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"Mexification" of America?
Old 01-02-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
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"Mexification" of America?

My terminology, and I'll apologize up front if it offends ... but I'm referring to the feeling that we're seeing a great pressure on the middle class in the U.S. *For those who own successful businesses, and for those with substantial capital investments (substantial being a relative term) ... those folks are likely driving much of the boom in luxury goods. *For many others, including those working souls in middle and even upper management sometimes, there is a compensation squeeze.

I'm trying to get a feel for what is happening in the U.S. economy these last few years, and I'm curious about your perspectives. *I've known many others in middle and even upper management that may be earning good compensation, but the pressures have become immense ... litigation, 70+ hour workweeks, shorter time in the job, greater turnover rates, etc. *For most, the big upside is reserved for a tiny few at the very top ... the others are nearly cannon fodder. *For myself, I think I've got 5 years left in me at this pace, and pursuing the corporate brass ring is appearing to be a dubious goal.

Clearly lots of pragmatic souls on this board ... what are your perceptions about where we are, where we're going as a country, and smart moves for prosperity in the future. *[And just to get the politics out of the way, I'm a liberatarian, believe strongly in free markets, and don't believe there is a viable political solution here.]

Thanks.
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Why blame Mexico????
Old 01-02-2005, 08:40 PM   #2
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Why blame Mexico????

Great gains in corporate productivity were achieved during the 90s and as far as I can tell much of it was gained by driving workers to work much longer hours and tolerate much greater pressure.

I've traveled fairly extensively in Latin America, and this trend seems completely inconsistent with that culture.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-02-2005, 08:43 PM   #3
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Nothing like a good racial slur to kill a thoughtful discussion. Could that be the "WASPization" of America?

Are we trying to determine why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Could it be related to the skills of the occupants of each category?

We're not locked into one class or the other. It's not what you have as much as it's what you do with it. I started out poorer and became richer, and I'm sure that others have traveled the opposite direction. Maybe chasing the corporate brass ring isn't as productive an approach to riches for everyone?
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-02-2005, 09:03 PM   #4
 
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Reply #2 on: Today at 12:43am Quote Modify

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Nothing like a good racial slur to kill a thoughtful discussion. Could that be the "WASPization" of America?

Are we trying to determine why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Could it be related to the skills of the occupants of each category?

We're not locked into one class or the other. It's not what you have as much as it's what you do with it. I started out poorer and became richer, and I'm sure that others have traveled the opposite direction. Maybe chasing the corporate brass ring isn't as productive an approach to riches for everyone?

You're not paying any attention at all to the import of the thread, are you? That's a rhetorical question
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Productivity
Old 01-03-2005, 01:35 AM   #5
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Productivity

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Great gains in corporate productivity were achieved during the 90s and as far as I can tell much of it was gained by driving workers to work much longer hours and tolerate much greater pressure.
The company I worked for decided to get one extra hour per day of work. *Those on salary were simply told to stay an extra hour at work every day. *Hourly workers were given extra tasks to try to fit into their 8 hours.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 03:21 AM   #6
 
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Just look at the disparity here. Some folks are more productive than others. Some get richer, some get poorer. Some prosper while others barely get by.
We are divided by income , parentage, ethnicity, or
just plain old luck. Maybe we should put the government
in charge to level the playing field and make this right. Oops, we've already
done that.

JG
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 04:29 AM   #7
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

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I'd like to see more of the mexicans find their way (legally preferred) to the northern parts of our country. It's way to hard to find a decent mexican restaurant with a good marguerita above the mason-dixon line.
We have plenty of Mexican restaurants here in Minnesota.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 05:24 AM   #8
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

The AFL-CIO suggests stronger labor unions to protect the middle class

http://www.aflcio.org/aboutaflcio/ma...ufacturing.cfm
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 05:37 AM   #9
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

The American way is to develop a repeatible formula and then franchise or at least 'brand identity' ala Jimmy Buffett.

America has been going downhill every generation - Ben Franklin lamented the infusion of French (Cajuns driven out of Canada) - on down to the Vietnamese in my neighborhood (some decent eats and a good open air market). Unfortunately the second generation has become a foot taller, overweight and adicted to rap music. No hope for them.

Recency being what it is - Bernstein visits the numbers periodically to the best of his ability - even reaching back to the Romans - I wonder if they complained about the lack of a decent French( read Gaul) restaurant.

De Gaul was right - even though it wasn't a complement.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 05:57 AM   #10
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

My parents were lower-middle class in income. It was my good fortune to receive a good education at virtually no cost to them. I was taught by nuns in the Catholic school system of the 1960s. I received what today would be a highly expensive private-school education. My parents were not charged a dime for this (It was expected but not required that you put something in the collection plate each Sunday).

I believe that a lot of opportunities of the type described above have disappeared in recent years. You can't even give your kid the educational experience of a visit to the Air and Space museum at Dulles Airport without paying an $11 parking fee. The wealthy always had advantages, of course. That's the whole point of working to become wealthy, to enjoy advantages not possessed by those who haven't pulled it off. But I think that there used to be more ways to get on the Getting Ahead Train.

I don't see things as all blackness. Some things are better today than they were in days past, and it is easy to forget some of the bad that we lived through in days gone by. But I think that there have been some changes that make it hard today for those with modest incomes. One big one is that it is becoming harder for those who work with their hands or their backs rather than their minds to make good money. I think that a lot of people feel that they are being pushed in one direction, and it is not a direction that all possess the skills or means to pursue successfully.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 08:25 AM   #11
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

My brother - law picked up his Southwest cooking at the Colorado School of Mines - and his parents were from Minnesota. I send him a care package of various hot sauce blends every Christmas.

Blue collar work except for contruction, around here is generally gone - the big bust was in the mid 80's with the oil pop.

A little govt. shipbuilding and the space program - that's it.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Quote:
You can't even give your kid the educational experience of a visit to the Air and Space museum at Dulles Airport without paying an $11 parking fee.
Sure you can. One adult has to remain in the car and drive 'round and 'round until the kids come back out.

As far as Mexicans in American jobs, the jobs I typically see them taking are hard labor jobs with low wages that WASPs turn up there noses at and exhaust unemployment benefits before taking.

I guess I started "rich" then got a bit poorer and am now headed for rich again. Probably never left middle-middle class, though. I've noticed that the more money I make, the less I work. There's probably a lot of room for analysis and debate there.

When it comes to my income I worry far more about corporate executives and government than I do about immigrant labor--legal or otherwise.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 09:53 AM   #13
 
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Hello BigMoneyJim.............now, this is interesting.
I try not to worry about anything
(What, me worry?). However, re. my general welfare
(financial and otherwise), of the 3 possibilities you
mention, government is my main worry by a country mile,
then illegals (distant second), and corporate executives
are not even on my list. It would be easy to say that
this is because I was one and so empathize. There is more to it. I see government as having the most
ability to have a negative influence on my life (they are
doing a good job of that so far). Illegals I don't much care for but so far I can avoid them if I so desire.
Corporate executives I think I understand and will allow them an enormous amount of slack, as I see no direct
negative results to my life, other than possibly poisoning the ecosystem. To the contrary, trying to make a buck is largely what built this country. The point
is that I understand and trust corporate America,
as opposed to my general contempt for the government, and I'm not talking the system (congress, the white house, judiciary, checks and balances etc)
or what
our country was founded on (constituation, bill of rights etc). Only the revolting
state of the country today, culturally, financially,
and judicially.

JG
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 10:39 AM   #14
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Very clear. If you think Mexico is where you would like to have and rear your only child, on terms of a non-wealthy mexican would get, favor today's immigration and border control styles.

If on the other hand, you think Mexico might be a good place for a well off American to retire, but maybe not so great as a model society, then your posture toward our demographic destiny should also be clear.

Mikey
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 10:51 AM   #15
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

JG,

Not being RE'd yet I suppose execs affect me more than they do you since my income and daily work environment is indirectly controlled by them.

My problem with corporate execs these days is that I see them (at least some of them) as shortsighted and manipulative. Their salary and bonus structures are set up so they can manipulate the business to suit their compensation package, make lots of money and then bail with their golden parachute whether or not what they do is good for the business' long term survival. I've met a few people who've lost their "gurananteed" pensions along with their job this way when their company crashed and burned. As an investor I usually feel like at least their antics will benefit my investment, but the high exec salaries and bonuses these days mean some may just take the money and run without due consideration for stockholders.

I hear lots of white people (I'm white) grumbling about Mexicans...I'm not sure if they mean legal immigrants, illegal immigrants or both, but I don't see who is getting hurt by their influx...I don't see whose jobs are being lost. Immigrant labor consumes as well as earns. And if someone is being hurt, it's American business owners who are choosing to pay the immigrant labor, so who exactly is being grumbled at? I haven't yet met an American who yearns for a job an immigrant laborer has. I don't see what the grumbling is about or what the problem is, so I must be missing something.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 02:01 PM   #16
 
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

I guess a lot of folks here are welcoming the demise of the American middle class. I was hoping that prosperity transferred to the middle class and that the world would become more like the U.S.

Instead, I see the U.S. Becoming a land of the few very, very rich and a lot of poor folk. Disturbing to me, but apparently not to the Capitalists.

Probably temporary though. When the poor wake up, (and discover that they're not Republicans) they'll elect another FDR to replace the Bushies. - I give it less than 20 years for another 'New Deal'.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 02:18 PM   #17
 
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Word around DC is that the Bushites want to allow corporations to flog their workers to increase productivity.

This secret paper is tentatively being called, "Operation Mortification of the Flesh."

It's "faith-based" and good for economic growth.

Aside to JG:
Funny how we can both hold so many of the same things in contempt and be on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 02:23 PM   #18
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Quote:
Aside to JG:
Funny how we can both hold so many of the same things in contempt and be on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
I'm the same way with him. Sometimes I suspect the political spectrum warps around and touches at both ends...
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 03:37 PM   #19
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Re: "Mexification" of America?

Quote:
I guess a lot of folks here are welcoming the demise of the American middle class. I was hoping that prosperity transferred to the middle class and that the world would become more like the U.S.

Instead, I see the U.S. Becoming a land of the few very, very rich and a lot of poor folk. Disturbing to me, but apparently not to the Capitalists.

Probably temporary though. When the poor wake up, (and discover that they're not Republicans) they'll elect another FDR to replace the Bushies. - I give it less than 20 years for another 'New Deal'.
Great comments Cut-Throat. I couldn't agree more. I have noticed that many of the very poorest looking homes have "We Support Our President!!" and "I'm Proud To Be an American!!" signs in their yards. The right-wing machine knows what buttons to push; they're masters at manipulating these folks. Then their priests and pastors reinforce the right-wing political agenda and close the deal. The worse things get, the more angry these people become - angry at Mexicans, angry at welfare recipients, angry at gays, angry at our "immoral" culture, angry at "liberals", and angry at just about everyone Rush Limbaugh and Fox "news" tells them to be angry with. I don't hold out much hope that they'll ever figure out who is really screwing them. In fact, the right wing machine will probably generate even greater support for the causes of their corporate sponsors by tightening the screws even more, and blaming the liberals for the misery it creates. It's deliberate deception and it works. And our side does a miserable job of countering it.
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Re: "Mexification" of America?
Old 01-03-2005, 04:07 PM   #20
 
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Hey Bob_Smith, if you really believe that crap, you have my pity. If not, satire is not your strong suit.

JG
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