who we have become

Following are a few quotes from an article that appeared in today’s New York Times regarding the release of the Census Bureau’s 2007 Statistical Abstract of the United States.

“More Americans were born in 2004 than in any years except 1960 and 1990.”

“… the national divorce rate, 3.7 divorces per 1,000 people, was the lowest since 1970.”

“… what college freshmen described as their primary personal objectives. In 1970, 79 percent said their goal was developing a meaningful philosophy of life. By 2005, 75 percent said their primary objective was to be financially very well off.”

“… the floor space in new private one-family homes has expanded to 2,227 square feet in 2005 from 1,905 square feet in 1990.”

“From 2000 to 2005, the number of manufacturing jobs declined nearly 18 percent.”

“Americans spent more of their lives than ever – about eight-and-a-half hours a day – watching television, using computers, listening to the radio, going to the movies or reading.”

“Adolescents and adults now spend, on average, more than 64 days a year watching television, 41 days listening to the radio and a little over a week using the Internet.”

“Americans … remained the fattest inhabitants of the planet, although Mexicans, Australians, Greeks, New Zealanders and Britons are not too far behind.”

“‘The large master trend here is that over the last hundred years, technology has privatized our leisure time,’ said Robert D. Putnam … The distinctive effect of technology has been to enable us to get entertainment and information while remaining entirely alone,’ Mr. Putnam said. ‘That is from many points of view very efficient. I also think it’s fundamentally bad because the lack of social contact, the social isolation means that we don’t share information and values and outlook that we should.'”

Bigger houses, wealthier ways, more time to do whatever we feel like and to do precisely what we want without anyone else in mind has not made us better. Reckon we ought to try something else?

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