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  1. #41
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post


    That's not something WE can do. We're not capable of finding jobs anymore... we just don't understand the job market. We don't have connections, we don't have that many transferable skills (she only has skills in manufacturing, and there are few such jobs left, while I myself have none to speak of). Basically, if she loses her current job, all bets are off. People like us just can't survive in a down economy. The only reason she was able to get her current job, was because jobs were a lot easier to come by back when she got it. If she lost it, she admits that she probably couldn't find another one in the current economy.

    I think that country is going to fail economically no matter what we do at this point. I think it's too late to do anything. At this point, I feel like we might as well fiddle while Rome burns... enjoy what we have while we can, because it's not going to be here much longer. All that awaits us in the future is pure misery and deprivation, so why bother to prepare for it?

    We've stopped listening to the news, because it's too depressing. I'm trying my best to pretend that the outside world doesn't exist. I only care about maintaining our current situation for as long as I can, because once it's gone, everything is over.

    I can't adapt... to this. It's too much to ask. It's too competitive, it changes too quickly, and it's just... too complicated. I can't deal with it. We can't deal with it.

    I'm perfectly happy when I'm NOT thinking about it, though, so if you don't mind... I'll just go back into denial.

    I will never be satisfied with the options that will be available when we have to change our style of life. It will be too confining. I wish I had been born 10-20 years earlier...

    I'm the sort of person who prefers to dream of a better world, and now I'm being told that I'll have to make do with a much worse one than the one I was born into.
    You are young aren't you?

    I think you and your mom might be selling yourselves short...not that I don't feel the same way often (I'm not working ATM and finding a job is challenging). I agree that most of our population is in denial or completely in the dark about much of this stuff. It is depressing to ponder the implications. There are always options to relocate for jobs and/or retrain or take a menial job/job til things improve. I've been downsized a few times (dotcom boom and financial crisis 08) and had to wait tables once severance/unemployment ran out and am facing that reality again.

    You might be correct that failure economically is inevitable. History has proven that.
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  2. #42
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    The U.S. have spent billions of dollars protecting a handful of kidnapped citizens in locations like the Indian Ocean. It also allows murderers and criminals to not be punished if there's even a shadow of a doubt which equates to a lot of wasted money through the court systems and losses from different types of criminal behaviour. So what this tells me is that the social climate within the U.S., considers human life priceless.

    Fun discussion.
    I wouldn't say that it's necessarily priceless. It's just easier to spend other peoples' money than your own, and that's what the government does.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  3. #43
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I wouldn't say that it's necessarily priceless. It's just easier to spend other peoples' money than your own, and that's what the government does.
    Funny but true!

  4. #44
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    This would be assuming that the interests in question legally belonged to the United States. Aren't there some commodities which are necessary for maintaining the existing lifestyle, at any cost?
    I'd like to see a comparison to paying these countries for their resources we exploit and export back home by military presence/force vs. paying them a reasonable value, so their citizens can have a decent standard of living, instead of letting these awful dictators rob the masses of their wealth. You do this peacefully and share the wealth with the nations and you create more demand for US products and lead by example, not by force. Seems more reasonable than beating them over the head with a stick and surely just as profitable. Then you might have not have so many terrorists trying to bomb innocent civilians. I think terrorism is bred out of economic desparity, not religious fervor (though I think one leads to the other).

    The only reason we are getting away with all this is because the dollar is basically the world reserve currency..once the faith in the dollar fails, it will come home to roost. The Federal reserve has been taking unprecedented steps to prop up the economy for years now, because our gov doesn't have the backbone to make tough decision, because all they care about is getting re-elected. It's a vicious cycle that is going to end badly. I just wonder if a revolution will take place in my lifetime or not.
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  5. #45
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    It's not about what to cut or whether to cut anymore.

    If we want to remain internationally competitive, we will have to completely rethink the way we fund government.

    If our problems could be isolated in one or two gov't programs we might be able to fix things with cuts.

    But the problems we face are both institutional and systematic....

    Meaning that our problem doesn't just stem from how the gov't spends money, but from why the gov't spends money the way it does.

    Our current political system has incentivized pandering to narrow interests b/c those interests are where all the $ is.

    We won't be able to change anything for the better in a lasting way until we reform our system so that those with the most $ don't necessarily get the most representation in Washington.

    This goes for both sides of the aisle, whether its huge unions, big pharma, defense contractors, the AARP or w/e.

    We have become a nation of interests.

    I thought we were supposed to be a nation of people.

  6. #46
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioINTP View Post
    I'd like to see a comparison to paying these countries for their resources we exploit and export back home by military presence/force vs. paying them a reasonable value, so their citizens can have a decent standard of living, instead of letting these awful dictators rob the masses of their wealth. You do this peacefully and share the wealth with the nations and you create more demand for US products and lead by example, not by force. Seems more reasonable than beating them over the head with a stick and surely just as profitable. Then you might have not have so many terrorists trying to bomb innocent civilians. I think terrorism is bred out of economic desparity, not religious fervor (though I think one leads to the other).

    The only reason we are getting away with all this is because the dollar is basically the world reserve currency..once the faith in the dollar fails, it will come home to roost. The Federal reserve has been taking unprecedented steps to prop up the economy for years now, because our gov doesn't have the backbone to make tough decision, because all they care about is getting re-elected. It's a vicious cycle that is going to end badly. I just wonder if a revolution will take place in my lifetime or not.
    Once again, playing devil's advocate. And how does OPEC factor into this if oil producing middle eastern countries saw the U.S. dismantling the majority of their military? Do you feel that OPEC would discontinue their practices of manipulating oil prices by adjusting supply?

  7. #47
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    It's not about what to cut or whether to cut anymore.

    If we want to remain internationally competitive, we will have to completely rethink the way we fund government.

    If our problems could be isolated in one or two gov't programs we might be able to fix things with cuts.

    But the problems we face are both institutional and systematic....

    Meaning that our problem doesn't just stem from how the gov't spends money, but from why the gov't spends money the way it does.

    Our current political system has incentivized pandering to narrow interests b/c those interests are where all the $ is.

    We won't be able to change anything for the better in a lasting way until we reform our system so that those with the most $ don't necessarily get the most representation in Washington.

    This goes for both sides of the aisle, whether its huge unions, big pharma, defense contractors, the AARP or w/e.

    We have become a nation of interests.

    I thought we were supposed to be a nation of people.
    I do agree with all that, but right now we are stuck with what we have for the point of the discussion.
    Lobbying needs to be abolished as does campaign funding.

    The US is a global business first and a nation second though. That is the reality. International banker control the world too via debt/lending.

    We are not however a nation of people and freedom is an illusion. You are property of the USA.

    I wonder how many people realize the Fed and IRS are not even part of our Government.
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  8. #48
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    As far as defense spending goes, we need to reform the way the pentagon sets up bids for contracts on Asset and Weapons development projects.

    After the cold war, cuts in defense spending and a decreasing number of contracts coming out of the pentagon forced the multitude of contractors to consolidate and merge with one another to maintain existing profit margins.

    Contractors like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, General Dynamics, and Boeing emerged from this consolidation process to become the giants they are today.

    The lower number of contractors led to (what these contractors wanted all along) a less competitive bidding environment for DoD contracts.

    But the growth of these firms also influenced the way the pentagon sets up the auctions for these contracts.

    Before no contractor had a large enough market share to claim all the expertise needed for a contract. This lack of market dominance forced the pentagon to hold competitions to see who was able to actually develop a better asset.

    These contractors are now so large, that they have become vertically integrated oligopolies that have so much expertise in an area that the pentagon will design asset development contracts with a single contractor already in mind.

    This eases the pressures for efficiency within the weapons development process, an ultimately allows these contractors to excuse themselves from having to competitively bid for contracts.

    When you have no competition its easy to price gouge, even if you are gouging the gov't and thus the American Taxpayer.

    This is only one of the many institutional problems facing our defense programs.

  9. #49
    Senior Member ScorpioINTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Once again, playing devil's advocate. And how does OPEC factor into this if oil producing middle eastern countries saw the U.S. dismantling the majority of their military? Do you feel that OPEC would discontinue their practices of manipulating oil prices by adjusting supply?
    I don't know. There are other ways to deal with OPEC like alternative energies, conservation, buying from other sources, drilling at home. You could argue pulling our military out of Saudi Arabia and other countries would lead to revolution/instability and bring OPEC down slowly. They need to make money too. Consumption drops with higher prices, so they want to keep it under the tipping point. Basic economics. I remember in 1999 ish oil dropped to $10/barrell from the $60-70 rangeToo . I remember because I lost my shirt on oil drilling stocks. Too much supply on the market. It became unprofitable for them to drill offshore for a while. Don't think that oil and other resources are not kept at artificial demand levels to keep the prices up. That is a known fact. It's all under control of private interests who can sit on reserves and who's objective is to maximize profits. Diamonds are a perfect example. The retail supply is kept at strict levels to prop up prices and make them artificially scarce.

    Strange things can happen. Much of the military spending issue I think has to do with technology and developing WMD that we never use and hopefully will never use. We are generations ahead of our real/imagined enemies. Our actual military presence wouldn't have to change necessarily. We don't have the most troops, we just have more spending/weapons.

    The Dept. of Defense also has its hands in all kinds of unrelated crap. My ex GF got grants for cancer research funded by the Dept. of Defense. Strikes me as odd. So if they are doing that, imagine all the other stuff they are doing outside of their primary function. Then you have the no-bid contracts, lobbyists, black ops, etc etc. Same deal with Homeland Security. One big bloated beaurocracy.
    Type 6w5 sp/so/sx I think..I have not fully explored this and just discovered it.

  10. #50
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    For the sake of discussion, why wouldn't you quantify by what each person contributes to the greater good, which also includes output into the economy?
    Well, that just seems kind of heartless, doesn't it? Although I can see why it would appeal to a TJ, it's very practical.

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