What changed Us?

What changed Us?
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The US was for a time a mighty powerhouse of freedom, and liberty.  A vast majority of the population came from Christian or Jewish ancestry, from Europe, and wanted to stay free or at least give it a good try.  And above all, worshiped our Creator.  

Most did not believe in Socialism as that involved theft from a group or individual and still does.  People believed in caring for one another and would talk to strangers as friends and help them as well.  People were open, honest, dependable, and caring.  Their word was their bond.  The had respect for one another and America prospered as a result.

 

So what were the primary reasons for the change?

Comments

George N Romey Added Mar 17, 2017 - 2:56pm
Well our country was not particularly religious until after WW2.  As far as what changed us, technology and the worship of the almighty dollar at any cost.  30 years ago if the Company fired people it was because it was in deep financial trouble.  The CEO often worked for a $1 until the Company returned to profitability.  At the very minimum he/she did not take a bonus.  Today, CEOs fire thousands to supposedly gin up profits and take a killer of a bonus based upon their business acumen (consisting of firing people and buying back stock).
 
Technology has driven us apart because so much communication now is by non personal means.  It's far much easier to send a nasty email then confront someone in person.  It's far much easier to blow someone off when email and voicemail makes you unreachable.  I only expect this trend to get far, far worse not better.
Jeff Jackson Added Mar 17, 2017 - 3:28pm
Paul, the business environment is incredibly toxic. There is no such thing as loyalty and honesty anymore. The idea of retiring from a company is no longer an option. The long-term strategy is the next three months. Nothing matters beyond that. Everyone wants to game the system. No honesty, no religious principles, no loyalty. No business environment that is approaching a fair and honest environment. We lost our values, and we keep losing more because of it. The values were what made us great, and without them, we will not succeed. "America is great because America she is good, and shoul
Jeff Jackson Added Mar 17, 2017 - 3:29pm
should she ever cease to be good, she shall cease to be great."
George N Romey Added Mar 17, 2017 - 3:41pm
I second Jeff's comments on the business world.  Not only that lying is just accepted as standard operating motive.  Your word no longer means squat because you can simply avoid people after you have given them the shaft.   One day soon this way of doing business will doom capitalism.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Mar 17, 2017 - 5:01pm
Wroge question. It's not what changed the US, but the Western World.
 
Answer: Cartels, criminal world-spanning gangs and money. People who will never agree that they also have to die one day and will turn to dust.
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Mar 17, 2017 - 5:02pm
Wrong, sorry, not wroge. I sit in dim light here.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Mar 17, 2017 - 9:23pm
I submit that DUHmerica never was the way the author describes. He describes a mythical DUHmerica inculcated from birth and reinforced by Hollywood. 
Paul Robbins Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:35pm
More on this tomorrow.  
Bill H. Added Mar 17, 2017 - 10:53pm
 
I totally agree with George and Jeff.
Corporations only care about themselves and could care less for the good of the country, their workers, or all of the other businesses in their area that rely on them to pay their workers well and offer a quality product or service at a reasonable price. It's all about the month-end stockholders report now, while the big boys sit upstairs on Mahogany Row and figure out what other departments they can offshore in the coming months, along with coming up with "talking points" to make excuses to their customers for their failure to reinvest in their business to improve the quality of the product or service (or to possibly pay their loyal employees a living wage?).
By the way, "Talking Points" is just a fancy phrase for lies.
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:01am
Sorry guys but corporations are actually a pretty small player in the employment world, small business always was and still is the largest employer of American workers, I know you guys hate corporations but they are not the source of all evil in the world as you try to make it, lol.
 
 
Yes America was a pretty caring place, and while religion was not flashy and in so obvious it played a big part of binding America together, notice all those references to God in all our founding documents?  But it was not just faith, it was an idea of family and community and working together for a common goal.  People knew the names of all their neighbors, where they worked and most of their family, today the average person can't name those they live near and know nothing about them.
 
The family unit has been broken, the community unit has been broken.  more than 50% of all children will not grow up with their father in the home in America.  We have the illusion of community with social media without the reality.
 
Go on your facebook page and look at your list of friends and figure out what percentage of them you have either sat at their table for a meal or had them at your table for a meal in the last 6 months. 
 
 
The answer to your question is selfishness.  People no longer care about each other, we want ours and to hell with everyone else.  Some people try to point to corporations but how are they any different?  My greed is good but the other guys greed is evil?  There is no empathy or compassion for each other anymore, and we make excuses for our own lack by pointing out the lack in someone else or some evil corporation as if that justifies it.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:29am
 
Louis- Corporations actually play a huge part in how the American machine operates.
Corporations rely on small businesses, and small businesses rely on corporations in almost all cases. This includes materials, produce, subassemblies, temporary staffing, and the list goes on.
Any negative acts as I pointed out above certainly affect small businesses in many ways. If corporations could realize the "big picture" and the role they play in the balance of both the economy and the attitude of Americans as a whole, they might consider becoming good citizens again. Maybe, just maybe, people would once again have a good outlook and take pride in their lives and all that they do.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 7:26am
Small business often has to compete with bigger and bigger corporations. So when Wal Mart lowers prices the independent or local chain is forced to do to compete.  A lot of the loss of morality goes to size. Anything big-corporations, government, charities tends to get corrupted.  Small business must parrot the practices of big business to stay alive.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2017 - 7:54am
What changed us ? the world changed for one thing, it became more competitive.
 
Jeff, the idea of retiring from a company is no longer an option.   This was only ever an option for a very small percentage of the population, and only in a few countries, mostly the USA.  Louis is correct, most people work for small businesses, and small businesses never had retirement plans.  Yes GM and Ford did, and still do ( not as good as before ), but most people didnt work for them.
 
Competition is forcing the US to become more like the rest of the world, instead of the rest of the world becoming like the US of the 1960s.  Its normal, uncomfortable and natural.
 
Louis is correct, corporations are made up of people, people decide how a company acts, and if the people are greedy then the corporation will be.  There are some companies that are not greedy, and that  is largely because their leadership causes them to behave more generously.  Companies dont have feelings, intent, behavior, people do.
 
I submit people are greedy, because competition is more intense, and so it is more difficult to become and stay rich.  People's goals have not adjusted to reality.
 
It is not difficult to be generous when life is easy.  However, for most of the world's population, and most of the world's history, life was never easy.  We keep hearing this same refrain, because for a brief period of time in the US, life was easy.  Policy, or intelligence didnt make the US rich in the 1950s and 60s.  That was an accident of history and the result of war and the uneven industrialization of the world.  Some of you guys dont want to believe this, but it is true.  Before WWII, things were largely the same as now, which is why people rioted to form unions.
 
You cant turn back the clock.  You cant shut down the factories of Korea, China, Brasil, India, so that the US can once again produce 35% of the world's GDP with 5% of the population.  You  guys underestimate how rich that made the US, compared to the rest of the world, and how that made the society you wish we still had.  Better learn to live in the world as it exists, because it is not going to go back to how it was, it never does.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 11:16am
If we have become like India or Brasil then our society will become just like them. There will be violence, higher crime, social unrest and those with money will be under constant threat.  If you are rich and you drive through the streets of San Paulo you damn well should be in a bullet resistant vehicle.  The US will become just as animalistic as poor nations.  Eventually like other Mickey Mouse countries (which if you have observed the latest political going ons we have already become) there will be chaos and revolution in the streets.  Goodbye US, Hello Venezuela.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2017 - 11:57am
We were, and still could be the innovators. In order to do so, we would need to return to learning stimulation in the early and mid school years rather than simple memorization to pass tests. The best examples of this were shop classes that were available during the Junior High (middle school) and High School years. I was able to take electronics shop, wood shop, and metal shop classes for 6 years, along with having the chance to take a one hour science class twice a week after normal school hours in the 6th grade. These type of classes keep students minds stimulated, present the "big picture", and in many cases, formulate a basis for a future career.
Importing brains to innovate and offshoring the production, design, support, and distribution of products will only dig our hole deeper. The ONLY benefit of this practice is rich and happy CEOs. In many cases, competing innovation is stifled by certain corporations in order to retain profit levels that may be lost by new technologies.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 12:11pm
Have you been around most millennials?  Though not their fault per se they have zero ability to think and reason.  They have been taught that all answers can be found in a spreadsheet, software package or Google search?  Logic and critical thinking are out, the ability to slam out dozens of Excel spreadsheets during the day is in.
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2017 - 12:16pm
Exactly George!
And this has been going on long enough that those who are unable to see the big picture are moving to the top levels of corporations and making the decisions that will decide the fate of the company and the employees.
Spreadsheet mentality. It's only the numbers and nothing else! 
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2017 - 12:28pm
I get the impression that you guys think the prosperity of the 1960s existed because the politicians and corporations did something right, and some how we have stopped doing those things.  That is nonsense.  The politicians and corporations were always in it for themselves, the rich always ran the game.  We were just  SO rich compared to the rest of the world, that even people of modest means were big winners. 
 
The prosperity was an accident, and we were just dealt some lucky hands.  Its like winning on black four times in a row at roulette, that doesnt make you smart, and it doesnt mean black will always win. 
 
In the 1960s we produced 35% of world GDP with 5% of the population, now we are at about 23%.   My question is what % of world GDP do you think is appropriate ?  For a large country, we are still the most productive.
 
We are not so much less well off as we are less well off compared to the rest of the world.  Our poor live massively better than the poor of India, and Brasil, I have been both places.  Its just not as easy to afford a 2000 sqr foot house, and two cars, as it used to be.  Well that is rich, by world standards, we just dont realize that.
 
 
Stone-Eater Friedli Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:06pm
George
 
I don't understand what you mean. Do you have a PPT for me which explains it ? LOL
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:12pm
Bill the life of a 2,000 square foot home with two cars parked in the attached garage is becoming a fantasy from the past.  Recently on CNBC the CEO of Accenture, a company that provides cell phone insurance was talking gleefully about surging revenues.  Why?  Because more and more Americans had less than $400 in savings and could not afford to replace their mobile device if lost, stolen or damaged.  However, the $4.99 a month insurance they could handle.
 
Get out of the major city centers and burbs and you see a changing America.
 
Also, we prospered in the 50s and 60s because policy and corporate attitudes (along with higher union membership) allowed for such.  Now to be quite honest much of that was tied to the Cold War PR campaign more than the goodness of heart or ability to see a bigger picture. 
Bill H. Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:21pm
 
Bill - I believe we are simply residing within a "dumbed-down" society that no longer sees the big picture of the reality of life. I began to witness this beginning around the mid '80s. It has directly correlated with the reliance on technology. Technology is great when used to help humans make better decisions, but is bad when we allow it to make our decisions for us.
As I have stated many times before, our own technology has run us over. As George stated, decisions are now made simply by computer results and numbers. The era of the "street-smart" CEO or manager is gone. There was a day when a company operated for long term positive results, which included some sacrifices like paying a decent wage, allowing employees adequate time off without intimidation, treating employees as valuable members of the organization, reinvesting in the operation to keep the product or service quality at the apex, etc.
Those days are gone. The rewards now only go to those who produce "the best numbers".
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 1:27pm
Also the MSM will not report the true state of the economy because they would rather focus on what outrageous thing Trump said, did or tweeted.  My brother lives in a gated community in Palm Beach county, FL.  Half of the homes in his "upscale community" are either in foreclosure or abandoned.  Of course the networks or cable will never report on this.
 
Bill, the CEO used to be a career man with the Company that busted his ass to get where he is. Today its an Ivy League professional CEO that is there for the short term.  If he/she screws up royally that is what a huge severance package is for. They know that within 5 years they will be moving on so its all about the quarterly EPS and stock price.  Why do you think we have seen billions of borrowed money not for research or expansion but for stock buybacks. 
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2017 - 2:03pm
You dont answer my questions, you just keep repeating that "something is wrong, things are different".   Well things are always different, technology changes things, and the world becomes more integrated.  You keep saying people and corporations are greedy and play by rigged rules, they always did !
 
I agree with all your observations, however you guys are observing the symptoms, and saying they are the cause.   The problem is not that the rich are running things, and they didnt before, or that the CEOs are chasing the dollar and they didnt before.  The problem is that it got tougher for the  rich, which made it WAY tougher for the middle class, especially since the middle class in the USA insists on living like the rich by world standards.
 
George, the CEO used to be a career man, for the same reason that the middle class prospered, our companies kicked butt with little competition.  There was no reason for the CEO to move.   Now there is a lot of competition, so the people at the top have to scramble to get and stay rich. The world is more fluid, and the one thing that isnt going to happen, is the rich and powerful are not going to suffer without a fight.  They dont give a shit about you and Bill H, or me.  More importantly, they never did !
 
You seem to think that the middle class in the USA should be able to live in 2-3000 sqr foot houses, and own two cars.  Even the rich in most countries dont live this way.  We have BY FAR the largest percentage of single family homes in the US, this was started in the 1950s when we were crazy rich by world standards.  Travel around, how many suburbs do you see with SFH in other countries ? they dont exist. 
 
In sports or gambling it is called reverting to the mean.  You can go on a winning streak or hot streak for a while, and then reality catches up.   That doesnt mean you are no longer any good, it just means that streak you were on, shouldnt have been the expected normal.
 
Yes there are things wrong with how the economy works, and how the country works.  There always were problems.   What you wont admit, is that the prosperity of the 1950-60s was an accident.  No one planned it.  The things that went right were not be design, and they were unsustainable.  We are no smarter and no dumber than we were in the 1960s, the politicians were not better then, than now, we just were more wealthy, relative to the rest of the world.  That covered over a lot of problems.
 
 
 
 
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 2:26pm
Bill the 1950s and 1960s were the result of a mix of things.  First was the rise of unions during the 1930s.  Of course union membership and influence has plummet since then.  Second, was the Cold War PR game.  We were trying to convince the world we had the greatest standard of living known to mankind.  Having jobs shipped overseas wouldn't have won the PR war.  Third, were such programs as the GI bill. My father went to college on the GI bill after he served in WW2. He ultimately was able to get a very good job.  From a family of 13 he would have never gone to college on his own.
 
Also, the rich paid more taxes leading to better public education (albeit our problems with public education are far more complex than just money). 
 
Finally, we had the benefit of until the late 1960s of the only fully industrialized nation.  There was no foreign competition.  Technology and changes in government priorities in Asia suddenly meant companies could produce in low wage countries and not have to contend with labor laws or environmental regulations.
 
Bill I have traveled the world extensively and the rich live like the rich everywhere.  Whether its Leblon Rio, Miami Beach, Orange County. Central London, Phuket Thailand or Buenos Aires Argentina.  The big difference is that in the US we like to talk about the plight of the poor while in most countries its accepted as a natural fact of life.  Ask someone living in an Ocean side apartment in Ipanema about those living in the shanties in the fevelas on top of the mountain and you get a shrug of so what.  In Thailand its assumed that young boys and girls in the cities will go into prostitution.  Here we think it a moral sin.
 
There is more evidence than you could shake a money shaker at that the rich keep getting richer.  Of course its by design and its also a natural part of human nature.  What we experienced in the 50s, 60s and 70s is gone at least until a revolution.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 2:52pm
People will act in their own self economic interest (or family interest).  What curtails their ability to do so are laws, regulations, policy and societal pressures.  Even at that people find every means under the sun to skirt or flout laws and regulations.  I'm sure people like Bernie Madoff had a twisted logic of why he ripped off investors, some of which should have known it was a croc.  Wall Street executives that knew better found all kinds of ways to justify not just the crap mortgages but the billions of side betting, which was the real cause of the meltdown (not the mortgages in themselves as too many conservatives want to claim).  Nothing in the economy is "by accident."  Its like saying a tiger mauled and eat the man that got too close because the tiger was bored and wanted a thrill for the day.
Dino Manalis Added Mar 18, 2017 - 3:04pm
Chronic economic stagnation and a lack of peace and stability in the world have depressed and angered us!  We need to come together, but I'm afraid Trump is exacerbating the disarray.  He needs somebody like Newt Gingrich to manage the White House and stop the disorder.
Lee Webster Added Mar 18, 2017 - 4:18pm
There just might be varying ideas amongst us all as to what the past was like as compared to how the citizens of the USA behave now.  Corporations are people, right?  
 
Our narrow perceptions that are projected upon what is pinpointed as change could miss some true realities.
 
The capacity to produce something of value for a free-market by each human-being around each of us is varied, and sometimes severely limited by an assortment of factors such as location, ritual, culture, society, gender, health, age, disabilities, etc.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 18, 2017 - 4:24pm
Finally, we had the benefit of until the late 1960s of the only fully industrialized nation.  There was no foreign competition. 
 
Yes exactly ! with no competition people without high school educations could buy a house, and buy two cars, like no where else in the world.  With no competition there was no need for CEOs to move from job to job, because the company they were in was growing like crazy.   What is the reasonable expectation when competition increases ? standard of living ( relatively ), will go down.  
 
No one ever had the best interest of the middle class in mind.  It was just an accident that the middle class prospered because of a series of the right circumstances.
 
What you experienced in the 60s and 70s isnt coming back, unless someone tears down the  steel mills and other factories of Korea, China, Brasil, Taiwan and others.  The factories that didnt exist in the 1950s.
 
No revolution is going to reverse that.  How will a revolution remove the competition ? Who do you think will run the country after the revolution ? the farmers and mechanics, no, it will be whomever is remaining that is still rich and powerful.  So we may reshuffle the cards a bit, the rich will still run the place. 
 
 
I agree with you about the poor, which is why we wont have flavelas and why we wont go the way of India.
 
However, no government is going to "fix" the US economy because the government has always been in the pocket of the rich, one hundred years ago, fifty years ago, and now. 
 
Dino, we have more peace now, than we did during most of the 20th century, and during most of the previous centuries.
 
 
 
 
 
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 4:38pm
Bill nothing happens by 100% accident in any economy. Some of it is change in culture.   I have to laugh at times.  I like watching game shows from the 60s and 70s.  Back then a contestant that was a delivery man from Oxnard or a secretary from Encino was just an ordinary person.  By the 1990s that person would have been considered a "loser".  Why didn't you go to college and get a really good job?  Don't you want more out of life?  Don't you want more for your family?, etc.
 
In truth much of the change in corporations reflects changes in our values.  By the 1980s rich but good hearted Jed Clampett and Granny were out, cold hearted and money loving Blake Carrington and Alexis Colby were in.
 
Finally to a certain extent we are a victim of our own success. During the magical years we had great social mobility.  My parents, particularly my mother were perfect examples.  My mother lived a life my grandmother could have never dreamed of.  Suddenly there are too many college grads and not enough jobs.  That is why the whole liberal idea that a college degree is the answer to rising inequality is crap.
 
 
John Minehan Added Mar 18, 2017 - 5:34pm
I agree with  Bill Kamps.
 
One interesting side bar on business ethics:
 
"A trustee is held to something stricter than the morals of the market place. Not honesty alone, but the punctilio of an honor the most sensitive, is then the standard of behavior… the level of conduct for fiduciaries [has] been kept at a level higher than that trodden by the crowd."  Meinhard v. Salmon, 164 N.E. 545 (1928) (Cardozo, J.)
 
So predatory business values are nothing new and objections to them are nothing new.
 
If you agree with Tyler Cowan, favelas might be very likely  . . . and not totally bad. 
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 5:54pm
I don't think any of us know for sure what is coming.  We are in unchartered territory, just like at our President and what is going on politically.  Do you think anyone in 1992 would have imagined someone like Trump as President, and our President accusing his predecessor of crimes with no proof? While we devolve into a nation of favelas and destitution?  Maybe.  For sure an impoverished US would destroy the world economy and we saw 80 years ago what that led to. 
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 6:08pm
I'm not sure how old Bill is but I'm old enough to remember as a kid older adults that were young adults during the Depression.   Even those like my father that were financially successful and were lucky enough to have a father that was employed in the 1930s had a fear about them.  My father never, ever felt financially secure and this was a man that walked around with no less than $500 in his wallet at all times.
 
Senior managers (like my father) were of the Great Generation, they grew up in the Depression to be dumped into WW2.  They had a survivor mentality.  To simply fire workers to beef up profits was unthinkable.  Of course the Baby Boomers and Generation X had no such memories so they look at their fellow man in a different light.  Sending 10,000 workers into financial hell is more than acceptable if it might beef up a quarterly EPS.
George N Romey Added Mar 18, 2017 - 6:49pm
In the 60s and 70s a lot of American ugliness came out in the open.  We went from Ward Clever to Archie Bunker, the latter was much more prevalent in the 1950s its just that Hollywood pretended not so.
Paul Robbins Added Mar 20, 2017 - 2:03pm
There are many areas that contributed to the decay in the US...
1. Our govt split us into factions.  
2. Government passed many laws which were not needed in a free Republic and brought more government and less freedom with many laws passed
3. Education by the Government
4. Hollywood and its immorality and instability it creates
5. Greed and Corruption, failing to see that we were created, not evolved.
6.  Stability in families by passing laws favoring  an increase of welfare for single parent families....
7. Taking jobs overseas led to many families not having a adequate wages to support a family.  So welfare became law.
These are some general areas of concern and still are today. 
I will comment as I have time.  I am very busy right now..but I very much appreciate all comments received.
Patrick Writes Added Mar 22, 2017 - 8:14pm
From the founding of the country until WWII, the U.S. basked in the stability the British Empire provided the world order. After WWII, the U.S. was the one having to provide and pay for world security. 
 
And on the domestic side, a new 'screw everybody' generation grew up and took power--by the 1980's were fully entrenched in power across society. 
 
But the tail end of the GI Generation was almost indistinguishable from Baby Boomers. The sexual revolution of the 1960's and 70's (and many other social changes--some good, some bad) all got the nod from the GI Generation who was in power at the time. Drugs use went virtually mainstream in the time. The celebration of beatnick and hippie lifestyles which are all destructive, pushing boundaries simply for the sake of it, redefining what culture should be about--for the worse. 
 
And by the 80's, they were in power. Their destructive attitudes went mainstream in government, academia, business, markets, everywhere. 
Patrick Writes Added Mar 22, 2017 - 8:24pm
I'd argue terms like "Socialism" aren't helpful. They conjure up the bogeyman of the Cold War which never fully existed. 
 
The U.S. became socialistic in the 1930's in so many ways. Putting the top tax rate over 70% by the end of the decade (which would drift even higher in the 1940's...over 90% by the end of that decade). 
 
Social Security is a socialistic program.
 
Medicare in 1965 socialized a significant amount of the medical industry (seniors...who use probably half the medical care). That's arguably a cause for the astronomical rise in costs because the government for 50 years has paid whatever the medical industry wanted to charge for procedures with little to no downward pressure on costs (and seniors, logically, are going to get every test, X-ray, procedure, drug they want since someone else is paying for it). This causes in inflation over time. The student loans / higher education effect.
 
Country's with a single payer system like the U.K. combat this by price fixing. The U.S. doesn't so (I'd argue) price inflation continues over time. 
Louis E Weeks Added Mar 22, 2017 - 9:37pm
Bill Kamps,
 
You are making excellent and valid points, they have just made up their minds that Corporations control everything and will never allow any other idea to get into their heads.
 
The best point you made that they dodged is how America was severely out producing other countries, yes we have uneducated and unskilled workers going into factories and earning a middle class lifestyle because we were producing so much stuff and exporting it all over the world.  Most of the decline we have seen in the middle class was when uneducated and unskilled labor became a global commodity.  We have to remember that as we lost 1 high paying factory job, we lost about 5 other workers who all supported and depended on in one way or another that first worker.  
 
You are also correct when you say nothing has changed in the corporate world and no small business does not need large business, we can do just fine without the monster corporations, but it is Government meddling that gave these corporations an unfair power in the marketplace.  Government makes complicated and convoluted rules to follow and only the monster corporations with teams of on staff lawyers can easily sort it all out and even take advantage of it while the little guy is stuck bogged down by those endless regulations and laws and rules.
 
 
 
 
George N Romey Added Mar 23, 2017 - 10:17am
We have large corporations because government relaxed anti trust laws.  Now with large corporations we have big business as the two go hand in hand. The small business gets crushed and large business begins to see the worker as a cost to contain.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 23, 2017 - 6:56pm
No one can say that we were not happier in the 60's and 70's than we are now. The music tells the story. Music was optimistic and upbeat during the first part of the 70's then heavy metal came in, nihilistic in nature. Black Sabbath, "War Pigs", true. War is only a symptom.
  In a fundamental sense broad questions like this demand that we consider things in the context of both fact and right.
  We have been sovietized, led to believe that we are fundamentally no different than a fence or a chair. A fence or a chair can be discarded or destroyed when no longer needed. Western society is terrible, oppressive, oppressive to its own citizens as well as those abroad. God is dead and society is bad. This created nihilists out of the people that had been sovietized.
  The sovietization has been a gradual process, science is partly responsible, but people don't tend to be scientists and generally use poor to ridiculous judgement when it comes to science. People were taught the version of religion as commonly taught to six year olds while given extensive education in science. Their faith was transferred from ideas of consciousness and God and Right to there being only a material world. Suddenly slavery becomes acceptable, pornography, scamming, etc became more acceptable. Westerners bought many of their goods from slave labour and this is true now more than it was back then. Today we know how our shoes and cell phones are made - mostly political prisoners and children.
  We allowed it happen and lost our own industry.
  Sovietization created a materialistic society and we are only able to think in materialistic or scientific terms. When people talk about what is wrong they talk in a de-facto sense, not a de-jure sense, not a question of right but a question of fact.
  Thinking in terms of right will bring the doctrines back that permitted a society to acknowledge both questions, and preserve itself simply by preserving hope. In the final analysis, we only really have hope. Without it there is nothing.
  Christian doctrines that preserved the Western way of life were for adults, people like judges who were Christian and understood the dangers of eating from the tree of knowledge and the importance of the Trinity. Back in the very late 1800's it was decided by the courts that a jury was no longer required to know it full purpose, that is to be the conscience of the court rather than judge by law. It was no longer required to evaluate the question of right. Facts become statutes and the attorney's and judges eat from this tree of knowledge. It is a result of nihilism, (degeneracy)
  People like Richard Dawkins who looked real smart and took apart the version of religion meant for 6 year olds and discredited Christianity along with these questions of right.
  So who or what was behind this. Certainly science is partly to blame, scientists were wise enough to know the limits of science so were most people. You could only really get people to think they had ancestors that were monkeys with 10 or 20 years of TV and public education brainwashing.
  We have been in debt to Jews since 1913, bankrupt to them since 1933. Their religion is based on materialism and their own supremacy. They have been agents behind Hollywood, controlled the Christian churches (Christian Zionism being proof of that), created the Porn industry (90% + are Jews), given us Jewish money creating massive phoney debt, collectivization*, egalitarianism*, and multiculturalism* (*Communism), and generally have done what they have always done to societies and its why they have been kicked out of so many throughout history.
  To change things we have to stop being fearful of looking at truth, recognize that political correctness is just bullshit to hide truths and continue to speak out as knowledge spreads. Once enough of us know there will be enough of us that can do something. A politicians hands are still tied by public opinion.
  Our sovietization led to the use of slavery which ruined our ability to create wealth. But more importantly, it created a society with no ethic, and no hope.
 
 
 
 
Doug Plumb Added Mar 23, 2017 - 7:02pm
Reason needs faith to balance itself. Without faith reason becomes inverted and then so do laws. It is Lucifer's world.
George N Romey Added Mar 23, 2017 - 8:14pm
Human beings have become commodities.  Companies dispose of them to juice up quarterly earnings and share prices.  CEOs make seven figures while most of their employees are part time and low paid.  Our military now consists of the offspring of the poor with no good options other than to fight in rich mans' wars in the Middle East.
Lee Webster Added Mar 28, 2017 - 12:49pm
Consumerism has outpaced productivity and ingenuity.  Take, and take more attitudes.
Paul Robbins Added Mar 29, 2017 - 10:25am
In the 1700s when our country was  being established, the founders and framers, fleeing corruption from Kings and dictators, came to a new country with much knowledge of how they did not want to be ruled, and how they viewed government.
Government was to be instrumental primarily in defense and security of a free people.  Not rule the people.  Consequently the founding documents were based on history and experience and the Constitution was set up as keeping in mind the Laws of God and not the laws of man.  They knew how man inherently is depraved.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 12:07pm
The same thing has been going on for a couple of hundred years now.  Farmers in the field were replaced by mechanized farm equipment, craftsmen were replaced by factories, and now people who work in factories are replaced by robots.  Those same factories that George wishes would  reappear at one time put trades people our of work who made things in their barns and private wood and blacksmith shops.  Change is constant.  Complaining about  change is constant. 
 
Im sure  back in the early 1900s there were people who built carriages complaining about how the auto was putting them out of work. 
 
Family farms gave way to corporate farms, and even though the government tried to subsidize the family  farm, many of them went away any way.  I never understood why the  family  farm got a subsidy  and the jobs I had didnt.
 
Nowhere in our Constitution does it say the government needs to provide jobs for us.  It has always been every man for himself, and it is up to us  to learn to do something useful, or do something clever to make money.  You might make money with your hands, or with your investments but if you expect the world to never change, then you may be in for an unfortunate surprise.
John Minehan Added Mar 29, 2017 - 12:23pm
Interesting take . . . .
George N Romey Added Mar 29, 2017 - 12:43pm
And at the beginning of the 20th century certain Americans began to demand things like safe working conditions, pay for worked performed, elimination of child labor and violence against workers, etc.  TR created the 1-12 public education system that was totally revolutionary at the time, the idea that young people should be given 12 full years of education. The 1930s gave way for more worker reforms.  So maybe we should just give up and say let the corporations rape, pillage and plunder us because that's the "way its always been."
 
Again Bill you do not read what I write.  On numerous occasions I've said those simplistic factory jobs are not coming back, most will be automated (as one of my articles said).  The argument is to come up with a way to keep Americans productive enough to restore and maintain a middle class standard of living.  There was no shortage of people in the early 1900s that said Americans cannot and should not go up the trusts and then industrial machine.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:11pm
Yes I DO read what you write. 
 
Specifically : The argument is to come up with a way to keep Americans productive enough to restore and maintain a middle class standard of living
 
Who exactly do you expect to come up with what you describe ? the government or the corporations ? it is not  their responsibility.  It is your responsibility to know how  to do something that people are willing to pay you for.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:23pm
George you seem to think that some entity intentionally created the middle class, and that entity is now falling down on the job because they are not making changes to maintain the middle class as we knew it.   The middle class happened, because the conditions were right for it, largely by accident, but with some marginal help from the government. 
 
The middle class still exists, but its standard of living is falling back towards the world's level of the middle class, not the USA level of the middle class.  The USA  level of the middle class was like the rich were in most of the industrialized world.  We are the only country where so many people live in single family homes, and own two cars.  This is the life style of the rich in most countries.
 
So I have two issues with what you repeatedly say.  1) no one is going to maintain the conditions for the middle class to again prosper as it did.  2)  the middle class in the USA will live more like the middle class in the rest of the world, because the USA will not be that much more wealthy than other industrialized countries, there is no way to support that. 
 
All industrialized countries will more or less have the same productivity because we largely share the  same technology. Therefore we will have similar standards of living. 
George N Romey Added Mar 29, 2017 - 1:55pm
Bill the middle class wasn't just one big accident.  Was the GI Bill (which gave my father the ability to provide an upper income life for his family) something that happen just because?  Did union's push for overtime pay for over 40 hours a 5 day work week and paid time off come about naturally?  Everything in economics has some portion of the human element.  And by the way, a strong middle class used to be found in Western Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand-all of which have seen trends like the US although not as bad.
John Minehan Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:01pm
Another interesting take . . . .
 
LDS are sort of Asimov's Foundation for the communitarian, but self-reliant, values of the Second Great Awakening . . . .   
John Minehan Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:05pm
"All industrialized countries will more or less have the same productivity because we largely share the  same technology. Therefore we will have similar standards of living."
 
But, broadly, those with the least barriers to innovation win. 
 
So far, for reasons of culture and lack of a now dysfunctional prior model, that looks like Asia and (eventually) Africa.  
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:11pm
As I said, the government contributed at the margin.  The big reason for the incredible wealth of the  middle class in the USA was that we were about the only industrialized country after WWII.  We had a big lead on everyone else.  You think the GI bill was more important, and I disagree.  I think the GI bill contributed and allowed us to exploit that advantage even more.
 
The thing you wont recognize is that the USA middle class was more wealthy than most county's rich.  That is not a sustainable model over time.  Productivity in other countries will catch up, the more it does, the more the middle class converges around the world.  That means our middle class loses because it was so much wealthier than the rest of the world.
 
You can keep saying how government needs to restore the middle class but it isnt going to happen, because no one knows how to do it, even if they were inclined to try.  We will never again produce 35% of world GDP with 5% of the population.  Our per capita GDP is now similar to most other industrialized countries, which is what one would expect over time. That isnt us failing, it is just the world becoming more uniform.
Bill Kamps Added Mar 29, 2017 - 2:34pm
John a true statement, broadly, those with the least barriers to innovation win
 
However, it is most true when productivity is rapidly changing, and right now, worldwide it is not changing as rapidly as it did over the past 60 years. 
 
I am not that familiar with Asia, and parts of it may surpass the US standard of living.  Im sure smaller places like Singapore, it may have already.  Africa has some ways to go to be able to exploit new technology, since they lack so much infrastructure.  Not only basic infrastructure, but sophisticated chip making facilities, and other kinds of factories.  This may happen, but investors will need to get past the unstable governments before it can really catch up.
 
No doubt Africa's growth will exceed the growth in the rest of the world, but having a standard of living where its middle class is more wealthy than Europe's or the US, it is a very  long way from that.
John Minehan Added Mar 29, 2017 - 5:40pm
"Africa has some ways to go to be able to exploit new technology, since they lack so much infrastructure." 
 
In some way, it might be the opposite, based on what I saw when I was stationed in East Africa during the GWOT. 
 
The interesting thing about Africa is that, since it lacks most things, it can really vault to adopt new technological approaches, like it has with satellite-based  cel-phone technology.
 
While I am not one of those Somalia-file libertarians, not least because I understand that the Somaliland portion has an unusually effective government and it skews the development statistics, I think being less reliant on the Westphalian Nation State model might also be a net plus. 
Billy Roper Added Mar 29, 2017 - 8:48pm
Cultural Marxism, i.e, Jews, conquered the U.S. insidiously, over time, but the drastic demographic change we have seen happen in the last generation began in 1965 with the Hart-Celler immigration act.
John G Added Mar 30, 2017 - 2:52am
Capitalism ran its inevitable course. They're eating their own markets through greed.
And the useful idiots like you can't figure it out.
Billy Roper Added Mar 30, 2017 - 7:55am
Oh, so John G. is a Marxist, in addition to being anti-White. Tell me, John G. have you posted on Writer Beat before, using a different name?
Paul Robbins Added Mar 30, 2017 - 8:14am
John G   There is a book called "Freedom and Capitalism"  written by John W. Robbins.  It is a little lengthy but enlightened me regarding what you wrote on March 30.  You will find what I found that all the other isms not capitalism are the root of corruption. But the root of corruption is "some " men.  Marxism, Socialism, and all the other civil governments are ruled either by force or caste systems, and certainly not by the the will of the people under those systems.  
Paul Robbins Added Mar 30, 2017 - 8:28am
I am pasting again the original comment that started this discussion.
 
The US was for a time a mighty powerhouse of freedom, and liberty.  A vast majority of the population came from Christian or Jewish ancestry, from Europe, and wanted to stay free or at least give it a good try.  And above all, worshiped our Creator.  
Most did not believe in Socialism as that involved theft from a group or individual and still does.  People believed in caring for one another and would talk to strangers as friends and help them as well.  People were open, honest, dependable, and caring.  Their word was their bond.  The had respect for one another and America prospered as a result.
 
So what were the primary reasons for the change?
 
And another comment posted was this:
 
In the 1700s when our country was  being established, the founders and framers, fleeing corruption from Kings and dictators, came to a new country with much knowledge of how they did not want to be ruled, and how they viewed government.
Government was to be instrumental primarily in defense and security of a free people.  Not rule the people.  Consequently the founding documents were based on history and experience and the Constitution was set up as keeping in mind the Laws of God and not the laws of man.  They knew how man inherently is depraved.
Doug Plumb Added Mar 30, 2017 - 8:29am
No one can put forth a solution to this problem by examining it in a strictly materialistic sense.
Billy Roper Added Mar 30, 2017 - 8:35am
That's true, because the change has largely been cultural and moral, rather than strictly economic, but at the root of it has been a material change measurable by DNA: the changing demographics of America, where its founding people are now on course to become a minority numerically, and already are culturally and politically.
George N Romey Added Mar 30, 2017 - 10:39am
People want to make what changed the US into a few simple sound bites. In fact its tied to multiple complex factors and one reason lies the path to another reason.  Faster travel and improved technology made globalization much easier to facilitate.  Unions missed how technology was changing the world and continued to challenge employers as they did in the 1930.  Immigration began to take in people with far less work ethic.  The first European immigrants were poor, uneducated, and void of English speaking skills. However, often by the second generation those dynamics had completely changed.  Today's immigrants stay impoverished, poorly educated and without English speaking abilities for multiple generations (I live in Miami so I know this for a fact.) 
 
These are just a few examples of what changed us.
Patrick Writes Added Mar 30, 2017 - 7:53pm
I think the premise of the question is faulty. 
 
Two British colonies began in North America about the same time, in Jamestown which was a strictly commercial venture. And in Plymouth Colony which was religious and commercial. 
 
We like to remember the more pure Plymouth Colony that we draw the Thanksgiving myth from. Within 20 years of the founding, the second generation of this colonies was having wars against the natives and massacred an Indian village of Peaquot women and children at Mystic river (while the native men were all off). 

And the Jamestown colony was always about making money. The southern colonies which came after became slave plantations grew cotton, tobacco, and sugar (modeled after the Caribbean). 
 
And New York was simply stolen from the Dutch (who the English gave Dutch Guiana to in return). Wasn't the entire island of Manhatten set up to be one, giant port with every street ending in a dock? 
 
They don't call the mid 1700's period, the 'Great Awakening' for nothing. Because the colonies weren't exactly models of Christianity leading up to the 1750's presumably. 
 
The colonists got a lot of things right. Freedom of religion was important (England had limited freedom of religion too...for Protestants). Organizing themselves in a democratic manner was important. It seems Christianity was integral in one form or another with being the glue holding society together. 
 
But...we shouldn't get carried away with elevating the early American colonists and founders. They were fallible mortals. Many of them slaveholders. Franklin and Hamilton were womanizers. Jefferson...for better or worse had a commonlaw marriage of sorts with one of his slaves.
 
Mexican-American War was a land grab of the entire Southwest from Mexico. Much of what we remember of the first 200 years is part myth (white-washing of history). 
George N Romey Added Mar 30, 2017 - 8:01pm
I agree Patrick.  The big difference is that up until the ladder part of the 19th century government had little impact on most people and most people had little idea of what was going on.  The period of 1910-1920 and from 1945 until around 1980 was unusual in that government gave at least some attention to those in the middle. 
Lee Webster Added Mar 31, 2017 - 8:52am
What has changed is also that information is too much available about the personal lives of people.  Privacy is losing us too, that the skeleton in the closets stop many geniuses from helping in a leadership positions.
 
I like reading this article and the comments here because it help remind me that memories are snapshots, but are not precise.  Also, it is natural for us all to cherry-pick the facts.  Our emotions sometimes save us from true comprehension of the magnitude of our own subjectivity and the overwhelming innate drive within humans as predators.
 
Historically, and luckily, socialization has helped to develop some civilized behavior among us in pockets of our existence.  But desperation and greed do seem to have an association with very aggressive acts that it seems people like to ignore.  If there are over 7 Billion people on the planet, it is likely that more than half don't have indoor plumbing and don't have easy access to food/water.  That stress environment is the cause for strife and the ability to take advantage of the desperation of people.
George N Romey Added Mar 31, 2017 - 10:28am
Lee, Americans were very insulated from the dire poverty of the world from the late 1940s until the turn of the 21st century.  To us they were nothing more than an occasional report on a network newscast.  By the late 1990s we were competing for jobs and our share of financial security from many of these same people.  Countries like India and China have developed their education systems to the point that we now compete with knowledge workers willing to work at far lower wages.
 
We have also as a nation become obsessed with fame and celebrity.  The notion has developed that anyone can have their 15 minutes of fame.  Its even seeped into the business culture.  I have applied for senior finance role to be told to make an "audition tape" of myself and send it in, like I was trying to get a part on a reality tv show.  Privacy has been compromised. 
 
 
Lee Webster Added Mar 31, 2017 - 3:23pm
George N Romey
Your experiences do seem to foretell that less and less seasoned and experienced people in the job hunt are will be considered.  I just heard today that employers in several States are allowed to reject potential new hires if the person smokes cigarettes.  They do a medical screening to check if people have a tobacco habit.  
 
OK, smoking is bad for your health, but why should a product that is legal to use cause someone to be rejected for a job, especially when in most cases the activity is done during their private lifestyle?
 
Privacy has been eroded severely. 
John G Added Mar 31, 2017 - 4:11pm
Paul Robbins.  I'm not interested in the slightest in either of your religions.
John Minehan Added Mar 31, 2017 - 4:34pm
There was a time when Ayn Rand and Wild Bill Douglas could agree on the importance of privacy to civilization.  Now, you have to ask what meaning "privacy" has in a social media/Reality TV world. 
John G Added Mar 31, 2017 - 7:14pm
America was borne of imperialism and genocide and it has been waging aggressive warfare for most of its history on behalf of its ruling class.
The freedom and liberty stuff is just propaganda.
Lee Webster Added Mar 31, 2017 - 10:15pm
John G,
Isn't aggressive warfare the history worldwide, not just one nation?  There are so many examples of human carnage throughout the history of the world, why single out one country and/or one period of time?  
 
But the question is - "What changed us?"  Some of us took off the rose colored glasses, that is the Information Age in one perspective.  Another perspective is that there is no agreement on what we are all talking about as a change.  We are still human with innate, learned behaviors and faults.  Imperfect.
Paul Robbins Added Apr 1, 2017 - 11:52am
Louis Weeks,
 
You wrote a fine piece of which I agree. 
While the Revolutionary War was won in the sense that the new colonies were free from English tyrants it was far from over.  The tyrants still wanted more. The war of 1812 was fought as a result.
 
Mankind brought together without  common foundations in culture, in Biblical matters, in civil government, and in family government, will generally collapse if the populace does not have some knowledge of history, and fully understand that mankind does not have the solution.  Only the Bible does.  And in education to solidify these foundations, the US has failed.  
George N Romey Added Apr 1, 2017 - 12:36pm
I agree the freedom and liberty has been hype since the turn of the 20th century.  We spent the 19th century killing the Indians and taking over their land and land grabbing from Mexico.  This lead the US to starting looking overseas and hence the Spanish American war in which we expanded our empire beyond our borders.  Today we treat Puerto Rico as a bastard son, not good enough to be a state but treated as an outsider.
 
Also, Paul needs to realize it wasn't until the temperance movement that the US was a particularly religious country.  This change accelerated post WW2 in light of the "godless" commies. Organized Religion while much more vocal in politics has been on a downhill slant since the 1970s.  Smart people have come to see just how corrupt "big religion" is and have become spiritual without the desire to feed the beast of the church.
 
You need a lot more than the bible (most of what is said is nonsense anyway) to guide a complex society towards the greater good.
John Minehan Added Apr 1, 2017 - 2:42pm
I studied US History in College with COL John G. Barrett, who thought that the First Great Awakening was the first uniquely American event.  (The various French and Indian Wars, up to The Seven Years War [1755-63], built out of events in Europe and even the Salem Witch Trials were a reflection of events in Europe like the career of Mathew Hopkins under Cromwell.)
 
I think Americans are religious, but are not particularly church-going or denominational.   
Paul Robbins Added Apr 1, 2017 - 3:38pm
George Romey,
The Bible does not have any sense of "nonsense".  Many have not read or studied the Bible; if they had and understood it most would realize that it is the only Truth available.  God exists. Always has, always will.  Each of us will answer to God.  Many prophecies by Prophets have already been fulfilled.  The list is endless of what has been fulfilled and much more to come.
Lee Webster Added Apr 1, 2017 - 4:51pm
Paul Robbins,
So the change you meant is that this country has become more secular and less patriotic, or just more secular?
Paul Robbins Added Apr 1, 2017 - 7:05pm
Much more secular and much more unpatriotic.  Without a common or similar foundations...Mankind brought together without  common foundations in culture, in Biblical matters, in civil government, and in family government, will generally collapse if the populace does not have some knowledge of history, and fully understand that mankind does not have the solution.  Only the Bible does.  And in education to solidify these foundations, the US has failed.  
John G Added Apr 1, 2017 - 10:21pm
Lee Webster Isn't aggressive warfare the history worldwide,
 
No I don't believe so. A few societies have been war like but it hasn't been the norm in human existence. It does seem like that the way we are taught history.
 
Certainly the British were the most war like little scar on the face of humanity for centuries but the US isn't far behind if not ahead.
 
If we had genuine democracies we'd not fight wars. They only benefit the already rich and the rest of us pay in blood and real resources.
Paul Robbins Added Apr 2, 2017 - 5:06am
To paraphrase Founding Father George Washington, religion and morality are essential pillars to American freedom, and you cannot be a Patriot if you work against either of these.  It is our duty to uphold them. 
In his farewell address Washington unequivocally stated:
Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and citizens
John Minehan Added Apr 2, 2017 - 8:31am
Consider . . . .
Lee Webster Added Apr 2, 2017 - 11:21am
Paul Robbins
Therefore you are supremely confident that those ancient writing are the absolute blueprint for humanity.  So you might also believe that cultures and countries that are at odds with this thinking ought to be made to adhere to this blueprint, as well as everywhere within this country?
Lee Webster Added Apr 2, 2017 - 11:29am
John G
You believe that only a few societies worldwide throughout human history had aggressive tendencies and warfare.  Ok, that is your belief.
 
If there were a majority of societies of peaceful existence, it would seem they have had the fortune of maintaining isolation from groups that are aggressive.  Also, we might not have the same ideas on what aggression is on the worldwide scale among all the individual groups of communities on earth.
George N Romey Added Apr 2, 2017 - 2:10pm
Lee its been religion that has caused the bulk of human violence through the decades. We fight the Muslims, they fight back.  We think that somehow we can bring Western values to the Middle East?  What a joke.  Here we are $6 trillion later and the situation is only worse.  Maybe what another $6 trillion, or how about $12 trillion or $20 trillion?
 
As far as the Bible, its full of jibberish nonsense.  We killed off more than half of Native Americans to try to get them to believe such mumbo jumbo. We see how well Christianity as helped the Indian population so many years later. 
John G Added Apr 2, 2017 - 2:34pm
If there were a majority of societies of peaceful existence, it would seem they have had the fortune of maintaining isolation from groups that are aggressive.
 
Until empires came along. 
 
Patrick Writes Added Apr 3, 2017 - 2:21pm
I see the author's premise was religious in nature. That's fair then (to me). Religiosity of Americans has slowly eroded the entire post War era--you can literally graph it as a downward curve. 
 
But it's hard to write a post and convince secular (non-religious) folks of this. But I agree that the Bible is God's truth. 
 
The native American point is complex. It's fair to raise, but is complex. After the Civil War, with a fully mobilized army, the army / gov't needed a new enemy new to fight. The Native Americans out West turned out to be it. And new ideas in Europe justified what many already thought, that they were not fully evolved humans by 1860's and 1870's. (But this pattern had played out back east already, just ask Andrew Jackson.)
 
The British learned some lessons of this pattern. By the time of the 1830's and colonizing New Zealand, missionaries practically went in first and told the native Maori the message of the Bible. These tribes almost en mass accepted the message, became Christians. And the missionaries encouraged them to sign their Declaration of Independence (Treaty of Waitangi) in 1840 which gave them full rights as British citizens, made the country a part of the British empire--which some say the tribes didn't understand, and welcomed British immigrants and authorities. It didn't go well though. Hostilities broke out within 20 years because buying land from tribal people is hard--who's in charge? if one guy sells you some land but he's not the chief you think it's your land and the tribe says it's not. 
 
And then the familiar pattern began playing out--though not as bad as in Australia or U.S.A. And many Maori rejected the message of Christianity as a result. 
 
New Zealand still considers that treaty their founding document though. The tribes inviting the British in to live side by side in harmony. 
George N Romey Added Apr 3, 2017 - 4:08pm
Patrick I don't equate being religious as a true test for morality.  Just look at the behavior of the Catholic Church.  I do think that much of what Jesus preached has been cast aside for this love of ever and ever higher profits.  Don't get me wrong money is a good thing but as my father used to always say too much of a good thing is not good.  When the need for profit surpasses the financial security of a nation's people as it has in the US a decline in morality will be one of the byproducts.
 
Some think Jesus the true Son of God.   Some think Jesus a charismatic leader that roamed the lands preaching love and goodness but was elevated by hysteria to a deity. Either way, the important take away is to try to follow the lessons of Jesus for everyday living.
Lee Webster Added Apr 3, 2017 - 10:08pm
I’m not sure that this country is more secular now than in the past, but patriotism (National identity of people) does seem to be losing ground. Did this cause Rome to fall in the past? History seems to show that the top implodes when the controlling top group is too far out of balance from the growing numbers of impoverished people.
 
There are examples of people doing wrong in the name of something sacred.
 
I cannot presuppose what you were taught and what of it was comprehended, just as you might not for me.   Imprinting of morals, ethics, propaganda, ritual, culture, misinformation, etc. is varied. It appears that some of the ancient philosophers believed in alchemy as well as several other realms that you might now say are nonsense. I know of people who groan about the immaterial aspects, but then forget that they trust luck, and the rabbit foot, or some habitual tic for attempting to win something.

The veracity of what is socially useful or not might depend on whether you believe (or have faith) the ends justify the means. Some of these various means include the following:
a) consulting a Crystal Ball
b) consulting a Palm Reading
c) consulting Tea Leafs
d) consulting ancient writings because the older they are the more true it is
e) consulting Astrology
f) consulting a book literally as absolutely objective and translated absolutely accurate

The above are believed by some people, and some people do take the time to learn doing the above and devout their lives to the endeavors. We are talking about who gets to ultimately judge among humans as to one person's believing against someone else, and to determine it nonsense or wisdom or useful common-sense.
 
Mike Haluska Added Apr 4, 2017 - 9:57am
Paul - what happened is simple and took generations to grow.  Since FDR, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party has slowly changed the belief system of their constituents that they are all "entitled" to a good paying job, healthcare, retirement, etc.  In other words - they have figured out that they can use the force of government to seize or confiscate whatever they "need" from other people.
 
Most people today believe that whatever problem or need they have, it's the "government's job" to take care of it.  Hence, the rise of the "Nanny State". 
Lee Webster Added Apr 4, 2017 - 11:19am
Mike, the safety net ideas are good   intentions that neglected checks and balances against people scamming the system, plus a misunderstanding upon how much dependance can be caused to inhibit  self reliance. 
 
The secular advancement claims for the demise of the USA might be very wrong because there could be even more people as a percentage that are believing in a higher power concept.  AA members do, scientologists do, and many other new groups that were not around during the revolutionary war period go forward. We still have Mormons, Dutch, Clan encampments. In the past I assume everyone on the plantations were religious to some extent.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 4, 2017 - 12:00pm
Lee - the reason people think we need a government "safety net" is because they have been programmed to believe that the government solves all problems.  You are aware that there was a time in this country when we DIDN'T have a Welfare State and nobody starved to death or was left helpless at the doorstep of a hospital.  Private charity provided a safety net from local sources familiar with local problems.
 
The biggest problem I have with government "safety net" programs is that they employ so many government bureaucrats that you get 20 cents of results for every dollar you put in.  In addition, no distinction is made between "Needy" and "Deserving".  We all "need" things - does that mean we should just be "given" them? 
 
I see absolutely NO justification for a healthy, young man who could physically perform some form of work getting a government check without being required to perform some needed public task in return.
John G Added Apr 4, 2017 - 5:32pm


George N Romey 



Lee its been religion that has caused the bulk of human violence through the decades.
 
In fact it has been capitalism and its imperialist tendency. The wars in the middle east have little to do with religion. It is the US empire waging war for resources and control. For the benefit of the already very wealthy.
The whole anti-muslim thing is just the PR cover for the ignorant masses to swallow.
The west has been bombing and raping the muslim world for a century. It is remarkable how little 'blow back' there has been.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 4, 2017 - 5:54pm
Re "You need a lot more than the bible (most of what is said is nonsense anyway) to guide a complex society towards the greater good.  "
 
It is the only thing that can but no one is giving the adult version of Christianity. The Christianity meant for six year olds probably does sound ridiculous, but the adult meaning of the Bible was explained well by Immanual Kant. Also Jordan Peterson is doing a series on this in May that I am waiting for. The bible is a very deep and good book, once understood.
  Kant argues that you cannot make laws without the book. He is a (very) highly regarded philosopher in jurisprudence.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 4, 2017 - 5:59pm
Funny Money has been the cause of all conflict in history since the Jews took over money printing for the world.
Doug Plumb Added Apr 4, 2017 - 6:04pm
re "Native Americans to try to get them to believe such mumbo jumbo. We see how well Christianity as helped the Indian population so many years later."
 
I think fear and greed were responsible for this, men folly, not Christianity. It usually turns out that the you-know-who is responsible for atrocities, but I don't know about this case.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 5, 2017 - 7:54am
JayZUZ! JayZUZ is the answer! You got to get right with JayZUZ! All you sinners be destroying the greatest bestest powerfullest most wonderfulest country in the whole big wide world ever ever ever! JayZUZ! Get right with JayZUZ!!!!!  BLAH Blah blah. 
Lee Webster Added Apr 5, 2017 - 11:37am
Back to the premise - The changes spoken about are not all that new, it is just humans acting and behaving human.  We are social beings with built-in instinctual beliefs that have helped us survive within a balance of chaos & order.  Deep down there are authority seekers within some, while others seek to be the authority.
Patrick Writes Added Apr 5, 2017 - 8:29pm
The author's premise, while it seems (to me) to be generally close to target, the irony is that the GI Generation, the 'Greatest Generation' wasn't the most religious bunch too. 
 
My grandparents in that generation, 3 of the 4 didn't attend church for a significant chunk of their adult lives. (My grandmother, it seems, only started to because it was seen as the socially acceptable thing to do in the early 60's. For the 20 years previous to that, she had no interest and my grandfather took my dad and his siblings to Catholic church alone.
 
And even he, my grandpa, on that side was only a nominally religious man, never prayed, read the bible, spoke of God--except saying grace before meals. )
 
My other set of grandparents didn't go to church at all. Only as a old lady did my grandmother start going once she moved to live closer to my mom, my parents took her with. 
 
I think the 'socially acceptable thing to do' played a big role in those GI Generation folks that went to church as well. That, and the Cold War, godless Communists and the 'free world' with freedom of religion. 
Patrick Writes Added Apr 5, 2017 - 8:32pm
I think the church of today potentially has a great opportunity that it's not necessarily the 'socially acceptable thing to do' anymore. So those people who are just going through the motions and don't even want to be there (and may not even really be Christians) are out of the way now. Possibly a weird perspective though...
John Minehan Added Apr 6, 2017 - 9:51am
Thismighty be of interest.
Lee Webster Added Apr 6, 2017 - 9:59am
Patrick, Your perspective is similar to the one I previously had of the past.  The "going through the motions" issue is very difficult to really know about relative to the past versus the present day observers of the various faith institutions.  There are too many variables to know about.
 
What drew me to read this post is that it attempts to identify a set of cultural shifts that are potentially harmful to a way of life as we 'know' it generally.  But the problem is that our vision (as a nation) of the past and present is clouded.  There was a Wild West of no laws, and loose law & order.  There were the burlesques,  roaring 20s followed by a melt-down, wall-street crash & depression.  There were speak-easies & bootlegger mobs, etc.  There were clans, klan, & cults of various types then and now.
 
Based on all the various comments here, it is still my conclusion that the private lives of people are too exposed, some of which is self-inflicted.  The ugly truth about people is too available in the way they act and think privately.  With all of this there is a heightened sensitivity plus hyper law creation, which is a 2-way sword. 
George N Romey Added Apr 6, 2017 - 6:23pm
I believe that the increased knowledge of events leads some people to become depraved.  Most people look at the life of an eight figure trader and are envious but would not do anything morally bankrupt to get that life.  However, some sociopaths and psychopaths will.  In the 1920s life of the rich was much less visible to the ordinary person.  Today its being exhibited everywhere around you.  That more than anything has probably led to the change in human character and behavior.
John Minehan Added Apr 6, 2017 - 6:48pm
 "In the 1920s life of the rich was much less visible to the ordinary person."
 
But it was a big part of pop-culture, like Fitzgerald's early novels and short stories in "slick" magazines or  a lot of silent movies, Clara Bow and Colleen Moore usually played either wild rich girls or shop girls searching for rich husbands. 
Lee Webster Added Apr 7, 2017 - 9:39am
Becoming aware of, and acknowledging the disparities to me is not so much the problem for the weakening of moral foundations.  People do not seem to lack faith in the various institutions and systems or higher power entities due to knowing that some have more power and wealth. 
Patrick Writes Added Apr 10, 2017 - 9:18pm
My point was simply that everyone likes to track the societal changes since WWII and hold up the GI Generation as a bunch of saints and the Baby Boomers as the ones who ruined the country. 
 
Baby Boomers certainly have their deficiencies and have a lot to answer for, you can't simply hang everything that's negative since the 1940's around their neck. 
 
A lot of the GI Generation wasn't religious. Society started changing a lot in the 1960's when the average boomer was the same age as Jerry Mathers on Leave it to Beaver. Lyndon Johnson's legislation was all GI Generations guys passing that. Every other movie pushing the envelope for the sake of it (Wasn't the Hays Code terrible that Hollywood put in the trash can by the mid 60's? Only the greatest movies of all time got made while it was in effect...). 
 
Then Vietnam had to be the stupidest war of all time (or it's right up there). The GI Generation leaders of American society handed most of the Baby Boomer generation over to the Beatnik crowd because of that war.
 
(If faced with the choice of 'Sex, Drugs, and Rock n'Roll' or being drafted and sent off to get shot at and kill others in support of the domino theory, a rational person would probably throw their lot in with the beatniks / hippies. By the mid-60's, the Beatniks had been preaching their values of idleness, doing drugs and whatever else popped into your head. Sounds better than getting killed at a place you probably can't find on a map.)
 
So who "lost" the Baby Boomers??? The GI Generation again. 
 
There isn't any point in blaming generations for stuff, except when popular knowledge is so wrong it needs to be corrected.
 
One could make just as strong an argument that the GI Generation ruined the country as the Baby Boomers did. The rubicon of societal changes, I'd argue, happened on the GI Generation's watch. By the 70's, the logical conclusion of many actions that began in the 40's, 50's, and 60's began coming to fruition. 
George N Romey Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:05am
I don't think man is any immoral, moral or barbaric than before. The difference is first the movies, then television and finally the Internet has brought man's faults out into the open.  Also, over time entertainment mediums have been willing to graphically show what man can do. In the James Cagney movies of the 1930s when a man was shot there was no blood, no gore.  Today you get to witness what a gunshot wound really do.  Maybe that's good in a way, maybe not.
 
Finally, there is more attention drawn to the evils of man.  Child abuse was rarely discussed in the open 50 years ago. 
 
The Baby Boomers were the first generation to do better than their parents and live through good economic times.  Yes there was the Vietnam War but a college deferment could avoid the draft.  I believe the Baby Boomers put us on this unhealthy and unsustainable economic path because as a whole they knew no economic and financial hardship.  Generation X followed in their footsteps and that generation didn't have any military service to be avoided.
Lee Webster Added Apr 11, 2017 - 10:28pm
Yup, the beatniks & hippies might have been a reaction to the ugliness of the draft and war.  There was a lot of mistrust in authority the weld up from counter-culture movements, make-love-not-war, etc.  The heart-land of America was maybe a bit insulated from the upheaval of the riots and marches.
 
However on a lighter note, progress was made on many issues.
Paul Robbins Added Apr 12, 2017 - 7:55am
Lee Webster////
Your comment of Apr 2.. "Therefore you are supremely confident that those ancient writing are the absolute blueprint for humanity.  So you might also believe that cultures and countries that are at odds with this thinking ought to be made to adhere to this blueprint, as well as everywhere within this country?
 
No, other countries can do as they please.  But our country should be the light on the shining hill for all to see our Judeo Christian values at work.  The Bill of Rights, the Federalist Papers, the Constitution, and Gods Word, not necessarily in that order,were the foundations of the US.  This led to respect for one another and led to liberty and freedom by establishing a government of the people, by the people and for the people.  At this time in our history we have moved way off the  foundations,(Mankind brought together without  common foundations in culture, in Biblical matters, in civil government, and in family government, will generally collapse if the populace does not have some knowledge of history, and fully understand that mankind does not have the solution).  Only the Bible(God) does.  And in education to solidify these foundations, the US has failed.   
Lee Webster Added Apr 12, 2017 - 9:30pm
The foundational goal and objectives, I agree were aspirational, which inspired greatness.  Some realities have caused too many to lose faith in sacred institutions and various other established moral authorities due to numerous scandals. There have been so many priests and others exposed at wrongdoing.
 
 There was a time when just about every U.S. citizen seemed to honor the pledge of allegiance, and had reverence.
John G Added Apr 14, 2017 - 4:31am
The Baby Boomers were the first generation to do better than their parents and live through good economic times.  
 
Say what? What a fucked up view of history you must have you pompous git.
Lee Webster Added Apr 15, 2017 - 9:27am
Personal beliefs remain private sometimes, and sometimes not.  There does seem to be a lot of emotions that surround epistemology and ontology.