The American Century?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Happybunny, Feb 24, 2012.

  1. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    #1
    In my life time I have seen many books warning of imminent danger. Whether from climate change or nuclear war/accident and even an asteroide strike. :(

    But given events in the last few years, this one does look at least like an interesting read.

    http://chronicle.com/article/The-American-Century-Is/130790/
     
  2. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #2
    Didn't you see the Super Bowl commercial? The Great American Dream Machine is alive and well -- and being manufactured by Americans on assembly lines in Detroit (literally) as I type! It's amazing!

    We just need to great the word out. We need to do something bold, like holding another grand World's Fair in one of our great cities, here in the world's last bastion of freedom. And that fair needs a Futurama exhibit, to show how grand and glorious our American way of life will be in some far off future date -- like 20, or maybe even 30 years from now!

    Or maybe move the 2076 Tricentennial celebration up a few years -- and celebrate early! The sight of all those tall ships really uplifted our spirits a few decades ago!
     
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #3
    Maybe you could establish a moon colony that could eventually petition for statehood. Just sayin'....
     
  4. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    #4
    The current issues with too much immigration and economic malaise in the USA is not new to this country.

    After all, the USA has gone through economic malaise just as bad as what is happening now: the Panics of 1857, 1873, 1893, and 1907 in addition to the Great Depression. And had serious problems with immigration, what with the influx of the Irish after the Irish Potato Famine and the huge influx of southern and eastern Europeans from the 1880's to 1924 (the Irish and Italian immigrants suffered heavy discrimination during their major emigrant waves to the USA).

    But yet, we've survived those tumults--tumults that would have brought down a lesser country.
     
  5. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #5
    If you start singing God Bless America, I will throw-up. :p
     
  6. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    #6
    That's the LAST song I will sing in front of most ethnic groups in the USA--for lots of obvious reasons!

    What I said is proof that America can go through tough times and still come out better.
     
  7. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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    #7
    God save the Queen :D

    http://godsavethequeen.ca/
     
  8. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #8
    Nah. That idea is just too 1960s. Man conquering the moon was one of the exciting future-world possibilities that GM already played up in their 1964-65 Futurama II exhibit. Other great ideas from the exhibit included the under-the-sea colonies, hotels and convention center idea and the use of laser mounted on giant motorized vehicles to cut down the Rain Forest. But all those ideas are all as outdated as the hula hoop now...

    We need a new and fresh vision of the future. Something like building a monorail to the moon... that uses trains that run on coal... American coal, of course.

     
  9. Happybunny thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9

    While every thing that you wrote is absolutely true, that was all in the past. The major thing that has changed, the world is a totally different place. The rules have been completely rewritten, what worked in the past will fail miserably now.
     
  10. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    #10
    I'd almost agree, but anyone who's read up on the massive Irish immigration to the USA after the Irish Potato Famine noted that there was a HUGE problem with a large fraction of those immigrants: they couldn't speak English or spoke English with poor fluency, which meant integrating with American society proved to be big problem for many years. And even worse, many of those Irish immigrants were not literate even in their own language, so providing reading materials to the Irish in their native language to integrate into American society didn't help, either.

    That's why I think a under-reported problem with illegals coming in from Mexico is many of them don't read Spanish very well, so providing reading materials in Spanish to better integrate with American society won't help these people at times....
     
  11. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #11
    I'm really torn about this. I too, believe the American Century is over but for different reasons and I don't believe it's terminal.

    The NYT recently had an interesting article about "Nollywood", Nigeria's answer to Hollywood and there has been a lot of press coverage about India's phenomenal use of solar power on a small scale as well as MPesa, Africa's mobile phone payments scheme.

    What all three of these share is the innovative use of technology in places where the average age is less than 30 and education is increasingly available to the poor. Youth has always been the driving force in innovation and change. Whether we look at immigrants in general, most are very young and that has traditionally been a huge benefit to the US or the baby boomers themselves, youth drives change.

    The boomers had an enormous impact and some of what they tried failed miserably. Unfortunately, in the US at least, they are also the most politically active. At 50, I'm at the tail end of the boomers there's probably another 15 years where they will have an enormous impact on American politics. But, the US is still a land of immigrants, most of them young and the millennials have entered the work force at the worst time in 80 years. That means they have to innovate in order to have a future, not simply ride the post WWII wave of prosperity.

    Not only that, but in Africa and India, corruption is still rampant and getting ahead is rarely something that happens only on merit. Connections and bribery are imperative. China is a country we don't have to worry about because the one child policy means that in even just ten years, China will be a country of elderly people. Russia is losing population like crazy, so what does that leave? The Middle East is too corrupt and too fat and lazy from all its oil. Brazil? Indonesia? Brazil's bureaucracy is too stifling and Islam hinders progress in Indonesia. Europe is old now, much less ten years in the future.

    I believe that as long as the US continues its open arms policy and encourages innovation, we'll be fine.

    I would also add that their health was severely impaired. 300 years of a potato based diet and a church that valued procreation over healthy families left many of them in terrible health. Many of course died on the trip over and many would die of cholera and TB but I don't think any other immigrant group was in such poor physical shape as the Irish famine immigrants were. It wasn't just physical health either, many lacked any morals at all after having lived like animals for so long.

    Many migrants from Mexico speak native languages and don't speak Spanish at all. Mexico over the last decade has invested heavily in education and health care and the birth rate in Mexico is now 2.1. That means the Mexican 'problem' is really non-existent. Most immigrants now come from central America.

    Many Americans don't understand that it's not until the third generation that immigrants truly become American. The statistics on Mexicans in the US are pretty grim but that's mostly because they reflect the first and second generations, not the third. Among my Mexican friends and acquaintances, there are a lot of proud parents and grandparents of college graduates.
     
  12. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #12
    That right there is a real issue in New Zealand politics. :mad: Can't let historical facts get in the way of polotics. :rolleyes:
     
  13. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #13
    What does this mean exactly?

    I'm just curious as to what criteria only get achieved after the third generation.
     
  14. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #14
    I'm beginning to get the impression, based upon the tone - if not the expressed comments - of the threads you start, that the "miserable failure" of the United States appeals to you. So, I don't ask this rhetorically - is there a part of you that wants the United States to "fail miserably?" The answer to that question will help me understand the threads you initiate. Thanks.
     
  15. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #15
    The United States is to fail, as it will be the only way to loosen their stupidly tight grip on the internation economy.
     
  16. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #16
    First generation: Works hard, impresses on their kids how lucky they are to live here, has a hard time accepting that their children aren't going to embrace all of their values from old country.

    Second generation: Also works hard, mostly embraces America, raises their kids to have respect for the first generation, but won't force them to embrace their values.

    Third gernation: No longer has to deal with divided loyalties of old/new countries, culture, values and can live their lives as they see fit.

    This is of course an oversimplification but pretty close to the mark based both on my genealogical research and on my immigrant friends' experiences.
     
  17. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    Hasn't that been happening for a long time? In the late 1940s/early '50s, the US economy was over 50% of the world's total, and today it's around 24%. China is coming up on that total and will probably take its place as a perennial fifth of world GDP for the next several decades.

    I think the realities of international trade means that we're all going to be reliant upon each other. The fortunes of any large economy are going to represent the fortunes of us all.
     
  18. kavika411 macrumors 6502a

    kavika411

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    #18
    I'll chalk that up to a "yes."
     
  19. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Not sure if you're trolling here, but the potato didn't become established as the major food crop in Ireland until the early 19th century, less than 50 years before the Famine. The potato was a healthy enough food - the immigrants were unhealthy because of malnutrition caused by the crop failure, leading to weakened immune systems, not because they were eating mainly potatoes.

    And I'm so confused about where you get "lacked any morals at all after having lived like animals for so long" from that I can't even argue against it.

    And I'm not sure where this is coming from either. What does "truly American" mean to you? Obama's not "truly American"? My daughters, both born in California, aren't truly American?
     
  20. CalBoy macrumors 604

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    Huh. Interesting. I personally haven't seen this in my family, although I will accept that we are perhaps atypical.

    In our case, the first generation born in the locale tends to be very quickly assimilated but we've been able to retain some of the culture and values of prior generations. Between me, my father, and grandfather, no one was born on the same continent and yet we've never had trouble transitioning to new circumstances.
     
  21. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #21
    Wtf? :confused:
     
  22. MorphingDragon macrumors 603

    MorphingDragon

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    #22
    Read below.

    Yes, while economical means of influences have been decreasing, Political means have stayed the same or grown in some areas. At least for Downunder, American specific Xenophobia has been growing in the general public and the last thing you want if for that hate to bear fruit.
     
  23. CalBoy macrumors 604

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    #23
    Forgive the bluntness, but what fruit is there to bear? It's not as if Aussies and Kiwis are going to ever fight a war with Americans, and it's also not viable for trade to be severed. It's not as if the tourism industry or your government is ever going to tolerate keeping travelers out.

    If anything, your (NZ and Australia) economies are going to be more interconnected with the US in the future. Naturally our leaders will pressure each other for various things, and of course some of us will not be pleased as our leaders trade interests, but if the worst consequences are some snide remarks and begrudging tolerance, I'm not all that worried.
     
  24. Ugg macrumors 68000

    Ugg

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    #24
    Ok, I was exaggerating a little about how long they had lived on potatoes, but the fact they had to live on potatoes shows how destitute they were even 50 years before the famine. Malnutrition goes hand in hand with destitution, their problems began before the potato famine.

    Many of the early Irish immigrants to Canada settled in Bytown, now Ottawa. They were there to work on the Rideau canal and their living conditions and lack of morality are well documented.

    They were malnourished for a couple of generations, huge families were living in tiny huts, the famine hit and families were destroyed. The survivors did whatever they could to survive. They were put on what were literally death ships and a point of fact is that due to their ill health many had TB and cholera. The number that died on the ships is truly horrific.

    I think it's safe to say they suffered a form of PTSD.

    I'm in no way commenting on inherent Irish morality. The morality of Irish immigrants to North America was complicated, but it wasn't pretty although the church played a big part in the decline of Ireland and it's a shame that their role hasn't been examined more closely.

    In the US we assimilate. We become American which granted, is a pretty broad definition. But someone who has a strong accent and is unfamiliar with the America of his or her own generation, is an adopted American.

    In regards to Obama and your daughters, his father had little or nothing to do with his upbringing which was mostly done by his mother and his grandparents. Obama never really had to deal with his father's ancestry or expectations. Although he did have to deal with his father's skin color.

    I don't know anything about you or your daughters so I can't really comment.

    However, as CalBoy points out, and in regards to Obama, the second half of the 20th century has seen enormous changes in what constitutes nationality, ethnicity and home. Many immigrants today do not face the same struggles that my ancestors did when they arrived in North America between 1635 and 1891. None of them were educated beyond the 3 Rs. Some of them were illiterate and when they left home, they left it for good. There was no FaceTime or Skype or cheap international airfare.

    I live in northern California and have a number of friends from Mexico. Their experiences more closely mirror those of my ancestors in the 1800s than they do CalBoy's in the late 1900s, mostly because of low levels of education and a post-Spanish colonial socio-economic hangover.

    Education and socio-economic status are huge variables in how easily one adapts. My English ancestors had it much easier than did my German or Finnish ancestors, mainly because they knew the language and the culture wasn't foreign to them.

    I guess if I were to summarize, an American is someone who doesn't have strong ties to the country (ies) of his ancestors. That's a pretty broad statement but I don't know how else you could define an American.
     
  25. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #25
    I have always lived by the axiom that an American is anyone who chooses to call themselves an American.
     

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