Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 07-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #81
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Just wanted to comment on this...

From what I read here.... both families were made up of unskilled workers... most of the businesses that are looking for people want skilled people...

Our company hires programmers and other tech people... we almost always have a problem filling jobs.... we have gone to some specialized search firms and still cannot find people with the skills we need...
.
Just last month someone in our local paper (Boston Globe) suggested that schools should do more in preparing people with skills in order to get good jobs.

There was an immediate response from some noted educator who decried the idea, claiming (paraphrasing) "...we should not allow schools to create worker fodder for the rich business owners..." or something to that effect.
__________________

__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-12-2013, 08:59 AM   #82
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortInSeattle View Post
...
I don't think poverty = fate. I saw my family escape it without any miracles needed.

My takeaway from the show? Don't put down your roots in a dying town.
Thanks, good point. Regarding the 'American Dream', what's the expression - "Chase your dreams!"? It isn't, "sit there and expect your dreams to come to you". So maybe the American dream is alive, but just like most of the history of the US, you have to go work to achieve it, and find it ("Go West, young man!"?). And it is open to more people than ever before, in this post-slavery, post suffrage, post civil-rights-struggle era.

-ERD50
__________________

__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 09:26 AM   #83
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
mpeirce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Columbus area
Posts: 1,595
Watched the show last night. I thought it was interesting. I did keep rolling my eyes at Bill Moyers and the way he presents it all, but both those families came across as real and very well could have been folks I knew when growing up.

My major reaction was, "ayup, that's why we all left Toledo". Milwaukee seems a lot like Toledo where I grew up - a shrinking industrial city were a lot of people got left behind. All my siblings and cousins have moved away in search of greener pastures. Wishing that the old days would come back just isn't a workable plan.

The one thing that did really bother me was that there was so much left unsaid about these folks. They seem to have made some really poor choices, but Bill didn't get into that - it would have hurt his narrative too much. Sure, anyone can get laid off. Even a couple of times. But at some point you start to wonder why these folks couldn't keep jobs.
__________________
mpeirce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 09:40 AM   #84
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jollystomper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,364
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
Just last month someone in our local paper (Boston Globe) suggested that schools should do more in preparing people with skills in order to get good jobs.

There was an immediate response from some noted educator who decried the idea, claiming (paraphrasing) "...we should not allow schools to create worker fodder for the rich business owners..." or something to that effect.
Does this ever bring back memories. A few years ago, at the university DW teaches at, she attended a facility meeting of the history department. The chairman was bemoaning the difficulty undergraduate history majors going through the department were having finding employment after graduation, and the challenge with the shrinking grants for graduate history studies, professorships, etc. DW spoke up and asked if they considered working with businesses to emphasize the skills majors may have gained (ability to research, write, quickly learn information, analysis) as being potentially beneficial and provide another avenue for opportunities. The chairman shot her down with the comment "We don't want to do that. Those are drone jobs", which got quite a laugh from most of the other department members.
__________________
Current target FIRE date: Under negotiation, can happen anytime.
jollystomper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #85
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 7,531
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Does this ever bring back memories. A few years ago, at the university DW teaches at, she attended a facility meeting of the history department. The chairman was bemoaning the difficulty undergraduate history majors going through the department were having finding employment after graduation, and the challenge with the shrinking grants for graduate history studies, professorships, etc. DW spoke up and asked if they considered working with businesses to emphasize the skills majors may have gained (ability to research, write, quickly learn information, analysis) as being potentially beneficial and provide another avenue for opportunities. The chairman shot her down with the comment "We don't want to do that. Those are drone jobs", which got quite a laugh from most of the other department members.
I have heard the same thing in the engineering department when I was a student and research assistant. "We aren't a vocational school - we don't train people to get jobs. We must impart the theory behind the practice." It seems the more elite the university the more theoretical and less practical the curriculum and instruction (based on undergrad, grad and law school experiences and comparing notes with others at less "elite" schools).

Although to the professors' credit, the theoretical knowledge is very useful if you want to be an academician.
__________________
Retired in 2013 at age 33. Keeping busy reading, blogging, relaxing, gaming, and enjoying the outdoors with my wife and 3 kids (5, 11, and 12).
FUEGO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 10:30 AM   #86
Full time employment: Posting here.
Calico's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 925
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Does this ever bring back memories. A few years ago, at the university DW teaches at, she attended a facility meeting of the history department. The chairman was bemoaning the difficulty undergraduate history majors going through the department were having finding employment after graduation, and the challenge with the shrinking grants for graduate history studies, professorships, etc. DW spoke up and asked if they considered working with businesses to emphasize the skills majors may have gained (ability to research, write, quickly learn information, analysis) as being potentially beneficial and provide another avenue for opportunities. The chairman shot her down with the comment "We don't want to do that. Those are drone jobs", which got quite a laugh from most of the other department members.
Wow - this brings back a memory from 20 years ago. I was training a new temp employee (we did a lot of "temp to perm" back then) while also doing my own job, and most of the work of two folks who had left the department, until we could get the temp person up to speed. The temp was a faculty spouse - this is a university town. I noticed she was barely paying attention to me while I was training her, and I had to repeat the same instructions over and over. She was quite bright, so that wasn't the problem.

During her third week or so with us, she blurted out to me that she was "only doing this trog (as in troglodyte!) work as a filler until she could find a "real" job worthy of her exceptional abilities." My oh my. Bear in mind she was talking about my job, so I guess I was the trog in the story.

Not wanting to waste any more of my precious time or the company's resources on Miss High and Mighty, I informed my boss, who immediately called the temp agency and informed them we needed a replacement starting the next morning.

Two weeks later I ran into her in the grocery store, and she said she was desperately looking for work; didn't realize how good she had it at our company; were we still hiring, etc. I laughed out loud and wished her the best of luck in her job search.

Flash forward to today: I am still at the same company, and I have been promoted four times over the years. I guess you could call me the Second Assistant Troglodyte in Charge of Not Much at All at this point.

Is it a dream job? No. But it pays the bills, and allows me to save 50% of my income, and pay off my house early, and retire comfortably. I also believe the work we do is important.

I sometimes wonder what ever happened to Miss High and Mighty, who wasn't willing to start at the bottom - who felt that the work was "beneath" her. Her mindset was completely foreign to me at the time, but since then I have heard similar comments from many who live in the bubble of academia in this town.
__________________
Calico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 10:55 AM   #87
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ready's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,829
There is no doubt that people's motivation level and general passion for life plays a large role in how successful they are in their careers. The Neumanns and Stanleys were well intentioned and hard working people, but they got caught up in a life where their destiny was being completely controlled by the changing environment of the industrial industry in Milwaukee, which was declining as they were entering the work force. They continued to look for jobs without much skill and even when they went back to work it was to learn how to do more factory/machining work, rather than learning something like computer programming.

But there was another thing I was thinking about as I watched the show. Over the past 30 years our country has created so much unhealthy, processed convenience food and fast food that catered to people on low incomes, and the weight gain you see in almost all of the family members demonstrates just how bad our food supply has become. Yes, I know you can always say they had their choices and could have eaten healthier food, but I still do blame our country for allowing fast food to so overtake us with little regulation that we have made it so easy to eat really poorly. I'm sure I have a lot of people disagreeing with me, but I continue to think our country must take steps to insist on offering healthier eating choices. Every time I visit Asia and see how much less processed their food is, I wonder why we can't achieve that in the US. Walking around Shanghai and Hong Kong I hardly ever see an obese person, yet in the US obesity is greater than 50% now. As sad as it is to see the devastation from the loss of factory jobs, I think it's equally sad to see how much less healthy we as a nation have become.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.
__________________
Ready is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:02 AM   #88
Recycles dryer sheets
Beststash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 145
"Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
John Steinbeck
__________________
Beststash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:06 AM   #89
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
NW-Bound's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 19,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by FUEGO View Post
I have heard the same thing in the engineering department when I was a student and research assistant. "We aren't a vocational school - we don't train people to get jobs. We must impart the theory behind the practice." It seems the more elite the university the more theoretical and less practical the curriculum and instruction (based on undergrad, grad and law school experiences and comparing notes with others at less "elite" schools).

Although to the professors' credit, the theoretical knowledge is very useful if you want to be an academician.
What happens is that engineering schools are preoccupied with teaching the theory to make sure that their graduates do not design perpetual motion machines, or ones that try to overturn the law of physics. The engineering curriculum is already full with many interdisciplinary classes. So the practical aspects are left to the students to explore on their own. Sadly, many engineering students do not really have the aptitude for it. They flock to a field because it promises easy money.

All else being equal, would you not prefer an EE graduate who has spent time tinkering with circuits at home over one who only learns from textbooks? Would you hire an ME graduate who cannot identify the parts found under the hood of his car? A CS major who does not spend time doing some programming on his own initiative?

It used to be that even the pure mathematicians and scientists had good practical sense. Gauss, who is called "the Prince of Mathematics" by E.T. Bell in Men of Mathematics, shocked his colleagues by accepting a commission to carry out a geodetic survey of the Kingdom of Hanover, a job which many regarded as beneath his intellectual stature. For this job, he got into cartography and geodesy, and created the foundation of Conformal Mapping using analytic functions of complex variables. Surveyors and cartographers did it all wrong until Gauss showed them the necessary math!

Many French mathematicians/physicists of the 18-19th centuries often supplemented their teaching income by doing contract work, such as designing boat sails, hydraulic pumps, etc... They were doing the work that engineers are doing nowadays, yet people only know of their names as attached to a certain theorem that appears to be pure mathematics.

So, how dares the typical modern engineer keep his hands cleaner than those of these great mathematician geniuses?
__________________
NW-Bound is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:15 AM   #90
Recycles dryer sheets
Willers's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 480
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShortInSeattle View Post
My takeaway from the show? Don't put down your roots in a dying town.
+1 I recently spoke to a GenY'er and he mentioned that he had no interest in buying a house. When I asked why he mentioned that exact reason. He said that his friends consider mobility to be the new norm because of the lack of stable employment. It is interesting how perspectives change.
__________________
Willers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:19 AM   #91
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 13,287
Quote:
Originally Posted by jollystomper View Post
Understood. I work on the technical side of my Megacorp and see the same things. However. companies are also not innocent in this. For example I have seen them want the skills from lower cost countries even when they had them in the U.S. (e.g. software development managers being told "80% of your staff must be from these countries outside of the U.S.").

I just am a believer in shining a light on things to draw out the truth. Public hearings with CEOs talking about not being able to find skilled workers in the same room with out of work skilled (however one defines it) workers, might shed enough light to determine where the truth really lies.

OK, I understand.... but I wonder what level of company we are talking about.... I know that almost all the big banks have hired significant numbers of people in low cost countries.... heck, the big ones have thousands of employees over there (some over 10,000).... I would be surprised if the big tech companies did not do the same....

So, are we talking mid sized companies? And how many employees would this be?
__________________
Texas Proud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 11:42 AM   #92
Recycles dryer sheets
timwalsh300's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 131
I agree enthusiastically with ShortInSeattle, ERD50, and Willers on the necessity of a willingness to pick up and move to where opportunity exists. The state where I grew up has one of the lower unemployment rates in the nation, but friends and family (late gen-X and Y) who insisted on staying within a 20-minute drive of "home" have still really struggled compared to those of us who were open to moving around. Emotionally, it can be tough to leave, missing family gatherings and settling for Skype and a couple visits per year. That said, I can't imagine how my life would be otherwise. I'd probably have a vastly inferior education with which I might be earning only 1/3 of what I make today. Like a positive feedback loop, the benefits accrued by moving for a better job, like a stronger resume/network and bigger savings account, allow even greater freedom to move around and capitalize on other opportunities in the future.

Tim
__________________
timwalsh300 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #93
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Mulligan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 7,384
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post

Just last month someone in our local paper (Boston Globe) suggested that schools should do more in preparing people with skills in order to get good jobs.

There was an immediate response from some noted educator who decried the idea, claiming (paraphrasing) "...we should not allow schools to create worker fodder for the rich business owners..." or something to that effect.
I must be a wacko then, as I an not a fan of that attitude. Obviously education should be about the process of continual learning, but ultimately the end goal should be to obtain a job with those skills learned. I don't see much value in an educated society all sitting under the shade tree writing beautiful poetry.
__________________
Mulligan is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 12:36 PM   #94
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulligan View Post
I must be a wacko then, as I an not a fan of that attitude. Obviously education should be about the process of continual learning, but ultimately the end goal should be to obtain a job with those skills learned. I don't see much value in an educated society all sitting under the shade tree writing beautiful poetry.
Agreed. But this is Massachusetts.

The gist of his point was that education should be for learning good things and not to create workers for the likes of Gates and Buffet to make millions on their backs.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 12:46 PM   #95
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post
.....The gist of his point was that education should be for learning good things and not to create workers for the likes of Gates and Buffet to make millions on their backs.
Why can't education do both? I think both theory and practice are equally important, even if one is in academia and particularly if one is in business. It is important to know both.
__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:24 PM   #96
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
Why can't education do both? I think both theory and practice are equally important, even if one is in academia and particularly if one is in business. It is important to know both.
It should (and I"m in full agreement with you) but a lot of folks around here are still stuck in the 60's and view 'business' as the enemy who can only make profits through a zero sum game. "Subjugating the weak" sort of thing.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:28 PM   #97
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,708
Here, I found a segment of the letter: (couldn't download the entire letter)

ITS A SCHOOL NOT A WORKER BEEHIVE:

THE MORE things change, the more they stay the same. Google and Microsoft are now calling for mandated computer science instruction in the public schools, urging public schools to include more “workforce development” so that foreign labor doesn’t have to fill technology jobs (“Firms call for tech classes,” Page A1, June 11).

More than 150 years ago, business leaders like Andrew Carnegie were calling for schools to tailor their teaching to fit the needs of manufacturing industries, the 19th-century version of “workforce development.” Increased standardized testing is seen as another key to making American student more competitive with their Chinese counterparts. Bill Gates seems to be providing the educational reform solutions to a public impressed with his business acumen.

The role of the American public school, as envisioned by Jefferson, was to educate a population to be thinking, activist contributors to a democratic society, not to provide worker bees. Public education today needs to be producing citizens: informed critical thinkers who can move our nation forward. We cannot continue to reduce education to a system that will simply provide human fodder for business and commerce.
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:39 PM   #98
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 11,019
Quote:
Originally Posted by marko View Post

From the letter quoted by Marko:

The role of the American public school, as envisioned by Jefferson, was to educate a population to be thinking, activist contributors to a democratic society, not to provide worker bees. Public education today needs to be producing citizens: informed critical thinkers who can move our nation forward. We cannot continue to reduce education to a system that will simply provide human fodder for business and commerce.
That is such a narrow view. Not only is facility with computers now key to unlocking knowledge, but it may be synergistic with critical thinking in fostering innovation. It's not one or the other!

Many years ago while studying MIS I realized that the impact of access to computers and computing skills on an individual in the 21st century resembles the impact of literacy and access to books on individuals at the time of Gutenberg. Societies that understand and support this will flourish.
__________________
Meadbh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:44 PM   #99
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,708
I suppose his argument would be stronger if he could definitively show that schools were providing leagues of "informed critical thinkers who can move our nation forward".
__________________
Living well is the best revenge!
Retired @ 52 in 2005
marko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2013, 01:46 PM   #100
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,461
I found the link. Public schools aren’t meant to train worker bees for business - Letters - The Boston Globe

Mr. Krane is probably a subject of NEA brainwashing.
__________________

__________________
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.
Slow and steady wins the race.
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:52 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.