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Has America gone "down hill" in the last 50 years or so transforming from a society that used to be producer-oriented to one that is consumer-oriented?

tncdel 2012/09/13 16:13:31
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Ever notice how our nation's focus has become "consumer-oriented," instead of PRODUCER-oriented, as America once was?

To me the word "CONSUME" evokes images of a plague of locusts or gypsy moth caterpillars devastating tree foliage, etc. How can CONSUMING our resources be deemed as a positive?

Has America gone "downhill" due in part to championing CONSUMERISM in our society, rather than being a vibrant nation of producers?
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  • Ville Squiggles The Finn\(>... 2012/09/13 23:38:15
    YES [explain why you think so].
    Ville Squiggles The Finn\(>.<)/
    Well, the people certainly don't seem happy as they once were.
  • PULLLLLLL! 2012/09/13 19:54:46
    YES [explain why you think so].
    PULLLLLLL!
    With the present trend of sending all manufacturing out of country, and importing everything,, we are slowly becomin a SERVER nation... The elite will be served by the common man... Mechanics, waitresses,, just services provided no manufacturing....
  • FeedFwd ~POTL 2012/09/13 17:15:07 (edited)
    YES [explain why you think so].
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    +2
    Yes, we are probably more consumer oriented and yes, we have "gone downhill" in some ways, but I don't think that is an important link. Correlation does not imply causality. The link is the mentality we have as a nation for immediate gratification rather than delayed gratification. We can't wait until we have earned and saved enough to buy what we want, so we borrow. We can't wait to hear the latest news, so we tune in 24/7 to radio, TV, and the Internet. Consumerism is good and it leads entrepreneurs to strive to fulfill our wants and needs. Who knew we "needed" smart phones or cars equipped with back-up cameras, GPS, and video for the kids? Who knew we would buy fresh fruit and veges year around? Who knew we could waste so much time on-line? If we can afford these things, who cares? The problem is that we have certain expectations that many of us cannot afford. Those who cannot are unwilling to sacrifice and do what it takes to earn and save enough to pay for what they want or do without. They simply expect somebody to give it to them. And Uncle Sam has been a real sugar daddy for years, even though he must borrow to give everybody what they want. Even then, most of those who are given stuff continue to complain! :(
  • rocat FeedFwd... 2012/09/13 17:42:29
  • FeedFwd... rocat 2012/09/13 17:49:25
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    +1
    Government stimulus is a fraud. People behaving as self-interested rational actors in a free economy will strive to maximize their welfare. It may mean they want to own a house more than they want to own a new car or not. There will always be charity cases where somebody is incapable of caring for themselves, but in general, we should not be encouraging a dependent lifestyle! The government should limit itself to protecting us from theft, assault, and fraud, rather from the consequences of our own individual and personal choices.
  • tncdel 2012/09/13 16:42:19
    YES [explain why you think so].
    tncdel
    Back in the 1950's the U.S. had no such thing as a "trade deficit" as we have today.





    Total US Imports of Goods and Services

    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion

    1947-Q1
    1947-Q2
    1947-Q3
    1947-Q4
    1948-Q1
    1948-Q2
    1948-Q3
    1948-Q4
    1949-Q1
    1949-Q2
    1949-Q3
    1949-Q4
    1950-Q1
    1950-Q2
    1950-Q3
    1950-Q4
    1951-Q1
    1951-Q2
    1951-Q3
    1951-Q4
    1952-Q1
    1952-Q2
    1952-Q3
    1952-Q4
    1953-Q1
    1953-Q2
    1953-Q3
    1953-Q4
    1954-Q1
    1954-Q2
    1954-Q3
    1954-Q4
    1955-Q1
    1955-Q2
    1955-Q3
    1955-Q4
    1956-Q1
    1956-Q2
    1956-Q3
    1956-Q4
    1957-Q1
    1957-Q2
    1957-Q3
    1957-Q4
    1958-Q1
    1958-Q2
    1958-Q3
    1958-Q4
    1959-Q1
    1959-Q2
    1959-Q3
    1959-Q4
    1960-Q1
    1960-Q2
    1960-Q3
    1960-Q4
    1961-Q1
    1961-Q2
    1961-Q3
    1961-Q4
    1962-Q1
    1962-Q2
    1962-Q3
    1962-Q4
    1963-Q1
    1963-Q2
    1963-Q3
    1963-Q4
    1964-Q1
    1964-Q2
    1964-Q3
    1964-Q4
    1965-Q1
    1965-Q2
    1965-Q3
    1965-Q4
    1966-Q1
    1966-Q2
    1966-Q3
    1966-Q4
    1967-Q1
    1967-Q2
    7.5
    8.2
    7.7
    8.3
    9.6
    10.0
    10.5
    10.1
    9.6
    9.4
    8.9
    9.1
    9.5
    10.2
    13.0
    13.7
    14.9
    15.2
    14.3
    14.0
    15.0
    14.6
    15.3
    16.3
    15.8
    16.4
    16.3
    15.5
    14.8
    16.2
    15.3
    15.5
    16.2
    17.1
    17.4
    18.1
    18.9
    19.0
    19.3
    18.5
    20.1
    20.3
    19.8
    19.6
    19.5
    20.1
    19.7
    20.8
    21.4
    22.5
    22.9
    22.5
    23.3
    23.5
    22.9
    21.7
    21.7
    21.9
    23.3
    23.9
    24.3
    24.9
    25.1
    25.6
    25.2
    25.9
    26.7
    26.8
    27.0
    27.7
    28.4
    29.3
    28.5
    31.7
    32.0
    33.9
    35.0
    36.2
    38.2
    38.8
    39.4
    39.0


    1967-Q3
    ...










































































































































































































































































































































































    Back in the 1950's the U.S. had no such thing as a "trade deficit" as we have today.

    mmj



    Total US Imports of Goods and Services

    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion
    Year /
    Quarter
    $Billion

    1947-Q1
    1947-Q2
    1947-Q3
    1947-Q4
    1948-Q1
    1948-Q2
    1948-Q3
    1948-Q4
    1949-Q1
    1949-Q2
    1949-Q3
    1949-Q4
    1950-Q1
    1950-Q2
    1950-Q3
    1950-Q4
    1951-Q1
    1951-Q2
    1951-Q3
    1951-Q4
    1952-Q1
    1952-Q2
    1952-Q3
    1952-Q4
    1953-Q1
    1953-Q2
    1953-Q3
    1953-Q4
    1954-Q1
    1954-Q2
    1954-Q3
    1954-Q4
    1955-Q1
    1955-Q2
    1955-Q3
    1955-Q4
    1956-Q1
    1956-Q2
    1956-Q3
    1956-Q4
    1957-Q1
    1957-Q2
    1957-Q3
    1957-Q4
    1958-Q1
    1958-Q2
    1958-Q3
    1958-Q4
    1959-Q1
    1959-Q2
    1959-Q3
    1959-Q4
    1960-Q1
    1960-Q2
    1960-Q3
    1960-Q4
    1961-Q1
    1961-Q2
    1961-Q3
    1961-Q4
    1962-Q1
    1962-Q2
    1962-Q3
    1962-Q4
    1963-Q1
    1963-Q2
    1963-Q3
    1963-Q4
    1964-Q1
    1964-Q2
    1964-Q3
    1964-Q4
    1965-Q1
    1965-Q2
    1965-Q3
    1965-Q4
    1966-Q1
    1966-Q2
    1966-Q3
    1966-Q4
    1967-Q1
    1967-Q2
    7.5
    8.2
    7.7
    8.3
    9.6
    10.0
    10.5
    10.1
    9.6
    9.4
    8.9
    9.1
    9.5
    10.2
    13.0
    13.7
    14.9
    15.2
    14.3
    14.0
    15.0
    14.6
    15.3
    16.3
    15.8
    16.4
    16.3
    15.5
    14.8
    16.2
    15.3
    15.5
    16.2
    17.1
    17.4
    18.1
    18.9
    19.0
    19.3
    18.5
    20.1
    20.3
    19.8
    19.6
    19.5
    20.1
    19.7
    20.8
    21.4
    22.5
    22.9
    22.5
    23.3
    23.5
    22.9
    21.7
    21.7
    21.9
    23.3
    23.9
    24.3
    24.9
    25.1
    25.6
    25.2
    25.9
    26.7
    26.8
    27.0
    27.7
    28.4
    29.3
    28.5
    31.7
    32.0
    33.9
    35.0
    36.2
    38.2
    38.8
    39.4
    39.0


    1967-Q3
    1967-Q4
    1968-Q1
    1968-Q2
    1968-Q3
    1968-Q4
    1969-Q1
    1969-Q2
    1969-Q3
    1969-Q4
    1970-Q1
    1970-Q2
    1970-Q3
    1970-Q4
    1971-Q1
    1971-Q2
    1971-Q3
    1971-Q4
    1972-Q1
    1972-Q2
    1972-Q3
    1972-Q4
    1973-Q1
    1973-Q2
    1973-Q3
    1973-Q4
    1974-Q1
    1974-Q2
    1974-Q3
    1974-Q4
    1975-Q1
    1975-Q2
    1975-Q3
    1975-Q4
    1976-Q1
    1976-Q2
    1976-Q3
    1976-Q4
    1977-Q1
    1977-Q2
    1977-Q3
    1977-Q4
    1978-Q1
    1978-Q2
    1978-Q3
    1978-Q4
    1979-Q1
    1979-Q2
    1979-Q3
    1979-Q4
    1980-Q1
    1980-Q2
    1980-Q3
    1980-Q4
    1981-Q1
    1981-Q2
    1981-Q3
    1981-Q4
    1982-Q1
    1982-Q2
    1982-Q3
    1982-Q4
    1983-Q1
    1983-Q2
    1983-Q3
    1983-Q4
    1984-Q1
    1984-Q2
    1984-Q3
    1984-Q4
    1985-Q1
    1985-Q2
    1985-Q3
    1985-Q4
    1986-Q1
    1986-Q2
    1986-Q3
    1986-Q4
    1987-Q1
    1987-Q2
    1987-Q3
    1987-Q4
    39.5
    41.7
    44.4
    45.4
    48.2
    48.2
    43.8
    52.7
    52.4
    53.1
    53.5
    55.2
    56.4
    57.9
    58.7
    63.3
    65.5
    61.9
    72.2
    71.4
    74.1
    79.2
    85.4
    89.5
    91.1
    98.7
    110.3
    129.4
    133.6
    136.6
    124.9
    115.2
    122.1
    128.7
    138.9
    147.1
    155.8
    162.7
    176.4
    183.0
    182.9
    187.4
    203.3
    208.8
    215.1
    221.8
    229.8
    243.1
    257.3
    280.5
    304.3
    292.6
    279.2
    299.2
    319.7
    322.0
    309.9
    319.4
    309.5
    299.1
    309.3
    294.9
    295.3
    318.0
    343.4
    358.0
    388.0
    406.5
    409.6
    416.4
    397.3
    418.6
    414.2
    438.9
    439.8
    444.4
    459.8
    469.0
    478.1
    502.7
    517.7
    537.9


    1988-Q1
    1988-Q2
    1988-Q3
    1988-Q4
    1989-Q1
    1989-Q2
    1989-Q3
    1989-Q4
    1990-Q1
    1990-Q2
    1990-Q3
    1990-Q4
    1991-Q1
    1991-Q2
    1991-Q3
    1991-Q4
    1992-Q1
    1992-Q2
    1992-Q3
    1992-Q4
    1993-Q1
    1993-Q2
    1993-Q3
    1993-Q4
    1994-Q1
    1994-Q2
    1994-Q3
    1994-Q4
    1995-Q1
    1995-Q2
    1995-Q3
    1995-Q4
    1996-Q1
    1996-Q2
    1996-Q3
    1996-Q4
    1997-Q1
    1997-Q2
    1997-Q3
    1997-Q4
    1998-Q1
    1998-Q2
    1998-Q3
    1998-Q4
    1999-Q1
    1999-Q2
    1999-Q3
    1999-Q4
    2000-Q1
    2000-Q2
    2000-Q3
    2000-Q4
    2001-Q1
    2001-Q2
    2001-Q3
    2001-Q4
    2002-Q1
    2002-Q2
    2002-Q3
    2002-Q4
    2003-Q1
    2003-Q2
    2003-Q3
    2003-Q4
    2004-Q1
    2004-Q2
    2004-Q3
    2004-Q4
    2005-Q1
    2005-Q2
    2005-Q3
    2005-Q4
    2006-Q1
    2006-Q2
    2006-Q3
    2006-Q4
    2007-Q1
    2007-Q2
    2007-Q3
    2007-Q4
    2008-Q1
    2008-Q2
    543
    546
    553
    574
    586
    595
    584
    598
    627
    615
    630
    647
    620
    614
    622
    638
    646
    659
    678
    689
    699
    716
    719
    745
    762
    798
    834
    861
    887
    908
    906
    909
    937
    953
    974
    993
    1027
    1040
    1071
    1085
    1098
    1110
    1110
    1145
    1171
    1222
    1282
    1331
    1411
    1454
    1515
    1522
    1493
    1420
    1364
    1318
    1348
    1424
    1456
    1492
    1516
    1516
    1541
    1608
    1685
    1777
    1821
    1912
    1940
    1989
    2042
    2141
    2190
    2237
    2282
    2253
    2301
    2350
    2395
    2458
    2558
    2677


    2008-Q3
    2008-Q4
    2009-Q1
    2009-Q2
    2009-Q3
    2009-Q4
    2010-Q1
    2010-Q2
    2010-Q3
    2010-Q4
    2011-Q1
    2011-Q2
    2011-Q3
    2011-Q4
    2012-Q1
    2690
    2289
    1897
    1855
    1991
    2116
    2238
    2357
    2399
    2421
    2576
    2682
    2682
    2698
    2756


    Quarterly US Imports are shown in this table: 1947 to present.
    (more)
  • tncdel tncdel 2012/09/13 16:44:17
    tncdel
    SodaHead programming failed to process properly what I attempted to paste from a PDF file.
  • rocat 2012/09/13 16:29:08
    YES [explain why you think so].
    rocat
    +2
    coincides...
    with our transformation...
    into an information society...
    with a service economy-
  • Mike rocat 2012/09/13 16:37:05
    Mike
    +1
    When the “producer-oriented” cannot produce enough food, then information and service will starve.
  • rocat Mike 2012/09/13 16:44:26
    rocat
    +2
    yep-

    production...
    benefits producers...
    consumers...
    vendors...

    while consumerism mainly benefits vendors-

    nothing wrong with consumerism...
    when balanced-

    but combine consumerism without production...
    with debt based lifestyles and easy credit...

    well...here we are-
  • FeedFwd... Mike 2012/09/13 17:16:11
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    We are producing a surplus of food. We are exporting food. Don't think we have reached that point, yet.
  • Mike FeedFwd... 2012/09/13 17:28:45
    Mike
    +2
    Subtly over time, we transitioned from “producer-oriented” to “consumer-oriented” and one day woke up and wondered why. I hope that doesn’t happen to our food industry.
  • FeedFwd... Mike 2012/09/13 17:32:30 (edited)
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    +2
    Agreed! Thankfully, I grow some produce and know how to hunt, fish, and raise some livestock. Unfortunately, I don't have enough land to produce enough food to feed my family and I do not live in a place where I can grow and harvest everything I want or need, even if I did have enough land.
  • tncdel rocat 2012/09/13 16:47:25
    tncdel
    +1
    I'm talking instead of the ratio between how much we now produce and export as a nation versus how much we consume, including from other nations as imports. The U.S. used to be a supplier far more so than a user of supplies.
  • rocat tncdel 2012/09/13 16:54:57
    rocat
    +2
    that is where the balance part comes in-

    we consume...
    while other economys produce-

    no balance-

    and america has consumed mostly with credit...not real funds-
  • FeedFwd... tncdel 2012/09/13 17:18:02
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    +1
    Nothing wrong with that as long as all parties are satisfied. We are paying the producers something... worthless and declining greenbacks. Who is getting the shaft here?
  • BHGOzzy 2012/09/13 16:16:31
    NO [tell us why you think not].
    BHGOzzy
    +1
    First off, given that it's 2012, 50 years ago isn't the 1950's, it's 1962.

    The US hasn't gone down hill, it's just gone different. Remember, they didn't have the Internet back then or any of the tools we have today.
  • tncdel BHGOzzy 2012/09/13 16:31:32
    tncdel
    +3
    The U.S. back then was a manufacturing nation whose exports far outnumbered its imports by something like a 5-to-1 ratio.
  • FeedFwd... tncdel 2012/09/13 17:26:00
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    B&W TV, usually only 1 car per family or less, fewer restaurants and stores, party line phones, transistor radios with very little FM and no satellite, at most, 3 VHF networks and perhaps a UHF channel, limited season for fresh produce and nasty frozen foods known as TV dinners,virtually no computers and the ones that existed filled a room with the computing power in your modern wristwatch, rural areas of the country had poor electrial service and there was no such thing as cable TV, Few homes and even fewer cars had central air-conditioning, air-travel was practically a novelty and buses were commonly used for long distance trips, and TANG was justbeing introduced. There have been a few improvements in the past 50 or 60 years.
  • Jeff Smith FeedFwd... 2012/09/14 16:18:05
    Jeff Smith
    +1
    Don't forget 10 cent a gallon of gas and 15cent a gallon for milk
  • FeedFwd... Jeff Smith 2012/09/14 16:23:49
    FeedFwd ~POTL
    +1
    yes, and a new car cost $1,000 and a new house $20,000. But incomes were also mucyh lower. That is merely a symptom of inflation.

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