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Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US  
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1864 posts, RR: 4
Posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4554 times:

Just watched this story on low income workers in the United States on ABC Australia's Foreign Correspondent program. I understand it's not a detailed analysis of the topic but, boy, does it make me glad that I live here. And yes, I don't mind paying more for stuff if it means the employees can live and I'm happy for some of my taxes to go to Medicare (and glad that it's around when I need it) and other services, despite also having private health insurance. It's not perfect here and there are still many in poverty, but I do feel quite a bit luckier after watching it.


Applying insanity to normality
186 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4541 times:

I will be sure to watch that later

Given that I have split loyalties, my first response when I saw the thread title was to gasp. After all, the USA has many, many wonderful attributes that make it a great place to live.

However, I agree 100% with what you say. For anyone earning less than, say, $75,000 I have no doubt in my mind - none whatsoever - where I would rather be. While Australia does fall down compared to other countries, such as Scandinavia and Iceland, overall I think that we have a great balance. After all, it's not for nothing that we are #2 on the HDI. If you are a low income earner you are definitely better off here than in the USA even with our much higher cost of living.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineAA7295 From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 615 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4474 times:

Hmmm... I have to say... I watched it in its entirety.. and while I definitely got a whole new level of appreciation for Australia and all I have been given, this documentary did raise some ethical questions for me.

Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4447 times:

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
Just watched this story on low income workers in the United States on ABC Australia's Foreign Correspondent program. I understand it's not a detailed analysis of the topic but, boy, does it make me glad that I live here. And yes, I don't mind paying more for stuff if it means the employees can live and I'm happy for some of my taxes to go to Medicare (and glad that it's around when I need it) and other services, despite also having private health insurance. It's not perfect here and there are still many in poverty, but I do feel quite a bit luckier after watching it.

That is saying a lot when you consider that every other living creature on that continent is trying to kill you. LOL.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Granted, "poverty" in the First World is different from the genuine starvation in places like Africa...but the paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death. Lean meats and vegetables etc. are substantially more expensive and more importantly require WORK to prepare. A lot of people either don't have or don't want to invest the time.

I believe that people could opt for a far lower quantity of higher quality unprocessed food instead, and prepare it from scratch for the same money and still get enough calories; pretty obvious which choice most people make. One exception is the real issue of many neighborhoods being "underserved" by real grocery stores (too much violent theft and shoplifting for the big chains to bother) so they subsist on shrink-wrapped crap and fast food.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1864 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4447 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Are they taught that in school? The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies. Also there is a certain major religion which specifically forbids the use of contraception (and while enormously wealthy is thus in a sense a contributor to poverty - just ask my wife's Filipino colleague who keeps popping out kids and can barely afford anything, understanding that the urge to engage in procreative activity is fundamental to most living creatures).

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

This struck me as well, but it may be that fatty fast food is more affordable than fresh food. Poverty in western countries is, I believe, often associated with unhealthy eating habits. So is extreme wealth, judging by a couple of rather well known magnates in Australia.  



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlinephotopilot From Canada, joined Jul 2002, 2629 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4451 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Completely different scenario. The African and Indian people are malnourished and very thin due to a total lack of calories. The "fatties" in America, while poor are able to get food, but the wrong type. Likely they consume very little protein (meat) and far too many carbohydrates and starches which their body converts to sugars/fat. Also, the African/Indian poor only drink water, but I'm pretty sure the American poor drink too much Soda because as stupid as it sounds, Soda Pop is cheaper than milk, juice, or even bottled water.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4401 times:

The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor, taking the focus off of all the great perks they have gained for themselves. Income disparity in the US is at a century high mark due to things like the Bush tax cuts that were supposed to prevent the kind of economic malaise we now have, yet we still continue those policies.


Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4402 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies

With all due respect, I think she was from a fairly low socio-economic background to start with. Growing up in a single parent family in Newark means that she will have had a pretty tough childhood. That said, it appears that she was smart enough and ambitious enough to try and improve her position, and that having a child restricted her options for further study. That is the real travesty.

As for the issue of using contraception raised by AA7295, it is very easy to say after the fact. That doesn't necessarily excuse stupidity, but you play the hand you are dealt with.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death.

  

Read up on "Mountain Dew Mouth". It is a phenomenon in the Central Appalachia, in West Virginia and eastern Kentucky, where polluted water supplies caused by the run-off from the coal mines makes the water unsafe to drink. When you can pay $1 for 32oz of Mountain Dew, but $2.50 for 16oz of bottled water, poor children are fed Mountain Dew.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinemelpax From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 1561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

A lot of people here find it scandalous that the 'greatest country on earth' can allow people to be paid so little. If an employer here was to pay someone $3 an hour plus tips, they'd proably be fined out of existence, or jailed for slavery. Add in only 2 weeks or annual leave if you're lucky, and it looks like a lot of people live a miserable existence.....


Essendon - Whatever it takes......
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4367 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
and while enormously wealthy is thus in a sense a contributor to poverty - just ask my wife's Filipino colleague who keeps popping out kids and can barely afford anything,

She's just stupid, smart catholics use contraception, or if they don't most intelligent women know when they are fertile and don't shag during that time.


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 6994 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4356 times:

I agree there are problems in this country with low income jobs. I also think there should be mandated vacation time of three weeks. At the same time is it really easy to compare a country of 22,000,000 with a country of 314,000,000. Yes I no lame excuse right? But not really besides for Japan there are no other first world countries over 100 million people. You have Russia if you want to call them first world, its close IMO but Russian has tons of problems. It's just such a different world when you have so many people. More people more problems its simple.

I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Austrlia there would be some more problems there. I agree the U.S. has its problems a list I don't have the time to write out right now but I'm sorry in no way could you compare a countr of 22,000,000 with one of 314,000,000.

[Edited 2013-10-22 06:30:31]


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4334 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I don't have the time to write out right now but I'm sorry in no way could you compare a countr of 22,000,000 with one of 314,000,000.

To be fair, that was the OP's assertion, and the TV program did not make the comparison.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Austrlia there would be some more problems there

Obviously if you dumped then there tomorrow, but the population of the USA has grown steadily over time and has had the opportunity to adapt (or not) to its large population. Australia's population has grown at a much faster rate than the USA's over the past 50 years, and yet it has done a pretty decent job at assimilating that population increase. A country of 10mn people in 1960 has been able to more than double its population and INCREASE the quality of life it provides to its population, while the standard of living in the USA - adjusted to a common denominator - has effectively decreased.

Rather than considering absolutes, a proportional basis provides a much clearer comparison.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2199 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4329 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 1):
After all, the USA has many, many wonderful attributes that make it a great place to live.

Like what? Aside from the fact everything is cheap compared to other "civilized" countries?

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
but the paradox here in the US is that the cheapest food you can get is high calorie, zero nutrient stuff laden with fat, corn syrup and death.

Exactly. They eat McDonald's and drink soda (well, I used to drink a lot of soda too).

Since I arrived in Switzerland 4 months ago from the States I lost 10 pounds, and I don't think my eating habits have changed much... Hm. No, I don't eat "fast food" all that often, depending on what you consider fast food.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 3):
One exception is the real issue of many neighborhoods being "underserved" by real grocery stores (too much violent theft and shoplifting for the big chains to bother) so they subsist on shrink-wrapped crap and fast food.

Aye, there's the rub. The USA has a HUGE crime problem (IMO that's the USA's main problem), but it's compartmentalized into poor areas mostly, so no one gives a shit, apparently.

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
If an employer here was to pay someone $3 an hour plus tips, they'd proably be fined out of existence, or jailed for slavery. Add in only 2 weeks or annual leave if you're lucky, and it looks like a lot of people live a miserable existence.....

Yes, while the USA is outwardly the most positive society, the people live a pretty shitty life on average. However, they themselves don't seem to realize it, since the US is also the most culturally isolated first-world country. It's really a different world between Europe and the States... From what I know, Australia is much closer to the former. It's a US-sized country with a much more European attitude.


User currently offlineLittleFokker From United States of America, joined Sep 2013, 194 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4286 times:

I am reminded of this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?layout=...3D1%26utcoffset%3D-300&app=desktop

I'll gladly pay a little bit more for my products and services if it means a healthier economy overall.



"Toughest wind I ever played in....straight down!" - W. C. Fields
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4284 times:

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
'greatest country on earth'

Boy I wish people (here) would just stop saying that. This is a great country with much to be proud of but plenty of room for improvement. Not sure why that can't be enough.

I think it is sort of unfair for people in any country to point at another and say "why don't you do what works for us?" when each place has their own history that has led them to where they are now.

But it is fair to say that "The American Way" has resulted in amazing levels of excellence and productivity as well as disenfranchisement and suffering. I think there is some risk that our system would come off the rails if we were to abandon the "Every man for himself and Devil take the hindmost" approach that has worked with varying levels of success for the past couple of centuries...case in point the recent goatrope where people on SNAP (food stamps) loaded up their shopping carts to the gills at WalMart when there was computer glitch with their spending limits. Moving a society to a more 'collective' (ie socialist) focus requires a corresponding increase in the level of personal accountability and mutual concern for it to work. People have been fighting to scratch out whatever they can get (even if at others' expense) so long here in the US it might be an impossible paradigm to break - look at the fight over something as seemingly straightforward as trying to make sure people can get health care.

Personally, as the recipient of the benefits of a socialist society (ie the military) I would support taking better care of the less successful since I believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, but I don't know how it would be implemented without the rigorous entry and conduct requirements that we have in the Service, or without removing the incentive for individuals to do great things and destroying the noble ideal of self-reliance.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4267 times:
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Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
. if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

Oh, there are people who really need social services especially the mentally ill and elderly however-------
here in the US we have multi-generational families who have learned that the more babies they can crank-out the more "entitlements" they can get. Such as free food (food stamps) free public housing, free or greatly reduced utility bills, free or greatly reduced medical services, free education, even free indigent burial services. All they have to do is keep those babies coming and man they can have everything they want. These people are perfectly capable of getting a job yet they just continue to "play" the system for all the freebies.
So it behooves every American citizen to go out and work extra-hard this week to help pay for all these entitlements.  
Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
. People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Because they can go out and get free food with their "WIC" cards. They stand there at the supermarket check-out with a shopping cart full of stuff and the poor hard working guy behind them is buying beans and rice for his family and he pays cash for his stuff. Some of the fattest people you ever saw can be seen in public housing and food stamp lines. They just know how to play the game.  
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor,

OMG you just can't past that mantra can you? People who have money are the ones that support the world's charities. Who ever heard of a poor man donating thousands or millions to a charity? And why would anyone want to spend their lives "hating" the poor? That is just a ridiculous thing to say. Too much drama.  
I really don't understand why you haven't sold-off all your worldly goods and moved to a third-world country somewhere where you can donate the rest of your life and income working for the poor. You might even reach sainthood.  

My father used to say "most poor people do not choose to be that way". And given the opportunities here in the US I have seen whole generations of the poor who used the system to pull themselves up and make something of themselves. They are now contributors. I recall how many of the Vietnamese "boat people" who fled to the US in the late 70's and early '80's with nothing but the shirts on their backs, same for a lot of Cubans. (The Cubans have made Miami a beautiful metropolis!) Or the Koreans, or the Russians, or the Indians, I can go on and on and these people don't live in public housing and on welfare more than one generation. They use the free public education system to educate their children so they can get good jobs and earn good incomes----and they do.
So I have little sympathy for the generations of people who believe they are entitled to all the government freebies just "because".



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3468 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4246 times:

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
Likely they consume very little protein (meat)

Are you sure ? whenever I visit the US it appears that meat is available in huge portions at very low prices, particularly ground beef.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 17, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4241 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):

Actually, I agree with 90% of what you are saying. I think, however, you make the case for cracking down on welfare abuse and the case for welfare reform, not just scaling back welfare. If we scale back welfare without fixing the fundamental problems we'll just have a lot more very very poor people. Increasing welfare will just fuel the current problems we have.

This is one of the huge flaws with the Democrat party. They know abuse is there but I don't see them trying to fix it. In fact, they seem to avoid the issue. I don't agree with the way the GOP would go at it... again, I think the answer lies in the middle



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1766 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4234 times:

I live here in the US and done so for a few years now, I have been and have friends that live in countries like Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and I also lived in France for a little while, no country and no system are perfect regardsless of what you see on TV or in the movies. Having said that, if you have a good income the US is a pretty damn good place to live, if I was poor I would rather be poor in another developed country and not the US.

I saw this film this last weekend if you get the chance to see it go for it, it explains some of the current economic and wage issues in the US.

http://inequalityforall.com/



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2013, 1105 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4212 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
the people live a pretty shitty life on average.

The US has its problems but that is an utterly ridiculous statement. The US has a very high standard of living.


User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 4181 times:
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Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Yes, while the USA is outwardly the most positive society, the people live a pretty shitty life on average.

Well, that must be why you left and went to Switzerland. Perhaps you will even renounce your US citizenship and stay in Europe, well, I mean, if you are an American citizen. Must have had a terrible time here.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4145 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 12):
Aye, there's the rub. The USA has a HUGE crime problem (IMO that's the USA's main problem), but it's compartmentalized into poor areas mostly, so no one gives a shit, apparently.

Crime in the US is an extremely complicated phenomenon that is not worth getting into unless you're up for a 200+ post circle jerk about guns, race, drugs etc. that we've beaten to death on here already. Suffice to say that to a large extent American society is just broken and low income/poor health etc. is as much a SYMPTOM as it is a CAUSE of it.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21080 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 4055 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

This is very true, but it's hardly something unique to the US. You see it across the world, particularly in developing countries.

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Secondly.... that couple in California. Well, I've been to Africa and India... People who live in real poverty aren't fat. They horrendously thin. That couple are fatties. What are they eating that is making them so HUGE and how are they affording it?

Because the unhealthy foods in the US are far cheaper than the healthy foods. So it's not surprising what people end up getting when they have limited income. It's not surprising what people get when they only have a limited amount of time to eat due to working multiple jobs and there are fast-food places everywhere. Fixing that dynamic would go a long way to reducing obesity, but it would be a very complicated task.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
This is one of the huge flaws with the Democrat party. They know abuse is there but I don't see them trying to fix it.

The problem with trying to fix abuse is that you invariably make it harder for people who actually do need the help to get it. So unless levels of abuse are high, the best solution might be to just keep the status quo. I'd point to the recent push to test welfare recipients for drugs as a prime example - they did catch a few people, but they spend loads more money than they saved, and they had to deal with all the issues of drug testing everyone on welfare. Would have been better to just accept the few people using welfare money for drugs. I'm not saying that we shouldn't look to fix abuse, but I don't think it's very good policy to hurt fifty honest people in order to stop one abuser, and we have to be careful about that.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4039 times:

Quoting melpax (Reply 8):
greatest country on earth

Seriously when has the US ever been the best country on earth, if it ever was it was a hell of a long time ago.

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):

I am sure if we place 200,000,000 people on Australia there would be some more problems there.

It could never happen, there isn't enough water or arable land in Australia to support 200,000,000 people.


User currently offlineAM744 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 1752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4083 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):
But not really besides for Japan there are no other first world countries over 100 million people.

   Can't overlook enthropy.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 25, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4124 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor,

OMG you just can't past that mantra can you? People who have money are the ones that support the world's charities. Who ever heard of a poor man donating thousands or millions to a charity? And why would anyone want to spend their lives "hating" the poor? That is just a ridiculous thing to say. Too much drama.

The "mantra" of income disparity is, like all facts, a stubborn thing.

Of course poor people don't contribute millions to charities, that's why my comments addressed the Bush tax cuts, but you steamed right past that to make your inane rant.

I didn't say the rich hated the poor, I said the rich stir up hatred of the poor, for the obvious reason that it takes attention away from them. Ask yourself about the nature and the setting of Romney's infamous 47% comment, only voiced because he thought he wasn't being recorded. His focus is the people of low or no income. My focus is on the people of extremely high income, who are getting all kinds of breaks in our society.

I can't see why people react so irrationally to my point of view. I doubt they are of extreme wealth so I don't get the sympathy for the rich.

I still don't understand why the way to solve all our problems is to squeeze the people with low or no income. It makes no sense to me.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
I really don't understand why you haven't sold-off all your worldly goods and moved to a third-world country somewhere where you can donate the rest of your life and income working for the poor. You might even reach sainthood.

When you can get a grip of yourself and speak rationally perhaps we can have a discussion...

I believe I've seen you do much better than this. I'm hoping the above is an aberration.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 20
Reply 26, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4106 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
His focus is the people of low or no income.

O.k., so that was his thing. Who cares? A lot of people on both sides of the aisle didn't pay him any more mind then Palin.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
speak rationally

Wow, that's a pretty arrogant statement. Do I detect an inferiority complex going on?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I can't see why people react so irrationally to my point of view.

Maybe it's because you need to:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
get a grip of yourself and speak rationally

 

But hey, it's only a blog that most of the world has never even hear of. It's only a few of us arguing between us because we don't have anything better to do today. Anybody with any sense isn't going to bother with this discussion anyway. Especially this topic because it:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 21):
is not worth getting into unless you're up for a 200+ post circle jerk about guns, race, drugs etc. that we've beaten to death on here already.

 



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 27, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4114 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 27):
Maybe it's because you need to:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
get a grip of yourself and speak rationally

I am. I explained myself clearly and rationally. I didn't tell you to go move elsewhere or make silly accusations about you wanting sainthood.

It seems you are aiming for a:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 21):
200+ post circle jerk

As the warning before you post says, this forum is only as good as you make it.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 20
Reply 28, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4106 times:
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Quoting Revelation (Reply 28):
this forum is only as good as you make it.

You are right. So relax, chill out and remember it's only our opinions. Our opinions don't amount to a speck of dust in the universe. Feel the love?



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 29, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4090 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 24):
Seriously when has the US ever been the best country on earth, if it ever was it was a hell of a long time ago.

Up until the day before the first person declared it to be such!


Seriously though, how might one even achieve consensus on what "best" means?

The very idea of countries continues to become less relevant over time as our fates become interconnected. Soon enough it won't much matter which country is the "best" when even the best country will need to work closely with others to ensure mere survival against the impacts of declining natural resources, pressures on the environment/food supply caused by population growth etc. and people identify more closely with like-minded individuals online than they do with the people who live next door to them.

And that is not even accounting for an alien invasion/Godzilla scenario  .



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1864 posts, RR: 4
Reply 30, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4083 times:

I once read something by US travel writer Rick Steve, IIRC, in which he said something along the lines that the Europeans were willing to have higher taxes to have better services like a great rail system and more leisure time, but he preferred the United States because there was more opportunity to work hard and get rich. Each to their own and I think the world is a better place for having a diversity of systems. Better to pick and chose what works best in each country than to go for ideological purity (Socialism is evil! Down with all capitalists!) or to try to impose those ideals on everyone else.

Whatever criticisms we have of the US, look at the recent examples of Elon Musk and Google for what can still be achieved in the country.

Rather than directly criticise the US, my OP was perhaps more for those increasingly noisy Australians (and others like them) who constantly complain that we pay too much in tax, our wage costs are too high, goods cost too much compared with the US and Asia etc etc. That their personal wealth is the only thing that matters. Be careful what you wish for!



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2051 posts, RR: 20
Reply 31, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4022 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Mir (Reply 23):
The problem with trying to fix abuse is that you invariably make it harder for people who actually do need the help to get it

[quote=Mir,reply=23]I'm not saying that we shouldn't look to fix abuse, but I don't think it's very good policy to hurt fifty honest people in order to stop one abuser, and we have to be careful about that.
/quote]

   A vicious circle isn't it? Somewhere along the line you just have to put the brakes on and say no more of this, or the system does go broke and EVERYBODY looses.

Check this out:

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/10/22...urning-food-stamps-into-cash-snap/

Big surprise  .



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineSpaceshipDC10 From Australia, joined Jan 2013, 1391 posts, RR: 3
Reply 32, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4012 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 30):
Seriously though, how might one even achieve consensus on what "best" means?

With all the subjectivity involved in such process, I'm tempted to quote President Henry Hayes: "Never going to happen!"



KEEP LOOKING UP as in Space Fan News
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 33, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3928 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 29):
So relax, chill out and remember it's only our opinions. Our opinions don't amount to a speck of dust in the universe.

Yet you chose to ridicule mine...

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 29):
Feel the love?

Not particularly...

I'll get over it, though...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 34, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3885 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 31):
Rather than directly criticise the US, my OP was perhaps more for those increasingly noisy Australians (and others like them) who constantly complain that we pay too much in tax, our wage costs are too high, goods cost too much compared with the US and Asia etc etc. That their personal wealth is the only thing that matters. Be careful what you wish for!

I actually had a very similar conversation with my girlfriend a couple of days ago. She was complaining bitterly about having to pay the Medicare levy. Admittedly her issue was that she is a low income earner and she therefore thought that she should be exempt, not that she was ideologically opposed to Medicare, but after listening patiently to her tirade I said "you can go and live in America if you like?"

Her face at that point was absolutely priceless 



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 35, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3844 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 31):
but he preferred the United States because there was more opportunity to work hard and get rich. Each to their own

Apple
Google
Facebook
Microsoft
Twitter
Amazon
eBay
.
.
and a median household income one-third higher than in the EU,

........is what you get from a country where there is much more opportunity to get rich.

The self-congratulatory threads and "quality of life" rankings that come out every year fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

If the Americans wanted to give up their prosperity and creativity in return for ensuring poor people have a good quality life, they would do so. They could at anytime join the arguably more comfortable but decidedly less innovative places like Scandinavia, but choose not to.

Without the fear of complete failure and personal disaster, the urge to innovate and succeed is significantly muted.


Pu


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 36, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3829 times:

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

  

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
The implication was for the young African-American lady that the child was, in a sense, the cause of poverty, in that she fell pregnant before she had the opportunity to realise the earning potential of her studies.

Whose fault is that?

Quoting photopilot (Reply 5):
The "fatties" in America, while poor are able to get food, but the wrong type.

Whose fault is that?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor, taking the focus off of all the great perks they have gained for themselves.

Yeah, what could possibly be seen as wrong with a group of people who will fatten themselves up on junk food and then expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for the resulting heart attack, diabetes, stroke, etc.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I doubt they are of extreme wealth so I don't get the sympathy for the rich.

Because they bankroll the country (besides likely employing many people) and all liberals can do is complain about how they don't do enough.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinesolarflyer22 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Nov 2009, 810 posts, RR: 3
Reply 37, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3825 times:

I do agree that there are some great qualities to living the US. If you are on the higher end of the middle class or above its probably better than anywhere else. The standard of living in other countries does seem better in the sense that there is less frustration over public transit, healthcare, government shut downs etc. I think Australia's trajectory is headed up whereas the US is probably on a slight decline.

User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 38, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3820 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
The self-congratulatory threads and "quality of life" rankings that come out every year fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

Well I would personally swap a higher quality of living for not being able to boast that I came from the country that invented Google, Facebook, and Microsoft  

I 100% agree that the USA has fundamentally reformulated the way we live, when they are on fire then no country in the world - none at all - can compete with them.

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
a median household income one-third higher than in the EU

BUT that does not excuse the fact that incomes are declining in real terms for a significant swathe of the population.

Income inequality is acute, with much of the money centred in a relatively small number of homes.

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
fail to point out that there is no such thing as a leading European internet company, there is no Australian consumer goods company that spans the globe, and there is no such thing as a Chinese social networking site shared by the entire world.

So what's your point? The largest health insurance provider in the United States is British, the majority of malls in the United States are owned by Australians, and so on... Just because we didn't have the foresight to invent social networking doesn't makes us in some way less as a country.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 39, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3796 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 36):
If the Americans wanted to give up their prosperity and creativity in return for ensuring poor people have a good quality life, they would do so. They could at anytime join the arguably more comfortable but decidedly less innovative places like Scandinavia, but choose not to.

I'm not sure it's quite like that. We have a HUGE economy, not being uber patriotic, it's just a fact. If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world but if we routed all that extra money towards education and if we efficiently got universal healthcare, I think you'd see us near Scandinavian level quality of life with more money and opportunity to go around. I mean for all our problems, we still are very high on the HDI (actually, aren't we #1?) and we throw billions and trillions of dollars away IMO. I think we have great potential.

Also, I see the EU becoming a bigger player in the upcoming years. Your unification has granted a lot of synergies. Look at CERN, that's not American. You guys are producing your own GPS, right? Magellan I think. You guys have Airbus. I think at the rates yall are improving you might surpass the US if we stay the way we are. But if we (the US) really focus on Americans and not foreign entanglements, I think we could be so much more...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 40, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3806 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
#1

#3

The top ten are:

1) Norway
2) Australia
3) USA
4) Netherlands
5) Germany
6) New Zealand
7) Ireland
8) Sweden
9) Switzerland
10) Japan

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
we throw billions and trillions of dollars away IMO. I think we have great potential.
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
if we (the US) really focus on Americans and not foreign entanglements, I think we could be so much more

  

I am still VERY optimistic for America's future, I think that the country can continue as a major economic and political power for a long time to come, but to do so it must confront its stagnant economic situation. When the bottom 50% are trapped into a cycle of poverty with little chance of social mobility, then America will not be able to sustain its economic prowess IMHO. I don't want to sound like a "bring all the factories back" trade protectionist, because I am not, but the service industry (which is all that left in many places) is not the path to economic prosperity. When people are barely able to pay their rent then there is no way that they will be able to save, and when they can't save then they can't send their kids to college etc... Social mobility has declined markedly over the past couple of decades, and the country should ignore that at its peril.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 41, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3797 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 39):
Just because we didn't have the foresight to invent social networking doesn't makes us in some way less as a country.

Of course it does - it makes you a less innovative country. (not Oz specifically, more like everyone in the world in general being less innovative v. the US). I mean seriously, no one is in their league in internet or high tech....large software companies or small startups, web innovations, e-commerce, global consumer products etc. all come from only one place. The real embarrassment is Europe = virtually equal in economic size to the USA but on life support where innovation is concerned.

Any other nation would call it their national pride if they had Google OR Apple OR Facebook....

Anyway, perhaps a lack of innovation does not mean you come from a lesser country according to YOUR values. Can you accept Americans have their own values? Without having to so desparately argue your way of life is somehow better?

It would be a lot more convincing if the rest of the first world didn't spend so much time and breathless argument trying to persuade each other that they really are living better than Americans....


Pu


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 42, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3782 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 42):

Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another? And will Europe always lag or are the synergies of the EU starting to crank up? I honestly think the US will become more like Scandinavia and the EU will become more innovative like the US as we go on



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 43, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world

...it just wouldn't be the military we need.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
I don't want to sound like a "bring all the factories back" trade protectionist, because I am not,

If you were, you'd be a fool.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
the service industry (which is all that left in many places) is not the path to economic prosperity.

The path to economic prosperity is to get an education and get the government out of the damn way. Be lean and smart, it's that simple.

Quoting pu (Reply 42):
Of course it does - it makes you a less innovative country. (not Oz specifically, more like everyone in the world in general being less innovative v. the US). I mean seriously, no one is in their league in internet or high tech....large software companies or small startups, web innovations, e-commerce, global consumer products etc. all come from only one place.

The fact that all that happened in America is not a coincidence.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 43):
Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another?

Why would you want to be Scandinavia? The taxes are ridiculous.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 44, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3764 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half..,have the biggest/best military in the world but if we routed all that extra money towards education and if we efficiently got universal healthcare, I think you'd see us near Scandinavian level quality of life

Yes, the US can of course re-allocate how it spends its resources to reflect different policy objectives. I am not enough of an economist to know if you could really replicate our sublime Scandinavian cradle-to-grave totally-worry-free existence (!!!) in such a large and culturally diverse place like America, and I honestly don't think you would want to. One of the main differences is that, for instance, all Norwegians are Norwegians and Americans are probably half a dozen different identifiable culturally different groups....you would spend all your time arguing, witness the recent govt shutdown.

It might be impossible to start thinking in terms of communal good when you see yourself as a patchwork of several different peoples....Republicans, Democrats, Hispanics, Africans, city-dwellers, rural types, etc.

Lets just see how Obamacare goes!


Pu


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 45, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3748 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 40):
If we cut defense in half we could still have the biggest/best military in the world

...it just wouldn't be the military we need.

You're right, we need a huge one since we invade countries like Iraq needlessly and cause animosity by our presence. Now if we adopt a new foreign policy, we wouldn't need a huge military

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
Why would you want to be Scandinavia? The taxes are ridiculous.

Their education is phenomenal, they have a great society, and I don't see the welfare leeches over there like over here. Might have to do with pu addresses, but yes, I would like us to be like Scandinavia, but if we did it right, I think we could be better than Scandinavia. Obviously my opinion

Quoting pu (Reply 45):
in such a large and culturally diverse place like America

The biggest and best objection to a lot of things, very true. I'd like to see how the countries within the EU and the EU as a whole forms

Quoting pu (Reply 45):
Lets just see how Obamacare goes!

Indeed



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 46, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3729 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 43):
Again, we our in our own league, so can we become a mixture of Scandinavia and innovative America or can it only be one or another? And will Europe always lag or are the synergies of the EU starting to crank up? I honestly think the US will become more like Scandinavia and the EU will become more innovative like the US as we go on

I tend to think you can tweak it and make improvements here and here, but essentially its either one system or the other. Everything has a cost, a sacrifice: you don't get "perfect" social equality without robbing the innovators of the motivation and ability to invent ...and you don't get places where great wealth is a realistic dream unless great failure is also possible. Its either

1. the ubber-capitalist places (like America) where the clever and hard working can get rich by innovating the products 7 bilion earthlings all demand, but where the less-than-average just kind of stew in a sea of underemployment and stagnation

or

2. the more socialised places where most everyone lives at very near to the same level as everyone else, there are few extremes, and a technology innovation comes along about once every hundred years because everyone is just so damn placated that they never want anything more than what they've already got, plus its too hard to innovate in a place that discourages individual success.

...and no, the EU will not change in our lifetimes, it will always be a cultural and socially-minded snob but a technological laggard relative to the likes of the US.



Pu


User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 47, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3732 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 44):
The path to economic prosperity is to get an education

You clearly missed the next part of that sentence:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 41):
When people are barely able to pay their rent then there is no way that they will be able to save, and when they can't save then they can't send their kids to college etc
Quoting pu (Reply 42):
Anyway, perhaps a lack of innovation does not mean you come from a lesser country according to YOUR values. Can you accept Americans have their own values? Without having to so desparately argue your way of life is somehow better?

That wasn't my point at all, and I take offence at your tone.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 48, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3725 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 47):

I see what you're saying. Maybe not as far as cradle to grave care, but at least a solid education system and healthcare system. Could that be done with a big chunk of the defense budget? Maybe. If we could cut down defense to a reasonable level and pump that money into education and healthcare, we might really become a force to be reckoned with in many aspects. And again, we can still cut a big part of our defense and stay on top. I very much disagree with BMI



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 49, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3707 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 49):

If I were in charge of the US defense budget the first thing I would erase would be new pilot training! Screw those guys, let them learn to fly drones from remote control and forbid them from ever being able to work at the airlines!
.
.
Ok, that was just a personal thing....now back to reality.

My concerns with your ideas are:

1. The Europeans are the only other peoples who are both democratic-minded and wealthy enough to sport a global military. Instead, we have chosen to outsource this to the US so as to build a workers paradise at home. In retrospect, I am against the Iraq invasion, Vietnam and a few other American adventures, but nevertheless without a global police force the whole globe might start to look like Mogadishu or Djibouti or rural Pakistan.....warlords versus warlords and dozens of regional conflicts. So, before you can cut the US defense budget, the rest of us have to fill in the blanks.

2. All that US defense spending is like FDR's work projects during the Depression, it keeps a lot of people employed and is a huge part of the global economy....plus technology for everyone often trickles down from defense-research innovations. So any big change in spending must come gradually.

3. In the beginning of my lifetime, the UK was a major player with global interests and a worldwide military presence. They began sometime in the late 60s or early 70s to adopt the ideas you discuss, reduce military spending, stop foreign invasions, etc. Now they are almost as powerless as the rest of Europe on a global scale, and without their heritage and cultural ties to America they would exert virtually no influence in the world any longer. Are you willing to give this up?

4. Look who the rivals for power are: Russia. China. A dozen crazy heads elsehwere. I don't mind saying that if you erased North America from the world map then a decade or two later the rest of us could enter another dark age of brutality, genocides, nuclear and environmental devestation....a complete nightmare.


So think about it!




Pu


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 50, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3680 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 50):
If I were in charge of the US defense budget the first thing I would erase would be new pilot training! Screw those guys, let them learn to fly drones from remote control and forbid them from ever being able to work at the airlines!

I see what you did there...

Quoting pu (Reply 50):
it keeps a lot of people employed and is a huge part of the global economy

Very true, but I look at it this way. Keep in mind, I'm going to be very simplistic, don't read into it too much: if we took X money and X jobs from defense and put it in, say, education (costing X dollars and creating X jobs) the net gain/loss in jobs and money is 0. Defense, at least at the levels we have now, may offer a job to someone, but what does that soldier contribute by chillin in a garrison in Germany? Or blasting away money in an expensive war in Iraq? All this money does is employ someone

On the flip side, you're still spending money on a professor, but the fruits of the professor goes back into society.

Like I said, it's a very loose example, but basically it's what we get out of what we pay into, not just the job created itself. We can spend a bunch of money for millions to dig holes... it creates jobs, but little else

Quoting pu (Reply 50):
Are you willing to give this up?

Yes. I see other countries as spending money on their societies, not into war machines.

I guess it all depends how far I'd want to go. I'm not saying be an insignificant isolationist, but we don't need this HUGE war machine and we don't need to be involved in everyone's business

Quoting pu (Reply 50):
Look who the rivals for power are: Russia. China.

This is a good objective. While I wouldn't mind pushing our terrorist problems away and let them deal with it, I'd hate for their stupidity or aggression to screw up everyone else.

I guess I should have been more clear. I'm not talking about being "just another country." We can seriously cut our defense budget and still be very formidable, especially allied with the EU. Will still be able to take on the Second Coming of the Soviet Union or China or whatever, I would think. But putting that money into society, it would really make it a better country, more Australia-ish (have to link it back to the OP so we're not off topic   )



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 51, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3624 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
You're right, we need a huge one since we invade countries like Iraq needlessly and cause animosity by our presence.

Because Iraq loved us before? And, for what it's worth, making people like us is not an aim of foreign policy. What matters is protecting American interests, if others like us for that, all the better.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
Their education is phenomenal,

And yet we already spend more on education.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 46):
I don't see the welfare leeches over there like over here.

The Scandinavian type welfare state effectively makes most people welfare leeches.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 49):
And again, we can still cut a big part of our defense and stay on top.

It's not about being on top, it's about being untouchable. The goal is not just to win wars, the goal is to dominate wars and be able to bring overwhelming force to wherever it may be needed. If any American ever finds himself in a fair fight, we already failed.

Quoting pu (Reply 50):
They began sometime in the late 60s or early 70s to adopt the ideas you discuss, reduce military spending, stop foreign invasions, etc.

The Falklands War was a bit of a rude awakening for the UK. And later when the US swiped an island without telling them.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 51):
Yes. I see other countries as spending money on their societies, not into war machines.

Many of them buy plenty of ours.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 51):
Will still be able to take on the Second Coming of the Soviet Union or China or whatever, I would think.

That's why spending can't be cut. We do have to do that. And also have the right resources to find and zap Mullah Whomever in whichever cave or apartment he happens to be hanging out in. The feel good days of not having the Soviet Union around anymore are over.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5391 posts, RR: 26
Reply 52, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3606 times:

Australia, in particular, benefits from having a border which is protected by thousands of miles of shark-infested waters and is sealed with the help of gunboats. This is, by the way, a good thing... but one must acknowledge that you cannot simply perform an apples-to-apples comparison.


...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 53, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3578 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 37):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 6):
The monied interests in the US seem to have no problem stirring up hatred of the poor, taking the focus off of all the great perks they have gained for themselves.

Yeah, what could possibly be seen as wrong with a group of people who will fatten themselves up on junk food and then expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for the resulting heart attack, diabetes, stroke, etc.

What could possibly be seen wrong with a group of people like Mitt Romney, with income of $13.7 million in 2012 who paid $1.94 million in federal income taxes, giving him an effective tax rate of 14.1%? Then he made a point of saying that he was paying more than legally required, without pointing out that it was a system rigged for people like him to be paying less per dollar earned than middle class wage earners.

Ref: http://money.cnn.com/2012/09/21/pf/taxes/romney-tax-return/

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 37):
Quoting Revelation (Reply 26):
I doubt they are of extreme wealth so I don't get the sympathy for the rich.

Because they bankroll the country (besides likely employing many people) and all liberals can do is complain about how they don't do enough.

By historical standards they do not do enough. Trickle down economics of the Reagan era and the GWB tax cuts have done nothing but create historical income disparity. They certainly have not created the wide spread prosperity they were predicted to create.

In current times the GOP is let to sit there and insist on no increases in revenues after decades of coddling. It's absurd.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 54, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3564 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
Because Iraq loved us before?

No? Your point? Beating them up sure helped us out didn't it? What did we get out of it besides a ton of dead troops, and worse in your opinion, trillions of dollars down the toilet?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
And, for what it's worth, making people like us is not an aim of foreign policy. What matters is protecting American interests, if others like us for that, all the better.

Having people not pissed off at us and not attacking us serves our interests

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
And yet we already spend more on education.

Per student? Overall? No doubt in addition to throwing money at education is making sure that money is spent properly. I should have been more clear

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
The Scandinavian type welfare state effectively makes most people welfare leeches.

Do you have people over there that have no jobs but crank out babies? You may disagree with that model, and pu, let me know if I'm wrong, but you don't have the level of unproductivity over there like we have by some of our welfare recipients

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
It's not about being on top, it's about being untouchable. The goal is not just to win wars, the goal is to dominate wars and be able to bring overwhelming force to wherever it may be needed. If any American ever finds himself in a fair fight, we already failed.

I don't know which military you're looking at. I'm looking at the one that needlessly wastes billions of dollars. You know that every dollar spent doesn't go towards our military dominance? A ton of it goes to egregious wastes. Take a recent example I heard from my friend: their unit was about to deploy but it got cancelled. So they returned all the money to the government... yeah right. Instead, they bought a bunch of munitions including laser guided bombs and they blew it up all in one exercise. Cost every company at least $15 million to go through and there are about 8 companies in the exercise IIRC. So ~$100 million simply blown up. And no, before you come back and say it was great training, it wasn't $100m of training. You could have easily gotten just as much training at a mere fraction of the cost.

The military is full of such waste. I swear you could cut the budget by 10%, maybe even 20%, and still have it function the exact same way if you did it right (I know, easier said than done.)

And bases in Germany? Russia plan on invading soon? Can't the Europeans handle their defense by now?

Afghanistan? What are we still doing there? Iraq? That was a waste.

The military you want can easily be funded at a fraction of what we have now. Also, your overall strategy seems to be foreign entanglements that drain our money, NOT make us safer, and piss everyone off just so what, we have influence? I get what you're overall goal is but you have a great misunderstanding of how our military works it seems and how a lot of our actions you think help America only hurt us.

Maybe this crappy analogy will help: we both want to get over a 15 foot wall. Your idea is to spend billions of dollars to develop a capsule launched out of an orbital cannon that will shoot you over the wall, into space, and land on the other side. My idea is to build a sturdy ladder.



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 55, posted (5 months 3 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3547 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 54):
Then he made a point of saying that he was paying more than legally required, without pointing out that it was a system rigged for people like him to be paying less per dollar earned than middle class wage earners.

Considering how many people pay next to nothing, I'd say the system is pretty well rigged in their favor.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 54):
Trickle down economics of the Reagan era and the GWB tax cuts have done nothing but create historical income disparity.

The rich don't owe us anything. Why is America so obsessed with getting their hands on money other people make? They aren't making their money by robbing us. Nothing they do deserves punishment and everyone should keep as much of their earnings as they possibly can.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 55):
Per student?

Per student the US is tied for first with Switzerland.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 55):
Having people not pissed off at us and not attacking us serves our interests

America should act in its interests. It's preferable if that doesn't anger anyone, but it can't be a deal breaker. Not hurting people's feelings is not a goal in and of itself.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 55):
Take a recent example I heard from my friend: their unit was about to deploy but it got cancelled. So they returned all the money to the government... yeah right.

That's not a military flaw, that's a bureaucracy flaw. If they don't spend every nickel, the allocation gets cut. The whole government needs to be overhauled so as not to punish organizations for being too efficient.

You're going at cutting waste backwards. Define the capabilities and do it in the most cost effective way rather than blindly cutting budgets and seeing what sort of military you can buy with whatever is left.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 55):
Also, your overall strategy seems to be foreign entanglements that drain our money, NOT make us safer, and piss everyone off just so what, we have influence?

You can't avoid issues or roll over just because it might hurt someone's feelings.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinemelpax From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 1561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 56, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3508 times:

This was in one of the papers here today, some interesting comments.....

http://www.theage.com.au/travel/aust...ping-in-the-us-20131016-2vmn8.html



Essendon - Whatever it takes......
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 992 posts, RR: 2
Reply 57, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3501 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
The Scandinavian type welfare state effectively makes most people welfare leeches.

Not exactly, we have way less unemployment than most countries with way less welfare, Finland is also economically still one of the best doing European countries.

Also fertility rate here is 1.83, lower than in the US which shouldn't be the case if most people were making children just to get more welfare money.

The truth is the system works just fine here in every way, there isn't that much abuse among Finnish population at least. Some Somali "refugees" are of course completely other thing then but those people don't seem to adjust no matter what country they go into.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 56):
America should act in its interests. It's preferable if that doesn't anger anyone, but it can't be a deal breaker. Not hurting people's feelings is not a goal in and of itself.

So if nuking whole population of Afghanistan would serve your interest that would be okay as not hurting other people's feelings can't be a deal breaker?

Some people have actual humane morals which you seem to lack totally.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 58, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 31):
he preferred the United States because there was more opportunity to work hard and get rich.

I don't believe living in the US makes it any easier to work hard and get rich then in Europe or any other first world country, there are plenty of people in Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Canada who have done just that.

Quoting pu (Reply 42):
I mean seriously, no one is in their league in internet or high tech....large software companies or small startups, web innovations, e-commerce, global consumer products etc. all come from only one place.

They do, someone forgot to tell the Germans that. Germany builds the best cars, Europe leads the way with rail technology, Sweden gave us Spotify, IKEA, Tetrapac, the Swiss Nestle (I believe Nestle is the largest FMCG company), the list of large global companies in Europe is pretty huge, and wasn't it Tim Berners-Lee from England that made the internet possible?

The US has done some interesting things but to claim everything only came from one place is nuts.


User currently offlinecupraibiza From Australia, joined Feb 2007, 836 posts, RR: 6
Reply 59, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

Wait someone explain this to me. $2.13/hr is the minimum wage?
Not $21.30 but $2.13?
Please explain



Everyday is a gift…… but why does it have to be a pair of socks?
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 60, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3458 times:

Quoting melpax (Reply 57):
This was in one of the papers here today, some interesting comments

Very interesting. I know that we don't have a tipping culture in Australia, but I find some of the comments sickening.

For example:

Quote:
if you are in their country, you are already spending your money there, and if they want this to continue, they can make cultural allowances

Wow! Way to go  

More:

Quote:
tipping in the USA is supporting a culture where servers of food get paid less than $2.50 per hour
Quote:
it's part of their wage"??
I'm not their employer, so I don't have to calculate or pay their wage.
Take it up with your government to legislate a decent minimum wage.
If I've paid for the meal and taxes associated with that meal then no tip
Quote:
And that's our problem how? Blame their government, not the tourists spending enough getting and staying there. Laugh all you want, I won't tip you coz I don't go to a restaurant more than once so they don't remember me and spit in my food
Quote:
What rubbish! Most of us work hard (I certainly do) and it's my money so as a competent adult I'll spend it as I choose and as fits my conscience. I dare say it's not my fault that their wage and living conditions are as they are. It is not my job to supplement their wage

These people clearly don't realise that the ONLY person who suffers when they don't tip is the guy earning $2.13. That's sad.

I did have to agree with this:

Quote:
I am amused at Australians who spend thousands of dollars travelling to the USA and then complain about a few dollars in tips to workers whose minimum wage may be as low (in "tipped jobs") as $2.13 per hour excluding tips

  

And I got a good chuckle out of this one:

Quote:
a ridiculous, antiquated and unfair system. bosses should be made to pay their workers liveable wages, like is done in the civilised world. so glad I don't live there

:D



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 61, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 3449 times:

Quoting cupraibiza (Reply 60):
Wait someone explain this to me. $2.13/hr is the minimum wage?
Not $21.30 but $2.13?

For tipped workers (i.e. wait staff), yes.

The normal minimum wage is $7.25



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 62, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3451 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
The Scandinavian type welfare state effectively makes most people welfare leeches.

Go on prove it!


User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 63, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 3446 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 45):
One of the main differences is that, for instance, all Norwegians are Norwegians and Americans are probably half a dozen different identifiable culturally different groups

They are, could have fooled me, there are several 100 thousand Norwegians of Pakistani origin, then you have the Sami who are Sami not Norwegian, then there's also my three little half Kiwi half Norwegian Norwegians.


User currently offlinemelpax From Australia, joined Apr 2005, 1561 posts, RR: 1
Reply 64, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3413 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 59):
I don't believe living in the US makes it any easier to work hard and get rich then in Europe or any other first world country, there are plenty of people in Europe, Australia, New Zealand & Canada who have done just that.

Though if Big Gina (the world's richest woman) had her way, we'd all be working for 50 cents an hour...... She caused a bit of bother when she suggested that the minimum wage be cut, and that the poor should spend less time on lesuire & more time working.....

http://www.theage.com.au/small-busin...lfare-comments-20120830-2521b.html

Quoting allrite (Reply 4):
This struck me as well, but it may be that fatty fast food is more affordable than fresh food. Poverty in western countries is, I believe, often associated with unhealthy eating habits. So is extreme wealth, judging by a couple of rather well known magnates in Australia.



Essendon - Whatever it takes......
User currently offlinePhilby From France, joined Aug 2013, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3401 times:

From comments here it is clear that there is only one solution to the US economy. Motivation through taxation

Tax at 100% for anyone earning less than $30000 - There are more of them so they can pay to run the country. If they don'tlike living in workhouses and eating gruel they can always emigrate
0% tax above $150 000 dollars - These are clearly the innovators and must be rewarded
sliding scale in between.
If you introduce this you'll have McD's on Mars before the end of the decade with all that rampant innovation.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
Because Iraq loved us before?

Of course they did. Who else could they turn to to buy their WMD's

Quoting pu (Reply 47):
innovating the products 7 bilion earthlings all demand

No-one was demanding them until the marketing department got involved.
Currently, over here at this company, it seems to be a 50/50 split as to whether the smart-phone is a useful tool or pointless toy.

I'm with Scandinavia - Dog eat dog capitalism isn't a sign of a highly developed civilization.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 66, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3395 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 56):
You're going at cutting waste backwards. Define the capabilities and do it in the most cost effective way rather than blindly cutting budgets and seeing what sort of military you can buy with whatever is left.

I agree 100% in theory, but having actually worked on developing military requirements (and home remodeling plans with my wife LOL) I can tell you that it is much harder in practice. There has to be a clearly understood financial ceiling on the process in order to separate the 'requirements' from the 'desirements'.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 62):
For tipped workers (i.e. wait staff), yes.

The normal minimum wage is $7.25
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 61):
These people clearly don't realise that the ONLY person who suffers when they don't tip is the guy earning $2.13. That's sad.

Aside from the fact that some people are douches and others don't fully understand how it works, the idea of servers working for tips is ideal...pay for performance results in the best service. I typically 'over tip' quite a bit for a job well done, particularly when I buy a really cheap meal because good service is good service and should be rewarded.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineL410Turbolet From Czech Republic, joined May 2004, 5597 posts, RR: 19
Reply 67, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3397 times:

Quoting Philby (Reply 66):
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 52):
Because Iraq loved us before?

Of course they did. Who else could they turn to to buy their WMD's

France?


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 68, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3367 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 56):
Considering how many people pay next to nothing, I'd say the system is pretty well rigged in their favor.

Right - the way forward is to chase down all the people who have next to nothing, that'll do wonders for the economy.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 56):
The rich don't owe us anything. Why is America so obsessed with getting their hands on money other people make? They aren't making their money by robbing us.

In fact, by historical standards, they are robbing us.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 61):
I know that we don't have a tipping culture in Australia, but I find some of the comments sickening.

Quite often the term 'ugly American' gets tossed around. In that context, it's sad to see how freaked out these people are by a different customary way of doing things.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 69, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3345 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 68):
In that context, it's sad to see how freaked out these people are by a different customary way of doing things.

I understand what you're saying, and I agree.

Without excusing their behavior, there are deadbeats and idiots everywhere, and for some reason the comments sections of new stories (like YouTube comments) seem to attract them. Presumably it provides them with an outlet to express their frustration with having to compensate for something  



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 70, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3343 times:

Quoting sccutler (Reply 53):
Australia, in particular, benefits from having a border which is protected by thousands of miles of shark-infested waters

Which is nothing compared to what is waiting for you once you get ashore LOL

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 56):
The rich don't owe us anything. Why is America so obsessed with getting their hands on money other people make? They aren't making their money by robbing us. Nothing they do deserves punishment and everyone should keep as much of their earnings as they possibly can.


No offense intended to you personally, but the way you talk about rich people in your posts on here make me picture the guy who is so smitten by his hot girlfriend that he just can't see that she is banging all of his friends in his own apartment while he is at work.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 71, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 69):
Without excusing their behavior, there are deadbeats and idiots everywhere,

I guess I'd be described as a deadbeat, I refuse to partake in the con job that is tipping, I'd be far far happier to pay more for the meal, haircut, taxi, and know that the employee was paid a decent wage. IMO it's an easy way for the employer to take a larger slice of the profits and foist his obligations onto the customer.


User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 72, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3327 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 71):
I guess I'd be described as a deadbeat,

I was referring more to the abhorrent attitude that some posters displayed in that article, than the practice of not tipping per se.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 71):
I'd be far far happier to pay more for the meal, haircut, taxi, and know that the employee was paid a decent wage

I agree, which is why I like the Australian (and Kiwi?) approach.

It's also part of the reason why I REFUSE to tip in Australia, even if I receive exceptional service. Here most wait staff are earning over $20 an hour. It is insulting to American workers for me to "reward" Australian wait staff with 10-20% on top of $20, when in America they earn $18 less.

On the other hand I tip religiously (and generously) when in the USA, not because I support the American minimum wage system, but because it's not fair for someone to starve or not be able to pay their rent just so that I can make a principled stand.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineRomeoBravo From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2013, 1105 posts, RR: 3
Reply 73, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3331 times:

Quoting Philby (Reply 65):
Dog eat dog capitalism isn't a sign of a highly developed civilization.

Capitalism isn't dog eat dog, it's dog help dog. Dog eat dog implies you can benefit at someone else's expense. This is not the case with capitalism.

The problem with the US and a lot of western countries is that they scarcely have capitalism.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 74, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3302 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
America should act in its interests. It's preferable if that doesn't anger anyone, but it can't be a deal breaker. Not hurting people's feelings is not a goal in and of itself.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
You can't avoid issues or roll over just because it might hurt someone's feelings.

Uh huh, but you're acting like everything we're doing overseas is completely necessary and there's not a more efficient way of going about it. Since you only care about money and our interests, I'll only talk from that angle--I'm under the opinion that our foreign policy causes problems for us and wastes a lot of money. You seem to think that I want to tuck tail and run away when someone gets offended. Of course not. I'm talking about blindly supporting Israel, for example... that doesn't serve our interests IMO and only causes more problems for us. The bases in Germany and Italy... you may go on about military dominance against the scary Soviets or something but I see it as a waste of your and my tax dollars. Etc etc

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
That's not a military flaw, that's a bureaucracy flaw. If they don't spend every nickel, the allocation gets cut. The whole government needs to be overhauled so as not to punish organizations for being too efficient.

Besides cutting unnecessary parts and adapting a different foreign policy as to not be counterproductive (see above,) this is what I'm talking about. It's not an easy thing to do, I know all about different pools of money and how if you don't spend it you don't get it again. It would have to be a big goal from the very top at the Pentagon down to all levels. I don't foresee us being the most efficient organization out there, but if you get every company/squadron/battalion/brigade/etc to be more efficient and not punish them for doing so, you'd see a huge decrease in spending. Based off what you write, it's obvious you have no idea how inefficient the military is, through your job working with defense (I think that's what you said) maybe you're see the blatant waste. I don't see why you are not mad, YOUR tax dollars gets pissed away in unimaginable ways that even you'd be hard pressed to defend

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
You're going at cutting waste backwards. Define the capabilities and do it in the most cost effective way rather than blindly cutting budgets and seeing what sort of military you can buy with whatever is left.

Of course. I am being simplistic. Slashing the budget by 20% and hoping the military will be able to handle it is a dumb way of going about it. I talk about waste in the military but I know that some parts of it are underfunded, some are about right, and some have plenty of fat to trim. I know bureaucracies are very difficult to tackle but I see the waste as big enough to be worth tackling. Sometimes, making a deal out of something costs more than the inefficiencies costs, not in this case, let me tell you



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinePhilby From France, joined Aug 2013, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3294 times:

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
Capitalism isn't dog eat dog,

The modern form, based on getting that high-score on the bank statement and ignore everyone else is what I'm referrring to. Capitalism per se isn't necesarily dog eat dog.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
The problem with the US and a lot of western countries is that they scarcely have capitalism.

Expand? I can see how they scarcely have democracy but capitalism?


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2013, 1105 posts, RR: 3
Reply 76, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3286 times:

Quoting Philby (Reply 75):
The modern form, based on getting that high-score on the bank statement and ignore everyone else is what I'm referrring to.

That is not dog eat dog. The only way you can get rich is by serving others. If you have a big bank account it's normally because you've generated that much wealth for others.

Quoting Philby (Reply 75):
Expand? I can see how they scarcely have democracy but capitalism?

Where to begin? Government spends 40%+ of GDP. Government sets interest rates. Government bails out banks. Government racks up huge deficits.

And those are just the obvious ones...


User currently offlineAM744 From Mexico, joined Jun 2001, 1752 posts, RR: 0
Reply 77, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3228 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 55):
The rich don't owe us anything. Why is America so obsessed with getting their hands on money other people make? They aren't making their money by robbing us.

That would be the case in a perfect market. There are such things as rent seeking, crony capitalism, privatization of profits using public money as a safety net, etc.

Lots and lots of poor and destitute people cause undesirable effects to the whole social ladder at some point. My father pointed this out to me when I was younger and had more of a screw-everybody-else attitude, and boy was he right. Unfortunately some income redistribution is needed (without rewarding abusing behavior from the recipients, I agree on that).


User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 78, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3196 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 66):
the idea of servers working for tips is ideal

In theory. In reality it is a way for owners to remove risk.

Quoting RomeoBravo (Reply 73):
The problem with the US and a lot of western countries is that they scarcely have capitalism.

True capitalism is an utopia.


User currently offlineflydeltajets From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 1787 posts, RR: 2
Reply 79, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3171 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting AA7295 (Reply 2):
Firstly.... if you are living in poverty.. what the HELL are you doing having a child. That just grossly irresponsible and downright unfair to the child. If you can't afford to pay for yourself... you should NOT be having a child. Use contraception!

YOu are right, but in many cases people that live in poverty are very religious and their religions leanings moves them away from contraceptive uses.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
Because they can go out and get free food with their "WIC" cards. They stand there at the supermarket check-out with a shopping cart full of stuff and the poor hard working guy behind them is buying beans and rice for his family and he pays cash for his stuff. Some of the fattest people you ever saw can be seen in public housing and food stamp lines. They just know how to play the game.

WIC is a program for any mother that has children that can buy a very select list of items to support the nutrition of mothers and their young children. I believe the program you were referring to was SNAP.

While with ANY system there will be those that take advantage, the people that are bringing their shopping cart full of stuff are likely shopping for the entire month. You are talking about an amount of about a couple hundred dollars for an entire month of groceries. But hey bashing the poor is easy because in most cases they have no voice.



The only valid opinions are those based in facts
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 80, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3148 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 78):
In theory. In reality it is a way for owners to remove risk.

You say that as though it were an inherently evil thing. The restaurant business, like any small entrepreneurial operation is extremely challenging; when you stake your life savings and/or go into debt to open the doors of a restaurant why isn't it reasonable to expect those who have made no up front investment but also hope to prosper from it to bear some of that risk? Especially when the better the customer service is, the better the restaurant performs and the better the servers get paid in tips.

Isn't that the "American Dream", to be compensated commensurate with our efforts? To reward those who have the drive and courage to start an enterprise? It would be one thing if the owners were lounging around while the peasants toil, but that has not been my observation. Small business owners typically work their fingers to the bone while trying to get their "help" to do the simplest tasks without having to drive them like cattle. At least a gratuity-based system incentivizes doing a good job...so critical in the service industry.

I do genuinely believe that everybody who puts in an honest day's work ought to be able to feed themselves and have a reasonable place to live but the one question that I haven't yet heard answered about raising the minimum wage is how to counter the effect it would have on prices...ie what good are we doing if we pay a substantially higher 'living wage' to all hourly employees and businesses simply respond by increasing prices to make up the difference? How do we actually increase workers' spending power without also dictating price controls? At what point are we driving away from a labor marketplace that rewards people who perform to a 'command' economy that rewards mere compliance (if that)? I don't have the answers but it's not as straightforward as saying "Hey let's just increase the minimum wage to X".



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 81, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 3117 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
You say that as though it were an inherently evil thing. The restaurant business, like any small entrepreneurial operation is extremely challenging; when you stake your life savings and/or go into debt to open the doors of a restaurant why isn't it reasonable to expect those who have made no up front investment but also hope to prosper from it to bear some of that risk?

I do think moving risk from owners to employees is an inherently evil thing. When you tell people to work on your stuff x number of hours then you should compensate them for those hours. I find the practice of evaluating your staffing every 15 minutes and send home people without pay if it doesn't look like you want equally apprehensive.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
Especially when the better the customer service is, the better the restaurant performs and the better the servers get paid in tips.

I'm not against tip. I'm against it being such a significant part that it is moving the risks from the owner to the employee.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
Small business owners typically work their fingers to the bone while trying to get their "help" to do the simplest tasks without having to drive them like cattle.

Then they are poor managers.

FYI, my parents started their first restaurant when I was 7. They had more than 35 by the time they retired. Being the oldest kid I ran away as fast as I could but my siblings are still in the business and I have been part owner in some of their restaurants.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
I do genuinely believe that everybody who puts in an honest day's work ought to be able to feed themselves and have a reasonable place to live but the one question that I haven't yet heard answered about raising the minimum wage is how to counter the effect it would have on prices...ie what good are we doing if we pay a substantially higher 'living wage' to all hourly employees and businesses simply respond by increasing prices to make up the difference? How do we actually increase workers' spending power without also dictating price controls?

A far too big issue for this thread.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 82, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3055 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 81):
I find the practice of evaluating your staffing every 15 minutes and send home people without pay if it doesn't look like you want equally apprehensive.

You departed from English a little bit (   ) but I think I follow your meaning and agree that it's wrong of the owner not to give them the OPPORTUNITY to stay on the clock for the guaranteed minimum rate that they were scheduled for. Whether they think their time standing around is worth $2 is their decision, but ultimately it's also worth remembering all the busy hours that they are pulling in ten or more times that amount in tips.

Quoting cmf (Reply 81):
I do think moving risk from owners to employees is an inherently evil thing.
Quoting cmf (Reply 81):
I'm not against tip. I'm against it being such a significant part that it is moving the risks from the owner to the employee.

Unless it comes with the opportunity to receive greater rewards, I agree. That is the whole point - a good server can pull down a ton more per hour in tips carrying trays to people's tables than I ever did performing three different functions at a supermarket (cashier/bagger, stock clerk and operating the price change computer system) back in the day. Waiting tables for right or wrong is a minimum wage gig with the opportunity to do better if you hustle. No matter how good I was at that supermarket I was getting $4/hr just like the other 'union guy' who did half as much as I did or less.

Sounds like people want to have their cake and eat it too...the business owner should both shield them from all the risk AND provide a higher wage. That would be a reasonable expectation if waiters/waitresses weren't a dime a dozen in the labor marketplace (which they are because there is no substantial investment or education required). Which leads me to you calling the raising of the minimum wage

Quoting cmf (Reply 81):
A far too big issue for this thread.

But one that is ultimately critical to this discussion because going away from the gratuity system would likely take money out of servers' pockets unless the minimum wage was raised. Which may or may not result in an actual increase in spending power or overall well-being due to rising prices and the other kumbaya factors that I listed.

Again, I love the idea of everybody's effort being valued but I don't know how to make that work in our 'market economy' system without killing the good aspects of it. The underlying assumption of this thread is that somehow Australia and other countries have "cracked the code" and I'd be interested to hear how.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineqantas077 From Australia, joined Jan 2004, 5825 posts, RR: 41
Reply 83, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3024 times:

Quoting cupraibiza (Reply 59):
Not $21.30 but $2.13?
Please explain

Park Av, New York.

http://i42.tinypic.com/15g9f13.jpg

I think this photo pretty much says it all...



a true friend is someone who sees the pain in your eyes, while everyone else believes the smile on your face.
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 84, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3002 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 82):
You departed from English a little bit

Trying to do too many things at the same time, sorry.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 82):
agree that it's wrong of the owner not to give them the OPPORTUNITY to stay on the clock for the guaranteed minimum rate that they were scheduled for. Whether they think their time standing around is worth $2 is their decision, but ultimately it's also worth remembering all the busy hours that they are pulling in ten or more times that amount in tips.

Much more complicated than that. While some don't have the option of earning their guaranteed almost non-existent salary others are required to stay at that salary. Not unusual to see them work 8 hours and still not cover parking costs.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 82):
Sounds like people want to have their cake and eat it too...the business owner should both shield them from all the risk AND provide a higher wage.

Nothing such. As I said before it is about owners providing reasonable compensation for the time they require employees to be there.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 82):
Waiting tables for right or wrong is a minimum wage gig with the opportunity to do better if you hustle.

I'm all for being able to do better. I do not expect the guaranteed wage to be enough for a life in luxury. I do expect it to be enough to pay your bills even if there is a week of bad weather. I'm happy to say that my parents and siblings have always practiced this rule. It means their turnover is very small as they have loyal, dedicated employees who know how things work and happily pitch in and show up whenever needed.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 85, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3005 times:

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 83):
I think this photo pretty much says it all...

A picture of a homeless guy? Am I missing something? There are homeless people in every city in the world. I disagree with the tipping system (make it a wage and only tip a small amount if you get exceptional service) but I'm confused by your picture. Is that guy a waiter or something??



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinemdsh00 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 4124 posts, RR: 9
Reply 86, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 83):

Right because bums do not exist outside of the US right? There are plenty of homeless not out in the streets and many of them also choose not to be a part of the city's own shelter system and private shelters.

I did my medical training there and some of the homeless patients would flat out refuse our referrals to the NYC City Shelters.

Sorry but your picture doesn't say anything.



"Look Lois, the two symbols of the Republican Party: an elephant, and a big fat white guy who is threatened by change."
User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 87, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2983 times:

Quoting cupraibiza (Reply 59):

Wait someone explain this to me. $2.13/hr is the minimum wage?
Not $21.30 but $2.13?

Because when you walk into a bar or restaurant in the states you get INSTANT, attentive service. Because otherwise the staff don't make a wage since they would get no tips. When you walk into a pub in Sweden, the UK or OZ you get served when the server gets done chatting with his mates, and you may get the chance to order again if the server is done playing with their iPhone.

AGAIN, the error is refusing to acknowledge the advantages that the US system has and then further imagining that you are better able to decide what the Americans want for themselves. The US system has its costs, which maybe you don't like, but the difference in results their way of life produces come from a different set of pros and cons which they are perfectly right to embrace if they so choose.

Give me an American bar any day of the week with their cheap beer and tipping-for-service model !

Pu


User currently offlineRomeoBravo From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2013, 1105 posts, RR: 3
Reply 88, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2970 times:

The minimum wage just tells you what you can't work for. It doesn't tell you what what you will work for.

What you will work for is determined by the strength of the economy in region in question.


User currently offlinedarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 89, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2967 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
The restaurant business, like any small entrepreneurial operation is extremely challenging; when you stake your life savings and/or go into debt to open the doors of a restaurant why isn't it reasonable to expect those who have made no up front investment but also hope to prosper from it to bear some of that risk?

Probably because it's a horrible concept. Essentially what you're saying is that labor should be free until the company shows a profit. You don't get to steal other folks' time until we feel like paying for it.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
better the restaurant performs and the better the servers get paid in tips.

Yeah, but it doesn't work like that in practice. Sometimes better service gets better tips, but often it doesn't. Your gratuity won't go to 35% just because you went above and beyond. Then you have things like Mondays and any other times when no amount of effort will bring enough business in to be worthwhile.

As well, as seen in this thread, some people just don't tip anyway.

There's a reason why those of us who can be motivated have moved on as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 80):
Small business owners typically work their fingers to the bone while trying to get their "help" to do the simplest tasks without having to drive them like cattle. At least a gratuity-based system incentivizes doing a good job...so critical in the service industry.

Where on earth does this notion that managers deserve assistance from the "help" that they're not actually paying for come from?



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineAeri28 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 703 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2945 times:

Wow, sounds like a British board I frequent whose participants happened to watch a program(me) on Panorama and of course made a post about it.

You should be happy wherever you live, but honestly to come to this board and announce you are so glad you live there vs. here because you watched a program on tellie and saw certain conditions just sounds like baiting to me. People in the US enjoy a high standard of living and estimates are approx 80% do have health insurance. Obviously if 20% do not, that is a good 50 million or so, but it still is a low number in relation to the size of the US. Not saying it's acceptable and okay, but you really have to look at the scope of things. I am guessing if someone stated that there are more people without health insurance than the population of all of Australia, a few mouths would drop. I could easily find a youtube video of another racist incident in Australia and fear for my safety if I sat foot on Aussie territory, so let's not be quick to judge. There are good and bad everywhere. I personally would not want to live anywhere else (maybe the Costa del Sol for a few months out of the year however).

The US is changing, and thats good. "I" feel it's in a mish mash state at the moment and is still strong and a powerful place, but will emerge better, stronger and more inclusive down the road. CIvil rights, human rights in general, womens rights, gay rights, immigration reform, health care reform, gun control (something WILL change eventually) all this seems to scare a number of US citizens, moreso on the right, but it's inevvitable and that is why I think we are seeing such flux these days and some very extreme right wing politics emerging and being somehow eventually being deflated as the majority changes their way of thinking.

I for one am excited at the future of this country. The emergence of women in power is going to be the best change coming forward. Expect several more years of flux and turmoil as Obama's reign ends and Hillary's begins!


User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1864 posts, RR: 4
Reply 91, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2924 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 38):
Just because we didn't have the foresight to invent social networking doesn't makes us in some way less as a country.

In Australia I don't think that the lack of support for innovation driven companies (and there are actually a few - eg Atlassian, Cochlear and the like) is due directly to taxes, wages or any other repression of the rich. It's more about the timid, risk averse mind set of business and the fact that our business and financial ecosystem is so incestuously small (ie company directorships are matters of rearranging deckchairs across industries) that it's difficult for innovators to get the support that's needed. The fact is that if you try to do something innovative then there is a high chance of failure, but nobody wants to tarnish their reputation, especially as boards may be legally liable for risky strategies by corporations.

A very senior manager of a government research organisation (now moved to a different one involving weaponry) who has been involved in a technology startup and is a company director once said "We have to look overseas to market our ICT technology as there are no Microsofts, HPs or Apples in Australia" ignoring the fact that all three started out as small garage industries. So rather than nurturing startups he just wanted the prestige of doing a deal with a big foreign corporation. I've also heard from a member of the board (also on the boards of major Australian corporations) who basically said that they wanted to ensure that the organisation was only doing research with a high chance of success. I constantly read and hear that America is much more tolerant of failure than Australia.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 92, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2890 times:

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 89):
Probably because it's a horrible concept. Essentially what you're saying is that labor should be free until the company shows a profit. You don't get to steal other folks' time until we feel like paying for it.

No, what I'm saying is that the restaurant owner has taken on substantial financial risk to open an enterprise that provides the server the opportunity to directly trade their labor in return for compensation from the patrons in the form of tips. It's not a model that works for most businesses but for the reasons that Pu and I have already discussed it seems to work in food service and some other service industries.

And as far as "stealing" the servers' time...there is no rational reason for each of their hours to be compensated at the same rate. Some hours they get $2, some hours they get $25+. Average it out over a week or month and see if it ends up being more or less than they would get at the minimum wage. I'm thinking it must be more (or offer other important advantages like flexible hours etc.) or they'd be working over at WalMart or McDonald's instead. Every one of which I have ever seen is hiring.

Big picture, waiting tables is something that just about anyone can do, doesn't require capital investment or education...if it did then restaurant owners would be forced to offer a better compensation package to attract qualified people. That's harsh but it is reality at present - the owners aren't greedy asshats for paying employees what the market dictates, but human beings with a lot at stake who are competing with other businesses just to say afloat. I've already addressed my general support for (but concerns with) the idea of substantially increasing the minimum wage. If you have answers to those concerns I'm all ears!

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 89):
Where on earth does this notion that managers deserve assistance from the "help" that they're not actually paying for come from?

Wasn't talking about 'managers' or even the restaurant business specifically, I was talking generally about the challenge that business owners - the people who have the most skin in the game - face in finding good employees who can be counted on to do what is in owner's interest while they are in their employ.

Let me give you an example...today I had a dumpster removed from my driveway (from a home improvement project), and the driver who picked it up just left the nasty plywood it had been resting on there in my driveway, that they put in place when it was delivered. Would have taken him 30 seconds tops to toss that trash in the dumpster before he drove off and not leave me, the customer, with a chore to do. I bet the owner of that business, the guy/gal who invested the money to start the business and bears the most risk for its success or failure, will not appreciate the fact that I'm going to call tomorrow and ask them to drive back over to my house to pick it up. All because a driver that he/she is paying good money to provide a service couldn't be bothered to make sure that I (the customer) was happy. After all I'm the guy who just paid thousands of dollars to commission a project that employed a lot of people.

Elbert Hubbard hit the nail on the head over 100 years ago in his essay "Message to Garcia": http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry...tent/pdf/Message%20to%20Garcia.pdf

And in part because there are so few Rowans, the tipping model of the service industry was born. Obviously it wouldn't be practicable for trash haulers but if the better part of that guy's paycheck directly depended on my satisfaction with his work he not only would have removed the plywood but probably swept the driveway too. I would be the winner and I deserve to be because I'm the one signing the check!

Here in New Jersey we're not allowed to pump our own gas (LOL). I always tip the guy who pumps $1...$2 if he wipes the windshield. At my main fuel stop they jump to it.

[Edited 2013-10-23 17:11:35]


We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently onlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2883 posts, RR: 2
Reply 93, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2874 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 87):
Because when you walk into a bar or restaurant in the states you get INSTANT, attentive service. Because otherwise the staff don't make a wage since they would get no tips. When you walk into a pub in Sweden, the UK or OZ you get served when the server gets done chatting with his mates, and you may get the chance to order again if the server is done playing with their iPhone.

That is simply untrue. Waitstaff here have to work equally hard for the money that they earn -- if they didn't then they would lose their jobs and end up without a wage.


User currently offlinepu From Sweden, joined Dec 2011, 690 posts, RR: 13
Reply 94, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2866 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 93):

That is bullsh*t.

There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

Pu


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 95, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2865 times:

Quoting L410Turbolet (Reply 67):
France?

  

Quoting Revelation (Reply 68):
Right - the way forward is to chase down all the people who have next to nothing, that'll do wonders for the economy.

It will make them think twice before voting for more entitlement programs if it actually costs them money.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 68):
In fact, by historical standards, they are robbing us.

They cannot be robbing us because it wasn't ours to begin with. That's what makes liberals so distasteful: they think that the money is theirs and everyone owes them a piece and maybe they'll be nice enough to let the people who actually earned the money keep some of it.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 74):
Besides cutting unnecessary parts and adapting a different foreign policy as to not be counterproductive (see above,) this is what I'm talking about.

We should, generally speaking, not be adapting foreign policy. American interests are what they are and steps should be taken in furtherance of that. If that pisses someone off so badly that they decide they want to build a bomb, then so be it. There are plenty of people who work very hard to make sure he's gonna get got.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlinesoon7x7 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 96, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2855 times:

Quoting qantas077 (Reply 83):

And this photo says what?...the owner of the Mercedes should be ashammed of himself...oops, herself?. Is the owner of the Benz supposed to now offer it to the vagrant. Is this the New America promised by this administration? You know what I see in this photo?...I see an individual that despite his impoverished appearence, seams to be much more melow and relaxed than I am or than the owner of that Mercedes probably is. I say this because he has not much to worry about, you can always find food to eat, he doesn't have a mortgage to worry about of a potential job loss in the future due to a lean economy. I'm rather jealous of that gent actually as I on the other hand am the opposite of him, high strung, exhausted and never feel as relaxed as this gent appears to be in the photo. Why do I have all these issues?...because I chose to live by the numbers and fly by the rules. That is a tough reality to follow these days especially living in the same city as this man. Now that the ficticious pot of gold, "retirement" closes in, it couldn't be further down the road no thanks to our leader.
In five years I'll take my Nikon to Park Ave and I'll bet this man will have been forced to move over for many more in his shoes. We'll compare photos. Many on the side walks will be white and the Mercedes will still park in front of them.


User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 97, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 2834 times:

Quoting allrite (Reply 91):

I think you are right. Australia doesn't lack for innovation per se, but we are quite risk averse for a number of reasons.

Another interesting issue is that we are a world leader in medical research, but the difference to the USA and Europe is that most of our R&D is done through universities rather than drug companies. For example, the now widely used HPV vaccine was developed by the University of Queensland, and is only licensed to drug companies. This minimises the returns to the Australian economy from this R&D, as we only pick up some license fee revenue, whereas if we marketed it as well then we could collect much bigger profits. Arguably we should learn to play the game better so that we derive better returns on our development, but that is a story for another thread.

(I'm using "we" in terms of the national economy. Obviously I'm not advocating the drugs be developed by some sort of workers collective!)

Quoting pu (Reply 94):
That is bullsh*t.

No it isn't  

While it is true that customer service in America is generally good (but God knows that I can think of some bad examples), that doesn't mean that (a) customer service in Australia is poorer across the board* and (b) qf002 is absolutely right that people can lose their job if they don't do it well. Most wait staff are on casual contracts so they don't have any job security.


* Given that I'm not originally from Australia I say this with something of an outsiders perspective: while Australian wait staff aren't incentivized to provide good good customer service, the friendly and outgoing nature of Australian culture means that most do anyway. I think that the quality of customer service is higher in Australian than the UK for example, even though the UK has more of a tipping culture than we do, IMHO largely due to cultural reasons.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently offlineNAV20 From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 9909 posts, RR: 36
Reply 98, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2808 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 97):
while Australian wait staff aren't incentivized to provide good good customer service, the friendly and outgoing nature of Australian culture means that most do anyway.

I think that's dead right. The important thing, to my mind, is that people are genuinely 'equal' - waiters and waitresses don't have to feel like 'second class citizens,' the vast majority of them smile and provide good service because, as you say, that's their nature; they aren't required to 'crawl.' Tipping happens 'naturally' too - you don't have to tip, but if you do (I usually do) you don't have to count out any sort of percentage and hand it over - there's usually a bowl on the counter. When you get your change you just put some of it in the bowl; and presumably it gets shared out among all the counter staff at 'close of business.'



"Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards.." - Leonardo da Vinci
User currently offlinezkojq From New Zealand, joined Sep 2011, 1059 posts, RR: 1
Reply 99, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 2774 times:

Quoting allrite (Thread starter):
does it make me glad that I live here. And yes, I don't mind paying more for stuff if it means the employees can live and I'm happy for some of my taxes to go to Medicare (and glad that it's around when I need it) and other services, despite also having private health insurance. It's not perfect here and there are still many in poverty, but I do feel quite a bit luckier after watching it.

Was thinking about this on my way home from work yesterday because the same applies here. When you take a step back from things, one realises that our forefathers have built us up truly epic societies. Not perfect, but with high standards of living, education, healthcare, full or opportunity for 'betterment' and social mobility. Societies that have a helping hand, not a hand that pulls the finger. Australia is benefiting particularly from the minerals boom which is great. I know a quite a few otherwise economically disadvantaged people who have really been given an extra 'leg up' by it. And of course the financial benefits flow across the Tasman too.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 7):
she was smart enough and ambitious enough to try and improve her position, and that having a child restricted her options for further study. That is the real travesty.

I'm sure the hard right would be fine if she had an abortion.  
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Why would you want to be Scandinavia?

Oh, I don't know, happiness. http://unsdsn.org/happiness/

Quoting pu (Reply 49):
They began sometime in the late 60s or early 70s to adopt the ideas you discuss, reduce military spending, stop foreign invasions

Great, so all thats needed to fix the British Economy is to start invading somewhere.  
Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 71):
it's an easy way for the employer to take a larger slice of the profits and foist his obligations onto the customer.

  

Quoting pu (Reply 94):
There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service

Nope. I've never noticed a 'palpable' difference between service standards of restaurant staff in Oceania, the US, Asia or Europe.

[Edited 2013-10-23 22:09:37]


repaint ZK-PBG!
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 100, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2765 times:

Quoting zkojq (Reply 99):
Oh, I don't know, happiness.

So now the government should get to decide what makes me happy?



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 101, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2758 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 100):

What? You've clearly missed the point. People in Scandinavia aren't happy because the government tells them to be, but because they like their life.

If they're happy with what they've got then good for them, they don't need you to tell them that they're wrong.



Worked Hard, Flew Right
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 102, posted (5 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2783 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 101):
People in Scandinavia aren't happy because the government tells them to be, but because they like their life.

Scandinavians being happy with their life does not mean I would be happy with their life. In fact I'm sure I'd be quite miserable.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 103, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2738 times:

Quoting mdsh00 (Reply 86):
Right because bums do not exist outside of the US right?

Of course they do but not to the same degree, you see more homeless sleeping rough in US cities than you do in European, Japanese or Australasian ones.


User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2701 posts, RR: 4
Reply 104, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2741 times:

Quoting flymia (Reply 10):

I agree there are problems in this country with low income jobs. I also think there should be mandated vacation time of three weeks. At the same time is it really easy to compare a country of 22,000,000 with a country of 314,000,000. Yes I no lame excuse right? But not really besides for Japan there are no other first world countries over 100 million people.

Yes, it's a lame excuse. The EU may not be a country, but the OECD members of the EU make up more than 2/3 of the 500+ million population and all of them have far more equitable economies for minimum wage and social safety net.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlinedarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 105, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2726 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):

No, what I'm saying is that the restaurant owner has taken on substantial financial risk to open an enterprise that provides the server the opportunity to directly trade their labor in return for compensation from the patrons in the form of tips.

That's great. But that part of the equation isn't the server's problem so long as the server's wages aren't the entrepeneur's problem. Can't have the cake and eat it too.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):

And as far as "stealing" the servers' time...there is no rational reason for each of their hours to be compensated at the same rate.

Then say that about every job, including your's. I know for a fact I don't spend every second of my shift revising EOs, coming up with reasonable contract bids, or putting hands on a plane. But I know exactly what I'd do if my company started shorting me hours over it.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
That's harsh but it is reality at present

Equally harsh for the employer. You're not entitled to that kind of loyalty because they "might" make good money "if" you can keep your shop busy, and "if" the customers aren't a bunch of skinflints.

As well, yes, being a server isn't something one goes to school for. But, on the other hand, to say it's totally unskilled is misleading too. Your point is well made if you're trying to illustrate how the typical a.netter sees the world. But not so much if very real things like interpersonal skills and stress mgmt come into play. Make no mistake, these are very real skillsets, and just because we choose to conveniently ignore this doesn't make them not there or necessary.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
I've already addressed my general support for (but concerns with) the idea of substantially increasing the minimum wage. If you have answers to those concerns I'm all ears!

Concerns about costs rising to the point that they'd nil out a wage increase are largely unfounded for two reasons.

Firstly, the percentage of folks on min wage is not that great as it is (though that figure is distorted by living wages not being counted as min wages). We're not talking about a catastrophic increase in labor cost.
Secondly, the pricing increases can be spread out across a range of inventory in most, if not all, cases. Taking your kids to MacDonalds won't triple in price over it.
In fact, the ubercapitalist crowd that's so concerned about things like that hardly bats an eye when gas spikes add $15 to the cost of filling a tank, so why the sudden concern here? I don't know either.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):

Wasn't talking about 'managers' or even the restaurant business specifically, I was talking generally about the challenge that business owners - the people who have the most skin in the game - face in finding good employees who can be counted on to do what is in owner's interest while they are in their employ.

It's alright, I wasn't being hyper-specific about what constitutes "mgmt" here; just a catchcall term.

Right. And indeed it is a challenge. I think we've all done a share of our reports' job at point or another. But the thing is, you can't ask an employee to care what you've invested while telling them it's up to the customer how much they make. You can do one of those things, but not both. There's a reason why retail & restaurants have super-high turnover.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
Let me give you an example...today I had a dumpster removed from my driveway (from a home improvement project), and the driver who picked it up just left the nasty plywood it had been resting on there in my driveway, that they put in place when it was delivered. Would have taken him 30 seconds tops to toss that trash in the dumpster before he drove off and not leave me, the customer, with a chore to do. I bet the owner of that business, the guy/gal who invested the money to start the business and bears the most risk for its success or failure, will not appreciate the fact that I'm going to call tomorrow and ask them to drive back over to my house to pick it up. All because a driver that he/she is paying good money to provide a service couldn't be bothered to make sure that I (the customer) was happy. After all I'm the guy who just paid thousands of dollars to commission a project that employed a lot of people.

Fire that company. I would.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
And in part because there are so few Rowans, the tipping model of the service industry was born.

They're out there. We do as well we do because we have a bunch of those on staff. Just a caveat though... Just because a Rowan is a Rowan doesn't mean they never screw things up. Big time. The price of that fortitude is that it makes it easy to go very far off the reservation. Quickly. No matter how awesome your crew is, you always need to stay in the game.

As well no matter how great a server you might be (or cabbie, bellman, hotel maid, and anyone else living on tips), just as there are Rowans in the world, there are also plenty of BMI727s, MrPinks, etc, who just do not give a wet fart about things like cause and effect and will happily stiff you. Like I said in my previous posting, there's a reason why people don't keep these jobs.

Quote:
If men will not act for themselves, what will they do
when the benefit of their effort is for all?

I would submit that having a good, stable, and proven wage to count on and budget with is sufficient self interest to act out of. After all, an employee knowing they're taken care of even when it rains (literally. That will kill your day if you're a server), and not stressing out about $$$ will likely have her head in the game a damned sight better than someone worried about rent and trying to figure out what they can transfer from your inventory to eBay without you noticing.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
I would be the winner and I deserve to be because I'm the one signing the check!

Fair enough. And you should raise hell with that vendor. But that doesn't mean there was anything wrong with a set price. The same crap easily could have happened with a commision based employee fretting about their car or child support payment the whole time instead of say, not leaving trash all over your drive.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
I always tip the guy who pumps $1...$2 if he wipes the windshield. At my main fuel stop they jump to it.

Could never do that. I am so OCD about my windshield that I'd probably chase someone away for trying that one. Seriously. If there is a reason to use the actual wipers, chances are I'll find a station to pull into to wipe that crap off on the same trip. But that's not here or there.  
Quoting pu (Reply 94):
There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

No there isn't.

Quoting zkojq (Reply 99):
I've never noticed a 'palpable' difference between service standards of restaurant staff in Oceania, the US, Asia or Europe.

Right. I think there is more variety in service standards among individual brands and locations than among countries. But that's just based on experience.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 95):
We should, generally speaking, not be adapting foreign policy. American interests are what they are and steps should be taken in furtherance of that. If that pisses someone off so badly that they decide they want to build a bomb, then so be it. There are plenty of people who work very hard to make sure he's gonna get got.

Thank you for making it that much harder to be American abroad. I'll bet you're genuinely shocked when bad things happen to us too. SMH...

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 100):
So now the government should get to decide what makes me happy?
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 102):
Scandinavians being happy with their life does not mean I would be happy with their life. In fact I'm sure I'd be quite miserable.

Well, apparently they have the power to decide when you need to be miserable. In your case, I'd say that's good'n'uff...



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineOzGlobal From France, joined Nov 2004, 2701 posts, RR: 4
Reply 106, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2667 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 94):
Quoting qf002 (Reply 93):

That is bullsh*t.

There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

Yeah, one is typically mercenary, hurried, disinterested and falsely friendly, the other tends to be more ready to move at the pace of the patrons, more qualified and relates as an equal. I know which I prefer and it is not the US model.



When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 107, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2654 times:

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
That's great. But that part of the equation isn't the server's problem so long as the server's wages aren't the entrepeneur's problem. Can't have the cake and eat it too.

Under our current labor market system in that industry it seems the owners can! The owner is providing opportunity, albeit on his/her own terms. If the restaurant doesn't open, the workers don't have any way to earn a living, right?

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
Then say that about every job, including your's. I know for a fact I don't spend every second of my shift revising EOs, coming up with reasonable contract bids, or putting hands on a plane. But I know exactly what I'd do if my company started shorting me hours over it.

Sure, but as I said you also don't have hours where you are earning many times more than the minimum to make up for the times when the restaurant is slow. The compensation for your productivity is averaged out over the time you are required to be on the clock.

Restaurants could certainly do this, but then they'd have to raise prices on the meals to cover the risk/pay the servers for slow time. Which would probably drive away business unless it was made clear that the servers are adequately compensated so a 15+% gratuity is not expected.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
Equally harsh for the employer. You're not entitled to that kind of loyalty because they "might" make good money "if" you can keep your shop busy, and "if" the customers aren't a bunch of skinflints.

As well, yes, being a server isn't something one goes to school for. But, on the other hand, to say it's totally unskilled is misleading too. Your point is well made if you're trying to illustrate how the typical a.netter sees the world. But not so much if very real things like interpersonal skills and stress mgmt come into play. Make no mistake, these are very real skillsets, and just because we choose to conveniently ignore this doesn't make them not there or necessary.

I've done similarly 'unskilled' work, I get what you are saying...but the economic reality is that in our current labor market model if a server quits there is always another one. Which is why owners can get away with it. The owner wins, the customer wins, but yeah the server not as much unless they work at a particularly good place.

I do know that my wife's income waiting tables at a high end restaurant in high school kicked my union supermarket job's ass back in the day ($4/hr LOL). Despite the fact that I could do three different jobs there was no way I was doing better than the union protected minimum. Totally different topic so I'll lay off it!

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
Concerns about costs rising to the point that they'd nil out a wage increase are largely unfounded for two reasons.

Firstly, the percentage of folks on min wage is not that great as it is (though that figure is distorted by living wages not being counted as min wages). We're not talking about a catastrophic increase in labor cost.
Secondly, the pricing increases can be spread out across a range of inventory in most, if not all, cases. Taking your kids to MacDonalds won't triple in price over it.
In fact, the ubercapitalist crowd that's so concerned about things like that hardly bats an eye when gas spikes add $15 to the cost of filling a tank, so why the sudden concern here? I don't know either.

Now we're talking...really the only issue that matters here (the rest is interesting but ultimately pissing in the wind if not realistically doable). I guess this really depends on what we're considering a 'living' minimum wage, and/or the minimum standard of living that a person who works 40 hrs/week is entitled to. At some point you must break the system because you're dictating some pieces and letting others vary due to market forces.

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
Just a caveat though... Just because a Rowan is a Rowan doesn't mean they never screw things up. Big time. The price of that fortitude is that it makes it easy to go very far off the reservation. Quickly. No matter how awesome your crew is, you always need to stay in the game.

Well yeah, haha I have a few that I have to keep from straying into moving machinery (figuratively speaking) but I like the general idea that people who keep their eye on the ball will always be valued!



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11917 posts, RR: 25
Reply 108, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2631 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 100):
So now the government should get to decide what makes me happy?

You make it sound as if 'the government' is someone else...



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 109, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 2618 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Under our current labor market system in that industry it seems the owners can! The owner is providing opportunity, albeit on his/her own terms. If the restaurant doesn't open, the workers don't have any way to earn a living, right?

That it is established practise doesn't mean it is right. As I said before, it is a way for owners to push their risk employees. They are only able to do it because it isn't a negotiation between equals.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Restaurants could certainly do this, but then they'd have to raise prices on the meals to cover the risk/pay the servers for slow time.

If they need to raise prices to even out risk is a sign it doesn't work now.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Which would probably drive away business unless it was made clear that the servers are adequately compensated so a 15+% gratuity is not expected.

Suggesting 15% tip is appropriate is another sign the system is broken. There was a time when 15% was appropriate. It was long ago.

But you're right. The 20% tip is ridiculous. It should be lowered to 5% - 10% and the rest should be part of the food/drink price.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
I've done similarly 'unskilled' work

It has become unskilled and the service has gone down accordingly. If you have experienced a restaurant with skilled waiters/waitresses you'd know the difference. Unfortunately most customers are equally unskilled.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Which is why owners can get away with it.

Can get away with it. Reminds me about the "definition" of honesty. To do right even when no-one is looking.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 110, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2573 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 109):
If they need to raise prices to even out risk is a sign it doesn't work now.

To me it's a sign that the labor component of eating out is not factored into the price of your entree because you are paying it to the server directly...in that sense they are like an independent contractor. That seems to be working well for the owners and the customers if not for the servers.

If you are looking to provide the same compensation to servers that they have now without relying on tips you'd have to raise the price of the meal by at least 15%. If you're looking to pay them some higher living wage the price would have to go up accordingly or the business would lose money and fail. Competition with other restaurants, especially in the lower end will necessarily drive them to keep labor costs down.

Quoting cmf (Reply 109):
That it is established practise doesn't mean it is right. As I said before, it is a way for owners to push their risk employees. They are only able to do it because it isn't a negotiation between equals.
Quoting cmf (Reply 109):
Can get away with it. Reminds me about the "definition" of honesty. To do right even when no-one is looking.

I'm not a hard core heartless capitalist by any stretch but the morality piece of this really doesn't interest me much because doing something that we think it is more "right" is ultimately pointless if it results in decreased prosperity. I'm much more interested to hear how other countries have been able to make higher minimum wages work and more importantly what positive aspects of our far from perfect economic system they may have been willing to give up in exchange for it. The money has to come from somewhere, and what impact does that have?

Quoting cmf (Reply 109):
They are only able to do it because it isn't a negotiation between equals.

In a lot of ways they really aren't equals. As human beings, sure, but in terms of what they are bringing to the table (haha, seriously no pun intended) they should have substantially different expectations about what they will get out of it. Else where is the incentive to start the businesses that employ people?

From a practical standpoint the owner is one of few who are providing an opportunity. The server is one of many who want a piece of it. This idea that people who are looking to work for others are entitled to anything more than what they're able to command in the labor market is dangerous because so much progress has been made via the market economy that rescued us from feudalism. The peasants working their lordships' fields had very clearly delineated expectations about what they were entitled to but also zero opportunity and little to no incentive for technological innovation or risk taking for literally hundreds of years. As ugly as treating people's effort as a commodity may seem it has resulted in incredible growth and prosperity. That cannot be denied.

Critics of the way things are going now might say that we're headed toward a new kind of feudalism and that concern has merit. As does the concern that if we dick with it too much we'll see the same kinds of economic failures that have happened in communist countries like the USSR and early PRC.

So again, I'm much more interested in hearing how the economics of bringing up the bottom end works out - not why it is morally right to do it. I already agree with you there.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 111, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2558 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 102):
Scandinavians being happy with their life does not mean I would be happy with their life. In fact I'm sure I'd be quite miserable.

I'm sure you would, and I'm sure there are a few people over there that are just like you and are miserable. But as a whole, they are much happier. I personally would love to see that even if it means I make less money. In the end, you and I are just a vote each



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 112, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 2546 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
To me it's a sign that the labor component of eating out is not factored into the price of your entree because you are paying it to the server directly...in that sense they are like an independent contractor. That seems to be working well for the owners and the customers if not for the servers.

If you are looking to provide the same compensation to servers that they have now without relying on tips you'd have to raise the price of the meal by at least 15%. If you're looking to pay them some higher living wage the price would have to go up accordingly or the business would lose money and fail. Competition with other restaurants, especially in the lower end will necessarily drive them to keep labor costs down.

As a customer I pay the same if the labor part is inside the meal or as tip on top. No difference.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
I'm not a hard core heartless capitalist by any stretch but the morality piece of this really doesn't interest me much because doing something that we think it is more "right" is ultimately pointless if it results in decreased prosperity.

Pure capitalist isn't heartless, and very much for right. It is the people who practise selective capitalism that is the problem.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
The server is one of many who want a piece of it.

A lot more than that, or.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
This idea that people who are looking to work for others are entitled to anything more than what they're able to command in the labor market is dangerous because so much progress has been made via the market economy that rescued us from feudalism. The peasants working their lordships' fields had very clearly delineated expectations about what they were entitled to but also zero opportunity and little to no incentive for technological innovation or risk taking for literally hundreds of years. As ugly as treating people's effort as a commodity may seem it has resulted in incredible growth and prosperity. That cannot be denied.

They may not work in the fields but what is so different when they are still required to take a substantial part of the risk without ownership?

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
Critics of the way things are going now might say that we're headed toward a new kind of feudalism and that concern has merit. As does the concern that if we dick with it too much we'll see the same kinds of economic failures that have happened in communist countries like the USSR and early PRC.

It isn't black or white. Look at the rest of the developed world and they are nowhere near the USSR/PRC you threat as alternative.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
So again, I'm much more interested in hearing how the economics of bringing up the bottom end works out - not why it is morally right to do it. I already agree with you there.

Already told you it isn't a discussion for this thread. Start a new thread and we can discuss it there.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 113, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2528 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 112):
As a customer I pay the same if the labor part is inside the meal or as tip on top. No difference.

Except that the tip system gives the customer some say in how well (or not) the performance should be compensated. Obviously some people abuse that by not leaving at least 15% for a satisfactory job or even a higher percentage for a cheap meal the way I do.

Quoting cmf (Reply 112):
It isn't black or white. Look at the rest of the developed world and they are nowhere near the USSR/PRC you threat as alternative.

Apologies if I seemed to offer that as a binary situation...not my intention. That's why I said "dick with it too much" instead of "dick with it at all".

Quoting cmf (Reply 112):
Already told you it isn't a discussion for this thread. Start a new thread and we can discuss it there.

The OP's assertion that Australia is a better place to live than the US because they pay better at the low end...If all people want to do in this thread is trade opinions on whether that assertion is valid or not then I suppose you are right, but with no discussion of how that is possible in Australia or how it might work here determining its validity doesn't seem to serve any useful purpose.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 114, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2517 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 113):
Except that the tip system gives the customer some say in how well (or not) the performance should be compensated. Obviously some people abuse that by not leaving at least 15% for a satisfactory job or even a higher percentage for a cheap meal the way I do.

Again, 15% if a bad tip.

Why do you insist on having this control over the waiter? Why don't you demand the same control over the food? Tip should be something you give as reward for a great job.


User currently offlineallrite From Australia, joined Aug 2007, 1864 posts, RR: 4
Reply 115, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 2419 times:

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 101):
What? You've clearly missed the point. People in Scandinavia aren't happy because the government tells them to be, but because they like their life.
Quoting BMI727 (Reply 102):
Scandinavians being happy with their life does not mean I would be happy with their life. In fact I'm sure I'd be quite miserable.

Some people are happy to live in a supportive happy community. More competitive cultures (which may be a subset of a population) seem to believe that happiness is a zero sum game. Unfortunately, the two views aren't mutually compatible.



Applying insanity to normality
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 116, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2382 times:

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
Well, apparently they have the power to decide when you need to be miserable. In your case, I'd say that's good'n'uff...

The idea of trying to quantify happiness on a collective level is idiocy. The only way to even approach securing happiness for the most people is to offer almost unfettered latitude to pursue whatever one wishes.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 108):
You make it sound as if 'the government' is someone else...

They are. The issue would come if some bureaucrat starts making decisions based on some survey of what makes people happy.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 117, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 117):
The idea of trying to quantify happiness on a collective level is idiocy. The only way to even approach securing happiness for the most people is to offer almost unfettered latitude to pursue whatever one wishes.

The Scandinavians beg to differ...

They, as a whole, seem pretty happy. I know you'd be pissed, and you'd go into the average, but overall, society will still be much happier



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinehOMsAr From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 1103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 118, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 2367 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
Who ever heard of a poor man donating thousands or millions to a charity?

Think about what you just wrote here. I mean, seriously. What kind of a question is that? If someone had millions, then, by definition, they wouldn't be poor. That should be blatantly obvious.

A better question is, who donates proportionally more of their income to charity? I honestly don't have the answer to that, but would be very curious to see the results if such a study were done.

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):
And why would anyone want to spend their lives "hating" the poor?

The comment was about stirring up hatred, or, in other words, having (what's left of) the middle class direct their anger for their struggles at the poor, immigrants, minorities, etc., so that people don't pay attention to those that have amassed such ginormous amounts of wealth.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 17):
This is one of the huge flaws with the Democrat party. They know abuse is there but I don't see them trying to fix it. In fact, they seem to avoid the issue. I don't agree with the way the GOP would go at it... again, I think the answer lies in the middle

Except it was Bill Clinton that signed the biggest reform to welfare in the US, and it was part of his platform when running for president in 1992.



I was raised by a cup of coffee.
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 119, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

Quoting hOMsAr (Reply 119):
Except it was Bill Clinton that signed the biggest reform to welfare in the US, and it was part of his platform when running for president in 1992.

Democratic party back then =/= Democrat party a year ago =/= Democrat party today. IMO, they aren't doing enough today.

Then again, it's hard to really know how much abuse there is...



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently onlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2883 posts, RR: 2
Reply 120, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2347 times:

Quoting pu (Reply 94):
There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

Well it depends on what you think of as good service.

I'd prefer to have friendly and genuine service rather than fake service that's driven by financial gain. We do still tip in this country, but it's for outstanding service that we feel is worth giving a little extra for, rather than having a system where the interactions between staff and customers are totally materialistic.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 121, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2348 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 118):
They, as a whole, seem pretty happy. I know you'd be pissed, and you'd go into the average, but overall, society will still be much happier

Happiness is not useful as a whole or on a societal level. Happiness is a personal thing, and therefore, people must be given maximum latitude to seek it.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 122, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 2333 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 122):


I'm not going to argue in circles about this. They quantified it somehow, some way and every survey I've seen scores Scandinavia near the top. So yes, I think people are generally more happy there, on average and as a whole. We just disagree, let's move on



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinePhilby From France, joined Aug 2013, 348 posts, RR: 0
Reply 123, posted (5 months 3 weeks 2 days ago) and read 2269 times:

Quoting OzGlobal (Reply 106):
Quoting qf002 (Reply 93):

That is bullsh*t.

There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

Yeah, one is typically mercenary, hurried, disinterested and falsely friendly, the other tends to be more ready to move at the pace of the patrons, more qualified and relates as an equal. I know which I prefer and it is not the US model.

  
When I was in the US the service seemed no better than in Europe. Here the staff are paid an acceptable wage and tipping is to reward/recognise good service, not because you pity the staff.
There's something to be said for the old French practice of listing service as a separate line item on the bill but not having to ask in advance if service est compris makes life simpler.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 121):
Well it depends on what you think of as good service.

There are a lot of cultural differences to be taken into account here. In France people are in less of a hurry. They don't want to be rushed and badgered by the wait staff and they want to take their time over their meals. Having a waiter hovering to take the plate away the second it appears finished with or constantly asking if everything is OK is incompatible with this. The US interpretation of good service wouldn't go down too well over here.

I had a friend who's approach was that if a knife or glass wasn't clean and the staff replaced it etc they would get a bigger tip for the effort they put in. My approach was that if a knife or glass wasn't clean and they had to replace it then they hadn't put the effort in at the start and the tip went down.
IMO if you don't have to ask the staff to do anything it's good service and the tip goes up. The less you notice the staff the better they are.


User currently offlinetrav110 From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 124, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2206 times:

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 15):

Have you considered the fact that your minimum wage hasn't kept pace with inflation? And that your minimum wage is barely enough to keep people above the poverty line? Or that in some cases, welfare pays more than a minimum wage full time job? And don't say "They should get a better job"- you and everyone else knows jobs aren't out just growing on trees, especially for unskilled workers. Here's a novel idea, maybe you should raise your minimum wage to encourage more people back to work, and to help those already working by giving them a livable wage! Crazy idea, huh? As a taxpayer, you're the one subsidizing these peoples most basic needs so that the companies paying them can reap bigger profits year after year. Your system is broken, and you've done nothing to fix it. Stop complaining about "entitlements" and do something about it.


User currently offlinedarksnowynight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1281 posts, RR: 3
Reply 125, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2191 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):

Under our current labor market system in that industry it seems the owners can! The owner is providing opportunity, albeit on his/her own terms.

True, but can and should are different things here. For the record, I don't even mean should in any type of moralistic feel-goody way either. I honestly believe you get better productivity out of more loyal employees. And folks who have the planning ability that regular wages bring tend to be more loyal.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
If the restaurant doesn't open, the workers don't have any way to earn a living, right?

Right. But if the 32 airlines we work at LAX stop flying I have the same problem. And it doesn't much matter how I'm paid either.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):

Restaurants could certainly do this, but then they'd have to raise prices on the meals to cover the risk/pay the servers for slow time.

Sure. I have no doubt of or problem with that. Likely, the first place they'll take the difference out of would be the cost of drinks, given that Bevs is a very low-cost high margin group. Just shooting in the wind, it's possible that the trend would be to double beverage prices and leave pretty much everything else alone. We'd have to ask PlanesNTrains to be more sure, but this is entirely plausible.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Which would probably drive away business unless it was made clear that the servers are adequately compensated so a 15+% gratuity is not expected.

Would it? Maybe at first, but I don't think (with our massive eat out culture) it would be long lived. I really can't say for sure, but if we look at other locales and how they deal with paid labor, I think that's a good indicator of what to expect.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
I've done similarly 'unskilled' work, I get what you are saying...but the economic reality is that in our current labor market model if a server quits there is always another one. Which is why owners can get away with it. The owner wins, the customer wins, but yeah the server not as much unless they work at a particularly good place.

I think that's true. But it comes back to why the OP is glad he lives in Australia. Looks like it's a good deal all the way around there.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):

Well yeah, haha I have a few that I have to keep from straying into moving machinery (figuratively speaking)

Lol, unfortunately here, the machinery is not so figurative! Cheers to Rowan just the same.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
but I like the general idea that people who keep their eye on the ball will always be valued!

And I do to. Keep in mind there's nothing about a fixed wage system that prohibits bonuses or raises. My job gets a lot out of me ever since they figured out that paying bonuses for new contracts begets business. Given the opportunity to double my annual, I'll scratch all kinds of contrails across the world's skies stumping for new work.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
I'm not a hard core heartless capitalist by any stretch but the morality piece of this really doesn't interest me much because doing something that we think it is more "right" is ultimately pointless if it results in decreased prosperity.

But again, given the narrative of this thread WRT OZ, it looks like this does lead to overall better prosperity.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
This idea that people who are looking to work for others are entitled to anything more than what they're able to command in the labor market is dangerous because so much progress has been made via the market economy that rescued us from feudalism. The peasants working their lordships' fields had very clearly delineated expectations about what they were entitled to but also zero opportunity and little to no incentive for technological innovation or risk taking for literally hundreds of years.

I don't think they're expectations and compensation were what lead to their general state of enshaklment. I think that was just the Royal nature of Feudalism.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 110):
As does the concern that if we dick with it too much we'll see the same kinds of economic failures that have happened in communist countries like the USSR and early PRC.

We could also see the type of economic results, Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia have. Losing a few billionaries along with most of our working poor isn't really a "failure" IMO.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 113):

Except that the tip system gives the customer some say in how well (or not) the performance should be compensated.

It does, yes. But there's a reason why I fly a lot of EK, CX, & VX and no UA or DL. None of these companies have a grat system, but I still have a pretty good say in how to reward the business. It can be the same here.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 116):

The idea of trying to quantify happiness on a collective level is idiocy.

Then so is doing the same for misery and you would need to retract your statement to that effect.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 116):
The only way to even approach securing happiness for the most people is to offer almost unfettered latitude to pursue whatever one wishes.

Yeah, there's no doubt that worked great for Patrick Bateman. What do you think his dates would think about it?

Go find an island.

Quoting Philby (Reply 123):
In France people are in less of a hurry. They don't want to be rushed and badgered by the wait staff and they want to take their time over their meals. Having a waiter hovering to take the plate away the second it appears finished with or constantly asking if everything is OK is incompatible with this. The US interpretation of good service wouldn't go down too well over here.

I dare say I must be French, lol. Having been a bartender about a life ago (in America), I understand fully why they do what they do. But it annoys me to no end! This is a restaurant outing, not a Formula One fueling stop!



Posting without Knowledge is simply Tolerated Vandalism... We are the Vandals.
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 126, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2162 times:

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 125):
I think that's true. But it comes back to why the OP is glad he lives in Australia. Looks like it's a good deal all the way around there.

Except that virtually every creature other than humans on that continent is trying to kill you. Hey that's got to be a business opportunity!

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 125):
We could also see the type of economic results, Australia, Canada, and Scandinavia have. Losing a few billionaries along with most of our working poor isn't really a "failure" IMO.

Valid point, and I suppose there really isn't a ton of risk with trying it here...but I can't see it happening anytime soon with the people in a position to change it being already bought by those who wouldn't want it changed.

I do think it would require some kind of bigger picture look than just raising the min wage above the poverty line and calling it a day.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 127, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2160 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 92):
Here in New Jersey we're not allowed to pump our own gas (LOL).

When I was a pump jockey back in NZ we pumped gas for people, you could also self serve, sadly you now have to pump your own gas everywhere, ditto for Norway.

Quoting pu (Reply 94):

There is a palpable difference between American service in pubs/ restaurants versus countries where they are guaranteed pay for mediocre service.

I disagree because everyone is expected to tip I feel that servers don't really give a crap about how good or bad they are, 99% of the punters are going to stump up 10-15% even if the service is crap.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 101):

What? You've clearly missed the point. People in Scandinavia aren't happy because the government tells them to be, but because they like their life.

If they're happy with what they've got then good for them, they don't need you to tell them that they're wrong.

I really don't know any Norwegians who are miserable with there lot in life. I may bitch a grumble every now and again but overall I've been pretty happy with my life in NZ and here in Norway.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 102):
Scandinavians being happy with their life does not mean I would be happy with their life. In fact I'm sure I'd be quite miserable.

But you're still a child you don't understand that there are many different aspects to life, one day you'll work it out. You can't even drive a stick shift, that say's a lot if you ask me.

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 107):
Restaurants could certainly do this, but then they'd have to raise prices on the meals to cover the risk/pay the servers for slow time. Which would probably drive away business unless it was made clear that the servers are adequately compensated so a 15+% gratuity is not expected.

Yet this doesn't appear to be an issue in most other countries around the world!


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 128, posted (5 months 3 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2086 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 127):
But you're still a child you don't understand that there are many different aspects to life, one day you'll work it out.

The point is that it's the height of stupidity to believe that ten people all care equally about the same aspects, let alone a whole country.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 127):
You can't even drive a stick shift, that say's a lot if you ask me.

It says I'm an American who grew up with people who weren't car enthusiasts.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMike89406 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1425 posts, RR: 3
Reply 129, posted (5 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 1958 times:

When were talking about quality of living amongst low income in the US it's a mixed bag discussion. A low income worker in the Midwest vs someone in NYC, LA, Miami etc... Aren't all created equal. In some areas of the US poor people live and/or own houses in rural America.

The demographics and quality of living can be deceiving when were going off statistics and reports that go off just an average.

If you've lived in the US long enough you'd see this but if you come in for a visit or vacation you'll never see it.

You could theoretically believe the US is great or horrible based on whatever. There's always something on the internet to prove/disprove the theory.


User currently offlinezkojq From New Zealand, joined Sep 2011, 1059 posts, RR: 1
Reply 130, posted (5 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1869 times:

Just listened to this podcast which was interesting. Research on the matter indicates a very low correlation between service level and the amount that gets tipped.

http://freakonomics.com/2013/06/03/s...-a-new-freakonomics-radio-podcast/

Quoting darksnowynight (Reply 105):
I think there is more variety in service standards among individual brands and locations than among countries. But that's just based on experience.

   I would agree with that.



repaint ZK-PBG!
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 131, posted (5 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1853 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 128):

It says I'm an American who grew up with people who weren't car enthusiasts.

So did I, but I learnt to drive a stick. No real man in NZ would learn to drive in a manual.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 128):
The point is that it's the height of stupidity to believe that ten people all care equally about the same aspects, let alone a whole country.

You'd think so but in Norway people pay there taxes, 99% of them don't complain, it's amazing how homogeneous the ethnic Norwegian population is.


User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15440 posts, RR: 26
Reply 132, posted (5 months 2 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1824 times:

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 131):
So did I, but I learnt to drive a stick. No real man in NZ would learn to drive in a manual.

It doesn't make a difference or play a part in buying decisions. When the need arises I can figure it out in about 15 minutes.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 131):
You'd think so but in Norway people pay there taxes, 99% of them don't complain, it's amazing how homogeneous the ethnic Norwegian population is.

And you think that's a good thing!? If Norwegians all agree and have their happy little welfare state, that's fine, but you might have to question how potentially oppressive the culture is.

That would, thankfully, never work in America. Conformity is overrated and trying to enforce it would be a disaster. At the end of the day, I just don't want to pay for the problems or priorities of others without my consent.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineMarcus From Mexico, joined Apr 2001, 1766 posts, RR: 2
Reply 133, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1701 times:

Quoting zkojq (Reply 130):
Just listened to this podcast which was interesting. Research on the matter indicates a very low correlation between service level and the amount that gets tipped.


From personal experience, I have found that in places where is customary to tip 15%+ like the US and Mexico the service level is higher than in other places where it is not customary to tip that much like in Spain and France.



Kids!....we are going to the happiest place on earth...TIJUANA! signed: Krusty the Clown
User currently offlineKiwiRob From New Zealand, joined Jun 2005, 6625 posts, RR: 3
Reply 134, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1689 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 132):
It doesn't make a difference or play a part in buying decisions. When the need arises I can figure it out in about 15 minutes.

The longer you leave it the harder it will be.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 132):
That would, thankfully, never work in America.

I know American is f.ucked up, which is what the OP was putting across, it's every man for himself, screw anyone who gets in the way. Yey who the hell would want to live like that?


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 135, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 1671 times:

Quoting cupraibiza (Reply 59):
Wait someone explain this to me. $2.13/hr is the minimum wage?
Not $21.30 but $2.13?
Please explain
Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 61):
For tipped workers (i.e. wait staff), yes.

The normal minimum wage is $7.25

To close the loop on this, per the Dept of Labor tipped employees are guaranteed to get paid at least the federal minimum wage by their employer in the event that their tips don't add up to $7.25/hr.

http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/002.htm

Whether the minimum wage in the US is appropriate is a seperate discussion that is raging in another thread, but the bottom line is that tipping yields the potential for minimum wage employees to earn more (in many cases substantially more) than $7.25/hr so I don't think it is inherently evil.

(The practice cmf mentioned about sending servers home early if business is slow is a different issue altogether and would apply whether tipping existed or not).



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently onlinenicoeddf From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 1097 posts, RR: 1
Reply 136, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 132):

And you think that's a good thing!? If Norwegians all agree and have their happy little welfare state, that's fine, but you might have to question how potentially oppressive the culture is.

That would, thankfully, never work in America. Conformity is overrated and trying to enforce it would be a disaster. At the end of the day, I just don't want to pay for the problems or priorities of others without my consent.

If I may ask, BMI727 - just to better understand your viewpoint - have you ever BEEN outside the US?
Have you ever experienced first hand "happy little welfare states"?

IMHO, the fundamental difference between your sight of the world and mine - and apparentely KiwiRob's and other experienced travellers and/or people living abroad - is, that:

USA) Everybody minds is own business and the guy who is unfortunate in life being poor should be totally on his own dragging his feet out of the sh*t he is in.

Rest of the western world aka happy welfare states) Not only the poor have a feeling they should be helped by the more fortunate - also the FORTUNATE have a feeling that everybody is better off, if the unfortunate is being helped.

And why seems the "happy welfare state" to work better in terms of Happiness? Because the USA view on society totally ignores modern realities. People in poor circumstances are not born into that by their on will, but as a product of society.
It is not founding father time anymore where one just needs to word hard and all will be good. Even in all the happy welfare states, people from poor areas are have significantly lower educational background...as RESULT of their birth, not by own laziness.

Modern, happy welfare states have at least acknowledged that fact - and still there are gigantic obstacles in the way in order to give at least "same chance for everybody".

Last but not least: I would be cautious with using words like "conformity" to explain the mentioned homogenous society of norway or other happy little welfare states. It tells from total ignorance and missing first hand experience.
Truth is - people are homogenous because their happy little welfare state is able to find a more or less good balance between excellent opportunities to develop your life as you wish and the necessity of rules to the large majority agrees to live with.
Not because Oppression (I nearly fell of my chair reading that in conjunction with Norway) or (boring and dangerous) Conformity are present.


User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 137, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 1620 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 132):
When the need arises I can figure it out in about 15 minutes.

LOL. Takes more than 15 minutes, buddy. Off topic, but it's a good skill to have. I suck at it but I can manage (just hope I don't encounter any hills at a standstill, getting into first sucks.) There may be only one time in life where bam, you need to drive a stick, but you can't. Sucks to be you

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 136):
USA) Everybody minds is own business and the guy who is unfortunate in life being poor should be totally on his own dragging his feet out of the sh*t he is in.

To be fair, he believes in giving a fair opportunity, I just think his definition of fair opportunity is severely lacking...

[Edited 2013-10-28 10:10:00]


Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinepvjin From Finland, joined Mar 2012, 992 posts, RR: 2
Reply 138, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1612 times:

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 136):
USA) Everybody minds is own business and the guy who is unfortunate in life being poor should be totally on his own dragging his feet out of the sh*t he is in.

Rest of the western world aka happy welfare states) Not only the poor have a feeling they should be helped by the more fortunate - also the FORTUNATE have a feeling that everybody is better off, if the unfortunate is being helped.

Indeed, I really can't see how many Americans can just close their eyes from suffering of poor people in their society as if they lived in a separate world. The well being of all the people around me in this society directly impacts my welfare too in a way or another.



"A rational army would run away"
User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 139, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1611 times:

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 136):
have you ever BEEN outside the US?

Have you ever spent a substantial amount of time in the US?

I don't know if it's lead paint, television, high fructose corn syrup or what, but we've got a lot of people here who are just...not bright. An awful lot. And they keep reproducing at an alarming rate.

I think people who have achieved some degree of success would be more enthusiastic about supporting the 'less unfortunate' if they didn't appear make so much of their own luck.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 137):
LOL. Takes more than 15 minutes, buddy. Off topic, but it's a good skill to have. I suck at it but I can manage (just hope I don't encounter any hills at a standstill, getting into first sucks.) There may be only one time in life where bam, you need to drive a stick, but you can't. Sucks to be you

Can confirm. I got the basics down but tore hell out of my stepdad's truck doing it. I love the smell of burning clutch plate in the morning...smells like VICTORY.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 140, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 1595 times:

Quoting pvjin (Reply 138):
Indeed, I really can't see how many Americans can just close their eyes from suffering of poor people in their society as if they lived in a separate world.

In many ways it is two parallel worlds with well defined interaction points such as McDonalds where they are trained to look happy enough to be forgettable.

What surprises me most is how many fail to understand how much this setup cost them.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 141, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1573 times:

Quoting pvjin (Reply 138):
Indeed, I really can't see how many Americans can just close their eyes from suffering of poor people in their society as if they lived in a separate world. The well being of all the people around me in this society directly impacts my welfare too in a way or another.

After you are done with school come to the US and work hard for 20 years. Then we'll see how well you see the suffering of the poor through your tired eyes HERE.

The degree of harmony and mutual concern you have in your Northern paradise of 5 million extremely similar people is not a realistic expectation in this nuthouse. So the smart money here is on taking care of yourself and your family and let others man up and do the same for theirs. But that's a big part of the problem now, isn't it? Many of the 'men' (I use the term loosely) in poverty world are nowhere to be found.

Which leads me to:

Quoting cmf (Reply 140):
What surprises me most is how many fail to understand how much this setup cost them.

THIS is the compelling case for change, IMO. I'm not much of an extravagant 'consumer' so I'm happy to see minimum wages rise even if prices go up somewhat as a result. Let corporate America pay people more so I don't have to every April.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 142, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1566 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 141):
The degree of harmony and mutual concern you have in your Northern paradise of 5 million extremely similar people is not a realistic expectation in this nuthouse

Extremely similar people?


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 143, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1560 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 142):
Extremely similar people?

Absolutely...look at the demographics of Finland. And I don't mean just skin color, they are literally the same genetic stock of people going back thousands of years. Japan is similar.

I realize it is politically incorrect to say, but would you deny that relatively homogenous groups of people (whether it be race, enthnicity, gender, organizational affiliation, favorite sports team etc.) feature a higher degree of mutual affinity and cooperation than diverse groups? I'm not saying it is right or that I like it...just "is". Humans. We create 'in' groups and 'out' groups all the time, over important things and trivial things.

Here you could barely get 100 randomly selected people to stand on one side of the street or another, never mind work collectively to address social issues. We love to talk about "what binds us together as Americans" but what I'm seeing is how our differences do a better job of driving us apart.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently offlineDeltaMD90 From United States of America, joined exactly 6 years ago today! , 7257 posts, RR: 52
Reply 144, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1537 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 141):
Quoting cmf (Reply 140):
What surprises me most is how many fail to understand how much this setup cost them.

THIS is the compelling case for change, IMO.

I agree with both of you. That is why I'm seriously debating my position on this (never was much of a living wage supporter but if we gotta pay for it one way or another then hmmmm)

Quoting cmf (Reply 142):
Extremely similar people?

I think it's safe to say that Finland (and most Scandinavian countries) are more homogeneous than the US. For all the drama in the US, I do think we don't get enough credit for the melting pot we are. We have plenty of problems to fix but there aren't many countries with such diversity

Now I do know that the demographics are changing in many Scandinavian countries with a lot of immigration and that has caused some tension. It will be interesting to see if these immigrants can integrate successfully



Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
User currently offlinecmf From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 145, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1522 times:

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 143):
they are literally the same genetic stock of people going back thousands of years

When I think of similar it isn't genetics that comes my mind. I think mentality and values.

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 144):
I think it's safe to say that Finland (and most Scandinavian countries) are more homogeneous than the US.

If you measure it by number of foreign born residents then it is safe to say that about Finland. It is not safe to say about Sweden. Actually the numbers I saw last ( a couple years ago) said Sweden had about one point higher percentage of foreign born residents.

Norway is pretty close to Sweden and Denmark is a bit behind.

But as I mentioned above I don't think it is how you should measure. Look at political climate for example. There is a much wider span than US. Look at exposure to other societies, again I'd argue they have much greater influence on the scandinavian countries than the US immigrants have on US values. Look at TV programs. A very high percentage of programs are not even local and those that are fill a high percentage of their time with foreign programs, often US.


User currently offlineSmittyOne From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 1266 posts, RR: 3
Reply 146, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 1518 times:

Quoting cmf (Reply 145):
When I think of similar it isn't genetics that comes my mind. I think mentality and values.
Quoting cmf (Reply 145):
But as I mentioned above I don't think it is how you should measure. Look at political climate for example. There is a much wider span than US. Look at exposure to other societies, again I'd argue they have much greater influence on the scandinavian countries than the US immigrants have on US values. Look at TV programs. A very high percentage of programs are not even local and those that are fill a high percentage of their time with foreign programs, often US.

You may be right - I'm definitely no sociologist...but I wonder if there isn't something to being part of the same "tribe" so to speak that allows people to be more comfortable with these other differences between them. Just a hypothesis...there seems to be an awful lot of deep-seated antagonism in the US between demographic groups. Would be worth looking at whether or not that has anything to do with lack of interest in collective behavior like pitching in to make sure people have some reasonable standard of living, health care etc. I am doubtful that commitment to Free Enterprise explains it all.



We live in an age surrounded by complex machines but the basic knowledge of the average punter is minimal. -GDB
User currently onlineRyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4677 posts, RR: 4
Reply 147, posted (5 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 1510 times:

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 137):
Takes more than 15 minutes, buddy

You could sell tickets to watch those 15 minutes, it would be quite a sight   I would derive a vast amount of joy and mirth seeing that, schadenfreude if you like.

Obviously we all started somewhere as well, but didn't claim that we could learn in 15 minutes (and dare I say don't have your ego)