Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 11th Jan 2012 00:14 UTC, submitted by Elv13
Hardware, Embedded Systems "Raspberry Pis started being made a couple of days ago, but I was forbidden to tell you about it until signed contracts and receipts for payment had arrived - it's been killing me, especially since I've had tens of you asking me when manufacturing would start every day for the last few weeks. I am not good at keeping secrets." No more secrets to keep, Liz! I can't wait to place my order.
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RE[8]: Subtext
by sbergman27 on Fri 13th Jan 2012 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: Subtext"
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

Yes. The hardships were different. No access to proper medical care, even for Kings. Backbreaking labor that was so pervasive that people sometimes didn't even remember to complain about it.

In more recent times... meh, we can do a hell of a lot more with the money we have. Just go to Walmart and look around. In the old days (not the medieval ones; I'm not *that* old) I certainly never saw people carting out 32 inch TVs (One for upstairs, one for downstairs) in one shopping cart, because they were on sale, and paying with their bank cards.

You've got to have have attained a certain level of comfort to do that, though. But today, only the "Attention Walmart Shoppers" level is necessary.

Much of the rest of the world does not enjoy such luxury.

I'd continue. But my Lion In Winter download just ding'd to inform me that it was completed.

Edited 2012-01-13 23:35 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[9]: Subtext
by Alfman on Sat 14th Jan 2012 06:28 in reply to "RE[8]: Subtext"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Well, I never said pre-modern living was easy, but it can still hold appeal.

Speaking strictly of modern times, especially the last generation or two, the standard of living is actually regressing. I see it all around me. Children doing worse than their parents while having to shoulder crippling unprecedented expenses. Home ownership is going down, dept is going up. The cost of raising a child is way up. The majority of new workers have no employer sponsored retirement plans. Etc. Middle class family income has failed to keep up with all this inflation.

All this while GDP has increased by a factor of 6 in the past 30 years. This is not due to population growth, so in theory, we could either work 1/6th as hard as our parents to maintain the same standard of living, or we could get compensated 6 times as well for the same amount of work. Neither of these is happening for the middle class, and it doesn't take long to find where the difference is going.


http://www.businessinsider.com/15-charts-about-wealth-and-inequalit...

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/top-5-facts-america-ric...

I'm not trying to be alarmist, but the long term statistics truly are alarming. We desperately need to re-evaluate the top-to-bottom economic models that we so widely cherish.

Edited 2012-01-14 06:42 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[10]: Subtext
by sbergman27 on Sat 14th Jan 2012 21:17 in reply to "RE[9]: Subtext"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What you are seeing is a steady decrease in the ability of the US to compete effectively in the world market. You're looking in the wrong places for a solution. A change in economic model is not going to fix the complacent attitudes of adults and the poor performance of our high school students compared to the rest to the world.

The US's 15 year olds rank 32nd in science, 30th in math, and 17th in reading, according to the 2009 OECD results:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/31/28/46660259.pdf

That out of about 65 countries participating. The US is outclassed in education by such countries as Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, and many more. Some that you may not even have heard of. The #1 city in the world in all 3 tested areas? Shanghai, China.

And year by year, the US rankings are *getting worse*.

You can't expect the standard of living to be rising in a (currently) 1st world country when 3rd world kids regularly run circles around their kids in education.

And you're not going fix that with a change in economic model. In fact, I'm not sure it can be fixed at all. History is full of examples of nations rising to great power, becoming fat, complacent, and sassy, and declining due to the resulting internal rot. It's a very common pattern. And our grand United States appear to be right on schedule. All the indications are clearly there when viewed in an objective manner.

In short, it appears to me that the sad state of affairs is not due to some inferior economic model or external influence, but is a direct a result of a problem with the people of the United States, ourselves.

-Steve

Edited 2012-01-14 21:22 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2