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Old 01-16-2016, 12:18 PM
 
3,108 posts, read 1,428,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L8Gr8Apost8 View Post
I think of this as the American Dream:
"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" My personal definition of happiness includes some financial stability but not necessarily consumerism. I grew up pretty poor and know it's not fun. I have done far better than my parents and my daughter will have opportunities I did not have. That's the American Dream for many of us. The consumerism is starting to go out of vogue anyway. Have you seen the new thing in housing? Less than 500 square feet of living space and sustainable systems within the home.

Hmm...I'm not sure if consumerism is going out of vogue. As for the tiny house thing, I need to see the data backing up just how significant this shift is. Consumer spending still makes up two-thirds of the U.S. economy. I don't think that this has changed.

You're right about consumerism and the American Dream (not everyone is thinking of keeping up with the Jones). The definition of what the American Dream is could vary depending on the generation you ask. What I do know is that the means of attaining the basics of the American dream (a house, a car and maybe a kid or two) are so far out of reach for many. College used to be affordable and now for many, it is out of reach. These days you will find that college is necessary in order to get a good-paying job. It used to be that companies invested in their workers and paid for continuing education, certifications, etc. That, you hardly see now. Most students can't afford tuition and have to get loans. People are finding that jobs are paying now what they paid 5-20 years ago.

Honestly I can write a book on this and I just don't have the time l.o.l. It's a huge discussion. I just wanted to have the courtesy of responding to your message.
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Old 01-16-2016, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,038 posts, read 4,776,520 times
Reputation: 7065
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facebones View Post
The American Dream is a manifestation of the industrial and scientific progress of the 20th century.
You are spot on!

Unfortunately the American people who vote simply don't understand this...most US born are scientifically illiterate. I know when I earned my science degrees I was one of the few US born students. Most of my classmates were foreign.

Yes we can change the downward direction the US is heading. The adults that vote need to make it a priority to educate themselves on the arguments that they don't understand.

When you look at our GDP over the decades you see it dip after the 90's and now it's slowing coasting because we have an overall scientifically illiterate population that does not understand what it takes to stimulate an economy.

Listen to Neil deGrasse Tyson explain this concept intelligently.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pun76NZMjCk

Last edited by Matadora; 01-16-2016 at 05:58 PM..
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:23 PM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,774,013 times
Reputation: 3479
"You might be thinking: "Wow Facebones, you certainly are a cynical bastard aren't you, why don't you stop complaining and go back to work like the rest of us." But does life have to be that way? Is The American Dream the ONLY utopia available to us to strive for? Is it possible to obtain the necessary resources for survival without having to rely on the institutions of society?

Imagine what life would be like without having to heavily rely on the systems of government and corporations. I for one believe that life will be more adventurous and enjoyable when I quit my job and move to a new place 2000 miles away. I am no longer afraid to challenge conformity, maybe I won't get married, maybe I won't have kids, maybe I am still a kid, maybe I'll spend the rest of my life doing whatever the hell I want. But I don't want to make this a discussion about me, it's a discussion about all us and I think it needs to be discussed. Money and careers have made too many people in my life totally neurotic and depressed. It needs to be discussed because things are changing fast in this world and staying the current course may or may not be the best thing for us."


Go for it. Quit your job and move 2000 miles away. But unless you have a trust fund or a stock portfolio, what are you going to use for money?

Some people manage to drop out for a while. Some manage to do it forever, but they still need some way to make money. Maybe if you save some money and buy a plot of land, you can manage to live "off the grid." As for everyone doing that? It'll never happen.
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Old 01-16-2016, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,912 posts, read 1,613,633 times
Reputation: 3367
George Carlin, the comedian, said it best: "Do you know why they call it the American dream? Because you have to be asleep to believe it."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acLW1vFO-2Q
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:52 AM
 
Location: minnesota
6,299 posts, read 2,093,376 times
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I love George Carlin! One of my favorite things he ever said was "do you ever notice anyone going slower than you on the freeway is an idiot and anyone going faster is a maniac?" Words to live by


I'm still working on my opinion of choice. In my own life it seems I was shaped at a young age to play a part. So much of what I think was put there by someone else. I started to notice that on certain things I do have a choice but I didn't realize it.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,038 posts, read 4,776,520 times
Reputation: 7065
It all depends on how you define the American Dream.

To me it's living in a country that allows anyone to make it if they put in the effort.

For example I was a poor high school student. I now hold a MS degree in Molecular Diagnostics. Had I grown up in China or the UK my high school performance would have sealed my fate and I would not have been allowed to attend a University.

Too bad many Americans take this for granted...which is why our numbers look like this in *2014*.

Education Age 25 and over
  • Bachelor's degree 31.96%
  • Master's and/or doctorate and/or professional degree 11.77%
  • Doctorate and/or professional degree 3.27%
  • Doctorate 1.77%

Education Age 25-29
  • Bachelor's degree 34.04%
  • Master's and/or doctorate and/or professional degree 7.57%
  • Doctorate and/or professional degree 1.70%
  • Doctorate 0.89%

What this tells me is that most in the US are not going to experience the American Dream ever in their lifetime.

It's all based on the choices you make as well as your education. The direction that we are headed in technology and innovation moves us away from menial job opportunities...as we already see today.

The majority of Americans need to figure it out or end up living in poverty their entire life working dead end or menial jobs.

I am a living example of attaining the American Dream...I came from a terrible upbringing and grew up poor. I got a late start due to it...but I knew that earning any degree in STEM would land me where I wanted to go.

Americans seem to forget that countries who are on the forefront of innovation and discovery are the ones whose economies were strong during these times. Discovery and innovation is what drives economies. Other countries are now passing us by becasue we have a majority of scientifically/STEM illiterate folks in the US...especially our Government officials who are supposed to represent us. It's the adults who vote these folks in that don't understand the arguments and challenges we face as a Nation.

When 70% of Americans hold no college degree you can bet that a majority of those voting don't hold a degree and thus have no clue about Global Warming, or the lack of educated Americans in STEM, or the fact that we have stopped being in the forefront of innovation and discovery since landing on the moon 47 years ago!

Overall, the 40 most science-educated countries in the world saw a drop from 23% STEM degrees in 2002 to 22% a decade later. The United States rounded out the bottom of the list in 39th place, with 16% STEM degrees in both 2002 and 2012.

****The US did not even make the top 30****

We have to import talent from other countries. In all of my science course work I was a US born minority....my classmates were mostly from other countries.


Uneducated and low skilled Americans can rest assured that they will never live the American Dream.

It's time for that 70% of Americans to wake up and figure it out!

Last edited by Matadora; 01-17-2016 at 03:42 PM..
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:57 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
4,770 posts, read 3,342,362 times
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The so called American Dream was just a blip on the radar screen of our history and only lasted from about 1945 to 1970. We were the dominant economic power in the world after WW2 when Europe and Asia were in ruins. Now we have to compete world wide with countries all over the world in a global economy. Pick up a history book and see how most Americans lived prior to WW2 just making enough for the basics. Welcome back to the new normal.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 °N, 🌄°W
11,038 posts, read 4,776,520 times
Reputation: 7065
Quote:
Originally Posted by msgsing View Post
The so called American Dream was just a blip on the radar screen of our history and only lasted from about 1945 to 1970. We were the dominant economic power in the world after WW2 when Europe and Asia were in ruins. Now we have to compete world wide with countries all over the world in a global economy. Pick up a history book and see how most Americans lived prior to WW2 just making enough for the basics. Welcome back to the new normal.
There are a lot of us living the American Dream. It's a new economy and the types of job opportunities that enable one to live the American Dream are more competitive and require a skilled degree.

The 70% of those with no higher education will never live the American Dream as those folks did back in the war days. We can't have an economy centered around the Military Industrial Complex which is what we have mostly moved away from.

The Dream is still alive but harder to obtain today than in the past.

What drives economies is discovery and innovation. The US only has 30% of people with a degree. Out of that only 16% are STEM degrees...that's only 5% of our population. How are we ever going to compete in the world with such a low number of people with STEM degrees? Our country will look just like a poor Arab country if we don't get it together. If you look back in time you will see that every country that was on the forefront of discovery and innovation had a rich economy. Look what happened in Baghdad...what happened to their Golden Age? It was killed by religion who claimed that math was the work of the devil. They burned all math and science books...look how that turned out for them.

Why the Arabic World Turned Away from Science


Wake up Americans or we will end up with the same fate. We are headed that direction right now.

Last edited by Matadora; 01-17-2016 at 09:13 PM..
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:11 PM
 
13,061 posts, read 4,898,419 times
Reputation: 1340
I don't even say or put my hand over my heart for the flag anymore.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:23 PM
 
28,906 posts, read 46,598,421 times
Reputation: 46000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Facebones View Post
Let's have a look at the typical human life-cycle here in the developed world: Birth, school, work, marriage, rinse and repeat. Our society is a collection of institutions designed to keep people in this cycle, or as I like to call it: rut. But do you know why it is that way? I think I have the answer to that question and the answer is survival. The aforementioned cycle provides individuals with a fairly high probability of survival, comfort, and reproduction. Cultural Darwinism if you will. The brainwashings passed onto our children are those, not of the parents, but those of society. Children are raised by the institution known as school and most adults surrender to the institution known as work.

Many folks here in America might think I am crazy or I have issues or something. But look at the misery of modern man. Look at the prison he has built for himself, the bars that he has locked himself behind. For all you 20-somethings out there look at the beer-bellies of your coworkers and ask yourself: do I want end up like that? I look at these normal career/family-minded middle-aged people and all I see is miserable, pathetic, weak, and desperate individuals casketed by their own poorly taken care of bodies.

You might be thinking: "Wow Facebones, you certainly are a cynical bastard aren't you, why don't you stop complaining and go back to work like the rest of us." But does life have to be that way? Is The American Dream the ONLY utopia available to us to strive for? Is it possible to obtain the necessary resources for survival without having to rely on the institutions of society?

Imagine what life would be like without having to heavily rely on the systems of government and corporations. I for one believe that life will be more adventurous and enjoyable when I quit my job and move to a new place 2000 miles away. I am no longer afraid to challenge conformity, maybe I won't get married, maybe I won't have kids, maybe I am still a kid, maybe I'll spend the rest of my life doing whatever the hell I want. But I don't want to make this a discussion about me, it's a discussion about all us and I think it needs to be discussed. Money and careers have made too many people in my life totally neurotic and depressed. It needs to be discussed because things are changing fast in this world and staying the current course may or may not be the best thing for us.
More like sadly unimaginative. The older I get, the more unlimited life's possibilities seem to be.
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