America of 2039 - AUTOMATED SOCIALIST HELL HOLE?

In 20 years, what do you monkeys think the United States will look like? Automated with widespread unemployment? Socialist with single payer healthcare under President Ocasio Cortez? (Even) more obese and addicted to opiates? Will the government be broke to the point that all the pensions and social security aren't feasible anymore? Or will widespread AI and machine learning and neural networks and sex dungeons and self driving cars usher in a new era of prosperity?

Honestly I feel like America's future is basically San Francisco on steroids, nice enough if you're in the professional class and haven't been replaced by a robot, absolutely brutal otherwise.

Comments (14)

Feb 4, 2019

Not directly related to the question but I'm curious to see what the statistics are on younger people moving from suburban/smaller towns and to larger cities. Is this going to speed up the destruction of middle America and the smaller towns that it makes up? How do you even deal with a town slowly but surely losing most if not all of its population?

Feb 4, 2019
CryptoKidd:

Not directly related to the question but I'm curious to see what the statistics are on younger people moving from suburban/smaller towns and to larger cities. Is this going to speed up the destruction of middle America and the smaller towns that it makes up? How do you even deal with a town slowly but surely losing most if not all of its population?

The same way they deal with it right now; massive government subsidies to maintain even the semblance of municipal viability. Small town Americans are the USA's biggest welfare queens.

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Most Helpful
Feb 4, 2019

As far as getting political is concerned there is always a swinging of the pendulum. Usually every 4 to 8 years the other party is actively trying to undo what the other had accomplished over that prior period. Technology will continue to advance to the point where we will probably rely on it more than ever, although we still wont have hover cars in a mainstream sense. I think our definition of what is considered socialist, liberal or conservative will continue to shift. Just as at one point in time the idea of social security/retirement was probably ludicrous, so will many of the things that we believe are such important tenants of US living.

There is no way this country will become San Francisco on steroids, there are way too many people who would desperately fight again that until their dying breath (a lot of those people are in power as well).

Great topic, its always interesting to think of what the landscape could look like in the future!

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Feb 4, 2019
DontDiscountMyCashFlows:

As far as getting political is concerned there is always a swinging of the pendulum. Usually every 4 to 8 years the other party is actively trying to undo what the other had accomplished over that prior period.

This is actively untrue and betrays a complete lack of understanding of history. This is true ONLY if you take the last decade as being the only ten years of American history, as the GOP has made every attempt to undo any trace of Mr. Obama's presidency. Prior to that, the baseline was not a modern version of damnatio memoriae, but rather an attempt to moderate or modify past policies for the best possible result for the country (with the obvious caveat that everyone has a different idea of what is best). Democrats didn't insist on pulling out of Iraq on day 1 of Obama's presidency. He took a measured approach to exit that tried to achieve one of the major campaign promises, ending our involvement in Iraq, without sacrificing everything we had been doing there for the previous half decade. Clinton thought that massive deficit spending along with massive tax reductions was unhealthy for the economy; he didn't push to eliminate every single tax cut Reagan put in place, but to adjust to some healthy middle ground.

The comparison to the modern GOP couldn't be any more striking. All they know is scorched earth. If Obama touched it, it's bad and must go. Most obviously we saw with the attempted ACA rollback that public policy and the public weal have nothing to do with it; the GOP was (refreshingly, if scarily) honest that they had no real plan to replace the ACA, and had no interest in crafting policy; all they wanted was to erase Mr Obama's signature legislative achievement.

That isn't, and hasn't, been normalized and your ignorance of American history runs the risk of tacitly letting the current Republican party (mainly Mr. McConnell) off the hook for what can be charitably described as a passive dereliction of duty, and in some cases (and here I am thinking of Mr Garland's nomination) as using the Constitution as little more than cheap toilet paper.

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Feb 4, 2019

Damn @Ozymandia I yield to your superior intellect.

I was indeed speaking predominantly (entirely) about the current administration. I am mostly speaking out of fear about how powerful beliefs are particularly from within the Republican party and their attempts to "Make America Great Again". If you can't already tell i'm not of a demographic where this America was ever that great. I am not a historian so you win there too. And Bravo for using one sentence to pontificate on how ignorant I am.

You Win! Here's a cookie...

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Feb 4, 2019
DontDiscountMyCashFlows:

Damn @Ozymandia I yield to your superior intellect.

I was indeed speaking predominantly (entirely) about the current administration. I am mostly speaking out of fear about how powerful beliefs are particularly from within the Republican party and their attempts to "Make America Great Again". If you can't already tell i'm not of a demographic where this America was ever that great. I am not a historian so you win there too. And Bravo for using one sentence to pontificate on how ignorant I am.

You Win! Here's a cookie...

Thanks. I prefer chocolate chip.

Wherever you fall on the political spectrum (and my sympathies obviously lie with yours), I just happen to find that people don't really have a great awareness of how current political norms compare to how things have been done in the past. In both good and bad ways. I didn't mean it to be a huge screed about how you are an idiot, which wasn't my point at all, but merely to note that this is not normal for everyone reading this in general

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Feb 4, 2019
Ozymandia:
DontDiscountMyCashFlows:

As far as getting political is concerned there is always a swinging of the pendulum. Usually every 4 to 8 years the other party is actively trying to undo what the other had accomplished over that prior period.

This is actively untrue and betrays a complete lack of understanding of history. This is true ONLY if you take the last decade as being the only ten years of American history, as the GOP has made every attempt to undo any trace of Mr. Obama's presidency. Prior to that, the baseline was not a modern version of damnatio memoriae, but rather an attempt to moderate or modify past policies for the best possible result for the country (with the obvious caveat that everyone has a different idea of what is best). Democrats didn't insist on pulling out of Iraq on day 1 of Obama's presidency. He took a measured approach to exit that tried to achieve one of the major campaign promises, ending our involvement in Iraq, without sacrificing everything we had been doing there for the previous half decade. Clinton thought that massive deficit spending along with massive tax reductions was unhealthy for the economy; he didn't push to eliminate every single tax cut Reagan put in place, but to adjust to some healthy middle ground.

The comparison to the modern GOP couldn't be any more striking. All they know is scorched earth. If Obama touched it, it's bad and must go. Most obviously we saw with the attempted ACA rollback that public policy and the public weal have nothing to do with it; the GOP was (refreshingly, if scarily) honest that they had no real plan to replace the ACA, and had no interest in crafting policy; all they wanted was to erase Mr Obama's signature legislative achievement.

That isn't, and hasn't, been normalized and your ignorance of American history runs the risk of tacitly letting the current Republican party (mainly Mr. McConnell) off the hook for what can be charitably described as a passive dereliction of duty, and in some cases (and here I am thinking of Mr Garland's nomination) as using the Constitution as little more than cheap toilet paper.

Ma'am, this is a Burger King drive-thru.

Feb 4, 2019

Anyone ever see Demolition Man, the 90s sci-fi action movie with Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes?

This is a world where bad language and everything bad for you; red meat, smoking, contact sports are outlawed. Sensors similar to red light cameras automatically issue citations for offensive language. A powerful corporation in cahoots with the government runs everything. Lastly, all the men are the soy munching beta cuck Gillette ideal of masculinity.

It is downright frightening how plausible this portrayal of 2032 America is.

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Feb 4, 2019

I'm hoping by then we'll have the wall built. Actually several walls. I want many walls to keep rural Americans away from voting booths.

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Feb 4, 2019

My goldfish requested a wall today. He needs protection from my cats.

Feb 4, 2019

If almost all jobs are automated then most people will be earning close to the same amount of money. This will make getting into the 1% of earners even easier since most people don't really care about getting rich and will happily take their government stipend of 60k which lowers the bar for people like us to get rich.

Then just find something that can't be automated to spend all your newfound free time on that you would've originally spent on work/school. Here's a small list of things you could do:

-Day trading, crypto, gambling, are all high-risk high-reward but many make careers out of it.

-Entertainment will always be around. Comedians, musicians, Twitch streamers, Youtubers. Once again very hard to get in.

-Start a business making artisanal goods. Handmade objects will always be in demand and seen as higher quality than mass-produced, machine-made products. Why do you think Rolex gives tons of hands on attention to their watches?
Examples of this could be woodworkers, winemakers, painters, sculptors, jewelers, etc.

-Create/invent something. Engineers and programmers will most likely always be valued since humans will always have the ability to come up with an idea.

-Some jobs will most likely never be automated and would still require people in the future. A few examples: psychologists, therapists, nurses, executives, diplomats, all three branches of government, litigation lawyers, judges, academia/professors at Universities. Can't think of anymore but these are off the top of my head.

-Join the Space Force/mars colony team that Elon's working on.

-Write a book

-Get one of the new jobs in the future that currently doesn't exist

-Get cybernetic implants and rob the general populace with your superior strength and intelligence.

-Become a priest or other spiritual leader

-Become a prostitute

-Become a mobster

Possibilities are endless.

Last few were jokes but people shouldn't really be worried about automation because of 3 reasons:

Firstly, it's going to take a long time for automation to take over complex jobs. How do people think we could ethically automate extremely complex jobs with tons of grey areas like being a police officer within the next few decades?

Secondly, A ton of the automation talk I'm seeing is built up hype from "futurists" who believe that AI and machine learning is going to free everyone from the chains of work and start a revolution in the next 20 years but in reality, they're going to be working a desk job till they die. Also, many people don't realize that the point of automation isn't to completely remove their workforce, it's to make their workforce as efficient as possible which in many cases causes job cuts.

Lastly, As long as currency exists, there will always be social classes and a way to rise above the general populace and obtaining more purchasing power than everyone else.

Unless we abolish currency as we know it which won't happen in the next 200-300 years, there will always be a way to get into the 1%.
Just because many of the jobs we know today will be largely automated in 60-80 years doesn't mean that there isn't or won't be any other options.

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Feb 4, 2019

Hard to say, so many things could go wrong in 20 years.

Obviously computing power will put our current abilities of today to shame. We should have manufacturing highly automated and it will be done right here in America. Leaves a good question as to where those workers will go...

We'll start to see computer augmentation to the body in fairly primitive forms, until it develops into being similar to buying the newest iphone.

We're going to be living longer, which causes all sorts of problems with retirement age and general ballooning of healthcare expenditures.

So many incredible things will happen, but it's likely some horrible things will come to pass.

All of our technology, while a huge positive can also potentially spell disaster. How long before every major city has near 100% audio/visual coverage of sidewalk/street activity? Privacy will never be the same. It's a lot of power to have in the wrong hands, even for a moment.

Things are happening faster and faster, to the point where we can't undo them. Ever look through instagram and hit like on someone's photo when you didn't mean to? So you immediately tap again and don't know if they got the notification. Imagine a situation like this, but now insert some kind weapon deployment system. Is it so hard to think that even with our fail-safes that an accident won't happen and have devastating effects across the world?

Optimistically, I believe the next 20 years will be mind-blowing in what we all accomplish, especially here in the US. I just like to remember that in the grand scheme of things, modern developed society is incredibly fragile and it would not take much for a proverbial "reset"

Feb 4, 2019

I, for one, am super optimistic about America's future (no comment on the rest of the world), at least in the near term (<50 years). I'm definitely an amateur futurist, but a futurist nonetheless. As far as I can tell, the last major technological disrupter (I'm talking the thing that fundamentally changed the world) is the smart phone in 2007. Other than continued medical progress, here are the technologies that I think will revolutionize the first world in the coming 20 years:

  • Autonomous vehicles will change everything. The middle class will have access to private, luxury transportation with a personal "driver" that today only the wealthy enjoy. Autonomous vehicles will make traffic worse before they make traffic better as they enter into the population with regular human drivers. Over the coming 20 years, as AVs are fully (or almost fully) adopted, transportation will slowly become a borderline utopian dream as AVs communicate with each other using 5G and 6G (yes, 6G) technology. Admittedly, American transportation today is awful (hello, Atlanta, D.C., NYC, LA, SF, etc.), but with the world's most extensive highway system, the next generation of European and Asian will be green with envy of the American transportation infrastructure. Japanese, Chinese, European, and California high speed rail will be a laughable anachronism.
  • Electric and hydrogen will largely replace the gasoline transportation infrastructure, which will definitely disrupt the U.S. economy, but I think it will be a net benefit.
  • Cell-cultured (lab grown) meat will begin to rise in popularity, and within 30 years of today, I'm guessing that the future generation will look back on their ancestors with disgust that we used to kill for meat (something like 64 billion animals per year are killed for food globally).

In that 50-year range, nuclear fusion will be the next global disrupter that will change the world.

And when I look at these disruptions, in general, all I can see is net opportunity for improvement in the quality of life and for new job and economic opportunities. Most people don't realize it, but "robots" and AI already largely dominate our lives--it's just quietly integrated into everything, from word processors to water treatment plants to manufacturing to car GPS systems to financial trading platforms. Looking out 200 years is a completely different story--who in the hell knows what 200 years of robots and AI will do to human quality of life and satisfaction? But I'm optimistic about the near future.

Feb 4, 2019