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How long till this country implodes??

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by henryr, Mar 17, 2004.

?

Free Fall???

  1. Under 25 years

  2. 25-50 years

  3. 50+ years

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  1. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Exactly, Thats why we have to spend BIG on space exploration NOW so we can obtain access to many more natural resources & not just the realtively puney resources of 1 medium sized planet
     
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  3. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    Thats insane, Since the Muslims are new they should accept Canada's rules or go back to Camel Humping Paradise
     
  4. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    MSDesign: It shouldn't be too surprising, as Asians and Latin Americans make up nearly 50% of the world population. Anywhere in the first world 'natural' population growth slows and families shrink, immigrants will take their place. America from Mexico/S.America, France-North Africa, Germany-Greece/Turkey, Italy-Greece/Turkey, England-India/Middle East, Canada-Asia/Middle East. When there's fewer people to take jobs and fewer who will accept low-end jobs, immigrants are glad to fill those spots.

    I think I'm more with AlanHenson in thinking general sloth, hedonism and immorality will ruin us as there's a push to submit to "natural" urges and become pleasure-obsessed drones ala Brave New World inhabitants.

    What scares me personally is that I like nice things, and there is a pronounced wave of obsession with luxury and elite lifestyle sweeping the country right now - look at all the programming on celebs, $$, luxuries, travel, remodeling, makeovers, and it's almost scary how much of America is focused on that top 1% lifestyle. We want things when we're 23 out of college our parents and grandparents saved for *years* for (ie. housing, furniture, electronic luxuries, etc).

    I disagree that oil is the biggest problem. A key issue in global political economics, but not the downfall of America.

    We definitely are at a crossroads as an unprecented portion of the American labor force is in non-manufacturing service industries. Our wages are generally uncompetitive in all but the highest end of manufacturing and services. You can't protect steel jobs because they're in a labor-intensive industry that's easy to learn to do. So the Chinese produce steel for half price. Where we go from here is uncharted and incomparable, as economists don't know what's beyond in the global trade of information and services. My personal prediction is that many more businesses will outsource production and even services (ie. accounting in India/Philipines), and America will be the fount of information, education, research and training on the world market. Maybe eventually the 'world educators.'

    I also predict many educated (middle class) Americans will emmigrate to countries like Singapore, China and maybe even the Philipines where they can lead new teams in their respective fields and maximize their profits in economies where they can be at the top. Exporting American knowledge, leadership and capital management potential could be our big export.
     
  5. randall

    randall Formula 3

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    I love when people say stuff like this. Safest and best? Based off what, a comparison with Iraq?

    The failure of the US government to have enough backbone is what I see as a big problem. The constant bowing before special rights groups, whether it's churches, the ACLU or take your pick doesn't seem to help this country much. Single parents raising kids that don't have the time or money required to raise children is a problem. Parents that teach their kids irresponsibility from the start by making excuses for them for everything (ie, bad grades are the schools fault, or racist tests). The fear of being truly hard on crimainals only makes criminals have less fear and increases crime. Politicians afraid to go after illegal immigrants and the people that employ them just to ensure minority and big business votes. Overall concern over trivial things and ignoring real problems, because trivial things are easy to deal with, while real problems are a lot of work.
     
  6. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    The biggest problem that I see is that we are lazy. We don't check the facts, and our government lies to us. We need to make sure that those lying to us are held accountable. We don't. I don't mean lying about a blue dress either, I mean lying to us, starting a war, and then saying its a mistake, lying about the opposition, without a basis in fact, making sure that only those reporters favorable to them are allowed to cover their actions, that sort of misguided behavior.

    Art
     
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  8. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    art, good to see you back riding the same old horse, 'left bias'. i missed it :)
     
  9. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    The USA will collapse sooner than later if the WalMart people keep giving all our $ to China. The USA is already Highly leveraged to China. Once we are up to our necks in debt all the Chinese will have to do is demand payment, then WTF is the USA going to do ?

    I hate WalMart
     
  10. groovzilla

    groovzilla Karting

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    being involved in real estate and spending 1/2 my life in home depot, i am frustrated to see that 95% of the merchandise being sold in most home furnishing/hardware stores is from asia, russia, israel, etc...

    what really kills me are the products from israel....plywood/paint supplies/etc...the US supports israel with trillions of dollars not to mention the billions sent over by priveate citizens every year...then we basically buy-back products they manufacture???

    what kind of frigin sense does this make??

    when will america have something to sell besides a fu_ king cheesburger??
     
  11. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    One big problem is taxes. States like CT have chased out their industries with huge taxes
     
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  13. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Ross:
    I never said that these things would be easy to accomplish, nor did I intend to make it sound that it would even be possible to accomplish all of these things tomorrow. I deal with dozens of Indian and Chinese grad students every day. Most will return home with an MS or Ph.D. in an engineering discipline. Looking at the big picture, it makes me uneasy to think that someday we may be at war with one of these countries, either militarily or economically, and we gave them the tools to defeat us. China is rapidly becoming the second superpower in the world, it is not the people of China I distrust, but the government should always be viewed with skepticism about their intentions.

    henryr:
    I have to disagree with respect to the inefficiencies being the reason manufacturing is leaving this country. On the contrary, US workers are the most productive per capita in the world. What we cannot compete with, however, is virtual slave labor and foreign government subsidies on goods such as steel. I personally would have no problem being able to buy cheap steel from a foreign country, if the US wasn't giving that same country aid or providing free military defense. My concern with the loss of an industry such as steel in the US is: what happens in the event that we cannot get it from those countries due to a war and we lost the capability in this country? It would take months to build or rebuild steel plants in the event of a world conflict that saw the US against most of the world.

    randall:
    I intentionally used quotes on "best", because it is the best for my value system. I don't claim to have lived on four continents, but where else would you suggest?
    BTW, I agree with everything in your second paragraph.

    To continue on:
    Name one good or service whose value at some point is not defined by the amount energy required to produce it. Everything is tied to the cost of energy. Rather than spend billions to try and find single-celled organisms on Mars, this country should strive to become energy independant in the next 20 years.
    A three-pronged strategy:
    1. conservation:hybrid vehicles, telecommuting, improvement of efficiencies.
    2. alternative sources: solar, wind, geothermal, and eventually the limitless source of fusion.
    3. change in infrastructure: gradually phase out petroleum infrastructure and implement hydrogen infrastructure.

    People may scoff at the idea of fusion power, but it is theoretically possible. There remain several technical challenges which must be overcome before it is viable, however. Twenty years of continuing research is what I've heard as an estimate, but you have to start those twenty to finish them. Fusion is not as "sexy" as fuel cells or Mars, so little or no funding is dedicated to its advancement in comparison. If this country would dedicate itself to a viable fusion reactor by 2020, it could be done. A modern day Manhatten Project. (The irony of German scientists developing the bomb for the US is not lost on me, BTW)

    Anyway, I'm getting tired standing on my soapbox, I'll give someone else a turn. Normally political threads on a site like this turn me off, but this one for some reason has really interested me. Lots of intelligent posting, even if we don't all agree. Much better than "Saw a topless girl in a Gallardo" type threads that seem to flourish in Off Topic.
     
  14. netviper

    netviper Formula Junior

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    Canada is not a bad place to live --despite what was said above. However, the CDN gov't needs to try and stop pleasing everyone and stand up for the country. It is rediculous the crap they do.

    Canada was voted number one country to live in not long ago, but I think it fell to 6th or 7th in the last few years.

    I love living in the US, but there are sure things I miss about Canada.
     
  15. becker

    becker Formula Junior

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    Without being a bit too pessimistic it looks like is heading that way. It’s very easy to make it happen sooner than its cycle in history. To my eyes it's because currently in the US a lot of people feel they are entitled to things and don't want to work hard . When they see you driving your f-car and you are a bit young looking what is what a large majority think? They should be driving it, you inherited it, won the lottery or some other get rich quick thing a few actually ask how you managed it.

    Look a the kids these days a high percentage of them just want to get stuff, go to the mall and hate doing geeky stuff like studying and getting general knowledge. It happened in the past, great empires fell because their people blinded themselves in their self-righteousness , felt invincible and thought there was no one else that could take them down and actually took themselves down, gravity law has worked every time. Perhaps not in our lifetime but it looks like it's the way is heading.

    Anyway enjoy it while the going is good.

    Cheers
     
  16. ross

    ross Three Time F1 World Champ
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    sjb. hydrogen is not the answer. currently, there are only 2 viable sources of bulk hydrogen; one is from the hydrolysis of water which actually requires more energy input than you get from the resulting hydrogen - ie not such a good plan; the other is from the oil refining process and it is entirely consumed in making oxygenated gasoline in the usa.
    there is some research going into hydrogen created by garbage cosnuming bacteria, but capturing this efficiently is still difficult.
    distribution of hydrogen is a headache as well; too lengthy to get into.

    cold fusion has always fascinated me. i also think it is possible, and will change the world when it happens. but that won't help us this year, or this decade.
     
  17. DGS

    DGS Four Time F1 World Champ
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    For some reason, I'm reminded of a sequence in the novel Ringworld by Larry Niven: Explorers land on the Ringworld, and find a village of farmers living on the wreckage of a once-great city. They ask the local shaman, "What can you tell me about the fall of civilization?". The shaman looks worried and asks, "Is civilization about to fall?".

    I wonder if the inhabitants of Constantinople, circa 850AD, knew they were living in a dark age.

    Rise of violence, decline of tolerance, decline of education, rise of cult religions, the isolation of once-cosmopolitan cultures, ...
     
  18. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    The technical challenges associated with hydrogen fuel cells and fusion power could be solved given enough time and most importantly, resources. Who would have believed in 1925 that in 1945 one bomb could destroy a city?

    The point of my last post was to say that we need to wean ourselves off of petroleum in the next few decades. A friend of mine did his doctoral and post-doctoral research at MIT on fusion power. When it eventually is developed, the power will become so cheap that the cost of goods will drop dramatically. Imagine how big an advantage this country would have if our energy costs were 90% less than in a competing nation.

    Our dependance on foreign energy forces our government to deal with slimeball leaders usually by protecting their regime. If we were energy independant, it would greatly strengthen our position in the world.
     
  19. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    Blow job.
     
  20. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
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    So, we make everyone who cannot drive a Ferrari have to drive tiny gas mizers? What will the soccer moms drive? What will we use to tow our 25 ft boats to the lake?

    Might be able to produce up to 15% of our current energy demands--what if the demand doubles with a doubling population?

    What happens when the last atom has been fused? (E.g. UN limited!)

    What will we make road tar out of?

    In more than one experiment, they scientists have achieved break even, so its not only theoretical, its been done. However, to date, no energy has been extracted out of fusion reactions and used to power anything (other than measurement equiptment and explosions).

    If you ask the question in 1970, you got 20 more years as the answer
    If you ask the question in 1980, you got 20 more years as the answer
    If you ask the question in 1990, you got 20 more years as the answer
    ad infinitem.
     
  21. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    So Mitch, what do you think the answer is to prevent the implosion?
     
  22. WILLIAM H

    WILLIAM H Three Time F1 World Champ

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    I agree with conserving some resources like forests, jungles, animals, living things.

    For every other resource the answer is not conservation. The answer is space exploration & exploitation of resources in space. We live on one small to medium sized planet. The resources of the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, & the asteroid belt are many many Millions of times greater than all the resources on Earth combined. Before we drain the Earth so much that leaving is no longer possible we must explore space & start mining those resources.

    Whichever country does that will be THE superpower of the 3rd Millenium
     
  23. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    149
    Precisely. 2 houses on the Adriatic as opposed to inhaling the foul cultural refuse that permeates the US ... difficult choice. You know it's time to evacuate when the only thing in your life 'Made in USA' is real estate.

    The US population will fall under its own weight - literally - http://www.obesity.org
    The US - http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0816492220/


    >i believe that this country

    The US is not a country.
     
  24. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
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    The human body mass is expanding faster than the universe.
    Within a relatively small number of years (do not recall the number) we shall be squeezed as canned sardines with another human layer above ... this is not taking into consideration the 70% overweight US population.


    >So, we make everyone who cannot drive a Ferrari have to drive tiny gas mizers?

    "Ferrari's" aren't the problem, much as a few individuals hunting isn't a problem.
    "McDonald's" and similar mass-garbage is. The irony is that the US, which considers itself the pinnacle of capitalism is in fact the pinnacle of "socialism",
    precisely owing to McDonald's and similar mass-garbage. Mass production subsidizes costs by targeting the amalgam. Therein lies the idiocy of modern capitalism. "McDonald's" and similar mass-garbage encourage consumption. Ferrari limits consumption.




    >power in the new millennium

    that which grows a child into a full human being
    is more meaningful than power.

    that which ages a human being gracefully
    is more meaningful than power.

    that which grows an unhappy human being into a monstrous form is power
    power demonstrated - http://www.obesity.org
     
  25. Ontogenetik

    Ontogenetik Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    149
    Lower costs is not an attribute. Think about it ...


    >Our dependance on foreign energy forces our government to deal with >slimeball leaders usually by protecting their regime. If we were energy >independant, it would greatly strengthen our position in the world.[/QUOTE]

    Communist countries stressed independence as well. Strength is not important. Quality of life is.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/1727312.stm
    http://www.fastcompany.com/online/39/iceland.html
    http://www.energy.rochester.edu/is/reyk/



    This a living system is, ie. all resources are connected to other resources,
    much as those obese unhappy Americans are entangled with starving unhappy others, much as
    American terrorists are dancing with terrorists elsewhere.

    One alone isn't one

    http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/DISSIP_STRUC.html
     

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