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Old 03-15-2011, 10:00 AM   #21
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It use to be that America offered more than any other country. It's just not the case anymore. I work with a brilliant Chinese guy who has a Green Card and is tenured university faculty. He's going back to Shanghai with his family as the university there offered him far better facilities and funding than he could get in the US. When that starts happening you sit up and realize that things have changed.
I really don't think this is anything new. In the late 70's and early 80's I worked in orthopedic research for a doctor who was from Taiwan. He was here in the U.S. for decades and eventually became Chairman of the entire Orthopedic Department. He went back to Taiwan about 5 years ago...to head up a similar department there. To me...he simply went "back home".

Many came here to gain knowledge with the ultimate intent of taking it back home. In my humble opinion.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:43 AM   #22
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Do you know what percent of the US science/engineering graduate school grads get jobs that use their advanced degrees, and what those jobs pay?

Are there more US kids with the talent for those jobs that are just passing them up? or is it a case that these jobs really require people in the 99th percentile of quantitative ability, and there aren't that many of them regardless of wages?
I don't know the numbers of US science grads or average salaries, but US students are just as capable as any other nation's. It's just not cool to be in science and engineering anymore except for computer science and gaming. But things like physics ME, EE, biochemistry etc are having a tough time finding good motivated US students. That may well be due to perceived lack of good jobs and salaries in those fields, which is one of the reasons foreign students aren't staying in the US either.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:53 AM   #23
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I don't know the numbers of US science grads or average salaries, but US students are just as capable as any other nation's. It's just not cool to be in science and engineering anymore except for computer science and gaming. But things like physics ME, EE, biochemistry etc are having a tough time finding good motivated US students. That may well be due to perceived lack of good jobs and salaries in those fields, which is one of the reasons foreign students aren't staying in the US either.
maybe if the pay for engineering and science grads started getting better than for lawyers and bond traders things would change.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:58 AM   #24
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...he just wanted to get as far away form Glen Beck as possible.
Duh; tell him to replace the batteries in his TV remote and just change the station.

Regardless of where you turn for news/opinions, the U.S. is probably one of the few countries that do supply multiple "truths", tailored to your own beliefs.

If you want a singular way of thinking/reporting, I'm sure there are some "regimes" in the world to satisfy his desires ...
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:15 AM   #25
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maybe if the pay for engineering and science grads started getting better than for lawyers and bond traders things would change.
You think lawyers are paid all that great? You only hear about big law and their big salaries. Most lawyers struggle when starting out with big loans and so so pay. The median starting salary is roughly $57,000. That means a whole lot of lawyers are making less. The average student loan debt for law school grads was something like $87,000 for 2010.
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:25 AM   #26
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Lawyers aside,

It's funny how there is always a shortage of engineers and scientists willing to work for the ~$57k/yr salary. Hence the push for more and more H1B visas. They can always hire someone from outside the country who is a little more desperate that will work for very little. That downward pressure on salaries then undercuts the incentive for our young ones to go into the field.

Are they being short-sighted ?
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:37 AM   #27
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Lawyers aside,

Hence the push for more and more H1B visas. They can always hire someone from outside the country who is a little more desperate that will work for very little. That downward pressure on salaries then undercuts the incentive for our young ones to go into the field.

Are they being short-sighted ?
Chinese grad students are not coming to the US as much as before. I've found two main reasons. As good or better opportunities in China and the perception that the US isn't welcoming any more. This comes from visa issues and how they see the US from the perspective of China
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Old 03-15-2011, 11:50 AM   #28
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Duh; tell him to replace the batteries in his TV remote and just change the station.

Regardless of where you turn for news/opinions, the U.S. is probably one of the few countries that do supply multiple "truths", tailored to your own beliefs.

If you want a singular way of thinking/reporting, I'm sure there are some "regimes" in the world to satisfy his desires ...
Well yes he could do that, but he was alluding to the greater spread of the Glen Beck "truths". He works in KS and just doesn't want his children to grow up there.

I agree that the US values diversity of thought, but it's definitely not exceptional in that.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:34 PM   #29
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I agree that the US values diversity of thought, but it's definitely not exceptional in that.
I strongly disagree--it definitely is exceptional. In what other country is free speech allowed and protected to the degree it is in the US? Certainly no authoritarian regime comes close, and most western democracies (Canada, Western Europe, etc) put restrictions on speech that would be unacceptable in the US.

A free marketplace of ideas. I want those nut jobs of all stripes out in the open and spewing their crazy ideas for all to see and ridicule.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:08 PM   #30
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A free marketplace of ideas. I want those nut jobs of all stripes out in the open and spewing their crazy ideas for all to see and ridicule.
I agree. While you may not like Beck and what he has to say, or some liberal spokesman whose ideas are 180 degrees different, none of them would be on the air for long unless they had something that more than a few folks will accept as the "truth".

Freedom of ideas and the freedom to reject what we don't agree with is part of the "soul" of this, and other countries that profess this right.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:13 PM   #31
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Jeffrey Sachs say truly rich have one foot out the door of US, don't really care what happens to America, and have politicians on their payrolls.
This is possibly true for all rich folks in different countries, not just US. I agree with Dex that the US is an empire on the decline, but slowly.

About freedom of speech, what is its purpose without freedom of press, which is guaranteed only to those who owns one? Of course, the US is still far better than some other countries because our politicians on the rich folks' payrolls can feel secure and get elected again and again with our freedom of opinion.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #32
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I strongly disagree--it definitely is exceptional. In what other country is free speech allowed and protected to the degree it is in the US? Certainly no authoritarian regime comes close, and most western democracies (Canada, Western Europe, etc) put restrictions on speech that would be unacceptable in the US.

A free marketplace of ideas. I want those nut jobs of all stripes out in the open and spewing their crazy ideas for all to see and ridicule.
The US certainly has strong protections for free speech and that's good, and I have issues with the way countries like Germany legislate against "Nazi speech". But I referred to "diversity of thought" being valued. You could argue that the 2 party US state is a practical expression of the lack of diversity in American political thought when compared to the large number of viable parties in many European countries.
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:04 PM   #33
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I don't know the numbers of US science grads or average salaries, but US students are just as capable as any other nation's. It's just not cool to be in science and engineering anymore except for computer science and gaming. But things like physics ME, EE, biochemistry etc are having a tough time finding good motivated US students. That may well be due to perceived lack of good jobs and salaries in those fields, which is one of the reasons foreign students aren't staying in the US either.
I'd think that if there's a lack of jobs for people with advanced degrees (or the jobs have salaries that don't justify the cost of the degree), then I'm not "worried" about a shortage of US students entering programs. I'd say that we've got an over-built graduate school system and the students are making wise decisions.

Now, if the jobs are being filled by foreign students who are willing to work for significantly less than US students, then that's a problem with the future of wages in the US. Of course, if those foreign students see better opportunity back home, then the US situation will correct itself. In that case, it's important to get the word out to US students as soon as the shift starts to happen.

I don't know of any source for quality statistics on college grads at any level. I'd like to know the answers to this:

One year after graduation -
What percent have jobs that required that degree? What's the quartile split of salaries for that group?
What percent have jobs that didn't require their degree, and what's the quartile split for salaries in that group?
What percents are unemployed, working on another degree, or don't want to respond to a survey?

I've heard widely varying estimates for law school. It frustrates me that such basic information isn't available to people trying to decide whether to invest in more education.

I'd go so far as to say that any school that accepts federal money (e.g. students with federally guaranteed loans) has to provide those statistics to all prospective students. It's information that the student can't get any other way, and that's clearly relevant to a decision that can be expensive for both the student and the taxpayers.
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:34 PM   #34
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maybe if the pay for engineering and science grads started getting better than for lawyers and bond traders things would change.
+1

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Duh; tell him to replace the batteries in his TV remote and just change the station...
"They need to put an intelligence knob on TVs. They have a brightness control, but it doesn't work..." Gallagher

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Lawyers aside,

It's funny how there is always a shortage of engineers and scientists teachers willing to work for the ~$57k/yr salary.... That downward pressure on salaries then undercuts the incentive for our young ones to go into the field.

Are they being short-sighted ?
Edited slightly to include another profession...

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Chinese grad students are not coming to the US as much as before. I've found two main reasons. As good or better opportunities in China and the perception that the US isn't welcoming any more. This comes from visa issues and how they see the US from the perspective of China
I work in a university lab, filled with grad students and PhD candidates. Many are "foreign", and many of those are Asian. But there are some Merkins, too.

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A free marketplace of ideas. I want those nut jobs of all stripes out in the open and spewing their crazy ideas for all to see and ridicule.
+1, though the nut jobs seem to be doing the ridiculing these days...

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I'd go so far as to say that any school that accepts federal money (e.g. students with federally guaranteed loans) has to provide those statistics to all prospective students. It's information that the student can't get any other way, and that's clearly relevant to a decision that can be expensive for both the student and the taxpayers.
+1
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:49 PM   #35
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Do you know what percent of the US science/engineering graduate school grads get jobs that use their advanced degrees, and what those jobs pay?

Are there more US kids with the talent for those jobs that are just passing them up? or is it a case that these jobs really require people in the 99th percentile of quantitative ability, and there aren't that many of them regardless of wages?
Well...I have a BS and MS in chemistry and I can say without a doubt that the jobs go to the guys from either Ivy League (Harvard, Yale, Columbia, etc) or big tech schools (MIT CalTech). A degree from a state school is basically a joke-its about how "smart" you look on paper.

As far as salaries, I stand to make about as much as a Chicago Cop which only requires 60 credit hours, no degree.

Reality is that most jobs in science boil down to doing "skilled" manual labor. Sure, I'm not breakin' up bricks on the highway, but lifting gallon jugs of dichloromethane after a while gets really old.

(Guess I can't type swear words on here, huh)
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Old 03-15-2011, 07:05 PM   #36
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Americans have outsourced their child bearing to Mexico and other third world countries, their development of motivated science ready young people to China, Viet-Nam, South Korea and Russia/Eastern Europe, and although the baby makers will keep coming we really need the educated strata to keep it all going.
Ha

Haha, you've made an excellent point. I don't think anyone could have stated the real problem more clearly.
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Old 03-16-2011, 08:30 AM   #37
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On the whole the USA is still a great place - relatively low taxes
But for how much longer?

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good environmentally
Isn't the US one of the biggest polluters per capita on the planet?

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work opportunities
9.5% unemployment? Pensions going the way of the dodo bird? High-paying full-time jobs being replaced with minimum-wage, part-time jobs, sans benefits?

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still one of the freest countries in the world
Is this really still true? Or is it possible that this is an example of one of those things that's been repeated so many times that people just accept it to be true on the face of it, without actually examining it objectively?

It's my opinion that the US is actually one of the least free countries in the world now. Every little thing is regulated to death. Can you bring an open bottle of water into an airport and onto an airplane? Can you ride a motorcycle without a helmet? Drive a car without a seatbelt? Find a restaurant that still serves anything containing trans-fats? Sell lemonade at the curb without a permit? Lend a movie to a friend? Smoke in a restaurant? Walk down the street drinking a beer?

I know many of those things depend on the jurisdiction, and a lot of them might just seem like good ideas. And none of them individually are a big deal.

But my point is that the aggregate of all these little laws, constantly being passed, add up to a serious erosion of the "Freedom" that USAmericans have historically been so enthusiastic to brag about. At what point do you step back and say, "whoa, OK, maybe things are getting a little out of control"?

Or, to put it another way: Are you more free or less free today than you were 100 years ago? 25 years ago? Last year? What will be the case next year?

Just something to think about.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #38
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But for how much longer?



Isn't the US one of the biggest polluters per capita on the planet?



9.5% unemployment? Pensions going the way of the dodo bird? High-paying full-time jobs being replaced with minimum-wage, part-time jobs, sans benefits?



Is this really still true? Or is it possible that this is an example of one of those things that's been repeated so many times that people just accept it to be true on the face of it, without actually examining it objectively?

It's my opinion that the US is actually one of the least free countries in the world now. Every little thing is regulated to death. Can you bring an open bottle of water into an airport and onto an airplane? Can you ride a motorcycle without a helmet? Drive a car without a seatbelt? Find a restaurant that still serves anything containing trans-fats? Sell lemonade at the curb without a permit? Lend a movie to a friend? Smoke in a restaurant? Walk down the street drinking a beer?

I know many of those things depend on the jurisdiction, and a lot of them might just seem like good ideas. And none of them individually are a big deal.

But my point is that the aggregate of all these little laws, constantly being passed, add up to a serious erosion of the "Freedom" that USAmericans have historically been so enthusiastic to brag about. At what point do you step back and say, "whoa, OK, maybe things are getting a little out of control"?

Or, to put it another way: Are you more free or less free today than you were 100 years ago? 25 years ago? Last year? What will be the case next year?

Just something to think about.
The answer to all your questions is perspective. How the USA compares with the rest of world.

Your points are in absolute terms.

When the you add it all up the USA is still a great place to live.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:22 AM   #39
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On the whole the USA is still a great place - relatively low taxes
There are some places in the USA where I wouldn't enjoy living and my opinions would not be popular, but on the whole it is a good place to live. But that can be said for a lot of countries. I don't dispute the good in America, just the claim to any sort of exceptionalism.

For example, taxation comes in lots of different guises and the US is usually thought to tax less than the UK, but when I did my calculations my total "tax" bill is less for me in the UK.

I just did my federal tax and and my effective tax rate is 16% (after a slew of deductions) then there's the 5% state tax. In the UK I'd pay 20% tax on most of my income, and just creep into the 40% tax bracket but get a $12k standard deduction. UK CGT rate would be higher for me at 18%, but the first $15k of gains aren't taxed at all. Of course the UK looses out with its 20% VAT, but as I'm LBYM and don't spend much on big ticket items it's effect on the bottomline isn't too bad. But he UK really wins out when property tax and health costs are included. The annual taxes on my house are $6k, in the UK it would be $1800 and I'd pay nothing for health care in the UK so there's another $5k or $6k I'd be better off.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:33 AM   #40
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But I referred to "diversity of thought" being valued. You could argue that the 2 party US state is a practical expression of the lack of diversity in American political thought when compared to the large number of viable parties in many European countries.
There are a lot of parties outside of the "big two" in the U.S.:

List of political parties in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However, for the current active parties, they don't have enough of a voting bloc to be able to be an alternative to the current two-party system (with the exception of Joe L. as an Independent).

Europe has coalition governments (as you mentioned) due to the fact that no one party can get a majority of voters to vote for them. This is due to many reasons (freedom of thought/beliefs) but also due to regional consideratons, such as Belgium who has a coalition government of six parties, due to having two "main languages" of Duch/French along with different political views.

The reason you will never have more than two main parties in the U.S. in the forseeable future is because any "minor" party cannot get traction with the U.S. voter, who has operated in this manner for many years and will continue to vote a majority party into power in various areas of the government. Sure, you can have certain splinter organizations (example, TEA, aka "Taxed Enough Already" party) which will try to drive their desires by trying to affect a mainline party (in their case, the Republicans), but I personally believe they will not be able to form a party on their own.

While each of us would like our government representatives to mirror our thoughts, beliefs in their jobs, in reality the best we can hope for is to select somebody worthy of our vote that meets most of our desires (and hope they don't change along the way )...
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