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It can't be the money....
Old 07-30-2007, 06:23 AM   #1
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It can't be the money....

Its interesting in this country(and probably others), that we're all trying to get MORE (money). A million isn't enough anymore, it was a decade ago or so. Now we can't be happy or retire unless we have 2, 3, or 4 million so that we can "retire" comfortably and do.....? The CEO's have to make hundreds of millions of dollars insted of concentrating on making good, reliable products that are safe and durable. With all the masterminds and PhD's we produce we can't even fix some of societies basic problems: eldercare, healthcare, education just to name a few. We have(are) breeding an individualistic, me, me, me society.

We work feverishly to get to THAT point and in the meantime back at the ranch, we're taking more antianxiety drugs, antidepressants, sleep meds, antihypertensives to just deal with all the problems of daily life just to get to THAT point. Our kids are getting obese, early age diabetes and alcoholics and I might add are competing with the adults for the antidepressants.

The one "good" thing with the youngfolks is, the teenage pregnancy rate is down, not necessarily sexual activity. There's a HDTV in every room of the 3-4 story house (megahouse) so the family unit is disintegrating.............I was just wondering with all the emphasis on getting to THAT financial point what's happening to US as a society?

I'm interested in others' constructive thoughts/opines.

I hope I posted this in the appropriate topic section, if not feel free to move me.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:10 AM   #2
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What exactly is your point, other than listing a host of problems that have taken different forms and shapes over past generations? We all want financial independence (whatever that constitutes for us individually). Is there anything wrong with that? You sound more disenchanted with life generally than you do with the fact that a capitalistic society will inevitably engender some forms of imperfections. Consider the alternatives though. 70 miles South of Miami is what could be. Yo no quiero
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:21 AM   #3
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Ferco, I think what you are talking about is the herd mentality. People are buying into the commericalism and the true cost of it is quality of life.

It is very symbolic for me when I put my car keys away and take out my work badge. I'm trading my freedom for my salary.

I'm so glad I saw through the work till I drop and spend everything I make. I'm six years away from buying my freedom.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:23 AM   #4
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You so sure that people trying to get to several brazillion dollars in NW are also the people with HDTVs in every room of their McMansion?

I'm thinking the people that are overstressed, overworked, and overanxious are the ones that overextended their credit and don't know what to do about it now. In other words, you're complaining about two distinct things and really need to tie it all together better.

What's your introduction, your case, and your conclusion?
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:28 AM   #5
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Well, I'm not Ferco, but my take on his point is that a large number of Americans (but mostly not us here on this board) have lost sight of what is really important, and become slaves to the stuff that we think we have to buy because everyone else is buying it, and the TV says to buy it, and we're not even sure what happiness is, if we can't find it with a big screen tv and a big mac, but the only answer we can think of is that we must need to buy more.
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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I just finished this book, which says what I was trying to and (maybe) what Ferco was talking about. It was fascinating to me although I didn't agree with everything he said. I'd be happy to loan it to anyone who doesn't want to buy it.

Official site for Bill McKibben: Author - Educator - Environmentalist
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sheryl View Post
Well, I'm not Ferco, but my take on his point is that a large number of Americans (but mostly not us here on this board) have lost sight of what is really important, and become slaves to the stuff that we think we have to buy because everyone else is buying it, and the TV says to buy it, and we're not even sure what happiness is, if we can't find it with a big screen tv and a big mac, but the only answer we can think of is that we must need to buy more.
"The things you own end up owning you" - Tyler Durden
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Old 07-30-2007, 01:05 PM   #8
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Its interesting in this country(and probably others), that we're all trying to get MORE (money). A million isn't enough anymore, it was a decade ago or so.
To who? Quote sources?
one word. inflation.
Are you attempting to tell me or anyone else what is or is not good for them? That's facist.

Quote:
Now we can't be happy or retire unless we have 2, 3, or 4 million so that we can "retire" comfortably and do.....?
Life, liberty, the pursuit of INDIVIDUAL happiness.
Are you anti-personal freedom/happiness That's facist.

Quote:
The CEO's have to make hundreds of millions of dollars insted of concentrating on making good, reliable products that are safe and durable.
CEOs are guided by law to make profits. Not good, reliable, safe, durable products. It's up to individual people to demand that, with their consumer dollars, advocacy, voting, and in general, leading by example. Many CEOs are worth hundreds of millions. Blows your mind, I know.

Quote:
With all the masterminds and PhD's we produce we can't even fix some of societies basic problems: eldercare, healthcare, education just to name a few. We have(are) breeding an individualistic, me, me, me society.
Nonsense. The only ethical way to live is for yourself. And it's been like this since before humans existed, it's called evolution.
Living for yourself = freedom
If you want me to live for you instead...oh no. That's facist again. You promote anti-freedom with every point you make, I'm not a fan of that personally.
Quote:
We work feverishly to get to THAT point and in the meantime back at the ranch, we're taking more antianxiety drugs, antidepressants, sleep meds, antihypertensives to just deal with all the problems of daily life just to get to THAT point. Our kids are getting obese, early age diabetes and alcoholics and I might add are competing with the adults for the antidepressants.
Parents are typically to blame for all of the above. Prescription drugs are chosen by adults, or given to children through the approval of their adult parents. Obese kids are 99.9% of the time obese specifically because their parents enable it, if not encourage it. Good parenting, up to individuals to choose to do it well, or not. And if adults take legal drugs, who cares? Do you want to FORCE them not to? That's facist..again...anti-freedom.

Quote:
The one "good" thing with the youngfolks is, the teenage pregnancy rate is down, not necessarily sexual activity.
That's not good for the economy though. Low birth rate means poor outlook on GDP in the future, republicans abhor this, that's why Bush hasn't jumped all over stopping immigration. Businesses need people to make those millions, you know?

Quote:
There's a HDTV in every room of the 3-4 story house (megahouse) so the family unit is disintegrating.............I was just wondering with all the emphasis on getting to THAT financial point what's happening to US as a society?
Or changing? Change is neither bad nor good in itself.

The most noble and wonderous aspect of the U.S.A. among other countries, is the ability to relatively easily live a life the way you want to live it, while also supporting the infrastructure for others, including your own children for example, to have the same opportunities. I have been GIVEN through the hard work of others, the chance to live a life, free of most any intrusion, as long as I work hard at it, and give back to the economy that fostered it. Namely, by working, and then investing. It's magical.

-Mach
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:50 PM   #9
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Are you attempting to tell me or anyone else what is or is not good for them? That's facist. -Mach
It is not good for yourself to shoot yourself in the head or snort crystal meth. HA! I am now a facist!
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:13 PM   #10
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Facist to me would mean being in the habit of judging other beings by how much of a pretty face they've got. It's not in Merriam-Webster yet, though.

I looked up Fascist and got the definition of Fascism
1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

I don't think ferco was supporting fascism, merely offering his/her observations on the predominant or prevailing values in the US and pointing out that our priorities as a nation has shifted a lot towards individualism, materialism, getting ahead, consumerism, etc. at the expense of neglecting other priorities like: the health (physical and psychological) of our children, elders, and even ourselves; education; nurturing relationships; "quality time" with others and for ourselves, etc.

Quote:
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CEOs are guided by law to make profits. Not good, reliable, safe, durable products. It's up to individual people to demand that, with their consumer dollars, advocacy, voting, and in general, leading by example.
Which law is this--federal, state, or local? Or "by law", do you mean a corporation's by-laws or articles of incorporation?

I believe there should be standards for safety and reliability of products especially those that we consume or are exposed to or come into contact with (medicine, cosmetics, food, drink, etc.) Not that the FDA, OSHA, or the EPA are 100% effective, but there need to be overseeing bodies like them. The profit motive gets too strong, and so you are right that citizens need to be vigilant and to support enforcement of consumer/worker/citizen protections and to be active in pushing for new protections with new products or technologies that affect us all.

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Nonsense. The only ethical way to live is for yourself. And it's been like this since before humans existed, it's called evolution.
Living for yourself = freedom
If you want me to live for you instead...oh no. That's facist again. You promote anti-freedom with every point you make, I'm not a fan of that personally.
I'm not a scientist but I know that quite a few species have developed evolutionary adaptation to live and work together as a group. This extends to humans.

Humans have laws and cannot live in total freedom to do whatever we want. Laws are part of civilization.

Regarding living for others, I think we all do this to some degree. We live for our loved ones. It certainly happens that individuals love only themselves, but for big parts of our lives we live for others such as our children, spouses, partners, parents, friends, pets.

To other members of the bigger society, we try to be civil or at least refrain from hurting them mainly due to constraints imposed by society, i.e., laws.

Going beyond, there's enlightened self-interest, for example when someone donates money to help the poor and the indigent so they don't turn to crime and rob the donor of his/her hard-gotten wealth, or when a company pays good wages so that their employees can continue to spend on the products the company makes.

I have the opposite view to yours: being ethical is helping others who are unable to help or defend themselves.

Sometimes we hesitate to help because we think we are being condescending or deluding ourselves that we know what is good for others (as I understand you to mean when you say facist) but sometimes the needs are staring us right in the face that not to help would be unethical. I know I turn away more times than not because it's so easy to think "It's not my problem."
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:33 PM   #11
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Thank God that there are people in America with views like Flipstress and Ferco. For the sake of this nation and this world, I hope not many feel the same way as expressed by Macho.
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Old 07-30-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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... the fact that a capitalistic society will inevitably engender some forms of imperfections. ...
is this not true for any society?
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:22 PM   #13
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is this not true for any society?
Indeed, but it wasn't any society that the OP started discussing.
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Old 07-30-2007, 07:52 PM   #14
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Is there anything wrong with that? You sound more disenchanted with life generally than you do with the fact that a capitalistic society will inevitably engender some forms of imperfections.
Agreed. If capitalistics societies are that bad, what's stopping one from moving on onto "better" things? There aren't many other "societies" left, but there are still choices.

And what good is empty criticism? Do you have a solution? Are you willing to follow through on your solution, should one exist?
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Old 07-30-2007, 09:16 PM   #15
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I'm enjoying the rainbow coalition of thoughts and opinions.

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Old 07-30-2007, 10:46 PM   #16
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People who have pensions don't need millions to retire. A million is only about 40,000 a year when you have 40 years of retirement to fund that isn't a lot of money.
50 years ago retirement meant work to 65 or so then to the rocking chair for 15 years or so if you were lucky. I remember when 80 was pretty darn old now for many it is just starting old age. My grandma retired at 58 and lived to 98 with not a lot of money. She had the same gold carpet from 1974 to 2006 and many things in her house were older than that when she died. She didn't drive and lived in a small town on main street so she could walk everywhere until she was 96.
I don't want that for my retirement, I don't need a fortune but if I want new carpet or a new living room chair I don't want to know I can never afford it. Mom got a new car at 77 without having to cut back on her budget at all, she never has to decide if medicine is worth the cost. She is doing fine with only a couple hundred thousand but she has about 30K income and no house payments. She gets her pension and one of dad's after she was widowed and payments on a condo she sold as well as 4,000 a year in SS but without pensions we would need more money and have to invest instead of buying CDs. She only has a LCD tv no plasma, but she is not suffering from abject poverty.
The people saying you need several million are usually couples without pensions who have years left before retirement or plan to retire young having energy left to do more than rock in a rocking chair.
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Old 07-30-2007, 11:06 PM   #17
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Yes, our society does have problems. But I see so much good everywhere. I see people all over the place (even on this forum) who really do care about others, who dedicate their lives to good causes, who show love and kindness to those around them, who stick up for the underdog, and who love freedom for themselves and for others.

I know people whose religious, political, and social views are contrary to my own, but I esteem them as honorable, thinking, thoughful people.

We have many problems facing us as individuals and as a nation, but I believe we can work unitedly and individually to solve those problems--as long as we continue to show each other mutual respect, even with our differences of philosophy and approaches.
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Old 07-31-2007, 02:28 PM   #18
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Yes, our society does have problems. But I see so much good everywhere. I see people all over the place (even on this forum) who really do care about others, who dedicate their lives to good causes, who show love and kindness to those around them, who stick up for the underdog, and who love freedom for themselves and for others.

I know people whose religious, political, and social views are contrary to my own, but I esteem them as honorable, thinking, thoughful people.

We have many problems facing us as individuals and as a nation, but I believe we can work unitedly and individually to solve those problems--as long as we continue to show each other mutual respect, even with our differences of philosophy and approaches.
How many times have we all heard from those who can't retire, the following: "I wish I could retire, because then I could do X"..........well "X" are the things we as human beings would like to do, i.e. give back, volunteer, etc............
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:05 PM   #19
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I hear a lot of "Other people ought to..." in this thread, and little to no "I do X and Y to try to improve the conditions of the poor, the world, etc. and I do it with my own time and resources." It's a lot easier to condemn the sins of society or of your neighbour, than it is to take actions to improve your own self or to directly aid others.
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Old 07-31-2007, 04:23 PM   #20
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I don't spend much time worrying about other people's problems.

I have my own life to live.

Audrey
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