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Old 06-30-2012, 07:21 AM   #61
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So much bias and misinformation. Always question the source. I listen to and read a range of info from NPR (longtime listener) to the occasional FOX broadcast. One morning NPR had a guest who emphatically stated that 1/7 persons in the US is "hungry". At first glance, this seems like it could be true. But you see I've been in the US for 48 years, now living in the poorest state in the union with the largest percentage on government assistance and with rare exception, the only "skinny" people are those with mental illness and those suffereing from other chronic diseases (to include alcoholism and drug addiction). Now this person is suggesting that 1/7 persons (or 43 million Americans) are not getting enough food. But the wording used was "hungry". Hell, count me in the 1/7 because I'm hungry right now. Although we all suffer from bias, do my eyes lie? Are 1/7 persons I see on a daily basis really not having enough to eat. We think not. Question the source.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:43 AM   #62
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So much bias and misinformation. Always question the source.
That's why I get my news from The Onion It's the one source I never have to question.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:52 AM   #63
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One morning NPR had a guest who emphatically stated that 1/7 persons in the US is "hungry".
Maybe the guest was using a definition of 'hungry' that he couldn't explain for fear the listeners would think they'd tuned into The Onion radio show.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:11 PM   #64
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So much bias and misinformation. Always question the source. I listen to and read a range of info from NPR (longtime listener) to the occasional FOX broadcast. One morning NPR had a guest who emphatically stated that 1/7 persons in the US is "hungry". At first glance, this seems like it could be true. But you see I've been in the US for 48 years, now living in the poorest state in the union with the largest percentage on government assistance and with rare exception, the only "skinny" people are those with mental illness and those suffereing from other chronic diseases (to include alcoholism and drug addiction). Now this person is suggesting that 1/7 persons (or 43 million Americans) are not getting enough food. But the wording used was "hungry". Hell, count me in the 1/7 because I'm hungry right now. Although we all suffer from bias, do my eyes lie? Are 1/7 persons I see on a daily basis really not having enough to eat. We think not. Question the source.
Just looking at the woman in her van in the Rolling Stone article should convince that she is unlikely to be hungry. She is likely carrying enough fat to live 4-6 months on water and vitamin pills.

Still, hunger is not the only issue. It is one that tends to be easily accepted. Most of us hate to be hungry.
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #65
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That's why I get my news from The Onion It's the one source I never have to question.
Excellent plan!
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:01 PM   #66
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So much bias and misinformation. Always question the source. I listen to and read a range of info from NPR (longtime listener) to the occasional FOX broadcast. Question the source.
Yeah, I'd be questioning those sources right now...
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:08 PM   #67
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You use an old address and have the the local Post Office hold mail for pickup, or forward to General Delivery at a new post office. Works for college students without a permanent address (yeah, homeless, but in denial...).
The Post Office will not hold mail for an extended time for pickup. Forwarding to another permanent address will work. Better to rent a box at a business that specializes in that service
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:13 AM   #68
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Just looking at the woman in her van in the Rolling Stone article should convince that she is unlikely to be hungry. She is likely carrying enough fat to live 4-6 months on water and vitamin pills.

Still, hunger is not the only issue. It is one that tends to be easily accepted. Most of us hate to be hungry.
Ha, the reason why I enjoy your opining so much is you will actually post only what I dare to think
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:12 PM   #69
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Pointer to an interesting article that leads into more discussion about where we might be going: The Hollowing Out. There are several take-away points:
  • Rapid technology change is now eliminating jobs much quicker than they can be replaced. The graphic in the article is complex, but does a good job of portraying the result of various forces at play. Each time we come out of a recession there is a sea change in employment.
  • People might best compete with a machine, than against a machine. I see evidence of this a lot in my meanderings through megacorp and with freelance clients. In a small healthcare provider, younger individuals, usually just out of college or high school, really take off with technology. One young lady, just a high school graduate, really took to Quickbooks. She helped the company cut the cord from a costly MS product (Solomon). I was impressed by her ability to replace the older machine with a newer one. Actually I handled the technical aspects, but she showed no fear in taking on all business aspects of the software and accounting challenges.
A younger writer in megacorp came up to me today and mentioned he is spending more time now trying to understand economic forces and what the future holds in the way of jobs. He'll be ok, as he does compete with the machine rather than against it.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:38 PM   #70
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Pointer to an interesting article that leads into more discussion about where we might be going: The Hollowing Out. There are several take-away points:
I don't buy it.

The employment / population ratio not rebounding after a recession has other likely and widely accepted explanations. The economy took off after the '00-'01 recession. Those who can be supported by their SO's income often don't return to the workforce at such times. The ratio didn't rebound after the last recession because of deep uncertainty about future labor costs. Also remember there are many definitions of 'employment'. People usually pick the one most favorable to their argument.

In my experience people using examples to support their point of view usually pick the strongest ones they can find. The author gave these two examples of how automation has replaced people:

Employers also needed people if they wanted lots of physical tasks done, including driving a truck or vacuuming a floor. The same with most tasks involving sensory perception, such as determining if a soccer ball has crossed a goal line.

Electronic aids to officiating have not changed the number of officials in any of the sports I'm familiar with.

One of the clients of the consulting firm I worked for wanted to know how automated rack pickers and pallet movers would affect their IT infrastructure. The automation vendor had their spiel, the firm wanted a second opinion. During system analysis we always ask why they're examining fundamental change. The cost of forklift drivers and product pickers didn't justify the automation. It was the cost of mistakes made by unmotivated, stoned, hungover workers that made the automation worth while. The consequences of one forklift driver saying 'watch this' to his co-workers then knocking over a rack can be staggering. Sometimes the workers are largely responsible for automation replacing jobs. Shipping lines and ports didn't shoulder the enormous cost of replacing bulk cargo with containers for more efficiency and lower labor costs. They did it because the dock workers were stealing or damaging too much cargo.
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Old 07-11-2012, 02:58 PM   #71
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So, here's a question: How much of the 'middle class' is/was just a facade supported by easy credit?

"Nice house, nice car, nice boat, nice vacations....too bad you're spending $3 for every $1 you make..."

Did the middle class die a long, long time ago but kept itself looking good through 'makeup'? Did it ever really exist?

No agenda here, just wondering out loud.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #72
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So, here's a question: How much of the 'middle class' is/was just a facade supported by easy credit?

"Nice house, nice car, nice boat, nice vacations....too bad you're spending $3 for every $1 you make..."

Did the middle class die a long, long time ago but kept itself looking good through 'makeup'? Did it ever really exist?

No agenda here, just wondering out loud.
What a fascinating idea. I think I grew up in the middle class and have managed to progress somewhat upward. This feeling is based on income and possessions, of course. The reason we didn't fall out of the middle class during the last recession is largely due to our total lack of credit balances. Now that I look back on my adult life, I am impressed by what my parents passed on in the way of finances. If you can't pay the entire balance, don't use the credit card.

I think there is some truth in your analogy of 'makeup'.
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:03 AM   #73
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What a fascinating idea. I think I grew up in the middle class and have managed to progress somewhat upward. This feeling is based on income and possessions, of course. The reason we didn't fall out of the middle class during the last recession is largely due to our total lack of credit balances. Now that I look back on my adult life, I am impressed by what my parents passed on in the way of finances. If you can't pay the entire balance, don't use the credit card.

I think there is some truth in your analogy of 'makeup'.
Thanks. I tend to think in broad strokes however, which often gets misinterpreted.

I'm sure there IS a 'middle class' but wonder how many others LOOK middle class but are just faking it through credit, hoping a better tomorrow comes before the bills are due.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #74
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So, here's a question: How much of the 'middle class' is/was just a facade supported by easy credit?

"Nice house, nice car, nice boat, nice vacations....too bad you're spending $3 for every $1 you make..."

Did the middle class die a long, long time ago but kept itself looking good through 'makeup'? Did it ever really exist?

No agenda here, just wondering out loud.
I buy this take on things. Easier and cheaper credit fueled increased housing consumption (newer, larger, nicer, more luxurious) and car consumption, along with consumer purchases. At some point "the middle class" maxed out their lines of credit and refinanced out all their equity.

I think one area where the middle class is still able to live the rich life is higher education. Plenty of money is on offer for those willing to borrow and live the high life for 4+ years.

The days are over when an average college grad can finish school, find a very high paid job, get a big new house and shiny new luxury car, plus all the other consumer goodies that go along with what some consider a middle class lifestyle. Strange bizarre things like down payments for houses are becoming more common these days, and many consider cash or debit cards superior ways to pay for things versus credit cards.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:54 AM   #75
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The days are over when an average college grad can finish school, find a very high paid job, get a big new house and shiny new luxury car, plus all the other consumer goodies that go along with what some consider a middle class lifestyle. Strange bizarre things like down payments for houses are becoming more common these days, and many consider cash or debit cards superior ways to pay for things versus credit cards.
I don't think those days ever existed, where one came out of college and found the job, house, and car. Here's a broad picture based on a small dataset--myself and four brothers.
One parent (father) worked a difficult sales job, and supported family of seven. Other parent figured out ways to make 1lb of meat stretch to all mouths.
Parents struggled to push five kids through private school. I do not know how they did it. Seems impossible to me today, even with two.
All children went to college, two to masters level right away.
Each child graduated college, took an entry level job in chosen field, and in 5 years or so married.
Maybe 5 years more passed, and each couple bought a modest home.
And so on.

I don't see this as a magic formula, and of course you can substitute your own preferences. You could, for instance, enter a trade and be very successful.

The essential items are education, living within means, avoiding un-necessary debt. I still see the same pattern in the next generation. No free-loaders, and each on a path to some level of success they define for themselves.

My take on the past 40 years (my adult life) is that there is plenty of blame to pass around: greedy institutions, un-educated selfish individuals, and government rewarding wrong behavior.
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