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News Be optimistic about America

  1. Mar 4, 2013 #1
    There is a new verb in the Japanese language coined after the name "Obama".

    Obamu: v. To proceed optimistically despite challenging obstacles.

    Read more at http://www.japanator.com/japan-love...-his-own-verb-12267.phtml#7CYsvf1bU0zEqU0U.99

    Using Obama's campaign slogan "Yes, we can, Yes, we can" in the face of apparent signs to the contrary has caused the word "obamu" to be coined in Japan. One explanation is that the meaning is contrary to the Japanese word "kobamu" which means to reject or oppose.

    One could hope that the early optimism that has led to Obama's election in 2008 and reelection in 2012 can eventually bear fruit, regardless of the success or failure of the current administration. Whether you are Republican or Democratic, to spread optimism among all Americans in the future of America is seen by me to be an important and necessary step of rebuilding America's greatness. To this end, how can our leaders best promote the feeling of optimism among Americans under the current obstacles now facing us?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2013 #2
    Optimism needs to be founded on something. False hope and nationalistic behavior simply for the sake of feeling happy gets you nowhere.
     
  4. Mar 5, 2013 #3
    I agree. It seems that Obama's lovely (to some) rhetoric is mostly empty, as he's, arguably, a staunch conservative masquerading as a progressive. What his administrations have been primarily engaged in, it seems, is maintaining the conservative status quo.

    It's predicted by some, projecting from current trends, that by the end of the 21st century America will be a largely Spanish speaking, Latino-Hispanic country. So, for Spanish speaking people (especially the descendents of Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal) there seems to be reason to be optimistic about America, because it looks like they're going to be running the US, or at least a majority of its inhabitants, by the turn of the century. On the other hand, for those of Western European-English descent, the prospects are not quite as rosey, as they might quite possibly become a distinct, and oppressed, minority in the next 100 years or so. Projections don't look quite as bad for African Americans as for Western European-English Americans, but it seems that they will also be a minority and subject to the rule of a historically racially biased Latino-Hispanic majority.

    But these are just possibilities based on certain projections from current trends.

    Other projections suggest that the rate of unemployment must, in the long term, increase with continued automatization of many tasks and outsourcing to foreign labor.

    It also seems likely that the big multinational business and financial sectors will continue to be the dominant forces in US politics during this century, more or less ensuring increased economic inequality.

    By 2100 the US will still be a real nice place to live. For some people. But, unlike now, probably not for most people. The US is, regarding some estimates based on some projections, trending toward becoming more like the currently more or less backward Latino-Hispanic countries of the Americas than like the progressive countries of Western Europe.

    So, should we ("we" meaning the common, working people, not the extremely tiny percentage of rich people) be optimistic about the US? I really don't know. But one answer, based on certain projections, is no, we shouldn't be. It seems just as likely, to me, that the world, including the US, will become a much less nice place to live in the next 100 years than it is now, for most of its inhabitants, than that it will become a better place to live, for most of its inhabitants.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  5. Mar 5, 2013 #4
    I am a white American, but I am optimistic about America because I feel that
    1) The American government is by nature resilient and not locked into the status quo; when problems mount, the American people will see to it that the necessary changes are made.
    2) More and more, minorities are being integrated into the American dream and Americans are coming to realized that a better system of education of the masses is both necessary and beneficial to a more productive and free society. American ingenuity and creativity will persevere in a free society to overcome all impediments.
    3) New technology is enabling America to discover and tap the wealth of fossil fuel reserves previously unknown. The combination of both fossil fuels and clean energy will enable America to become energy independent within the next 25 years.
    4) The constitutional constraints on government will prevent America from regressing too far into a third class society.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2013
  6. Mar 5, 2013 #5

    jim hardy

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    Wake up. Obama is no less owned by the finance sector than Hank Paulson et al.

    Asimov wrote about 1950 that a few tens (or hundreds) of millions of well balanced productive people is a better load for this planet than twenty billion starving half-mad wretches.
    There's a population density that supports the industrialization necessary to provide the modern comforts without the overcrowding. Seems we passed that in the first half of the 20th century. I remember when we didn't need freeways.

    Unrestrained growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell.
    I'm not feeling very optimistic.


    To your question:
    for starters,
    Stop devaluing the currency.
    Outlaw lobbying.
    Pillory executive excess.
     
  7. Mar 5, 2013 #6
    What? Optimistic about United States of Soviet America? No way.
     
  8. Mar 5, 2013 #7
    I agree with everything you say with the exception that 1) the world produces more than enough food for everyone; and, if not, the famine, riots and disease would restrain growth as the affected people would be less apt to give birth -- and 2) one can't outlaw lobbying under the 1st amendment. To writ: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. What we are beginning to see is that big business no longer has a monopoly of the press as long as we keep access to the internet free for all.
     
  9. Mar 5, 2013 #8

    HallsofIvy

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    So we have one side complaining that Obama is conservative and the other saying he is a communist? Good!
     
  10. Mar 5, 2013 #9
    He has double standards and separate agenda for separate things, but all over its for worse. Most of all, he is an opportunistic.
     
  11. Mar 5, 2013 #10

    Evo

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    Please post links to back these statements up.
     
  12. Mar 5, 2013 #11

    lisab

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    Applies to everyone, btw. My spidey senses tell me this thread has the potential to go off the rails - please, everyone stay on their best behavior.
     
  13. Mar 5, 2013 #12

    Evo

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    Post the mainstream source where it states this.

    Post the mainstream source that says this.
    This is false. Hispanics will only be part of a predicted majority which includes all minorities.

    http://articles.cnn.com/2008-08-13/us/census.minorities_1_hispanic-population-census-bureau-white-population?_s=PM:US [Broken]

    Post the mainstream sources that validate this.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  14. Mar 5, 2013 #13
    I'm optimistic because even with falling wages our standard of living is very, very high. At the US's minimum wage I am among the 10% richest people on the planet (link) and I consume about twice what the earth can support, per person (link).

    Regression towards the mean feels painful, but we are still far, far above the mean and will likely remain so for the next generation.
     
  15. Mar 5, 2013 #14

    WannabeNewton

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    To be honest this just makes me even more depressed.
     
  16. Mar 7, 2013 #15
    I apologize and should have stated up front that these are my opinions based on my assumptions, estimates, projections, interpretations, etc. The data is in the public domain, and where numbers are involved (such as with opinions regarding demographic projections) the numbers can vary depending on the source.

    Looking at Obama's policies and actions I label him a conservative, not a progressive, and see him as a defender of the current status quo.

    The intent of my statement was to convey my opinion that there's no particular reason to be optimistic about the long term prospects for the common working people of certain ethnic and racial groups in the US, and that depending on one's assumptions, estimates, projections, interpretations, etc. there are reasons to be pessimistic about those prospects for certain groups and in general for all common working people in the US.

    None of this applies to the wealthy who will, I suppose, continue to be as comfortable as the wealthy have always been in any location during any historical time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  17. Mar 7, 2013 #16
    It wasn't a complaint. :smile:
     
  18. Mar 8, 2013 #17
    In the long run, we're all dead. Yet I remain optimistic. My death will be no worse than that of a pessimist, but my life will be better.
     
  19. Mar 12, 2013 #18

    On the other hand isn't "in the long run, we're all dead" the most pessimistic thing anyone could say?



    How about using historical precedence as a foundation? We've seen this kind of pessimism and declinism before, perhaps more recently in the 1980's when everyone assumed Japan was going to become the dominant economic power in the early 21st century. There have even been other such predictions made throughout the 20th century.......and they were all wrong. I think the current sentiment will also find it's way to the dustbin sooner or later.
     
  20. Mar 12, 2013 #19

    BobG

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    Reagan vs Carter? I think it's safe to say Reagan made people feel a lot better about America than Carter did.

    Asian ethnicities are increasing faster than Latino/Hispanic ethnicities right now. Third fastest growing group is evangelicals (not an ethnic group, but still a demographic group just to expand the groups beyond two). I think there's some risks in just projecting a snapshot in time (current growth rates) into the future, based on the assumption that it won't change.

    For one thing, if immigration progresses at a steady number, that number slowly becomes a lower and lower percentage of that group's population. It probably isn't coincidence that the smallest group (Asians) have the highest growth rate, while the largest group (evangelicals) have the lowest growth rate of the three. To maintain a constant growth rate, the number of immigrants each year would have to increase.

    But, yes, I think it's safe to say that by the turn of the century, America will largely be made up of immigrant descendants. Oh, wait, I think that's been true every turn of the century in American history.
     
  21. Mar 12, 2013 #20
    Thanks, my optimistic view is that you are an optimist also. I guess that by asking what our leader can do to increase optimism about America, I am asking which is the more urgent goal: stop devaluing the dollar, bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, improving the system of education in America, stop the increase of crime in our major cities, or other. Once we have defined our goals, then we can talk about the most optimistic course of action.
     
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