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


The Cruelest
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 21
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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 06:18:08

[FEL]Chatul
Level 22
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The Golden Age is ending. I'm mostly concerned about Unfriendly AI, alien invasion and a dystopian future caused by a semi-peafowlish elite abusing technologies against the rest of humanity.

Humanity needs uploading ASAP.

Edited 12/8/2017 06:18:39
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 57
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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 44
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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 44
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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


The Cruelest
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.
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