Sponsor Message:
Non Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Is America Permanently On A Downslope?  
User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3092 times:

So i had a pretty long conversation with my dad today (he's a doctor..came to the US in the 70s' after finishing up school in India) and he pretty much painted a bleak future of the US economy and especially the medical field as a whole . He was saying that these days doctors are getting paid less than they were just a few ago and Insurance returns are also less cause more and more people don't have a job and subsequently cant afford insurance. Moreover, State and Local Governments are cutting back on health services cause of the economy . This sucks cause i just got out of freaking medical school . Maybe DocLightning can comment on this...

Is this same story being repeated in other fields (i have lived outside the States for school for almost 7 years now..). On my occasional visits back home i didnt really feel like the Recession was so bad, but then again . But then again you have people in states like Texas say "What Recession?"...so is it a State by State thing???

He also talked about how bassically the US is at a disadvantage cause we have lost most of our manufacturing jobs to countries like China, etc. He mentioned how back in the day, during the 70s and even the 80s...if you didnt have a job, you could just go down to the local plant and just get hired to be a factory worker. Clearly, this isnt the case anymore.

How long can we survive on a service based economy? Can we get our manufacturing jobs back? Is this really one of those boom and bust cycles that happen from time to time or is a permanent thing? Is the US going to take a permanent backseat to say, China....?

Before anyone tries to say that i want to leave or that its all doom and gloom...i am not trying to say that. I just want to have a discussion about where America is headed in the future and how we can bring our economy back stronger.

76 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3087 times:

He's exactly right.

Ours was an empire and the trouble with empires is that they fall. Rome took a thousand years. We'll be done before four hundred.


User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3085 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
He's exactly right.

Ours was an empire and the trouble with empires is that they fall. Rome took a thousand years. We'll be done before four hundred.

Doc, say we are an Empire...but what happens after the fall?


User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

Well, I can't claim to know what will happen next, particularly in medicine.

However, I can say that there has been a very significant downward slope after 9/11 (politically, socially), and continuing further downhill after the 2008 crash (economically).

Permanently? Well, it won't go downhill forever. How high up will it go? I'm not sure. What's clear is that we need to do something about it before it's too late. But I'm not the person to say what needs to be done.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4803 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3060 times:

I wouldn't say its on a downslope, it has just plateaued. From here on out it is likely to only have modest growth on average (ie 2% pa on average). This is still reasonable. Obviously compared to the likes of China that are growing more rapidly it looks somewhat pedestrian. America has a reasonably youthful population.
The single biggest thing holding America back is its politics/political system. It did work for a long time but now it is so partisan, inefficient and suffers from massive cronyism and corruption. There is no need for the USA to have racked up such massive debts and government deficit except as a result of the above mentioned politics. Sure the likes of Iraq and Afghanistan have made a massive hole in the budget also.

Put it another way... if America had politicians with a backbone that weren't corrupt they would have:
built a wall along the entire boarder with Mexico;
slapped China with tariffs for its currency manipulation and lack of IP protection (there goes half your trade deficit right there as well as making US manufacturing more appealing that offshore manufacturing of consumer goods);
reduced farm/corn subsidies (lowers the budget deficit, allows for farm consolidation, helps out agricultural based countries);
introduced a federal sales tax aligning up all the mismatched state sales tax (and subsequently reducing wasteful consumer spending resulting in a reduced trade deficit and household deficits as people save more thus reducing finance costs for federal/state borrowings and mortgages etc);
reduced military spending without reducing capability and/or personal/wages. This can be achieved by less cronyism/porkbarrel politics and closing down wasteful bases/programs etc. The cost savings from this can be used on more effective programs and personal etc whilst reducing the overall budget. After all the USA military budget is larger than the next (10 or so IIRC countries combined!).
Oh and if the political system had been updated years ago, America could quite possibly not be using an obsolete imperial measuring system and move into the 21st century by adopting the metric system (like every other country in the world).



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3058 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
Can we get our manufacturing jobs back?

Sure, if we become as poor as we were decades ago (about where Eastern Europe or Mexico are now), then manufacturing jobs will be plentiful again. Just like they were before.

What's changed is the global wealthy class (who do not work in factories) has exploded and grown to the point where many of our government workers and regular workers (and doctors) have become what used to be called wealthy -- large homes, multiple cars, ability to take trips all over the world, good net worth.

Now, we believe "wealth" is what a few oligarchs have -- yachts, 10 homes, billions of dollars.

So I will take umbrage with a comment that times are worse than the 1970s. Physicians may be paid less by some measures -- but still paid a lot, and more than elsewhere in the globe. The ability to make $400k or something as a physician in certain specialties appears to be very common. My young friends do.

The US is a mature economy -- not a growth economy. Growth elsewhere (in China and India) will dwarf the USA. But to belittle the USA is a step too far. Many have these feelings, that things used to be better in the past (typically, when the speaker was between age 18 and 28). That is part of the human condition, to extrapolate one's life cycle with a cycle in the greatness of society. But it's flawed I think.

As a young doctor, you can look forward to buying real estate much more cheaply than 5 years ago. In that sense, you are much richer than you would have been 5 years ago. But, people will only appreciate that in retrospect -- while complaining  


User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):

What's changed is the global wealthy class (who do not work in factories) has exploded and grown to the point where many of our government workers and regular workers (and doctors) have become what used to be called wealthy -- large homes, multiple cars, ability to take trips all over the world, good net worth.

hmmn...i do agree with you on this, but can the US survive solely on a service-based economy? I mean, we barely make anything anymore in this country outside of the auto industry...


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3028 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
This sucks cause i just got out of freaking medical school .

New doctors have crummy lifestyles even in the best of times. There could be money falling from the sky and you'd still be working long shifts for low pay while buried under student loans.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
He mentioned how back in the day, during the 70s and even the 80s...if you didnt have a job, you could just go down to the local plant and just get hired to be a factory worker.

The problem is that they kind of killed the golden goose. Some Chinese person plucked out of a rice paddy can screw parts together every bit as well as an American can, but won't insist on enough pay for a mortgage, yearly vacation, two cars, and a plasma screen.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
How long can we survive on a service based economy?

Indefinitely. The US exports a lot of services and intellectual property.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
Can we get our manufacturing jobs back?

For cheap stuff, probably not considering how much American workers think they need to be paid.

The point is that you either have to do things cheaper or do things better. Americans obviously are unwilling to be cheaper, but they don't do so bad when they do better. Plenty of Americans are employed manufacturing high tech items, and again, there is much benefit to be had from licensing and exporting intellectual property rather than hard goods. A lot of the building boom in China is being accomplished with CAT and John Deere equipment. When Chinese people want to go somewhere, there's a good chance they're driving a Buick (which may be locally made or imported from other places) or boarding a Boeing.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
Is this really one of those boom and bust cycles that happen from time to time or is a permanent thing?

In the 1970s people actually thought that everyone in my generation would have to know Japanese. The closest I've come to that is driving my Kentucky made Toyota.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
how we can bring our economy back stronger.

Lower barriers and let good ideas thrive. And take a very serious look at any new regulation, because none of that is free.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 21 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Reply 6):
hmmn...i do agree with you on this, but can the US survive solely on a service-based economy? I mean, we barely make anything anymore in this country outside of the auto industry...

Service-based is the way of the future. In theory it should work out.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
Sure, if we become as poor as we were decades ago (about where Eastern Europe or Mexico are now), then manufacturing jobs will be plentiful again. Just like they were before.

Hmm... I don't necessarily agree about the Eastern Europe part. Romania at least has very little manufacturing left; the economy is based on services and agriculture (and that's not profitable anymore). Industry is doing very poorly. So I wouldn't agree that being poorer automatically means a lot of manufacturing jobs. What were factories 10 years ago are now shopping centers (if in large-ish cities) or simply crumbling (everywhere else).

Mexico, I have no idea about.


User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4803 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 18 hours ago) and read 2918 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
. The US exports a lot of services and intellectual property.

Except that the Chinese don't give a flying rats ass about intellectual property. For them anything is fair game to be copied and ripped off. This is a massive problem, as the US spends 100's of billions every year on development which the Chinese then rip off and sell themselves making a killing. Until America and the rest of the world wake up to this and force China to actually protect IP/copywrite/patents etc then China will continue to boom whilst the rest of the world stagnates as it is being pillaged by China and then paying China to buy back from them. In the mean time China is using the proceeds of these sales to buy up strategic assets around the world that nobody else can afford as they are all indebted to China already.



56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 18 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
He's exactly right.

Ours was an empire and the trouble with empires is that they fall. Rome took a thousand years. We'll be done before four hundred.
Quoting caliatenza (Reply 2):
Doc, say we are an Empire...but what happens after the fall?

Then we go back to simply being a huge country with a large, diverse population and fantastic natural resources.

Really the only problem facing the US is that people's expectations of what life should reasonably offer them got ahead of reality. Things will settle out and the US will be fine - people will work, raise their families, live in relative prosperity - but perhaps not the 'fine' that we were hoping for. And the process to get there will be painful.

The doom and gloom that people are expressing in the US is a bit surprising when you think about the things we have already worked through in the past.

In 1812, the British burned Washington DC down.

In the 1860s, we had an all-out civil war that killed 2% of the population (WW2 was only 0.3% by comparison) and threatened to rip the nation in half.

In 1918-19, the flu pandemic struck ~30% of the population and killed something like 675,000 people.

In the 1930s, unemployment in the US was something on the order of 25%. People literally starved to death (an old gentleman I once talked to told me that the only reason he survived childhood was that the guys at the Coast Guard Station in New London would sneak him food.)

In the 1940s, the country damn near went bankrupt due the war effort. Our saving grace was that virtually everyone else had it so much worse with the war being fought on their soil. Thus the post-war boom.

In the 1950s-60s the US and USSR were at each others' throats and the threat of nuclear escalation (on purpose or by mistake) was very real.

In the late 1960 and early 70s, the country was literally at war with itself again. There were full-on race riots and National Guard troops shot college kids dead at Kent State.

In the mid to late 1970s, the economy nearly imploded due to stagflation and there were (surprise) wars in the Middle East. Even though I was a kid I remember pretty clearly how shitty people felt about 'the future'. I remember the somber predictions about what a disaster the world would be 'in the year 2000'. And yet we enjoyed a period of relative peace and prosperity for the next 20 years.

I think 9/11 and ten years of war have worn us down. We forget that a majority of the world's population would kill to have what the poorest people in the US enjoy in terms of municipal services, legal protections and opportunity. Pour yourself some clean tap water, and congratulations you are better off than a billion other people.

I think we need to redefine our role on the world stage to something that we can sustain and cut the bullshit in Washington DC that is preventing any effective action at all. The economy will eventually adjust to the 'new normal', but how painful that is for the average person depends on whether or not the hacks we send to Washington can work together, and the degree to which we can transition from a global policeman to a global partner.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 2811 times:

For someone my age (68 this year) it is fairly easy to see a downslope in many areas.

The greatest problem I see for the US is the growing disparity between the lowest paid in a company and the highest paid. There is no problem with people being well paid (like a lot of execs at the top are), but there is a huge problem with the continually declining incomes and buying power for those at the lower end of the scale.

One great example for me was the edge I was paid in a part time job in 1970 while going to school after the Navy: $2.50 an hour. Guess what the minimum wage is TODAY for those jobs that include tips? $2.50 per hour. That should get you worried right there.

Another major problem we have is our current tax rates. The Bush Handout was great when it was the return of a surplus to taxpayers. But we don't have a surplus any more and the Bush Handout is no longer affordable.

We also have a queer tax system where those who WORK for a living pay a higher tax rate than those who make money playing in the market. I actually don't have a problem with Willard Romney pulling in his $20 million a year. Where I do have a problem is that he only pays a 15% tax rate on it. This mentality is one of the factors that are really hurting this country. We need to get back to being honest and taxing Income as Income. That might help bring the economic split in this country together little bit more.

On the medical side I do feel sorry for doctors. US doctors seem to be abused more than, say, Australia doctors and it is not government leading the problem. Doctors used to use their training, experience and judgement in determining what should be ordered. They can still determine what should be ordered, but the insurance companies will be the determining factor in if the patient will get the test or treatment.

Some of the specialities can make good money, but your traditional family doctor is getting the shaft, These days the majority of doctors are either part of a large practice, or work for a hospital. My wife's doctor is in a large practice that is actually owned by a hospital - they just don't talk about that ownership. It is going to be tough for doctors in the future. Good luck.

In general terms, I belief this country will continue ti deteriorate as long as the middle class continues to deteriorate. Unfortunately the very rich have extraordinary political pull with our new unlimited pay-for-politicians Supreme Court ruling. That ability to pay what is needed to get what you want is going to make it very difficult to reverse the middle class slide.


User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 16 hours ago) and read 2773 times:

Nothing is permanent including the current administration. What is permanent is the resolve of middle America whose voice has not been heard for some time. Change Washington, change foreign trade policy and we can retrieve America. Post 9/11 we were told to stand down and be tolerant. Times running out on the patience of Americans and we see through the haze of the current smoke screens. Washington is aware of this and I would belive this concerns them. A lot of peaks and valleys when forging new trails but eventually we all get there. America isn't dead yet.

User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 961 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 15 hours ago) and read 2751 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
Is this same story being repeated in other fields (i have lived outside the States for school for almost 7 years now..). On my occasional visits back home i didnt really feel like the Recession was so bad, but then again . But then again you have people in states like Texas say "What Recession?"...so is it a State by State thing???

The recession absolutely hit some states harder than others. It's a little extreme to say that Texas didn't get hit at all, but it did better than most.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
We also have a queer tax system where those who WORK for a living pay a higher tax rate than those who make money playing in the market. I actually don't have a problem with Willard Romney pulling in his $20 million a year. Where I do have a problem is that he only pays a 15% tax rate on it. This mentality is one of the factors that are really hurting this country. We need to get back to being honest and taxing Income as Income. That might help bring the economic split in this country together little bit more.

How does the amount of effort put into earning income have any relationship to the tax rate that should be paid? If we are going to differentiate between ordinary income and capital gains, should we have different effort-based rates for ordinary income? Coal miners certainly work "harder" than computer programmers. No one suggests we should adjust rates for the amount of brow sweat involved in earning a living.

Taxes should be assessed in proportion to the amount of public services used to earn the income. For a distribution of capital gains, that is the cost of running the SEC divided by the number of financial transactions. In other words, practically zero. I would propose something like a $0.10 fee per dividend distribution or asset sale.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
He also talked about how bassically the US is at a disadvantage cause we have lost most of our manufacturing jobs to countries like China, etc. He mentioned how back in the day, during the 70s and even the 80s...if you didnt have a job, you could just go down to the local plant and just get hired to be a factory worker. Clearly, this isnt the case anymore.

Manufacturing has been shrinking as a share of GDP for decades. Just like agriculture did during the first half of the 20th century, it's a sign that we are advancing to a more technical and skill-based economy. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

FWIW - I am in the industry of manufacturing highly engineered capital goods for energy infrastructure, and we see very little cost advantage of doing business in China in the long-run. Their labor costs are rising too. At this rate, they will reach effective parity with the U.S. in the next 10-15 years.

FWIW 2 - U.S. manufacturing should up-tick significantly with the renewed oil & natural gas boom that is developing. The U.S. could very well become the world's largest oil & gas producing nation in the next 25 years which will create significant demand from the manufacturing sector.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 1):
He's exactly right.

Ours was an empire and the trouble with empires is that they fall. Rome took a thousand years. We'll be done before four hundred.

That's extremely melodramatic.

The U.S. still has major structural advantages over most developed nations. We have easily defensible borders, a military that can project power anywhere, one of the most educated workforces, net immigration of labor (both skilled & unskilled), huge natural resources, stable government, etc.

What has changed is that the global playing field has leveled and the U.S. is now competing in areas where we use to be the sole (or dominant) player. That doesn't necessarily mean we are losing. Commercial aircraft is one example where the U.S. had a near monopoly until the 1990s. Boeing has been reduced to ~50% market share, but we are manufacturing (and exporting) more aircraft by dollar value than ever before.

In summary, the U.S. is not declining but other nations are catching up. We still have significant advantages over most nations and I would grant that we could use them more effectively. However, so much of the creative, cultural, and intellectual capital in the world is based in the U.S. that I would still expect the U.S. to lead a "leveled" global economy.


User currently onlineDerico From Argentina, joined Dec 1999, 4299 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 13 hours ago) and read 2690 times:

It's peaked, mainly because there is no more room for territorial or populational expansion. So it's a "fully mature" country now, more like Europe than a new, open frontier.

And also, others are coming up from low levels. You may be on a plane watching another plane gaining altitude... It may seem looking at this that you are descending. Or like when you meet a cousin in their teens after last seing them as kids. You feel much shorter than you remember, but it's not you who's shrunk!



My internet was not shut down, the internet has shut me down
User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 13 hours ago) and read 2671 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
So i had a pretty long conversation with my dad today (he's a doctor..came to the US in the 70s' after finishing up school in India) and he pretty much painted a bleak future of the US economy and especially the medical field as a whole . He was saying that these days doctors are getting paid less than they were just a few ago and Insurance returns are also less cause more and more people don't have a job and subsequently cant afford insurance. Moreover, State and Local Governments are cutting back on health services cause of the economy . This sucks cause i just got out of freaking medical school . Maybe DocLightning can comment on this...

Sorry to pick on you a bit here, but I only have crocodile tears for the medical profession. Consumer price inflation in 2010 was 1.1% but per capita medical costs rose by 7.3%, continuing a trend that's been going on for years. SOMEBODY in the medical field is making gobs of money and is hardly feeling any recession.

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
How long can we survive on a service based economy? Can we get our manufacturing jobs back? Is this really one of those boom and bust cycles that happen from time to time or is a permanent thing? Is the US going to take a permanent backseat to say, China....?

Part of the problem is that we have become a permit-based society run by and for bureaucrats rather than entrepreneurs. John Stossel wrote an interesting piece recently - he tried to open a simple lemonade stand.

Quote:
It made me want to try to jump through the legal hoops required to open a simple lemonade stand in New York City. Here's some of what one has to do:

-- Register as sole proprietor with the County Clerk's Office (must be done in person)

-- Apply to the IRS for an Employer Identification Number.

-- Complete 15-hr Food Protection Course!

-- After the course, register for an exam that takes 1 hour. You must score 70 percent to pass. (Sample question: "What toxins are associated with the puffer fish?") If you pass, allow three to five weeks for delivery of Food Protection Certificate.

-- Register for sales tax Certificate of Authority

-- Apply for a Temporary Food Service Establishment Permit. Must bring copies of the previous documents and completed forms to the Consumer Affairs Licensing Center.

Then, at least 21 days before opening your establishment, you must
arrange for an inspection with the Health Department's Bureau of Food Safety and Community Sanitation. It takes about three weeks to get your appointment. If you pass, you can set up a business once you:

-- Buy a portable fire extinguisher from a company certified by the New York Fire Department and set up a contract for waste disposal.

-- We couldn't finish the process. Had we been able to schedule our health inspection and open my stand legally, it would have taken us 65 days.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/art..._open_a_lemonade_stand_113235.html



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 12 hours ago) and read 2651 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Reply 6):

hmmn...i do agree with you on this, but can the US survive solely on a service-based economy? I mean, we barely make anything anymore in this country outside of the auto industry...

I like the Russ Roberts podcast. He is a fairly popular podcast host who interviews economists. And he is one himself.

The way Russ tells it, a service can be a "product" or a good, whether or not it is a physical item. Lawyers make briefs. Doctors and nurses make people better. Teachers make people smarter. Robots and people build cars. A fashion designer makes designs. A construction worker "makes" houses, but isn't home maintenance also a service?

Similarly with cars -- labor to maintain your car is a service. But are cars a product or a service? The notion of value doesn't really place manufacturing above other generators of value. It ends up achieving the same goal. Most "goods" are not durable anyway (such as food); they are more of a service. It is an artificial distinction in the end.

For the purposes of trade, a lot of US services and intellectual property are pirated. Obtaining payment for those products is one strategy to fix our trade balance.


User currently offline2707200X From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 8446 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 2571 times:

I don't really think that America is on a permanent downslope but I think the the way we handle our political discourse certainly is. In Washington politicians spend much more time going back and fourth to their constituency instead of spending time in Washington having a beer or what with the party opposite at least having some dialogue in the past hours of session. So many things are of the party line when it comes to voting on a bill, almost any sort of bill.


"And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." John Masefield Sea-Fever
User currently offlineQFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2060 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 10 hours ago) and read 2561 times:

Most of the reasons that American is on the downslide can easily be shown consistently throughout the Western world, the West in general is on a downslide.

The biggest one I think is personal responsibility. It has become completely lost in the West. History has shown that a society with strong personal responsibility is one that will thrive. Look at China, as soon as the government stepped back and people started becoming responsible for what happened in their lives the economy boomed.

Then there's the welfare state; this is not an attack of the safety net, there's an enormous different between a safety net that will bounce those that fall back up and one in which poverty and dependence become institutialised in a cradle to grave society. In Australia we are seeing this exact problem, whereby it is quite easy to swing from payment to payment, where in 2007/08 41% of the budget was spent on welfare, a doubling of the portion of the budget. This is similar to what is happening in the US. Much of this financed with debt, that will not be paid back to due creating a society filled with people who expect not to work.

The breakdown of the family as the principle unit of society, closely tied to personal responsibility follows. Marriage has been completely washed away to nothing with the ease of divorce and a culture that encourages it (Eat Pray Love anyone?). Marriage has become an ego trip for women rather than a true commitment, hence why men are forgetting about it all together while getting yelled at from the right to 'man up'. Conservatives will point to gay marriage as proof of the endtimes while divorce statistics are quietly brushed under the rug, its not hard to see which is more damaging for society.

Finally on my rant of personal responsibility, I believe it is impossible for an unhealthy society to thrive. The West has become lazy, where obesity is normal and diabetes is one of those manageable problems you get as you get older, like hearing loss. People become less productive, become worse parents to the next generation, use more resources, both everyday ones and healthcare.

The problem goes much deeper than simple things like 'all our manufacturing is in China' or 'the rich aren't taxed enough' or 'theres too many Mexicans' that serve only to divide society and avert our attention for the cliff we're about to go over.
/rant


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 9 hours ago) and read 2538 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
The U.S. still has major structural advantages over most developed nations. We have easily defensible borders, a military that can project power anywhere,

We rely on foreign energy sources. We rely on foreign manufacturing. We do not live sustainably. To secure our supply of oil, we must have an enormous and expensive military that ensures that we have the benefit of force throughout the world. It costs a huge amount of money.

Our politics have become so stressed that we are losing our credit rating. For once, a generation is afraid that their kids will have it worse than they did.

The pay gap between the top paid and the lowest paid has exploded. The middle class is vanishing. Our country has a bigger income gap than India. In this setting, our physical infrastructure is crumbling. There are power outages, endless traffic jams, absurd flight delay statistics, and a general lack of information bandwidth available for many uses. Our public transport networks even in our biggest cities pale in comparison to those in Europe or Asia.

We've lost our manufacturing ability, and it's not because workers want to live a decent life. They live a decent life in Germany and Japan where the finest manufactured goods are produced. Our exports are reduced to some cars, planes, software, financial services, entertainment, and military hardware.

This doesn't look very promising to me.


User currently offlinesebolino From France, joined May 2001, 3681 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 2465 times:

I'm not sure the US will "fall". But I'm sure the country will have to greatly change.
Us are doomed if they keep relying on free and unlimited oil. But the US have this great ability to adapt very fast, even when things look engraved in marble, like this incredible waste of energy.


User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 4 hours ago) and read 2450 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):

Sorry to pick on you a bit here, but I only have crocodile tears for the medical profession. Consumer price inflation in 2010 was 1.1% but per capita medical costs rose by 7.3%, continuing a trend that's been going on for years. SOMEBODY in the medical field is making gobs of money and is hardly feeling any recession.

its certain specialties that are making more money than others, along with the insurance companies and HMOs. For example, my dad is a Gastroenterologist. Income in his specialty has been declining over the years due to increased costs and less people being able to afford the procedures and/or the insurance needed to cover those procedures. By contrast, Cardiologists are still raking in the income cause they can outsource Echos, ECGs, and other diagnostic procedures to their techs, and just focus on one or two advanced procedures, such as cardiac catheterization.


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 hours ago) and read 2449 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Part of the problem is that we have become a permit-based society run by and for bureaucrats rather than entrepreneurs. John Stossel wrote an interesting piece recently - he tried to open a simple lemonade stand

You need to look at why all the permits have been put in place; Because companies abused their position.

The solution isn't to remove the permits/regulations. The solution is to use them to achieve the right balance. In many cases that means stepping back on existing permits/regulations a bit. In many other situations it means tightening them a lot more. In a few situations it means actually creating regulations.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 18):
The biggest one I think is personal responsibility. It has become completely lost in the West. History has shown that a society with strong personal responsibility is one that will thrive

Personal responsibility certainly isn't where it should be but that is just a blimp in the problem sky.

The biggest problem is the lack of balance. Too many things are made in to black and white. The good solution is almost ever somewhere in the grey but too many will happily destroy everything instead of giving up a little.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 18):
Then there's the welfare state; this is not an attack of the safety net, there's an enormous different between a safety net that will bounce those that fall back up and one in which poverty and dependence become institutialised in a cradle to grave society.

This is important. We need to find the right balance. In most countries this means more but in many (developed) nations it means reductions to get it right.


User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1296 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 1 hour ago) and read 2375 times:

I don't see America on a down slope at all. Its all relative - world and industries evolve.

Yes things have changed - post WWII there was a very clear divide in the world, almost a black and white with the US on one end. Now things are more convoluted, there is no longer great tug of war, and other nations (thankfully) have also risen economically.

However the US is still the land of business and innovation. Bulk of top global companies and brands are still US, top education is still centered around the US, and world largest economic market is the US still. Much of the worlds most valued intellectual property is American.

Yes America lost factories - but that is to be expected. Look at Western Europe like the UK, once the heart of industrial world it also lost much of its gritty blue color industrial base and now instead focused on things like high value sectors like financial sector. Production will flow to the lowest cost producer which benefits both sides of the equation - both the seller and buyer.


So no I don't see the US declining. Yes there might be other nations rising, but the world is evolving, and America has an incredibly important part to play both economically and politically.


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
How does the amount of effort put into earning income have any relationship to the tax rate that should be paid?

It shouldn't. Income should be income, no matter how you dress it up. Capital gains, interest income, dividends, etc. All is income and should be taxed as income. (Dividends shouldn't be double taxed so dividend should be a deduction for the company paying it. That makes dividends a business decision just like other decisions.)

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
If we are going to differentiate between ordinary income and capital gains

We don't need to differentiate. Why should capital gains get special benefits? Investors invest because they anticipate a profit. The need to have special tax rates so they will invest if a fairy tale of the highest order. And we continue to believe that fairy tale.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
Taxes should be assessed in proportion to the amount of public services used to earn the income.

Not really. Public services are simple to identify - like public health departments around the country. How do you determine how much a income earner (company or individual) needs to be taxed for the local health departments by your system. Of libraries, police, fire departments, etc.?

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
it's a sign that we are advancing to a more technical and skill-based economy.

So are other countries. There was a recent article on Apple in China and their ability to ramp up because of education in China. On one line they had to obtain a large supply of engineers for their manufacturing. Took two weeks in China and the best estimate was 2 to 3 years in the US.

If we are to continue to be outstanding in these areas we need to continually develop programs in the schools that reflect the changing world. That might be a conflict with people who only believe in "local" education programs, or the nuts in Texas with their strange textbook preferences.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
U.S. manufacturing should up-tick significantly with the renewed oil & natural gas boom that is developing.

I hope there will be an uptick, but it will be restricted to the industry. Just like the economy outside of oil patch ddi well during Reagan's era - but oil patch really suffered. There are obviously some production increases for industry needs, but we need to be just as concerned about companies not related to oil.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
The U.S. could very well become the world's largest oil & gas producing nation in the next 25 years which will create significant demand from the manufacturing sector.

I believe we could do a lot more with natural gas, but we seems to be afraid of it. Taxis in Sydney and Melbourne run on gas, with petrol used as a backup fuel. Very efficient for the full size Holdens and Falcons, but we don't have the political will (or oil industry support) to go that way.

And while we can increase our production I believe that the real key will be how we constrain our use. Fuel efficiency is just as important as supply. We need to go back to the vigorous tax credits for improving home efficiency, and use tax systems as incentives (or deterrents) for efficient cars and trucks.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 13):
one of the most educated workforces

Actually I believe that our education system is failing our workforce - at the trades levels, the professional levels and everything in between. The costs of university educations are going through the roof, yet we want cut education and continually diminish teachers. Take a guess on how much it is going to cost this year's high school graduate to become a teacher. Then guess how much they will be paid. Now try to figure out if you live in one of those states that demand continuing education for teachers (but don't provide the financial support of those post graduate courses).

So take a guess at the direction education is taking in this country. Take a guess of how many graduates in the top of their graduating class will head into education.


User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 25, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2350 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):

Actually I believe that our education system is failing our workforce - at the trades levels, the professional levels and everything in between. The costs of university educations are going through the roof, yet we want cut education and continually diminish teachers.

Because we are wasting money teaching the wrong things. Over the past few generations, the idea has been hammered into the heads of Americans that EVERYONE should go to college/university, and that if you didn't you are a failure. As a result, you have millions of kids who might have been better off learning a trade going off to college at $100K-200K a pop, and since he has no interest in a really useful University level education like engineering, law, science or medicine (to name a few), we are wasting mountains of money paying for degrees in Art History, Gender Studies, French Literature etc - and the kids come out after getting such a degree and end up scratching their heads wondering why won't anyone hire them.

To reform our education system, we need to forget about this "University education for all" BS, and reintroduce trade schools and apprenticeships as part of the public education system. Federal sponsorship of non-essential courses and degrees should be terminated - Federal funds should go to education that does something for society and the economy. Hispanic Studies and so forth does not. States should be encouraged to do the same with their funds.

As a result, you should be able to go to a state university for an engineering degree and pay $10K per year (because of the state subsidies, and even less if you have an academic scholarship) but if you want to study French Literature it will cost you $50K, because you (or your parents) have to pay for the whole thing - taxpayers won't help you.

And if you decide that higher education is not for you, you should be able to drop out of most classes at age 15 or 16 and pursue courses and apprenticeships sponsored by the school district so that by the time you are 18 or 19 you are a trained and qualified welder, A/C heating repair technician, machinist, or computer tech (fill in the trade). in other words, you have a sell-able skill.

Of course Acadamia would positively freak at the suggestion of such reforms, so I am convinced they will never happen.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6785 posts, RR: 34
Reply 26, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2348 times:

A return to Constitutional principles is the ONLY way the USA can avoid this being a permanent condition of deterioration.

User currently offlineCASINTEREST From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 27, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2369 times:

Quoting slider (Reply 26):
A return to Constitutional principles is the ONLY way the USA can avoid this being a permanent condition of deterioration.

What a crock off BS,
This country , if it is deteriorating , is only doing so because of people that beleive the above line of thinking. And then have no documentation to back it up.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 28, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 22):
This is important. We need to find the right balance. In most countries this means more but in many (developed) nations it means reductions to get it right.

All your talk about balance reminds me of something very pertinent to the discussion. I don't have the time to get into it now but I suggest that the Hegelian Dialectic is very relevant as to how we have gotten to where we are. Look it up. I'll try to get back into this discussion tonight.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 29, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2339 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Sorry to pick on you a bit here, but I only have crocodile tears for the medical profession. Consumer price inflation in 2010 was 1.1% but per capita medical costs rose by 7.3%, continuing a trend that's been going on for years. SOMEBODY in the medical field is making gobs of money and is hardly feeling any recession.

Not the doctors. The inscos, yes. Hospitals, maybe. Doctors, no.

Quoting slider (Reply 29):
America is broke, bloated, and its citizenry spoiled by decades of materialism run amok, punctuated by government largesse, over regulation in every way of life, invasive foreign policy, etc, etc, etc.... I'd love to hear you counter this intellectually.

I have to agree.

One of the problems with regulation isn't the regulation itself but the implementation. It's one thing to say that hospitals should have to follow certain standards of cleanliness and organization. But when the regulations mean that we get docked because we don't have the right kind of lock on the cabinet door, but we don't get docked when I order a STAT chest X-ray on a patient in respiratory distress with deteriorating blood gases and the X-ray tech takes eight hours to show up, then there's a problem. The problem with all of these regulations is that they come down to filling out excessive paperwork, rather than actually improving care and quality in whatever industry it is.

I see it again with this push to make welfare recipients take drug tests. I'm all for making sure welfare recipients aren't using my money that I'm paying them to buy drugs. But the problem is the bureaucratic nightmare you run into in actually executing this bright idea.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 30, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2336 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We've lost our manufacturing ability, and it's not because workers want to live a decent life. They live a decent life in Germany and Japan where the finest manufactured goods are produced. Our exports are reduced to some cars, planes, software, financial services, entertainment, and military hardware.

Doc, I don't know if what you are saying really reflects reality. As of a year ago, the US was still the world's largest manufacturer: http://business.time.com/2011/03/10/...mpete-with-american-manufacturing/

Regardless, being the manufacturer of high-tech, big-ticket items is where you want to be. Let somebody else crank out the small stuff. For that reason we need to find ways to protect intellectual property and continue to improve education as people have already mentioned.

I'm seriously considering becoming a middle school science or high school physics teacher when I retire from the military.


User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6573 posts, RR: 6
Reply 31, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2324 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 15):
Sorry to pick on you a bit here, but I only have crocodile tears for the medical profession. Consumer price inflation in 2010 was 1.1% but per capita medical costs rose by 7.3%, continuing a trend that's been going on for years. SOMEBODY in the medical field is making gobs of money and is hardly feeling any recession.

Sound like you are jealous of other peoples wealth.



Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineCASINTEREST From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 32, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
I just want to have a discussion about where America is headed in the future and how we can bring our economy back stronger.

America is on a downward trend?
How .

Crime rates are not at their historical highs.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_the_United_States

Highest GDP of any Country
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_the_United_States

the US has the highest percentage of College degree or higher persons then ever before.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educati...al_attainment_in_the_United_States



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinemt99 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 6573 posts, RR: 6
Reply 33, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2322 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
ver the past few generations, the idea has been hammered into the heads of Americans that EVERYONE should go to college/university, and that if you didn't you are a failure. As a result, you have millions of kids who might have been better off learning a trade going off to college at $100K-200K a pop, and since he has no interest in a really useful University level education like engineering, law, science or medicine (to name a few), we are wasting mountains of money paying for degrees in Art History, Gender Studies, French Literature etc - and the kids come out after getting such a degree and end up scratching their heads wondering why won't anyone hire them.

Actually - Unemployment rate for people with college degrees is about half (less than4.5%-ish) of the national average. So contrary to what you say College Graduates ARE being hired. This rate has been quite stable.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

[Edited 2012-02-27 09:38:52]


Step into my office, baby
User currently offlineAirframeAS From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 14150 posts, RR: 24
Reply 34, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2301 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
Lower barriers and let good ideas thrive. And take a very serious look at any new regulation, because none of that is free.

The main problem is that corporations are seeing outsourcing overseas is cheaper than doing things here at home. They see it as a tax avoidance benefit. Now Obama is saying he wants to give tax credits for companies who bring those jobs back home or penalize those who keep those jobs overseas, or no tax breaks. The problem with the tax breaks for bringing home the jobs back to the U.S. is that the company can say they brought the jobs back when they really did not and is still operating shops overseas.

An easy way to sucker the government just for more tax breaks.



A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
User currently offlineYOWza From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 4865 posts, RR: 15
Reply 35, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2292 times:

While I don't think it's all doom and gloom for the US, things are far from rosy and I think that the country is approaching a breaking point. The real issue is that the only people who are really in a position to do anything about the decline are too busy fighting each other over stupid perceived ideological differences to right the ship. They're also too bust lining their own pockets and those of their friends.

As I've said CASINTEREST, it's not all doom and gloom but I would ask that you consider the following:

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 33):
Crime rates are not at their historical highs.

What about white collar crime? My guess is that it has never been more rampant.

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 33):
Highest GDP of any Country

OK but how is that spread throughout the populace? What percentage of people enjoy most of the wealth? 5%? 1%? Less? Or forget even that, what about GDP per capita, where does that leave you 4th? 5th?


Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 33):
the US has the highest percentage of College degree or higher persons then ever before.

Wikipedia is out of date: http://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/the...ucated-countries-in-the-world.html

The US ranks 4th in terms of post-secondary education. The rub there is that the US is awash with shitty tertiary institutions. Ever watched late night TV to see just how many "colleges" are out there?

YOWza



12A whenever possible.
User currently offlineCASINTEREST From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 36, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2283 times:

Quoting YOWza (Reply 38):
What about white collar crime? My guess is that it has never been more rampant.

White Collar Crime, doesn't really apply to downward trend. However define rampant against GDP and back up your WAG? It will be difficult as white collar crime is rather difficult to track.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 38):
OK but how is that spread throughout the populace? What percentage of people enjoy most of the wealth? 5%? 1%? Less? Or forget even that, what about GDP per capita, where does that leave you 4th? 5th?

I made it through college on pell grants, and I had a blast. The standard of living is pretty good. When people only have to worry about getting food stamps and where to get medicare coverage when destitute, I'd say thaty is pretty good. But in terms of GDP the uS is 10th or 15th depending on the site, but it is still #1 in terms of population over 100 million.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 38):
The US ranks 4th in terms of post-secondary education.

But from your same article  
"the largest share of adults with a tertiary education live in the United States — 25.8%."



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 37, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2275 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 31):
Doc, I don't know if what you are saying really reflects reality. As of a year ago, the US was still the world's largest manufacturer:

But if you read the article, we see that a big problem isn't the manufacturing, per se, but the fact that it's being increasingly automated, which means fewer blue-collar jobs.

From your article:

Quote:
That, however, has serious implications for the American workforce. Many Americans equate manufacturing with jobs, but as industry progresses, that link will become more and more tenuous. As manufacturing becomes more high-tech and automated, it will become a smaller source of new employment. In other words, even if American manufacturing can maintain its competitiveness versus China, it could very well be the case that fewer and fewer people will be working in factories anyway. That would especially be the case with poorly skilled workers, as manufacturing will increasingly depend on a higher level of training and engineering and IT knowledge.

Read more: http://business.time.com/2011/03/10/...y2sr6

I was unclear when I wrote my post. I was more concerned with manufacturing JOBS than manufacturing OUTPUT.

On the one hand, Dreadnought is very right: not everyone is cut out to be college material. On the other hand, if there are no blue-collar jobs, what do we do with those who don't go to college? There are only so many people you need to maintain robots at an automated factory.

Quoting YOWza (Reply 38):
Or forget even that, what about GDP per capita, where does that leave you 4th? 5th?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)_per_capita
#7, but most of the countries above us are statistical anomalies with huge GDPs and tiny populations (like Brunei, Qatar, and Singapore).


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 38, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2249 times:

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 23):
I don't see America on a down slope at all. Its all relative - world and industries evolve

I'm not about to get worried about America because toasters are no longer made domestically.

What I see, really, is people complaining that things aren't the old way anymore. It's complaints about change. Had their been internet forums a hundred years ago, we likely would have seen similar hand wringing about people moving off of farms and into factories. Just as factories became the workplaces of the 20th century, offices are becoming the workplaces of the 21st. And I don't see anything wrong with that.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
or the nuts in Texas with their strange textbook preferences.

Education on evolution somehow affects one's ability to make iPods? Did it ever occur to anyone that some of the issues in education aren't issues at all? What employer cares whether their new mechanic learned evolution or intelligent design? Is knowledge of condoms an important criterion for acceptance to graduate schools these days?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
law,

You've got to be kidding. We're turning out lawyers like there's no tomorrow. It's a quarter million dollar piece of paper for them to hang in their office. And by "hang in their office" I mean put it above the fryer at the Burger King where they work.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
And if you decide that higher education is not for you, you should be able to drop out of most classes at age 15 or 16 and pursue courses and apprenticeships sponsored by the school district so that by the time you are 18 or 19 you are a trained and qualified welder, A/C heating repair technician, machinist, or computer tech (fill in the trade). in other words, you have a sell-able skill.

Some schools already do that.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 31):
Regardless, being the manufacturer of high-tech, big-ticket items is where you want to be

   America has gone from being Walmart to Neiman Marcus. Want to build a factory in China? Get yourself a CAT excavator. Need to get those exports to market? Use a ship powered by a GE engine. Need to build an oil well in Nigeria? Give Halliburton a call. The issue isn't that America doesn't produce things, it's that America doesn't produce mundane things anymore.

Quoting mt99 (Reply 34):
Actually - Unemployment rate for people with college degrees is about half (less than4.5%-ish) of the national average. So contrary to what you say College Graduates ARE being hired. This rate has been quite stable.

   Every time someone makes a comment about how terrible things are for blue collar workers my reply is "No shit. That's why I work my butt off for an education: so I don't have to deal with that."



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 39, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2235 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 40):
I was unclear when I wrote my post. I was more concerned with manufacturing JOBS than manufacturing OUTPUT.

I follow you now.

Ironically one would think that with the robots doing the majority of our manufacturing work, humans wouldn't need to put in nearly as many hours on the job and still have all their needs met. But economics don't seem to work that way. Centuries of 'progress' and we all just keep busting our asses LOL.


User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 40, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2203 times:

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 33):
the US has the highest percentage of College degree or higher persons then ever before.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Educati...tates

A meaningless statistic - how many graduate with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)? How many graduate with degrees in Medieval literature and Ethnic Studies? One is not worth the other. The vast majority of students who start out in STEM fields end up washing out of their STEM major - a few drop out altogether but most find their way into some Liberal Arts field because our society tells them that SOME degree is better than none at all. Well, not at $100-200K per degree they are not!

Personally, whenever I have to interview a prospective employee and I see that they majored in Ethics or something like that, it doesn't mean squat to me - it's as if they just graduated High School.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineCASINTEREST From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 41, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2177 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 43):
A meaningless statistic - how many graduate with degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)? How many graduate with degrees in Medieval literature and Ethnic Studies? One is not worth the other.

To be honest, it really depends. Now I rank some folks that have STEM degrees above other majors just due to some of the mindset and skills needed for the degrees. However I have found some folks that never got a college degree to be better programmers than those that got them.
Some folks are suited for their degree and are trained for them. Others just have a natural knack.

Sure their will always be the rocks for jocks folks, and the I went to college on the parent's dime folks, but the fact that people actually went for 2-4 years and survived with a degree means they at least put forth some effort, and that is more than most high school grads or non grads will ever do.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 43):
Personally, whenever I have to interview a prospective employee and I see that they majored in Ethics or something like that, it doesn't mean squat to me - it's as if they just graduated High School.

I'd at least note that they put forth the effort, but if they are interviewing with me, they better know something about telecommunications other than how to dial a phone.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13967 posts, RR: 63
Reply 42, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2142 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):

And if you decide that higher education is not for you, you should be able to drop out of most classes at age 15 or 16 and pursue courses and apprenticeships sponsored by the school district so that by the time you are 18 or 19 you are a trained and qualified welder, A/C heating repair technician, machinist, or computer tech (fill in the trade). in other words, you have a sell-able skill.

I know that you have lived in Switzerland for a long time. Switzerland has, like Germany and Austria, a tradion of providing apprenticeships for many trades.
The German system, also used in other German speaking countries, allows young people from the age of 16 to get hired as an apprentice with a company. They get paid a bit more than a pocket money (and get fully insured through the national schemes for health, pension and unemployment).
During the apprenticeship they learn the practical side of their trade by working in the company (and because they get paid, the boss can and will demand discipline, like being on time and actually working, like finishing a job and keeping the workplace tidy, a thing many teenagers don´t get taught in school).
The theoretical part of the trade is being taught in vocational schools (Berufsschulen) run by the government. Typically the apprentices work three weeks for their boss and then do two weeks in school.
They get the usual paid annual leave as for their trade group and get trained to a curriculum set up by the relevant trade association, which also will do the intermediate and final exams.
For example a young aircraft mechanic apprentice will spend the first year in a special apprentice´s shop, where he will be taught metalwork by a master of his trade. Typically it will start with flat filing (in my case I was given a workbench with a vise and a set of hand tools, a lump cuit off a steel bar and a drawing. I had to convert this lump of steel into a G-clamp just using hand tools and to be exact to 0.2 millimeters. The screw was later made during the machine shop part of the training. The part was checked by the instructor and if it was out of specs, the apprentice had to start all over again. I finished mine in 10 days, but one young guy in the class spent about 2 months until he got it right.)
Later parts will be the machine shop (lathe and milling machine), sheet metal work and, in my case, welding.
After the apprentice had finished his first year and passed an intermediate exam, he will move on to the hangar and work on actual aircraft under supervision by a qualified mechanic. As he progresses, he will work more and more independently (depending in how far the mechanic or inspector, who certifies for the work will trust him) and after three and a half years he will be ready to take the final journeyman exams (Gesellenprüfung). In my case it was a three day exam. First there was the theoretical part with written exams in aircraft technology, physics, mathematics, technical drawings and basic labour law (the new journeyman should know his rights and duties as per the law).
Next came a practical exam at an aircraft. I had to do seven tasks according to the maintenance manual on a 737 and was being watched by an experienced inspector, who also quizzed me about why I was doing the tasks in a certain way (No, just saying that the AMM says so was wrong, you had to show basic knowledge of aircraft systems).
The last part was the Gesellenstück (journeyman´s piece). in the morning of the day of the exam I was given a sandwich bag full of metal pieces and hardware (like screws, rivets and nuts) and a drawing. Then I had exactly 8 hours to convert these pieces into a model of some mechanical gearing, using all the metal wrking techniques I had learned prevously. The drawing told me exactly which parts had to be filed, which had to be milled etc.
At the end of the day all parts were measured by the instructors and any deviation from the specs or unfinished parts gave negative points. 8 hours was a very short time to get the work done (actually very few people managed to get everything finished to specs) and if you f#cked up a part, you wouldn´t get a replacement. You had to show that you could work both fast and accurate.
Once the freshly qualified journeyman receives his cert, he has a thorough understanding of the basics of his trade and can work productively.
After several years of experience he can go back to school for more theory and finaly become a master of his trade. For this he again has to pass both a theoretical and practical exam (making his master piece).
In Germany a master of a trade is just as respected as a person with a PhD. Depending on the profession salaries can be in the same range (e.g. I discovered recently that, as a qualified blue collar worker, I earn as much as the entry level pay for a university professor, but on the other hand getting to the level where I´m now took me about the same time as somebody going through undergraduate and graduate courses).

We have good design engineers and scientists, who develop innovative products, but we also need highly skilled blue collar workers who can manufacture them if we want to keep our standard of living.

I also noticed that having a vocational cert from Germany get you easily hired abroad.

Jan


User currently offlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8188 posts, RR: 8
Reply 43, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2109 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
As a result, you have millions of kids who might have been better off learning a trade going off to college at $100K-200K a pop, and since he has no interest in a really useful University level education like engineering, law, science or medicine (to name a few), we are wasting mountains of money paying for degrees in Art History, Gender Studies, French Literature etc - and the kids come out after getting such a degree and end up scratching their heads wondering why won't anyone hire them.

Steve Jobs at Apple was very clear in pushing the concept at being at the intersection of Technology and Liberal Arts. That focus (and the related success) pretty fairly indicates the value of a balance. The market cap of AAPL also supports it.

I believe that there is significant value in schools providing language training - especially as we become more and more of an international market. There is a need to learn the languages AND the nature of the countries. That would mean being able to have teachers who understands customers and history of a country as well as a language. Might eventually get rid of the Ugly American reputation and increase student's ability to move into international business.

But I do understand the fact that not everyone needs to go to university to work in the field they want. The trades are an excellent example and I have long noted the Australia approach from when I was levying there as a highly intelligent approach.

I also believe that we need to re-look at the current costs of a university education. $100K is a farce IMO. Maybe Step One is to stop providing expensive universities with federal research funding. Direct those research funds to colleges and universities who provide affordable education to students, especially state schools that allow in-state students to be educated at minimum costs. (And, yes, i feel the same way about training in the trades. It is in the state's interests to provide that training, with over-priced private "schools" being kept under intense reviews and regulations.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
To reform our education system, we need to forget about this "University education for all" BS, and reintroduce trade schools and apprenticeships as part of the public education system

I've noted the Australia approach before and am a strong support of it. You need to note that decisions need to be made in the 14 - 15 age groups as those students going into the trades need to leave the "university bound" streams. There is a need to continue teaching those courses needed for their trades - and math is right up there, especially for trades like carpenters.

You might be surprised at the traditional path to a higher level education in other countries. My wife's admission to PT school was based on her results on a two day "Leaving Exam". Same for the other medical professions, law, etc.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
Federal sponsorship of non-essential courses and degrees should be terminated

But what is non-essential? Civic courses? Guess we don't need them with the Super PACS we will be governed by in the future.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
Hispanic Studies and so forth does not.

To some agree this gets back to the shrinking of the world, especially in business. Foxcomm from China is opening a new plant in South America. A pretty good indication for international studies/educations. Even Hispanic Studies.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
As a result, you should be able to go to a state university for an engineering degree and pay $10K per year (because of the state subsidies, and even less if you have an academic scholarship) but if you want to study French Literature it will cost you $50K, because you (or your parents) have to pay for the whole thing - taxpayers won't help you.

Forget French Lit, focus on languages, customs and business laws of countries that we want to do business with. But let's keep delving those graduates as they will be needed in the future. We also need to remember that not everyone is cut out to be an engineer or doctor. Look at Jonathan Ive. Guy just designs artistic stuff. What good is that? A loss of taxpayers money? Well, he trained in the UK so that's OK.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
And if you decide that higher education is not for you, you should be able to drop out of most classes at age 15 or 16

I disagree with that. While I am strongly supportive of apprenticeship programs starting around age 15 I am also a strong believer in the school system keeping a close eye on those students to ensure that apprenticeship is not in ripping burgers. By the time an apprenticeship is completed the new journeyman should be able to move into the workplace and earn a decent living.

The ones dropping out of school at 15 without school oversight are basically making meth or working in gangs.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 25):
Of course Acadamia would positively freak at the suggestion of such reforms, so I am convinced they will never happen.

The US is simply too focused on moving school control to the lowest level possible and that eliminates the potential of a successful trades apprenticeship in many locations. That local control (and funding) is totally self serving with disregard for those not in the same economic status.

Quoting slider (Reply 29):
We've lost any semblance of LIMITED government.

That may be because we don't live in the 1700s any more. There wasn't a need for various regulations and standards then that we need these days. The country was also far more limited then.

Quoting slider (Reply 29):
Our elected officials are corrupt to the core,

Nah. They are just well & truly bought these days with campaign contributions. We have government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich these days, thanks to the US Supreme Court. Keep an eye on the Super PACs this year to see who really owns the politicians.

Quoting slider (Reply 29):
We have spent our way into oblivion and that check is coming due...

Especially if we continue with the Bush "refund of out surplus". We simply cannot afford that "Surplus Refujnd" as there is no surplus, but the politicians are not allowed to give it up. It's just like the $1,000 per child Socialist GOP Hand Out.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 41):
What employer cares whether their new mechanic learned evolution or intelligent design?

I guess they will care very little if they are part of the holy rollers stuffing that crap down the kids throats. Others might not want to hire new employees who will be ridiculed in the workplace.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 41):
Is knowledge of condoms an important criterion for acceptance to graduate schools these days?

Most graduate schools would be more than a little concerned about kids indoctrinated by the holy rollers who choose public school text books.

I would be a little concerned about high school graduates who don't understand the basics of reproduction - including the existence of condoms.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 41):
Give Halliburton a call.

But be sure to independently test their cement and everything else they provide. And audit their bills for over charging.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 41):
The issue isn't that America doesn't produce things, it's that America doesn't produce mundane things anymore.

When producing "mundane" things you provide jobs. Is your preference unemployment insurance? Food Stamps? Medicaid?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
It's one thing to say that hospitals should have to follow certain standards of cleanliness and organization.

Cleanliness helps. A friend of my wife just get an extra week in hospital after cancer sugary because she got a case of "hospital diarrhea".

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 30):
The problem with all of these regulations is that they come down to filling out excessive paperwork, rather than actually improving care and quality in whatever industry it is.

The excess paperwork is a worthless burden in a lot of businesses. Many requirements, unfortunately, were originated after discovery of abuses.

Unfortunately we cannot realistically rely on computer based recedes either. My wife got a copy of one of her medical records that were established at the nurses computer. Not just inaccurate records, it appears that the nurses forgot to change to a different patient when entering comments. The nurses comments were clearly on a different patient than my wife's, but they were in her computer record.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 31):
Let somebody else crank out the small stuff.

Like that small stuff that employees blue collar workers?

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 31):
I'm seriously considering becoming a middle school science or high school physics teacher when I retire from the military.

All the best with that. At least you'll have your military retirement pay to make up for the low pay you'll be getting.

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 33):
America is on a downward trend?
How .

Start with the continual decreasing buying power of the middle class. And the drinking middle class itself.


User currently offlinestasisLAX From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 3280 posts, RR: 6
Reply 44, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
This doesn't look very promising to me.

Completely agree with you on these points.   

Completely disagree with your point regarding drug-testing welfare recipients. Do we also test every social security recipient? And every Disability recipient? Do we include every Veterans that receives VA benefit? And every American who utilizes public transit or goes to an event at a taxpayer-paid arena or stadium?

Where does one drawl the line on the invasion of our personal liberties that are (supposedly) protected under the United States Constitution? Personal liberties that have ALREADY been attacked by things like the Patriot Act and the Defense Authorization Act?

It is a very slippery slope, my friend. It is not a path we Americans should EVER take. The dangers are FAR too destructive and irreversible.

[Edited 2012-02-27 15:54:00]


"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 45, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2060 times:

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 47):
Do we also test every social security recipient? And every Disability recipient? Do we include every Veterans that receives VA benefit? And every American who utilizes public transit or goes to an event at a taxpayer-paid arena or stadium?

If employers of actual workers are free to make paychecks conditional on the outcome of a drug test, then I feel non-workers (or recipients of non-wage public benefits) should be as clean as a whistle. Otherwise, have a great time whooping it up and partying. Just don't ask for benefits, that's all.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 46, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2048 times:

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 44):
However I have found some folks that never got a college degree to be better programmers than those that got them.
Some folks are suited for their degree and are trained for them. Others just have a natural knack.

A lot of things do take natural talent, but in a lot of cases that isn't enough. You need the education to go with it.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Others might not want to hire new employees who will be ridiculed in the workplace.

I wouldn't want the employees who would be willing to ridicule others for their beliefs, whatever they may be.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Most graduate schools would be more than a little concerned about kids indoctrinated by the holy rollers who choose public school text books.

I doubt accounting schools give a damn how students think the world got here. See that's the problem with a lot of liberals, though. They want money for education, just as long as it's teaching the things they want. So much for being the party of choice and freedom.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
When producing "mundane" things you provide jobs.

Mundane things are produced by companies. And companies exist to make money, not provide jobs. Governments would be well advised to not abuse companies as job programs.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Is your preference unemployment insurance? Food Stamps? Medicaid?

Dump all of it. You get an education. If you screw it up, then screw you. Have fun in the gutter.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 47):
And every Disability recipient?

Yes.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 47):
Do we include every Veterans that receives VA benefit?

No.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 47):
Where does one drawl the line on the invasion of our personal liberties that are (supposedly) protected under the United States Constitution?

When you get public money you should be spending it as mandated by the public. To me, taking your welfare check to the casino or liquor store is no different than the CEO of a company that gets a new R&D contract spending that money on a golf trip instead of what it is earmarked for. It's misappropriation, plain and simple.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 47, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2050 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
I also believe that we need to re-look at the current costs of a university education. $100K is a farce IMO. Maybe Step One is to stop providing expensive universities with federal research funding.

So you want to cut off, say, Stanford (my alma mater, which is why I bring it up) from research grants? MIT? Harvard? Yale? That would be really silly.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Unfortunately we cannot realistically rely on computer based recedes either.

"Paperwork" (as I use it) refers to the filing of documentation, whether it is on stone, papyrus, parchment, paper, or a computer monitor. Most such records will never again be used.

Quoting stasisLAX (Reply 47):

Completely disagree with your point regarding drug-testing welfare recipients. Do we also test every social security recipient? And every Disability recipient? Do we include every Veterans that receives VA benefit? And every American who utilizes public transit or goes to an event at a taxpayer-paid arena or stadium?

Every example you listed has different circumstances from welfare. I also believe that if you are on welfare, you should be banned from having babies. Do you have any idea how many women I've seen who have never worked a day in their lives but who have four to nine kids while they are on welfare? A LOT. I alone have seen hundreds of women who have conceived and born >3 kids while on welfare.

You want to have a baby? Pay for it yourself. Oddly, the Conservatives wouldn't even entertain such an idea.

But my point is that the problem is not with the concept, but the EXECUTION.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 48):
If employers of actual workers are free to make paychecks conditional on the outcome of a drug test, then I feel non-workers (or recipients of non-wage public benefits) should be as clean as a whistle.

And we live in a day and age where the government mandates many of those employer drug tests. Airlines, airplane manufacturers and their suppliers and anyone who even thinks about airplanes for a living. Drivers, government employees, etc.

Part of it is that the drug testing industry has gotten quite pervasive and they've managed to convince employers that drug testing is necessary and cost-effective. Yet in Europe, this is not done. I don't think that even pilots are routinely drug tested (European pilots?). Oddly, buildings in Europe aren't collapsing left and right, European planes aren't crashing left and right, European ships are... wait. Let's not talk about European ships right just now.  

And then you have the bureaucratic hassle of making sure that the testing is fair. You have to set reasonable cut-off concentrations, since if I walk into a cloud of potsmoke, there will be trace THC in my system for a day or two, so the cut-off has to be set so as to not catch people like that. Then there is the chain of custody (and associated paperwork) to ensure that every sample is collected under proper observation, sealed appropriately, transferred promptly to the lab, etc. etc. etc. By the time all is said and done, it costs $30-50 to drug test one person.

I'm all for preventing welfare abuse, believe me, but I don't think that a massive drug testing program is going to be very cost-effective.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 48, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2010 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 47):
I'm all for preventing welfare abuse, believe me, but I don't think that a massive drug testing program is going to be very cost-effective.

Oh totally, I only suggest it as a punitive measure. If people want to use recreational drugs, that is wonderful, but please -- as a matter of principle, let them work hard for that money.


User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 49, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 1981 times:

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
He was saying that these days doctors are getting paid less than they were just a few ago and Insurance returns are also less cause more and more people don't have a job and subsequently cant afford insurance.

American doctors are still very well paid by international standards.

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/20...o-doctors-in-other-countries-make/

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 4):
I wouldn't say its on a downslope, it has just plateaued.

This is a good point. It isn't a zero sum game. The world is getting richer and, as it does, other countries (especially the BRIC) are going to grow. This is just as good for American companies as it is for people living in other places.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 4):
Put it another way... if America had politicians with a backbone that weren't corrupt they would have:

You're elevating your opinions to fact without supporting them.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 4):
Oh and if the political system had been updated years ago, America could quite possibly not be using an obsolete imperial measuring system and move into the 21st century by adopting the metric system (like every other country in the world).

This has absolutely nothing to do with the long term success of our country.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We rely on foreign manufacturing.

So? Should North Dakota worry that they rely on other states to feed their residents?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
So are other countries. There was a recent article on Apple in China and their ability to ramp up because of education in China. On one line they had to obtain a large supply of engineers for their manufacturing. Took two weeks in China and the best estimate was 2 to 3 years in the US.

I'd be very suspicious of such statistics. For example:


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 50, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1955 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 50):

American doctors are still very well paid by international standards.

That number is rather misleading. It's a bit like saying that pilots make $150k+/yr. It's not false, but it certainly doesn't tell the whole story.

1) You don't get paid like that until you are about 30-35.
2) ~25% of your income goes to loan payments.

We're not paupers by any means, and you don't want to pay doctors any less than we get paid (consider that we work damned hard to get where we are, and if you want good people then you need to pay well). But a bad month can really deplete my bank account.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 51, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1951 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 50):
So? Should North Dakota worry that they rely on other states to feed their residents?

No because they export a lot of minerals. We export a lot of intangible things.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 52, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1962 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 49):
Oh totally, I only suggest it as a punitive measure

But it's such an EXPENSIVE punitive measure. The government shouldn't be in the role of "principle."


User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 53, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1924 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):

That number is rather misleading. It's a bit like saying that pilots make $150k+/yr. It's not false, but it certainly doesn't tell the whole story.

1) You don't get paid like that until you are about 30-35.
2) ~25% of your income goes to loan payments.

Yes and no. I'm just saying by international standards, American physicians occupy higher steps on the social ladder than they do in other countries. Also, physician salaries start out really high. Few are working for less than $100k a year.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):
We're not paupers by any means, and you don't want to pay doctors any less than we get paid (consider that we work damned hard to get where we are, and if you want good people then you need to pay well). But a bad month can really deplete my bank account.

I don't necessarily think that doctors should be paid less (especially since one pays for my tuition!), but I should point out that lots of very talented people work very hard for much less salary. Look at social workers: they're usually very competitive undergraduate students who attend expensive graduate schools, work insane hours and still get paid $50k.

In any case, I don't think you can say that declining physician salaries are any indication of America's decline, as the OP implicitly did.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 51):
No because they export a lot of minerals. We export a lot of intangible things.

Switzerland has the world's highest GDP per capita and has a smaller manufacturing industry than we do. Yes, they make expensive watches and high priced chocolate, but we make much more expensive exports. (Think Boeing, lots of motor vehicles and other heavy equipment.) Hong Kong is a similar case.


User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10884 posts, RR: 37
Reply 54, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1871 times:

Nothing is ever permanent. Rome fell deep down and got back on her feet.
However... says Louis Farrakhan...

Farrakhan: America is on its deathbed

Farrakhan challenged Obama’s recent statements that America is back on track.
“Mr. President, if America is not in decline, why is our government and state governments selling off the assets that belong to the government and American people?” Farrakhan said.

http://www.wbez.org/story/farrakhan-america-its-deathbed-96750#

 



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 55, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1829 times:

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 54):
Farrakhan challenged Obama’s recent statements that America is back on track.
“Mr. President, if America is not in decline, why is our government and state governments selling off the assets that belong to the government and American people?” Farrakhan said.

It's interesting that Louis Farrakhan is more conservative than the actual US president. Anyone would be more fiscally conservative... even most wild gamblers. Today's reality is very extreme in terms of risk. The government is basically on end-of-life palliative care.


User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 56, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1821 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 55):

It's interesting that Louis Farrakhan is more conservative than the actual US president.

Huh? A conservative would question why the government owned all those assets in the first place. Why listen to Farrakhan in the first place - he's a genuine Looney Tune.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8788 posts, RR: 24
Reply 57, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1823 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 53):

Switzerland has the world's highest GDP per capita and has a smaller manufacturing industry than we do.

Switzerland has over 20% of their working population involved in manufacturing, vs less than 10% for the US. They manufacture everything from huge hydroelectric turbines to toaster ovens. Drive between Bern and Zurich and you'll see oodles of factories that churn out manufactured consumer goods. Sure, they are a bit more expensive than Chinese imports but people have realized that there is a market for their goods.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13967 posts, RR: 63
Reply 58, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1815 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 46):
Unfortunately we cannot realistically rely on computer based recedes either.

"Paperwork" (as I use it) refers to the filing of documentation, whether it is on stone, papyrus, parchment, paper, or a computer monitor. Most such records will never again be used.

Most of the stuff is just either demanded by the lawyers to cover one´s company´s @rses and to make the employee culpable or by various "manager", who each want reports of the same thing on their special, personal forms.


Quoting aa757first (Reply 53):
Switzerland has the world's highest GDP per capita and has a smaller manufacturing industry than we do. Yes, they make expensive watches and high priced chocolate, but we make much more expensive exports. (Think Boeing, lots of motor vehicles and other heavy equipment.)

Ever heard of BBC (Brown, Bovery & Cie, not the British Broadcasting Corporation), Ciba Geigi, Hoffmann La Roche,Hilti and Pilatus?
There are many other high tech manufacturers in Switzerland.

Jan

[Edited 2012-02-28 06:35:59]

User currently offlineCASINTEREST From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4472 posts, RR: 2
Reply 59, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1781 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 43):
Start with the continual decreasing buying power of the middle class. And the drinking middle class itself.

The middle class's decreasing buying power is constantly balanced by the decreasing value of ever better technology and cheaper items. When I went to college, a good decent laptop was 2500-3500 bucks. Now the flipping 200 buck ones are 20 times better than the laptops I payed 2500-3500 for. TV's have gotten cheaper. Food and oil are more expensive, but that is due to a growing global economy.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 43):
I also believe that we need to re-look at the current costs of a university education. $100K is a farce IMO.

Anyone that pays 100 K for college and isn't going to be a doctor, lawyer, or Highly paid banker is nuts. The private institutions in this country overcharge. I flat out laughed at a girl once who went to Duke to be an Elementary school teacher. She asked why I was laughing. I said it was because she could go down the road to a public institution and get the same degree and job for 80K less.

Now it is no joke that tuitions continue to grow beyond comparison, and at some point, the math just can't and won't make sense for folks that go in and get degrees in stuff that doesn't matter. The problem is that most won't realize it until they already made the mistake.

There needs to be more recruitment and guidance for high schoolers to go into trade schools and specialized manufacturing. There is a place for glass blowers, steel workers, machinists, and other such trades, but the education system is currently to focused on college preperations. This is fine for the 30-40% that want degrees but of that other 60-70%, there are some genuinely talented folks that have skills for making commercial items folks want. The only danger is when the college educated ones figure out new products or implementations that obsolete jobs.

But back to the discussion on the American's downward trend. I see no such thing. People are getting more education than they had before. People have wonderful services and technology at their fingertips. The only ones that see a downward trend are those that are too busy living outside of their means.



Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
User currently offlinemirrodie From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 7443 posts, RR: 62
Reply 60, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1771 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 3):
I can say that there has been a very significant downward slope after 9/11 (politically, socially), and continuing further downhill after the 2008 crash (economically).

I agree that the economic downslope just never really recovered after 9-11. Seems that prompted the mortgage crisis...People werent' making the money they were, so they decided to screw the system and the middle class as a result..

Quoting caliatenza (Thread starter):
He was saying that these days doctors are getting paid less than they were just a few ago and Insurance returns are also less cause more and more people don't have a job and subsequently cant afford insurance. Moreover, State and Local Governments are cutting back on health services cause of the economy . This sucks cause i just got out of freaking medical school .

I dont know what your situation is, whether your loans are paid, etc. But here is how I look at it:

- I came into the field 10 years ago. I am THANKFUL that I only knew managed care at the time (Older docs just bitch that managed care screwed them out of their private pay based payment system). I have nothing to compare it to, so I work.
- I have been seeing more patients without insurance lately. Also, a lot of insurances with $50 copays. So even with insurance, its high for the patients.
-Insurances are reimbursing providers less and making patients pay higher copays... So in the end, the insurances are making the $$. So at leat the corporations are making more.....no down slope there.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 5):
you can look forward to buying real estate much more cheaply than 5 years ago. In that sense, you are much richer than you would have been 5 years ago. But, people will only appreciate that in retrospect -- while complaining

Good advice here. We bought our first place during the height buy are now buying up. By all accounts, b/w low prices and low rates, there has never been a better time to buy up.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 7):
New doctors have crummy lifestyles even in the best of times.

Yep, starts with those 24 archaic rounds and downhill from there....

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):
1) You don't get paid like that until you are about 30-35.
2) ~25% of your income goes to loan payments.

We're not paupers by any means, and you don't want to pay doctors any less than we get paid (consider that we work damned hard to get where we are, and if you want good people then you need to pay well). But a bad month can really deplete my bank account.

Some agreement here... graduated almost a decade ago but took on a great private practice opportunity soon after my residency.

10.6% of my salary went to loan payments and I made my last pymt a few weeks ago! Whats really nice is that it amounts to a raise, if you will.

Lastly, if you specialize, build a strong customer service patient base (ours still come to us from as far as Tokyo and Croatia) and have a good acccountant, you should be fine...

so onward and upward and enough of this downtrodden silliness!



Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 61, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1762 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 57):
Switzerland has over 20% of their working population involved in manufacturing, vs less than 10% for the US. They manufacture everything from huge hydroelectric turbines to toaster ovens. Drive between Bern and Zurich and you'll see oodles of factories that churn out manufactured consumer goods. Sure, they are a bit more expensive than Chinese imports but people have realized that there is a market for their goods.

It is still a heavily service oriented economy. And if you look at a list of countries by GDP per capita, you'll see that the top countries are either oil states, like Qatar and the UAE, or service based economies like Luxemburg, Bermuda, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, etc.


User currently offlinecaliatenza From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1555 posts, RR: 0
Reply 62, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1714 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 50):

In addition my father has to bassically take care of 3 families almost and living ain't cheap in california. He told me that the income in his specialty has been going down over the years...


User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3623 posts, RR: 5
Reply 63, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 1704 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 61):

It is still a heavily service oriented economy. And if you look at a list of countries by GDP per capita, you'll see that the top countries are either oil states, like Qatar and the UAE, or service based economies like Luxemburg, Bermuda, Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands, etc.

Being a country that most crooks in the world use to park their illegal money and/or not pay taxes also helps. Their industrial sector also helps, but it would take Switzerland nowhere near the GDP per capita they have.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 64, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1614 times:

Quoting CASINTEREST (Reply 59):
The only danger is when the college educated ones figure out new products or implementations that obsolete jobs.

That's not a danger, that's an opportunity.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 65, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 1612 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 53):
Also, physician salaries start out really high. Few are working for less than $100k a year.

Um, try $40K out of med school. Maybe as high as $55 if you are in a place with a high COL, like NYC.

Quoting aa757first (Reply 53):
I don't necessarily think that doctors should be paid less (especially since one pays for my tuition!), but I should point out that lots of very talented people work very hard for much less salary. Look at social workers: they're usually very competitive undergraduate students who attend expensive graduate schools, work insane hours and still get paid $50k.

They spend about five fewer years in school than I do and generally can't kill someone with a single mistake. I can.


User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 66, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1598 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 65):
Um, try $40K out of med school. Maybe as high as $55 if you are in a place with a high COL, like NYC.

That's residency, which should be counted as part of training as it is a de facto requirement. Very few physicians who have completed training are earning less than $100k a year. Most are earning quite a bit more. Again, American physicians are paid much more on a relative basis than their international counterparts.


User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15717 posts, RR: 26
Reply 67, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1601 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 66):
That's residency, which should be counted as part of training as it is a de facto requirement.

It doesn't really matter. You're still talking about people in their late twenties who have endured the better part of a decade in school making blue collar wages and working insane hours. Doctors can make a lot, but then so can people in most any profession with enough talent and work ethic. Doctors just don't automatically have it made when they get their diploma, just look at the cost of malpractice insurance.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 68, posted (2 years 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 1596 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 67):
It doesn't really matter. You're still talking about people in their late twenties who have endured the better part of a decade in school making blue collar wages and working insane hours.

Yes, it does. It is subsidized training which is virtually required to practice medicine today.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 67):
Doctors just don't automatically have it made when they get their diploma, just look at the cost of malpractice insurance.

No one has it automatically made, but I'd suggest that the unemployment rate among physicians is among the lowest of any profession.

I'm not saying that physicians should earn less, but the fact of the matter is that American physicians, especially specialists, are extremely well paid by any standard.


User currently offlinezhiao From United States of America, joined Jan 2011, 394 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1522 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

No and in fact things are turning around, more so than in most other rich countries which remain in recession or close to it. Jobs are increasing at over 200,000 a year, energy output (something that for instance Europe and Japan have little of) is taking off and will provide Americans will hundreds of thousands of high paying jobs in the coming years, manufcturing is taking off, farm output is rising, household income has recovered a bit of what it lost during the recession, etc. Though the forecast is for modest 2.4% GDP growth this year, that's much higher than in just about any other rich country.
--------

About Doctors; they are paid very well in the US. While they have to pay off medical loans, their income taxes are much less than in other countries. In Germany if you make 100,000 euros you are giving away half your income. Besides, paying off loans goes away after 10 years, so after this period the US doctor will definitely be better off. Also, specialists make well over $200,000, which is why MOST med students become specialists and not internists.


User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 961 posts, RR: 51
Reply 70, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1485 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 24):
Not really. Public services are simple to identify - like public health departments around the country. How do you determine how much a income earner (company or individual) needs to be taxed for the local health departments by your system. Of libraries, police, fire departments, etc.?

If it is an excludable service like highways, libraries, fire departments, etc, you bill directly to the person receiving the service. If it is a non-excludable service like police, military, and true safety net programs, you divide the costs fairly among the population regardless of their income level.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We rely on foreign energy sources.

Which we refine into higher-value products and export at a net financial gain.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We rely on foreign manufacturing.

So does everybody.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We do not live sustainably.

Sustainability is an impossible concept to define and in this context is utterly untrue.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
To secure our supply of oil, we must have an enormous and expensive military that ensures that we have the benefit of force throughout the world. It costs a huge amount of money.

We have a enormous military because we ended WWII and decided we wanted to contain the Soviet Union on multiple fronts.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Our politics have become so stressed that we are losing our credit rating. For once, a generation is afraid that their kids will have it worse than they did.

So it's a crisis of perception, which is unsurprising given that we have transformed to a culture of instant gratification when the realization of the American Dream has always been a long process. What if - in reality - there are just as many opportunities if not more than past generations and people are just too impatient to commit to anything?

Let me ask if anyone has interacted with young college graduates today? I'm involved in recruiting for engineering graduates as my employer offers a management-track program to put those with leadership skills in a position to have direct reports within 5 years. That is an amazing opportunity that would have been inconcievable not too long ago. We have literally had offers decline in this economy because "5 years is too long." Give me a break.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
The pay gap between the top paid and the lowest paid has exploded. The middle class is vanishing.

See above. The middle class is now more concerned with consumption than bettering themselves. We have institutions in place such that no one above $30K of income (about 70% of households) has an excuse not to retire a millionaire. Yet, barely 1% do.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Our country has a bigger income gap than India.

That's an utterly ridiculous statement. We have a bigger income gap than India because damn near everyone in India is poor. We have an big income gap because Americans actually have the potential to earn astronomical incomes. And that's a bad thing?? You are literally proving Margret Thatcher's accusation that liberals would rather everyone be poorer if it meant a smaller income gap.

Ask yourself which country you would rather be "poor" in. Poor in the U.S. is having Boost mobile and not an iPhone. Poor in India is probably a notch above abject misery.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
In this setting, our physical infrastructure is crumbling.

I would agree that our infrastructure needs re-investment, but in general our infrastructure is very, very developed and hardly ever impedes commerce. It is a supreme irony that starting in the 1960-1970s liberals made a trademark out of stopping infrastructure development in this country and diverting funding to as many social programs as they could to relieve the public of their responsibilities as adults. It's a further irony that the key infrastructure initatives of Democrats today are more focused on building new infrastructure like high-speed rail that will only serve as perpetual money pits when

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
. There are power outages

Rarely. Who plans their day or their business around the expectation that they won't have power at some point in the next 24 hours?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
endless traffic jams

Again - we turned into cowards about developing infrastructure. You try to get a highway permitted and the enviros say it will just lead to another highway. No crap, that's development.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
absurd flight delay statistics

Again - we turned into cowards about developing infrastructure. When did the last runway open in the NYC area? Furthermore, is it a bad thing that so many Americans have the prosperity to fly?

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
and a general lack of information bandwidth available for many uses

There are nations that can beat us on raw upload/download speed for home and business ISPs, but what is the actual impact on our ability to enjoy digital content, send information, and conduct business? Not a damn thing. No one is moving business overseas because they can't move information around freely.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Our public transport networks even in our biggest cities pale in comparison to those in Europe or Asia.

So friggin what? Unlike Europe and Asia, most of our cities were planned after the invention of the automobile. The majority of Americans would rather live and work in cities where they don't need public transportation. As it stands, our public transportation systems bleed money. Expanding them would just bleed more money.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
We've lost our manufacturing ability,

Completely untrue. Manufacturing has shrunk as a share of GDP because other sectors of the economy have grown more rapidly. But in absolute terms, we manufacture more in dollar value than ever before.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 19):
Our exports are reduced to some cars, planes, software, financial services, entertainment, and military hardware.

In other words: we export expensive, high-tech, high-quality, durable goods. What else would you prefer us to export? Tupperware? Also add to your list oil & gas equippment, energy infrastructure, chemicals,


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19389 posts, RR: 58
Reply 71, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1418 times:

Quoting aa757first (Reply 66):

That's residency, which should be counted as part of training as it is a de facto requirement.

It is a part of training and it is also cheap labor. It typically ends between ages 28 and 35.

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 70):

Rarely. Who plans their day or their business around the expectation that they won't have power at some point in the next 24 hours?

People who live in New York during the summer for one. We've had rolling blackouts in CA. There was that embarrassing incident in 2003 where the entire Northeastern US went dark. None of that should happen. The occasional local outage due to downed trees is one thing.

But it's obvious that you are viewing this country through red, white, and blue glasses.

Ever been to Brazil? Now there's an exciting country that isn't in its latter days.


User currently offlinedfwrevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 961 posts, RR: 51
Reply 72, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1316 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 71):
People who live in New York during the summer for one. We've had rolling blackouts in CA. There was that embarrassing incident in 2003 where the entire Northeastern US went dark. None of that should happen. The occasional local outage due to downed trees is one thing.

And those examples are rare occasions. The national average grid up-time is over 99.9%. On average, that's an outage less than once every three years.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 71):

But it's obvious that you are viewing this country through red, white, and blue glasses.

I'm viewing it from the perspective that the sweeping generalizations made by our politicians shouldn't be taken at face value. I'm giving some analysis as to why things are the way the are. You are just repeating the same taking points they do.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 71):
Ever been to Brazil? Now there's an exciting country that isn't in its latter days.

I'll have traveled to six countries for business this year before April. How about you?  

It's sad that I spend my day working to win export contracts that will provide jobs for Americans and my perspective is deemed jaded in "red, white, and blue glasses" by someone who hasn't worked a day in international business and believes the U.S. is in its "later days."


User currently offlineaa757first From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3347 posts, RR: 8
Reply 73, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1301 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 71):
Ever been to Brazil? Now there's an exciting country that isn't in its latter days.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...l-power-grid-preventing-blackouts/

According to that article, blackouts are frequent and one-third of the country is not connected a sewage system. And either today's or yesterday's WSJ talked about their airplane problem. There are dozens of abandoned airframes rotting away at the airports and there's no political willpower to move them. ATC has complained in the past that the airports are so littered with these airplanes that it becomes difficult to see aircraft that are actually moving.


User currently offlineSSTeve From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 693 posts, RR: 1
Reply 74, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1285 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 70):
I would agree that our infrastructure needs re-investment, but in general our infrastructure is very, very developed and hardly ever impedes commerce. It is a supreme irony that starting in the 1960-1970s liberals made a trademark out of stopping infrastructure development in this country and diverting funding to as many social programs as they could to relieve the public of their responsibilities as adults. It's a further irony that the key infrastructure initatives of Democrats today are more focused on building new infrastructure like high-speed rail that will only serve as perpetual money pits

If the GOP had offered a stimulus of infrastructure repair, I'm sure the dems would've played ball. The GOP seems more concerned with tax breaks and ensuring that the FAA doesn't function because of the concern that some union somewhere might not be handicapped sufficiently. Regardless, the gas tax pays for the infrastructure you're talking about-- so let's see the GOP propose an increase there. Oh wait-- it's their campaign issue that high gas prices are Obama's fault. And it's a tax increase.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8403 posts, RR: 3
Reply 75, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 70):
What if - in reality - there are just as many opportunities if not more than past generations and people are just too impatient to commit to anything?
Quoting dfwrevolution (Reply 70):
We have institutions in place such that no one above $30K of income (about 70% of households) has an excuse not to retire a millionaire. Yet, barely 1% do.

Great post respect listed.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 76, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1189 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 43):
Like that small stuff that employees blue collar workers?


All I'm trying to say is that you ideally want your blue collar workers making high-value items rather than the cheapest consumer goods. And that is what they want to be doing.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
A Pretzel Is More Popular On FB Than Tokio Hotel posted Mon Feb 15 2010 09:07:09 by LTU932
Is America Taking Its Last Breaths? posted Tue Dec 8 2009 13:26:56 by KrisYYZ
Is Ford Piling On? posted Mon Jun 1 2009 12:48:05 by DXing
Is America Ready For A Potus Of Color? posted Wed Jan 9 2008 02:39:22 by NorthstarBoy
Is Your Place On Google Street-view? posted Sat Jan 5 2008 20:10:21 by Sleekjet
Is Fred Phelps On The Down Low (Part II) posted Wed May 16 2007 07:22:57 by Blackbird
"This Is America... Throw The Bums Out!" posted Sat Apr 14 2007 08:12:47 by Tbar220
Is America Really A Two Party System? posted Sat Feb 17 2007 01:48:49 by Blackbird
I Was Wrong.....The Flamegate Is Now Open On Me posted Wed Nov 8 2006 21:41:15 by Speedbird747BA
Is America Eating The World? posted Wed Oct 11 2006 17:00:39 by Pbottenb