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Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 04:12:53


Strategery
Level 56
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http://www.pewglobal.org/2017/12/05/worldwide-people-divided-on-whether-life-today-is-better-than-in-the-past/pg_2017-12-5_life-better-or-worse_00/

I found the following neat survey. Considering the global nature of this forum, I am interested in your response.

1. Were you alive 50 years ago?
2. Is your country better off now than it was 50 years ago?
3. Any thoughts on Pew's findings?

1. No.
3. Better off.
3. Personally, I am insulted that so many Americans think life was so much better in 1967. The world was under constant threat of Nuclear holocaust. We were in the middle of the Vietnam war with a bad economy and race riots. No internet. No Smart phones. No graphing or advanced calculators.

Was it better 50 years ago for black people? Or LGBT foiks? That would be impossible to argue.

I think Americans conflate the question "Was life better 50 years ago?" with "Was music/movies/culture better 50 years ago?" because sadly that is all some Americans care about.

Edited 12/8/2017 04:15:56
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 06:12:01


kyte
Level 24
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I think most Americans who think we've gone downhill since 1967 probably really mean that we're either not improving as fast now or are actively going downhill. Or at least I think those positions are more valid (can't say I expect us to be the sole global superpower at the end of my lifetime, and Europe has definitely been catching up to us in terms of per-capita wealth, standard of living, etc.) than saying that we're actually objectively worse off.

Certainly most people would agree that we went mostly uphill in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and (maybe) the 2000s (I'd say so, but the decade has a stigma attached to it cause of recency bias + the Recession). Just wouldn't make sense to believe that and then say that we're worse off now when we've been improving this whole time.

I think Americans conflate the question "Was life better 50 years ago?" with "Was music/movies/culture better 50 years ago?" because sadly that is all some Americans care about.


I don't really see where this interpretation is coming from. People care a lot about music and movies now, sure, but given that both industries are struggling now (at least relative to the 1970s) I don't really think it really holds up. I don't see people complaining about movies being worse or music being worse so much as how much harder it is to get some stability in a well-paying job without constantly being under pressure (even in well-paying fields like tech, this is hard) or buy some basic things like a house and a car. Life right now seems way more economically chaotic than in the 1950s.

Rather it seems to me that lots of people are just worried about the future and confused about the direction this country is headed. Or at least that's been showing up consistently in polls for nearly a decade regardless of who's in power. Realistically, I think most people would say deep down that our most recent golden age is coming to a close. Our vision of the future has not aged well.

Edited 12/8/2017 06:13:29
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 06:38:19


knyte 
Level 58
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Tabby I'm more worried about you than you're worried about the world.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 11:43:02


Carlos
Level 59
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I agree with you tabby, we need to take down peafowlism (by any means necessary), use our power/science/resources to prepare against alien invasions and unfriendly AI.

Transhumanism FTW!

Down with Peafowls!

Keep the good work tabby
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 15:35:28


{Canidae} Kretoma 
Level 58
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~

1. Were you alive 50 years ago?

2. Is your country better off now than it was 50 years ago?

3. Any thoughts on Pew's findings?

~

1. 25 years old, so no.

2. Tricky question. Economy i have no idea and don't really care. Social policy, education and laws in general still sucked back then ("unter den Talaren der Muff von 100 Jahren" etc.). Consumer security and regulations were still in their juveline years. Young people were "cooler" at that time (being a quite numerous genaration has its benefits... too lazy to give examples ;)). Let me not even get started on life sciences, conservation and so on. There was a famous politician at that time who said something along the lines:
" These people are concerned about the environment? I am too, let me put them into mental health hospital to save us."

3. Funny how more Italians consider themselves worse off than Lebanese. What is wrong them?! O.o
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 17:41:45


Padraig
Level 50
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1. Were you alive 50 years ago?
2. Is your country better off now than it was 50 years ago?
3. Any thoughts on Pew's findings?

1. No
2. Yes & No. It is complicated.
3. The key part of the question is "for people like you."


For people like the majority of the young folks who use this website, it is obvious that many technologies which we use today, didn't exist - including the technology which enables the existence of this forum. Other technologies which did exist, such as automobiles were vastly inferior to today's versions in almost every manner that can be measured, with the possible exception of the esthetics.

Having said that for, young people wages and well being have either remained static or have worsened during the last 50 years. During this same period of time the size of the US economy has roughly doubled. This disparity has been explained by some as the result of changes in technology. More technology and automation resulting in fewer man hours needed, and so fewer men. Which is a lie. If it was not a lie, we would not be seeing manufacturing jobs being moved to countries with lower labor costs.

Both political parties in the United States have sold out the young, and the future of the country. Fifty years ago that was not true. Nonetheless the US is vastly fortunate, in wealth, size, and resources. It will take a long time to ruin. Just as it will take us a long time to wreck the planet, but we will get there.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 17:46:43


Padraig
Level 50
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Objectively worse off ...

Two words for you: Obesity Epidemic.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 18:14:16


Strategery
Level 56
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@Kyte: On America eventually no longer being the sole super power:

I think China and the EU are more weaker long term than most think. The Greece crisis and then Migrant crisis set the EU back many years in progress and halted their expansion east. Brexit will also hurt the EU to some degree.

China: I heard one economist put it like this. "China got old before they got wealthy." China's GDP per capita is on par with Brazil but its median age is older than Ireland. Normally, the older the country, the richer but China is getting the worst of both worlds because of the One Child Policy.

However, they can't reverse the OCP because they would have to import even more food and oil than they do now leading to trade deficits.

I have also heard the Chinese economic model compared to the Japanese economic model of the 80s and 90s and that it is unhealthy in the long run, leading to eventual collapse.

@Padraig: I agree. One major problem is that a lot of politicians don't have children so they don't have a stake in our future. It might be even worse for Europe since May, Merkel, Macron and Italy's PM have no kids.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/8/2017 20:44:48


OnlyThePie
Level 53
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1. Were you alive 50 years ago?
2. Is your country better off now than it was 50 years ago?
3. Any thoughts on Pew's findings?

1. No
2. Definitely (USA)
3. I think it's interesting that countries like Mexico, France and Italy think they've gotten worse. Its even more interesting that the Philippines think things are better (then again, they didn't have much back in '67). The US is disappointing, but predictable.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/11/2017 19:38:25


Dutch Desire
Level 59
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1. No
2. No
3. The native dutch culture oppression and the culture tensions is getting 3% worse every year. Culture tensions and oppression at 1967 it was 5%, at 2017 it is 21,9% (5*1,03^50=21,9%).
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/11/2017 20:07:46


knyte 
Level 58
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Hey Dutch just a heads-up, I think your brother hacked into your account again to post stupid things.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/12/2017 04:42:44


MrTrolldemort 
Level 56
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1. no

2. Yes

I mean, coming from Canada, Expo 67 was a huge deal and very prosperous time for Canada economic wise and able to spend a lot on things (especially for Quebec in the middle of sweeping reforms on education and natural resources) and the free healthcare being passed in all the provinces. But let's be honest here. We are more rich, an even bigger and likeable reputation, got through some real crazy times during the 90s where Canada almost got dissolved, I would say socially it's been much better as well with the more accommodating we've been in a really long time and yeah not too shabby. If we were comparing with the 70s I would say its even better

3. Not surprising. I can understand the percentage points for most of the countries (although Vietnam is a bit interesting but I guess they are very proud kicking the USA's ass and now actually making some income after years of embargoes)
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/12/2017 06:58:40


Cata Cauda
Level 59
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1. No.

2. Yes and no.
I can only refer to what my parents/grandparents and some other older people tell me. I hear so many different responses that it's hard to say which is actually true. However there is one thing everyone mentions: Prices. Apparently litterally everything was cheaper 50 years ago. Food, power, oil, fuel, houses, land and even plumbers! I myself remember how the price for a litre of milk increased from 80c to 1,30€ within a short period of time and stays there for several years. Many blame the Euro.
Of course people back then didnt have the technology of today, but honestly most of that is just luxus. We dont need it. Today a computer is almost a must-have in the developed world, 50 years ago it wasnt.
In general I would say life was better back then, unless you are outside the norm. LGBT people most likely didnt gain much support. Also having a certain diseases like cancer might have been harder to treat in the 60s. Also if I recall correctly, universal healthcare wasnt a thing back then here in Austria.

3. Cant say much about the countries. Apart from that the study doesnt reveal much new. Younger people and ones with higher degrees of education being more optimsitic, while people with populist views being more pessimistic about today's lifestyle is no surpise.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/12/2017 07:03:17


knyte 
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I can only refer to what my parents/grandparents and some other older people tell me. I hear so many different responses that it's hard to say which is actually true. However there is one thing everyone mentions: Prices. Apparently litterally everything was cheaper 50 years ago. Food, power, oil, fuel, houses, land and even plumbers! I myself remember how the price for a litre of milk increased from 80c to 1,30€ within a short period of time and stays there for several years. Many blame the Euro.


Have you, uh, heard of inflation?
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/12/2017 12:44:46


Rikku 
Level 61
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Tfw PLUMBERS are (insert religious group here)-ing you!!!
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/12/2017 14:37:23


{Canidae} Kretoma 
Level 58
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https://imgflip.com/i/20xnwx

Edited 12/12/2017 14:37:49
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/17/2017 21:29:40


Lord of Turnips
Level 59
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For Australia:

1. No
2. Yes
3. Pretty much the results I'd expect, as the main improvements apart from the obvious improvements for the economy and housing market would be based on aboriginal rights. However, there are quite a few people who want stupid things like 'stopping the boat people', and 'keep Australia white'. Such people would have probably preferred it 50 years ago.
Then again, the drop bears were better controlled 50 years ago.

Edited 12/17/2017 21:30:03
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/18/2017 04:38:37


Major General Smedley Butler
Level 51
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1 Yes
2 My country doesn't exist anymore :/ bring back the Soviet Union
3 Thots fellas
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/23/2017 18:35:01


[Soviet Union]the red army 
Level 46
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1.no
2. it depends on how you look at it. For blacks and gays? probably not. But for the majority of the people the economy was better, nearly everyone could afford a house and car, there were job opportunities everywhere, and the people had a sense of national purpose and a love for their people and country. None of these things can really be said today. About 88% of America was white back then, so life was better for about 88% of the population. So if we gave civil rights to the rest then I would say America was better. Also, as you said, culture was also better.
3. I find the results sad.
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/25/2017 14:17:08


Leibstandarte (Vengeance)
Level 45
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1 No.
2 Yes and no. While someone can argue we are better off he wouldn't be wrong but to some extent. While we got improvements in some areas we also deteriorated in just as many areas as well.
3 Not too surprising.

Edited 12/25/2017 14:17:57
Is your country better or worse off 50 years ago?: 12/25/2017 20:59:30


𝔟𝔲𝔣𝔣𝔞𝔩𝔬 
Level 53
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1. no
2. 50 years ago my ancestors were being kidnapped by the state and abused in cruel ways. so no.
3. my reasons for saying no is likely different than why most canadians said no. most canadians are subconscious communists nowadays.
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