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WarRI1
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US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Fri Oct 21, 2011 1:48 am

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/



We are going down the tubes with our middleclass standard of living. There are many to blame, most of all our leaders, business and government, as well as our consumers, who flock to foreign products. We can argue, disagree, but the proof is in the pudding as they say. 30 years of giving our jobs away., for cheap labor, to kill unions, high profits. A wonderful recipe for economic disaster. A fine cake we have baked. Click on Standard of living video.

[Edited 2011-10-20 18:49:51]

[Edited 2011-10-20 19:33:48]
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sccutler
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:53 am

1. Tax policy hurts us- almost the highest corporate taxes in the world promotes relocation of substantial business to less-taxed places, and makes US goods less competitive;

2. Irresponsible corporate management - overpaid and under-performing, focused more on quarterly results than on long-term growth;

3. Irresponsible union leadership, focused on maintaining their position of power, rather than the long-term best interests of the rank and file (interesting parallels to be drawn between poor corporate governance, poor union governance and gosh-awful legislative leadership in DC);

4. Excessive regulatory burdens, causing US manufacturers to operate under crushing loads of rules, regs and bureaucratic inefficiencies. The overseas competition (China, in particular) do not have these issues to deal with - and yet, their products are allowed to reach our shelve on an equal footing with those of the US manufacturers.
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LAXintl
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Fri Oct 21, 2011 6:47 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Thread starter):
as well as our consumers, who flock to foreign products.

I'm sorry you can't blame consumers.

If foreign companies can make stuff better or more price competitive its only natural the consumer will go for the better choice.

Expecting someone to over pay, or settle for an inferior product when they don't need to is ridiculous.

I don't even believe you will needlessly over pay day in, day out and get stuck with inferior stuff just for the sake of waving a flag.


You want someone to blame look at the reasons behind why our companies have not been able to produce the best or most competitive stuff.
Probably goes back to things like high labor cost, inefficient operations, difficult regulatory environment, high taxes etc.
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Arrow
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 12:41 am

Stop complaining. The US has been on the top of the heap for half a century, there's no way you can maintain that position forever. A leveling of standards of living around the world is a good thing. You can't continue to consume resources at a per capita rate far beyond the rest of the world.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:05 am

I thank you for your replies, your knowledge, your wisdom. I provided a link, that says what the thread title is. I did not ask, for excuses, accusations. I provided information showing what is happening, nothing more, nothing less. You may like it, I do not. You maybe satisfied, I am not. You may be enjoying it, I am not. Simple as that.
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sccutler
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:27 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 4):
I provided information showing what is happening, nothing more, nothing less. You may like it, I do not. You maybe satisfied, I am not. You may be enjoying it, I am not. Simple as that.

I could not agree more strongly. What do we tell our children?
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:36 am

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 5):
I could not agree more strongly. What do we tell our children

Exactly, in my case, my Grandchildren. Sad and tragic. Mis-management all around, as you said earlier. We see it getting worse, and everyone in Washington saying, Not me, it was you.
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Aaron747
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:52 am

One of the easiest ways to stop worrying about it is to leave. That's what I and many others have done. Not everyone can, and there are certainly trade-offs anywhere, but it is supremely nice not to be burdened with that kind of feeling, I can say that much. As an expat, one has the luxury of remembering mostly the good things about where they grew up while representing the red, white, and blue overseas as best we can.
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Arrow
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:31 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
Tax policy hurts us- almost the highest corporate taxes in the world promotes relocation of substantial business to less-taxed places, and makes US goods less competitive;

Not to worry. The IRS is doing a wonderful job chasing down everyone who used to be an American, was born to Americans, had a green card at one time, or has some other tenuous connection to the US and is therefore considered by the IRS to be a "US person." They're stealing money like it's going out of style. Have a read of this:

The coming Canada-U.S. tax war

On Dec. 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and his group of patriots, the Sons of Liberty, swept aboard a cargo ship filled with 45 tons of East India Company tea, which they promptly dumped into Boston Harbor. The Americans were rebelling against a three-pence tea tax imposed by the then-ruling British government. Like a Canuck version of Sam Adams, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty recently took the highly unusual step of upbraiding his American counterparts in a public letter for the “far-reaching extraterritorial implications” of their onerous tax laws that apply to Canadian taxpayers.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...-canada-us-tax-war/article2198931/

Be sure to read the comments section so you can see the kinds of "tax cheats" the IRS wants to destroy. There's about a million of them.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
MAH4546
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:36 pm

High corporate taxes, minimum wage laws, unions and EPA regulation took jobs overseas, not consumer habits. Eliminate those things, and jobs come back.

America is still a huge producer of consumer goods for worldwide consumption, but the factories are increasingly being located in growth-friendly states in the South.
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Flighty
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sat Oct 22, 2011 11:07 pm

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):

High corporate taxes, minimum wage laws, unions and EPA regulation took jobs overseas, not consumer habits. Eliminate those things, and jobs come back.

I'd say our #1 and #2 problems are the Chinese yuan and the federal deficit, which is something that endangers all jobs in the US. Taxes are important but not as much as those factors IMO.
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:08 am

Yes it's down from an all time high, but it' also been lowered in almost every other rich country. When you account for underreporting in the Census, inflation adjusted median HH income is down about 5% from all time high (2007), unchanged since 2000, and higher for years prior. Save for some few exception like Norway and Australia, inflation adjusted median HH income has not fared much better, and infact has done worse in places like Italy, Belgium, and UK between 2004-2010. Not saying we should be happy, but perspective is everything, especially when most of the world continues to be dirt poor.
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:20 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 3):
You can't continue to consume resources at a per capita rate far beyond the rest of the world.

Bu even today, it continues to do so. And 50 years from now, I am sure that on a per capita basis, consumption per capita will be much higher than the avg of the rest of the world.
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:23 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 7):
One of the easiest ways to stop worrying about it is to leave.

You mean Japan which is a country that hasn't seen real income gains since the 1980s? A country that was about to overtake the US and is now 1/4 its size.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:07 am

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):
High corporate taxes, minimum wage laws, unions and EPA regulation took jobs overseas, not consumer habits. Eliminate those things, and jobs come back.




Yawn! Where have we heard this bull before?







[quote=zhiao,reply=11]Not saying we should be happy, but perspective is everything, especially when most of the world continues to be dirt poor.

I have to agree, we are still surviving, but the trend is bad, more and more people are strugglling, while we know who, accumulates wealth at fantastic rates. I just read the Forbes 400 list, I did not add it up, but those 400 people were worth a bunch of money.


http://www.forbes.com/forbes-400/
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BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:29 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Thread starter):
as well as our consumers, who flock to foreign products.

How dare consumers make rational decisions and make capitalism work! What an outrage!

How about you go tell some Americans who work hard to earn a middle class paycheck and shop at Walmart that they have to pay more for the same products because their choices aren't American enough for you.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
1. Tax policy hurts us- almost the highest corporate taxes in the world promotes relocation of substantial business to less-taxed places, and makes US goods less competitive;

  

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
2. Irresponsible corporate management - overpaid and under-performing, focused more on quarterly results than on long-term growth;

Not a governmental issue.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 5):
What do we tell our children?

Put down the Xbox and study like Chinese and Indian kids?

Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):
Not to worry. The IRS is doing a wonderful job chasing down everyone who used to be an American, was born to Americans, had a green card at one time, or has some other tenuous connection to the US and is therefore considered by the IRS to be a "US person." They're stealing money like it's going out of style. Have a read of this:

That is just awful. I hate that the IRS tries to go after taxes from Americans who are not in the country, do not earn income in the country and may pay taxes in other countries. In my opinion it is the second dumbest tax law we have.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 7):

One of the easiest ways to stop worrying about it is to leave. That's what I and many others have done.

Really not that bad of an idea, and those people need to take their money with them. The Cayman Islands are nice this time of year.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 14):
I just read the Forbes 400 list, I did not add it up, but those 400 people were worth a bunch of money.

But as of 2010 less than in 2007. You can't say the recession doesn't hurt everybody.
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zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:37 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 14):
I have to agree, we are still surviving, but the trend is bad, more and more people are strugglling, while we know who, accumulates wealth at fantastic rates. I just read the Forbes 400 list, I did not add it up, but those 400 people were worth a bunch of money.

Understatement of the year. Go to Papua New Guinea like I did and you will see what "surviving" is. Or just go south of the border, but of course that's much better than much of Africa and SE Asia.

You Americans have no idea what "surviving" is. It's an insult that people living in air conditioned dwellings, with tv, welfare, clean water, gadgets, etc., can possibily call their situation as "surviving." But of course, this is what happens when things go sour in a country that's been rich so long.

[Edited 2011-10-22 19:42:38]
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:43 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
How dare consumers make rational decisions and make capitalism work! What an outrage!

How about you go tell some Americans who work hard to earn a middle class paycheck and shop at Walmart that they have to pay more for the same products because their choices aren't American enough for you.

Ah! The old saying " the proof is in the pudding" I think the number one national problem, is lack of jobs. That is the pudding created by sending our jobs overseas. I think the so called intelligent consumer who shops at Walmart, and now finds themselves out of a job, has nobody to blame, but themselves. As usual, Yawn!

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
But as of 2010 less than in 2007. You can't say the recession doesn't hurt everybody.

Oh my, the hardships those 400 have endured. I feels so sad for them. I am sure the recession has just about stopped them from spending. The uncertainty you know. They must be careful in an uncertain economy.
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:01 am

Quoting zhiao (Reply 16):
You Americans have no idea what "surviving" is. It's an insult that people living in air conditioned dwellings, with tv, welfare, clean water, gadgets, etc., can possibily call their situation as "surviving." But of course, this is what happens when things go sour in a country that's been rich so long.

Trust me, at one time, we sure did struggle to survive. We had rich and poor. Unions came, we prospered, we are now losing ground. I know that I am not content to continue to watch it go down. It is our own fault, stupidity, greed, crooked politicians, crooked corporations, and yes crooked unions. The unions, and corporations are mere children compared to the members of congress, who are bought and paid for, and are experts in extorting money from Special Interests.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:26 am

Quoting Arrow (Reply 3):
The US has been on the top of the heap for half a century, there's no way you can maintain that position forever. A leveling of standards of living around the world is a good thing.

Well, it would be a good thing if the rest of the world would be catching up. Going the opposite way is a problem.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):

If foreign companies can make stuff better or more price competitive its only natural the consumer will go for the better choice.

It would be OK, if the conditions for the domestic and foreign manufacturer would be the same.n For instance, if the yuan would be a free floating currency...

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
Probably goes back to things like high labor cost

Why is that a problem? People, when will you finally understand that without dispersing enough money among the population, equals paying the employees reasonable wages our consumption based economy will collapse?

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):
High corporate taxes,

Yes, that's a problem,

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):
minimum wage laws,

Actually, those should improve the situation, since every employee is someone's customer too. It just sends back more money to circulation.

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):
unions

While the unions are very often just parasites, more money in the employee's hand mean more business for many people

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 9):
EPA regulation took jobs overseas, not consumer habits. Eliminate those things, and jobs come back.

Do we really want that?

Quoting zhiao (Reply 16):
You Americans have no idea what "surviving" is.

So, you fly the American flag and still write "you Americans"...interesting

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
Put down the Xbox and study like Chinese and Indian kids?

How will that help? There are currently many high-tech jobs outsourced. Especially in the IT you don't have to be sitting in the same office as the your colleagues to do the job. Or in the same country. Or same continent. So you spend hundred grand on your education and the job will still go overseas...
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BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:15 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 17):
I think the so called intelligent consumer who shops at Walmart, and now finds themselves out of a job, has nobody to blame, but themselves. As usual, Yawn!

Okay, then why all the hand wringing over the economy? The truth is that it's just economics, and it isn't always friendly, but that's how it works. Protectionism and increased government interference isn't the answer.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 19):
There are currently many high-tech jobs outsourced. Especially in the IT you don't have to be sitting in the same office as the your colleagues to do the job.

Sure because even that is becoming old hat now, just like screwing together appliances. The future is at the cutting edge and in innovation.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
MAH4546
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:14 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 19):
Actually, those should improve the situation, since every employee is someone's customer too. It just sends back more money to circulation.

Minimum wage laws don't improve a single damn thing. They Kills jobs. You can't tell a company how much it's employee is worth to it. If a company sees the productivity of an employee to be less than minimum wage, the employee won't be hired and, in the case of a manufacturing job, for example, the job will be outsourced. Millions of Americans would kill for a job at $5/hr, but the government denies them that chance, because it has arbitrarily set a minimum worth for citizens. If they can't meet that worth, they remain unemployed.
a.
 
LAXintl
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:10 pm

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 19):
It would be OK, if the conditions for the domestic and foreign manufacturer would be the same.n For instance, if the yuan would be a free floating currency...

The world will never have the same ground conditions, hence why its of primary importance for business and employees to be as cost competitive as possible regardless of what nation they are in.

Work will naturally flow to those that can produce or provide a service most cost efficiently.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 19):
Why is that a problem?

Are you kidding?

High labor cost will only to serve to further handicap to producers of products and services, resulting in ever reduced sales. It wont matter at the end that the employees are getting more money, as the company wont be left to pay them if it cannot remain competitive.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 19):
Actually, those should improve the situation,

Again, minimum wage laws essentially are inflationary, and inflate the price of the end product or service as it cost more for companies to produce - which can make the US product even less competitive.

Thankfully we have exceptions to the minimum wage laws in several industries such as restaurants, farms etc.

At this point I would advocate broadening those exemptions, reducing the published wage, or eliminate it completely.

I'm sorry but some jobs are not worth the statutory minimums. And to be understand what those minimums are I'm not just speaking of the Federal or State minimum wage, but we have a plethora of local laws - for example here in Los Angeles if you are doing business with the City (ie provide service or tenant at the airport) you must pay at least $10.42 for employees with medical benefits and $14.97 for those without.

I'm sorry but many jobs are simply not worth $10.42 let alone $14.97/hr.

Let market dynamics decide on wages, not artificial government laws.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Protectionism and increased government interference isn't the answer.

   All protectionism does is to skew natural market forces and let the inefficient hide behind a government wall.

=
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BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:36 pm

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 21):
You can't tell a company how much it's employee is worth to it.

No you can't. Minimum wage doesn't tell companies how much they have to pay workers, it tells them who they can't hire for jobs under a certain pay level. I think increasing the minimum wage would be a mistake, but where it is now is okay, as long as people realize that, like all regulation, the minimum wage carries with it a real and significant cost.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 22):
All protectionism does is to skew natural market forces and let the inefficient hide behind a government wall.

More specifically, it's a zero sum proposition. Sure more Americans might have better paying jobs, but they'll have to pay that much more for everything they buy. Or any money the government might collect in tariffs would have to go right back out in food stamps and welfare since the cost for goods (either foreign with tariffs or domestic with higher costs) will skyrocket. That's not winning.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:32 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Okay, then why all the hand wringing over the economy

The hand wringing from me is for my family, friends, state and country. Look around see the happiness, the contentment, the bginnings of civil unrest. See the divisions in society appearing, the haves and have-nots. My wife talked to our financial advisor on Friday in Providence, he said he is starting to feel unconfortable walking to work, lunch, etc. he said he feels like a target going into the bank building. Deja vu all over again, said Yogi http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-...-later-same-culprits-same-rageinto
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Ken777
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:51 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
You want someone to blame look at the reasons behind why our companies have not been able to produce the best or most competitive stuff.

Maybe it is time we looked at the tariff levels that are in place, both in the US and abroad. We can adjust parts of the problem by leveling the playing field a lot more.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 5):
What do we tell our children?

It is not what you tell them these days, it is what you do for them. I have one kid's house paid off and we're working on the other. That is a huge factor in efforts you can make to protect their future, and your grandkids future.

Quoting Arrow (Reply 8):
Be sure to read the comments section so you can see the kinds of "tax cheats" the IRS wants to destroy.

As I recall, when we lived in Australia we only had to file if our income was over $50K. (It wasn't back in the 70s). Those who did have to file were able to deduct that $50K from their income to calculate their US Taxes and THEN were able to deduct their "local" (foreign) taxes from their US Income Tax Liability.

Considering that the Aussie tax rates were higher than the US rates there was no way that I would need to pay US Taxes, but I eventually had to file when incomes broke $50K .

Actually, I just checked and the 2010 exclusion is $91,500. (http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f2555ez.pdf)

You can Google IRS Form 2555 for links. It's really not a big deal for most Americans overseas. And, even if you don't have to file it is wise to go ahead. Just remembered that you used to be able to get a "tax credit" (not the same as here) for the overseas income taxes paid. Came in handy if you had some non-taxable overseas income - like winning the lottery.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 10):
I'd say our #1 and #2 problems are the Chinese yuan and the federal deficit,

The Yuan is a huge problem, but so is the Dollar compared to some other currencies. The Euro IMO is too expensive and the British Pound is really pricy.

The big problem with the deficit right now is the chunk of the federal budget that the interest rate consumes, With our very low interest it is already too high. When interest rates go up it is going to be a killer.

Our other big problem is the lack of vigorous activity in infrastructure development. We need to Build, Baby, Build.

Until we get back to building we will be paying out a chunk for unemployment benefits with nothing to get for it.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
How dare consumers make rational decisions and make capitalism work!

There are many products that are not sold because of rational decisions. Prescription medicines is the first group that comes to mind. If a doctor says you have, say, acute leukemia and need to go on a specific chemo protocol if you want to live longer than 4 months it is not capitalism at work.

And under pure capitalism your decisions are limited because of monopolistic acts by major companies that are currently illegal. MicroSoft comes to mind, but there are obviously other examples.

Same with choosing your airlines. I use one world because I can use a cpap aboard QF and BA flights. Couldn't get approval on Star airlines Again, medical needs over consumer choices.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
How about you go tell some Americans who work hard to earn a middle class paycheck and shop at Walmart that they have to pay more for the same products because their choices aren't American enough for you.

Sounds great until that hard working American becomes one of the millions unemployed because of the Great Recession. Might then become under employed, but will probably have a different view of "Made in America".

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
That is just awful. I hate that the IRS tries to go after taxes from Americans who are not in the country, do not earn income in the country and may pay taxes in other countries. In my opinion it is the second dumbest tax law we have.

As I noted above, it's not anything near awful, unless you are someone pulling millions trying to hide your money. Average Americans will find very little to be concerned about - especially since their health coverage is a fraction of the US costs.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
The Cayman Islands are nice this time of year.

Unless they get wiped out by a hurricane.   

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 15):
You can't say the recession doesn't hurt everybody.

I doubt if anyone in the top 400 have changed their lifestyles because of the Great Recession. The same certainly cannot be said of the Average American.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 18):
We had rich and poor. Unions came, we prospered, we are now losing ground. I know that I am not content to continue to watch it go down.

Odd thing about those unions - they are the primary reason why most Americans get their health insurance from their employer. Now the neocons want to end unions - which, for me, is an indication that employer nanny care is about to end.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
Sure because even that is becoming old hat now, just like screwing together appliances. The future is at the cutting edge and in innovation.

It that is our future then we really have problems. Most people cannot understand the engineering/chemistry/ physics/etc. required for "cutting edge" jobs, nor are they innovative.

Of course the "future" you are thinking of would probably not have various "low level service" jobs, like cab and bus drivers, luggage handlers at airports, cleaners at hotels. Boring stuff like that.

Quoting mah4546 (Reply 21):
Minimum wage laws don't improve a single damn thing. They Kills jobs. You can't tell a company how much it's employee is worth to it. If a company sees the productivity of an employee to be less than minimum wage, the employee won't be hired and, in the case of a manufacturing job, for example, the job will be outsourced. Millions of Americans would kill for a job at $5/hr, but the government denies them that chance, because it has arbitrarily set a minimum worth for citizens. If they can't meet that worth, they remain unemployed.

No minimum wage would simply bring down the wages paid to lower level employees. Employees would love it, but then taxpayers would be paying more for the poverty level wages. Food Stamps & Medicaid are two really good examples.

Hard core reality is that a minima wage below the poverty line does produce those government payments. it is corporate welfare and it is the one road block that will stay in place to prevent a flatter income tax.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 22):
Work will naturally flow to those that can produce or provide a service most cost efficiently.

Especially when the politicians enjoy the good life by turning their backs on the average (and below average) constituents.
 
BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:02 pm

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 24):
My wife talked to our financial advisor on Friday in Providence, he said he is starting to feel unconfortable walking to work, lunch, etc. he said he feels like a target going into the bank building.

Of all the arguments in favor of welfare that is the worst one of all: the extortion by the poor theory. The thought that if wealthier people do not give middle and lower class people enough money they will just take it is just ridiculous, and as someone from a lower middle class background, insulting.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Sounds great until that hard working American becomes one of the millions unemployed because of the Great Recession. Might then become under employed, but will probably have a different view of "Made in America".

Either you pay more for the same product or you lose your job? It isn't nearly that simple, but the market must be allowed to work. Protectionism is a dead end. I'm not about to voluntarily throw away money because something says "Made in America." I'd better get something for my money.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Unless they get wiped out by a hurricane.

I'm sure banks are quite careful with their server farms.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
It that is our future then we really have problems. Most people cannot understand the engineering/chemistry/ physics/etc. required for "cutting edge" jobs, nor are they innovative

That's probably what people said decades ago too: "All this computer stuff is so hard. You have to be a genius to understand it." Even if what you say is true, that is a problem for the educational system to tackle.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Of course the "future" you are thinking of would probably not have various "low level service" jobs, like cab and bus drivers, luggage handlers at airports, cleaners at hotels. Boring stuff like that.

Anywhere you have people, you'll have to have people like that. Which is good because people not smart enough to get their butts out of bed and go to school might need jobs too.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:04 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 18):We had rich and poor. Unions came, we prospered, we are now losing ground. I know that I am not content to continue to watch it go down.



Odd thing about those unions - they are the primary reason why most Americans get their health insurance from their employer. Now the neocons want to end unions - which, for me, is an indication that employer nanny care is about to end.

That medical care was indeed hard won by unions, no other reason. It was considered part of compensation. It can be compared to "other compensation" that is so sacred to the corporate lovers on here. Funny that! If I remember correctly, the last two firings at BOA included 6 million severance each, plus medical coverage for a year. How fair is that? I guess they will have trouble finding another job, so they need coverage.   
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:04 pm

This recession has absolutely nothing to do with trade policy, corporate income taxes, and the allegedly high min wage. Both the right and left are wrong. We all know what caused the recession; financial implosion mainly due to the fault of banks plus added fault of very low interest rates created by the Fed plus not much regulation of these complex financial instruments. All this would have occured the same even with lower corp income taxes and no min wage.

The problem now is simply lack of demand in the economy. Tariffs would lower demand, making the downturn worse. Lowering the Corp income tax would likely have marginal effects because Corps are sitting on cash as we speak. If Corporations are not spending/investing with all the cash they have now, then why would they suddenly want to spend/invest just by having their taxes lowered? It makes absolutely no logical sense. Corporations sitting on trillions in cash have a cash problem which inhibits hiring? That's the whole premise behind the lower corp taxes argument. Nevertheless, out of equity, I still say eliminate most deductions and lower the rate to 20%.

As for min wage, it should be raised for all companies employing over 100 people to $11. That way it does not affect small businesses but forces cash rich companies like McDonalds and Walmart to pay their workers more. This will add demand in the economy w/o a single dime of govt spending. Of course, Walmart and McD will have no choice, give that none of these jobs can be exported.
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:14 pm

Quoting zhiao (Reply 28):
Both the right and left are wrong

Well, we on the "left" do tend to over-react to the ridiculous demands of the "right". We will be going barefoot, bare assed again. I would suggest you duck, you are making too much sense for those on the "right" to stand. That is heresy you are preaching, to the "right" anyway. I can certainly agree with your points, they are fair. Not acceptable to some on here. Raise minimum wage? My goodness! I love the idea.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
Arrow
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:14 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 25):
It's really not a big deal for most Americans overseas. And, even if you don't have to file it is wise to go ahead. Just remembered that you used to be able to get a "tax credit" (not the same as here) for the overseas income taxes paid. Came in handy if you had some non-taxable overseas income - like winning the lottery.

It's much more complex than that, and affects people who have believed for many years -- decades - that they had lost their US citizenship when they became Canadians. The IRS wants to sweep into its net hundreds of thousands of people who have lived in Canada for 40-50 years, as Canadian citizens (who thought they had automatically renounced their US citizenship) and make them file back tax returns. Yes -- the tax treaty usually means there's no tax payable -- but the IRS is assessing "late filing" penalties of $100,000 and up against people who owed no tax. The new FATCA requirements on all foreign banks also have a lot of people completely spooked -- if you get dinged for late penalties the IRS can assess a fine of 50% of your net worth, applied to liquid assets. If you've lived and worked your entire life in Canada, but are a "US person" by the IRS definition, they propose to take 50% of your life savings as a fine for non-compliance.

This is getting zero play in the US, but it is a HUGE issue up here because it is a rather blatant attempt by the IRS to enforce its rules in another country. It is so bad that the US ambassador to Canada had to give a speech last week trying to assure all these expats that no, the US is not trying to screw them. Trouble is, very few believe him, and absolutely no one trusts him or the IRS to back down on this. It is boiling towards a serious diplomatic incident.

This gives a good overview:

http://www.ctv.ca/generic/generated/...tatic/business/article2205001.html
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
LAXintl
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:02 pm

Quoting zhiao (Reply 28):
Of course, Walmart and McD will have no choice, give that none of these jobs can be exported.

Funny the examples you picked.

McDonalds it field testing self order kiosk (ala the airport, supermarkets). There is not much need to have someone behind a counter punching in an order that you can do yourself. Once implemented its expected to cut in store employment by 40-50%.

7000 units on the way...
http://techland.time.com/2011/05/18/...ing-self-serve-touchscreen-kiosks/

For Walmart, a couple years back they opened an automated distribution center, which reduced staffing needs by 60% compared to traditional warehouses.


Companies will do what they need to protect margins, and if labor cost further fall out of line, it will only encourage them to speed up the process of minimizing the need for physical labor.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 29):
Raise minimum wage? My goodness! I love the idea.

Then you must also love more unemployment. Raising labor cost, will only dissuade companies from hiring.

You want to do something to help the economy, lower employment cost(actual rates+taxes+insurance) to encourage companies to atleast keep steady labor counts, if not even hire.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:17 pm

Sorry, but machines would have replaced such employees long ago. Supermarkets have had self checkout for over a decade with it not catching fire. The fact is that people prefer another person behind the counter.
 
474218
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:36 pm

The two major political parties in the United States have directly opposite theories about the "standard of living".

One party thinks everyone should have the same "standard of living" and it is the government that determines what that level is.

One party thinks everyone should be allowed to achieve the "standard of living" they are capable of, without government interference.
 
LAXintl
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:42 pm

Quoting zhiao (Reply 32):
Supermarkets have had self checkout for over a decade with it not catching fire.

I see them in growing number of stores. Every few months it seems either the self service section is growing in size and more stores have converted.
Just a few weeks back my local CVS went all self service sans two human positions.

Quoting zhiao (Reply 32):
The fact is that people prefer another person behind the counter.

It really depends on how you view things. All things being equal maybe, however as more and more self-service options become available people take advantage of them.

Self check-out machines have grown from 15 to 40% of the daily transaction volume at large stores like Kmart, Kroger, Alberton's.

If labor cost continue to rise as compared to ever cheaper technology, guess which model companies will use?


I personally virtually always opt for the self-service option is available. The same as airports, I enjoy being in control of the transaction. So self service at a McDonalds would be very welcome imo.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:32 am

Quoting zhiao (Reply 32):
The fact is that people prefer another person behind the counter.

Most certainly, in fact the forecast is that many stores will drop auto check out when their system needs upgrades. They had to assign a monitor there anyway. If I remember, it was something like 16 % usage. Good by, we will not cry.

[Edited 2011-10-23 17:33:50]
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
PSA53
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:37 am

You might find this article disturbing and a insight to the future.I just saw this on Yahoo/Sun.

http://www.sbsun.com/rss/ci_19176449?source=rss

And if they're saying only the city,how much of the county is in the same state.SB needs to tighten it's belt and make sure it's money well spent.Not on drugs,parties,illegals,gambling,etc,etc.....

But the decline is major concern.
Tuesday's Off! Do not disturb.
 
N867DA
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:54 am

It seems that the American consumer values price over all other things. So manufacturing has left our shores. As more and more high paying skilled jobs leave our shores, the more our standard of living will go down the drain. We will be a nation of haves and have nots--the top 5% will have the jobs that cannot be exported from America, and the bottom 95% will live paycheck to paycheck working in menial retail or lower tier service jobs. We are now in that awkward phase where people are realizing what is going on, but it may be a little too late to stop. I'd just not read the newspaper for 5-10 years, grab your McDonald's uniform on the way out the door, and be thankful the "hard working rich" felt nice enough to give you a job for the day.
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
 
Ken777
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:17 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
Protectionism is a dead end.

It sure isn't dead for a lot of countries. Start looking around in Asia - China first.

While free trade is a myth we can improve on fair trade.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 26):
Even if what you say is true, that is a problem for the educational system to tackle

LOL! CEOs of major companies have talked about this for years, but neocons are more interested in cutting money spent on education than preparing kids for the future.

And the cost come at a time when it is more and more expensive for a high school graduate to get the training/education needed to become a teacher.

Don't expect the education system to tackle anything when their funding is going to be cut and future teachers are being motivated to look elsewhere for a career.

Quoting zhiao (Reply 28):
As for min wage, it should be raised for all companies employing over 100 people to $11.

Why not set it high enough to be over the poverty level. Walmart and McD's don't need that corporate welfare.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 34):
If labor cost continue to rise as compared to ever cheaper technology, guess which model companies will use?

Companies will generally go the cheapest route - until customers either yell loud enough or go elsewhere.

Best example for yelling customers was when Delta cut deep on the customer services areas and had to rehire a lot of laid off workers - as well as apologize to their customers.

And cheaper technology does not automatically mean success. Remember HP's "iPad Killer" - cheaper and basically dead on arrival. WIthin weeks HP dumped them for $100 each. Apple invested more in their iPad - talented engineers and designers, solid materials, and a lot of work in software. The more expensive product won.
 
BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:10 pm

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 38):
It sure isn't dead for a lot of countries. Start looking around in Asia - China first.

But it won't help. Protectionism and isolationism isn't a solution.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 38):
Don't expect the education system to tackle anything when their funding is going to be cut and future teachers are being motivated to look elsewhere for a career.

Where did I say anything about wanting to cut education funding?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 38):
Why not set it high enough to be over the poverty level.

You do that and a lot of jobs become uneconomical.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
windy95
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:23 pm

Quoting zhiao (Reply 32):
Sorry, but machines would have replaced such employees long ago. Supermarkets have had self checkout for over a decade with it not catching fire. The fact is that people prefer another person behind the counter

Not where I live and work. Kiosks are the way of the future.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 38):
Apple invested more in their iPad - talented engineers and designers, solid materials, and a lot of work in software. The more expensive product won

Made in China....

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 38):
but neocons are more interested in cutting money spent on education than preparing kids for the future.

More of your laughable sound bites...
 
Ken777
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:30 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
Protectionism and isolationism isn't a solution.

Neither is the current situation. At a minimum we need to mirror the challenges US producers face.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 39):
You do that and a lot of jobs become uneconomical.

Basically you are saying that we need to subsidize companies like Walmart with food stamps and Medicaid so they can have cheap labor.

Quoting windy95 (Reply 40):
Made in China....

But how many jobs created in the US? Apple keeps adding staff - both Apple Store staff and highly trained engineers, system folks, etc. Their favorite recruiting area is Stanford. And looking at their plans for a new corporate office is a pretty good indication of future growth.
 
BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:10 am

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Neither is the current situation.

No it isn't. The solution is to break down barriers and make the US an attractive destination for doing business. If the government plows the field, industry will plant the seeds and spread the fertilizer. Excessive regulation and high taxes drive jobs and business offshore.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Basically you are saying that we need to subsidize companies like Walmart with food stamps and Medicaid so they can have cheap labor.

I'm saying that raising minimum wage means that a lot of jobs will disappear. And people who do have jobs will have to pay that much more for everything.

Of course, keeping government assistance is no good either. The market must be allowed to work as unfettered as possible, and that means that a lot of jobs (not careers, but jobs) won't pay well, but any economy needs unskilled labor.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 1:55 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
Of course, keeping government assistance is no good either. The market must be allowed to work as unfettered as possible, and that means that a lot of jobs (not careers, but jobs) won't pay well, but any economy needs unskilled labor.
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...ault_on_the_unskilled_and_the.html


Interesting view of trade practices in our trading partners countries. I agree, we are getting screwed over by our own government, never mind the so called open market.
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 2:19 am

http://realestate.yahoo.com/promo/billionaires-home-buying-binge.html


Quite obviously his standard of living is not going down. What did one of our resident wise men say the other night on here? " it shows that the recession affects everyone." I have to chuckle when I think of it.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:22 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 43):
Interesting view of trade practices in our trading partners countries. I agree, we are getting screwed over by our own government, never mind the so called open market.

The open market must be allowed to work. Yes it's bad that the Chinese don't let their currency float freely and we can put pressure on them to change, but at this point America can only really control America. And the simple fact is that if Americans are not willing to do a given job cheaper or better, they won't be doing that job.

And workers can go ahead and have a union resurgence, but companies can always turn down their demands. Just as they can turn down an offer. Being an unskilled worker isn't really that great of a deal, since you can be easily replaced and differentiation can be difficult.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 44):
What did one of our resident wise men say the other night on here? " it shows that the recession affects everyone."

Sure why use numbers when you could use a Yahoo article? Besides, how does Ellison buying a house hurt you or me at all? Even better, how does it hurt all of the people who build and maintain such places? Oh right, it doesn't.

I mean, how dare a billionaire buy a house when he could take that cash, put a rubber band around it, and hand it to me? What a greedy piece of scum!
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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WarRI1
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:30 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 45):
Sure why use numbers when you could use a Yahoo article? Besides, how does Ellison buying a house hurt you or me at all? Even better, how does it hurt all of the people who build and maintain such places? Oh right, it doesn't.

Yahoo article??? A problem with their article? Him buying a house does not bother me at all. Quite obviously he can afford it. Once again, an apologist for the wealthy. The thread title mentions the standard of living going down. Quite simply, the article shows that his has not. Point, Counter Point. Quite simple.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:39 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 42):
Excessive regulation and high taxes drive jobs and business offshore.

The US is one of the least taxed, least regulated rich economy in the world, if not the most.
 
BMI727
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:41 am

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 46):
Once again, an apologist for the wealthy.

First, I'm not. But I don't want to ever become America's piggybank. Second, even if I was, that's far, far better than being a socialist.

And numbers don't lie: between 2008 and 2009 the people on the Forbes 400 collectively lost $300 billion. As of 2010, they are still $200 billion down from their high water mark.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
zhiao
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RE: US Standard Of Living, Down, Down.

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:43 am

Some good news: Chinese labour costs are rising quickly and US energy production is set to expand (something most rich countries wished they had the ability to do)

"The American phoenix is slowly rising again. Within five years or so, the US will be well on its way to self-sufficiency in fuel and energy. Manufacturing will have closed the labour gap with China in a clutch of key industries. The current account might even be in surplus. "

"Boston Consulting expects up to 800,000 manufacturing jobs to return to the US by mid-decade, with a multiplier effect creating 3.2m in total. This would take some sting out of the Long Slump. "

"The US was the single largest contributor to global oil supply growth last year, with a net 395,000 barrels per day (b/d)," said Francisco Blanch from Bank of America, comparing the Dakota fields to a new North Sea.

Total US shale output is "set to expand dramatically" as fresh sources come on stream, possibly reaching 5.5m b/d by mid-decade. This is a tenfold rise since 2009.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/c...-power-swings-back-to-America.html

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