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America, a country in decay?

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pengo
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America, a country in decay?

Post by pengo » Fri Sep 24, 2010 5:53 pm

Atlanta housing application chaos -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9q36UFzx70" target="_blank

American 'tent cities' -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnOOo6tRs8" target="_blank

Boston water main drama -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvdbEutslrc" target="_blank


What happened after Katrina was shocking, but seeing that footage in Atlanta thats pretty disgusting.

Also the tent cities and water drama thats pretty sad :(.

How bad is it tho, you get a skewed picture looking in from outside. Are there many tent cities (ie are there are lot of people losing their houses, jobs and forced onto the street?), does this sort of public housing fiasco that went down in Atlanta go on elsewhere? Is public infrastructure in disrepair elsewhere around the country?

Is corruption in the polictical system starting to get out of hand, that the public services are being mismanaged and left to decay?

Don't get me wrong America will go on, been there done that (ie Great Depression) but does America need something like a major economic catastrophy to fix itself up? Something worse than the GFC? How long can the fed keep printing money? The AUD is over 90c (and has been for some time) I can remember the day when it was at 50c.. Am I going to see parity with the usd? Crazy times we live in.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Teggy » Fri Sep 24, 2010 7:07 pm

Um, that water issue lasted for 2 days and it turned out that the water was safe to drink all along. (I was among those affected).

The economic situation in the US is not great, but it's not The Grapes of Wrath revisited.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Grifman » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:11 pm

pengo wrote:American 'tent cities' -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnnOOo6tRs8" target="_blank
Hah, the Google ad that popped up on this video was for Campmor, suggesting you buy a groundcloth to cut wear and tear on your sleeping bag :doh:
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Kraken » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:02 am

Sometimes I believe that we live in a declining empire. Other times I remind myself that most people throughout history have believed that they're living in End Times; the present always looks better 10 years later. Our culture of openness, individualism, innovation, competition, and entrepreneurship still gives us inherent advantages that the rising powers will be hard pressed to overcome, even if we're on the ropes now. OTOH, our pride in ignorance, our militarism, and our superiority complex could sink us.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by pengo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 3:50 am

What keeps the USA afloat I belive is the ability to print money and send it out of the country to pay for things. This is an economic assest that other countries do not have, tho some countries do not need it (ie China).

So yeah if the US dollar stops being some sort of universal currency, I think that could be the death nail. Tho what would cause this to happen? The devaluation of the usd to the point that the EUR is worth more, so people prefer the Euro over the USD?

Will we see jobs coming back to the US that they lost overseas as people accept lower wages, as they have to compete with China, India, Mexico etc? Will manufacturing ever return to the US? Or is it lost for good to the East?

The only way I can see jobs being competitive is lower wages and cost of living reducing significantly, so those low wages doesn't mean the person is regarded as the working poor. I would think that keeping cost of living real low helps to keep your wages from rising.

Would we every see in the US or in the western world for that matter, 1950-70's prices for things? Would wages go back to 1950-70s levels if cost of living was to get back down to those levels (would it ever)? Or due to inflation that just won't ever happen?

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by dbt1949 » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:26 am

Sooner or later we're going to stop being such a consumer of foreign goods. With inflation and unemployment being the way it is it's starting to happen already.
What are the cheap labor countries going to do then? Half their market is the United States. And that'll be just the beginning of the snowball.
There are just so many Ferraris and Bentleys that the ultra rich want. The upper rich class won't be keeping the word afloat.
About this time more Australians are going to be opening up a lot more gold and opal mines as people are trying to earn a living there too.
I don't know but I'd be willing to bet the tourist trade in all countries has gone to hell in a hand basket already. (well, except for the idiot foreigners who want to come over here to see tornadoes. We lose more repeat business that way.)
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by pengo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:29 am

As far as resources in oz, iron, coal and uranium seem to be the big money makers atm. No doubt due to China and India.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Smoove_B » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:44 am

The American Society of Civil Engineers would agree with you.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Holman » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:47 pm

America's new enemy is gravity.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by pr0ner » Sat Sep 25, 2010 12:55 pm

Paul Roberts wrote:America's new enemy is inertia.
FTFY?
Hodor.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by wire » Sat Sep 25, 2010 2:27 pm

As mentioned by Smoove_B I believe that our infrastructure is decaying and it doesn't seem to be a priority by our government. It doesn't help with companies that should be helping maintain the integrity of parts of the infrastructure (see PG&E & the recent San Bruno gas explosion) aren't making it a priority either.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Arcanis » Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:47 pm

Wasn't there recently a big wad of cash to be dropped on building infrastructure in the stimulus package? It was the thing that I really liked about everything they were saying was going to be in it, and it seems to be one of the few things that never got much if any money. I know some of our local municipalities got some cash to help rebuild roads & bridges but it wasn't much. I know the President mentioned rebuilding infrastructure almost if not every time he talked about stimulus. Is it stuck in red tape, back burnered because groups that help out politicians got jumped to the front of the line, or was it just a broken promise by a/many/most politician(s)?
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by pengo » Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:26 pm

I hate to be cynical but most of that money no doubt is lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and not actually being spent on anything good.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by The Meal » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:32 am

pengo wrote:I hate to be cynical
No you don't. You revel in it!

(Sorry, carry on. I just hate the "I hate to be [something I am]" phrasing which opens many stories especially coming from my daughter.)
Not a pathological narcissist.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by pengo » Sun Sep 26, 2010 12:43 am

:lol:

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Scuzz » Mon Sep 27, 2010 1:22 pm

Every medium to large city has a "tent city"........mainly because the courts won't let the cities tear them down................. :roll:

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by mike » Tue Sep 28, 2010 3:48 am

pengo wrote:As far as resources in oz, iron, coal and uranium seem to be the big money makers atm.
And this :pop:
/\/\ike

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Smoove_B » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:34 am

When something is both depressing and marketing genius at the same time.
Potholes, cracks, and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s. We can’t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get un-topped, or your boxes get flipped. So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by em2nought » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:32 am

Hmm expanding on the Pizza pothole idea, carry bags of pavement repair around in your truck. Patch a hole, take a photo, submit and get compensated. Might be a new concept in cheap road repairs. Better yet, instead of sending out checks get a deduction from your property tax for each repair. :dance:
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Remus West » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:40 am

em2nought wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:32 am
Hmm expanding on the Pizza pothole idea, carry bags of pavement repair around in your truck. Patch a hole, take a photo, submit and get compensated. Might be a new concept in cheap road repairs. Better yet, instead of sending out checks get a deduction from your property tax for each repair. :dance:
Lovely plan if you want to be driving over shoddily constructed boulders made by some idiot trying to get a discount on his taxes rather than driving on an actual road.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Paingod » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:29 pm

Would you rather have your car go up a rock, or down a pit?

Creating a bounty on pot holes is a horrific idea. Not only from a liability standpoint, but just imagine the people trying to game the system by digging their own holes and then filling them.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by NickAragua » Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:37 pm

Actually, now that I think about it, the problem would become self-solving fairly quickly. Once enough wannabe pothole repairmen get punted by cars going 80 MPH, the rest will think twice and we'd go back to the status quo. Minus a few idiots. And the unfortunate bystanders.

Well, you can't build a road without killing a whole bunch of people, amirite?

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Pyperkub » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:48 pm

Paingod wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:29 pm
Would you rather have your car go up a rock, or down a pit?

Creating a bounty on pot holes is a horrific idea. Not only from a liability standpoint, but just imagine the people trying to game the system by digging their own holes and then filling them.
I've been waiting to find out if anything came of this - it sounded like a brilliant idea at the time, but haven't heard anything since
Sometime soon, when you spot a pothole in the street, you won't have to swerve around it and curse when your wheel dips in. Instead, you would deliberately drive over it, so the pressure of your car tires will stiffen the little plastic baggie the city dropped in there as a temporary fix. A little non-Newtonian fluid pothole filler could spare your wheel alignment after a harsh winter, saving municipal money and traveler troubles....

...Here's how it could work: Instead of driving around with a mixture of hot asphalt, road-repair crews or even police cars would carry plastic bags full of a water-powder mix (like the non-newtonian cornstarch + water trick). The students plan to patent their idea, so they haven't divulged their recipe, but they say it's biodegradable and even edible. When a city worker comes upon a pothole, he or she would drop a baggie into the hole, and then cover it up with black tape so a driver wouldn't mistake it for an obstacle. When a car drives over it, the fluid behaves like a solid — voila, a filled pothole.

This is because it's a shear-thickening fluid, as ScienceNow explains. Where shear-thinning fluids will squirt and flow when a force is applied, shear-thickening fluids will stiffen up, behaving more like a solid. Like this.

The students have already road-tested their plastic bag trick and say it holds up well, even after a week of continuous use. They are meant to be sturdy enough to last weeks at a time, even in wet and salty-road conditions, until pockmarked roads can be properly filled and smoothed over, the team said.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Remus West » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:22 pm

That sounds really really cool.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by LawBeefaroni » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:32 pm

A few things come to mind:

If they're that cool, won't people just steal them? At the very least to take back to their own neighborhood pothole.

If police carry these in their cars, the increased cost of gas used to haul around a few cement-ish bags all day needs to be considered.

Anything that allows city government to delay proper repairs will be abused.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Brian » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:06 pm

So, like baggies full of Oobleck?
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Holman » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:33 pm

Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:48 pm
The students plan to patent their idea, so they haven't divulged their recipe, but they say it's biodegradable and even edible.
I see the problem.
Much prefer my Nazis Nuremberged.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by LordMortis » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:49 pm

Smoove_B wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:34 am
When something is both depressing and marketing genius at the same time.
Potholes, cracks, and bumps in the road can cause irreversible damage to your pizza during the drive home from Domino’s. We can’t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get un-topped, or your boxes get flipped. So we’re helping to pave in towns across the country to save your good pizza from these bad roads.
Just saw an add for this.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Blackhawk » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:11 pm

Holman wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:33 pm
Pyperkub wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:48 pm
The students plan to patent their idea, so they haven't divulged their recipe, but they say it's biodegradable and even edible.
I see the problem.
It may not not solve potholes, but it'll help feed the homeless.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by GreenGoo » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:05 pm

Maybe the plan is to fill the pot holes with homeless people? 2 birds etc?

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Kraken » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:40 am

Maybe it's time for America to split up. A convoluted scenario involving interstate compacts splits the US into neutral states, a blue federation, and a red federation. Farfetched and long, and you won't agree with some of the author's premises, but it's thought-provoking and entertaining. It's a cool fictional future, at least.
There is at least one mechanism by which a sort of soft breakup may be imaginable — and it’s already found within the Constitution. The document introduces the prospect of one state entering into a compact with another. States have created interstate compacts to maintain common standards, like the Driver’s License Compact that 47 DMVs use to exchange knowledge on traffic scofflaws. Most have been used for neighboring jurisdictions to handle common resources, like the Atlantic Salmon Compact that permits New England states to manage fish stocks in the Connecticut River Basin. (Eleven states have signed on to a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, to disregard the Electoral College, but it would require a number equal to 270 electoral votes to take effect.)

Interstate compacts have rarely been applied to controversial topics. Yet to a paralyzed Congress, and a president without any deeply held views about state-federal relations, they could prove an appealing vehicle to restless factions on both the left and the right. It may be time to take the country apart and put it back together, into a shape that better aligns with the divergent, and increasingly irreconcilable, political preferences of its people — or at least to consider what such a future might look like, if for no other reason than to test our own resolve. An imagined trial separation, if you will. Or perhaps in contemplating a future apart we might stumble upon a few ideas for some new way to live together after all.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Holman » Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:20 am

And the winner is the America that learns Chinese fastest?
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Drazzil » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:48 pm

Holman wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:20 am
And the winner is the America that learns Chinese fastest?
If the US ripped itself apart, I believe China would too. China exists because of a unified market in the US keeping their citizens busy and getting richer. Take away that one unified market and replace it with many smaller markets, many of which may not go on blithely at losing jobs the way big fed did and I think China would rip itself up like we would.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Chaz » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:06 pm

Kraken wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:40 am
Maybe it's time for America to split up. A convoluted scenario involving interstate compacts splits the US into neutral states, a blue federation, and a red federation. Farfetched and long, and you won't agree with some of the author's premises, but it's thought-provoking and entertaining. It's a cool fictional future, at least.
There is at least one mechanism by which a sort of soft breakup may be imaginable — and it’s already found within the Constitution. The document introduces the prospect of one state entering into a compact with another. States have created interstate compacts to maintain common standards, like the Driver’s License Compact that 47 DMVs use to exchange knowledge on traffic scofflaws. Most have been used for neighboring jurisdictions to handle common resources, like the Atlantic Salmon Compact that permits New England states to manage fish stocks in the Connecticut River Basin. (Eleven states have signed on to a National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, to disregard the Electoral College, but it would require a number equal to 270 electoral votes to take effect.)

Interstate compacts have rarely been applied to controversial topics. Yet to a paralyzed Congress, and a president without any deeply held views about state-federal relations, they could prove an appealing vehicle to restless factions on both the left and the right. It may be time to take the country apart and put it back together, into a shape that better aligns with the divergent, and increasingly irreconcilable, political preferences of its people — or at least to consider what such a future might look like, if for no other reason than to test our own resolve. An imagined trial separation, if you will. Or perhaps in contemplating a future apart we might stumble upon a few ideas for some new way to live together after all.
Were this to actually become reality, one small upside is that it'd probably finally convince my wife to move out of NH and down to MA.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:25 pm

Holman wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:20 am
And the winner is the America that learns Chinese fastest?
A former HS friend, who grew up in Canada (bilingual French/English) and spent years in America (English with heavy Spanish in many places, including where she lived) who now resides in London (English and whatever the f**k they also speak. French seems likely) has had her children learning Mandarin (or Cantonese. I don't remember which) from an early age.

Now she has lofty expectations for her kids and expects them to be movers and shakers on the world stage, so this is more about getting in on the ground floor vs being able to please the future supreme overlords, but it's still telling that she chose a Chinese language vs. Japanese, or Germany, or even French, which she mostly speaks.

Meh. Chinese languages are kind of outrageously difficult, at least in written form. I'll be dead before it matters, I hope. Good luck, my kids.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Drazzil » Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:47 pm

GreenGoo wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 2:25 pm
Holman wrote:
Sun Nov 18, 2018 9:20 am
And the winner is the America that learns Chinese fastest?
A former HS friend, who grew up in Canada (bilingual French/English) and spent years in America (English with heavy Spanish in many places, including where she lived) who now resides in London (English and whatever the f**k they also speak. French seems likely) has had her children learning Mandarin (or Cantonese. I don't remember which) from an early age.

Now she has lofty expectations for her kids and expects them to be movers and shakers on the world stage, so this is more about getting in on the ground floor vs being able to please the future supreme overlords, but it's still telling that she chose a Chinese language vs. Japanese, or Germany, or even French, which she mostly speaks.

Meh. Chinese languages are kind of outrageously difficult, at least in written form. I'll be dead before it matters, I hope. Good luck, my kids.
So who replaces the US if we rip ourselves apart and or become a third world country? China is extremely reliant on not only the US dollar but also on the US importing tons of cheaply made Chinese goods. Here's another stunner, China's ecology cannot tolerate US style consumption in any form. China ALSO depends on it's own citizens to bank most of their paper gains in Chinese banks.

Which country will replace us as their market? China depends on us. Depends on a political system that is entirely captured by the people who make the trillions of dollars. It also depends on our population to be stupid, fat and lazy. If we go down all of the long simmering tensions between the dozen or so countries that fall under the purview of the Portobello will boil over, and China collapses just like the Soviet Union.

The Chinese government has an implicit bargain with it's people: Keep quiet and we will make you rich.
If (when?) we lose our status the game ends.

Oh? And when the US loses its status... I think the rest of the world may just revisit the whole "free trade" thing and where it leads. If I'm right, the next century may well be much more isolationist and protective of it's economies.

As for the next world power? Maybe India, perhaps Brazil.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by stessier » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:12 pm

If I'm right...
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by Drazzil » Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:46 pm

stessier wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 7:12 pm
If I'm right...
This is all you need to know to realize you have nothing to fear.
Nice potshot. Dismissing everything I wrote without addressing the issues I brought up.
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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by GreenGoo » Mon Nov 26, 2018 8:21 pm

No one has to replace the US. Talk about hubris.

The world will go on with or without the US. Just as it went on when the Soviet union collapsed. Just as it would if any country lost its way or simply disappeared.

It wouldn't be the same world, but it certainly wouldn't end. Neither would China.

Stessier didn't address your points because they aren't worth addressing. Fevered imaginings rarely are.

It'd be like wondering why no one was addressing my thoughts on the probability of the NFL collapsing because the redskins disappeared while in the same breath I predict the addition of a one eighth back to deal with the lack of live tweeting from players on the field.

Your ideas are nuts, dude.

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Re: America, a country in decay?

Post by malchior » Tue Nov 27, 2018 8:14 am

Drazzil wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 6:47 pm
As for the next world power? Maybe India, perhaps Brazil.
Lol. Try going to India some time. You'll see that the idea is hilarious. Neither will be. They might have huge populations and even rich, highly educated segments but they each have deep dysfunctions that go far beyond what is acceptable in the west.

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