When will things stop sucking?

In the broadest sense.

In the 90’s things were pretty good: The economy was booming, communism was defeated, and there was a general sense of optimism about the future. Sure there were some bad things happening, but, for the most part, things were kind of okay. THINGS DIDN"T SUCK.

Now the economy is in the crapper, lots of people have been out of work for a long time, they’re defaulting on their mortgages and losing their houses, we’re running huge deficits, we’re mired in two unending wars, terrorists are trying to kill us, the paranoid anti-terrorism security is beating us down, we’re running out of oil, and global warming is going to destroy the environment. Things suck.

I don’t want to hear about how we got to this point. I want to hear about when it will end. When will things stop sucking and start being kind of okay again?

Grrr … and one of the things that sucks is my ability to compose a thread title. That should be “When will things stop sucking?”

Folk wisdom holds that life sucks, and then you die. So the answer to your question would appear to be never.

Conversely, certain bards have advised:

*…Oh take your time…don’t live too fast.
Troubles will come, and they will pass.
You’ll find a woman, yea yea you’ll find love,
and don’t forget son, there is someone up above.

And be a simple kind of man.
Oh be something you love and understand…*
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simple Man.

Soooo…you pay your money, and you take your chances.

A friend of mine who just got a new job says that she’s still being inundated with people calling asking her to come in for an interview.

I’d say that economically, things are already on the mend.

The two wars are, I believe, winding down.

Terrorists were never really attacking us. The US has only had one foreign terrorist attack on our home soil in 200 years, and though it was a doozy, it’s statistically meaningless and there’s no indication that there’s any worry of more coming.

But, getting back to the economics, which is really the one that affects anyone, while it is getting better, we’ll have to see whether the media starts playing up that we’ve bought up too much debt or if the taxes that come in to pay off that debt don’t depress the economy worse than we can handle. We won’t find that out for another year or five.


I think the amount of suckage depends on one’s circumstances. Things don’t suck for ME this time around. In the late 90’s I pretty much started a downward spiral resulting in job loss, unemployment and basically having all of my stocks lose something like 99% of their worth, going from having (theoretical) millions to being jobless and broke, wondering how I was going to keep the house, feed the kids and basically keep on keepin on. That was real suckage.

That said, I think the general suckage is not as bad this time around, and I THINK it’s improving. Of course MMV, depending on one’s circumstances…


Decades if ever I think. America has dug itself into a deep hole in quite a few ways; it and the rest of the world are unwilling to actually solve problems. We’ve inflicted massive debt on ourselves; we’ve neglected everything from the environment to our infrastructure. And I don’t see us as either willing or able to solve those problems; our political culture is too right wing, too corrupt; too rigid; too incompetent. We are headed towards disaster, and would rather die than change course.

And by the time we reach that disaster and all our stupidity catches up to us, and when we finally reorganize, reform and do what is necessary to dig ourselves out; by then all the various environmental disasters will be reaching a crescendo.

My personal belief is the middle/late 2020s.

As far as the economy, because a 0% increase in net jobs were created from 1999-2009 we don’t have a cushion. From 1970-1980 the net jobs went up by 27%, and they went up by 20% or so in the 1980s. So the Reagan recession was livable because jobs were still created before and after.


We are facing this recession with a perfect storm. A trade deficit, a huge national debt, the collapse of the middle class before mass unemployment hit, no new jobs created, unaffordable healthcare, outsourcing, peak oil hitting, etc. Plus this one is bigger than the Reagan recession.

I think in total we lost about 10 million jobs in the recession (7 million jobs plus 3 million equivalents of full time jobs because people doing full time were bussed down to part time). Plus you need 100k a month in new jobs just to keep up. I think I heard it’d take 300k new jobs a month for 5 years to get back to 5% unemployment. We aren’t getting 300k new jobs a month. We will be lucky to get 100k new jobs a month to stabilize unemployment at 10% and the U6 at about 18%. An unemployment rate around 8% will be the norm, probably for a while.

On the ‘plus’ side, illegal immigration will go down. But only because there is no incentive to keep coming here.

I think the late 2020s because that is probably when the alternatives to oil hit the market hard and allow us to wean (it is supposed to take about 2 decades with a crash program for fossil fuel alternatives to bypass peak oil), when alternative energy will make up 40%+ of our grid energy, when the global middle class is huge (they add 80 million new members a year) and can afford US goods. Carbon scrubbing and capture tech, as well as geoengineering will be far more advanced.

I think in the developing world life is generally going to consistently get better between now and the 2020s. But I think in the US it’ll be 15 years before we are really optimistic again.

Yup, the late 2020s will be grand. Grand I tells ya. Wind and solar energy for a fraction of a penny a kilowatt hour. Cars that get 150mpg (when they run on gasoline). A global middle class of 3 billion people. The ability to engineer our way out of the worst effects of climate change (I assume).
I think that is when things will be ‘good’ though. I’m guessing things will be ‘kindof okay’ before that but I don’t know when.

But people had shit lives from 1914-1945. In that period they had a world war followed by a massive flu epidemic that killed 3% of the human population. A decade after that was the great depression (before unemployment insurance, food stamps and affordable food), and after that was world war 2. But people survived.
However in the interm there will still be advances. There will still be advances in renewable energy, energy efficiency, medical technology, communication technology, global poverty, etc.

Well, since at least some of the problems mentioned by the OP have some connection to a rapidly-increasing population chewing through finite resources at greater and greater rates, I doubt things are going to suck less until we either a) are able to shift to a relatively abundant source of rapidly renewable energy; or b) the population rapidly falls, for whatever reason, to a more sustainable level. In the latter case, I imagine things would end up sucking mucn harder than they do now, for quite some time.

OTOH, terrorists currrently seem to be rather consistently failing to kill us (er, North Americans, at least). So, we’ve got that going for us.

Á lot of it is your perception. I am old enough to remember the 1960’s. Take your pick, Summer of Love, flower power and free love, or riots, police dogs and Nixon?

For me the 1960’s sucked. But then again I was not very well off and that may have ruined it for me.

The 70’s weren’t too great either.


Every age has it’s challenges, most of which are well beyond the ability of any individual to resolve. Not much point in crying because the world’s going to Hell in a handbasket. All you can do is make the best of where you are with what you have. Share joy when you can.

I haven’t noticed that it’s any worse than 2002 honestly. The decade had null growth but seems to have had enough to sustain us during that time. Things don’t suck so much. People are just a bunch of whiney little bitches. Like 9/11, OH NOES THEY HAZ BOXCUTTERZES!!! So we put on steal doors that lock on the cockpit, that problem was solved. Then we did a whole bunch of useless shit like created an overarching bureaucracy to put its hands into law enforcement, airport security and intelligence, oh yeah and to spy domestically. Then we toppled a couple of countries, we have to take our shoes off on planes, but really there is one thing that makes us safer from terrorism, and that’s the doors on airplanes. Oh yeah, and these people are mostly inept retards. But of course we need to accomodate them, we can’t not flip out in irrational fear lest they think we’re pussies. Then comes the economy and it was bad, but that’s only the correction from having a ridiculously amazing economy for so long, and still things are not truly horrible. We might have to relax that fantasy where we are all richer than our Daddies, but otherwise our day to day survival isn’t in doubt, and besides electronics are cheaper as a proportion of income now than before, so we can still buy as much stuff with our discretionary income as Daddy, we just spend less of a proportion of our overall take on luxuries.

So what the fuck ever, people are a bunch of wankers. Things are more or less ok. They get better today. That’s it, just take your own life into your hands and stop being such pansies. :wink:

One thing I feel is that we really didn’t end the decade with anything cool that we didn’t start off with, at least when it comes to technology, culture, science and medicine. In the year 2000, we had cheap, fast personal computers; small cell phones; broadband Internet access in most major cities, decent, well-styled and reliable cars that made up for the malaise years of the 1970s and 1980s; DVDs; a return to the cities; and so on. What did we gain between 2000 and 2010? Cheap LCD displays; digital photography; WiFi; much, much cheaper digital storage; and it was television’s second Golden Age. The music doesn’t sound that different, and societal attitudes seem about the same, if not just a little bit more liberal.

The time from 2000 through 2009 really seemed like a lost decade; it seems like there was far more of a difference between 1990 and 2000 than 2000 and 2010. Let’s face it, the whole decade sucked.

You might want to consider living a pared down life intentionally in the future. I would want to be sure that I had enough land to have a vegetable garden and maybe even some fruit trees in the coming years. Learn how to preserve food out of your garden. This was a common middle class skill when I was growing up. It still is in some places.

Terrorism is mostly a joke in my opinion. We had dozens of warnings about 9/11 before it happened, and we didn’t act on any of them. One competent investigation could’ve stopped it. Al Qaeda is not the soviet army, so I agree with you there. We didn’t need a 2 trillion war in Iraq to stop terrorism.

But not on the economy. If you go on craigslist you find people asking strangers for help buying food. A few months ago I drove a woman to a pharmacy and helped her buy $30 in medicine because she lost her grant and was having withdrawal symptoms.

Its wonderful if your financial life is in great shape. But if you honestly think being upset over stagnating wages, no new jobs is just ‘whining’ then wow.

Our basic survival generally isn’t at stake for most people. Basic medicine (generic drugs, antibiotics, sanitation), basic food & basic shelter (even if it is living in a tent or living 6 people in 2 bedroom apartment) is not going to be unattainable for most. A dozen people living in a 3 bedroom house, living off of oatmeal and cornbread and ignoring all but the cheapest health care problems will survive this crisis. But it is pretty callous to just write off the suffering going on all around you as ‘whining’.

We are hitting a perfect storm of shit in this country (trade deficit, financial deficit, corrupt politics, environmental problems, resource depletion, globalization). And being consciously aware of it is not ‘whining’. Besides, people need to whine from time to time. It lets the steam off and makes it easier to face the next day.

If people are going on Craigslist for help to buy food then either they are scamming someone or they are terminally stupid.


FORIEGN terrorists that is. I LOVE, just LOVE how the Bushies made it seem like the years before 9/11 were some peaceful era.
HELLO…there was Lockerbie, Iran hostage, all sorts of stuff.
Besides, you’re at greater risk for a domestic terrorist attack . Something like 3% of the terrorists on the Terrorist Most Wanted List are AMERICAN!!! (ie Ku Klux Klan, Christian Identity etc)

Why are they terminally stupid? I saw a woman at a college town say the aid programs were closed up over the holidays. I wrote to her and offered to take her to a grocery store, but she said a woman in a nearby town offered to buy and deliver food so if she came through she wouldn’t need my help.

Either way, it worked in her case.

My financial life is NOT in great shape. But the reality is pointing to some extreme examples doesn’t make it this horrible apocalypse either.

Yes, but you’re comparing the worst case scenarios as though they are the norm. That isn’t the norm for most people, and you know it.

What do you expect? We shift debt around. Our entire system was based off of leveraging debt. Then we gave a whole bunch of people debt they couldn’t pay back and it simply vanished. We oversold on credit, and that created a false boom, nobody saved, instead they bought extravagantly on their newfound credit.

Does it suck for some? Yes it does, but for the most part people are repeating how horrible it is like some kind of Mantra, even though mostly their shit is ok. Mostly what our problems have to do is with entitlements. You can come at me with anecdotes about people who cannot afford medicine, but that happened in 2004 and 1999 as well.

Panhandling 21st century style.