Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 5th, 2010, 3:57 pm #11

Perhaps if we started electing candidates to Congress and to the Presidency that were brave enough to tackle these problems and understood how economics work than we could avoid this declining standard of living.

This quote has been going around the internet and no one seems to know who actually wrote it, but it says exactly why America is in decline:

"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of
entrusting a man like him with the presidency. It will be easier to
limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the
necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate
willing to have such a man for their president.

The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is
a mere symptom of what ails us. Blaming the prince of the fools should
not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their
prince.

The republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a
fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those
who made him their president."
Well the decline began far before Obama so it pointless to blame him. It's as simple as the fact that we can't compete with countries like China who can make things much cheaper because that have a cheaper labor force.

Now we can look back at mistakes we made here in America that help bring this about. China and other far-eastern countries use to be no competition to us because they were backward agrarian countries with no manufacturing base. Ironically- it was our own companies seeking lower labor costs that gave them that base- and now it's all backfired on us with them not just supplementing our industry but replacing it. How can we compete with that without lower our wages and standard of living to theirs so we can make things as cheaply? And how many American would want to live on a Chinese wage?
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Brandon
Brandon

May 5th, 2010, 3:58 pm #12

So you're saying that we are our own greatest danger? Or rather, do you mean that all American voters (except yourself) are their own worst enemies? And are you implying by that that we shouldn't be allowed to vote for whoever pleases us because that's too risky?
"So you're saying that we are our own greatest danger?"

Yes, as we get further away from the concepts and ideas that made this country great. The entitlement mentality that more and more people have is what is changing this country and not for the better.

"Do you mean that all American voters (except yourself) are their own worst enemies? "

Obama got 53% of the vote, so I don't blame the 47% who made the right choice in 2008.

"Are you implying by that that we shouldn't be allowed to vote for whoever pleases us because that's too risky?"

No, I prefer to live in a representative democracy even though you run the risk as we did in 2008 of the majority of voters choosing foolishly.
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Brandon
Brandon

May 5th, 2010, 4:02 pm #13

Well the decline began far before Obama so it pointless to blame him. It's as simple as the fact that we can't compete with countries like China who can make things much cheaper because that have a cheaper labor force.

Now we can look back at mistakes we made here in America that help bring this about. China and other far-eastern countries use to be no competition to us because they were backward agrarian countries with no manufacturing base. Ironically- it was our own companies seeking lower labor costs that gave them that base- and now it's all backfired on us with them not just supplementing our industry but replacing it. How can we compete with that without lower our wages and standard of living to theirs so we can make things as cheaply? And how many American would want to live on a Chinese wage?
I'm not blaming Obama. My point is that 53% of the voters being foolish enough to elect Obama is the result of this decline.

The mentality of the Obama voter is what will continue to push our country downward.
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 5th, 2010, 4:07 pm #14

Why isn't the blame with greedy manufacturers who gave China the factories that are now replacing ours?
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Brandon
Brandon

May 5th, 2010, 4:15 pm #15

The problem with jobs is not "greedy manufacturers" moving factories to China but governmental policies that keep the economy from growing.

Here's a detailed response:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/thornton/thornton20.html
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 5th, 2010, 5:23 pm #16

Good right-wing propaganda, Brandon.

The fact is American wages have been stagnate and declining. Good paying factory jobs with good benefits have been replaced by low paying low-benefits service industry jobs. A country can't be great when it depends on other countries to supply it's needs.

What's more it puts us in a very vulnerable position- the reason we won World War II was because we had the best factories in the world and were able to supply everything we needed both at home and for the war. If such a international conflict broke out today imports would be the first thing cut off and our stores would be filled with empty shelves.
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Joined: May 9th, 2005, 12:05 pm

May 5th, 2010, 6:26 pm #17

"So you're saying that we are our own greatest danger?"

Yes, as we get further away from the concepts and ideas that made this country great. The entitlement mentality that more and more people have is what is changing this country and not for the better.

"Do you mean that all American voters (except yourself) are their own worst enemies? "

Obama got 53% of the vote, so I don't blame the 47% who made the right choice in 2008.

"Are you implying by that that we shouldn't be allowed to vote for whoever pleases us because that's too risky?"

No, I prefer to live in a representative democracy even though you run the risk as we did in 2008 of the majority of voters choosing foolishly.
Can you please elaborate on those concepts and ideals that made this country great? And when did we peak, as far as greatness goes?
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Brandon
Brandon

May 5th, 2010, 6:56 pm #18

I'm not sure there was any kind of "golden era." In terms of wealth, health, life span, leisure etc. right now is a pretty good time to be living in the USA.

The concept that made America great besides our constitutional government was the entrepreneurship of the people. Most of us are either immigrants or are descended from immigrants who came to this country to seek a better life for their families. These people had the courage to leave their home country and escape from tyrannical, feudal governments.

John Gartner (John Hopkins professor wrote in his 2005 book, The Hypomanic Edge, "a 'nation of immigrants' represents a highly skewed and unusual 'self selected' population."

Economist John Tamny said "It's no surprise that every industrial boom--from oil in the 19th century, to autos in the early 20th, to technology in the late 20th century--was largely characterized by American entrepreneurs."

Now we have someone in office like Obama who believes the Western European system of "cradle to grave" security is better than America. If this kind of thinking prevails, America will be in decline.

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Bob
Bob

May 6th, 2010, 2:50 am #19

Well the news people always find something to talk about- but during the '80s and '90s I don't recall the country facing any serious problems like it does today. We were not fighting foreign wars or worrying about being blown up by terrorists or running huge budget deficits or seeing all our factories close up and move overseas, or losing our competitive position in the world or being overrun by illegal aliens or global warming and so forth. In fact the biggest thing the news media had to talk about during the 1990s was Bill Clinton's sex life.
Wow, what a lively discussion this week! Alright!

Here is my take: Multiple factors combined to bring about the decline in U.S. we see today. I think you need look no further than to compare the conditions that spawned "The Greatest Generation" with those that produced each succeeding and less-accomplished generation.

My parents grew up during the Great Depression. They weren't out of their teens when the U.S. entered WWII. They grew up with very little, saw Americans banding together to help each other, and they appreciated anything they did receive. Then, still youth, they fought and won the noblest war, returning as conquering heroes before they were 30. They were tested early and they passed with flying colors. And, they believed in their govt and in each other.

Zoom forward just a few years and we Baby Boomers come along. Our well-meaning parents tried to give us every material possession and opportunity they were denied as children. We grew up thinking we were it . . the all-important me. And while thinking so unrealistically high of ourselves, we also developed a critical eye toward our elders. In our minds, they bumbled into whatever success they had. We, the Boomers, could easily do better than that . . or so we thought.

In education, along came this idea of "Critical Thinking". The new theory was that prior generations were too naive, too easily deceived by . . their govt, corporations, the military-industrial complex, you name it. Our elders were not only the bumbling blind (with luck on their side), they were deceived into thinking things that the Boomers and their teachers were wise to and would not fall for. Yes, as time went on, we could see the fallacies our parents and grandparents lived by, and how they were not quite so successful at duping us into believing the same. Boy, were we Boomers something!

But, looking back: Our parents typically raised us in intact families . . while our own families typically ended in divorce. As children, we had parents, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles, and neighbors and even a stranger could tell us not to do something or "go home and tell your mother/father what you did, or I will!" And we did, and we got our behinds swatted and learned to not do such things again. We would never think to say, "Whatever" or "No, you do it" to our elders -- we got swift punishment that made us regret ever thinking of saying such things. And if we complained to teachers or any authority figure about what our parents had done, we were told, "Well, I hoped you learned never to do that again." No one said, "Your parents should be ashamed to mistreat a nice boy like you". No, they defended our parents, maybe even said we got off easy!

But, our own children didn't have such parental/adult supervision. All the adults were working. Their grandparents, aunts, uncles . . they all lived too far away or were too busy to tend to someone else's kids. As parents, we Boomers didn't want to be the ogres our parents were, so we didn't insist on things that our parents demanded: Eat wholesome meals, do chores around the house, speak politely to adults (or maybe not speak at all while adults were talking), go to bed at a decent hour, say your prayers. No, TV and movies raised our kids . . while we were busy working or recreating away from the family (our "me time"). Our kids didn't have to work, as Mom and Dad would buy everything. And, after all, we Boomers were entitled, so you know our kids are entitled-on-steroids. And they disrespect us parents, and we don't really punish them in the way that our parents did that made US never want to say or do such things again. We "ground" our kids, then back down when the kids defy us. Maybe we are a single parent and don't have anyone to back us up vs. our kids . . so they wear us down and out instead of the reverse. And, of course, we know now that corporal punishment has fallen heavily into disfavor and can get us investigated by Children's Services, or even charged. So we try to persuade our kids to behave, which they quickly see as weakness and then hold us in even lower regard as time passes.

And few today believe anyone. This is "Critical Thinking" run amok. Politicians are all greedy liars. Corporations are all greedy liars. Union people are all lazy, greeding liars. Today, we even see religious leaders as greedy, perverted liars. No one is really believable, and we cannot trust our fellow citizens. The faith in thy fellow man, and the internalized controls on behavior that were installed in previous generations, do not exist in us. Everyone is out for number one -- f___ them! We would not know how to stick together as Americans if our lives depended on it . . and they might!

To me, this is how Americans declined into this mess we find ourselves in. The decline occurred first in us as people, and then our institutions and societal conditions declined from there.

Sorry -- too long-winded again. But I haven't felt like writing like this for a while, and it feels good! Nite!
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Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 6th, 2010, 3:57 am #20

Pretty good summary Bob. No, it was no one thing- it was a conglomeration of many things that brought us to where we are today. I saw it start in the 1960s, too much greed- unions demanding ever greater wages, employers looking for more profit by going to cheap overseas labor, too much foreign adventurism, a education system which went from one of the best to one of the worse, and so on and so forth. It may take another 1930s depression to get us back on track and people thinking about what is really important- character and caring for fellow man rather than how big a house they can buy or expensive toys they can put in it.
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