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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-04-2006, 04:20 PM   #41
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
The only fly in the ointment is that jobs in America are all threatend by cheap labor overseas. This is the area that I do not envy them in. If you can get a good paying job today and save, you should have no trouble beating past generations.
I don't see this as a new threat. Outsourcing to India/China might be a relatively new source of lost jobs in first world countries, but there have always been jobs that have been threatened because some reason or other. Consider the productivity gains from the industrial revolution; well paying manual labor jobs were "outsourced" to a machine. We've been losing jobs to more efficient (read: lower cost) methods of production for generations.

This isn't targeted at you Soup, just an observation: I'm Gen X, and I'm constantly amazed at how pessimistic my generation is. I'm yet another datapoint of someone who is doing better than my parents while having the same level of education (actually, a lower level of education than my CPA/Ph.D. Mom) The same as true of my wife, although to a lesser degree.

One of my former roomates, who works in enterprise databases or some such thing complained to me that he was making "only" $75K after working 2 years?! Where the hell is the sense of perspective?!

Oh well, call me an optimist, but we are incredibily lucky to be born during this era and this place.

EDIT: Corrected grammar and spelling
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-04-2006, 07:22 PM   #42
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Soupx -

Aren't you the one that posts about an impressive 125k+ account @ age early 20 something?* With all due respect WTF are you complaining about?
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-04-2006, 07:57 PM   #43
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Originally Posted by WanderALot
I'm Gen X, and I'm constantly amazed at how pessimistic my generation is.
Apparently you're gonna have to read more about the Boomers in the 1960s...
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-04-2006, 10:04 PM   #44
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Sysiphus writes:
Quote:
I DO think that every generation ends up having a better and more properous life than the one before. Almost every generation doubts that at some point, but it is a long standing pattern.
I graduated from college in the mid-late 80's, into a job market which was not very good and which proceeded to get worse for several years before getting better, and I distinctly remember hearing others in my class lament that we were going to be the first generation that would have a lower standard of living than the preceeding generation. In retrospect, that turned out to be untrue, and while one of these days it may come true, don't bank on that day being today. Take the long view.

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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 09:14 AM   #45
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Heh, I think this is a case of perspective, micro vs. macro. As you've noticed, I can't complain about my situation at the current time, but my original post was more about the larger trends that will affect me throughout the accumulation years. Also, to consider how other members of my generation would be impacted by any structural changes, since I don't think most of them are at the same point I am.

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Soupx -

Aren't you the one that posts about an impressive 125k+ account @ age early 20 something?* With all due respect WTF are you complaining about?
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 10:01 AM   #46
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Originally Posted by soupcxan
Heh, I think this is a case of perspective, micro vs. macro. As you've noticed, I can't complain about my situation at the current time, but my original post was more about the larger trends that will affect me throughout the accumulation years. Also, to consider how other members of my generation would be impacted by any structural changes, since I don't think most of them are at the same point I am.
My SILs are in their early 30s. My sons are in their middle and early 20s. My work peers tend to be in the late 30s to early 40s age groups or are mid to late Baby Boomers. Based on my somewhat biased sample I would say that there is more of a difference in individual perspectives than there are in over simplified generalities about one generation or another. If one wants to ER and be FI, it does not matter what generation they are from. Save and invest and you will get rich slowly. Time in on your side so use it to make your money grow.

My brother and I are vastly different in our approach to ER yet we are both Boomers; he being 3 years older. He wants to work until he drops and has not been so great about saving money. I want to quit long before that and have done pretty well during the last 15 years or so. My DW and her sisters and other family members have lived on the edge most of their lives; saving and investing is a foreign concept to them. They live on the edge of the debt abyss and will work until age 65 or beyond. My parents were savers and lived within and even below their means their whole lives. Their parents were poor and their parents were even poorer. I am more than 10X better off (net worth) than my parents. Will my kids do as well or better? That will be up to them. I see them having a better chance at it than I did because I did not have the chance to save and invest until after my divorce so instead of having 15 years to create a sizeable nest egg, they could have 30 years to do so.

So, IMHO, it is more an individual thing than a generational one. My current company has no pension; has no post retirement medical benefits and the match on the 401(k) is minimal. I am experiencing first hand the working environment that many Gen. X and Y types are also experiencing. I am glad I was able to "get religion" after my divorce or I would have to work until age 65.

As far as missing the Boom years....a lot of us here remember the mid 1970's job market and the massive inflation and "dead markets" during that time. It was not pretty paying 15-18% on a home mortgage and watching the price of everything go up and up while wages lagged far behind. 401(k)? what is that? Index funds? Low cost stock brokers? (think $40 per trade) No internet banking, no internet equity searches, lines at the gas stations, high energy costs, the Cold War, Viet Nam, etc. etc. I an not so sure anyone can defend the Boom nature of these years to me. I lived through them and still have very painful memories of trying to make ends meet with a young family during those times.

Ok, end of sad song.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 10:57 AM   #47
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

With regard to the outsourcing of jobs overseas, there is definitely reason to be concerned for all the folks who are still in the workforce (boomers and those younger).

The current wave of outsourcing is not the same issue that was faced when manufacturing jobs left the U.S. When manufacturing jobs left, some of those workers were able to transition into Information Technology jobs and other types of office work. The current wave of outsourcing can and does affect any type of desk job.

Defenders of outsourcing use the argument that it will free up American employees to move on to all the “New Jobs” being created, similar to what happened with all the new technology jobs that were created during the 70’s and 80’s. However, with the exception of jobs in the medical field (and some of those can be outsourced too), I'm not seeing any new job areas being created that can't and won't be outsourced overseas.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #48
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Quote:
I'm not seeing any new job areas being created that can't and won't be outsourced overseas
There will always be a job for someone to park my car at the Polo Club or to bring me drinks with little umbrellas in them out by the pool.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 11:35 AM   #49
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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There will always be a job for someone to park my car at the Polo Club or to bring me drinks with little umbrellas in them out by the pool.
That's a relief. I was afraid that MasterBlaster would decide to join a foriegn Polo Club and eliminate the last job in America.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 02:21 PM   #50
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

And after the companies lose customers in droves due to language and cultural issues, and the outsource employees drive up their salaries when they start wanting bmw's and ipods, the jobs will end up coming back here.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 03:27 PM   #51
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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And after the companies lose customers in droves due to language and cultural issues, and the outsource employees drive up their salaries when they start wanting bmw's and ipods, the jobs will end up coming back here.
Or they will go to the next country where the cost of labor is very small and people are willing to do it for peanuts. Maybe Africa, Indonesia, Iraq? Who knows? I can't see the labor rate drop enough in the US to ever see these low skilled jobs come back here. Having working in manufacturing environments most of my life and seeing jobs move from US to Puerto Rico, to Granda, to Mexico, to Dominican Republic, to Costa Rica to China, etc.; I have some appreciation for the global nature of low and medium skilled labor costs. The US would have to have a major shift in wage structures and a total roll back of salaries with a corresponding decrease in the cost of living for this to happen. The labor unions would never allow this since they rely on high wage workers to fund their business too.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 03:31 PM   #52
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Originally Posted by SteveR
Or they will go to the next country where the cost of labor is very small and people are willing to do it for peanuts.* Maybe Africa, Indonesia, Iraq?* Who knows?* I can't see the labor rate drop enough in the US to ever see these low skilled jobs come back here.* Having working in manufacturing environments most of my life and seeing jobs move from US to Puerto Rico, to Granda, to Mexico, to Dominican Republic, to Costa Rica to China, etc.; I have some appreciation for the global nature of low and medium skilled labor costs.* The US would have to have a major shift in wage structures and a total roll back of salaries with a corresponding decrease in the cost of living for this to happen.* The labor unions would never allow this since they rely on high wage workers to fund their business too.
That would seem to be the way that third world countries become second world countries...and eventually first world countries. In fact, one could argue that's the best way to help the economies of third world countries, rather than just sending billions of dollars in US foreign aid or World Bank loans.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 06:53 PM   #53
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Being a reasonably older phart - also mostly in manufacturing(aerospace subcontracting) - I observed the gradual movement from high wage states to lower wage(and tax) within the good old USA over the decades.

No reason the same principles shouldn't apply on a global basis.

Similarly - perhaps the global competition for baby boomers (those with assets to spend) will heat up more in years to come.

Being from New Orleans - chasing the tourist $ is a familar art form. LA and MS do some moderate recruiting of persons with pensions via some tax relief.

heh heh heh heh
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-05-2006, 07:59 PM   #54
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Or they will go to the next country where the cost of labor is very small and people are willing to do it for peanuts.
I was more thinking that the countries who develop more wealth and a desire to spend will end up buying stuff from us. We ARE the pre-eminent maker of overpriced crap that nobody needs but everybody wants...
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:36 AM   #55
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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I was more thinking that the countries who develop more wealth and a desire to spend will end up buying stuff from us.* We ARE the pre-eminent maker of overpriced crap that nobody needs but everybody wants...
That would be great but what are they going to get from us that they can't make cheaper somewhere else? Try to find something that you use frequently, other than household comsumable items, that are actully made here? Seems like darn near everything is from China right now.

The market for rockets, bombs, aircraft carriers, and fighter planes is pretty limited. Drug manufacturing is ramping up in India and China and will eventually kick the US manufacturer's collective butts in cost in the next few years. They will dominate the Generics drug market because the US cannot compete on price. Non-US sources already make the bulk of the active pharmaceutical ingredients used by most US drug companies.

What can be make that the rest of the world can't make cheaper and/or better?

We seem to only be successful at providing natural resources (timber, minerals, refined ore, refined oil, etc.) high tech R&D, fast food, and consumer junk products all selling for $19.95 on late night TV.

So, where do ya'll see as the niche for US manufacturing?
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:57 AM   #56
 
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

Adam Smith, concentrate on doing what you do well, Sales and Marketing are where the US dominates, let someone else make it, let the US distribute and market it.

What are the preeminent brands in the world, and it sure as hell ain't Darkie Cigarrettes like in Singapore.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 09:17 AM   #57
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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So, where do ya'll see as the niche for US manufacturing?
I think you're answering your own question.

The profit margins on intellectual property are much higher than on manufacturing. I'm not sure why the U.S. would try to compete on the latter when we have the potential to make more money on the former.

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...82493#msg82493
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 10:05 AM   #58
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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Originally Posted by Nords
I think you're answering your own question.

The profit margins on intellectual property are much higher than on manufacturing.* I'm not sure why the U.S. would try to compete on the latter when we have the potential to make more money on the former.

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...82493#msg82493
The problem is getting other countries that have substantial manufacturing capabilities (including cheap labor) to recognize and respect U.S. intellectual property. Until they do, the ability of U.S. companies to capitalize on their intellectual property in such countries will be severely hampered.
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 10:27 AM   #59
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

I've read both "Liar's Poker" and "Wall Street Meat". Both are excellent, very funny books.

I sure hope that Kessler is right about the intellectual capital that the U.S produces and that we will continue to be the leader in this area. However, when looked at closely, some of the arguments he makes may have some holes in them, and as time goes by, that lead may be eroded.

One of the prime points that Kessler makes is that things are invented here, not elsewhere. However, not just back office type work or manufacturing jobs have been offshored. Increasingly, design, architecture, and R&D type of work has been moved to other countries. One would have to think that a potential offshoot of this policy will be a shift of intellectual capital out of the U.S.

In addition, with regard to a statement in the post that was referenced: "But most of the money buys low-risk U.S. Treasuries, and Kessler makes the point that all those T-bills are backed by the tax payments from the high wages that high-margin businesses pay to programmers & engineers instead of to low-salary factory workers. ". Unfortunately, many of those high wage jobs held by programmers and engineers have been offshored to India or China.



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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?
Old 01-06-2006, 10:32 AM   #60
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Re: My generation: missing the boom years?

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The profit margins on intellectual property are much higher than on manufacturing. I'm not sure why the U.S. would try to compete on the latter when we have the potential to make more money on the former.
Egggzactly. Can someone give me the list of innovative new products and marketing campaigns that made you want to spend twice as much on a product because its 'cool' that originated in India or China?

Granted the japanese are pretty dang good at coming up with stuff that makes you say "wow, thats interesting...but who the hell would want to buy a robot dog that craps scrambled eggs?". And the europeans come up with some pretty ordinary cars they get high margins on.

So giving away crappy low margin jobs to telephone sweat shops raises the economic levels in those countries, resulting in their wanting the bling bling. Cha ching.
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