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TheCommodore
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'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:06 am

Well, just read this in todays paper, interesting article.

What do you think ?

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news...ticle.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11366658
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
sccutler
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:14 am

The guy is loony and, like many in academia, has not the faintest clue of what happens beyond his insulated campus world.

Opportunity abounds for those willing to work for it.

I do not, by the way, advocate for the theory that such opportunity is not extant elsewhere.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
AeroWesty
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:06 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
What do you think ?

The author's premise is all wrong.

The American Dream is: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Upward social mobility only came about in the past century or so, when the newly middle class were able to afford homes, higher education for their children, and leisure activities. The masses were too busy scratching out an existence to be concerned with keeping up with the Joneses until then.
International Homo of Mystery
 
Airstud
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:10 am

I don't think it's an interesting article, I think it's a left-wing academe trying to make a case for socialism.
Pancakes are delicious.
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:26 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
The guy is loony and, like many in academia, has not the faintest clue of what happens beyond his insulated campus world.

You're just reacting to the fact that's he's correct. I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, it must be time for a "let them eat cake" moment.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:39 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer,

That is true - and there seems to be a direct correlation with the increase in government social spending and the expansion of government regulations and a decrease in the ability of smaller entities (such as the states) to slow the rate of federal growth.
Democrats haven't been this angry since we took away their slaves.
 
Rara
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:50 am

I took a look at his data and it seems methodologically sound.

First of all, he's quoted wrong. The Daily Mail (not the most reliable newspaper, for those who don't know it) says 'there is no American dream', but in fact he stated 'the American dream is an illusion'. An illusion obviously exists, but its premise doesn't hold true, which indeed seems to apply to the American Dream.

Second, his article isn't primarily about upward mobility in America at all. It's about changing patterns of immigration. He notes that while America used to positively select its immigrants in the past (poor but literate, hardworking folk from Europe and East Asia), the bulk of immigrants today is negatively selected and mainly consists of poorly educated people from Latin America, which have very little chance of upward social mobility in America. That's undeniably true and should be an analysis especially the right-wingers should be able to get behind. Instead, they let their usually reflexes take over, as evidenced in this thread.  

His original article is here: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articl.../the-american-dream-is-an-illusion

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 2):
The author's premise is all wrong.

The American Dream is: "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Even if so, the pursuit of happiness requires a certain degree of economic well-being. If you have to work three jobs just to feed yourself and your family, you have precious little time left to pursue happiness.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
photopilot
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:28 am

Yup, all those fast-food workers protesters wanting a higher minimum wage, or those WallyMart workers out protesting this week. For sure they're just so damn happy to be told they're living the American Dream.... NOT!!!
 
ltbewr
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:46 pm

I live in an area, northern New Jersey, that has a huge diversity due to generations of more recent immigration to seek the 'American Dream'. They came and stayed or try to stay for a variety of reasons.
We don't have a rigid class system. We have relatively less government corruption. Despite our per-capita high rate of gun deaths, it is still far less violent in America then many of the countries they came from including from Mexico and the disputed areas of the Middle East. Many come for religious reasons, generally your religious beliefs or having be religious at all to get a job or be a participant in society. Jobs may pay low for many immigrants, but far better than at home. Although many complain about taxes here, for many working people, taxes are far less than in the countries they come from.
Are there things that we can improve on in the USA. Access for more for affordable health care,.Less violence (especially gun violence). Improve our K-12 public educational systems so all get high quality basic education.. Cheaper college education. Better and smarter regulation of banking and financial services. Less hostile police, especially to persons of color. Reduce the corruption of our elected government officials especially as more money = more access to them.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 2:16 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 7):
Even if so, the pursuit of happiness requires a certain degree of economic well-being.

Not so. That phrase was written long, long before there was such a thing as a middle class. This was a philosophical ideal about overall well-being and goodwill—not just for oneself, but for fellow citizens as well.
International Homo of Mystery
 
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Kiwirob
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:24 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 9):
We don't have a rigid class system

Of course you do, its based on wealth and social status.

http://www.yackface.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/visualguidetoamericanmiddleclass1.jpg
 
sccutler
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 6:46 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
You're just reacting to the fact that's he's correct

Thank you, no, I was reacting to the fact that he is incorrect.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, it must be time for a "let them eat cake" moment.

Agree - there is a serious problem with what is happening...

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
That is true - and there seems to be a direct correlation with the increase in government social spending and the expansion of government regulations and a decrease in the ability of smaller entities (such as the states) to slow the rate of federal growth.

...and this is it!

Our fundamental problem is the increasing interference, by an excessively grasping and powerful federal government, into the freedom and liberty of its citizens.

Quoting Rara (Reply 7):
I took a look at his data and it seems methodologically sound.

Nope, not even close. Assuming (for the sake of discussion) that the core data are correct, the conclusions drawn are unsupportable.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
mham001
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:50 pm

Quoting Rara (Reply 7):
Second, his article isn't primarily about upward mobility in America at all. It's about changing patterns of immigration. He notes that while America used to positively select its immigrants in the past (poor but literate, hardworking folk from Europe and East Asia), the bulk of immigrants today is negatively selected and mainly consists of poorly educated people from Latin America, which have very little chance of upward social mobility in America. That's undeniably true and should be an analysis especially the right-wingers should be able to get behind. Instead, they let their usually reflexes take over, as evidenced in this thread.  

Are you claiming that the children of the poor and illiterate do not have the opportunity to do better? And I don't recall the boats sending European and Asian illiterates home. Where did you read that? Do you have a source for that claim?

The problem we have with Hispanics in this wave is that their culture does not stress good education. That they don't succeed is not indicative of lack of opportunity, which is all the "American Dream" offers.

Quoting Rara (Reply 7):
Even if so, the pursuit of happiness requires a certain degree of economic well-being. If you have to work three jobs just to feed yourself and your family, you have precious little time left to pursue happiness.

I would suggest that the problem is not that they can't feed themselves but that many consider their smartphones, their cable tv's, their cars and their choice of expensive locales as important as eating. Materialistically, at least, they are still better off than from where they came. Is that not part of what some here seem to believe is the "American Dream"? And minimum wage jobs have never been meant to live on, there is plenty of evidence that working two jobs has been a common theme among the poor for centuries.

It is always amusing though to be lectured on the definition of our terms by people with nothing invested.

[The American Dream is] that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.
The man who coined the term: James Truslow Adams 1931
 
WestJet747
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 7:52 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
Quoting Rara (Reply 7):
I took a look at his data and it seems methodologically sound.

Nope, not even close. Assuming (for the sake of discussion) that the core data are correct, the conclusions drawn are unsupportable.

Would you be so kind as to provide the correct data so that we have a point of comparison?
Flying refined.
 
sccutler
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:20 pm

Quoting WestJet747 (Reply 15):

Would you be so kind as to provide the correct data so that we have a point of comparison?

I have no reason to question the core data, and thus (as I noted above) have not challenged the data.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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Aesma
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 8:26 pm

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
...and this is it!

Our fundamental problem is the increasing interference, by an excessively grasping and powerful federal government, into the freedom and liberty of its citizens.

The same phenomenon is happening all over Europe while governments are doing what you advocate, liberalizing the labor market and the economy.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
777way
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:17 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 14):
The problem we have with Hispanics i

Arent you Iranian? what makes you different to other immigrant and ehnic groups?
 
TheCommodore
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:26 pm

Quoting 777way (Reply 22):
Arent you Iranian? what makes you different to other immigrant and ehnic groups?

Because, he's one of the ones who's made the "American Dream" and reality, at least for himself, and God strike down anyone for questioning that, its Anti-American you know !

That's what makes him "different" from other ethnic groups (Hspanics)... apparently.
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
Alias1024
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:52 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 11):
Of course you do, its based on wealth and social status.

While it would be silly so suggest that class differences don't exist in the US, you missed the key word in his statement....rigid.

The American Dream isn't that you will be gifted a life of wealth and privilege, but instead that with hard work and intelligence you may be able to move up the social ladder. You aren't guaranteed to move up, but the opportunity exists for those willing to chase it.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
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seb146
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Sun Nov 30, 2014 11:04 pm

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 6):
That is true - and there seems to be a direct correlation with the increase in government social spending and the expansion of government regulations and a decrease in the ability of smaller entities (such as the states) to slow the rate of federal growth.

Right, because the middle class is getting poorer and the poor are getting poorer. Even though private sector job growth is up and public sector job growth is down, the pay for those private sector jobs is down.
You bet I'm pumped!!! I just had a green tea!!!
 
FlyPNS1
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:42 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 12):
Our fundamental problem is the increasing interference, by an excessively grasping and powerful federal government, into the freedom and liberty of its citizens.

But most of the "influence" is simply just to pay for old people...i.e. Social Security and Medicare. Excluding those programs, the rest of the federal government isn't all that big and it's influence dwindling. And American history from early 20th century shows that a tiny Federal government is not an assurance of wealth or upward mobility. People tend to forget that in those days poverty rates were vastly high and upward mobility even more challenging than today.

We also have clear evidence that slashing taxes doesn't really do much for most Americans. We've seen tax cuts in the 80's and 00's, but they provided little benefit to the poor or middle class.

The ugly reality is that capitalism will always drive toward the lowest common denominator. You're never going to have a strong, free market capitalist society without having a significant class of poor workers particularly in a global economy. Capitalism will always need to keep many down, in order to ensure the success of a few. Note, I'm not advocating communism or socialism as those are even worse forms of governance, however I'm just highlighting the inherently brutal nature of capitalism.

Of course, the American Dream is still attainable and many people will climb the economic ladder. However, many more will be doomed to stay at the bottom, not because they are lazy or stupid, but simply because a capitalist economy cannot function in any other way.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:19 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
What do you think ?

I think there isn't any situation these days that liberal academic types will not somehow try to find a greater social problem with.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
wingman
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:40 am

This is a topic I enjoy discussing with Americans and non-Americans alike. I don't think there are many people so willing to criticize their own country as I am. Just like any storied company or baseball team, the health of of the United States rests on its ability to reinvent itself when it needs to. We've got a lot of problems here, but to declare the American Dream dead is positively moronic. Here in the SF Bay Area there've been enough immigrant started global companies to buy New Zealand twice over.

Ask 100 BA, BS, Masters or PhD level foreigners with a free Green Card or equivalent where they'd move their families to roll the dice of life and I'd wager 95+ would select the United States. And the reason is that the dream is alive and well. It's true that, in part, the dream lives on due to the relative piss poor comparisons made by 99% of all other destinations. Even considering this I have Google, Tesla, PayPal, Apple, and Oracle all in my backyard as just a handful of companies started by first or second generation immigrants. Where else can you find this kind of story I ask? Europe? NZ? Australia? China? Japan? Korea? There's no other place like the United States, it remains the gold standard for this particular endeavor...raising yourself up from nothing and becoming a king.

What a truly imbecilic story.
 
jetblueguy22
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:43 am

Quoting sccutler (Reply 1):
The guy is loony and, like many in academia, has not the faintest clue of what happens beyond his insulated campus world.

Nailed it.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 5):
You're just reacting to the fact that's he's correct. I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, it must be time for a "let them eat cake" moment.

I don't think we have the same definition of poor. I have trouble calling people poor when they have iPhone 6s and HBO. You should walk into a social security office in the US. It's almost comical that so many people need checks to survive, yet are playing candy crush on their iPad airs.

Quoting photopilot (Reply 8):
Yup, all those fast-food workers protesters wanting a higher minimum wage, or those WallyMart workers out protesting this week. For sure they're just so damn happy to be told they're living the American Dream.... NOT!!!

Then fix your situation. The fact that these people think they deserve 15 bucks an hour stocking shelves is comical. Takes about 2 minutes to learn to do that job. The American Dream requires hard work. Walmart is not hard work.

Quoting TheCommodore (Reply 23):
at least for himself, and God strike down anyone for questioning that, its Anti-American you know !

Nobody gets angry because people question American ideals. People get mad when others sit and say it's all a fallacy, meanwhile plenty of people have shown otherwise.

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 24):
The American Dream isn't that you will be gifted a life of wealth and privilege, but instead that with hard work and intelligence you may be able to move up the social ladder. You aren't guaranteed to move up, but the opportunity exists for those willing to chase it.

  . The American dream doesn't mean any job you have will ensure wealth. You have to work to create that wealth.

There is an American Dream. But you have to earn it. Everybody wants to get rich, but nobody wants to put in the work. That's what kills the American dream. Don't believe me? I'm begging people to come to apply to work at my company. You get a great starting wage, fully funded healthcare after one year, vacation time, 401K plan, and the opportunity to move up in a few years and earn up to 100k a year. Do you know how many people want to work through that time to eventually move up? Almost none. Of the 40+ people I've seen come through the doors the last year only 1 has stuck around long enough to have the opportunity, and he worked his tail off to get it. Another example of someone who came from nothing who will end up making a lot of $$. It's easy for an academic who is probably earning 100k a year to brush it off and say it's dead. It's another for him to actually go out and get a job in the real world.
Pat
Look at sweatpants guy. This is a 90 million dollar aircraft, not a Tallahassee strip club
 
AeroWesty
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:55 am

I'm truly amazed that most of the replies define the American Dream as an economic goal, which is losing sight of what it was intended to be. The American Dream is an ideal for the good of mankind, not whether you can afford a Cadillac vs. a Chevy.
International Homo of Mystery
 
TheCommodore
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:21 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
There is an American Dream. But you have to earn it. Everybody wants to get rich, but nobody wants to put in the work. That's what kills the American dream.

This can be said about any country, its not exclusive to America or anywhere else.

Australia is called "the lucky country" sometimes, not just for the resources and assets it has, but some may also say, for the opportunities it affored's its citizens, if they want them, especially since the WW 11, when there was an understandable massive influx of immigrants.

Many of these "new" immigrants worked extremely hard, to underpin the success of their new adoptive country, and many became well off by doing so. Some did not too.

It also means other things to other people. Some see Australia a lucky because we are generally a very law abiding country, one that is stable and safe to live in, so Australia has become a sought after place to live because of this.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
People get mad when others sit and say it's all a fallacy,

So, you think he shouldn't have come to this conclusion, despite what the evidence he's looked at suggested, ignored it all and confined it to the rubbish bin.....?

I am no expert, but I don't think that's not what academy is about. Sure your findings can be challenged by others in the same field ,and this will lead to a healthy debate and hopefully the truth lies somewhere in-between.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
It's another for him to actually go out and get a job in the real world.

Well ok, but he's the academic in what could be described as one of the better Universities in the world. I presume they have good teachers etc, so he's the one who has studied the data and looked at the facts, this is his opinion of what he found.

I am not sure why you feel he's got some axe to grind and is anti american in his findings ?

Dose this Professor have some sort of history of being anti anti etc ?

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 24):
The American Dream is an ideal for the good of mankind, not whether you can afford a Cadillac vs. a Chevy.

Yes, thats my take on it as well, not just economically, despite some examples I have given in my previous posts.
“At first, they'll only dislike what you say, but the more correct you start sounding the more they'll dislike you.”
 
Cadet985
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:28 am

I was raised to think of the American Dream as being able to have more and be more successful than my parents. My mother was a paralegal - before the term existed, and my dad was a retail manager, and later a teacher. They always wanted me to have things better than they did, and be just a little more successful.

Sadly, due to the economy and a degree that I now believe is useless, I have no American Dream. I send out applications and resumes weekly for jobs for which I am suited, and have never even had an interview. Barring a miracle, the only chance I have for "The American Dream," is to leave America and that is a strong possibility within the next year or two.

IMHO, the American Dream is dead. The rich will keep getting richer, and the poor and middle classes will go nowhere.

I'm not sure who to blame, if there is someone to blame.

Marc
 
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Aaron747
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:40 am

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 26):

I know a lot of talented people who have met your predicament too. They did everything they were told - good grades, but not good enough for the top universities, completed degrees, got good work experience but somehow or another met with layoffs or another misfortune and have not been able to secure another job.

My friends who stayed home in the SF Bay Area have been fine provided they abandoned things they were passionate about, learned IT skills instead and gave their souls to Silicon Valley. For them the dream is still attainable...for others, not really.

A lot of people in their 30s have to face the reality they may not attain the quality of life their parents provided them growing up. That can be a hard adjustment for some people to make.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
Cadet985
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 3:59 am

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 27):

My predicament is that my degree is in a field where looks are everything - except unless you know somebody...and even though I interned at CNN, I didn't have an opportunity to meet anyone with hiring power...even though my supervisor - the show's executive producer loved me. I was an intern, doing the same work as production assistants, and in some cases...better and faster. But none of that matters when the show moves to another network, most of the staff moves on to different fields, and not one of the twelve interns in the NYC office at the time I was there was offered employment.

You know, my best friend called me this morning. He's a smart guy. He has a BA and a MA in electrical engineering. He decided to strike out on his own, move back to the country he was born (Israel), and start a life. He works in a call center - surprisingly, they're moving out of India, but I can't say what company because they want people to think they're talking to Americans (and in his particular department, there are Americans, Brits, Canadians, Africans, French, Spanish, Germans...everyone). You, Commodore, pretty much anyone who's read anything I've posted in the last year plus know that I love Israel. He was pretty much pleading with me to move out there. It's hard to explain to someone that you want to move and get your life going, but can't because you're an only child, and have no way of getting back here god forbid something happens to my parents or uncle.

What is a person in my predicament supposed to do?

Marc
 
Ken777
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:55 am

Quoting Airstud (Reply 3):

I don't think it's an interesting article, I think it's a left-wing academe trying to make a case for socialism.
Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 5):
That is true - and there seems to be a direct correlation with the increase in government social spending and the expansion of government regulations and a decrease in the ability of smaller entities (such as the states) to slow the rate of federal growth.

If you want to look at "social spending" take a hard look at the hidden social spending. Robert J. Samuelson delivers a pretty good article on it and he is about as far from a liberal as you are going to find - without going off the deep end of those radicalized conservatives in the TP.

Quote:

Direct government spending isn’t the only way that societies provide social services. They also channel payments through private companies, encouraged, regulated and subsidized by government. This is what the United States does, notably with employer-provided health insurance (which is subsidized by government by not counting employer contributions as taxable income) and tax-favored retirement savings accounts.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinio...-11e4-a755-e32227229e7b_story.html

So it looks like your tax free ride on employer nanny care AND your tax free contributions are not only welfare programs, but are on such a scale as to put the US welfare state in second place - right behind France.

And, it would be interesting how much these hidden welfare programs have contributed to our national debt. My guess? At lest half over the past 25 years.

Remember that Samuelson is a conservative economist and is almost as famous as his dad was.

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 8):
Are there things that we can improve on in the USA. Access for more for affordable health care,.Less violence (especially gun violence). Improve our K-12 public educational systems so all get high quality basic education.. Cheaper college education. Better and smarter regulation of banking and financial services. Less hostile police, especially to persons of color. Reduce the corruption of our elected government officials especially as more money = more access to them.

That's a long list - and one we should be working on.

Health care? We are twice as expensive because we have such a high level of cost shifting: people getting treated and not able to pay. Go to a big city ER any night of the week and look at the folks that are wait hours to be treated. Taking a guess, you would hope at least half have insurance. You'd be optimistic. Move to a system of core care provided by a Medicare type program and you cut out the NEED to have cost shifting. That, using my experience of joint US & Aussie experience, allows private insurance to be cut 80%. Same quality of medicine, but conservatives (who should be able to figure this out) will fight it until their death.

Our Second Amendment eliminates the ability to reduce gun violence - it is just on to continue to increase over time.

Improving the education system is an oddball issue. I live in Tulsa where one of the top schools is a traditionally black high school - and now a magnet school. But we still spend a fortune on "bussing for balance". Maybe we need to take those funds and flow it into schools in lower income areas - ensuring that they are funded at higher levels than the higher income areas. Make those schools very competitive and parents are going to want to have their kids go there.

If you want less expensive college educations then first get rid of the middle men in student loans. There is no reason (except for political bribes) for banks ti get money from the government at 1% and then charge college kids huge interest rates. Move all student to the current government plan and you are making a very good start at building for a better economy down the road.

Second, take a hard look at the grossly overpriced textbooks. We should be able to hire a group of professors to write a generic book for, say, Calculus, and deliver it to the student electronically and for free. Same with a lot of other courses, in business and sciences. A generic package could include course work, sample tests, etc.

Want a hint at the type of generic ebooks that could be developed? Take a look at:

www.khanacademy.org

Excessive tuition & fees? Reward schools that hold down costs with research grants, and take that grant money from the most expensive schools.

And remember that Rick Perry wanted state schools in Texas to deliver a university degree for $10,000. He's the first conservative who has show he really understands the issues.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 10):
Of course you do, its based on wealth and social status.

That is one hell of a graph!

Quoting sccutler (Reply 11):
Our fundamental problem is the increasing interference, by an excessively grasping and powerful federal government, into the freedom and liberty of its citizens.

I see the states grabbing power as much as the federal government - especially in areas like abortion, health care and what is taught in schools.

Personally I worry about states having a strong set of rights as it allows them to abuse the concept of equal protection for all. We are one nation and states should not be allowed to deliver lower standards because of some religion belief or because of political beliefs. State rights have been shown to diminish the things like health care, education and rights of their citizens.

Quoting mham001 (Reply 12):
And minimum wage jobs have never been meant to live on, there is plenty of evidence that working two jobs has been a common theme among the poor for centuries.

So two parents work two jobs and then we wonder why their children get into some serious problems?

Stop worrying about how poor people should work 2 or 3 jobs and focus on the corporate welfare that low minimum wage jobs delivers.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
The fact that these people think they deserve 15 bucks an hour stocking shelves is comical. Takes about 2 minutes to learn to do that job.

And a lot of hard, physical work to do the job properly .

The point you don't want to address is that the upper management and executive levels depend on a million+ low level workers to keep the stores stocked so sales can be made. Walmart cannot operate without low level personnel stocking the store and performing other basic jobs like checking customers out and cleaning up after spills.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
Walmart is not hard work.

You've gotta be kidding! That company expects you to hussle and are quick to replace those who do not.
 
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Kiwirob
Posts: 13416
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:15 am

Quoting Alias1024 (Reply 18):
While it would be silly so suggest that class differences don't exist in the US, you missed the key word in his statement....rigid.

I disagree, class structure is based on income in the US, if you're born into a poor family you will most likely stay in that income bracket yourself. You have a better chance of moving upwards in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway

Quote:
One interesting study examined the probability that a son will remain in his father's income quintile, where a quintile represents one-fifth of the population ranked from lowest to highest income. In that study of six countries (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States), the data demonstrate that 42 percent of the American sons of fathers born in the poorest quintile landed in the poorest quintile themselves. This rate of the persistence of poverty was far higher than the 30 percent found in the United Kingdom and well above the 25 percent to 28 percent range found in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, and Norway.
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 23):
I don't think we have the same definition of poor. I have trouble calling people poor when they have iPhone 6s and HBO. You should walk into a social security office in the US. It's almost comical that so many people need checks to survive, yet are playing candy crush on their iPad airs.

That would mbe poor people making poor choices, hence the reason I think people on welfare should never be given cash sincen they don't know how to use it responsibly.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 7:54 am

We can get into the semantics of it all and the view of guy from a some top school but at the end of the day....what it means to me is this:

Both my mother and father grew up during a dictatorship in Portugal. They risked everything they (didn't) have to move to the US in 1980. They had me and my brothers and all they wanted was for us to have more opportunity than they ever had. We all turned out well and live well with great jobs, salaries, and homes. To boot I live in Hawaii, the best state in the US  

Are we living the "American Dream"? Yup. Are we grateful for the sacrifice? Yup. Am I gonna sit here and let people crap all over it? Yup. Because that's their right and it's mine to make the most of what I was given.

That's all that needs to be said really. Argue how you will...
“They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into. I say, let 'em crash.”
 
BMI727
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 9:26 am

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
What do you think ?

"Social class" doesn't make a ton of difference when even poor people have cars and flat screen TVs.

I know of one guy who turned down a decent paying blue collar job because it would mean losing his rent free apartment. The one he has a large HD TV sitting in.

And using statistics of Latinos dropping out of school to support the case? I've never heard of a version of the American dream that didn't include quite a bit of schooling. That's like people complaining that they didn't make the Major Leagues when they never bothered to learn how to play baseball.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 27):
My friends who stayed home in the SF Bay Area have been fine provided they abandoned things they were passionate about, learned AND Irtysh-Avia (Kazakhstan)">IT skills instead and gave their souls to Silicon Valley.

When the hell did this happen? Why can't work be work? You don't have to love every minute of it and if you expect work to be recreation instead of something you do to enable recreation then you'll spend a lot of time not being very happy. Somehow that train got derailed.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
So it looks like your tax free ride on employer nanny care AND your tax free contributions are not only welfare programs,

This weekend many Americans got themselves some good Black Friday deals, and I guarantee you not one of them was schlepping their $150 Xbox to the parking lot talking about the money the store had just given them. Take that BS math elsewhere and find some other justification to gore the middle class.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
We are twice as expensive because we have such a high level of cost shifting: people getting treated and not able to pay.

It's because you're treating people who can't pay. If they can't pay, why should they be treated?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
But we still spend a fortune on "bussing for balance".

Busing is a horrendous policy.

The K-12 public education system first and foremost serves the local population. There should be some baseline of federal and state funding and standards, but as much as responsibility as possible should be left to the local communities. Let them decide how to best educate their kids.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
If you want less expensive college educations then first get rid of the middle men in student loans. There is no reason (except for political bribes) for banks ti get money from the government at 1% and then charge college kids huge interest rates. Move all student to the current government plan and you are making a very good start at building for a better economy down the road.

It's amazing that liberals don't learn. This issue doesn't call for more government intervention, it calls for less.

Government policy (mostly supported by liberals) encouraged and sometimes dictated providing a certain number of mortgages to lower income people who were less likely to pay off the debt. And then people looked around in shock when the economy imploded because those people couldn't pay off the debt.

If you owe the bank $100, you have a problem. If you owe the bank $1000, the bank has a problem. All you have to do is let the banks avoid problems. The reason banks get 1% interest rates and college kids don't is because the banks have billions in assets and other income while the student is a few years from working at Starbucks. Let the banks manage their own risks: when kids get student aid packages with lower interest rates to study accounting than art history they'll get the message. Same for a Top 20 law school versus a regional school.

And let's face it, the reason someone with a six figure education working at Starbucks defaults on their student loan isn't a couple percentage points on the interest rate.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 29):
Reward schools that hold down costs with research grants, and take that grant money from the most expensive schools.

That stacks stupid on top of stupid because you're incentivizing the wrong things. Schools become focused on cost rather than quality.

And even dumber is tying to research, so now not only have you made it good business to be a diploma factory, but you're also getting worse return for research investment because you've tied it to something unrelated. It's like NASA giving Coca-Cola a contract for a space station because they've done great keeping the vending machines stocked with cheap drinks.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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Aaron747
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 10:13 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
When the hell did this happen? Why can't work be work? You don't have to love every minute of it and if you expect work to be recreation instead of something you do to enable recreation then you'll spend a lot of time not being very happy.

You're not reading between the lines. This isn't about 'work should be fun!' BS. It's about people who went into business for themselves, did pretty well, but had to get into Silly Valley anyway in order to stay because the huge salaries at Google and Facebook are pricing everyone in the region out of the housing market. An old buddy from high school was doing pretty well with the sports bar he opened, but in the 8 years he ran the place, housing prices went up 45%.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
It's because you're treating people who can't pay. If they can't pay, why should they be treated?

Because only morally bankrupt societies allow people to needlessly die.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
The K-12 public education system first and foremost serves the local population. There should be some baseline of federal and state funding and standards, but as much as responsibility as possible should be left to the local communities. Let them decide how to best educate their kids.

In terms of curriculum, sure, it makes sense to allow for local control. How kids are educated will be dictated by local values for sure. Funding, not so sure. Where funds are derived from local property taxes, you get situations like Los Angeles County: super high schools in West LA where half the kids are in AP classes from their sophomore year on, and shitty high schools in East LA where even IF someone were inclined to work hard and escape the barrio, they can't, because 1. their school failed to achieve accreditation and 2. if accredited, their school doesn't have the budget for the AP class count required for acceptance to the University of California. So much for opportunity. A simple equalization of the tax revenues countywide would move toward solving that problem, but there's no way the Beverly Hills people would allow that.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
That stacks stupid on top of stupid because you're incentivizing the wrong things. Schools become focused on cost rather than quality.

They already are - that's why it's impossible to get Coke machines and Pizza Hut out of the cafeteria. Coupled with inflated public pensions, you have a world of wrong incentives all under one roof.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Government policy (mostly supported by liberals) encouraged and sometimes dictated providing a certain number of mortgages to lower income people who were less likely to pay off the debt. And then people looked around in shock when the economy imploded because those people couldn't pay off the debt.

True. But don't forget that the banks are leeches - they sauced both parties so they could ensure mortgage-backed securities became a look-the-other-way cottage industry, and still won out when it all went south.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
JJJ
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 11:35 am

Pretty sad headline grabbing here.

It's been known for quite a few years already that the US is behind other advanced countries in social mobility, but to label that as the end of the American Dream is just the usual short attention span headline BS. The American Dream is as strong as it's always been (social mobility in the US has stayed flat for decades), it's just that other countries present better opportunities.

Here's a New Yorker article from almost a year ago, dealing with the publishing of a similar paper, and whose conclusions are perfectly valid.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-c...llen-what-it-means-and-doesnt-mean
 
Rara
Posts: 2310
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:17 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 34):
Pretty sad headline grabbing here.

.. by the Daily Mail.

Quoting sccutler (Reply 11):
Nope, not even close. Assuming (for the sake of discussion) that the core data are correct, the conclusions drawn are unsupportable.

Elaborate? What are the conclusions, and in what way are they unsupportable?

Quoting mham001 (Reply 12):
The problem we have with Hispanics in this wave is that their culture does not stress good education. That they don't succeed is not indicative of lack of opportunity, which is all the "American Dream" offers.

Yes, that's pretty much the man's point.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
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casinterest
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:35 pm

Quoting TheCommodore (Thread starter):
Well, just read this in todays paper, interesting article.

What do you think ?

The American Dream is not dead. End of story.
Their is still massive opportunity in this country to change your social status. You just have to be willing to work for it.

There are some imbalances, as there are everywhere in terms of cost and accessibility, but in general the dream is still alive.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did..So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.--Mark Twain
 
Flighty
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 4:45 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
You're just reacting to the fact that's he's correct. I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, it must be time for a "let them eat cake" moment.

I agree, but only to a limited extent.

There are 2 American dreams, and always have been. The first is for the median person. That's not going well. Wage competition and increased costs in education and healthcare and housing have decimated the disposable income of the median person. He feels poorer, and in some cases he is. What do those 3 things have in common, they are all heavily government subsidized, & increasingly so. It should beg the question if subsidies caused this problem. And if low wages could be remedied by blocking undocumented workers, and curtailing skilled worker permits, etc.

The other American dream is for the most talented 1-3%. (I will ignore heirs, who do well everywhere). This American dream, that your talent will be rewarded in America, is still a big success. The top 1-3% talent pool live very well here. If you assume that half of the top 5% of households are self-made, that's still a very nice $232,000 household income. That's a minimum figure, not the average, for the group. According to Wash Post.

[Edited 2014-12-01 08:47:57]
 
Alias1024
Posts: 2789
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 5:59 pm

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
I disagree, class structure is based on income in the US, if you're born into a poor family you will most likely stay in that income bracket yourself. You have a better chance of moving upwards in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway

I disagree. I think you're looking at things far too simplistically. Current income is not the be all, end all of class in the US. Assets matter, or did my parents social class change when they retired and their income dropped? They still socialize with the same people, dine at the same restaurants, shop at the same stores. At the other end if the spectrum, think about people starting their careers. How about a doctor in residency? Sure, they can't afford the country club membership now on their $50k salary, but their social circle looks a hell of a lot different than my brother's making $50k a year as a machinist.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
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zckls04
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 6:02 pm

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
"Social class" doesn't make a ton of difference when even poor people have cars and flat screen TVs.

I know this is a bit flippant, but people love to use this line as though owning a flat screen TV is representative of incredible opulence, despite the fact that it has been impossible to buy a non-flat-screen TV for at least five years.
Four Granavox Turbines!
 
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Kiwirob
Posts: 13416
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:15 pm

Quoting Cadet985 (Reply 28):
but can't because you're an only child, and have no way of getting back here god forbid something happens to my parents or uncle.

I have to call you out on this, you make all sorts of excuses for not actually doing anything with your life, if you keep on making excuses you'll never find employment, nobody will want to employ you, that boat will pass you buy and you'll end up wasting your life. If something happens to your parents or uncle you get on a plane and come home. Get on the plane go to Israel, stop mooching off mum and dad, be a man and make something of your life.

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 39):
I know this is a bit flippant, but people love to use this line as though owning a flat screen TV is representative of incredible opulence, despite the fact that it has been impossible to buy a non-flat-screen TV for at least five years.

You can get a 50 inch LCD TV for 2000 NOK, it's not a great picture, still better than a CRT, but for most they won't care.
 
Ken777
Posts: 10153
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:19 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Take that BS math elsewhere and find some other justification to gore the middle class.

Samuelson isn't conservative enough for you?         

Me thinks that you are just upset to read that a respected conservative economist has made it clear that those tax free rides you are enjoying is welfare. You want to cut government spending? You know two very big ticket items right there.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
It's because you're treating people who can't pay. If they can't pay, why should they be treated?

Those same hospitals are quire happy with their non profit status and ALL those tax dollars it saves. Even doctors are grateful for people who donate their bodies to science as it gives them critical time in a disecting lab with the body provided for free. Actually those new med school grads should be grateful for the patients who let them learn medicine in the real world by practicing on them.

Of course, the other side of the coin is the large group of Trial Lawyers who are ready to address issues where patients are tossed out in the streets and suffer because of that.

So the poor get treated for free and you employer nanny care goes up (limiting your annual bonus or raise - or both) buy you are happy with that because you don't feel you are on welfare. Reality is that you are probably costing the government as much as some bum on skid row. Or homeless veteran.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
The K-12 public education system first and foremost serves the local population.

It serves the nation as much as the local cities. Guess what has produced all those high school grads that have served in the military. Pretty impressive IMO.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
This issue doesn't call for more government intervention, it calls for less.

Remember the basic fact: These Student Loans are GOVERNMENT BACKED. The banks face zero risk. If the government is paying for defaults then lets put the entire program in the government hands because this program calls for zero bank intervention.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Let the banks manage their own risks:

There is zero risk and abnormally high profits.

Maybe banks should be paid $50 or $100 to establish the documents for the loan, but then they are not needed.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
when kids get student aid packages with lower interest rates to study accounting than art history they'll get the message.

Sadly we believe that students should be education in multiple areas. meaning that a math student needs to have some liberal arts education - and vice-versa. Since you really hate art history how about political science for students wanting to go to law school?

And when we have too many accountants or engineers what are you going to do? The more engineers we train the
more attractive it will be for your boss to replace you with someone who will work for 25% less. That old Supply & Demand issue applies to you as well - especially if you don't spend a lot of time on CE efforts. I can remember when HP had each of their engineers spend a day every week in studying emerging technologies. Hope you ensure that no new grads for the next 30 years graduate with more advanced knowledge than you do.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
That stacks stupid on top of stupid because you're incentivizing the wrong things.

Really? Start delivering research grants to state schools that are bringing down costs and they are going to start getting resumes from profs that have lost jobs because of lost grants. That, in turn, will increase the exposure the students in state schools get to excellent professors. And that, in turn, will save you (a young taxpayer) money over the long run.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
Schools become focused on cost rather than quality.

Schools have long known how to play the game with the financial sector - at some horrific costs to the students and their parents. You might assume that those increases in college costs are worth it, even when those increases are far greater than the country's COLA increases. I don't believe it and never have. For many courses a well funded AP course in high school can do the job AND can cut off 25% of the time needed to get a traditional 4 year degree (or 20% off of a 5 year degree.) Run the numbers and see how much extra you paid for your degree without that core first year taken at a quality high school.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 32):
And even dumber is tying to research, so now not only have you made it good business to be a diploma factory, but you're also getting worse return for research investment because you've tied it to something unrelated.

Don't kid yourself. If you move grant money to school bringing costs down you are going to find those quality profs working hard to get a job where the research dollars are. If this happens to be a state school then you as a taxpayer will gain even more over the years.
 
Cadet985
Posts: 2256
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 1:21 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 40):
Get on the plane go to Israel, stop mooching off mum and dad, be a man and make something of your life.

There's no guarantee I'd go there and be any better off than I am here. The only guarantee there is that I know a few people that live there (hence one of the reasons I get so defensive about Israel).

And just for the record - not to start an argument - I don't mooch. I get SSD payments because of my back and other issues until I find employment, and hold it for a certain period, and I contribute to household expenses. I don't mooch. My dad (my mom is in a nursing home) has never asked for a penny from me; I contribute because I want to. Also note that at any time, I am subject to examination by a doctor chosen by the government to see if I still qualify. If asked, I am also required to prove that I am seeking employment - something I can easily prove.

You can call me a lot of things, but please don't call me a freeloader, a mooch, or anything like that. It's my dad and I living here, plus the dog.

Marc
 
BMI727
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:19 am

Quoting zckls04 (Reply 39):
I know this is a bit flippant, but people love to use this line as though owning a flat screen TV is representative of incredible opulence, despite the fact that it has been impossible to buy a non-flat-screen TV for at least five years.

That's just how cheap and ubiquitous they are. You could set the contents of people's living rooms in a warehouse and I bet the stuff of the family making $50k a year doesn't look that much different than the family making $250k per year.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Samuelson isn't conservative enough for you?

The arithmetic isn't liberal or conservative. It's just wrong.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
You want to cut government spending? You know two very big ticket items right there.

First of all, I really hope you and the rest of those who peddle this garbage are just obfuscating and aren't genuinely ignorant of elementary school level math.

Secondly, you're advocating deliberately unleashing financial torture on the middle class solely so the system will fail and you can replace it with something worse.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
So the poor get treated for free

That's the problem. Nobody thinks it's worth picking up their bill so why should I? I don't have a purpose for them.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Or homeless veteran.

They already have the VA.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
It serves the nation as much as the local cities. G

And that's where you have it hopelessly backwards. Schools don't exist for the community. Schools exist for the students. Going to school isn't a duty to the country, it's a duty to oneself.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Remember the basic fact: These Student Loans are GOVERNMENT BACKED.

Nothing ever went wrong with the government backing mortgages...

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
If the government is paying for defaults then lets put the entire program in the government hands because this program calls for zero bank intervention.

As a taxpayer, the last thing I want is to spend my money subsidizing kids to learn French and how to make a latte. Your whole idea is that you want a system that won't punish stupidity.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Since you really hate art history how about political science for students wanting to go to law school?

They should have loans offered by banks based on projections of their ability to repay the loan.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 41):
Really? Start delivering research grants to state schools that are bringing down costs and they are going to start getting resumes from profs that have lost jobs because of lost grants. That, in turn, will increase the exposure the students in state schools get to excellent professors. And that, in turn, will save you (a young taxpayer) money over the long run.

Oh, okay. I get it now. Since Coke did such a great job delivering drinks, we'll have NASA give them the contract for a new spacecraft. And we'll keep renewing the contract because eventually they'll figure it out and hire the right people and build the right factory to actually maybe deliver something. Never mind the fact that giving the contract to someone who knows what they're doing would accomplish the goal quicker with lower cost, we have to reward those with a strong track record of cheapness.  
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
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Aaron747
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 2:37 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
That's the problem. Nobody thinks it's worth picking up their bill so why should I? I don't have a purpose for them.

Society does, which you are a part of.

Karma can be a bitch - would be wise to avoid holding tight to such attitudes, since you know, anybody can have an accident on a rainy highway at night. Would you want the passerby to think 'oh that injured guy looks like he needs help' or 'sucks to be him. I can't be late to my buddy's beer pong party'? Sheesh.
If you need someone to blame / throw a rock in the air / you'll hit someone guilty
 
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zckls04
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 3:30 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
That's just how cheap and ubiquitous they are. You could set the contents of people's living rooms in a warehouse and I bet the stuff of the family making $50k a year doesn't look that much different than the family making $250k per year

$50k isn't poor- that's the median household income in the states. Try $20k. Still think your "bet" is a smart one?

Nice way to demonstrate what an ivory tower you live in though.   
Four Granavox Turbines!
 
zhiao
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:52 am

RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:20 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 4):
I personally feel the US is ripe for social change, poor are getting poorer, the middle class is shrinking and getting poorer, the rich are getting richer, it must be time for a "let them eat cake" moment.

Not true (first link). Plus the US middle class actually has over 50% more disposable income than New Zealand's even AFTER adjusting for prices. lol.

http://crfb.org/sites/default/files/..._after_tax_income_1979_to_2011.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_household_income

You know how many articles from NZ I have read about how wages and household incomes are so low in NZ vs other places. You should seriously look at your own country instead of your constant obsession
with the USA.

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 30):
I disagree, class structure is based on income in the US, if you're born into a poor family you will most likely stay in that income bracket yourself. You have a better chance of moving upwards in the UK, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway

But what's middle class is a much higher income than in other countries, thus it's harder to go from 1 to 6 than 1 to 4. And what's rich in the US is MUCH higher than in other countries thus making it much
more difficult to attain in the US. According to household income analysis from 2008, the top 20% in USA make literally 60% more than in most other places. You completely missed this. It's not that there is less social mobility, but rather
the fact that incomes are much more spread out and higher that it literally is much harder to go from A to B. In Scandinavia it's obviously going to be easier to go from bottom to middle or middle to bottom when their income distribution
is much more linear. In the US it's not linear at all .

Quoting JJJ (Reply 34):
The American Dream is as strong as it's always been (social mobility in the US has stayed flat for decades), it's just that other countries present better opportunities.

What countries? The US is by far the number one destination for skilled immigrants. Social mobility is irrelevant because many of these people come already educated and with resources, and also as I mentioned above, our social immobility is more of a numerical myth.

[Edited 2014-12-01 21:21:20]

[Edited 2014-12-01 21:25:03]

[Edited 2014-12-01 21:33:58]
 
zhiao
Posts: 479
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RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:30 am

New Zealand low wages:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post...24465/New-Zealanders-get-low-wages

OECD says:

"In New-Zealand, the average household net-adjusted disposable income per capita is 21 773 USD a year, LESS than the OECD average of 23 938 USD a year.
But there is a considerable gap between the richest and poorest –the top 20% of the population earn five times as much as the bottom 20%."

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/countries/new-zealand/
 
Ken777
Posts: 10153
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:40 am

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
The arithmetic isn't liberal or conservative. It's just wrong.

Did you get your PhD in Economics before or after your engineering degree?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Secondly, you're advocating deliberately unleashing financial torture on the middle class solely so the system will fail and you can replace it with something worse.

Many generations seemed to be able to do OK without your tax free ride on 401Ks - what makes you so special that you need what tax free ride while the national debt explodes?

As far as that tax free ride for employer nanny care - it has caused our health care costs to explode where we are now double what better run health care systems are. At a minimum you should be paying taxes on that part of your compensation, just as you do on the main part of your compensation package. But that still doesn't address cost shifting and you'll keep your head in the sand when it comes to that issue.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
They already have the VA.

        

Guess you don't read the news.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 43):
Nothing ever went wrong with the government backing mortgages...

The banks don't seem to have a problem with their no risk game - no need to make it look dangerous. There is, however, a need to recognize that total privately managed student debt is out of hand. Recently there was a comment that it was approaching the total debt on auto loans. As that grown it is going to put some hard pressures on our economy - all so banks can make some easy money at the expense of young grads. Actually over grads as well.

Quoting zhiao (Reply 46):
Not true (first link). Plus the US middle class actually has over 50% more disposable income than New Zealand's even AFTER adjusting for prices. lol.

You need to look at some costs that don't impact incomes like in the US. They have more health care via a national health system and it's pretty good based on what I have been told by a US doctor who worked there for a year.

NewZealand (as well as Australia) has an effective mass transit system, eliminating the need for a second car (or even a first). In Australia I found it far easier and cheaper to take a bus from an outer suburb to down town (the CBD) that it was to drive. These days it is even easier as a commuter train system has been developed to the northern suburbs,

Looking at incomes alone doesn't show that great a picture.

Quoting zhiao (Reply 46):
You know how many articles from NZ I have read about how wages and household incomes are so low in NZ vs other places. You should seriously look at your own country instead of your constant obsession
with the USA.

I've been to Auckland a few times on business and the place is not only beautiful, but people tend to be doing OK. The roads were well maintained, business appeared to be going well and I really didn't see the poverty that is so easy to spot in the US.
 
zhiao
Posts: 479
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 4:52 am

RE: 'There Is No American Dream'

Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:41 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 37):
That's not going well. Wage competition and increased costs in education and healthcare and housing have decimated the disposable income of the median person

Oh really? According to actual facts, education and healthcare represent a combined 9% of total expenditures.

http://www.bls.gov/cex/tables.htm

As far as housing:

"In the United States, households on average spend 19% of their gross adjusted disposable income on keeping a roof over their heads, below the OECD average of 21%."

http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/housing/

And that's in spite of much larger homes.

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