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Best Commencement Speech. Ever.  
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3107 times:

Commencement speaker's message to the students: "You're not special."

This hits the nail on the head, but is surprisingly inspiring in the end.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...students-special-article-1.1092109

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5400 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3001 times:

The speech is inspiring...at least to us parents trying to raise productive members of society. To those of us trying to raise producers, not takers. To those of us trying to raise well adjusted folks that don't run to mommy and daddy every time something goes wrong.

"The teacher warned students that Americans have come to appreciate accolades more than genuine achievement, and will compromise standards in order to secure a higher spot on the social totem pole."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...al-article-1.1092109#ixzz1xIdUeU9Q

Probably one of the best lines in the speech.

Too many Americans have come to think that good intentions are enough, without measuring and evaluating the results of those intentions.

This teacher did these graduates a re great service. I wonder how many realize that? I wonder how many parents immediately coddled their children after the speech?

I try to raise my kids to be as self-sufficient as possible.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently offlineGBLKD From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2011, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
I try to raise my kids to be as self-sufficient as possible.

This is the key to good parenting IMHO.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
"The teacher warned students that Americans have come to appreciate accolades more than genuine achievement, and will compromise standards in order to secure a higher spot on the social totem pole."

It's not a uniqely American problem. Many kids have grown up with the boom years and massive amounts of expensive diposable consumer goods that they feel they have a right to. Couple that with the proliferation of "celebrity" reality shows and talent contests such as X Factor etc.

There are 2 cults that have been skewed out of all proportion in recent years "middle class" (I really despise that term) and "celebrity" is the other.

Many young people assume they are entitled through birthright to leave school or University and automatically be granted a celebrity or middle class lifestyle without actually putting the graft in to achieve it. They see other people with big houses stuffed with Apple iBore products and a nice car in the garage and think they should have it all right now. They don't get that the people who have this stuff have more than likely worked thier asses off over a number of years to reach that standard of living.

Aspiration and the work ethic that go with it are admirable qualities but a spoiled brattish sense of entitlement isn't.


User currently offlineSuperfly From Thailand, joined May 2000, 39861 posts, RR: 74
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2871 times:

This man is spot on and discredited what a lot had been taught in class.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 1):
I wonder how many parents immediately coddled their children after the speech?



Hah!  
Quoting GBLKD (Reply 2):
Many young people assume they are entitled through birthright to leave school or University and automatically be granted a celebrity or middle class lifestyle without actually putting the graft in to achieve it.


I remember a high school teachers and few college professors telling students that all you need is a degree in any major and you'll get a decent job. I of course knew better. Too many Universities are cranking out idiots.
Many of these Occupy Wall Street kids are recent college grads that were expecting high salary jobs in hip, trendy big cities with just an art history degree and no professional experience. I know that's not all of them but a lot of them are of this ilk.

[Edited 2012-06-09 14:26:25]


Bring back the Concorde
User currently onlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8228 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2806 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
I remember a high school teachers and few college professors telling students that all you need is a degree in any major and you'll get a decent job.

A decent job gets you into the middle class after a start up period.

As for what the degree should be, that is always open to opinion. We don't everyone to graduate with an engineering degree. I read an article many years ago by Stanley Marcus, CEO of Neiman Marcus. His position was simple - he wanted liberal arts graduates. He said he could teach them business, but business graduates wouldn't be developed in the liberal arts areas.

Same with Steve Jobs in some ways. He was intense about "The Intersection of Technology & Liberal Arts". Look how well his company has done. Actually, Steve Jobs address at the Stanford Graduation some years back is also considered a classic.

As far as parents (and grandparents go) we have a lot of opportunities over the years to help our kids and grandkids develop a sense of morals, integrity, concern for those in our schools & communities. We can teach them that there are a lot of countries in this world - that the US is not the only, or sometimes the best country.

And we can teach about diversity, tolerance and different cultures. There is nothing more damaging IMO than raising a kid who is intolerant.


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2792 times:

It is all too easy to call young people summarily self-indulgent, pampered and unrealistic.

Reality is much more complicated.

Many if not most young people are acutely aware that the "good old times" are a thing of the past for a large part, and that their role will be largely cleaning up the messes that have been made by their priors on many fronts, be they ecologically, economically, financially and in other ways.

Many young people are looking at a future of greatly diminished opportunities for themselves if not outright unemployment, paying back various kinds of debts that many of them had little benefits from.

The future is not what it may have been in bygone decades – but the complaints about the young are the same as they had been for at least as long as recorded history and literature. You will find the same dismissive attitudes and whiny complaints about the ingrateful and worthless youth in ancient egyptian, greek and roman texts.

Fact is that right now we're looking at the bills for the easy living of the decades passed, and it won't be ourselves who will have to pay those off for the most part.

Being actually realistic requires a bit of humility and compassion of us older generations as well – we have been far from the perfect parents and ancestors some seem to believe. A whole lot less arrogance and a lot more constructive and progressive attitudes are called for now.

It would be hypocritical to make haughty demands of the young if their elders are incapable or unwilling to actually lead by good example.

[Edited 2012-06-09 18:06:02]

User currently offlineQFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2062 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2757 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):

I remember a high school teachers and few college professors telling students that all you need is a degree in any major and you'll get a decent job.

You say this despite him saying:

Quote:
I urge you to do whatever you do for no reason other than you love it and believe in its importance.

Which basically says: if you don't wanna do something (get a useful degree for instance) you don't have to. His whole speech is redundant it starts off as 'your not special' then winds up as, 'so don't let world tell you what to do because the world doesn't matter'. Which means go out and be special!

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):

This! I rarely agree with you but the point is spot on. There's a reason we don't live in the good old days, people are a product of their society and as society shifts as will people. Apparently though its turned around and we're to blame the people created by society. Induce a society where everyone is entitled to everything and people will think they're entitled to everything.

I would bet my last dollar that my generation will likely think this of the generation after us.

Quoting GBLKD (Reply 2):
Many kids have grown up with the boom years

This is incredible!! The highest growth the western world has ever experienced came as the boomers were growing up. The same people who have gotten us into the predicaments we're in today. Gen Y hasn't been around long enough to shape this world but apparently everything is our fault still.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
This is incredible!! The highest growth the western world has ever experienced came as the boomers were growing up. The same people who have gotten us into the predicaments we're in today. Gen Y hasn't been around long enough to shape this world but apparently everything is our fault still.

There is a big difference. The last generation to really know true hardship was the generation that knew the Great Depression and WWII. They knew the value of self-sufficiency, hard work, and thrift. They lived in a period when if you made the wrong choices, you and your family could die from cold and starvation. My grandfather was of that generation, and his lessons to me were all about never getting into debt - don't buy a car that you can't afford to pay cash for - the only allowable debt should be for your house (and even on that he was skeptical).

The boomers spawned from that generation somewhat kept those lessons, but by now that understanding has been completely diluted away. Nowadays, you can buy an IPod on credit. Imagine - getting into debt for a toy!



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently onlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8494 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2688 times:

I once heard a speech from Al Sharpton.... the most unexpected moment of inspiration I'm ever going to hear in person. His message was, most people's funeral is undeserved. Most people are cowardly and do nothing. Do great things so you actually deserve the funeral you are going to get.

User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2636 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
The boomers spawned from that generation somewhat kept those lessons, but by now that understanding has been completely diluted away. Nowadays, you can buy an IPod on credit. Imagine - getting into debt for a toy!

Ironically, the "Greatest Generation" and Boomers profited hand over fist in the course of creating our current 'consumer culture' that has resulted in an inordinate emphasis on youth, 'having it now', and accumulating debt in order to satisfy 'wants'. Then from inside their gated communities or the decks of their boats they bitch about how the kids today are impatient to live the good live and display a sense of entitlement!

I'm no great parent but I'm pretty sure I've already done a substantially better job with my 10 year old than my parents did with us. At least I'm staying married to my wife, not an alchoholic or crippling my daughter's athletic development with respiratory problems caused by second-hand cigarette smoke.

Likewise I don't think there is anything wrong with shamelessly expressing affection and appreciation for a kid's (genuinely) positive qualities. Heaven forbid a kid leaves the house with a healthy self-image and some confidence...which is not nearly the same thing as being a spoiled brat, but I suppose many Boomers have a hard time telling the difference during the brief intervals where they are not completely focused on themselves.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
His whole speech is redundant it starts off as 'your not special' then winds up as, 'so don't let world tell you what to do because the world doesn't matter'. Which means go out and be special!

I think all he was trying to say was that everyone is special in their own way, so it is wrong for these graduating individuals to think that the world owes them anything other than what they go out and work for. Regardless, what I liked about this commencement speech was that it emphasized how these graduates fit into a much larger world and that the whole point to life is BEING excellent rather than accumulating the trappings of excellence. Living an excellent life is its own reward.


User currently offlinefr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 5400 posts, RR: 14
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2579 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 4):
Same with Steve Jobs in some ways. He was intense about "The Intersection of Technology & Liberal Arts". Look how well his company has done. Actually, Steve Jobs address at the Stanford Graduation some years back is also considered a classic.

Funny, when I pursued my business degree, I had a very healthy chunk of liberal arts. A well balanced curriculum should include the liberal arts, along with the core curriculum of the specified major.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
Which means go out and be special!

Yes, go out and be special because you aren't anything special now. You're not special because your friends, parents and teachers say you're special. Achieve something and you may become special.

You know, I really don't like that word: 'special'. It, like many other words, has been cheapened. I guess that's one of the points of the speech.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
%u2013 but the complaints about the young are the same as they had been for at least as long as recorded history and literature.

Absolutely, but at some point, the older generations do a dis-service to the younger generation when they don't allow that generation to understand that failure is a part of growing up and a part of life. Not everyone can get a trophy. Average work deserves an average grade, even if the whole class is average. These kids are unprepared for college, where, in many cases, reality meets the fantasy world of social promotion, special kids, no-score athletics, etc.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
Gen Y hasn't been around long enough to shape this world but apparently everything is our fault still.

No, you haven't been here long enough. But, I am uninspired by the entitlement attitude that appears to be dominate in your generation. It goes back to too many kids being told they are special and are entitled to everything they want...without the work that should accompany such rewards.



When seconds count...the police are minutes away.
User currently onlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8228 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2560 times:

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
The highest growth the western world has ever experienced came as the boomers were growing up. The same people who have gotten us into the predicaments we're in today

If you look at the "Boomer Period" you will see the start of it in the 40's and early 50's when parents went to college on the GI Bill. And became engineers, accountants, lawyers, doctors, etc. (Note well: even those without the GI Bill were able to get a degree without a lifetime of debt to pay for it.)

And that was when the middle class started for so many people. The economics were pretty simple for those with a High School diploma or College degree. Even high school graduates could work, get married and have a family, and buy a house. A modest house - McMansion weren't that important. And a decent car, even if they bought it used. And those people understood that they could work hard and their kids could go to college if they wanted.

Baby Boomers generally understood that they would spend some time in the military. During the Vietnam War there were efforts to "miss out" on service by some, but millions did serve. If you look at all of the wars since WW II that was on our financial shoulders it is pretty obvious that wars, and their long term costs, are a healthy chunk of the country's financial situation. Our "predicament", as you would say.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Many young people are looking at a future of greatly diminished opportunities for themselves if not outright unemployment, paying back various kinds of debts that many of them had little benefits from.

Some times we ned to recognize that the opportunities have moved to someplace else, not diminished on a global scale. Shifting production to China is a classic example. Part of that problem is that China can offer lower wages. Other parts of that problem is that China can look at a 5 or 10 year investment to bring production in.

In the US there is a panic if things go wrong in a single financial quarter. We, as a nation, have an inability to have a failure when developing new industries. Give us one failure out of a dozen tries and it's off to China for success and we can re-focus our attention on building more McDonalds.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
The last generation to really know true hardship was the generation that knew the Great Depression and WWII.

You don't think there is genuine poverty in this country?

Ironically, we are shrinking the middle class, which is going to increase poverty

WW II did not stop the hardship of serving in a war zone. Start with Korea, then Vietnam and end up in the Middle East.

There have been many Americans who have endured hardships at some levels with military conflicts, up to young people today.

And now a lot of Americans have endured the Great Recession, thanks to the previous, conservative Administration.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
They lived in a period when if you made the wrong choices, you and your family could die from cold and starvation.

Hunger is still a huge problem here, which is why we need to have school breakfast & lunches. And our electric & gas companies has long allowed customers to donate on their bill payments to help those who are having problems.

Problems that are not new and not close to elimination.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
You're not special because your friends, parents and teachers say you're special.

But you can be better because of those friends, parents and teachers. Support, motivation, guidance. Unfortunately we seem to be putting teachers down these days, which will be a huge disincentive for the brightest high school students to look at being a teacher. The high school I went to 50+ years ago was as good as a public school can get. And that was because both the families and the neighborhood worked to make it great, and invested the time and money. That's what moves students above average.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
dis-service to the younger generation when they don't allow that generation to understand that failure is a part of growing up and a part of life.

Young people can see failure around them, just like they see people die. It is part of life, but then we can teach kids how to avoid some failures. Brushing teeth twice a day (and flossing) to keep teeth from failing from decay. Exercising to burn up calories and eating well to avoid obesity and diabetes.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
reality meets the fantasy world of social promotion, special kids, no-score athletics, etc.

That is the world of Special Olympics and, IMO, far better than institutional care an entire life.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19608 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 4):
Actually, Steve Jobs address at the Stanford Graduation some years back is also considered a classic.

I graduated from Stanford in 2000. Our commencement speaker was Kofi Annan. A Stanford graduating class is a pretty intense group of people to receive a commencement address. There are a lot of future world leaders in that audience. Mr. Annan was obviously well aware of that because he stood there and told us that everyone was ignoring the environment and all but begged us to do something about it.

The next year (my Masters degree) was Carly Fiorina who talked to us about... nothing in particular.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2512 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
You don't think there is genuine poverty in this country?

Nothing like what it was before. Among the households we currently define as being "in poverty", 99.9% have refrigerators, 98.7% have color TVs, 84% have air-conditioning (those who don't most likely love in northern climes where you don't need it), 79.1% have cable or satellite TV, 82% have their own clothes washing machines. These are luxuries. To me, poverty means that you don't have enough food or clothing, and you risk not having a roof over your head if you miss a single paycheck.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
WW II did not stop the hardship of serving in a war zone. Start with Korea, then Vietnam and end up in the Middle East.

All of which were nothing compared to the Total War effort of WWII, where we had hundreds of thousands of dead troops (and we had it relatively easy).

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Hunger is still a huge problem here, which is why we need to have school breakfast & lunches. And our electric & gas companies has long allowed customers to donate on their bill payments to help those who are having problems.

Which is all well and good - but I would point out to you that one of the biggest problems among the poor in the US (including children) is obesity.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2511 times:

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
No, you haven't been here long enough. But, I am uninspired by the entitlement attitude that appears to be dominate in your generation. It goes back to too many kids being told they are special and are entitled to everything they want...without the work that should accompany such rewards.

fr8mech, I'm in the same age bracket as you (GEN X) and I could swear they were saying the same damned thing about us! We were the disenfranchised slackers constantly looking for a pat on the back just for showing up. I remember it so clearly because I remember being pissed off about being stereotyped like that.

Now we're the steady contributors and these GEN Y 'punks' are the ones who expect everything handed to them? I don't buy it.

To whatever extent the 'younger generations' are UNSAT in our eyes, it inevitably comes back on the older generations, doesn't it. The primary function of any species is to set their young up for success, right?

FAIL.

[Edited 2012-06-10 16:36:17]

User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2500 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Some times we ned to recognize that the opportunities have moved to someplace else, not diminished on a global scale. Shifting production to China is a classic example. Part of that problem is that China can offer lower wages. Other parts of that problem is that China can look at a 5 or 10 year investment to bring production in.

But even in China they've developed a huge real estate bubble and the fallout from the global crisis has begun to move in as well. Many chinese people have achieved some success, but it is far from certain that this is actually sustainable the way it's been going for the long run. They're faced with steep challenges as well in the coming years.

Just look at Japan, whose success had been completely overestimated in the 1980s and which has seen its bubbles and unresolved problems catch up with it in subsequent years.

The challenge on a global level is to reach a more sustainable way of living and working – on all levels. And we, the older generations, can yet contribute our experience (even if we've caused many of the problems ourselves which we're facing now) while the younger generations will need all the support and the encouragement they can get to make a fresh start in many respects.


User currently offlineQFA380 From Australia, joined Jul 2005, 2062 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
The economics were pretty simple for those with a High School diploma or College degree.

This seems to be a theme through your posts that anyone with a high school education should be able to support a family and live a comfortable life. The western world has changed and to be able to grow we've had to lift our productivity, the easiest way to do this is through education. Something that you'll probably agree with me on is the issues with funding, where high school is payed for by the government, yet the expectation is that one has a Bachelors degree but the government refuses to pay for it so instead people get saddled with years worth of debt unless you were rich enough to pay for it all upfront.

There simply isn't enough jobs for people without any skills, that pay high enough to support them. You want your $5 McDonalds but the idea of paying the guy flipping burgers $40 an hour is insane.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
which will be a huge disincentive for the brightest high school students to look at being a teacher.

No the market has lead to the brightest not becoming teachers. There is an incredible supply of people from the bottom of the academic standings who want to become teachers. Teaching has always been a commodity and always will be for 90% of teachers, the other 10% aren't career teachers, they're those who excelled in something else and moved to teaching. Intelligent students know that it is best not to work in a field where workers are commoditised, such as being a pilot, as it is easy to be taken advantage of and find yourself out of work.

Quoting fr8mech (Reply 10):
Achieve something and you may become special.

There's almost nothing we can achieve that will make us special. Climb Everest? 500 people do that a year. Start a company and become a billionaire? There's 1300 of those. Start a non-profit? There's thousands of those too.
Only a very minute portion of society (less than 0.01%) will ever do something truly special and those are the people who were born to be special and who people noticed very early. Telling people they can 'become' special just leaves them disillusioned when they realise that no matter how hard they work they're not actually special.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 7):
The boomers spawned from that generation somewhat kept those lessons,

The boomers oversaw the dismantling of society, anything that was hard was done away with. Getting knocked up and having a kid. Thats hard so we've got abortion. Holding together a struggling marriage. Thats hard but we've got no fault divorce. Military service is hard so there's no conscription and likely never will be. Starting a successful company in a new industry is hard but the worlds awash with green grants and loans. No one in the west will go hungry if they screw up in life.

The last 40 years have been a complete dismantling of hardship, the boomers have not at all kept the lessons of the WWII and Great Depression generation.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
Exercising to burn up calories and eating well to avoid obesity and diabetes.

Getting obese has been made easy too! You go on a disability pension and the government will fund your inevitable treatment costs. When there's no external consequences for failing there's no incentive not to fail.


I think that'll do me...


User currently offlineKlaus From Germany, joined Jul 2001, 21442 posts, RR: 53
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
The last 40 years have been a complete dismantling of hardship, the boomers have not at all kept the lessons of the WWII and Great Depression generation.

I'd say the primary lesson from those experiences is this: Never let that happen again in the first place!


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2450 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Which is all well and good - but I would point out to you that one of the biggest problems among the poor in the US (including children) is obesity.

Not defending them by any stretch, but this actually makes some sense when you look at the dizzying array of high calorie/low nutrition crap available everywhere at minimal cost in the US.

Thanks to our fantastic agricultural marketing machine that runs on corn syrup. Again, one could argue the older generation selling the kids out for a buck. Who cares if they have diabetes and no teeth when they're 35.


User currently offlineus330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 3871 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2450 times:

Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
Too many Universities are cranking out idiots.
Many of these Occupy Wall Street kids are recent college grads that were expecting high salary jobs in hip, trendy big cities with just an art history degree and no professional experience.
Quoting Superfly (Reply 3):
I know that's not all of them but a lot of them are of this ilk.
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 4):
said he could teach them business, but business graduates wouldn't be developed in the liberal arts areas.

Pre-recession, during the boom, that was generally the case, with one giant asterisk that people forget--it depends on where you went to school and how well you did in class, demonstrating a pattern of achievement or high potential. When profits and revenues were high, companies were willing to spend more and invest in younger workers to train them (some bigger companies still have management training programs). In the post-recession world, when companies are living quarter to quarter, and revenues and costs are unpredictable, as is the potential for a future financial crisis, companies are more concerned about maintaining adequate cash reserves to wait out economic turmoil and are less willing to invest in their younger employees.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Fact is that right now we're looking at the bills for the easy living of the decades passed, and it won't be ourselves who will have to pay those off for the most part.

Case in point, see social security. I am not expecting to see a dime of any of the money I pay for social security.

Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
Being actually realistic requires a bit of humility and compassion of us older generations as well – we have been far from the perfect parents and ancestors some seem to believe. A whole lot less arrogance and a lot more constructive and progressive attitudes are called for now.
Quoting Klaus (Reply 5):
It would be hypocritical to make haughty demands of the young if their elders are incapable or unwilling to actually lead by good example.

Thank you. Remember, Generation Y didn't get us into this mess--baby boomers did.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 11):
In the US there is a panic if things go wrong in a single financial quarter.

It's not just the U.S.--the markets as a whole are jittery.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21571 posts, RR: 55
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2437 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Among the households we currently define as being "in poverty", 99.9% have refrigerators, 98.7% have color TVs, 84% have air-conditioning (those who don't most likely love in northern climes where you don't need it), 79.1% have cable or satellite TV, 82% have their own clothes washing machines. These are luxuries.

A refrigerator is not a luxury. Our entire food distribution system is set up on the principle that people will be able to store food for a number of days. And that takes refrigeration.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8840 posts, RR: 24
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2417 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 20):
A refrigerator is not a luxury. Our entire food distribution system is set up on the principle that people will be able to store food for a number of days. And that takes refrigeration.

It is a convenience - not strictly required for survival (otherwise how did people live up to the last century.

pov·er·ty   [pov-er-tee]
noun
1.
the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support; condition of being poor. Synonyms: privation, neediness, destitution, indigence, pauperism, penury. Antonyms: riches, wealth, plenty.

There is indeed poverty in the world. I've seen it. I've spent time in the back woods of India and Africa and Southeast Asia. What we call poverty is not it. It became politically advantageous for US politicians to broaden the definition to include people who would like to have the latest TV, but can only afford one that's 5 years old.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19608 posts, RR: 58
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2401 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
It is a convenience - not strictly required for survival (otherwise how did people live up to the last century.

It is required for survival in this country.


User currently onlineKen777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 8228 posts, RR: 8
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2387 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 12):
who talked to us about... nothing in particular.

Which really isn't a surprise, is it?  
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
99.9% have refrigerators, 98.7% have color TVs, 84% have air-conditionin

And they can't afford to pay their electric bill.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
All of which were nothing compared to the Total War effort of WWII

It was if you were in it.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
where we had hundreds of thousands of dead troops

There were 55,000 dead from Vietnam. Not a trivial amount.

And, let's be realistic a war widow from Vietnam or the Ego War experience the saw level of pain as a war widow from WW II.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
I would point out to you that one of the biggest problems among the poor in the US (including children) is obesity

And I would point out that it is the cheapest food that results in obesity. Cheap food in the schools as well as the homes. Mac & Cheese is an easy example to look at.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
This seems to be a theme through your posts that anyone with a high school education should be able to support a family and live a comfortable life.

It used to be a reality in the US. There was a great editorial about that (and the changes since) and the writer was focused on her father, a high school graduate in the 50s who was able to have a family, a decent (used) car, a house in a safe neighborhood and his 3 kids went to college - without a lifetime of debt.

I read that article in the Wall Street Journal in the 90s and it has stuck with me ever since.

I'd also note that when we lived in Australia it was still possible to be a Junior School Leaver, go into a trade and have a pretty nice life - with less debt that college grads!

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
The western world has changed and to be able to grow we've had to lift our productivity, the easiest way to do this is through education.

Education is a critical factor and it is an investment that can pay off for society. Just as critical as supporting education is the need to have a broad scope for that education. We need electricians and plumbers just as much as we need doctors and lawyers. We need nurses just as much as we need engineers. And we need to avoid a lifetime of debt for each person who is educated past high school. That was the other great achievement of the 50's and 60's - an education without huge debt. (And that is also one of the greatest failures of today.)

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
There simply isn't enough jobs for people without any skills, that pay high enough to support them. You want your $5 McDonalds but the idea of paying the guy flipping burgers $40 an hour is insane.

You don't need to pay people $40 an hour. But if you paid a workers at McDonalds a wage that is above the poverty line you might have to raise the price of a burger 5¢ or 10¢. Wow, Golly, Gee.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
No the market has lead to the brightest not becoming teachers.

And it is only going to get worse. Wisconsin is just the tip of the problem for teachers, especially future teachers. Why invest big money to become a teacher only to be faced with a yo-yo like Walker.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
Teaching has always been a commodity and always will be for 90% of teachers,

As long as you pay peanuts you will get monkeys. I don't' see a lot of reason for the brightest to become a teacher these days.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
Intelligent students know that it is best not to work in a field where workers are commoditised

At some point a young student has to figure out what they actually want to do. It's OK to be a pilot if that is what you want. There may be some depressions, but long term airlines still have to buy very expensive planes and need to hire pilots to fly them.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 16):
There's almost nothing we can achieve that will make us special.

Sure there is. Actually there are a lot of achievements still waiting for us. Medicine is one huge area for discovery and achievement. But, in reality, a doctor who catches a medical problem early has achieved a lot for that patient. THe Therapist who gets stroke patients up and walking is achieving a lot. Same with people who figure out better/safer/easier way to do things. The laparscopic gall bladder surgery comes to mind - understandable as I had that surgery. Went to the hospital at 11 AM and came home at 3:30 in the afternoon.

What is limited will be the achievements that get world wide achievement. The ones that get a Nobel.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2336 times:

Quoting Mir (Reply 20):
A refrigerator is not a luxury. Our entire food distribution system is set up on the principle that people will be able to store food for a number of days. And that takes refrigeration.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 21):
It is a convenience - not strictly required for survival (otherwise how did people live up to the last century.

Not to go too far down a rabbit hole, but people living in cities needed to (and did) refrigerate food in the last century...in their ice boxes. Good luck getting the 'ice man' to come in 2012.

And before that people got food fresh from the farm or slaughter pen. Not really practicable in an urban nation of 300 million people.

I agree with much of the rest of your list.


25 Post contains links fr8mech : Who the heck is talking about the Special Olympics or disabled children/adults. I'm talking about social promotion. About schools that don't allow sc
26 SmittyOne : Haha, yes I must have missed them also.
27 Ken777 : I think part of the problem is that many schools teach kids to take the "No Child Left Behind" tests, which is the real scorekeeping for school admin
28 Mir : Look at what the lack of refrigeration results in. People can't store perishable food for several days anymore. This means that more will be wasted.
29 WestJet747 : Good on this teacher. He's a realist. School's today foster this bogus sense of 'exceptionalism' among their entire populations. It's this self-actual
30 SmittyOne : I agree with helping kids with special needs, to the limits of their ability...but the phrase "no child left behind" grates on me like nails on a cha
31 fr8mech : You're correct. Too many schools 'teach to the test' and, therefore, are unable to teach the individual. All the more reason to get the federal gover
32 Mir : On the other hand, how can you expect to accomplish anything if there aren't jobs for you to get? Young people are being hurt a lot more by the reces
33 Post contains images WestJet747 : I'm not even going to pretend like I know what it's like to be a graduating post-secondary student in the US since I've done my formal education in C
34 fr8mech : Let's ask this: How many of these kids are willing to take a job at Home Depot, Lowes, McDonalds, Walmart, Radio Shack, Target, etc. All these places
35 Mir : Where tuition is far less expensive than in the US. So there's a difference to start. Remember that a college education takes a while. The first grou
36 Post contains links Dreadnought : Are you telling me that it is impossible to buy fresh produce and cook it the same day? Iceboxes weren't that common either. 100 years ago most house
37 fr8mech : You're fighting a losing one here. Can we return to the 'old times'? Sure we can. That was a time when people died from food-bourne illness at much h
38 Mir : Of course it's possible. It's just more costly, that's all. You're working multiple jobs, and you're going to have time to go to the store every day
39 WestJet747 : ...and cost of living and taxes are far more expensive in Canada. We can split hairs all day. My original point was that I don't know what it's like
40 DocLightning : When you are desperately poor... yes. When both parents have to work two jobs for pitifully poor wages, yes. 100 years ago, people got scurvy. Are yo
41 Mir : That cuts both ways. Yes, there is less demand for those people, but there is demand. Yes, majoring in English will not give you much opportunity oth
42 Post contains images Ken777 : No Child Left Behind is the BS program Bush II brought in. Basically a lot of tests that educators focus on instead of simply teaching the kids. Not
43 Post contains images WestJet747 : Overqualification is huge problem. But sometimes the companies are equally as desperate as the candidates. A perfect example: An aquaintance of mine
44 fr8mech : Championed by 'The Lion of Senate' and passed by massive bi-partisan support in both houses. And, junk. Education should be a local issue where local
45 Dreadnought : Yes. We should have him for President. Signed, Ken777
46 SmittyOne : Lazy bastard probably refrigerates his food, too.
47 FlyPNS1 : Places like Walmart, Target, McDonalds, etc will often not hire college graduates or anyone with meaningful education. They know employees like that
48 fr8mech : Broad search at Target.com: Salaried positions/Experienced Professional/All Career Areas/All Locations 1160 jobs Broad Search at Walmart.com Picked s
49 FlyPNS1 : Most of these salaried management positions require experience...something a kid right out of college doesn't have. It's a catch-22 for many college
50 fr8mech : What about our longterm, experienced unemployed? Most of these places have a management trainee program. Not the ideal for some folks, but, it's a jo
51 FlyPNS1 : Outside of some overzealous affluent suburban parents, I don't think most kids have been raised this way, nor is there a lot of evidence to support t
52 Mir : Which is a fair comment. Now here's what I'm curious about: if you feel that you've done the youth a disservice by giving them expectations, why are
53 Post contains images Dreadnought : You can put the blame on Barney the Dinosaur, and Mr. Rogers, but in the end, Kids should be intelligent enough to know that it's not all that easy.
54 fr8mech : That's what this entire conversation is about. It is the schools and the parents (not necessarily in that order) that have made this happen. Oh, and
55 Mir : Not really. The conversation about children being entitled is a different, though related, one from how they got that way. I'm hearing a lot of the f
56 fr8mech : As I've mentioned before: they got that way because the adults they are exposed to (parents, teachers, celebrities, media types, politicians, etc) ke
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