Looking to the future, public sees an America in decline on many fronts

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Majorities predict a weaker economy, a growing income divide, a degraded environment and a broken political system

Public is broadly pessimistic about the future of AmericaWhen Americans peer 30 years into the future, they see a country in decline economically, politically and on the world stage. While a narrow majority of the public (56%) say they are at least somewhat optimistic about America’s future, hope gives way to doubt when the focus turns to specific issues.

A new Pew Research Center survey focused on what Americans think the United States will be like in 2050 finds that majorities of Americans foresee a country with a burgeoning national debt, a wider gap between the rich and the poor and a workforce threatened by automation.

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The retail apocalypse has officially descended on America

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Thousands of mall-based stores are shutting down in what’s fast becoming one of the biggest waves of retail closures in decades.

More than 3,500 stores are expected to close in the next couple of months.

Department stores like JCPenney, Macy’s, Sears, and Kmart are among the companies shutting down stores, along with middle-of-the-mall chains like Crocs, BCBG, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Guess.

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Being a young adult in America is a financial nightmare

Between the ages of 25 and 34, 41.3% percent of Americans will spend at least a year earning less than 150 percent of the poverty line.

In the world’s richest country, poverty is an astonishingly common experience. Almost 40 percent of American adults experience it for at least a year by age 60.  But poverty is especially common among young adults in America.

 

 

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America in the midst of a baby bust

Once a country’s fertility rate falls consistently below replacement, its age profile begins to shift.

Chinese women have been subjected to China’s brutal one-child policy for more than 30 years. Women who try to have more children have been subjected to fines and forced abortions. Their houses have been razed and their husbands fired from their jobs. As a result, Chinese women have a fertility rate of 1.54. Here in America, white, college-educated women—a good proxy for the middle class—have a fertility rate of 1.6. America has its very own one-child policy. And we have chosen it for ourselves.

 

 

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Virtual fences will transform rural America

Virtual fencing promises radical transformation by removing the mile upon mile of barbed wire stretched across the landscape.

European farmers claimed North America with fences when they first arrived.  Fences were the physical manifestation of a belief in private ownership and the proper use of land — enclosed, utilized, defended — that continues to shape the American way of life, its economic aspirations, and even its form of government. (Videos)

 

 

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Top 10 best small towns in America 2011

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Louisville, Colorado, home of the DaVinci Institute, has been
ranked No. 1 as the best small city in America.

In the minds of most people the phrase “small town” conjures up images of happier times.When the economy wasn’t in the current state it is now. When unemployment wasn’t above 9%. When people didn’t stress out about home values. When school budgets weren’t under siege. Those were the days, right?

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The Connected States of America

When you think of a map of the US, you probably break it down by state or quadrants or party affiliation. But MIT, IBM and AT&T’s research teams decided to look at who was talking to whom, and the resulting map is pretty captivating.

The researchers organized anonymous data from AT&T mobile phones into interactive maps illustrating which areas place the most calls and texts, and who they’re communicating with. The colors represent areas that areas that communicate heavily locally, while the lines are for areas of the country that are in heavy contact remotely, like San Francisco and New York…

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2010 census trends: Uneven aging and ‘younging’ in the U.S.

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 The divide between states gaining and losing their younger populations.

When the Beatles song “When I’m Sixty-Four” was released in 1967, many baby boomers adhered to the mantra, “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” Now the boomers are fully ensconced in advanced middle age, and the oldest of them are beginning to cross into full-fl edged senior-hood, as the first boomer turned age 65 last January. Some 80 million strong and more than one quarter of the U.S. population, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) are a still a force to be reckoned with, even as they have all crossed the age-45 marker. Along with their elders, the large and growing older American population presents significant future challenges for federal government programs such as Social Security and Medicare. State and local social services and infrastructure needs will also change in communities across the nation as the population ages.

 

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How the Most Symbolic American Bird Got the Name ‘Turkey’

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Turkey

For a species of bird found only in the forests of North America and so symbolic of a U.S. holiday, the humble turkey sure has an oddly Eurasian name — but have you ever stopped to consider why? Well, it turns out that the origins of how this jowly bird arrived at its strikingly Turkish title reflect the history of its international popularity. The misnomer, as you well know, has yet to be corrected — making turkeys one of the most curiously named birds on the planet.

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