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View Poll Results: What is the trajectory of American Civilization?
We're ascending and I think we're a long way from our peak. 31 16.76%
We're ascending, but we will peak within the next two or three generations? 4 2.16%
We're in a stable state and likely won't decline. 10 5.41%
We're in a stable state but are headed toward decline. 34 18.38%
We peaked in the last two or three generations, and we're descending. 95 51.35%
We've pretty much been descending since Plymouth Rock. Our ruin is imminent. 9 4.86%
I don't really following the grand sweep of history. 2 1.08%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-23-2014, 04:04 PM  
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A quick poll about the future of American Civilization.

The Gen Y thread got me wondering.

Where do you think America is in its life cycle? Are we ascending? Are we on the downside? What is our long-term trajectory as a civilization?

Poll to follow unless the Visigoths storm the walls before I can post it.
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Old 04-24-2014, 09:40 AM   #61
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So, just be cool with an upcoming austerity program for the most industrious nation on earth, DaFace?

Not trying to be a smart alice, just wondering why one of the worlds true superpowers, and one of its honest to God most hardworking as far as hours per week and standards that are expected to be met, why are we expected to just "deal with it".

This nations tax dollars, compiled by the worlds most exacting tax system that ensures everyone pays their share (LOL), this nation that gives more to every disaster around the world by a factor of 10... why should we just suffer through the loss of jobs that helped make us strong in the first place?

We give and give and give... yet when this nation needs help its just "welp, time to tighten your belts John Boy", make due with beans and pigs feet 7 days a week like my grandparents did in the depression?

Its globalism and I'm tired of it, a lot of other people are as well... America seems to have become a big fat titty to suck on.
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
Solid post. Would read again.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:19 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:29 AM   #64
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Old 04-24-2014, 10:32 AM   #65
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I voter "We peaked in the last two or three generations, and we're descending.". I think it could start ascending soon, but if the stupid government doubles the H1Bs that will all but destroy what is left of the middle class and it will descend further.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:07 AM   #66
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I think we peaked a few generations ago.

I'm part of this new generation mind you, in my mid-twenties, but I'm constantly blown away by how entitled they are. They want and want, but don't want to work to get where they're going.


That piss-poor work ethic, combined with this cynical attitude towards everything makes me think that it's just a matter of time before we're England.

But then again, we didn't start the fire, so who knows.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:57 AM   #67
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I am optimistic. I think we are ascending. For how long? Who knows?
Eventually ,Entropy, the universal tendency toward disorder, disorganization, disintegration and chaos will occur.
All organized systems tend to disorganize and all great civilizations eventually fall apart.
We will not be immune from this.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:58 AM   #68
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
I agree with a lot of that. I realize this is bringing DC over here, but if you're in DC and read posters like loneiguana you'd think we're a 3rd world nation.
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Old 04-24-2014, 11:59 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
A friend got back from a 2 year stay in Kenya a few months ago, and hearing the stories is not only proof of all of this, it's like time travel... corporal punishment, the lack of respect for women, makeshift schools with lazy and often absent teachers, 20 mile trips that can take 2+ hours one way, needing to be extra productive before the electricity goes out, washing clothes in buckets.


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Old 04-24-2014, 12:37 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fish View Post
It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
How is it selfish to be upset that people are being handed the same things that the rest of us work for?
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:45 PM   #71
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Which is evidence why we're trending downward.

Neither party will cooperate with the other because cable TV and internet discussion boards have equated compromise with the domestic equivalent of Quisling-esque appeasement.

No, the average Republican doesn't want women foot-bound and pregnant in the kitchen whilst advocating the euthanization of every children thought not to like the opposite gender or bearing dark skin.

No, the average Democrat isn't going to take your guns, car and home to give to drug addicts for the sake of fairness and isn't ready to take a coat hanger to any woman who expresses the smallest doubt about being a mother.

Yet that's how each side views its opposite in the political arena -Americans equate everything that doesn't jive perfectly with how the country should be run as an active attempt to destroy the system. Philosophically everyone wants the same goal: a better lives for themselves and their neighbors, but, by the same token, everyone has a different idea about how to go achieving that goal.
Pretty much this.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:48 PM   #72
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It's kinda funny to me, to see what the US has created and how people perceive it. We've created a nation with one of the highest standards of living in the world. Where the overwhelming majority never actually experiences true poverty or hunger. A nation where those in "Poverty" still own such pleasures as cars, TVs with hundreds of channels, Xbox/PS3, smartphones, etc. A nation where everyone has health care no matter what. We have systems to care for others who cannot care for themselves.

There's very little actual poverty in America. Not true poverty. Those in poverty in America live like royalty compared to some other parts of the world. Yet all we ever hear is people bitching about other Americans getting things they don't think those other people deserve. You hear more bitching of that type these days, than you hear about what we don't have. Yet we don't stop and think about what a good thing it is that Americans don't have to bitch about having unclean drinking water, or moldy and rotten food, or lack of electricity, or no health care at all, or actual real government oppression.

Nope, we sit here on our thrones, and type into our smartphones that have internet access nearly everywhere we go, while enjoying a diversity of cheap food, clean water, organized infrastructure, etc. While bitching about poor people getting a couple hundred dollars worth of free food.

America has become a nation of selfish unappreciative assholes who bitch all day while never realizing how easy of a life they live compared with much of the rest of the world.
Killed it. I'd rep you, but **** you, you have enough of it already.
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Old 04-24-2014, 12:51 PM   #73
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How is it selfish to be upset that people are being handed the same things that the rest of us work for?
How does that not fit the definition?

selfish

1.(of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure.
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:13 PM   #74
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I think the discussion about standard of living is quite interesting, because I agree that we take our rather phenomenal standard of living for granted. As a nation, we've pretty much nailed the part about what we need to live, and now our focus is on living well.

Standard of living is just one measure of ascendancy or decline, though it's an important one. I've read some stuff in the past about whether each generation is doing better than their parents, and some of the recent stuff puts the modern generation behind their parents in measures like home ownership and debt. I'll acknowledge that, but it also seems like homes are larger and toys are better and all sorts of other things are better. It would be hard to convince me that we're not still ascending as a society in that respect, with no particular crest in sight.

A key will be to not screw it up. How much of our ascendancy is the result of big deficit spending that's going to blow up at some point? How much of it is a fluke of the World War II destruction of other industrialized nations? How much of it is ingrained in the American system of government and economy?
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Old 04-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #75
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I'm now wondering how you measure the ascendancy/decline of a civilization. I would offer a few measures off the top of my head. Anyone else got any suggestions?

1. Standard of living of the middle class in absolute terms (not relative to other classes or nations).
2. Standard of living of the poorest 5% in absolute terms (not relative to other classes or nations).
3. Maybe it's part of 1 and 2, but the cost and reliability of infrastructure - transportation, communication, sanitation, energy, etc.
4. Discovery - Is the civilization finding new resources to exploit, whether it's technology or land or something else?
5. Art and creativity - is there a sustained tolerance and appreciation of creativity?
6. Morale - are people optimistic about the future and wanting to contribute to it?
7. Life span - Maybe it's part of 1 and 2, but are people living long and healthy lives?

What else?
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