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Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation


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#76    questionmark

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:18 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 16 November 2012 - 11:27 PM, said:

I am usually very pro-Rich. But, I can see your point where if too much wealth goes toward where little of it is taxed, then there will be problems. I think it is wrong to Demonize the Rich, because most of them made that money, or helped their parents make that money. But, if they need to pay their fair share, I support fixing the tax laws to make that happen... equitability. Fairness. However, I don't think (Like some loonies suggest) that we can tax the Rich 90% and everyone else nothing and make it work. That is naive... totally naive.

In the name of the rich, I thank you...

On a less light note: The problem is not that somebody has a lot of money, the problem is that with a lot of money comes privileges which do not become a egalitarian (which means everybody is equal) society. If you are rich the only advantage you should have is that you can buy more than others, not that you pay less taxes, buy political influence and if needed try to buy the public opinion (i.e. Super-PACs). There is where the system ails, not in the fact that some earn more than others.

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#77    Sthenno

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 10:39 AM

This article is off in many ways, not least in the claim that America has ever been a model to the rest of the world.

They also seem to be forgetting huge swathes of history when they make statements like: "after a great century and a terrible decade"

Would that be the same century that featured the depression, the Ku Klux Klan and the Vietnam war? That same century that had segregation between blacks and whites? When women couldn't vote? Oh, those were the days...

Articles like this are misleading because they depict the perceived downfall of a 'perfect' society that never existed. America has been to far darker places than those it is facing right now.


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Posted 17 November 2012 - 04:03 PM

View PostSthenno, on 17 November 2012 - 10:39 AM, said:

This article is off in many ways, not least in the claim that America has ever been a model to the rest of the world.

They also seem to be forgetting huge swathes of history when they make statements like: "after a great century and a terrible decade"

Would that be the same century that featured the depression, the Ku Klux Klan and the Vietnam war? That same century that had segregation between blacks and whites? When women couldn't vote? Oh, those were the days...

Articles like this are misleading because they depict the perceived downfall of a 'perfect' society that never existed. America has been to far darker places than those it is facing right now.

My dear, you want perfection and we not there yet, however, we have the best chance of getting there.  When the US chose to become a democracy with liberty, the general opinion was that this would not work.  Now we seem to be determined to prove that correct, but when Tocqueville wrote "Democracy is America" the US was new experiment and a model for democracy.

Later, during the first and second world wars, much of the world was thankful for our food and industrial products.  Then it was thankful for our military assistance.  At home women learned to substitute corn flour for wheat flour, so we could send our wheat over seas, and people grew victory gardens to support the war effort.  Women hand knit socks and scarfs or soldiers over seas.  We paid for these wars by selling war bonds, bought by everyone, including children who used their lunch money, to buy bonds at school.   Everyone made big sacrifices during the war years, and our efforts made a difference that many are thankful for.

At the same time, the US was not known for its military might, and was trusted.  We relied on the oceans for national defense, until the technology to fly across oceans and drop bombs.   It was particular the nuclear bomb that changed our ways.  We demobilized after every war, until Eisenhower and the Korean war, when the Military Industrial Complex was established, and we would not be communicating like this, if it were not for the military driven research.   Now there are many things we could argue the pro's and con's of, but it is a fact we were a world leader, in democracy with liberty, a leader in the development of technology. a leader in industry, and economic engine.

That said, I will return to what I say about education, we are advancing technology, not civilization, and need to return to a liberal education, and the advancement of civilization.  We need to adjust that past education for sure, and if we would discuss this, we could make the progress that is necessary.  Bottom line, just because a person may have a pimple, the person is not a totally looser, and the US has reasons to be proud.


#79    me-wonders

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 05:01 PM

View PostDieChecker, on 16 November 2012 - 11:27 PM, said:

I am usually very pro-Rich. But, I can see your point where if too much wealth goes toward where little of it is taxed, then there will be problems. I think it is wrong to Demonize the Rich, because most of them made that money, or helped their parents make that money. But, if they need to pay their fair share, I support fixing the tax laws to make that happen... equitability. Fairness. However, I don't think (Like some loonies suggest) that we can tax the Rich 90% and everyone else nothing and make it work. That is naive... totally naive.

The ability to get rich has been a driving force in the US since the beginning.  People could come here as indentured servants, serve their time, move down the road and begin their own plantation.   The poorest could get off the ships in New York harbor, so west and find the resources of wealth just waiting to be exploited.  The homesteaders didn't have supermarkets, but forest full of game, rivers full of fish, they could live as the native Americans off the land without jobs to buy food. However, I have tasted some of the food native Americans ate and it is really awful!  For sure improvements are a good thing, but let us get real, no one can do what we did in the past, and here is where adjustments need to be made.  

A woman for Germany tells me their education is free, all the way through college, to those who qualify.  Everyone has housing insurance to assure they do not become homeless and a lot of help getting a job if they do not have one.   I wish I could go to Germany and study their system, because it sounds superior to ours.  One of my friends has become disabled, and he has several years to go before he can retire.  I am really impressed by all the help the employment department is giving him to get him back to work.  I think we are changing for the better, and that we may want to pay more attention to what Germany is doing.   Europe had to adjust to having no frontier long ago, and the US seriously needs to make this adjustment.

One other thing that continues to hold the US back.  We cling to the idea that some family blood is better than others.  :lol: it would be great if we get a transfusion from high class families and get their characteristics?  The family issue is such an important one and we have not discussed it adequately.  Traditional family values give a civilization order, and people who can rely their family, don't need to rely on government.   Here we are with the technology to discuss these matters, in a country where public opinion does matter, and individuals can mobilize others and create effective movements, but we are not having the meaningful discussions we need to have.  

In the past we understood it is the education of the child across town that is most important.  We can educate our own children, but if that child across town is not properly educated, he is apt to become a social problem!   Our liberty was possible because we took care of this social problem with education, before we added vocational training to education.   We need to get back to educating,  so that we all understand the principles of democracy and liberty and how all this works.   Then we don't have to deal with people who insult our country, and have no constructive statements to make.   Here we criticize our country harshly, so that we might identify and correct our errors.  A problem with communism is preventing this free speech, and therefore, the feedback that is vital to correcting errors.


#80    DieChecker

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:32 AM

View Postquestionmark, on 17 November 2012 - 10:18 AM, said:

In the name of the rich, I thank you...

On a less light note: The problem is not that somebody has a lot of money, the problem is that with a lot of money comes privileges which do not become a egalitarian (which means everybody is equal) society. If you are rich the only advantage you should have is that you can buy more than others, not that you pay less taxes, buy political influence and if needed try to buy the public opinion (i.e. Super-PACs). There is where the system ails, not in the fact that some earn more than others.
I agree with most of what you said, but I think that the Rich should be allowed to spend their money on Super PACs and for Political Influence. It is not fair, but it is the way that those who succeed make sure that their success points the country in the direction of National success. If one ideology is superior, then it will be reflected in more money going to those the ideology supports. And right now, somehow, the Conservative and Liberal ideologys seem to be balanced. As demonstrated by the amounts of money given to PACs over the length of the Presidential election.

Just my opinon however.

Edited by DieChecker, 18 November 2012 - 02:32 AM.

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#81    me-wonders

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:48 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 18 November 2012 - 02:32 AM, said:

I agree with most of what you said, but I think that the Rich should be allowed to spend their money on Super PACs and for Political Influence. It is not fair, but it is the way that those who succeed make sure that their success points the country in the direction of National success. If one ideology is superior, then it will be reflected in more money going to those the ideology supports. And right now, somehow, the Conservative and Liberal ideologys seem to be balanced. As demonstrated by the amounts of money given to PACs over the length of the Presidential election.

Just my opinon however.

Rich man poor man- how about when we figure someone's income taxes, we take into consideration how many hours this person works?  Plenty of poor people work 2 and 3 jobs to support their families, and they should not be taxed on how much they earn, without consideration of how hours it took to earn that money.  This would mean, management that works 56 hour a week and is paid a salary, or the person who works long hours because of having two or more jobs, get to deduct from the their taxable income for the extra time it took to earn that money.  Anyone working over 40 hours a week, gets a tax credit, for the extra hours worked.

We make a big deal out of the hard work high income people put into their jobs, but is their work as hard as being a migrant farm laborer?  Might it be possible to somehow acknowledge really hard work,with a tax allowance similar to recognizing those who work 14 hour days?     Like I think our problem is not just a difference in money earned, but an attitude thing.  We have a mentality of abundance, that effectively says some people deserve more, but do they really?  Why?   How much pay would you want to work in the farm fields harvesting crops in 100 degree weather?  What would you want for your family after all that work?   We can not pay high wages to farm labors and others, because our good life is supported by their cheap labor, but collectively we can give them a tax break.  

Or the thread about the ice age civilization got into what makes us human, and the role our civilizations play in that.  We know environment has a lot to do with how we feel and understand life, and we leave families in unsafe and unpleasant neighborhoods, and blame them if the children don't behave like children in middle class neighborhoods who are protected from the realities of the slums.  This is BS!  It is a failure of civilization to create slums and ignore the problems.   People did not migrate to the cities to collect welfare and live in slums.  They came in to get good industrial jobs and give their children better lives than they could have in the rural areas they came from.

When we mobilized for the second world war, we built an entire city to house the thousands of people needed for building war ships.   People of all colors came from far away to get these good paying jobs and live in the new housing and nice neighborhoods.  We can make planned neighborhoods around industry.  Israel has made planned neighborhoods with industry.  This Israel industry has a competitive edge because the people with government paid housing, don't have to have high wages, so their labor, and therefore, the product cost less.   To passively ignore the hell of our inner city slums is inexcusable, because intellect human beings can do better.
We are not using our science and our intelligence to create the good life that we can create.  This makes no sense to me.  Why be so proud of ourselves, when we do not do better than this?    Bottom line, no child should have to walk to school through a neighborhood where s/he is not safe!


#82    Jinxdom

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

View PostDieChecker, on 18 November 2012 - 02:32 AM, said:

I agree with most of what you said, but I think that the Rich should be allowed to spend their money on Super PACs and for Political Influence.

That is anti-american in so many ways. Giving a minority the power and influence the government in the way they see fit. Buying a politician(sometimes both sides) will always be easier to change things then getting a petition out trying it. Not to mention a huge business wouldn't need a petition in the first place for every person they employ is basically blackmail to anybody who cares about how people are doing. Seriously between the amount of taxes the rich pay and the people they employ can you say stranglehold? Some businesses are not even affected by borders where their employees are.

If I was the rich, I would make laws to protect my assets and my interests and screw other companies profits and make it harder to compete or even get started  and I'm not even a dick it's just survival. Like what is being done is exactly what I'd do if I was in their position.I'd want public schools bad to keep people ignorant, wanting high education to be based on money with education that will stagnant creative thinking skills, where you will always be forced to work for wages to have less time and resources to make it on your own, making sure people only are borrowing what is theirs which can be taken away at anytime. Even better I'd move the jobs to where people cannot compete with me at all. I'd even make rumors that the best way to get rich and that life you want is through hard work(when in reality it is just how much you can move money around while avoiding losses why we have what sells best instead of what works best) To protect myself against guys exactly like me who would be future competition. Sound familiar? It is what is happening now.

Since I started at the bottom and not the top I know what would be the ultimate outcome of running the show like that, violence.
The only protection against is to be a part of the majority, to be in the lynch mob is better then to be the lynched.
I'd rather be an American(I'd say Human but really there are some civilizations that need to go) then limit myself to any singular title that makes me a minority in this country. Working to improve everybody making our economy not built on an illusion of wealth but built behind our actual value to humanity. The rich would still be rich, the poor still the poor but we'd all have a say and have our basic needs(physical and technological survival) met. No system can survival without balance Capitalism and Socialism cannot work singularly and we have proven time tested examples of both.(The decline of a Great Nation for the USA for one and oh pick a socialist state for proof of socialism). Oh dear that sounds like the whole third way bit which would if we realized that not only are we the minority we are also the majority.


#83    joc

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:51 PM

Suffice it to say...America was a great nation until the people became fat and stupid and fell for the Communist Ideologies.  Gimme, gimme, gimme...
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The Notes on the Decline of a Great Nation should include at least one chapter on the Perserverance of the Soviets.  They don't give up, they won't give up and those that do will die in their path.

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#84    questionmark

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 03:54 PM

Yep, and there are the others who scream gather, gather, gather, and we want some socialism for the rich, which then causes the poor getting poorer. Nobody here has a reason to complain as all are complicit.

Edited by questionmark, 18 November 2012 - 03:57 PM.

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#85    joc

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 18 November 2012 - 03:54 PM, said:

Yep, and there are the others who scream gather, gather, gather, and we want some socialism for the rich, which then causes the poor getting poorer. Nobody here has a reason to complain as all are complicit.
Maybe you could say that another way as I am not really getting the meaning of your words coming through loud and clear.

If you are saying that Socialism causes the poor to get poorer...I will agree.  Because that is true.  It is also true that Socialism causes the Rich to get Poorer through the 'redistribution of wealth'.

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 04:23 PM

View Postjoc, on 18 November 2012 - 04:17 PM, said:

Maybe you could say that another way as I am not really getting the meaning of your words coming through loud and clear.

If you are saying that Socialism causes the poor to get poorer...I will agree.  Because that is true.  It is also true that Socialism causes the Rich to get Poorer through the 'redistribution of wealth'.

Yes, socialism for the rich causes the poor get poorer. And if you want to go back to the prosperous 50s I suggest you start with getting the max tax rate back to 70% and cut subsidies, especially to big oil that gets more subsidies than it pays taxes, put in a little fair wages for fair work and we are back to prosperity. Sure would decrease the number of billionaires real quick though.

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#87    joc

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:09 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 18 November 2012 - 04:23 PM, said:

Yes, socialism for the rich causes the poor get poorer. And if you want to go back to the prosperous 50s I suggest you start with getting the max tax rate back to 70% and cut subsidies, especially to big oil that gets more subsidies than it pays taxes, put in a little fair wages for fair work and we are back to prosperity. Sure would decrease the number of billionaires real quick though.
We don't need to be punishing the wealthy by confiscating 70% of their income.   That isn't a good idea and wasn't back then either.  Cut Subsidies?  Halleluah Brother! :tu:   Stop giving people stuff!  Let people earn what they get!  All subsidies...zippp!   Why on God's Grey/Green Earth would we give money to a Corporation that is already drawing in profits in the BILLIONS!  And why on God's Grey/Green/Blue Earth would we pay people NOT to grow crops.  Competition without Monopolies.  That works. That is capitalism.  And for gods sake...stop giving our tax dollars by the billions to countries that want to destroy us!

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

View Postjoc, on 18 November 2012 - 05:09 PM, said:

We don't need to be punishing the wealthy by confiscating 70% of their income.   That isn't a good idea and wasn't back then either.  Cut Subsidies?  Halleluah Brother! :tu:   Stop giving people stuff!  Let people earn what they get!  All subsidies...zippp!   Why on God's Grey/Green Earth would we give money to a Corporation that is already drawing in profits in the BILLIONS!  And why on God's Grey/Green/Blue Earth would we pay people NOT to grow crops.  Competition without Monopolies.  That works. That is capitalism.  And for gods sake...stop giving our tax dollars by the billions to countries that want to destroy us!

Where your vision is just as shortsighted as provincial. The US got partially big by giving others stuff, that created jobs at home that otherwise nobody needed.

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#89    joc

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:25 PM

View Postquestionmark, on 18 November 2012 - 05:16 PM, said:

Where your vision is just as shortsighted as provincial. The US got partially big by giving others stuff, that created jobs at home that otherwise nobody needed.
Yeah, you're right...no one really needed cars.  I mean horse and buggies were the in thing, no one wanted or needed an 'automobile'.  Trains...pffft...who needed them?  Just another way to piss off the Native American Indians.
Planes?  Where were those two guys heads at?  Nobody needed to fly!  Electric Lights, Radio, Television?  Prepostorous...why would a person need such a thing?  Yeah, you're right...gotta hand it to you...it was giving people stuff that made America great!
Oh yeah, nobody needed 18 wheelers...we had trains after all (even though we didn't need them either).  And no one needed millions and millions of miles of  concrete highways on which to drive the 18 wheelers and automobiles that no one needed.  Violins have been around for centuries as well as the Celo...no one needed the Electric Guitar...obviously Les Paul thought they did but really, no one needed that...we already had guitars.
And computers?  No one needed computers...we got along fine without them for eons.  And cell phones?  Who needs to talk to people everywhere they go?  I guess I'm just dumb.

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#90    me-wonders

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

Wait a minute!  Why it is argued we must not tax the rich?

Why don't we leave high school understanding the stock market and how capitalism works?  Why doesn't a high school graduate understand the cost of living and the amount of wage s/he needs to have a decent standard of living?   Like if the young person understood this for him/her self, the person would understand this reality for everyone.

Time and again, I have asked people in forums to give me a budget for a woman with 3 children, earning minimum wage, and no one has ever even attempted to give me a budget.   How can we self governing when we do not know the facts of life and work with them?   What does a mother or 3 have to earn to pay child care and provide a decent standard of living for her children?   Is there a teen age girl leaving high school who has no need to understand these facts of life?   Shouldn't she understand them before enjoying her sexual freedom?  Sex ed, is math and economics.

We say we should not tax the rich, because this would hurt our economy.  Exactly what do we understand about this?  If we left high school understanding the stock market, understanding banking, and understanding the benefits and draw backs of owning a home, and our system assured each of us enough income for investing, then wouldn't we all be contributing to the economy?   If all of us contribute to the economy, couldn't we do more than a handful of rich people?  Shouldn't our self government make that possible?  Millions of small stock holders, instead of a handful of rich people.  Huh?  did I hear someone say, "I work 40 hours a week, how much more do you want me to contribute?  Why don't I deserve decent housing, financial security, and health care for my family when I do work for a living"?  

I am getting positive replies, but I want replies that speak of our reality.   If we all brought into the stock market, wouldn't it make sense to have an education and economic system that assures we could all do that?   What if we owned the factories we work in and they were managed with Deming's democratic model for industry?  Would we sell out and ship our jobs over seas?.   Sure the industries that do this give us a good "gross national product", but what is this loss of industry doing to the economy of our communities that need to pay for streets, police and schools?   I think we are spinning out of control, because we do not have a good understanding of reality and how things work, and because we are ignorant, we are powerless.  When we had a frontier and resources were free to those who got there first, we had real equality based on individual effort.  This is no longer our reality, and we are running blind, not understanding today's reality.   Please come back with a statement about reality.





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