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Old 02.23.2010, 11:57 AM   #1
tesla69
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http://www.alternet.org/economy/1456...page=entire%CA

American lives and families are struggling worse than they ever have.

America is the richest nation in history, yet we now have the highest poverty rate in the industrialized world with an unprecedented amount of Americans living in dire straights and over 50 million citizens already living in poverty.

The government has come up with clever ways to downplay all of these numbers, but we have over 50 million people who need to use food stamps to eat, and a stunning 50 percent of U.S. children will use food stamps to eat at some point in their childhoods. Approximately 20,000 people are added to this total every day. In 2009, one out of five U.S. households didn't have enough money to buy food. In households with children, this number rose to 24 percent, as the hunger rate among U.S. citizens has now reached an all-time high.

We also currently have over 50 million U.S. citizens without health care. 1.4 million Americans filed for bankruptcy in 2009, a 32 percent increase from 2008. As bankruptcies continue to skyrocket, medical bankruptcies are responsible for over 60 percent of them, and over 75 percent of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have health care insurance. We have the most expensive health care system in the world, we are forced to pay twice as much as other countries and the overall care we get in return ranks 37th in the world.

In total, Americans have lost $5 trillion from their pensions and savings since the economic crisis began and $13 trillion in the value of their homes. During the first full year of the crisis, workers between the age of 55 - 60, who have worked for 20 - 29 years, have lost an average of 25 percent off their 401k. "Personal debt has risen from 65 percent of income in 1980 to 125 percent today." Over five million U.S. families have already lost their homes, in total 13 million U.S. families are expected to lose their home by 2014, with 25 percent of current mortgages underwater. Deutsche Bank has an even grimmer prediction: "The percentage of 'underwater' loans may rise to 48 percent, or 25 million homes." Every day 10,000 U.S. homes enter foreclosure. Statistics show that an increasing number of these people are not finding shelter elsewhere, there are now over 3 million homeless Americans, the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population is single parents with children.
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Old 02.23.2010, 12:15 PM   #2
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Strange that you consider everything outside of intentional human agency to be the result of "chance."
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Old 02.23.2010, 12:27 PM   #3
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the rich will only continue to get richer at tyhe expense of the middle class.
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Old 02.23.2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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So there wouldn't be a middle class if it wasn't for the rich?
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Old 02.23.2010, 12:41 PM   #5
ni'k
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you can't play the game of "blame it all on some elite who we need to get rid of to restore some sort of perfect harmony".

all of us, those who live in the liberal capitalist democracies are complicit. we are being bankrupted by capatalism and its failing wars.

i think society collapsed a long time ago and now its basically individuals trying to stay as alone as possible, trying to grab as much as they can and stay in their daydream.

our choice and our suicide ultimately.

well my thoughts on these type of subjects are somewhat confused.

i get the feeling now that it is US who are being used by the system instead of the other way round. like the cigarettes are smoking us and the food is using us to turn back to shit. but i don't know of any alternatives to the existing order, at least ones that are gonna actually happen, they all just seem to perpetuate the state of things as they are. i mean, what are we supposed to do? provide any resistance and you will just get killed/imprisoned/tortured. shit the last time anything came remotely close (and it wasn't anywhere near) to happening in the uk was the g20 protests in london - and the police murdered a guy and tried to cover it up.

what's gonna happen is what i imagine always happens, people take as much as they can when it's there and riot when they start to starve.

i live my life trying to avoid all thinking about this stuff. i plan to read capital at some point and see if i can't get a better understanding.

but the way i see things at the moment - noone is prepared to break free from the existing order and sacrifice their precious SELF and lonely self interest. there may be awareness among people that the barrier dividing us from anything else is a ficticious divide but noone seems prepared to step beyond it.

i don't believe for one second revolution is gonna actually happen. at least not a leftist one. people just get depressed, or start taking it out on themselves. what else is their to do with a self but destroy it. people are also wracked with guilt which they don't know how to deal with. they would rather think the suffering in the world is their fault or the fault of some bad elite than accept that we don't have the agency to solve all these problems. so they would rather believe in conspiracies, because then there is someone in charge of it all and it's comforting on some level.

i think ultimate that the liberal capitalist democracies are an empire like any other and like all empires they will expand until they tear apart.

i can't answer the question - what are we supposed to do about it. you can criticise me for not having enough belief or being cynical - but i do not think a revolution is gonna happen anytime soon. if you're prepared to try to live outside capitalism then get in touch with me and i might join you. but eventually if you stand in its way you're gonna be destroyed or re-incorporated into it.

i guess all i can say is that i am prepared to learn and to listen to others on this subject, and i'm prepared to get involved with projects to try to go beyond capitalism, i just don't think the individual is able to do it so it has to be some kind of collective thing and it has to a stepping beyond the ideal we have of self at the moment. i get the feeling that it is only we who are holding ourselves back by our continued participation in consensus reality. what the alternative is - i don't know.

i used to think it was some sort of buddhist thing and if i got rid of all my possessions i could get beyond it all, but then i thought i'd have to go out to the park and start preaching, or go live in the woods or something. i got really depressed and fucked up around this point because i got the idea in my head that i had gained some sort of enlightenment or something and if i just lived the right way i could change everything, but i couldn't so i was doomed to die. i guess i haven't really resolved that conflict in myself, i don't know if capitalism is the problem or not but i suspect that it is.
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Old 02.23.2010, 01:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ni'k
you can't play the game of "blame it all on some elite who we need to get rid of to restore some sort of perfect harmony".

all of us, those who live in the liberal capitalist democracies are complicit. we are being bankrupted by capatalism and its failing wars.

i think society collapsed a long time ago and now its basically individuals trying to stay as alone as possible, trying to grab as much as they can and stay in their daydream.

our choice and our suicide ultimately.

well my thoughts on these type of subjects are somewhat confused.

i get the feeling now that it is US who are being used by the system instead of the other way round. like the cigarettes are smoking us and the food is using us to turn back to shit. but i don't know of any alternatives to the existing order, at least ones that are gonna actually happen, they all just seem to perpetuate the state of things as they are. i mean, what are we supposed to do? provide any resistance and you will just get killed/imprisoned/tortured. shit the last time anything came remotely close (and it wasn't anywhere near) to happening in the uk was the g20 protests in london - and the police murdered a guy and tried to cover it up.

what's gonna happen is what i imagine always happens, people take as much as they can when it's there and riot when they start to starve.

i live my life trying to avoid all thinking about this stuff. i plan to read capital at some point and see if i can't get a better understanding.

but the way i see things at the moment - noone is prepared to break free from the existing order and sacrifice their precious SELF and lonely self interest. there may be awareness among people that the barrier dividing us from anything else is a ficticious divide but noone seems prepared to step beyond it.

i don't believe for one second revolution is gonna actually happen. at least not a leftist one. people just get depressed, or start taking it out on themselves. what else is their to do with a self but destroy it. people are also wracked with guilt which they don't know how to deal with. they would rather think the suffering in the world is their fault or the fault of some bad elite than accept that we don't have the agency to solve all these problems. so they would rather believe in conspiracies, because then there is someone in charge of it all and it's comforting on some level.

i think ultimate that the liberal capitalist democracies are an empire like any other and like all empires they will expand until they tear apart.

i can't answer the question - what are we supposed to do about it. you can criticise me for not having enough belief or being cynical - but i do not think a revolution is gonna happen anytime soon. if you're prepared to try to live outside capitalism then get in touch with me and i might join you. but eventually if you stand in its way you're gonna be destroyed or re-incorporated into it.

i guess all i can say is that i am prepared to learn and to listen to others on this subject, and i'm prepared to get involved with projects to try to go beyond capitalism, i just don't think the individual is able to do it so it has to be some kind of collective thing and it has to a stepping beyond the ideal we have of self at the moment. i get the feeling that it is only we who are holding ourselves back by our continued participation in consensus reality. what the alternative is - i don't know.

i used to think it was some sort of buddhist thing and if i got rid of all my possessions i could get beyond it all, but then i thought i'd have to go out to the park and start preaching, or go live in the woods or something. i got really depressed and fucked up around this point because i got the idea in my head that i had gained some sort of enlightenment or something and if i just lived the right way i could change everything, but i couldn't so i was doomed to die. i guess i haven't really resolved that conflict in myself, i don't know if capitalism is the problem or not but i suspect that it is.

i have a very similar conflict taking place within me. for some time i have wanted to do something radical, start living my life for what i believe are the right reasons. however, the main reason why i haven't left is that i'm too weak to leave my friends and family as i am sure none of them would want to join me.
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Old 02.23.2010, 01:44 PM   #7
SONIC GAIL
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I have greatly felt the effect of our economy. Our business took a big hit then our life. I really don't know what the answer to it all is.

I do wish we could just go back to basics like in old yeller. building fences and working the farm. a hard life yes, but very self sufficient. and i think a hard life makes you appreciate the "little things in life"
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Old 02.25.2010, 07:31 AM   #8
phoenix
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It will only get worse as the food runs out... The money will mean even less..
Sometimes, i'm okay with being on a massive island with a relatively small population.

Even here though, i doubt the standards of living can stay as they are for much longer. They built houses on all the prime agricultural land. We're kind of screwed.
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Old 02.25.2010, 08:44 PM   #9
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i think the standard reply here is "tl;dr"
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