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#166893 - 11/08/10 12:54 AM Is The American Dream Over?
Chuck Howard Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/17/01
Posts: 6723
Loc: Philly 'burbs
From Der Spiegel...why do we have to go outside the country to get some honest reporting?
Link to article

Too long for a meaningful excerpt...well worth your time.

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#166899 - 11/08/10 01:46 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Chuck Howard]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'

Yes, the American Dream is over, but the American Nightmare is just beginning.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#166900 - 11/08/10 02:11 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Chuck Howard]
Slipped Mickey Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/23/99
Posts: 12226
Loc: Land of Burnt Dirt
Great article, Chuck, thanks.

We are were a consumption based economy. Now we produce next to nothing. The US dollar remains - at present - the world's reserve currency only because we've bullied the world into holding on to it. Travel outside the US, something the vast majority of Americans have never done, and you'll discover an entire world, quite literally, that doesn't support or even understand US myopia.

The world doesn't hate us because of our "freedoms". That's utter and complete bullshžt, but most Americans believe it. Television told/tells America, however, that it must be so and as such Americans believe it. The article you posted, Chuck, would never, ever, get traction in the US because Americans would have to read it - they won't; because it is too complex to distill into, at best, a two minute news item; and because the information is coming from an foreign source (see the vast number of Americans have never traveled outside the US).

Arizona is a perfect example of the fall of the American dream. I've lived here almost 2 decades, I have some insight. Arizona used to be known for copper, cattle and cotton. During the boom Arizona promoted the hell out of inexpensive housing and cost of living. Arizona built houses at an unbelievable rate. Many, many, many of the workers were illegals. That's fact. Phoenix, were 63% of the state population lives went berserk, money mad. The city decided it needed a new football stadium, for a team that had never ever been in a playoff. I voted against it. No matter, the state had revenue from housing and a massive investment in commercial real estate to max. Tempe decided to built a town lake!!! In the desert, now - town feckin lake! The City of Phoenix heady with all the tax revenue got a big stiffy to build a light rail system. Never mind the fact that downtown Phoenix is d-e-a-d as hell after 5 PM. The light rail was to connect to Mesa. Do a Google for the most boring cities in the US and you'll find Mesa at or near the top. All these mad bastards betting on the come. Arizona's growth was based on - growth. Then reality showed up and screwed everything to hell. The stadium and the surrounding area has become a financial drain! No more development there. The state began to experience close to a negative growth, as in people began leaving at almost a higher rate than people were moving here. The light rail quickly became an albatross. The city quickly found that no one used the system because it connected nowhere to a whole lot of nothing. They raised the user fees. That didn't work. They cut the number of rail cars. That didn't work. They reduced the schedule. Now but for a small number of people the light rail is too expensive and too limited in service. Tax rates in Arizona went south with the housing market. Arizona will face - again - almost a billion dollar budget deficit in 2011 and again in 2012. Already LAST in education the state is about to cut education budgets and return millions of dollars in federal matching funds. We can't even afford free money from the Feds. Take the Interstate from Phoenix to Yuma, about 3 hours through nothing but desert, and you won't even find a place to pee, legally. We can't afford to keep our state rest areas open.

The rest of the state has sucked hind teat from day one. They never saw much of the boom money to begin with. Honestly, seriously, in a state with an educational system that ranks last in the US we are a bit short on Rhode Scholars. Arizona is a Republican's dream. In last week's election our red state just voted itself into crimson. Republicans have vowed no more taxes. Mentally ill Arizonan's can no longer find state sponsored services. If you are old and/or unable to drive public transportation is next to unusable. Try waiting 45 minutes in 115 degree heat for a bus that may not have room. On and on, no services.

What is the future in Arizona? Well the state recently lost a Raytheon contract to Alabama in part because Alabama was deemed more friendly to a diverse workforce! The State (Republicans) have vowed to provide tax incentives to attract more business. To do that it will have to fire about 30% of its state workforce - and in doing so reduce its tax base while increasing its unemployed population. Many American families consist of aging and disabled family members. Many families have school aged children. What employer is going to find Arizona family friendly? That is our reality. That is our picture of the American dream.
_________________________
____________________



You, you and you, panic. The rest of you follow me.

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#166901 - 11/08/10 02:15 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: numan]
Slipped Mickey Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/23/99
Posts: 12226
Loc: Land of Burnt Dirt
Originally Posted By: numan
'

Yes, the American Dream is over, but the American Nightmare is just beginning.


How characteristic of you, Numan. Perhaps it's time for you to stop barking at the big dogs and just stay under the porch.
_________________________
____________________



You, you and you, panic. The rest of you follow me.

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#166902 - 11/08/10 02:22 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: numan]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
Quote:
The Desperate States of America are loud and distressed. The country has always been a little paranoid...

"A little?" ∑ ∑ LOL ∑ ∑ See, it is obvious to foreigners, even if delusion-drunk Americans can't see it!

Quote:
The fall of America doesn't have to be a complete collapse....

True, but Americans will do their damnedest to create a royal screw-up, just as they have so many times in their history!

Quote:
The United States of 2010 is dysfunctional....

Again, everyone else sees what Americans are blind to.

Quote:
The country is reacting strangely irrationally to the loss of its importance....

"Strangely"? Irrationality is the hallmark of America all through its history in times of crisis.

Quote:
...the average American hardly even speaks to other Americans anymore, and certainly not with those who hold views different from his own.

The patient becomes increasingly isolated, and more and more sunk into his own delusions.

Quote:
Today an American CEO earns about 300 times as much as an ordinary worker. In 1950, that number was only 30.

Class warfare.

Quote:
The rich, says Reich, are trying to buy the elections.

"Trying"? ∑ ∑ wink ∑ ∑ Better wake up and smell the plutocracy, Reichy, old boy!

Quote:
...according to Reagan's former budget director, David Stockman, the country has become "fiscally ungovernable."

Wall Street and the Military-Industrial Conspiracy Complex are not going to risk getting a hangnail just to prevent the American people from dying of pneumonia.

Quote:
The calls for structural reforms are correct, he added, but the problem is that fundamental reform takes time.

And the American people, in their present suicidal frame of mind, have guaranteed the continuation of a divided government that will be incapable of undertaking fundamental reform. (Well, the "undertaking" part of it the government probably can manage)

Quote:
It could certainly be a comfort to the Germans that the United States is no longer so powerful that it can foist its ideas on the rest of the world.

America's restive, captive satellites may make a break for it to escape America's "friendship"? Uh-Oh!
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#166923 - 11/08/10 02:01 PM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Slipped Mickey]
Chuck Howard Offline
old hand

Registered: 09/17/01
Posts: 6723
Loc: Philly 'burbs
Originally Posted By: Slipped Mickey
The article you posted, Chuck, would never, ever, get traction in the US because Americans would have to read it - they won't; because it is too complex to distill into, at best, a two minute news item; and because the information is coming from an foreign source (see the vast number of Americans have never traveled outside the US).



Complexity is not what we are about, Mick. In fact, I think you're being awfully generous in thinking that Americans will even tune into a two-minute news item. I think that unless you can distill thought into a "bumper sticker slogan", you've lost the argument.

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#167286 - 11/11/10 09:56 PM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Chuck Howard]
Redheat Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 4201
Loc: Farther than I was yesterday
If your dream is to have the country run by the bat shirt crazy, then yeah it's alive but otherwise--not so much.
_________________________
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Ió
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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#167291 - 11/11/10 10:56 PM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Redheat]
itstarted Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: Florida/Illinois
Sorry to be late to the party on this one.

Mick! Bow Bow Bow

Thank you for taking the time to wrap up your view of the situation in Arizona. It means so much more than reading a "purified" version from a politically correct and vetted news article.

The der Speigle article was an excellent overview, that should provide some perspective to even the most conservative reader. While one may argue the politics, the subject matter is important.

In somewhat the same vein, here's an article that may complement that subject matter.
Marching to Third World Status

While we should continue to discuss the bits and pieces that affect our economy and our lives, it's important to keep a perspective of what is happening.

We can agree or disagree about direction or fault, but we should not lose perspective. This is a good framework for that.

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#173603 - 01/29/11 01:35 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: itstarted]
numan Offline
veteran

Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
'
Death of the Liberal Class

Quote:
If you study history, you can't help realizing that empires rise and fall. Roman, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian, British, Soviet, American, they all had their ups and downs.

This time it is true for the US. Nothing can save their empire; she is ready to go under. Drowning in debt, industrial base all but gone, military stretched to the limit and beyond, hated and feared by most of the world, running out of resources in a world not willing to be robbed blind any more, a large segment of the population under-educated (to say the least), in poverty and/or jail, the most significant industry is financial speculation, an entrenched elite with insatiable greed willing to destroy the country in order to hang on, the States are on the verge of bankruptcy, the neo-fascist movement of the tea-beggers rising in popularity, moronic clown Sara Palin in reach of the next presidency....shall I go on? -- oh yes, I forgot the fundies and waiting for the rapture. Sorry...the US is toast.
_________________________
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools -- Herbert Spencer

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#173609 - 01/29/11 02:11 AM Re: Is The American Dream Over? [Re: Slipped Mickey]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8846
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
Originally Posted By: Slipped Mickey
Arizona used to be known for copper, cattle and cotton.


Copper; you should see the big freeking holes in the ground!

Cattle; in a desert? In the late 1800's millions of cattle and sheep ate the state of Arizona to dust. Seven grass species were extirpated before the turn of the century. All of the topsoil in the areas of the state that would grow grass was washed down to the deserts.

Cotton; one of the thirstiest agricultural crops in existence, growing in one of the most arid states in the US.

Arizona has always exemplified Crazy Capitalism at its most egregious, making a quick buck and f*ck-all else. Good place to sequester the insane TP-ers. The great Capitalist experiment in all its glory!
_________________________
"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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