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Old Yesterday, 12:36 PM
 
Location: East Coast of the United States
16,535 posts, read 19,043,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathjak107 View Post
if you think this is a decline you should have been around with us in the 1970's when i got dumped out of school in to vietnam ,,, the highest unemployment since the great depression , double digit inflation , a dead stock market , no gas , soaring oil prices and riots in the streets with students being killed in demonstrations at college .
You served in the Vietnam War?
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Old Yesterday, 12:41 PM
 
Location: too far from the sea
19,175 posts, read 18,253,367 times
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It's true. I can see the long view because I was born just at the end of WWII. For a while it got better. One man could support a family. By the time I got married, it took two of us working but we were able to buy a house in 1970 for just $20,000.

I don't know exactly when it happened, but things stopped getting better--the elderly got Medicare and there was help for the very poor-- but then it started getting worse. Maybe it was in the '80s or the '90s. I do remember hating Reagan because he was for the rich. That was in the '80s. He tried to convince people that if he made the rich richer, their money would just "trickle down" to the rest of us! hahahahha--some people fell for it.

But something else is going on too. A lot of lobbyists paying our politicians to vote against our own good. Our politicians make promises but then they just do what the lobbyists PAY them to do.

No one's doing anything to clean up the mess that is welfare or to stop the very rich from being able to take advantage of the rest of us. No one cares in either party. It's corruption to the very core. All that matters is that with hard work, good connections, good health, and a lot of luck, some people can make a boatload of money.

I've seen a big change in people now thinking that success=money instead of success=being happy or helping others, or making the world a better place. Everything is money now. Compete, climb all over everyone else, destroy the planet. Survival of the fittest--and who cares about anyone else.

In other words, it's all about capitalism gone too far and out of control. Capitalism needs to be balanced with some degree of help for those who are less able/less fortunate/less lucky. Otherwise you get a vast chasm between rich and poor--and the poor will eventually revolt.

Dickensian means inequality among social classes and that's what we have regressed to in this country.
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Old Yesterday, 12:45 PM
 
4,924 posts, read 2,574,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by njbiodude View Post
I don't argue that point. But part of the reason I live here is my job which is technical, specialized and highly paid can't be obtained in much of the rest of the country. Sure I might be able to do the same thing I do now in Seattle or Boston but the overall salary to housing cost situation wouldn't improve much in those locations.

I remember my father making around 60k (with a mom that didn't work) in the early 1990s and us renting a nice 3 bedroom house in the area (and he wasn't always making this much money btw). Even assuming doubling of costs for inflation 120k wouldn't cut it these days.

I've also lived in other states and the same thing seems to be an issue everywhere. I lived in the Carolinas and the areas with decent jobs were fairly unaffordable to many even with decent incomes for the area. Same with NJ and NY.

People are thinking of the Hegemonic era of the US which spanned about 30+ years after WWII (which is the time period your parents were young adults). Most of the world's industrial capacity was destroyed, and the U.S over the next 3 decades helped repair those areas and their economies.

Of course the US was going to enjoy a much higher standard of living as the only undamaged 1st world economy on the planet. The country isn't in decline as much as it is now having to compete on a global scale.

In the modern era we have to compete globally. US Hegemony ended in the late 70s and those times are not coming back. We have to compete against the China's of the world.

Funny part is that certain segments of the country laughed when Trump said we had to negotiate tough with China.
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Old Yesterday, 12:46 PM
 
69,088 posts, read 69,742,064 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
You served in the Vietnam War?
i got drafted ...lucky number 80 ......
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Old Yesterday, 02:07 PM
 
4,924 posts, read 2,574,916 times
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The real US "decline" is in the acceptance of diversity of thought. It will eventually destroy the country far before climate change ever will.
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Old Yesterday, 02:10 PM
 
3,582 posts, read 880,783 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShampooBanana View Post
This is what ultimately happens in the late stages of (mostly) unfettered capitalism until safeguards and limits are put in place or the whole system gets overhauled. It happened in the 1920's and it took the Great Depression and then a World War to snap us out of it. Economic times were pretty great for a couple decades but since then the US has been in a long, steady decline for the past 4 decades or so as great socialist programs have eroded and corruption and privatization has eroded our infrastructure and once great institutions. The same thing happened over a longer period of time in Britain, which once ruled half the world but is now maybe barely in the Top 5 of the world's largest economies. Frankly it's gotten so bad it might take a full-on revolution to upend the system, which might mean a hit of the "reset" button. If that happens it won't be pretty for a while for a lot of people.
Unfettered capitalism? OP lives in California. I would argue that's the opposite of unfetter capitalism.
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Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
22,604 posts, read 16,744,489 times
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I'm 32, so don't have the long view that older people do. With that said, yes, I've noticed a pretty sharp decline.

I grew up in northeast TN, which was then dominated by manufacturing, with a lot of men working in coal mines in nearby southwest VA. Tobacco was also important.

I went to county schools. It was very common to have a father employed in a job at one of the manufacturing plants and a wife doing pink collar work. SAHMs were still fairly common. At the time and given the area's cost of living, a blue collar dad's wage could get most people a decent, middle class here.

Today, those middle class, blue collar manufacturing jobs are gone. What blue collar manufacturing is left largely pays way less than adjusted for inflation, and many of those positions, which used to be direct hire at the "big company," are now run through temp agencies with no benefits of any kind. Bottom end work, retail, call centers, food service, that sort of thing, has expanded dramatically. It's now common to have a mom working as a CNA and dad in a call center or whatever. The standard of living has gone way down.

The area has largely failed to move beyond its manufacturing past. There has been some "good job" growth in healthcare and related administrative positions, some "knowledge" positions in the manufacturing facilities, etc., but the local labor force is largely unqualified for those positions and companies have to try and attempt to recruit needed talent from other areas.

Locally, I'd say the top 20% are doing well. The next 50% are doing OK to struggling. That bottom 30% or so is pretty damn bad off.
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Old Yesterday, 02:56 PM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ
1,750 posts, read 2,015,655 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grlzrl View Post
Unfettered capitalism? OP lives in California. I would argue that's the opposite of unfetter capitalism.
Agree. I wasn't referring to California, which I would argue is almost at the opposite extreme of "unfettered socialism". Neither work in the long term as many are just now figuring out (too late most likely). There has to be a balance. I hope we can find that balance before we tip over but I fear we've already gone too far.
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Old Yesterday, 03:05 PM
 
1,102 posts, read 544,988 times
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Pasting my post from different thread in this section:

The crises began a century ago, when private banking was given the green light to legally rape, pillage, and plunder. For this reason, JFK printed currency backed by silver; allocating it to reduce the debt.
The Money Masters – Famous Quotations on Banking

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”
-Henry Ford
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Old Yesterday, 03:18 PM
 
7,465 posts, read 4,798,574 times
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That “The West is in decline” has been a shrill outcry since at least 1914. All that changes with successive generations is dismay that the prior generation fouled it up so badly, failing to take action and instead bickering over picayune things. Or maybe, that means that nothing whatsoever has changed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by njbiodude View Post
...part of the reason I live here is my job which is technical, specialized and highly paid can't be obtained in much of the rest of the country. ...
Many of us are for career-reasons relegated to locales where we feel no affinity or neighborly participation. The fault perhaps is ultimately our own, for it is incumbent on us to adapt to the environment, rather than the other way around. Even so, such adaptation, besides being laborious and vast, feels like surrender and a diminution of the self. One does not wish to become like one’s neighbors, even if there is tactical benefit in doing so, even if one could supersede one’s own biases in doing so. The festering disaffection causes one to conclude negatively and despondently about the nation as a whole, about the planet as a whole, whereas the real frustration is actually only quite local.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
It's true. I can see the long view because I was born just at the end of WWII. For a while it got better. One man could support a family.
In my opinion, that one man can comfortably support a whole family, especially if that man lacks formal higher education, is a bug, rather than a feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I do remember hating Reagan because he was for the rich. That was in the '80s. He tried to convince people that if he made the rich richer, their money would just "trickle down" to the rest of us!
I remember hating Reagan because he was a bounder, an amateur, an uninformed and bumbling stooge. But his policies, or at least aspects of his fiscal policies, actually had some sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
I've seen a big change in people now thinking that success=money
This is nothing new. It’s been the case since Herbert Spencer and the “Social Darwinists” of the late 19th century… or even Cotton Mather and the late-period Puritans of the 18th century. There is something in the Calvinist Anglo-American West, that insists on equating success with money… more vehemently, almost more scientifically, than anything in say Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy or Islam.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRestoration View Post
People are thinking of the Hegemonic era of the US which spanned about 30+ years after WWII ...
US hegemony lasted for almost exactly a century. It began on 15 March 1917, when Czar Nicholas II abdicated. In ended on January 20, 2017.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaliRestoration View Post
Funny part is that certain segments of the country laughed when Trump said we had to negotiate tough with China.
I laugh. While it’s simplistic and premature to shout that “China is the future!”, ultimately it is reasonable to suppose, that the intellectual tradition of Western Enlightenment will flourish not in America, but somewhere in Asia.

The last laugh would be when the humans who return to the moon, would be Chinese… landing there on a Chinese rocket, that owes its origin to H.S. Tsien… the Chinese aerospace engineer educated at Caltech, taught by a person himself educated in Germany (Von Karman), expelled from America for being a “communist”.
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