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BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:26 am

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?
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:41 am

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
 
BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:45 am

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?
 
Kiwirob
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:17 am

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.
 
ozglobal
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:22 am

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.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:35 am

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...
"Nous ne sommes pas infectés. Il n'y a pas d'infection ici..."
 
ozglobal
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:17 am

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.
 
smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 11:55 am

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!
 
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Revelation
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:25 pm

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...
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The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:04 pm

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.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:44 pm

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.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:32 pm

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
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:49 pm

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.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:20 pm

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.
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:39 pm

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.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Thu Oct 24, 2013 10:35 pm

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.
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BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:53 am

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?
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:00 am

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
 
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hOMSaR
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:10 am

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.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:22 am

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...
 
qf002
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:27 am

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.
 
BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:29 am

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.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 2:05 am

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
 
PhilBy
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:03 am

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.
 
trav110
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:47 pm

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.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 1:54 pm

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!
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smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:12 pm

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.
 
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Fri Oct 25, 2013 7:48 pm

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!
 
BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Sat Oct 26, 2013 3:49 am

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?
 
Mike89406
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:38 am

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.
 
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zkojq
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Sun Oct 27, 2013 12:37 pm

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.
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Kiwirob
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Sun Oct 27, 2013 1:05 pm

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.
 
BMI727
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:47 pm

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.
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:52 pm

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.
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:28 pm

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?
 
smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:07 pm

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).
 
Nicoeddf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:20 pm

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.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:08 pm

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]
 
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pvjin
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:19 pm

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.
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smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:24 pm

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.
 
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 5:46 pm

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.
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smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:15 pm

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.
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:23 pm

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?
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smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 8:43 pm

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.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:03 pm

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
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:46 pm

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.
Don’t repeat earlier generations mistakes. Learn history for a better future.
 
smittyone
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 9:58 pm

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.
 
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:45 pm

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)

Quoting SmittyOne (Reply 139):
I love the smell of burning clutch plate in the morning...smells like VICTORY.

Until you have to pay for a new clutch   

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 136):
Not because Oppression (I nearly fell of my chair reading that in conjunction with Norway)

I had to drop out of the thread, as I didn't trust myself not to say something that would get me banned. Without a doubt the most ridiculous, narrow-minded, and bigoted comment I have read in a long time. It shows just how little understanding the poster in question actually has of anything that doesn't selfishly benefit him.
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:46 pm

Quoting cmf (Reply 145):
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.

Foreign born? As in someone being born in Norway moving to Sweden? I'm not sure if that is what you are talking about. I'm talking culturally different. You can have 50% of Swedes being born in Norway and it won't be much of a huge political shift.

And look at it from the other way, a person born in CA moving to TX has a huge cultural difference even though CA and TX are not foreign to each other

I could be wrong though, but I wouldn't just go on "foreign born %" because like I said, that might not make much of a difference at all
 
cmf
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RE: Glad I Live In Australia And Not The US

Mon Oct 28, 2013 11:08 pm

Quoting DeltaMD90 (Reply 148):
I could be wrong though, but I wouldn't just go on "foreign born %" because like I said, that might not make much of a difference at all

Look back at my argument. I stated from the beginning that it isn't where someone is born that matters. It is their mentality and values. The much wider span of political spectrum is a good example. Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway all have 8 parties in their parliament. So many parties isn't a reflection of extremely similarity. But it fosters compromise to get anything done. Can it be that you mistake similar with ability to compromise?
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