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Old 07-24-2014, 09:20 AM   #41
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I am named after my mom's youngest brother, who died at the age of three from an infection he got from a scraped knee. A shot of penicillin would probably have fixed him right up. Little wonder antibiotics were called "wonder drugs".
Yes, I have an annoying medical condition for which there is no treatment other than pain control. It's rare and seen only in post-menopausal women whose mothers have the condition. My mother has it. My grandmother had it and my great-grandmother had it. My great-great-grandmother, however, got appendicitis and never became old enough to have it. I got the better deal, I think. Also, people are amazingly helpful when you use a cane.

The thing that bothers me and where I see regression, though, is the cost of education. I received what was essentially a free education at one of the finest universities in the world. We got where we are by way of that education. Since that time the cost has gone up by a factor of 12 while the minimum wage (that I used to pay my expenses) has tripled. It really bothers me that kids get saddled with so much debt so early in life. Happily, we can afford to help the nephews.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #42
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I hear you. Just today, my experience had me wondering the same thing. In fact, I am utterly heart broken after this experience today. I rented a house to an elderly couple, in their upper 70s with obvious disability because they desperately needed to move from the rental which was foreclosed even though they paid their rent every month. ... I felt sad for them all day.
That is sad, and it's great that you are able and willing to help. But I'm not sure of the context to this thread?

Are you saying things like this did not happen in earlier times? Why did we have a "War on Poverty" in the 60's then? And going back a bit further, those pictures from the "Dust Bowl" are something that I don't think we see today, except maybe in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

One can try to make the case that the rich gained more %-wise than the poor, but I still think the poor today are far better off on average than they were.

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Old 07-24-2014, 10:15 AM   #43
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One of the most insidious skills of the human psyche is the ability to be both egocentric and blind to the plight of others. It is not a character flaw or rare. It is the norm. It allows individuals to make conclusions across time, socioeconomic status, race and religion with a frightening level of integrity and confidence. It also helps us feel in control of so many things that are totally out of our hands. All we can really judge is if life feels better for ourselves or looks better for the core individuals in our lives. It is an exceptionally rare individual that can circumvent their psyche and see the big picture clearly. I certainly can't. Sorry porky if this sounds like an attack on this thread or any poster. It is not intended as such.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:20 PM   #44
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We are stuck in in the here and now, so it really doesn't matter about the past.

Welcome to the present!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:30 PM   #45
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My life in the US has become better b/c of tech & medical advances. And the US is still a wealthy country where average citizen won't starve to death. If the OP's question is asked to North Koreans today, most of them will say (if they can be honest about this without fearing reprisal) life is worse than before. I wonder how many other countries (and their citizen's life) are worse off despite the tech & medical advances.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:58 PM   #46
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Yep. A big part is the Internet!
+1
It may sound dramatic, but the internet changed my life. Provided access to knowledge previously extremely hard to uncover.
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Old 07-24-2014, 05:57 PM   #47
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How about a short description instead of a link?
Economic injustice has increased.

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So while I agree that CEO pay, for instance, has gone off the charts crazy, and would be something that has not got "better", in the context of this thread, I don't agree that socialism is "optimal" because one question on a poll (that made it easy for the respondants to give "the right answer") says so.
I doubt anyone does. The reality is that poorer people are more likely to have a harder time making ends meet, and richer people are more likely to have an easier time affording luxury. Extremes are never the right answer, but the status quo is also not necessarily better in all ways than the past - this time.

Another good link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/minimum-...g-left-behind/

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Ahh, OK then, I think bUU found an area that is worse than 40 years ago. We have far more whiners today!
And more people who behave rudely in the face of a different opinion.
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Old 07-24-2014, 06:59 PM   #48
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Things which gotten worse? There are many to choose from: air quality, population density, traffic, .... But I still rather live now than 3 generations ago.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:12 PM   #49
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Worse?

For example, take population. If trying to optimize for the species continuity, maybe more is better?

I'm just being a provocative. Forgive me please.
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:42 PM   #50
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I disagree. Think of the millions of people in India who hold high tech jobs that didn't exist in their country a generation ago.
No doubt but that is why I said in most ways.
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:17 PM   #51
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Things which gotten worse? There are many to choose from: air quality, population density, traffic, .... But I still rather live now than 3 generations ago.
Air quality? Far better today, not worse at all. Unless maybe if you live in Beijing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_po..._United_States

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In the United States between 1970 and 2006, citizens enjoyed the following reductions in annual pollution emissions:[2]

carbon monoxide emissions fell from 197 million tons to 89 million tons
nitrogen oxide emissions fell from 27 million tons to 19 million tons
sulfur dioxide emissions fell from 31 million tons to 15 million tons
particulate emissions fell by 80%
lead emissions fell by more than 98%

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Old 07-25-2014, 07:30 AM   #52
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I'm trying to think of things that are personally worse for me now than before and I'm having a hard time coming up with items.

Here's my list so far:

* Social Security only partially funded so I expect to take some sort of haircut
* DRM on digital media (I guess one could argue that we had no digital media before)
* climate change (it's hotter and more uncomfortable, may need to spend more on air conditioning, flood insurance)
* increased advertising pollution (i.e. spam emails, ad driven web). It's like a death by a thousand paper cuts
* traffic jams and commute time (I assume this is worse due to population increases but haven't seen any figures)
* flying
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:12 AM   #53
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I think for the most part, things are better......I love to use YouTube to learn to make repairs that before I would have had to hire someone ( repaired my washer, rebuilt the carb on my Honda lawn mower and it WORKS again!!!!....repaired my washerless faucets in my and my Mom's house, to name a few!)

What I don't like is the rampant RUDENESS. It seems that with the explosion of Social media, the population has a whole has become MUCH less civilized in face-to face situations....people say and do anything with no regard to respect for elders, other people's feelings or just plain nastiness. Take loud talking people in theaters or people who screech into thier phones in waiting rooms or church or other "quiet" zones....

And it seems like every place is MUCH more crowded today,especially places one goes to for recreation..

And there are WAY too many shootings reported daily in the news, both national and local.

Those are my peeves.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:22 AM   #54
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Things are definitely better overall IMO, and the energy supply break-thru will sustain the USA for decades (that came just in time). Medicine (though we're past due time to deal with costs that are about double ALL other developed countries), technology, safety, etc. However, the rest of the world has gained ground on the USA, so the 99% are not as well off as they once were. The USA may never enjoy the advantages we had for the decades that followed WWII, time will tell...
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Old 07-25-2014, 10:54 AM   #55
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I think what's better or worse list depends on where you are living in the world. E.g, air quality is really bad in Chinese cities. OTOH, it has improved in number of places. Life in general is better everywhere due to advance of technology but people are still starving to death in Africa. If this thread is posted in Africa forum, I'd guess there will be more people claiming that things have gotten worse despite the advent of smartphones, internet, etc..
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #56
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Comments about the 'Poor' caused me to do a little googling.

What is Poverty in the United States: Air Conditioning, Cable TV and an Xbox

I did find the tables and facts interesting. While poverty may be increasing, what we define as poverty appears to also change.

I agree better or worse depends on geography, but also time frame. Better than the Romans? No doubt. Better than last year, maybe not. Horses for transportation rather than autos? I also read an article, i can not recall where, that it was not until the 1900 that the majority of Americans did not have to worry where there next meal was coming from. This was largely due to the advances in storing and processing food, along with modern farming.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:10 PM   #57
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Well, one thing that's definitely worse now than thirty years ago is that I'm thirty years older. Pretty much everything else is better though.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:32 PM   #58
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I think many things are better, based on your comparisons and time frame. A hundred years ago I would be blind, possibly unable to provide for my family.

The net has made many customer service aspects better, investing is a great example. Some is much worse, today I spent 45 minutes on hold to talk with a rental car agency about some damage to one of there cars from 7 weeks ago. After the hold I spend another 45 minutes talking with a CSR that I could not understand. I finally got to the point of having her spell words as I had no understanding what word she was saying. At the end she referred me to a different area. Still haven't heard anything as that reps voice mail said she is on vacation until 7/21, I guess we have different calanders. Probably won't use that rental car agency ever again.
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Old 07-25-2014, 06:47 PM   #59
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For all the prophets of doom and gloom, who go on and on about how horrible life is today, I hereby present you with -- the 70s. By far the worst decade I ever lived through. Things are far better now.


THE 1970s – a survey of the headlines

1976 – The US enters the bicentennial year in a subdued mood.There is an enormous race riot at a Florida high school.Divisive public debate erupts over the fate of Karen Ann Quinlan, a NJ woman who lies in a coma after a drug overdose.Legionnaire’s disease erupts at a convention in Philadelphia.The US inflation rate drops to only 5.8%; it will not be this low again for the rest of the decade.The unemployment rate hits 7.7%.
Yes it was a bit of a downer decade but it was still a wonderful time to be a kid. Most of these things didn't make it onto the radar. Odd that Legionnaire’s disease is mentioned while notably missing from this list of bad news is the arrival of HIV in America. Some believe it was during the Spirit of '76 celebrations, particularly those that brought tall ships from around the world to New York harbour for the second time since the establishment of Operation Sail by President Kennedy in 1961. The time of arrival may not be known but the date can pretty safely be placed in the 70s. Over 500,000 Americans died of the virus and an estimated 1.1 million continue to live with it in the United States thanks to far more effective therapies.
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Old 07-25-2014, 08:43 PM   #60
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Yes it was a bit of a downer decade but it was still a wonderful time to be a kid. Most of these things didn't make it onto the radar. Odd that Legionnaire’s disease is mentioned while notably missing from this list of bad news is the arrival of HIV in America. Some believe it was during the Spirit of '76 celebrations, particularly those that brought tall ships from around the world to New York harbour for the second time since the establishment of Operation Sail by President Kennedy in 1961. The time of arrival may not be known but the date can pretty safely be placed in the 70s. Over 500,000 Americans died of the virus and an estimated 1.1 million continue to live with it in the United States thanks to far more effective therapies.
It's just a list I made up from memory and a little research, so any deficiencies are solely my own. I don't think that people were aware of HIV until the early 80s. At least, that's when I first heard of it. Medical professionals may have known before then.
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