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Old 02-29-2016, 07:49 AM   #21
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You guys feeling ok? Academy awards get you down?
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:52 AM   #22
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You guys feeling ok? Academy awards get you down?
Stay out of this - unless you are on my side!
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:54 AM   #23
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Stay out of this - unless you are on my side!
Stay out of what?
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:57 AM   #24
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Stay out of what?
OK, I get it. You're being disagreeable just to prove a point. Well, it won't work with me.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:15 AM   #25
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OK, I get it. You're being disagreeable just to prove a point. Well, it won't work with me.
You work?
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:17 AM   #26
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You work?
Argumentative. I'm not going there.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:19 AM   #27
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Argumentative. I'm not going there.
What does that have to do with kittens?

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I have one, too. I use it to watch kitten videos and argue with strangers on the internet.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:23 AM   #28
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What does that have to do with kittens?
Sigh. Trying to avoid the question by changing the subject. Typical.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:34 AM   #29
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Logic aside, there must be some reason why today's millennial crop of workers are fiercely wedded to the belief that their parents and grandparents had it better than they do.

My "company"'s internal social media, where many highly-educated young workers hang out, makes this clear. They moan and groan about student loans, which they're looking for somebody to take off their backs, and cite Internet memes such as "Old Economy Steve" (who is roughly my age, apparently, yet lived in a world I don't recognize) to support their fetish.

They may have it "worse" in some ways, but I doubt anybody my age would hesitate to change places with them. Just sayin'.

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I'm Gen-X and have had several Millennials on my teams and am generally quite impressed. Like everyone, if one wants to eat, one goes to work. However, Millennials assume, and take full advantage of, geographic and temporal flexibility for work, because that's really the sea they swim in. Technology and globalization (and abundant debt-availability) gave them their world, and it's different than the factory mindset of older generations and the farm mindset of ones before that. Is there any theme older than one generation scratching their heads at the younger generation? Buffet seems to say, "Meh, get over it because their future America is going to be even richer than yours". I hope I can live long enough to FIRE and enjoy it!
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:07 AM   #30
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Buffet is correct, Society as a whole will be better off.

The bottom end of the income scale has never had it so good. The top end of the income scale has also never had it so good.

There is that pesky middle class that gets in the way...
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:11 AM   #31
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Sigh. Trying to avoid the question by changing the subject. Typical.
And you're questioning the subject by avoiding the change. So trying.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:20 AM   #32
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And you're questioning the subject by avoiding the change. So trying.
This is useless. I'm going to quit now and let you have the last word, knowing it will be misinformed, incorrect and off topic - again.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:34 AM   #33
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Logic aside, there must be some reason why today's millennial crop of workers are fiercely wedded to the belief that their parents and grandparents had it better than they do.

My "company"'s internal social media, where many highly-educated young workers hang out, makes this clear. They moan and groan about student loans, which they're looking for somebody to take off their backs, and cite Internet memes such as "Old Economy Steve" (who is roughly my age, apparently, yet lived in a world I don't recognize) to support their fetish.

They may have it "worse" in some ways, but I doubt anybody my age would hesitate to change places with them. Just sayin'.

Amethyst
I wouldn't so lightly dismiss the complaints of a group of people who graduated into one of the worst job markets since the 1920s with a mountain of debt they assumed would be paid off from career track jobs that never materialized.

It's easy in hindsight to say that they never should have borrowed so much. But the conventional wisdom of the time was that students should go to the best school they could possibly get into and that they'd be richly rewarded for it - regardless of what they studied.

It turns out, that was bad advice. But it was advice that worked splendidly for the previous generation. So it's probably unfair to blame teenagers for not seeing the coming changes in the labor market that no one else saw coming either.

Meanwhile, whether you enter a good labor market or a bad one in your youth has a huge impact on lifetime earnings. A person who has the misfortune of starting their career during a recession will earn less on average over their lifetimes than a person who started a few years earlier or later.

They're also a generation who thinks they'll spend their lifetime paying for social security and Medicare but not get it for themselves- which is probably at least partly true.

So I'd say some of their complaints have merit.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:17 PM   #34
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I agree with the letter generally, but Buffett seems to understate the root problem that is causing so much anger and angst. The link between productivity growth and wage growth has been broken for a very long time.



So, yes, even at 2% growth the nation as a whole will be much richer in the future. But we can't assume based on the past 40 years of experience that most folks will be happy with that outcome if we don't also find a way to fix the above chart.

So whats the implication of that chart which one should walk away with? The break was due to the gold standard and fiat currency?


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Old 02-29-2016, 01:29 PM   #35
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This is useless. I'm going to quit now and let you have the last word, knowing it will be misinformed, incorrect and off topic - again.
Your avatar is dumb and you misspelled a word.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:33 PM   #36
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Can we get a Mod in here to break up some thread-jacking by mods?
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:34 PM   #37
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Did someone call?
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:44 PM   #38
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So whats the implication of that chart which one should walk away with? The break was due to the gold standard and fiat currency?


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It looks like it implies that since 1973 it pays better to be a holder of Capital, not Labor. Great for those exiting and have amassed mountains of Capital, not so great for those entering the job market.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:05 PM   #39
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So whats the implication of that chart which one should walk away with? The break was due to the gold standard and fiat currency?
If you read the Buffet quote that started this thread he breaks 2% real GDP growth down into two pieces. There's 0.8% population growth and 1.2% growth from "something else." He argues that over 25 years that 1.2% of growth from "something else" will compound into meaningful real income gains of 34%.

What's left unsaid in the quote is that the 1.2% of "something else" comes from productivity gains.

The chart shows that those productivity gains have not translated into higher wages for the past 40 years.

So unless we think that's going to change going forward, it's not clear how Buffet's caveat in bold below doesn't present a major obstacle to his thesis.

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that 34.4% gain will produce a staggering $19,000 increase in real GDP per capita for the next generation. Were that to be distributed equally, the gain would be $76,000 annually for a family of four. Today’s politicians need not shed tears for tomorrow’s children.
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Old 02-29-2016, 02:47 PM   #40
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What's left unsaid in the quote is that the 1.2% of "something else" comes from productivity gains.

The chart shows that those productivity gains have not translated into higher wages for the past 40 years.

So unless we think that's going to change going forward, it's not clear how Buffet's caveat in bold below doesn't present a major obstacle to his thesis.
Those wage earners would do well to find a way to benefit from that productivity growth as a way of hedging their bets if real wage growth stays flat and GDP continues to grow at a (relatively) quicker rate than wages. That's not happening much right now (and hasn't in a while) if the US savings rate is any indication. Can young workers save, or are their incomes just too low for that? Are they "poor" in an absolute sense, or a relative sense? If they compare their incomes to that of their parents (after their 30+ years in the workforce) they likely feel poor. One thing's for sure--if they save at the rates their parents did (on average), their future may be one of reduced prosperity.
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