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Old 12-02-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Conway, Arkansas
108 posts, read 342,844 times
Reputation: 102

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Okay, this is mainly a rant, I'd like to hear opinions on it if you'd like to leave one.

What is the deal with everyone in America being so materialistic and selfish? I understand that this is a first world country and that's basically the way we live. Don't get me wrong, I love my possessions and like to have awesome stuff. But what about everyone else in the world??? America isn't the only first world country and we're going through a recession, and not just us. But while we're worrying about keeping our $250,000 homes and $30,000 vehicles, we still have people starving in other places, even our own country.

Look at the AIDS epidemic in Africa. Little children being orphaned because their parents have AIDS/HIV, and don't know it or can't treat it because there isn't adequate medical care. Children starving because there isn't enough food or good drinking water to keep them nourished and healthy. Their homes and how they are worse than even our worst places to live here. If everyone just stopped thinking about themselves and their stuff, something could be put together to help bring these people a better life. After all, we are put on this earth to help one another and protect the things that are in harm's way. Why can't we downsize from our oversized homes and extravagant cars to something that actually fits the family so someone else can have a better chance??

My thoughts came after finding out about Starbucks teaming with project RED. At least they're doing something, but it could be more than 5 cents for every drink. Not everyone is going to buy one, and the amount of profit they make on each drink is already high, it wouldn't kill them to donate more of the profit! It just seems to me that a lot of people are out for themselves and if they have the extra, at least they are doing something.

To those of you who extend a hand and open your heart to those who need it, God Bless You. I've seen too many hurt and needy people to count and all they needed was someone like you to help them get on their feet. Again, this was just a rant, I feel a little better, although I am no closer to the goal of fixing the problems in the world. There's too many problems and I can't choose just one to try at, it seems wrong not to be able to do it all. Thanks for reading!
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:13 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,957,081 times
Reputation: 12963
I volunteer with two different not-for-profits and give a substantial amount to charity each year. But one thing I learned long ago is that you can't save the world, no matter how well intentioned you are. In some cases there is too much corruption within the government of developing nations who take all donated funds before it reaches it's intended recipients. In other cases people just don't want to be helped. In some cases civil war is preventing aid from being effective or reaching people. In still other situations the circumstances of mother nature are such that short of relocating an entire nation, there's just not much that can be done.

I'm not going to sell my house and live in a cardboard box because some kid in Africa is starving. Is it unfortunate? Of course! But there is just so much that any individual should be expected to do to help mankind.

By the way, most of the wealthy individuals that I know give away vast sums of money to support various charities every year. They prefer to be very low key and/or anonymous about it so they don't get harrassed for hand outs by every organization under the sun who figures if they gave the United Way $100K they could certainly give the "insert charity here" a donation as well. That's something that I hate, my name has been culled from donor lists and I've been harrassed by other charities looking for donations.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:20 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,030,761 times
Reputation: 17978
*If you look the powrld has alwqays had a selfish streak. Looking at europe it bleed the thiurd world dry in feeding itself. The lust for power amoung the western european nations was endless in the t 20th century and casued two world wars.Loo at the US ;I frankly am prould of much of what we have done. Saved europe from hunger after the war and rebuilt both Germany and japan inot viable nations quite different fron waht the vicotors did after WWi; when we stepaway .Then look at the amount of aid that we have give so many under developed countries b9oth as a governamnt and as individauls. We basicaslly have fonanced the UN for decades.Looking at chartiable giving by americans at home is very uplifting;loking at (-11 and katrina.Even looking at the tidal wave relief we are very big givers.It hard to critize thiose that are successful when they give so much . I personally was shocked to look at buseh's;G9ores;and chaney's income tax when they ran for office. Chaney was by far the biggest give and he and his wife gave much of what they earned the year before to charity. Things are n;t really like you ogten read about or hear. I thni it is good to always look at real data on who gives what. For insatnce Mississippi is aboput the poorest state in the country but gives more percapita that any sate. We all need to give to wrothy charity and not say that the other guy needs to do it.But at the same time we need to do thingsd that anabole peole to eventaulkly become less dependent on us not be ens;laved by welafre if they are abpoe bodied.We also need to crackdown on fraud which basically is defruding those in real need.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:26 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,910,304 times
Reputation: 5745
It should come as no surprise that we are becoming more selfish, materialistic and unkindly towards others. Ours is a society in rapid moral decline and this is the natural mind-set of such a decline. We have created (and continue to promulgate) a society of ‘me first’ entitlement. To be sure, there will always be a remnant of those who do not live exclusively for themselves, but it is a shrinking remnant. It’s all very sad to watch and know what kind of a country we’re leaving to our children and grand children- but it is what it is.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Conway, Arkansas
108 posts, read 342,844 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
I volunteer with two different not-for-profits and give a substantial amount to charity each year. But one thing I learned long ago is that you can't save the world, no matter how well intentioned you are. In some cases there is too much corruption within the government of developing nations who take all donated funds before it reaches it's intended recipients. In other cases people just don't want to be helped. In some cases civil war is preventing aid from being effective or reaching people. In still other situations the circumstances of mother nature are such that short of relocating an entire nation, there's just not much that can be done.

I'm not going to sell my house and live in a cardboard box because some kid in Africa is starving. Is it unfortunate? Of course! But there is just so much that any individual should be expected to do to help mankind.

By the way, most of the wealthy individuals that I know give away vast sums of money to support various charities every year. They prefer to be very low key and/or anonymous about it so they don't get harrassed for hand outs by every organization under the sun who figures if they gave the United Way $100K they could certainly give the "insert charity here" a donation as well. That's something that I hate, my name has been culled from donor lists and I've been harrassed by other charities looking for donations.
Downsizing doesn't mean living in a cardboard box, that's on the total extreme opposite end. Most donations are tax deductible, even the smallest amount also, besides if worrying about how much is given and what happens to it is a problem, why not get directly involved if you can?? See where it really goes, meet who wants and needs the help? And yes, there are things that get in the way of reaching people who really need help. That doesn't mean that we let go of the ones who can be reached, who are willing to accept the help. Trust me, I've had my run ins with plenty of people who I'm willing to give a job to or help in whatever way and they would rather sit on a street corner with a sign in the dead of winter. But when you talk about children living with and in something that is not their fault, that's something that bothers me. They are innocent, unaware to even what is happening in their own village or town. All I'm basically saying is that if more people would get involved and do something, we could have a better world and making a difference in someone's life is far more beneficial than the largest amount of money or the greatest possessions. It's not what you HAVE in the world that goes with you when you die, it's what you DID for someone, and the compassion that you have when you realize, I CAN make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
1,403 posts, read 2,073,728 times
Reputation: 1322
I understand what your saying. Yes GREED and SELFISHNESS is a BIG part of this nations problem. A lot of Americans dont give a crap about third world countries, they figure that their own countries should deal with that. People feel if they work hard and have earned lots of money then they should have nice things because they deserve them. Sure no one needs a mansion or a Mercedes or extravagant vacations, but people want them because the believe they have earned them. They think why should I give my hard earned money away to other people. They believe if others work hard then they can achieve wealth too. Also another big thing is this country is social status. People want to be admired for their materialistic things. This greed and selfishness is what is making this country go down the tubes. I do believe many years ago this nation was great, now I dont think that anymore. This nation is more corrupt than it ever has been.

Things in Africa dont have to be the way they are, Africa does have wealth, but governments there want to control and hoard the wealth and not help out the people that are suffering so greatly over there becaue they are greedy bastards.

Not everyone feels the same why you do about helping out needy people. Yes this world would be a much better place if we all just helped out each other, but there is too much hatred and corruptness in the world for that to happen. In the end materialism doesnt mean anything. Its all about what you do here on earth for others. When Judgement Day comes God will ask what did you do for me?
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:38 PM
 
Location: San Diego
2,518 posts, read 1,845,510 times
Reputation: 1298
Greed is even more prevalent in the corporate world.

My company pays its financial advisors an average of $350,000 a year (there are about 500 of them, so that's a big sample size) and its home office employees (non-executive) take in less than $40,000 on average. When the crash hit, it was not the executives or advisors who took a hit, but the lower ranked employees. They cut the matching on the 401(k) program, cut medical benefits, eliminated bonuses (20% of salary for some people) and took away 3 vacation days a year...all while the executives and advisors still make 10x as much.

I don't have much money to spare (27 years old and basically supporting my GF) but I donate what I can and I volunteer 3-4 days a week with kids. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone else my age who does the same. Instead of spending Friday evening after work at the rec center coaching basketball practice like I do, they go home and start drinking or preparing to go out and drink.

But the American Dream never said anything about helping anyone out, especially those with dark skin and funny languages. It's only about my house, my car, my job, my family...or the help comes with a disclaimer: you must accept Jesus to accept my help, or you must have my ethnic background to get my help, or I will only help if my church group is doing so and my preacher asked me to help, etc.

Why else would there be an uproar about a 3% tax increase on money made after $250,000? People are greedy and are out only for themselves.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:40 PM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,864 posts, read 7,097,466 times
Reputation: 1543
It's because Americans know that not enough is done here to help OUR needy, and it pisses us off when other countries are getting our aid.

THat, and I know that if we needed help, no other country would give a damn about us.
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Old 12-02-2008, 01:46 PM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,957,081 times
Reputation: 12963
Quote:
Originally Posted by BABsMom View Post
Downsizing doesn't mean living in a cardboard box, that's on the total extreme opposite end. Most donations are tax deductible, even the smallest amount also, besides if worrying about how much is given and what happens to it is a problem, why not get directly involved if you can?? See where it really goes, meet who wants and needs the help? And yes, there are things that get in the way of reaching people who really need help. That doesn't mean that we let go of the ones who can be reached, who are willing to accept the help. Trust me, I've had my run ins with plenty of people who I'm willing to give a job to or help in whatever way and they would rather sit on a street corner with a sign in the dead of winter. But when you talk about children living with and in something that is not their fault, that's something that bothers me. They are innocent, unaware to even what is happening in their own village or town. All I'm basically saying is that if more people would get involved and do something, we could have a better world and making a difference in someone's life is far more beneficial than the largest amount of money or the greatest possessions. It's not what you HAVE in the world that goes with you when you die, it's what you DID for someone, and the compassion that you have when you realize, I CAN make a difference, no matter how small it may seem.
Maybe you need to go back and read. I ALREADY VOLUNTEER WITH TWO GROUPS. I sit on the board of one. Both are GRASS ROOTS so I know my time and donations go directly to help those in my community. Call me selfish, I don't care. I'm more concerned about my own community than halfway around the world. That way I KNOW where my time and money are going, KNOW that nothing is being squandered with paid employees and boards of directors and corruption, and EVERY DIME raised goes DIRECTLY to HELP those in my community who need help.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:32 PM
 
464 posts, read 1,479,475 times
Reputation: 208
'What is the deal with everyone in America being so materialistic and selfish?'

REPLY: The turn took place (in a very predominant way) around circa 1960 which is roughly the same time America went from a nation whos values, morals, and ethics were based on foundational Christian principles to that of Humanism / Post Modernism . When a nation chooses to pretend the personal Creator doesnt exist / or isnt necessary ,in addition to not wanting absolute moral laws to live according to... while at the same time having a Mega-Media constantly reinforcing philosophies such as YOU owe it to yourself, YOU deserve a break today, YOU need to get all the gusto out of life that you can, things bring happiness, things are a sign of success, indulge to your hearts content, sexual immorality is fun, et al, ad nauseum ... the populus starts to make SELF their 'god' and their daily lives essentially become a feeding-frenzy on materialism and hedonism. It is the love for money and the love for sexual hedonism ,in particular, that are bringing America to ruin ; the desire for Self-absorption with its many sub-categories are causing Americas implosion with the recent economic travesty due to greed being a prize example. The current statistics of 33 circulating STD's (of which 2 are fatal) carried among some 40,000,000 adult Americans ....and 95% of all abortions being attributed to casual sexual hedonism gone further wrong ... are Americas greatest shame ; in the name of Selfism it is now okay to give your own developing flesh and blood a death sentence --- the direct consequence of people wanting to live any way they feel like it . Americas 'freedoms' have been willfully twisted to its detriment , and most people actually believe they are entitled to live like this. GOD-lessness equals anarchy.
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