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  1. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I feel regardless of how we got into a situation, we cannot go back in time and 'fix' it. No one can fix what has already happened--but they can fix what is here, and now, and prevent the future from falling back into the traps.

    I fell into a lot of traps for a majority of my life because I was raised to fall into them. Consumerism, apathetic politicians and governments towards true education of students disguising money schemes as education solutions, technology dependency, and the laws and regulations of our socials lives like how big our houses are supposed to be set me off on the wrong foot and I'm only now starting to recover. Consumerism is probably the biggest and worst of all of those beasts.. The multitude of mentalities that come with that one concept can eat away at so many aspects of one's life. We've become incapable of making solutions.. We must buy them. If a washer breaks, we don't start to wash clothes in the sink and hang them to dry. God no. We go to a place that does have washers and dryers until we get approved for a credit card to replace the washer. What we feel is necessity now-a-days is convenience. We feel entitled to convenience because we know no other way. We were raised to be dependent, and ignorant of other ways. We don't actively seek another way.. The answer is in front of us, and the means to get to it all around us, so there must only be one right answer.

    I pay cash for my appliances


    But yes. Credit. Certainly a problem in today's society... at least it was, in the not so distant past. Perhaps the lesson has been learned by all camps?

  2. #252
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jontherobot View Post
    I pay cash for my appliances


    But yes. Credit. Certainly a problem in today's society... at least it was, in the not so distant past. Perhaps the lesson has been learned by all camps?
    The debt game rages on though. We are a society of disposables, and 'upgrades', and houses that need at least 1,500 sq. ft. so that we can accommodate all of the stuff we need to buy. It is hard to deny a credit card when you cannot have credit scores without one. Even people who hate them usually are forced into one.
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  3. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I feel regardless of how we got into a situation, we cannot go back in time and 'fix' it. No one can fix what has already happened--but they can fix what is here, and now, and prevent the future from falling back into the traps.

    I fell into a lot of traps for a majority of my life because I was raised to fall into them. Consumerism, apathetic politicians and governments towards true education of students disguising money schemes as education solutions, technology dependency, and the laws and regulations of our socials lives like how big our houses are supposed to be set me off on the wrong foot and I'm only now starting to recover. Consumerism is probably the biggest and worst of all of those beasts.. The multitude of mentalities that come with that one concept can eat away at so many aspects of one's life. We've become incapable of making solutions.. We must buy them. If a washer breaks, we don't start to wash clothes in the sink and hang them to dry. God no. We go to a place that does have washers and dryers until we get approved for a credit card to replace the washer. What we feel is necessity now-a-days is convenience. We feel entitled to convenience because we know no other way. We were raised to be dependent, and ignorant of other ways. We don't actively seek another way.. The answer is in front of us, and the means to get to it all around us, so there must only be one right answer.
    And heaven forbid anyone fix, let alone make anything themselves.

    Heck, even not too long ago, Usenet was invented by college students, who had to build their own modems. The personal phone modem simply did not exist yet, as they required a super expensive setup from the phone company. So the students just hacked a workaround and Usenet was born.

    Nowdays it would be like
    Bob: "where do I buy this bit of hardware?"
    Company: "you don't. such a thing doesn't exist"
    Bob: "oh. ok then..."
    And then Bob abandons whatever project without even considering the possibility of invention.

    It's getting to the point where manufacturers are like magicians - nobody knows their tricks, and they want to keep it that way.

  4. #254
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    And heaven forbid anyone fix, let alone make anything themselves.

    Heck, even not too long ago, Usenet was invented by college students, who had to build their own modems. The personal phone modem simply did not exist yet, as they required a super expensive setup from the phone company. So the students just hacked a workaround and Usenet was born.

    Nowdays it would be like
    Bob: "where do I buy this bit of hardware?"
    Company: "you don't. such a thing doesn't exist"
    Bob: "oh. ok then..."
    And then Bob abandons whatever project without even considering the possibility of invention.

    It's getting to the point where manufacturers are like magicians - nobody knows their tricks, and they want to keep it that way.
    Indeed.. We're getting very off topic from the OP, but I completely agree. People cannot create anymore.. But its why the Internet is such a lovely tool for conservative mentalities. DIY, How-To tutorials, getting back to basics with spreading information, and free access to things like instructables and ehow and ikeahackers creates a link between solutions from the old via technology from now.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    The debt game rages on though. We are a society of disposables, and 'upgrades', and houses that need at least 1,500 sq. ft. so that we can accommodate all of the stuff we need to buy. It is hard to deny a credit card when you cannot have credit scores without one. Even people who hate them usually are forced into one.

    I don't think any of what you mentioned is inherently bad, such as wanting a new TV every five years, or new videogame consoles, or a new car, or a moderate sized house (in Texas 1,500 sq ft is moderate).

    I honestly am not convinced there is a problem with society, in a general sense of 'wrong'. The banks simply took advantage of the consumer, and the consumer took advantage of themselves. It is a self correcting cycle, but a cycle nonetheless. Now that the American's will has been broken, there is nothing left but to rebuild. Or destroy ourselves further, I've pondered that avenue. I'd prefer us to rebuild, maybe restructure would be a fine term.



    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

    Jefferson realized this cyclic process hundreds of years ago. I'm afraid it'll forever be this way, as long as capitalism and democracy persists.



    Quote Originally Posted by sprinkles View Post
    And heaven forbid anyone fix, let alone make anything themselves.

    Heck, even not too long ago, Usenet was invented by college students, who had to build their own modems. The personal phone modem simply did not exist yet, as they required a super expensive setup from the phone company. So the students just hacked a workaround and Usenet was born.

    Nowdays it would be like
    Bob: "where do I buy this bit of hardware?"
    Company: "you don't. such a thing doesn't exist"
    Bob: "oh. ok then..."
    And then Bob abandons whatever project without even considering the possibility of invention.

    It's getting to the point where manufacturers are like magicians - nobody knows their tricks, and they want to keep it that way.

    All of this is very much becoming reality, with the dawn of Kickstarter projects and crowd funding.


    The coming years will be the years of the little guy, and I am excited.

  6. #256
    Mojibake sprinkles's Avatar
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    @kyuuei

    Yeah. At least that stuff is available. Many consider it to be cheap or nerdy or low class, though.

    I remember when I was a kid, I always wondered how to make stuff. I'd ask "how would I make x?" and you know what the most prevalent answer by far was? "why would you want to make that? just buy one!"

    I was too young to articulate the concept that being able to make stuff empowers me, but I knew it intuitively in my mind. Ever since then I always want to figure out how stuff works.

  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    I DO feel like people who run for president have to love their country.. The amount of work, all the slander, all the pressure, and the lack of pay that goes into all of that.. having an entire country on one's shoulders.. To decide to try and take on that responsibility.. I feel you have to love your country at least more than most to even attempt it. I'm sure there are plenty of presidents in the past who didn't.. but I still find it difficult to believe people didn't at least really truly have love and good intentions in their heart when seeking it out in the first place.
    I don't.
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  8. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    I don't.
    We know and don't care.

    Fatalism is boring.

  9. #259
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    From David Frum at the Daily Beast:

    Obama Brings His B Game

    In his acceptance speech, Mitt Romney answered two questions: am I human? Am I scary?

    Tonight, President Obama faced two equally urgent questions: will things get better? And how? Those questions, he did not answer. President Obama continued, less effectively, the work of President Clinton and Vice President Biden in attacking the Republicans. But his positive agenda? It smelled of the lamp. It proceeded from some seminar about communitarianism, not from the lived life of people under economic pressure. Joe Biden, for all the derision aimed his way, spoke to such people in language meaningful to them. Ninety minutes later, I can still remember what Joe Biden said. What did Obama just say? Yes he threw some hard punches at the Republican team. That job, however, he did not need to do. It had been done. But if he wins? What happens then? He had a lot to say about the programs he'll continue. Not enough about the future he offers.

    In general, the Democratic convention has been much more effective and appealing than the Republican. The Republican neglect of the themes of patriotism, of the wellbeing of the soldiers who served in America's longest wars, was both astonishing and appalling. But at the center of any nominating convention is the nominee - and where was he? How much of him lingers afterward?

  10. #260
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    From Politico:

    Jobs report challenges Obama’s economic message




    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — President Barack Obama’s convention honeymoon lasted all of eight hours.

    As soon as the president jetted out from a mostly successful convention here, he had to address another dismal jobs report suggesting the entire rationale for his campaign — that the economy is moving in the right direction, so just hold on tight — might be dead wrong.
    Continue Reading

    (Also on POLITICO: Graph: Unemployment rate)

    The latest jobs report showed the nation added just 96,000 job in August, a big drop from July and well below expectations. The unemployment rate dropped from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent, but it did so for the worst possible reason: discouraged workers dropping out of a shrinking labor force.

    There was nowhere to hide in a report that painted a picture of an anemic economic recovery that seems unable to take flight and ease the lingering concern among voters that a president they still like personally has nonetheless failed in his main task of boosting growth and jobs. The poor report from the Labor Department took on added significance for Obama after a convention acceptance speech that received decidedly mixed reviews — even from sympathetic Democrats in Charlotte — and included nothing new in the way of policy initiatives or fresh approaches to job creation.

    Instead, Obama made the case that he needed more time to carry on with his current policies while warning that the tax cuts and deregulation proposed by Republican nominee Mitt Romney would return the nation to conditions that helped bring on the 2008 financial crisis.

    Obama on Friday returned to his consistent theme that while growth is not fast enough, the nation has now created more than 4 million new jobs in 30 straight months of employment growth since the crisis bottomed out in 2010.

    “Today we learned that after losing around 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, business once again added jobs for the 30th month in a row,” Obama said to the crowd of 6,000 outside the Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., in his first campaign appearance following the Democratic National Convention. “But that’s not good enough. We know it’s not good enough. We need to create more jobs, faster.”

    But Republicans quickly seized on the report as a result of what they call Obama’s failed economic policies.

    (Also on POLITICO: White House: Recovery continues)

    In remarks to reporters, Romney ripped into the president.

    “After the party last night, the hangover today, the jobs numbers were very disappointing. For almost every net new job created, approximately four dropped out of the workforce,” Romney said. “Seeing that kind of report is obviously disheartening for the American people that need work, and are having a hard time finding work. Real incomes, real wages are also not rising. this is a tough time for the middle class of America. There’s almost nothing the president has done in the past three and a half, four years that gives the American people confidence that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to jobs and the economy.”



    The jobs number, while not disastrous, means Obama will continue to be dogged at least for another month by such sharp attacks and by persistent news headlines that could convince the small remaining block of undecided voters that the economy is not improving. The direction of the economy, more than any single number, is viewed by analysts as a critical factor in how late deciding voters make their choice.

    Coupled with the three debates, the economic trend is one critical factor that could markedly shift what has been a very static race with Obama enjoying a small but persistent edge.
    Continue Reading

    “It’s like ‘Groundhog Day’ for Obama with these numbers,” said Tony Fratto, a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies and a Treasury and White House official in the Bush administration. “It’s not a disastrous number, but it’s also far from a great number. Both campaigns will be able to keep making the same arguments, Obama that we are consistently creating jobs and Romney that it’s nowhere near enough and moving the wrong way.”

    Democrats flying out of Charlotte airport on Friday tried to put the best possible spin on the numbers but seemed clearly deflated by the report. Many had expected a number close to 200,000, a figure that seemed plausible based on a private payrolls report out on Thursday that showed businesses added 201,000 positions in August.

    “I was hoping for a little more, but we are making progress,” said Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) as he prepared to board a flight. “Compared to the rest of the developed world, we are doing pretty well.”

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) made a similar point before heading home: “It’s 30 straight months of job growth, and we are clearly headed in the right direction.”

    But the numbers tell a different and much more troubling story.

    The drop in the unemployment rate was not a reflection of workers getting jobs but rather 368,000 workers leaving the labor force. And even at 8.1 percent, Obama would be trying for a second term at a jobless rate higher than any president since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    The numbers are also moving in the wrong direction, a bad sign for an incumbent. After averaging gains of 153,000 per month in 2011, the economy has added just 139,000 per month this year. Perhaps the most troubling number was the decline of 15,000 in manufacturing jobs.

    Obama has based his campaign in part on an improvement in U.S. manufacturing that now seems to be petering out. Obama pledged in his speech here to create 1 million new manufacturing jobs by 2016, a promise that seems more dubious after this report.

    Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, said the August number might not be as bad as it seems. He noted that because automakers did not slow production as much as they usually do in August, the government might have over-corrected in its seasonal adjustment process. “If you eliminate the noise, the underlying trend is pretty much the same,” he said, adding that the number should jump back above 100,000 next month.
    Continue Reading

    But other data in the report were also discouraging.

    The jobs number for June was revised down to 45,000 from 64,000 and July dropped from 163,000 to 141,000. The average work week remained stuck at 34.4 hours in August and the manufacturing work week declined by 0.2 hour to 40.5 hours. A lengthening work week usually precedes faster hiring as employers run out of room to get more productivity from current workers. Average hourly earnings also dropped in August by one cent to $23.52. In the last year, wages have gone up a tepid 1.7 percent.

    “What we are seeing is a renewed slowdown in the labor market,” said Keith Hall, a former Bureau of Labor Statistics official now with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. “Over the last few years growth has been weak, but it’s been enough to keep up with the labor force. Now we have dropped below that.”

    The poor report comes after several positive economic headlines for Obama. Stock markets popped to four-year highs on Thursday after the European Central Bank suggested it would take whatever measures necessary to make sure no big nations in the common currency zone are allowed to fail. The prospect of a big eurozone collapse rippling through the global economy had been a scary overhang for the White House and the Obama campaign.

    In addition, it is becoming increasingly clear that the Federal Reserve, possibly as soon as this coming week, will engage in a fresh round of asset purchases to help jump-start growth. But any action by the Fed and the elimination of fear over the European crisis probably won’t be felt until well after the election.

    “It actually looks like the economy is setting up pretty well right now,” said Rep. Frank on Friday. “Unfortunately,n it’s setting up well for next year.”

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