the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby ToddStarnes » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:25 pm

Right, and sentiment tracks the measures of middle class wage growth, of poverty, etc. quite well. It tracks less applicable statistical tools, like GDP, less well. But then, I am guessing that author knew that and intentionally chose a statistic meaningless to the middle class to make his point.

And his point is a sound one, in any event, but it does nothing to show we are actually in this entrenched downward trend like he says, or like how the public generally feels right now. Wage stagnation is a major issue, but it's not the defining issue for the republic.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby Saz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:28 am

ToddStarnes wrote:Wage stagnation is a major issue, but it's not the defining issue for the republic.


(Guy who makes 5x the median wage and gets lock-step raises every year)
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby Saz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:19 am

ToddStarnes wrote:
IndependentProfessor wrote:But, is it really "collapsing"?

Crime is lower than in many decades (since the 20s, at least). Fewer people around the world are in a war zone. Technology is progressing faster than ever.


I'm with you man. The steady march of progress is continuing throughout the world. I have no idea where this idea that we are on the precipice of collapse is coming from. I guess 24 hour news cycles? I dunno. It's weird though.

Cue somebody calling me a racist or out of touch or whatever and then listing a variety of ills as though previous generations faced no problems whatsoever and therefore we are indeed on the verge of collapse.


You are out of touch.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/life-expect ... 1461124861

How can that happen in a country undergoing the steady march of progress. The only analogous situation is with Russian males following the collapse of the soviet union. No doubt you would have been the rat faced man standing next to Yelstin and mumbling about all the progress that was taking place.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby Saz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:28 am

ToddStarnes wrote:Right, and sentiment tracks the measures of middle class wage growth, of poverty, etc. quite well. It tracks less applicable statistical tools, like GDP, less well. But then, I am guessing that author knew that and intentionally chose a statistic meaningless to the middle class to make his point.

And his point is a sound one, in any event, but it does nothing to show we are actually in this entrenched downward trend like he says, or like how the public generally feels right now. Wage stagnation is a major issue, but it's not the defining issue for the republic.


There is no middle class wage growth. It's been a regression since the late 70's.

This is the thing with these statistics, no one ever looks at the the metrics or analysis underlying the "statistics" they love to parade about. Economists will tell you inflation is 1.5% and conveniently ignore the fact that the things people actually spend money on, Education, Housing, etc are rising by double digits but for one reason or another are simply not included in the calculation of inflation. Poverty is another one of those "statistics" where no one every looks at the underlying metrics, they just say look the numbers say poverty is down, when in fact the calculation of poverty has simply been adjusted. The best and most obvious example has to be unemployment. We are at full employment, Dylan smugly says, ignoring the fact that the labor force participation rate has been in steep decline for decades and is at depression era levels for men.

Only Dylan could think that nothing actually shows the public generally is pissed off now, despite the political insurgency which we have seen on both the right and the left. To him, it's just a mysterious case of people acting extra stupid for some unknown reason, or being irrationally mad for some reason that obviously has no connection to reality or their circumstances. It's pure arrogance.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby Saz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:24 am

ToddStarnes wrote:We've always bickered over shit. Speeches from 150 years ago were more eloquent but the person attacks and disputes were similarly more personal.

Anti-establishment sentiment comes and goes, as do politicians who take advantage of the tide.

Yes, crime is one factor in evaluating the decline of a nation. As is love expectancy, access to health care, infant mortality rates, purchasing power, employment, etc. And when you look at the mix of that data, I don't see anything suggesting we are on an overall downward trend.

The media is killing us on this.


America is in a steep RELATIVE decline by just about any metric you cite. It has nothing to do with the media, if anything they ignore just how steep this relative decline is. The last 30 years have been astoundingly good for the vast majority of people in the world. Incomes have doubles, tripled and even quadrupled in some places. Meanwhile, incomes for a majority of American's have actually gone backwards once inflation is accounted for (and have SHARPLY gone backwards if you use real inflation numbers that account for the cost of college or home prices).

It's astoundingly inhumane and out of touch that you really expect people to be content with the fact that life is better than it was in 1940, and ignore the fact the rest of the world has been rapidly progressing while their fortunes have stagnated or regressed. No one gives a shit about what life was like in 1940. By your logic, we should all be perfectly content to never progress again, hell we could regress quite a bit...as long things are better than 1940.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby jimmyz » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:24 am

Saz... doing what he do.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby spacemonkey » Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:29 am

IndependentProfessor wrote:But, is it really "collapsing"?

Crime is lower than in many decades (since the 20s, at least). Fewer people around the world are in a war zone. Technology is progressing faster than ever.

Parts of some inner cities are already third world. Then there is Disneyland.
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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby John Galt » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:00 pm

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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby The Comrade » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:16 pm

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Re: the Decadent Decline of the United States of America

Postby broken robot » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:28 am

John Galt wrote:i've been talking about this for a while but we are disgustingly decadent

i'm posting this on my computer, but i could very well be on my phone, on a shitter, drinking beer, eating doritos, and doing the same thing

south park this season is addressing this decadent collapse of the american empire and tying it to why the force awakens wasn't really a good movie, and why trump is a thing. and they are spot on.

but the question is, how do we as a society reverse the decedent collapse?

the only things i can think of are killing off a lot of us in a land war in asia OR investing in a wonder to revitalize the empire and truly make us great again. and the one project i think would truly be a wonder this days would involve the colonization of luna and mars


Meh, don't blame liberals for hyperventilating about trivial issues. It's symptom, not cause. Worrying about it, "hey f**k your PC bullshit, I can call people whatever," is also a surprisingly circular response. It's why we now have a guy known for shitty cameos in offbrand TV as our president elect.

Simply put capitalism is in a state of entropy in the posindustrial countries. The only things to make money off of are speculation, coming up with more rhetorical bullshit eg. TV and entertainment, or digital products, all of which do not provide sustainable employment to the masses.

Capitalism however has also ratcheted up our expectations for a decent life, and the masses are not going to accept a decline in living standards to "balance the equation" with countries filled with cheap labor. So, while Americans live extraordinarily comfortable lives compared to the rest of the world, and believe me I know because I've been living over two years in a place mired in poverty, they may paradoxically decide revolution is the only way to maintain progress.

That is if they can get their fat asses off the couch and build a movement. Rome like empires past was a feudal hierarchy. We may be satirical and say the US is an oligarchy, but the reality is "we the people" is a modern concept that potentially enables certain forms of political action.

Hell, even Fukuyama said it's now democracy versus liberal capitalism.
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