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Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the US

  1. Optimistic

    10 vote(s)
    38.5%
  2. Pessimistic

    16 vote(s)
    61.5%
  1. Oct 12, 2013 #1

    StatGuy2000

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    Hi everyone. I wanted to pose this question to Physics Forums in general. In general, are you optimistic or pessimistic for the prospects of the US as a nation and society in the next 10-15 years? I've set up a poll asking the same question.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 12, 2013 #2

    Evo

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    Optomistic or pessimistic about what? Will it exist in the next 10-15 years? Yes.
     
  4. Oct 12, 2013 #3

    Astronuc

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    I'm generally optimistic about the future of the US and world, and will do my part to ensure a better future for posteritiy, i.e., my children, their generation, generations to come, and all sorts of folks whom I will never meet.

    I listened to a lecture on 'common good' today, and the speaker described a sense of patriotism which I found rather profound. I will have to find it in my notes. Nevertheless, he mentioned all the good things the nation provides its citizens, as well as the not so good things, much like a family or marital situation. The speaker also mentioned about aspiring to lofty goals.
     
  5. Oct 12, 2013 #4

    lisab

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    I'm optimistic. Granted it's my nature.

    Yes we have plenty of problems and challenges. But when in our history has that not been true? We will be *different* in 20 years, but again, when has that not been true?

    If the whole thing goes off the rails, I believe we will have only ourselves to blame - we're our own worst enemy.
     
  6. Oct 12, 2013 #5

    strangerep

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    I often recall Winston Churchill's quote. Paraphrased, it goes something like: "Americans will eventually make the correct choice -- after all other alternatives have been tried." Clearly, Americans are still working through a lot of stupid choices that still remain in the set of possible answers to the question "what should we do about gun control?".

    As for government, it does seem like the Westminster system of democracy (including mandatory voting) is proving more stable than the American model. The budget deadlock between Congress and President would have been resolved under Westminster by a double dissolution and re-election of both houses of parliament.

    One also wonders how the USA ever got itself into such an untenable mountain of debt. Oh yeah, the wars...
     
  7. Oct 12, 2013 #6

    WannabeNewton

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    Definitely pessimistic: one of the most depressing parts of US History class was learning about the amazing origins and brilliant foundational aspects of this country only to come to the joke it is now (aside from its military prowess).
     
  8. Oct 12, 2013 #7

    Student100

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    I always wonder why gun conrol is such a hot issue; considering, the total death rate attributed to guns is much smaller than many other causes of death. Further, I always believed in "If you take the guns away from the cops, I'd gladdly give you mine." :)

    That's not to trivialize any preventable death, and guns certainly have their fair share. However, it's so sensonlized to the point were it's almost silly. We shouldn’t bubble wrap the nation to ensure no one ever dies — to do so would erode basic human freedoms.

    I’m generally optomistic, repersentative forms of government will always have their problems, but it’s better then any min-max strataegy of other types of government. Not to mention, the US debt doesn’t matter, it hasn’t since oil was pegged to the dollar and probably didn't matter before then. We don’t owe any forigen currency debt like Germanys period of hyper inflation after WWII, China leveages their currency against ours to keep the vaule of theirs artifically low. In fact I would argue China is more prone to collapse than the US due to their current real estate bubble.
     
  9. Oct 12, 2013 #8

    Evo

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    Please post the official figures that show which other weapon is used in more homicides and accidental deaths than guns in the US. A gun is a weapon, you cannot compare it to non-weapon deaths, because that would be ridiculous. Are you talking about bows and arrows? Knives? Although I'm not aware of non-military knives made with the purpose to kill humans, same for arrows.

    I just checked.

    So all other forms of homicide combined are only 5,181.

    http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

    I guess that proves that you are wrong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  10. Oct 12, 2013 #9

    Student100

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    You misunderstood where I was going with that. I'm not suggesting firearms aren't the leading cause of homocides in the US (primarly handguns which an assualt weapons ban wouldn’t address), I’m merely stating that compared to the leading causes of death in the US:

    •Heart disease: 597,689
    •Cancer: 574,743
    •Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 138,080
    •Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 129,476
    •Accidents (unintentional injuries): 120,859
    •Alzheimer's disease: 83,494
    •Diabetes: 69,071
    •Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, and nephrosis: 50,476
    •Influenza and Pneumonia: 50,097
    •Intentional self-harm (suicide): 38,364

    It’s a drop in the bucket.

    Spending so much time, energy and money lobbying for gun control in poltics is silly. We should all be arguing for increased NIH/Sciences/Preventive medicine/awareness funding as most americans die from medical conditions that are more often than not preventable or treatable if caught early. The dieases that aren’t deserve increased funding.

    It’s not saying you can’t or shouldn’t do both, but guns are receieving an unportpotional amount of spot light in our legstivlative branch.

    CDC 2010: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr61/nvsr61_04.pdf
     
  11. Oct 12, 2013 #10

    Evo

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    This is absolutely ridiculous and meaningless. What do these deaths have to do with murdering/attacking anyone?

    How much money are taxpayers spending to prevent guns from being legal? Please post the amount.

    Let's take your nonsensical argument to entertainment. How much do people in the US spend annually on entertainment? It's in the billions. Are you saying we should shut down the entertainment industry because the money should go to medical research? People are certainly spending way more time and money on entertainment when they should be investing and promoting medical research, right?

    And no, we are not going off topic to discuss guns. Back to the topic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2013
  12. Oct 13, 2013 #11

    BobG

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    I think that's a relative evaluation. If you compare our future to the past we're most familiar with, our post-WWII country, I'd be pessimistic. Doesn't mean we'll descend into national chaos and poverty - it just means the prospects for the young won't be as promising as it was for their parents or grandparents. It will still be promising; just less promising and there will be more people that never really get out of the starting blocks.

    Actually, being optimistic about the US and being optimistic about the world could be opposing views. I'm pretty optimistic about the future of the world. With a more globalistic economy, more wealth will be spread to a lot of the poorer countries in the world, which also means less wealth will be concentrated only among the current economic powers.

    The world economy may not be a zero sum game, but it's not an infinite game, either. You may be increasing the wealth of all, but the rate one country increases it wealth still has an impact on the rate other countries can increase their wealth.
     
  13. Oct 13, 2013 #12
    first of all ,I am not American but I do want to participate :)

    yes,I am optimistic because Obama won the elections and the guy is doing his best.
    the US had similar crisis in the past and Americans could deal with their problems well. but what makes me afraid is the immigration (illegal immigration) ,people from all over the world want to come and live permanently in the US and this drive me crazy even though the US is not my country !!! because it makes me so sad to see such country going through this.


    anyway,enough said. that's my opinion
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 13, 2013
  14. Oct 13, 2013 #13

    Vanadium 50

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    I recommend everyone interested in this to read Walter Russel Mead's The Once And Future Liberalism. His contention is that the present social model, which he calls the Blue Social Model, is crumbling - a victim of its own success. He argues that we won't solve this by going back to the 50's or the 20's, but that something new will have to evolve in its place.
     
  15. Oct 13, 2013 #14

    Student100

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    Well worth reading, thank you.
     
  16. Oct 14, 2013 #15

    Ryan_m_b

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    I'm optimistic about the world in general but not the west, I think things are going to get worse here before they get better.
     
  17. Oct 14, 2013 #16
    The US government is a natural disaster, the people who blindly believe the TV, I just feel sorry for them. I'm still kind of neutral, because all of it is like a million miles away from my house so I don't really care.
     
  18. Oct 14, 2013 #17
    Pessimistic- that's my nature. Optimists miss out on too many pleasant surprises and get too many unpleasant ones...Plan for the worst and things generally turn out the other way.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Mr.E
     
  19. Oct 14, 2013 #18

    Pythagorean

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    To be fair, lots of the origins are probably romanticized.
     
  20. Oct 14, 2013 #19

    Pythagorean

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    I don't know. Your attitude can alter the set of events you will face, so being a pessimist you may not even allow yourself to get close to the pleasant surprises for fear they will be unpleasant, so the knife cuts both ways.
     
  21. Oct 14, 2013 #20
    The knife cuts both ways, but it is blunter on one edge...
    My point was if we generally imagine the worst case scenario and invert that step by step- it will work out for the better. Its like a game of chess- imagine the moves that would decimate you and counter them before they can happen.
    (sorry about the chess analogy, took it up after a long time and am being decimated...
    Oh, and worst case scenario here- we hijack the thread with my slightly off-topic comments
    so I am going to shut up now...
    :tongue:)
     
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