financial stability. We talked about housing and how her house back in the 60's cost a whopping $30,000... I laughed because my truck cost more than that and being in the market today for a house in California.. you're lucky to find one for 130,000... hell a midrange house with 3 bedrooms 2 bath is more like 230k.

I've taken enough economics to know that inflation and deflation are the roots of those issues.... but I also think thats the reason the vibe from Americans is so bleak. Because more of us in Generation Y have gone to college and can see how living above our means has helped drive the country into alot of the Individual debt crisis it is. I feel confident in saying we've grown intelligent enough due to trends like this;

Generation Y doesn't care about Cars

And all through college I've had it pounded through my head that My generation is recognized as "Generation Debt"... because of flooding of credit cards into the mainstream markets and how we lack the restraints of how to properly use them without maxing 'em out. I personally have a hard time stomaching that accusation and feel that in fact my Generation is the one that will be taking charge of the Debt created by the one before us (Damn you Generation X you spendthrift sons of bitches). That as of 2012 we'll start turning 25-30 and taking over Policy Making and Debt Handling that apparently was "our doing" :hah:

but yeah, all in all I think thats what it comes from... Generation Y is the Generation you're hearing from. We're the ones that grew up with Computers, We're vastly more educated than the generation before us, and we recognize what a crappy situation our Country is in and quite frankly I dont believe we know how to fix it and thats just depressing.
 

konboye

Registered Member
#6
End times people, signs are everywhere for those who can open their eyes. If you want to keep analyzing, you will only get more confused, go ahead. The Bible did say the USA will be the last world power before the second coming of Christ.
 
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Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
#7
I do not know how much truth this holds, but an American (my sisters boyfriend) has said in talking about America and how it has changed from when his father was a boy that he seems to think has hurt America it's economy and the American way of life today.

He has said the one thing that many Americans resent of it's own Government is the policies of how if you are a foreigner and come to America to open a business, the US Government gives to these people everything they need to do this including having to pay limited or no taxes for a time, but to be an American the Government does nothing like this for it's own people. Just looking at this, if there is any truth to it, I can see how some Americans can begin to lose some faith in their own government and them selves over time.
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#8
I do not know how much truth this holds, but an American (my sisters boyfriend) has said in talking about America and how it has changed from when his father was a boy that he seems to think has hurt America it's economy and the American way of life today.

He has said the one thing that many Americans resent of it's own Government is the policies of how if you are a foreigner and come to America to open a business, the US Government gives to these people everything they need to do this including having to pay limited or no taxes for a time, but to be an American the Government does nothing like this for it's own people. Just looking at this, if there is any truth to it, I can see how some Americans can begin to lose some faith in their own government and them selves over time.
I've never heard of anything like this, unless he's talking about tax incentives for doing business here but even then, I've never heard of that.

I think the biggest difference people have is thinking just how expansive and just how much power the federal government has or should have.
 

Ilus_Unistus

Registered Member
#9
I've never heard of anything like this, unless he's talking about tax incentives for doing business here but even then, I've never heard of that.

I think the biggest difference people have is thinking just how expansive and just how much power the federal government has or should have.
It is possible I did not understand, it was over year ago when he was visiting we talked of this and my English was much worse then and I only really remember bits of the conversation, not even sure why I posted it...
 

CaptainObvious

Son of Liberty
V.I.P.
#10
It is possible I did not understand, it was over year ago when he was visiting we talked of this and my English was much worse then and I only really remember bits of the conversation, not even sure why I posted it...
He may have been talking about a tax incentive that only applies to a certain situation, thus very narrow as opposed to being broad. But I don't know about any such incentive for foreigners. Those kinds of complaints do happen though and some can be legitimate.