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Old 04-24-2012, 02:23 PM   #61
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For what it's worth, I think we are entering a transitional period in which we will migrate away from the old structure in which there were relatively few wealthy or poor, and most folks fell into a "middle class" earning a comfortable income. Historically this is a very unusual state for a population. The transition should return us to a historically more typical structure, with a very large population of relatively low income persons, and considerably fewer people in each higher tranche of wealth and income, similar to th 1850s and earlier.

Note that those in the lowest income tranche will still be fairly well off compared to folks a hundred years ago, and statistically there will be a few folks worse off than they are, just has happened in older societies. One might call them the proletariat, or the peasants, but they're really just the service class, the folks who have jobs because they're cheaper or more disposable than relatively expensive automation.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2012/04...w-wage-driven/
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:34 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
For what it's worth, I think we are entering a transitional period in which we will migrate away from the old structure in which there were relatively few wealthy or poor, and most folks fell into a "middle class" earning a comfortable income. Historically this is a very unusual state for a population. The transition should return us to a historically more typical structure, with a very large population of relatively low income persons, and considerably fewer people in each higher tranche of wealth and income, similar to th 1850s and earlier.

Note that those in the lowest income tranche will still be fairly well off compared to folks a hundred years ago, and statistically there will be a few folks worse off than they are, just has happened in older societies. One might call them the proletariat, or the peasants, but they're really just the service class, the folks who have jobs because they're cheaper or more disposable than relatively expensive automation.

US Labor Market: Increasingly Low-Wage Driven | The Big Picture
I completely agree. The one thing that seems to be a trueism is that "poor" is very reletive. The poor in this country have cell phones, housing for the most part, are not starving, etc. Not that I think that should be the case, but I think that folks measure themselve by whats around them, not what is actually the case.

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Old 04-24-2012, 02:36 PM   #63
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I think your premise is flawed. Until recently, new graduates in skilled fields (engineering, the hard sciences, most MBA's, doctors, lawyers, etc) have had very low unemployment rates.
I work for a US-European partnership organization. We can natively employee both European and US people. We have been trying to hire several medium level positions for at least 3 years now without success. We pay well but can't get many qualified people to apply. These are scientific and engineering positions. We are a good place to work with a good reputation. We get a few applicants but generally I don't think the unemployment rate among skilled technical people is very high here or in Europe. Our partners in Europe are having similar trouble finding qualified people. These are not senior positions nor entry level. They are jobs that typically require 2-5 years experience but could be filled by a sharp person just out of college.

I don't doubt the numbers, I just think there are tremendous structural differences in unemployment but here and in Europe. There seems to be a shortage of engineers but likely a surplus of bankers!
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Old 04-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #64
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I work for a US-European partnership organization. We can natively employee both European and US people. We have been trying to hire several medium level positions for at least 3 years now without success. We pay well but can't get many qualified people to apply. These are scientific and engineering positions. We are a good place to work with a good reputation. We get a few applicants but generally I don't think the unemployment rate among skilled technical people is very high here or in Europe. Our partners in Europe are having similar trouble finding qualified people. These are not senior positions nor entry level. They are jobs that typically require 2-5 years experience but could be filled by a sharp person just out of college.

I don't doubt the numbers, I just think there are tremendous structural differences in unemployment but here and in Europe. There seems to be a shortage of engineers but likely a surplus of bankers!
The situation is a little better here in the states. I can generally fill spots but i agree that it took longer in the UK. Our jobs are also technical in nature. Interestingly, its getting tougher in India as well. We have had couple of situations where folks paid others to take phone screens for them. That tells me demand is outstripping supply, even in India.

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Old 04-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #65
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I liked your joke.
You mean he's not a lawyer?


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Old 04-24-2012, 03:47 PM   #66
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I saw this yesterday:

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About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed, the highest share in at least 11 years.
...
In the last year, they were more likely to be employed as waiters, waitresses, bartenders and food-service helpers than as engineers, physicists, chemists and mathematicians combined (100,000 versus 90,000).

There were more working in office-related jobs such as receptionist or payroll clerk than in all computer professional jobs (163,000 versus 100,000).

More also were employed as cashiers, retail clerks and customer representatives than engineers (125,000 versus 80,000).
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Old 04-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #67
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Independent - how many of those unemployed, or working as waitstaff or in retail had degrees in engineering, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

The declared major matters. An Art History degree does not qualify you for a job as an engineer or physicist.
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Old 04-25-2012, 01:37 AM   #68
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not that young people can't find jobs, it's that most can't find jobs with meaningful security and benefits anymore. More and more young people are hired as contract workers which means that, when the economy tanks, they are the first to go.
I don't think this is just younger workers. When the economy tanks, companies have been pretty quick to let workers at all levels go.
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Old 04-25-2012, 02:52 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
For what it's worth, I think we are entering a transitional period in which we will migrate away from the old structure in which there were relatively few wealthy or poor, and most folks fell into a "middle class" earning a comfortable income. Historically this is a very unusual state for a population. The transition should return us to a historically more typical structure, with a very large population of relatively low income persons, and considerably fewer people in each higher tranche of wealth and income, similar to th 1850s and earlier.
I agree with this as far as it applies to America and other 'developed' countries.

In much of the rest of the world, we are seeing the opposite with incredible numbers of people joining the middle class for the first time - a trend that is likely to continue for some time.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:08 AM   #70
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Independent - how many of those unemployed, or working as waitstaff or in retail had degrees in engineering, physics, chemistry and mathematics.

The declared major matters. An Art History degree does not qualify you for a job as an engineer or physicist.
I think that's a good question. I'm sure we'd agree on the direction of the answer - Art History grads aren't finding jobs that require college degrees as frequently as engineering grads.
But, I'd like to see the data, how big is the difference?
More important, I think that every HS senior should see the data before he/she decides to invest in a degree.

Unfortunately, the underlying source for this report is the Current Population Survey, which collects data on level of education, but not degree or school.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:19 PM   #71
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Chile reformed their SS system at least 12 years ago. Maybe we can catch up some day.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:13 PM   #72
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Chile reformed their SS system at least 12 years ago. Maybe we can catch up some day.
As is sometimes the case be careful - sometimes one gets what one wishes for-

DAVID LANGER COMPANY, INC

Note that this article is from 1998 . Do not know what the update is for the last 14 years or so.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:24 PM   #73
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...These are not senior positions nor entry level. They are jobs that typically require 2-5 years experience but could be filled by a sharp person just out of college.
!
Read no one over 40 need apply, regardless of qualifications.

Scott Burns is kind of a downer.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #74
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As is sometimes the case be careful - sometimes one gets what one wishes for-

DAVID LANGER COMPANY, INC

Note that this article is from 1998 . Do not know what the update is for the last 14 years or so.
I was not advocating we copy Chile's reforms, simply that they did something while we have twiddled away the years. Certainly we should learn from their mistakes.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #75
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Read no one over 40 need apply, regardless of qualifications.

Scott Burns is kind of a downer.
Is Scott Burn's a downer because he points out the obvious and writes about inevitable conclusion(s) ?

I agree though, All those Bad Vibes completely ruin the important stuff like "American Idol" and "The Bachelor" episodes ?

- Party on Garth !
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #76
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A 55 year old friend/coworked got laid off about 16 months ago. He figured he'd be back to work pretty quickly but now is starting to wonder out loud if he will even be a candidate for rehiring.

He's now getting a bit cynical and mentioned that he noticed something very telling when our company sent him to "mandatory" class designed to help those being laid off with applications and resume polishing. He said that 90% of the folks looked over 50, and not many young folks at all.

He's gotten busy on the crony network and one of his former managers warned him "don't put your age on the resume, and leave off number of years in each assignment". In other words, look "young and cheap".

Just anecdotal one-off example.
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Old 04-25-2012, 06:52 PM   #77
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Will "Old and Cheap" work?
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:07 PM   #78
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...when I go to McDonald’s, I compare my Social Security check with the pay of those who work there.
Now I know who's been holding up the line. Hey, let's go up there, I want my Big Mac!
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:13 PM   #79
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Will "Old and Cheap" work?
I think "Old and Cheap" works if the "Old" part is over 65 and on Medicare, but the 55-65 "oldies" must be seen as healthcare users.

Seems the very young and the "young oldies" are bearing the brunt these days.

Cannot find data to support that but am googling like crazy.
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Old 04-25-2012, 07:29 PM   #80
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So in 1962 you would have foreseen the internet, the fall of the Soviet Union, every third person having a piercing or a tattoo, 3D HDTVs, huge increases in wealth disparity, the evaporation of widespreads pension coverage, and a muslim, a lawyer and a communist all occupying the presidency? I am impressed, truly.
Alas, I didn't capitalize on what I saw coming back in the 70's. I once spoke to my father in our kitchen about fuel injection (he thought it couldn't work), then I saw the spindles from those plants that stick to your pant leg while walking through a wooded area near our house and thought it could benefit us one day (thus someone invented velcro), then I spoke to people about the power of the PC taking over a lot of the mainframe operations. One of these days, I'll grow a pair and invest in something I really believe in.
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