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Thread: Our Way of Life Gone for Good?

  1. #1
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    Our Way of Life Gone for Good?

    Pretty apparent that the standard of living in the US in recent years has been a mirage sustained by an ocean of debt and deficit spending. Really, even if this crisis were to resolve itself tomorrow (which it obviously won't) is any country going to be foolish enough to buy American debt anymore? Aside from battening the hatches and riding out the storm, what can this country do to right itself?

    We need fundamental changes in the way people live and do business in America. Reagan's "shining beacon on a hill" has been replaced by a no-money-down McMansion with all the lights burning and three gas guzzlers in the driveway. Frightened as people are right now I still don't think most of them get it. Outside of a few brief stints Americans have never been very good at sacrifice. Recall that was one of the criticisms of the early and middle years of the war was that ordinary Americans were asked to sacrifice nothing. In fact the message was "Spending is patriotic."

  2. #2
    People will change their spending habits, but it is going to take pain...a lot of pain...to get people to change. Most people haven't felt any pain so far, except for some stock market losses. Unemployment is still pretty low.

    If we start seeing rising unemployment, coupled with inflation as a result of these bailouts, a lot of people are going to get squeezed.

    Of course, they'll look to the government to bail them out as well. Most people in our country suffer from a sense of entitlement. That's about to change.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=BushyTheBeaver;2793149]Pretty apparent that the standard of living in the US in recent years has been a mirage sustained by an ocean of debt and deficit spending. Really, even if this crisis were to resolve itself tomorrow (which it obviously won't) is any country going to be foolish enough to buy American debt anymore? Aside from battening the hatches and riding out the storm, what can this country do to right itself?

    We need fundamental changes in the way people live and do business in America. Reagan's "shining beacon on a hill" has been replaced by a no-money-down McMansion with all the lights burning and three gas guzzlers in the driveway. Frightened as people are right now I still don't think most of them get it. Outside of a few brief stints Americans have never been very good at sacrifice. Recall that was one of the criticisms of the early and middle years of the war was that ordinary Americans were asked to sacrifice nothing. In fact the message was "Spending is patriotic."[/QUOTE]

    I thought paying higher taxes was "patriotic?":confused:

    But I agree with you on certain parts. Americans are terrible at sacrificing, budgeting or living in accordance to their means. Look at the green movement; it's a massive western phenomenon and yet the only thing people are doing differently is perhaps buying a hybrid. And that sacrifice along with most others is selfish, as it brings cheaper gas or perhaps cheaper utilities payments. Even Al Gore is plowing through more energy in a year than most do in a decade. It's sad but most Americans are only conscious of their bottom line, so if it saves them a buck then yea, sure, why not?

    Unfortunately, about the financial crisis, it won't change anything. As you say people will wait and ride it out until they can continue to go out and purchase things they can't pay for. We live in a capitalist system where a person always wants what another has. And will other countries buy our debt? Of course they will, as we are one of the more trustworthy countries out there and if we fall, many others will go with us. The global economy is far too interconnected to allow the US to go through any prolonged suffering without anyone else feeling effects.

  4. #4
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    [QUOTE=BushyTheBeaver;2793149]Pretty apparent that the standard of living in the US in recent years has been a mirage sustained by an ocean of debt and deficit spending. Really, even if this crisis were to resolve itself tomorrow (which it obviously won't) is any country going to be foolish enough to buy American debt anymore? Aside from battening the hatches and riding out the storm, what can this country do to right itself?

    We need fundamental changes in the way people live and do business in America. Reagan's "shining beacon on a hill" has been replaced by a no-money-down McMansion with all the lights burning and three gas guzzlers in the driveway. Frightened as people are right now I still don't think most of them get it. Outside of a few brief stints Americans have never been very good at sacrifice. Recall that was one of the criticisms of the early and middle years of the war was that ordinary Americans were asked to sacrifice nothing. In fact the message was "Spending is patriotic."[/QUOTE]

    You forgot the $338 Billion annually spent on illegal immigration.

  5. #5
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    Unfortunately, this seems to be the path we are heading down. The fundamentals are simply a mess right now.

    The country produces very little. We have outsourced many of our industries. We constantly run up our deficits without a plan in place to reduce them. The value of the dollar is embarrassing.

    The American people live off credit. Significant cash savings are scarce. Home equity is a large portion of most people's portfolio and it continues to plummet.

    We are just in bad shape pretty much all across the board.

    It's really a shame because many of these things were predicted years ago. Ignorance is bliss, but having your head in the sand will eventually lead to disaster.

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=crazyeffinjetsfan;2793245]You forgot the $338 Billion annually spent on illegal immigration.[/QUOTE]

    What does this even mean?

    $338 Billion? That is a TON of money. I strongly doubt this figure, but I need to know what "spent on illegal immigration" means before commenting further.

  7. #7

    amen.............

    [QUOTE=BushyTheBeaver;2793149]Pretty apparent that the standard of living in the US in recent years has been a mirage sustained by an ocean of debt and deficit spending. Really, even if this crisis were to resolve itself tomorrow (which it obviously won't) is any country going to be foolish enough to buy American debt anymore? Aside from battening the hatches and riding out the storm, what can this country do to right itself?

    We need fundamental changes in the way people live and do business in America. Reagan's "shining beacon on a hill" has been replaced by a no-money-down McMansion with all the lights burning and three gas guzzlers in the driveway. Frightened as people are right now I still don't think most of them get it. Outside of a few brief stints Americans have never been very good at sacrifice. Recall that was one of the criticisms of the early and middle years of the war was that ordinary Americans were asked to sacrifice nothing. In fact the message was "Spending is patriotic."[/QUOTE]


    america has always been a selfish, me, me, me.........country that catered to its racism, favoritism, nepatism and will pay a heavy price for the way its done things. among other facades, america has never been good at is the notion that we are a religious nation, or caring country. (europians have never embraced religion, it was basicly a pagan nation) its just not in this countries make up. it never has been, we just made up and wrote epic works that we were. america will pay a great price for its double standards, as the rest of the world catch up we will be done as we have to all the others.
    Last edited by kennesawjet; 10-07-2008 at 04:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    As an outsider looking in, I would like to make a comment, because sometimes you see a little clearer when you look through the window...

    This I do not believe is a left/right Republican/Democratic thing. Extremes in anything are usually "wrong" per say. But I would like to point out, considering I vote Conservative up here in Canada, that one of the issues I see here, and believe is a problem in NA in general, is this sense of entitlement and relative thinking that is associated with far left thinking.

    There used to be a time here in Canada when people who received welfare had to DO something for it... AND they had to be actively seeking work. There was also limitations on who got welfare. Then a new "mindset" came in that went something like this...."who are we to say who is or isn't deserving of help. Who are we to say how long someone needs help. Who are we to say someone has to "work" at demeaning jobs to earn their welfare."

    This relativistic mindset, that there is no right/wrong and the taboo notion that we should "impose" our thinking on someone else has strained not only the tax-payer here, but peoples sense of generosity. In my opinion, an underlying factor in all this is this notion that we as a society do not have the right to say anything in these regards.

    I pose a question: If you picked up a homeless man on the street and offered him clothes, a warm bed, food and money to educate himself for three years until he got on his feet, and he complained that there was a time limit and stipulations on the resources you offered, how long would he be in your house. Why then, do we as a society cater to this thinking?

  9. #9
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2794424]As an outsider looking in, I would like to make a comment, because sometimes you see a little clearer when you look through the window...

    This I do not believe is a left/right Republican/Democratic thing. Extremes in anything are usually "wrong" per say. But I would like to point out, considering I vote Conservative up here in Canada, that one of the issues I see here, and believe is a problem in NA in general, is this sense of entitlement and relative thinking that is associated with far left thinking.

    There used to be a time here in Canada when people who received welfare had to DO something for it... AND they had to be actively seeking work. There was also limitations on who got welfare. Then a new "mindset" came in that went something like this...."who are we to say who is or isn't deserving of help. Who are we to say how long someone needs help. Who are we to say someone has to "work" at demeaning jobs to earn their welfare."

    This relativistic mindset, that there is no right/wrong and the taboo notion that we should "impose" our thinking on someone else has strained not only the tax-payer here, but peoples sense of generosity. In my opinion, an underlying factor in all this is this notion that we as a society do not have the right to say anything in these regards.

    I pose a question: If you picked up a homeless man on the street and offered him clothes, a warm bed, food and money to educate himself for three years until he got on his feet, and he complained that there was a time limit and stipulations on the resources you offered, how long would he be in your house. Why then, do we as a society cater to this thinking?[/QUOTE]

    Amen.

    I actually have a friend who took in a homeless guy, got him back on his feet, helped him find a job...the whole 9 yards.

    The guy repaid him by hitting on his wife, then when she didn't reciprocate, he stole thier credit cards and went off to the Carribian.

    He did, however, send them a postcard thanking them for their hospitality.

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2794424]As an outsider looking in, I would like to make a comment, because sometimes you see a little clearer when you look through the window...

    This I do not believe is a left/right Republican/Democratic thing. Extremes in anything are usually "wrong" per say. But I would like to point out, considering I vote Conservative up here in Canada, that one of the issues I see here, and believe is a problem in NA in general, is this sense of entitlement and relative thinking that is associated with far left thinking.

    There used to be a time here in Canada when people who received welfare had to DO something for it... AND they had to be actively seeking work. There was also limitations on who got welfare. Then a new "mindset" came in that went something like this...."who are we to say who is or isn't deserving of help. Who are we to say how long someone needs help. Who are we to say someone has to "work" at demeaning jobs to earn their welfare."

    This relativistic mindset, that there is no right/wrong and the taboo notion that we should "impose" our thinking on someone else has strained not only the tax-payer here, but peoples sense of generosity. In my opinion, an underlying factor in all this is this notion that we as a society do not have the right to say anything in these regards.

    I pose a question: If you picked up a homeless man on the street and offered him clothes, a warm bed, food and money to educate himself for three years until he got on his feet, and he complained that there was a time limit and stipulations on the resources you offered, how long would he be in your house. Why then, do we as a society cater to this thinking?[/QUOTE]

    I can't really see how this applies to the United States? The US has one of the worst welfare systems in the developed world.....

  11. #11
    I think the negative side of the American economy and attitude has been well covered in this thread.....

    .....however, on the plus side, the American economy is still the world's largest by some distance. It is incredibly diverse and though weakened, will survive even the deepest of Depressions.

    And circumstance will probably be that American thinking will be forced to change - at the very least the world and the United States is set for a pretty hard recession. There is nothing like reality for people to bring them out of a McDreamland.

  12. #12
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    What a shame that it has come down to this. What a shame our Government let down the working people of this country. What a shame the middle class will suffer the brunt of this deficit.

    Who ever wins the election will have the hardest job to recover this Nation since the Depression.

    I know my retirement goal is totally out of the window at this point. Now I am just hoping this will be turned around before my children are ready to join the workforce.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2794424]I pose a question: If you picked up a homeless man on the street and offered him clothes, a warm bed, food and money to educate himself for three years until he got on his feet, and he complained that there was a time limit and stipulations on the resources you offered, how long would he be in your house. Why then, do we as a society cater to this thinking?[/QUOTE]

    Oh, silly Canadians.


    Scrapping Social Welfare programs isn't the answer...and not very Christian. Reform them, remodel them, fix them. They exist for a good reason, and many good people's lives have been righted because of them. But you don't hear about those stories...because they don't further the myth as well. Now Cadillac Welfare Queen...that story is awesome. Guy who lived in affordable housing after losing job, saved money, used system to help him find new employment and was eventually able to get off "the welfare"...not such a good story, it lacks the gotcha plot line people care for so much.

    Go and research Low Income Housing Tax Credit programs. It combines non-profit "fell goodedness" with for-profit developers to fix blighted neighborhoods and provide housing to people. The requirements and oversight is very exhaustive.

    And you never hear Republicans or Democrats *****ing about the LIHTC program. Must be a reason...

  14. #14
    [QUOTE=CanadaSteve;2794424]As an outsider looking in, I would like to make a comment, because sometimes you see a little clearer when you look through the window...

    This I do not believe is a left/right Republican/Democratic thing. Extremes in anything are usually "wrong" per say. But I would like to point out, considering I vote Conservative up here in Canada, that one of the issues I see here, and believe is a problem in NA in general, is this sense of entitlement and relative thinking that is associated with far left thinking.

    There used to be a time here in Canada when people who received welfare had to DO something for it... AND they had to be actively seeking work. There was also limitations on who got welfare. Then a new "mindset" came in that went something like this...."who are we to say who is or isn't deserving of help. Who are we to say how long someone needs help. Who are we to say someone has to "work" at demeaning jobs to earn their welfare."

    This relativistic mindset, that there is no right/wrong and the taboo notion that we should "impose" our thinking on someone else has strained not only the tax-payer here, but peoples sense of generosity. In my opinion, an underlying factor in all this is this notion that we as a society do not have the right to say anything in these regards.

    I pose a question: If you picked up a homeless man on the street and offered him clothes, a warm bed, food and money to educate himself for three years until he got on his feet, and he complained that there was a time limit and stipulations on the resources you offered, how long would he be in your house. Why then, do we as a society cater to this thinking?[/QUOTE]

    Because everything in this country is about race and people being entitled to everything. The more the government gets involved the more things get screwed up!

  15. #15
    With respect, I don't see Lifestyle changes looming for people in my Middle-class bracket.

    I live (mostly) within my means, have excellent credit, am employed gainfully. I don't see the impact on my lifestyle coming that you do.

    The ones who may have to change are those who live beyond their means, but then again there is alot of talk of "bailing" out them as well, so perhaps even they will ride.

    Don't get me wrong, I am nervous, but thus far I don't see any/many of these possible changes hurting me directly.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=Warfish;2794650]

    The ones who may have to change are those who live beyond their means, [/QUOTE]


    Exactly, unfortunately there are ALOT of people out there who were doing just that.

  17. #17
    Yep, it is all the government's fault. You got it.

    [QUOTE=MnJetFan;2794579]Because everything in this country is about race and people being entitled to everything. The more the government gets involved the more things get screwed up![/QUOTE]

  18. #18
    [QUOTE]Warfish-
    With respect, I don't see Lifestyle changes looming for people in my Middle-class bracket.

    I live (mostly) within my means, have excellent credit, am employed gainfully. I don't see the impact on my lifestyle coming that you do.

    The ones who may have to change are those who live beyond their means, but then again there is alot of talk of "bailing" out them as well, so perhaps even they will ride.

    Don't get me wrong, I am nervous, but thus far I don't see any/many of these possible changes hurting me directly. [/QUOTE]



    Same here.

    We have always lived within our means. If we wanted something that was nonessential we saved for it and payed with cash.
    The impact on us now is the rising cost of utilities, food and our taxes. It's the everyday stuff that is taking it's toll.

  19. #19
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    I've been away for the past week... why is everyone being so nice to each other? It's....it's....kind of AWKWARD! ;)

    (Actually, I've been here. Just noting that we have acquired a "garden club" tone. It can't possibly last....)

  20. #20
    What a negative thread.

    [sarcasm] You people hate America don't you. [/sarcasm]

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