Optimist or pessimist on the future of the country?

User Forum Topic
Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 11, 2020 - 12:52am

This is not about whether you can thrive and prosper as an individual or family. What do you feel about the future of the country?

I’m not feeling optimistic right now. Covid, police abuse, injustice, substance abuse, etc...
So many people are now in dead end situations — no skills, no money, rents keep increasing.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 11, 2020 - 10:50am.

Will be ok for wealthy, terrible for poor,
Then unliveable for all in 50 years

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 11, 2020 - 12:48pm.

This may actually hurt Rich's eyes to read, but I'm a long term optimist. I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation, resource exhaustion and the accompanying food fight to maintain ones standard of living. These will get solved, one way or another and life will go on. I may or may not survive to see that bright future, but its there in front of us.
Josh

Submitted by svelte on June 11, 2020 - 12:57pm.

barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

Submitted by gogogosandiego on June 11, 2020 - 1:10pm.

svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

Wait until the baby boomers and similar generations die off. We're going to be begging people to have kids.

Submitted by phaster on June 12, 2020 - 9:50pm.

scaredyclassic wrote:
Will be ok for wealthy, terrible for poor,
Then unliveable for all in 50 years

eventually the economy is going to get much worst for everyone because here in the USA sadly no matter if its local, state or at the federal level DISHONEST and DUMB money management by career politicians and public employ leadership,… created a really, really, really big mess

what politicians and the bureaucrats have actually built is a house of cards where the assumption is taxpayers can backstop the bad financial mismanagement of FAKE LEADERSHIP

simple honest truth is we have some pretty big problems that have to be acknowledged, and only after that is done and the magnitude of the problems understood will things improve

https://www.reuters.com/article/column-m...

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 13, 2020 - 10:02am.

gogogosandiego wrote:
svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

Wait until the baby boomers and similar generations die off. We're going to be begging people to have kids.

Its not worth the effort to have kids.

Submitted by svelte on June 13, 2020 - 12:14pm.

gogogosandiego wrote:
svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

That is 156 million more people EACH YEAR.

The entire Los Angeles metropolitan area is 13 million people.

That means we add twelve Los Angeles basins worth of people. Each and every year. Year after year.

Submitted by outtamojo on June 13, 2020 - 1:28pm.

They must be hitting the mark more accurately or Catholic. https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/health/yo....

Submitted by spdrun on June 13, 2020 - 2:56pm.

See, I'm for free love, with birth control and abortion available on demand, without stigma. Sex shouldn't be stigmatized, but we should control population.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 13, 2020 - 4:33pm.

As the world becomes richer we will fall to replacement, then below replacement.
More migration to the cities. The long term trend is urban.

Submitted by gogogosandiego on June 13, 2020 - 7:35pm.

svelte wrote:
gogogosandiego wrote:
svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

That is 156 million more people EACH YEAR.

The entire Los Angeles metropolitan area is 13 million people.

That means we add twelve Los Angeles basins worth of people. Each and every year. Year after year.

OMG. Sounds horrible. 156M is sooo much worse than ~1.5%.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 14, 2020 - 6:36am.

svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

This is a typical “they-don’t-talk-about-that” argument to dismiss man made climate change as an issue we need to deal with. “They don't talk about that. They' re talking about a lot of other things, but they don 't talk about that.”

It’s also an all-or-nothing argument where “until we deal with population, we can’t talk about climate change”.

In fact, there are lots of old and new technologies we can implement to have a positive impact. First off, provide birth control to all citizens of the world. That’s very easy to do, we just need the political will.

Submitted by spdrun on June 14, 2020 - 8:07am.

^^^

Birth control AND abortion. Say it. Abortion. Abortion should be legal on demand.

Submitted by svelte on June 14, 2020 - 8:08am.

gogogosandiego wrote:

OMG. Sounds horrible. 156M is sooo much worse than ~1.5%.

It is horrible.

Submitted by svelte on June 14, 2020 - 8:11am.

FlyerInHi wrote:
svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

This is a typical “they-don’t-talk-about-that” argument to dismiss man made climate change as an issue we need to deal with. “They don't talk about that. They' re talking about a lot of other things, but they don 't talk about that.”

It’s also an all-or-nothing argument where “until we deal with population, we can’t talk about climate change”.

In fact, there are lots of old and new technologies we can implement to have a positive impact. First off, provide birth control to all citizens of the world. That’s very easy to do, we just need the political will.

I don't think it's an either-this-or-that situation. There is no reason we can't talk about, and do something about, both.

But I think we should be talking about the biggest issue if we're talking about smaller issues. Not sure why it's even a question.

Submitted by outtamojo on June 14, 2020 - 12:24pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
svelte wrote:
barnaby33 wrote:
I think the problems people are focusing on are distractions to avoid dealing with the real issues in front of us. Overpopulation...
Josh

I am continually amazed at how many of the "save the planet" folks do not even MENTION overpopulation, or at least population growth.

That is the one thing that will do the most to preserve the planet in the long term, and the one thing that never leaves their lips.

This is a typical “they-don’t-talk-about-that” argument to dismiss man made climate change as an issue we need to deal with. “They don't talk about that. They' re talking about a lot of other things, but they don 't talk about that.”

It’s also an all-or-nothing argument where “until we deal with population, we can’t talk about climate change”.

In fact, there are lots of old and new technologies we can implement to have a positive impact. First off, provide birth control to all citizens of the world. That’s very easy to do, we just need the political will.

Actually "they" DO talk about it.
A few samples
https://grist.org/article/humans-cause-c...

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/12/11...

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 17, 2020 - 3:41pm.

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

Wait until the baby boomers and similar generations die off. We're going to be begging people to have kids.

Rates and levels, they both matter. Even if the rate of growth is slowing there are still too many people. I'm going out on a limb (a very small limb, more like a shrubbery) to say that all of the people in the world would like a higher standard of living. That isn't remotely possible for the people who are here now, let alone another 1.5% next year. So the level here is more important than the rate. There is nothing sustainable about how the western world lives. Adding more people who we will convince to want what we have is even crazier; they'll never be able to have it and if they actually tried would crater our standard of living.

Most folks prefer to go through life believing in a techno narcissist fantasy. One that peddles the belief that technology can save us. If we just make things a bit more efficient we can save ourselves from ourselves. Mostly what we use improvements in efficiency for is to build bigger (fatter) and dumber (less aware of the world around them) citizens. This religion is patently false first and wouldn't even mostly be necessary if we showed enough self restraint to live within our ecological means. Technology isn't inherently bad, but we never recycle to gains for the future, we just spend the gains in the present.

So to the poster who snarkily said, population is only increasing at 1.5% a year I say good on you sir! You're belief in the goodness of the status quo is helping to kill us all, quite quickly! I'm guessing you have or want more than 2 kids!

Josh

Submitted by zk on June 17, 2020 - 3:55pm.

barnaby33 wrote:

Most folks prefer to go through life believing in a techno narcissist fantasy.

Josh

Better than living in an anarcho-syndaclist fantasy, Dennis.

There's some lovely filth down here!

Submitted by svelte on June 17, 2020 - 5:52pm.

outtamojo wrote:

Actually "they" DO talk about it.
A few samples
https://grist.org/article/humans-cause-c...

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2019/12/11/climate-curious-how-much-does-population-growth-contribute-to-climate-change

Excellent! Now if we can only get more of them talking about it so it hits the more popular news outlets...

But this is a start! Thanks for posting.

Submitted by gogogosandiego on June 17, 2020 - 8:31pm.

barnaby33 wrote:

LOL. The worlds population is growing at less than 2% per year and that rate is declining.

Wait until the baby boomers and similar generations die off. We're going to be begging people to have kids.

Rates and levels, they both matter. Even if the rate of growth is slowing there are still too many people. I'm going out on a limb (a very small limb, more like a shrubbery) to say that all of the people in the world would like a higher standard of living. That isn't remotely possible for the people who are here now, let alone another 1.5% next year. So the level here is more important than the rate. There is nothing sustainable about how the western world lives. Adding more people who we will convince to want what we have is even crazier; they'll never be able to have it and if they actually tried would crater our standard of living.

Most folks prefer to go through life believing in a techno narcissist fantasy. One that peddles the belief that technology can save us. If we just make things a bit more efficient we can save ourselves from ourselves. Mostly what we use improvements in efficiency for is to build bigger (fatter) and dumber (less aware of the world around them) citizens. This religion is patently false first and wouldn't even mostly be necessary if we showed enough self restraint to live within our ecological means. Technology isn't inherently bad, but we never recycle to gains for the future, we just spend the gains in the present.

So to the poster who snarkily said, population is only increasing at 1.5% a year I say good on you sir! You're belief in the goodness of the status quo is helping to kill us all, quite quickly! I'm guessing you have or want more than 2 kids!

Josh

I’ll play.

I posted the rate b/c many people who want to decrease the population think it’s growing out of control. So let’s talk level. What’s your plan to (I assume) get it down? Keep in mind that all things being equal ideas like making birth control more available, better education for women, access to abortion etc. all take decades to work their way through to results. What number do we need to get to and by when?

Again, keep in mind that most developed countries have large proportions of their populations that are older with the younger folks not making babies at a rate to keep up with their deaths. This gets worse in ~10 years.

As for me I have one kid. Would have liked another but it didn’t pan out. Maybe if I had 2 I’d want a third. Who knows. No one I know is being killed by a 1.5% growth rate.

I do find it appalling that someone or some government would try to tell me how many kids I can have (and I’m male).

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 19, 2020 - 9:47am.

Keep in mind that all things being equal ideas like making birth control more available, better education for women, access to abortion etc. all take decades to work their way through to results.

Ideas do take time, which means they actually have to be implemented before you can watch them take action over time. No disagreement on this point. My disagreement is that we haven't taken action at all and most of the last 30 years is a public food fight around access to birth control and abortion for women. No real discussion of birth control for men, which is both easily attainable, and would cut un-necessary births MUCH faster. Think Vasalgel.

Again, keep in mind that most developed countries have large proportions of their populations that are older with the younger folks not making babies at a rate to keep up with their deaths. This gets worse in ~10 years.

So what? Just because our current social support mechanisms are based on ever growing populations doesn't mean they can't be changed. Your life has a dollar value to your fellow citizens, lets make that a bit more explicit. It would shore up medicare and SS and be a shot across the bow of the fantasy of unlimited growth and unlimited entitlements. You can't put 25 cents into social security and expect 1 dollar out, that's the crime right there.

I do find it appalling that someone or some government would try to tell me how many kids I can have (and I’m male).

Well at least you're appalled by something. The govt tells you you can't marry your cousin either, why doesn't that appall you? It also says you can't own anti-tank weapons even though the 2nd amendment explicitly guarantees your right to bear arms. I for one find that super galling when I'm stuck in traffic. Societies only function with compromises. The larger and more specialized the society, the more compromises must be made. Specifically with regards to children, the compromise is that you feed them and society has to pay to educate them. I laugh every time I hear a parent complain about the costs of raising children, because society as in all of us is bearing a huge chunk of that cost. I have zero children. I'm happy to pay, knowing I get a better class of human to live alongside, but that absolutely gives me (via govt) the right to vote on how many kids you produce. I don't think there are nearly enough restrictions on who has kids. Historically tax policy, war and ecological collapse are the only 3 mechanisms which effectively control peoples behavior. The latter two are much more natural yet I'd rather avoid their use. Tax policy is the least bad of all options. Have 1 kid get a tax break, have two and lets make it neutral, have more than two start paying up motherfucker!
Josh

Submitted by svelte on June 19, 2020 - 11:32am.

I think Josh's tax plan is a great idea. I've never advocated a government outlawing too many kids, but giving incentives? That's another story...

As for the 1.5% ain't bad poster, I'm not too sure of his/her intelligence because they keep shooting themselves in the foot...worldwide population growth is 1.1% not 1.5...

So we're adding 6 new Los Angeles basins worth of people every year, not 12. Still way too much for my blood.

Humans are in no danger of going extinct, I can tell you that. Population growth could turn negative and we'd still be fine. I'd actually like that.

Submitted by FlyerInHi on June 22, 2020 - 10:46am.

People in Kentucky marry their cousins all the time.

Submitted by PCinSD on June 22, 2020 - 12:21pm.

FlyerInHi wrote:
People in Kentucky marry their cousins all the time.

Hi White Karen. Tell us more about Kentucky. Details please, with supporting citations.

Your cousin would like it if you kept your hands to yourself.

Submitted by Coronita on June 22, 2020 - 12:30pm.

PCinSD wrote:
FlyerInHi wrote:
People in Kentucky marry their cousins all the time.

Hi White Karen. Tell us more about Kentucky. Details please, with supporting citations.

Your cousin would like it if you kept your hands to yourself.

Wow, more ill-informed, data-less generalization after generalization. Someone sure is coming unhinged from being wrong many times.

Submitted by scaredyclassic on June 22, 2020 - 12:57pm.

PCinSD wrote:
FlyerInHi wrote:
People in Kentucky marry their cousins all the time.

Hi White Karen. Tell us more about Kentucky. Details please, with supporting citations.

Your cousin would like it if you kept your hands to yourself.

it is interesting how much incest laws vary across the US. there are lot of small variations in what does and doesnt constitute incest.

19 states permit first cousin marriage, including Alaska, colorado, NY, massachusetts, hawaii, and others.
Certainly not stereotypically "backwards" states. :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cousin_mar...

apparently kentucky prohibits it, and wont even recognize sucha marriage if legally done outside kentucky.

Kentucky rule:

Section 402.010 - Degree of relationship that will bar marriage
(1) No marriage shall be contracted between persons who are nearer of kin to each other by consanguinity, whether of the whole or half-blood, than second cousins.
(2) Marriages prohibited by subsection (1) of this section are incestuous and void.

It's also unclear whether this is a good or bad thing. It might be all right for first cousins to marry.

Historically, the pool of available mating partners has often been pretty small, with lots of "genetic bottleups" at various points in time, and lots of cousin marriage in all of our family trees.

I read recently that all ashkenazi jews may possibly be able to trace their lineage back to just 300 people. so there was by necessity a LOT of cousin marriage.

so it isn't really necessarily a slur to say a state allows cousin marriage, or even that it is a bad thing. keeps assets in the family, better insight into marriage partner and family, family control of couple and offspring, etc.

immediate family members, however, should not marry. for instance, donald trump should definitely not procreate or be permitted to marry his daughter, even if he is the president of the free world, and he really really really wants to. Society has a right to draw the line there. the science, as well as the aesthetics are clear.

my personal feeling is that it was a good idea to get far away from my people, and mate with someone of a very very different genetic background. I don't particularly have a scientific basis for thinking this will make the offspring healthier, but it seemed like the right thing to do.

however, i do believe that cousin marriage should be universally legal in the united states. i dont know that it has been challenged on constitutional grounds, but i think if it were, that there would not be enough scientific data to prohibit it.

some old data on genetic risks, and survey of state law:

https://supreme.findlaw.com/legal-commen...

the rate of cousin marriage has to be higher in states where the law recognizes cousin marriage than the rate of cousin marriage where it is illegal, as it is zero in the latter. whether or not its common, i have no idea.

when i actually think about marrying one of my first cousins, the idea strikes me as very very strange. but that feeling alone should not be enough to prohibit it. there should be significant increased genetic risk to offspring.

Indeed, in recognition of that issue, some of the states explicitly allow it in the case where sterility of the cousins is involved. However, there may be no rational basis to know whether the genetic risks is really necessarily significantly increased sufficiently to bar people in love from marrying.

Submitted by barnaby33 on June 22, 2020 - 3:38pm.

So Scardy you spilled a lot of digital ink, but we're veering ever farther off topic. Does cousin marriage make you more or less optimistic?

Your cousin would like it if you kept your hands to yourself.

If she ain't good enough for her own family, she ain't good enough for ours!
Josh

Submitted by PCinSD on June 22, 2020 - 3:53pm.

Coronita wrote:
PCinSD wrote:
FlyerInHi wrote:
People in Kentucky marry their cousins all the time.

Hi White Karen. Tell us more about Kentucky. Details please, with supporting citations.

Your cousin would like it if you kept your hands to yourself.

Wow, more ill-informed, data-less generalization after generalization. Someone sure is coming unhinged from being wrong many times.

That's racist.

Submitted by gogogosandiego on June 22, 2020 - 3:56pm.

barnaby33 wrote:

Keep in mind that all things being equal ideas like making birth control more available, better education for women, access to abortion etc. all take decades to work their way through to results.

Ideas do take time, which means they actually have to be implemented before you can watch them take action over time. No disagreement on this point. My disagreement is that we haven't taken action at all and most of the last 30 years is a public food fight around access to birth control and abortion for women. No real discussion of birth control for men, which is both easily attainable, and would cut un-necessary births MUCH faster. Think Vasalgel.

Again, keep in mind that most developed countries have large proportions of their populations that are older with the younger folks not making babies at a rate to keep up with their deaths. This gets worse in ~10 years.

So what? Just because our current social support mechanisms are based on ever growing populations doesn't mean they can't be changed. Your life has a dollar value to your fellow citizens, lets make that a bit more explicit. It would shore up medicare and SS and be a shot across the bow of the fantasy of unlimited growth and unlimited entitlements. You can't put 25 cents into social security and expect 1 dollar out, that's the crime right there.

I do find it appalling that someone or some government would try to tell me how many kids I can have (and I’m male).

Well at least you're appalled by something. The govt tells you you can't marry your cousin either, why doesn't that appall you? It also says you can't own anti-tank weapons even though the 2nd amendment explicitly guarantees your right to bear arms. I for one find that super galling when I'm stuck in traffic. Societies only function with compromises. The larger and more specialized the society, the more compromises must be made. Specifically with regards to children, the compromise is that you feed them and society has to pay to educate them. I laugh every time I hear a parent complain about the costs of raising children, because society as in all of us is bearing a huge chunk of that cost. I have zero children. I'm happy to pay, knowing I get a better class of human to live alongside, but that absolutely gives me (via govt) the right to vote on how many kids you produce. I don't think there are nearly enough restrictions on who has kids. Historically tax policy, war and ecological collapse are the only 3 mechanisms which effectively control peoples behavior. The latter two are much more natural yet I'd rather avoid their use. Tax policy is the least bad of all options. Have 1 kid get a tax break, have two and lets make it neutral, have more than two start paying up motherfucker!
Josh

According to this site the rate hasn’t been above 2% since the early 70’s so I’m not sure why you are so concerned with the last 30 years.

https://www.worldometers.info/world-popu...

Again, we’ve known the rate is dropping and we know it gets close to flat at some point due to one generation (at least in developed countries). The primary issue we haven’t taken action on relative to this is not abortion but immigration reform. In most of the country you can have an abortion which helps keep births down. A more efficient Legal Immigration process would allow the population to grow despite the low organic rate.

What you’re proposing with Social Security would mean a lower standard of living for everyone. The opposite of what you claim a lesser population would do. Similar to inflation we’d ideally want a steady gain of something like 2-3% and then tweak from there where needed. That’s sustainable.

Maybe you don’t literally mean outlawing having kids but I would view that in the same way I would denying a woman an abortion. Neither scenario is comparable to traffic nor what kind of guns you can own. Very few people would agree with this “absolutely gives me (via govt) the right to vote on how many kids you produce”. Please show me a politician or any reputable organization that supports that stance.

BTW – the 2nd amendment guarantees your right to bear arms in the context of a well regulated militia.

Submitted by gogogosandiego on June 22, 2020 - 3:58pm.

I was going off memory and I used 1.5% b/c I thought the actual rate was something like 1.2% or 1.3%.

A 1% growth rate is basically a rounding error. A nothing.
Where the intelligence factor comes in is when someone doesn’t like or understand that 1.1% is a nothing burger they start going on about “LA Basin’s worth of people” as if that somehow changes the argument. Smart people understand percentages. Dumb people think “well golly that’s a lot of people”.

It’s 1% of what we already have.

For some context the LA Basin size wise is about 5k square miles. The US as a country is close to 4m square miles. (Yes, I looked up both but feel free to check them). And we’re talking a worldwide growth rate.

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