Discuss and talk about any general topic.
1) I was talking with my mother this weekend. She knows one language, she has never left the USA, she does not know much about the outside world.
She mentioned that she could see that the country was declining.
Not 'Economically Depressed', not 'people are bummed out - In Decline.
2) I was chatting up a Chinese woman and she mentioned that America is jealous of China and that Americans get angry easily and are selfish.
In China in small cities, the women are NOT falling over themselves to marry a foreigner and move out, even though you may earn 20X what they earn. The Chinese know that if they wait 5 to 10 years, that they will be a developed country. They don't need to marry a laowai - there will be plenty of well-off men in China in a few years.
3) I was watching a video from Niall Ferguson: Empires on the Edge of Chaos, and he mentioned that "...military retreat from the mountains of the Hindu Kush, or the plains of Mesopotamia has long been the harbinger of imperial fall."
4) My own assessment is that the USA peaked between the Nasdaq bubble top March 9, 2000 and Sept 11, 2001. This would be at the same time that China began to noticeably ascend, after 15 years of hard work.
In many ways you younger guys are lucky. You are living through the actual collapse of an empire. In 100 years textbooks (written in Mandarin and Arabic) will have a chapter devoted to this decade in USA history.
I am concerned that tens of millions of overweight, out of shape, angry, spoiled Americans will elect a real nightmare (think 1933) when they can no longer buy their toys.
"I was chatting up a Chinese woman and she mentioned that America is jealous of China and that Americans get angry easily and are selfish.
In China in small cities, the women are NOT falling over themselves to marry a foreigner and move out, even though you may earn 20X what they earn. The Chinese know that if they wait 5 to 10 years, that they will be a developed country. They don't need to marry a laowai - there will be plenty of well-off men in China in a few years."
Nowhere -- and I do mean nowhere -- are the reasons for the decline summed up better than in the piece by Lance Freeman that you passed along here several months ago, Globetrotter. I'm wondering where I can find something else written by him, and where he lives.
The complete corruption of every aspect of American life by money, the rigidly enforced mindlessness -- these reasons, among others, make the possibility of reform seem unthinkable. It's a society so at war with truth that you have to go to marginalized websites such as this one to find any.
The Palin-Beck ticket is looming out there on the horizon -- far, far too visible.
it's probably also worth pointing out here, in the thread that quotes him, what an intellectual opportunist Niall Ferguson is. Some may remember back in 2002 when the Bush administration was ginning up plans to invade Iraq, among the pet intellectuals trotted out in support was Ferguson and his recently-published view that, hey, empires can be, all things considered, really good for folks. The old British empire was, and so indeed is the new American empire. He started bailing out of that unfortunate position sometime around 2004.
I agree. I know we tend to look back at things with rose-tinted glasses, but it seems to me that America post World War II was very, very different from the America I see today. Back then, there was a population and productivity boom, without the soulless, myopic emphasis on money that so permeates the place today (although the same can be said for the rest of the Anglosphere, to various extents). Back then, American women were of a far higher calibre - I suppose you could say that their moral (bad-boy mania), spiritual (use religion to bash others with or to try to mask past misdeeds) and intellectual (shallow, etc) disintegration since the late 1960's (when Anglo feminism kicked off, not coincidentally) is indicative of America's. There is both correlation and causation here - if the population disintegrates morally (adultery, etc), spiritually and intellectually, then it should come as no surprise if the country goes from an energetic, optimistic and altruistic mood to an apathetic, selfish and myopic one. In other words, Americans focus on making money because many lack the intellectualism to pursue more cerebral pursuits and lack the altruism to assist people struggling around them (and are possibly too self-absorbed to realise that people around them are not happy). As such, they cannot do much else effectively, anymore.
True, the American people and the government are known for giving aid to other countries. This could be interpreted as altruism, but keeping up appearances is also important to many Anglos - which is why superficial politeness abounds.
Being a pedant - they probably won't be written in Mandarin and Arabic, for two reasons:
1) Many Arabic-speakers can either communicate in English (the Middle East + Egypt) or French (the rest of North/West Africa). In turn, many Muslims cannot speak Arabic. As such, there probably won't be much linguistic change. Plus Arabic phrases are difficult to pronounce, even when written in Latin script.
2) Both Mandarin and Cantonese are nigh-on impossible to learn as second languages (there are over 5000 Chinese characters, for instance) and from what I've heard, the Chinese tend to take perverse pride in foreigners not being able to learn their language (I read somewhere that they were suspicious of this guy speaking Chinese with some fluency). Plus those languages are being supplemented by English.
3) Would Europe accept Muslim rule that easily? I doubt it. Remember the Yugo wars? Remember how Europe perfected genocide?
Is Obama not a nightmare as it stands? The bloke has little to no political experience, is sympathetic with Anglo feminists (allocating a large portion of the American Recovery Act to feminists), has black supremacist friends and associates, is fairly corrupt (much of that stimulus was used for Democratic pet projects that had little to do with economic recovery) and has a feckless foreign policy (America's enemies don't really fear America that much anymore).
I agree, though, that Palin is not much better.
Thank you for stating the blatantly obvious. This Libertarian is no friend of either outdated American political party, but I'm also not letting Zero off the hook either...
All it will take is ONE more major attack in the USA of any kind, and you can put the Constitution up on a shelf and leave it there forever.
Obama ran as 'I am not Bush' and he has changed nothing. Gitmo, more wars, etc. All the same.
It won't matter if it is Palin, Obama or some new horror no one knows about yet.
http://www.sott.net/articles/show/20625 ... Grim-Truth
Both mainstream parties are two sides of the same corrupt coin. The powers that be would have us believe they are opposing factions, both vying to give us alternatives, but that is sheer BS, and I think America is waking up to that. I also don't think the Tea Party crowd is all it's cracked up to be. Just neo-cons doing the same old crap.
Now, give me a President that will put America first, dramatically reduce our military and use that money to rebuild our infrastructure, create jobs, pay for general benefits of the citizens, then I think we'll be on to something. If the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have taught us anything, it is that all the massive heavy-handed military posturing and expenditures can't do anything against tribalist throwbacks to the 7th century. Talk about egg on our face!! A bloated aggressive military has no place or usefulness in the 21st century, and no one wants us to be the world's policeman, and I don't think Americans have much of an appetite for that either, anymore.
You can tell a lot about the heart and soul of a government, by the way they spend the taxpayers' money. Do they use it to coerce, bribe, and bully other nations in order to get what they want, while leaving their own people to fend for themselves? Or, do they use the money to build up their own economy, incentivize and help their people to build new jobs and work for a better future, provide for basic human needs, such as affordable health care, etc? In this regard, I'm glad I'm moving my family to Europe. They have the right idea and have found a better (not perfect, though) balance.
Last edited by Think Different on Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Feckless" foreign policy? How much death and destruction, in how many different countries, do we have to mete out to convince the rest of you that we are seriously dangerous? As globetrotter noted, Obama is simply an unbroken continuation of the policies of empire.
Noted for our aid to other countries? Not on a per capita basis, by which measurement we're well down toward the bottom of developed nations, nowhere close to leader Norway. And what we do give has virtually no popular support now. If people knew about it, they'd vote in huge majorities to cut it all off.
But you got the part about better in the '50s and '60s right. I was around for all years in those two decades, and remember them very clearly. Immeasurably better by most any quality-of-life index you'd care to name.
His foreign policy is 'feckless', in so far as he has encouraged mockery from his adversaries (Ahmedinejad is one example) and may have even encouraged more Islamist terror attacks in America (Fort Hood is a good example - the worst since Sept 11).
Basically, emboldening people who don't like you is NOT good 'foreign policy'. Remember that Arabs and Persians respect shows of power and strength. Obama has provided neither - thus they do not respect him and are emboldened in their convictions by his weakness. Yes, he's emulated Bush (who they were more wary of) to a large extent, but when your enemies think that you're going to backtrack on these actions when it is expedient, it matters less.
Really? My bad, then.
Last edited by DaRick on Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
The problem with the Tea Party is that they don't know what the hell they want or what they stand for. They are essentially a bunch of different factions melded into a label referencing an event that happened a couple of centuries ago and is probably misunderstood by most Americans. Thus, the movement becomes far too broad to actually stand for anything. Some protests have wanted the government to "give [them] back [their] Medicare"...which is a big government policy.
In economic terms, USA peaked a long time ago - soon after WWII accounting for around 30% of the global economy (PPP adjusted GDP). Europe seemed downright poor and cheap then compared to mighty US of A. Since then US position has been declining, first with post-war re-building of Europe and Japan, and more recently with the rise of emerging markets, most notably China. By 2000-2001 (Nasdaq bubble / 911), US share of global economy had fallen to 24% and by 2010, it was just 20%.
Public awareness of this long term decline ebbs and flows. In the 1980s, many were predicting Japan would surpass the US, buy-up American real estate and stocks, and gobble us up. At the peak of Japan's real estate bubble in 80s, market valuation of land just within Tokyo was higher than for for the whole US continent plus Alaska and Hawaii. Plaza Accord and chain of events which followed ultimately ended the party for Japan. By mid 90s, Americans had forgotten about Japan and a series of economic crises in Mexico, Russia, Asia, and Latin America in late 90s to turn of century had American's feeling solidly on top top of the heap again with their revolutionary Internet technology, ever rising equity markets, record economic growth rates, and mighty dollar. Bubbles formed - equity, real estate, and bonds - and imploded. Richest 1% working through alliances with congress, banks, and Fortune 500s grabbed a huge percentage of country's wealth, poor got poorer, and middle class hollowed.
Structurally, US in 2011 is extremely unhealthy and has reached a point where even average Joes and Janes on main street know something is very wrong with the big picture.
I think girls in China will continue to pursue marriage to guys with money - local and foreign. Wealthy is a big deal with the post-Mao generation and with everyone.
Talk to old school foreigners who studied at unis in Beijing or other Chinese cities back in early to mid 90s or before. It was much harder to attract, date, or marry a Chinese girl then than it is today even though the average laowai was insanely wealthy by standards of that day. Locals were much more brainwashed against foreigners by the state propaganda machine back then.
But the definition of what a wealthy man is will change dramatically. Generally, you should at minimum have the ability to buy a house and car to be on the radar screen. You gotta realize, China will likely experience some nasty bouts of inflation in coming years with huge cost of living increases. Some areas have already been hit bad. On my recent visit to Shekou, I was surprised to see ordinary looking 2 bed condos priced at around US$400,000.
But English teacher wages will not rise commensurately (may even stay flat) if past experience in Japan and Taiwan is any indication. I wouldn't be surprised if local perception of laowai English teachers goes from being high earning figures of respect to poor no future white trash nobodys within a few years. Enjoy your fleeting prestige while it lasts.
Total westernization is also no good. There needs to be a balance without feminist values and other failed cultural trash being mimicked by Asian societies. I have been seeing some "sex in the city" type attitudes in middle/upper middle class Thai girls and it's pretty disconcerting in a lot of ways.
Singapore is a good example of a "westernized" Asian country and if you ask some Singaporean men they almost universally complain about their women with some of the very same reasons American women are complained about.
It's a bubble and it's due to the PRC policy of not allowing outward foreign investment or capital outflow. Of course there's a lot more than that but it's a dangerous policy. Who knows though..China is a strange experiment in a lot of ways and people have been predicting a "major Chinese collapse" since the early 90's. I'm more balanced in this regard..I think there will be major speed bumps but nothing beyond that.
I have a couple friends teaching english in China and they managed to work their way into some relatively decent paying vocational school positions. I think one is earning the equivalent of $2000 U.S. a month (tax free) along with a nicely furnished condo in Shanghai. I've heard other white foreigners getting paid similar amounts elsewhere in China too. If Chinese bosses are anything, it's cutthroat savvy. I don't think it will take those school owners long to realize they are overpaying big time (compared with the rest of the developing world in Asia) and they can really lowball non credentialed foreign teachers who are mostly in China for chasing skirts, adventure, and such.
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