The great recession is still in progress and till it's gonna be there for quite sometime. It has affected each and everyone of us. But I was wondering what are the things that we learned (or are still learning) from the meltdown. I personally have learned two things;
1. We all must have savings, no not in form of shares or mutual funds. It should be in the form or cash reserve or in the form of tangible asset.
2. We all must have an alternate source of income, be it small be it big. This will ensure in case of job loss we are not left penniless.
Request all Hubbers to share the idea and help everyone around. We are still not out of it!
This "recession" as you call it will never end until the "fractional banking system" finally gives way to total economic disaster. At which time:
1) Your savings won't be worth squat because the US will have finally be forced to transition into the Amero at pennies on the dollar.
2) You had better hope you have a PhD in "burger_flipology" if you want a job at McDonald's when it happens, because there isn't going to be a whole lot available for quite a while...
I think this a probable outcome despite Obama's best efforts. I think the economy is too far gone to salvage it, personally, and that Obama isn't going to be brave enough to do what it would take to save it, nor does he have all the tools at his fingertips.
It would help considerably if the Fed would raise the prime rate to like, 12%, my opinion. That would generate savings and investment and true growth and yeah, people are going to get hurt by that in some ways, but they are getting hurt anyway. I think it would make a fair tradeoff.
I think by this time next year we're going to know whether the U.S. will be spared this or no.
Nice points...but until fraction banking systems are done away with, it won't matter what interest rates are. It has reached its breaking point and the powers that are know it. If you took every dollar in circulation today and gave it all of the federal government and said, "here...go pay off your debts", it wouldn't even come close. They already have plans to incorporate a new currency, and you can bet that those same bankers are in on the ground floor. I got out of the brokerage business 2 years ago because I saw this coming, but I really didn't think it would be as soon as I think it might be now.
I certainly think you've brought up an excellent point on our banking system and our government and you may well be right.
I don't know either but I sure am watching.
The value of the stock market has been grossly inflated for some time now. I have always thought the stock market for the last three decades is representative of the worst part of capitalism, theft from the working man. What is good for stocks is what is bad for workers and vice versa.
There has been some correction (approximately 50%) but I still don't know if it's enough and if that monopoly money it 'creates' is even vaguely representative of America's real wealth or no.
I actually think not and I believe we'll see another big drop, not as big as the last one, but big, and soon.
It's an interesting watch.
I know many people think Obama's making a huge mess by what looks to the outside eye as increasing debt like the Bush Admin, but Obama is creating debt for the right reasons and given long enough, yes, it could create growth and stuff like the health insurance is an absolute necessity and will pay off in the long run (decrease associated costs, keep people out of bankruptcy, bring competitiveness to business etc). Bush on the other hand created wealth for the few payed for by the many, with his spending. Two different animals.
However as you state, it might be too little too late. I suspect you are much stronger educationally on me regarding the banking system and I find your opinions interesting.
My dear, you don't fix the problems we have by more of the same. Bush printed money to pay for is wars, Obama is printing money to pay for his version of the Great Society. The problem is not what you print the money for, but that you're printing the money at all. Increasing the amount of money in circulation makes it about impossible to make any kind of rational business decision. If you don't know what the value of your inventory, cash, costs, etc. are going to be in a year because of inflation, that increases the chances you're going to make a mistake. If you make too many, you go out of business. Plus inflation makes everyone poorer by causing prices to go up. This hurts the people who can least afford it, the poor, more than any other group. Ironically, by doing all of this Obama is hurting the people who need help the most. In order to have any kind of economy that doesn't go up and down like a roller coaster, we first need a stable money supply.
This is Obama's 'grand experiment'. I have always believe in this economic theory and now I'll get to see the results firsthand. I'm aware of your points of argument, however up to now I continue to disagree.
To me ... Great Society spending > Bush making his cronies rich
You might be right about inflation, though. Either way you get the inflation which is a killer.
I'm waiting and watching and I admit to wishing Obama the best on this. I'd really like to see America thrive again.
I have to say LDT is right on this one. If I owned stock in a company and they were about to offer 10 billion more shares of stock for sale as private placement paper at a discount to the market, and they were going to be immediately redeemable on the open market, I would run for the hills. If your bottom line hasn't changed, but you have to divide the pie into more and more slices, obviously ever piece is going to be worth less and less.
I can't say how delighted I am to stay left of everyone on this. It's one of my selected arrogances. *blush*
Look, I understand about staying competitive in business, but I also believe businesses treat workers like cost of product and the fact is human beings are worth more than that. Human beings have intrinsic value and business has to recognize that.
Did you know that it's a sin with the Catholic Church to underpay your workers?
The cost of labour hasn't risen nearly enough, generally, to cover cost of living while profits (and productivity per person) has gone sky high.
It isn't right.
My dear, have you ever questioned why the cost of living has gone up? Here's a hint, inflation. What is responsible for inflation. The Fed. who controls the Fed. The government. So the government is responsible for the cost of living going up. They're the ones hurting the middle class, not to mention the poor, who have it much worse than the middle class. That isn't right. But you don't see people protesting that, because they don't know any better. We're educated in government schools and they know what side their bread is buttered on and won't teach people about economics or reason or asking the right questions. And the band plays on.
Well, what I've noticed is when the prices go up they call it growth, when profits increase because of increased pricing ie: housing prices doubling, however when workers get a raise they call it inflation, just for trying to catch up.
Yes, there is inflation but the only thing inflating in the last two decades is really the cost of living. All worker raises have been negated by that inflation. Workers are actually losing ground.
Workers have been left out. Wages have to keep pace with cost of living because the loss in human potential is devastating.
Not to mention the actual human misery.
Of course they call it growth. That has to do with a particularly despicable economist by the name of John Maynard Keynes. He believed that by keeping inflation running at a very low pace, like 1-3%, you could keep unemployment low because prices would be high. In his mind, high prices were the cause of high wages. If a company could charge more for it's products it could afford to increase the wages of it's workers.
The only problem is that it's not high prices that drive high wages. Wages go up because productivity goes up. onthewriteside had it right when he said Ford payed his guys $5 a day to work when the average wage for a worker on the assembly line in Detroit was $2 a day. He knew that by paying his guys more, he'd get harder and better work out of them. In addition,k the rest of the industry had to match his wage increase or they'd not be able to recruit the caliber of people Ford did. If they didn't have the same caliber of people, their cars would have more problems than Ford's cars and they'd lose out to Ford in the customer arena. Like I said labor is a market like any other. You get what you pay for. If you're fair and give a good wage, people will work hard for you.
We get problems when people think their labor is worth more than it really is and they try to force someone to pay them something they are not worth. Just like a worker has the right to refuse a job or leave a job they don't like, so should an employer have the right to employ whomever they want, offering whatever benefits they want. If they screw up and don't pay what the market will bear, then they lose out on quality. Likewise, if they're forced to pay too much for labor, they will have to pass that cost along and their customers will pay. Actually their customers will go where prices are less and that company will have to close. Then nobody has a job. Thanks to a union.
I'm obviously a Keynesian as I'm sure you've noticed. lol.
Here's the deal. I continue to disagree. People getting more than they are worth? By what standards?
People around here are working two jobs just to barely make, if that, rent bills and food. I think people intrisically are worth rent bills and food at one job of the minimal level.
If I offered you a job to stand in front of a machine all day, and all you would have to do is hit a RED button to stop the line if there was a problem, how much would you expect me to pay you...just out of curiosity?
enough to live on and to sell my soul one widget at a time.
Seriously....what do you think you would be worth?
I'd want a pretty decent wage for underutilizing my brain and standing around all day. Me personally, I would probably do it in the range of 30k at today's value.
Of course I consider 20k to be equal to the what should be minimum wage for supporting one person in today's economy, had wages kept up with inflation.
So you think standing there in front of a button all day long would be worth $14.50/hr? People run their asses off in a mc donald's for $8. This is what I mean about unions. Just so you know....there was a guy in the local Ford parts plant here in Canton, Ohio that was being paid $22/hr to do exactly that. Of course that plant, along with many others in this state, have since been closed. Go figure....
it would be to me. I don't think anyone working a 40 hour week, even at McDonalds should be making under poverty line.
we are clearly not going to agree and I suspect the difference is philosophical or possibly religious. :p
But that's what you don't understand. Inflation is what makes it harder and harder to make ends meet Inflation has been on the rise since 1913. In that amount of time people have lost 95% of their purchasing power. That's why people have to work two and three jobs just to stay where they are, forget about doing better. If you accept Keynes, then you accept the inflation that is slowly but surely eating people up. You can't separate the two of them. Keynes only works for a time, then the economy falls apart. We last saw this in 1970, before that 1930. We'll see it again in the future as long as we keep inflating the money supply. People will continue to get poorer and poorer.
Very astute observations! I feel compelled to concur on every point you have made. However I still believe that the US will be the hardest hit in the event of a common American currency, with Mexico benefiting the most. The estimates I read were something like 20 cents on the US dollar vs. maybe 50 cents to the Canadian dollar, with Mexico actually increasing the value of their pesos. That sounds like it would be a tough bird to fly, but we won't have the choice. And that's when things could get really ugly.
I'm admittedly out of the education loop in this area so I shall have to trust your judgement.
I've always thought our currency will be replaced probably by the euro, something worldwide, rather than an america-centric currency, which hadn't occured to me.
You know far more in this specific area than I. I haven't researched the Amero at all.
However, if that is what happens, I'm sure you're right the U.S. will get the worst of it behind Canada and Mexico. All we seem to really produce anymore is debt based on fake money and billionaires based on the same.
Well the Amero would be the first step in what you suggest. First the world would have these "unionized" currencies, which would then turn into a "global currency" somewhere down the road.
As far as fake money goes, you are absolutely right. A dollar bill is not money...it is a promissory note. It is a recognition of a debt owed by someone to someone else. It represents nothing but debt. It hasn't represented anything else since we got away from a commodity-based system. And that is a big part of the problem.
that graph represents an error in human judgement. look to greenspan and bernanke.
too much liquidity led to incrasingly speculative risk-taking. that is one of the primary reasons for this recession.
That is the main and common thing everyone can consider following.
Because I have lost my job I have found hub pages, and met up with you three times on here this morning...
Hey it is not all bad....... x
"What did we learn from this on going recession"
1. That money really does make the world go round
2. That money that makes the world go around doesn't actually exist. Probably
3. That fraud on a grand scale affects all on a grand scale
4. That some people are wayyyyyyy too sneaky
5. And greedy
6. And underhand and selfish and thoughtless and and and ...
7. That money is everything.
8. That saving for a rainy day is good. In practice.
9. That we absolutley can rely on the powers that be to make huge, horrible mistakes.
10. That beans aren't so bad. After all.
Think that's about it Packer
O yeah, good one. Looks like someone is very angry! Have patience buddy, things will fall fine. I am lucky to have survived till date but don't know when the axe may fall.
No not angry Packer. Not in the slightest. It's happened. It's Beyond Our Control. All we little people can do is ride it out as best we can. I've seen the equity on my house fall at an alarming rate yadda yadda. We've all been affected. Some far worse than others.
We all have to go along to get along. Help each other out. Because really, money doesn't make the world go around. It's the people on it that do.
So I'm not angry. I'm hopeful
So far it has been a learning experience for us..
Here in Ireland it is hitting very hard...
We have been on hundreds of holidays, and really we should
have put more money aside for a rainy day
I will definately save up when I do find a job, I have been
short of money in the past, but I forgot what it was like,
This kinda came out the blue here, and it has turned things
upside down. I can't be snobby anymore about where I shop,
This sounds awful, but we bought a carton of milk yesterday,
and found ourselves saying
"every time we go to that shop we save 50c on a carton of
milk, and working out how much we will save in a year,"
I can't believe we even did that....
Well I can understand. Things are very tough now and we too have to be tough and act tough. The day this is over we all be more smart to deal with these kinds of situation and would be prepared beforehand. I would recommend you to read countrywomen's Hub on the tips to save money. I think this will be helpful. The Hub title is "How to Save Money: A few tips from a newly Married Couple"
I learned that most of these companies used the RECESSION as a scapegoat to lay people off and save money.
Don't they always? Nothing like a 'free market' where people are the commodity.
Well money is more important than people, Lita. Gosh, don't you know that?
People are a commodity only to the extent that they agree to be sold.
The slaves they sell in open mall
Are worth their weight in gold
But free men fetch no price at all
For they cannot be sold!
They are educated--and I mean that word with full intent--otherwise, however, Aya.
This kind of rhetoric is irritating. It's precisely why Libertarianism never gets any real traction. Don't offer solutions, just parrot phrases lifted from bad philosophy texts.
Yeah, that helps.
It wasn't lifted from a philosophy text. The poem and the sentiments are my own.
Why would you ever want to claim that verse? It's not helpful, is it? It's just sanctimonious, judgmental la-la stuff. It's not good poetry and it's not good advice. It just makes you feel morally superior when the reality is, you're not.
We may have different tastes. That's okay.
But my ideas are not derivative. And if you must know, years ago, when I wrote that, I was looking for a job and could not find one. Because I was never able to find a job, I became independent.
We all travel different roads. Some find themselves as unwilling slaves. Others are unwillingly forced to be freemen.
But through it all, I believe we all have choices. Possibly, we might even be able to switch places someday.
Pam, you seem to get angry over this - and that is helpful to YOU. Sort of banging into your wall of denial
Lita, okay. Then that is a place to start. We can re-educate ourselves.
To some extent, actually, I believe you are right about re-education. But we have to go about it the hard way, some times a very hard way--at least most of us, which are those of us who were not born into it. Something I believe based on much reading and my own philosophy. Also, that being said, this sort of freedom, which basically equates with a law of the jungle mentality I do not believe to be true freedom or our main purpose here as a species or a people (humanity posed half way between heaven and earth & always--though we may differ in interpretation--reaching for transcendence).
Concerning education: The most of us, even if we look at education with all good intentions (and of course there are and were those good intentions), were taught to do well in school, maybe go to college, get a good job, get married, ensconce yourself with a big mortgage and buy stuff. That's the pattern--its supposed to give us meaning...it's a literal 'game people play,' a la Eric Berne. There is no financial education included in this, usually. Some have even cynically noted that our educational system was set up (with all the bells and whistles)to be a training ground for factory workers...and that it has not changed markedly.
I'd also point out, the epiphany or awakening you had, many others simply cannot afford. That might be because of their family or origin, it could be organic in nature inherent to their own make up. I am not saying there are not and will not always be greater and lesser persons, some capable of greater achievements than others. (So much of this also depends on what one considers achievements--Ponzi banking schemes outwitting drones to siphon off large amounts of cash marketed as 'services?' Cornering the diamond market and successfully brainwashing two generations into believing pretty stones are an eternal symbol of marriage and 'a girl's best friend while watching atrocities over such precious things in Africa build up?) I am saying that we as an intelligent species have the ethical responsibility in caring--at a minimal level--for the welfare and basic human rights of ALL people. Whether they are drones or kings....I even believe that value to be written into our constitution, for those who think about such things.
I am also saying that providing more people with the means to reach their full potential in life will enrich everyone's lives overall... While it is true that fear motivates (and I find that to be the doctrine behind much capitalistic achievement--if one reads Upton Sinclair's "Oil!" he makes this case very well), I'd argue that harnessing intrinsic motivation in all people is much more worthy of our goals as human beings...
I also believe, , in something called libertarian socialism, which, yes, ultimately speaking is leftist, as it carries some of the same aims as socialism does. The great difference is that it does not portend to set up a false dichotomy between social responsibility and freedom or free enterprise. I am surprised really, that you have not heard of it, as linguist Noam Chomsky is a big proponent, and I am sure you have heard of him.
It's funny--my sister is turning philosophically to the right (I am not sure why, except that she is isolated and also I think gets upset after working so long at the same job--I would say fear has kept her there. I hear her now upset with welfare recipients (does she know any?) and other lazy people who would milk the system, etc., etc. The rhetoric you always hear. I think it comes from a sense of sacrificing HERSELF...or perhaps never having found this self and an intrinsic purpose). One thing sticks out in the discussion we have--and that is when I ask her in a broad theoretical sense which tendency has the most ETHICAL import--right or left, she still will admit that it is with the left.
It's either save money or go out of business. Which would you choose? Lose a few employees or lose them all?
If there's one thing I've learned from this mess is that we need to get the government out of our money. Free money equals a free people.
I was going to lose my job, but glad i didnt it is scary for that sword to hang on your head always. From where i come there is a second layoff in the offing too that is sad. From all these i have learnt that money indeed is everything and people who deny this fact are living in denial.
One good thing i learnt is you can save a fortune by avoiding going to resturants.This is my tip of the day take it or leave it lol. Dont loose hope there is always something good waiting for you..
You gotta hand it to the Wise Guys, huh. While everybody was busy putting their money in stocks, they were stacking their money in cash and jewelries, buried underground. And you wonder why they call them 'Wise Guys'. Lol.
I almost don't even know how to respond to this thread. I agree with the OP's top two: Don't rely on one source of income, and always have some REAL money saved. I've also learned that I can actually live on a lot less than I thought I could. (Kraft Mac n Cheese isn't SOOOO bad...)
interesting read. all it takes for socialism to take hold is long term exposure to capitalism.
some animals are more equal than others, but it's in capitalism, not socialism that it affects people the most.
I hope we have learned that we should not live up to our means. That the next big thing will still be around when we have saved up the money to buy it.
We don't need socialism or anything like it. What we need is discipline in ourselves and compassion for those in need.
we differ on opinion in this. I would say the entire mindset of self only and greed is written into the very essence of the capitalist philosophy. socialism, on the other hand, incorporates self-discipline and concern for others, society at large.
I can agree to disagree, however, but I do enjoy a good debate so feel free to argue with me. I'd love it.
where is Misha when we need him?
he would definitely help your arguement over mine and I quite enjoy going back and forth with him.
You just need to call, I am always here for you
I would agree with Pete, but not totally - I hate to discipline myself
haha, this is why you choose capitalism.
I understand coming from a culture where society is put above the individual that you might have that bias. However I come from a society that is destroying itself through greed and damaging every working class person along the way.
are you in the range of considering a healthy medium? or do you really think capitalism is the be all answer?
oh and Yay! you arrived, just when I needed you I'm totally delighted.
misha *listens to misha misha misha echo around the thread*
LOL Not sure I wanna argue here. You saw my hub on the topic, it pretty much sums up my thoughts to date.
I don't really think any ism is the answer, and I do think government is THE PROBLEM. Not sure if it is possible at all to have any healthy medium about government
I'm sure it is. All the economically healthiest countries in the world have a mix of democracy and socialism. The nations at large decide that every citizen of that nation is entitled to certain things at the lowest level.
A country's economic health is not measured by how the elite live... the elite of all countries live well anywhere.
Economic health is measured by how well the BOTTOM of the nation fares.
I think the theory of free market which reflects social darwinism to the core absolutely assures us of unnecessary poverty.
You are undoubtedly correct about the welfare of those on the bottom being an indicator of health of an economy. But, so-called Social Darwinism in a free market applies to business not workers in that type of an economy. Business must evolve or die. That's as it should be. For by evolving, new and improved goods and services make it to market. The best standards are adopted by business and everyone is better off.
All socialism can do is take from the best producers and give it to those who produce little. Which works for a while, but sooner or later you run out of other people's money to spend and everyone is worse off.
Yeah, I don't like cold
I am waiting on those though. For all what I know they should follow Iceland's path pretty soon, but what I know could be skewed or biased of course, and I am pretty much sure the nearest year or so will show if I have to revise my ideas
IF they go down, they will, like Iceland, because of following in greedy American footsteps.
Did you know that Arabian stock markets are having little problem at all? The reason for this is (again) religion. It's against their religion to make money off risky speculation based on falsity or damaging others.
If I ever invested, I'd invest in whatever Muslims do.
they do invest. they just don't practice usury, nor anything related. they invest in say, business growth of a certain company or the idea that some product might naturally rise in price due to scarcity. they do low risk, sensible investment.
Interest isn't the problem here. Not having enough reserves to cover your bad debts is the culprit here. Well that and our governments flooding the economy with fake money. In reality we should insist that banks cover their reserves 100%. That means that they don't use your money to originate loans. Banks should be nothing more than money warehouses. It's like the storage rental places we have here in the States. You wouldn't let the proprietor of one of those places open up your storage bin and rent out your stuff so he could make some extra money would you? Then why allow bankers to do that with your money?
The reason Iceland fell far before we did was because they went farther with the whole print money thing and slashed the reserves they required their banks to keep far more than the Fed did. Still the end result is the same. Failed banks and people's money lost.
And it was this way until 1860s. There were two types of banks - savings and lending. Then Brits introduced a regulation - of course with the best intentions, trying to curb whatever crisis they had at the time - that significantly reduced the abilities of savings banks. USA did follow. Don't really remember the details, but the result was that lending banks started to act as savings banks too, and this was the very start of our current problems
If Iceland is following our path, why did they fall first? I rather think we were following the footsteps of the greedy Icelanders.
I don't disagree on that part of it, but it is just part of it. It's just that I see a whole larger mindset (and THAT would be my opinion, not a fact) that drives the engine that brought us to this point.
Economics is a nifty science. It's a soft science because the data is almost unmeasureable and to me that makes it endlessly fascinating, like Irish pol.
Oh ho. I can see we're going to have some great discussions in the future. You're right. Economics is not a science, not a hard science like biology or physics anyway. I would even argue it's not a social science because social scientists are philosophers who dress up like scientists, in my opinion.
Economics at it's base is about human action. Not why we do things, all an economist needs to know is that people make decisions. Then we can extrapolate the effects, good and bad, of such decisions.
Not really Misha, we and the Brits tried to start central banks back in the early 1800's. The Bank of England and the short lived Bank of the United States. The problem with central banks is that it distorts the free market and allows people to accumulate power they otherwise would not be able to accumulate. Central banks also allow moral hazard. If banks can just get more money from central banks, they don't have to be careful about the quality of loans they originate. It's no matter to them if the business succeeds or fails.
The problem is that with all this credit floating around, more and more business fail and don't pay back their loans. This then affects the banks, so the go to the central bank to make up the losses. Where does the central bank get its money? It makes it up. Out of thin air. Inflation is what we call a rise in the money supply. This has the effect of raising all prices. That's why people can't buy candy for pennies anymore and why it costs almost $10.00 to go to the movies anymore. We haven't seen it yet because of the depression, but soon enough we'll see inflation, maybe even hyperinflation.
Somalia actually is an interesting case. I think I need to study it more. It may be not that straight forward as it seems on the surface
As for regulation - this was an unintended effect of a new regulation, so you can scream under-regulation as much as you like, no sane person will concur, unless they are democrats of course
I remain fascinated with somalia on many levels. it is GOP heaven on surface. no real government, no laws, no business regulations... just pure free market darwinism. everyone including small children can own guns.
coca cola tried to open a business there for those reasons and it was not sustainable. the bribes to keep production going and to keep from being robbed or offed were more than the cost of doing business with laws in place.
you tell me.
The problem with Somalia is that it's not free market. Thugs control the territory and you have to deal with them instead of the people. In a real free market you would be selling to people, not bribing people in order to do business.
somalia is as free market as you will ever see. free market = thugs. some of them are in combat gear, like somalia. in the u.s. our thugs are in business suits and using power and clout instead of guns.
Free markets mean that people are free to choose whatever goods and services they want. In Somalia you can only choose whatever the warlords allow you to choose. Not free market. I'd say Hong Kong is still about as free market as you're going to get. That and maybe Singapore.
I'd love to argue HongKong and Singapore with you but I'm so so hungry. I am going to go cook.
Perhaps I shall return and you'll probably best me on this area because I know very little about either. I am, however, usually willing to research for debate purposes.
Maybe next time. Have a neat evening.
democrats in general concur with me and the bush administration which resulted in scandals like the madoff affair should make it abundantly clear to the many that under-regulation is the problem.
I would rather be more interested with small local businesses, not that kind of giant dinosaur as CC.
LOL You know I don't watch the news, and most of my education comes from hubpages. Madoff case was not sufficiently discussed here
I'll have to refresh my memory on banks and that piece of legislation LDT, it looks to me you are missing the point. Not that I get excited about central banks of course, but if savings banks do not deal in lending, it does not really matter
As for Somalia, I would think it might be the closest thing to the free market we currently have. Yeah, bribery and thugs, but this is pretty much like it works in the real life, not in the book. State has failed, and it is very interesting to watch if anything worthwhile would be able to emerge out of it - before it gets eaten by neighbor states...
I shall release you now from your voluntary contract to debate with me as I'm about to go grill. And yes, it's quite late. :p
I consider myself a European eater, off hours.
Thank you so much for coming in and playing with me, Misha. I so love this and it's a rare day since I prefer to stay off the forums, generally.
I had fun. Hope you did too.
mmmmm. my lesson is that we would never ever allow a bank to talk us into refinancing a home. They take your money, you pay the bill and your home is worth zilch.
I have learned that there is good in every situation. The economy has caused people to be more in touch with those around them. I am more aware of my neighbor's needs and my friend's concerns.
Be that as it may, I'm not sure that makes up for the suffering we're about to endure.
have to agree here. I think it's the base for a new spiritual awakening for the whole country symbolized by our election of Obama.
I learned the politicians have even worse morals than I had imagined. The use peoples troubles to rape us even harder and more frequently.
I've only been back a couple of weeks and busy catching up and refanning and all that. I'm so glad you are still here!
You know Lita, reading that I'm reminded why history seems to be cyclical. Each generation or so has to relearn the failures of previous generations. It's something to think about at any rate.
We have progressed since the beginning of civilization and the dawn of man, too, though, LDT. That's obvious. Something you maybe should think about.
Technologically maybe. But when it comes to common sense and what works, we seem to go back and forth, back and forth. I can name several periods in history off the top of my head that are similar to what we're seeing today. We're also making the same mistakes today as leaders did back then.
All those isms and schools of philosophy add to the conversation--add to the meaning of what it is to be human--it is true the human animal hasn't technically evolved, , but still we do progress spiritually and intellectually, I guess I am saying. I agree with you, actually...but believe it to be more like 2 steps forward, 1 step back.
That's very true and I'll be going into that a bit in my successor hub to "A Brief History of the Early Modern Era". Basically the argument goes like this. At the dawn of the early modern era we had two schools of thought. Rationalists and Empiricists. As new students entered the field, new ideas were batted around and discussed. So philosophy, much like the Catholic Church centuries before, began to splinter into schools and different belief systems. Then these schools began discussing and debating things among each other down to the present day. Even though we've progressed so far over the last few centuries, many philosophical arguments can be broken down into two groups, well three really. Can reason alone tell us about the world or can we only understand the world through our senses and experiences? The third way, which I happen to believe, is that it's a little of both.
In a way that's what you and I disagree on. You believe, in a way, that good intentions are enough to do good in the world. I believe, on the other hand, that intentions don't mean much, it's people actions, what they do that matters. There's more to it than that, of course, but much like rationalists and empiricists we're locked in a black and white battle. Or so it seems. I rather believe Truth lies somewhere in between.
Well, LDT. I think you frame an argument against a mythical 'liberal,' ... And yes, I am leftist, but I know that more than good intentions are needed to do good in the world. Pls. note my note to Aya concerning experimentation and wrong technical approach.
You are darned ambitious! I'm curious now what you studied (or do you just read volumes and volumes?)
Well I started with history and that has burgeoned into volumes and volumes. The ambitious part is can I really write it in such a way that I can get people to understand me? Language can, at times, be maddeningly imprecise and obscure. One of the other things I hope to do is trace the modern usage of "liberal" and "conservative", the evolution of those terms might surprise you.
I really liked what you wrote, in a way it makes me feel sorta stupid in that I know it is like that but at the same time people who want to move far left are often (so I think) degraded for their simplistic sense or lifestyle which makes them happy.
About what your sister said about welfare recipients. In my part of the globe California, I see it often that people collecting welfare live better than I do.
Would I go and collect it myself. Well I have actually tried because I fit the criteria and actually need the help. Yet I have been denied three times for reasons I am not certain.
So this leads me to believe that most of the people collecting welfare are possibly lying and (as I mean no offense but just an observation) being an non citizen resident comes with more benefit then being an actual citizen born and raised in the system.
So in a way it really pisses me off to know that when some actually do need a little help when they hit a bump in the road... that somehow (hope no one takes this offensively)or in someway, people born and raised in this system are expected to never fail and those coming from other countries are given hand outs to help them along.
So I don't need I need to be specific with what I am saying but I am sure you Lita, can understand exactly what I am talking about... at least I think.
You're not the first person I've heard mention that. Welfare is politically motivated. If you don't look or act a certain way, you're not eligible. Be glad though because if you do get the help, you basically have to give up anything that might give you independence from the system. When they let you in, they want to keep you in. Once you're dependent on the system, you'll vote for anyone who promises to expand the system. As for illegals, well when the time comes, they will be counted upon to support certain politicians with money, time and other support so they gravy train stays in the station.
If living a communal, or other leftist, life is what makes you happy, go for it. What you cannot do is expect other people to do the same if they don't wish to. There's no reason why you can't live your life they way you want to and leave others to do the same. I can see the allure of a communal lifestyle, but, personally, I see quite a few problems with keeping it going so it's not my cup of tea. But if that's what you want go for it. Just make sure you're not keeping someone from living their life as they wish.
lol, for once I agree but I don't want to live in a commune. lol. I was just saying that for people who do, it is looked down on by society in general (or from what I see) because they don't want to contribute to society but others would feel that they need to "pay" their dues to the land just the same.
Of course I have a huge problem with paying for a lot of things because I know that the money is going to support things I am absolutely against, but I might put my foot in my mouth because with as much bitching as I have been doing. I am in a way relieved to know that at least some of that money went to things like "missile interceptors" or whatever they are called because that NK crap is whacked.
Lita, I think many people think that the left-wing of politics and philosophy is more ethical, as you and your sister believe. This is one of the reasons the left is spreading and the right is shrinking. I believe neither the right nor left-wing way of thinking IS ethical.
I don't think anyone is doomed from birth to be a drone. (You mentioned that word, so I'm echoing something you said.) We are not bees. Everyone has choices. One of the choices is not to participate -- or to participate in a limited way -- in the "game" we were all taught to play.
I think assuming that some people are at a disadvantage from the start IS unethical.
I remember being lectured to by an air-conditioning repairman who was charging a hefty per hour fee for his services. I'd just gotten a Ph.D. and had no job. He told me his teachers in high school had all told him he would amount to nothing. He wasn't good in academic subjects. He never went to college. He started working in air-conditioning repair right after high school. Now he owned his business, and he earned more per hour than most professionals -- and certainly more than the teachers who mocked him in high school.
You don't have to be a genius in order not to be a drone. You just have to think for yourself. That's something everyone can learn to do -- and it helps if the system doesn't assume some are handicapped and need a leg up.
Not to get personal here--but when it comes down to it, politics ARE personal-- But my sisters and I--all three of us--qualified as gifted and were in such programs in grade school. However, we were brought up working class...my one sister has a GED, the other got through high school.. I don't know if you yourself know exactly what being working class means? Given your family experience and background, etc?
It's weird here on Hubpages, because I have been acquiring this reputation for being 'tough.'...which is a little funny to me. Because if people were to meet me, perhaps they'd think the opposite--I'm soft spoken, etc. But tough--yes, perhaps. I think on the inside, that would be the case. And that to me means having the inner will power to put myself through school earning 3 BA's and an M.A. while often working 2 frickin' jobs...making it to professional ranks. And seeing through a lot of crap... But let us not pretend that this was not more difficult than someone else who had a certain pattern set down for them by class status or familial background achieving the same.
Arrogance could also be assuming that material anything--whether achieved by working for someone or for one's self--is true freedom. (I'm not sure you got my point.) Arrogance is also assuming perhaps that most children are NOT gifted...as there is some evidence (Alfie Kohn, Jonathan Kozoil) that the opposite is the case.
I would agree that most people in the United States have it much better off materially than most in other countries. And that some should not complain. But you are not finding that complaint within this particular argument, so that it is moot. No one is assuming handicapped status. But even plants need adequate sunlight and water to achieve optimal growth...you do not see solutions here, as this would get far too long and require too much thought (lol) for an internet forum. However, like all things that can be achieved, I'm sure they can be had. I feel that you are working from and repeating a set of broadly stated untested theories that are rather removed from most people's reality.
Do you mean 'understand' or 'have experienced'?
Doesn't that 'feeling' rest on assumptions?
Lita, I'm not taking it personally. The story I related to you about the air-conditioning repair man was as he told it to me. I didn't embellish. I don't pretend to know what he felt, but I do know what he said. I took him at his word.
That experience that you've had of working several jobs while going to school is the experience of most of my acquaintances. I don't think I know any people whose parents paid for their college. Why? Because I lived in a working class neighborhood and went to a commuter college for my B.A. Why? Well, it's a long story, but some of it has to do with the fact that my parents did have savings and were thrifty. They could pay for my college, but they were not going to spend all their savings on it.
When it came to applying to law school, I was told not to bother to apply to Harvard or any of the Ivy Leagues. Harvard would offer financial aid only after the parents' savings had been exhausted. If my parents had had no savings, I might have been able to apply. This would not guarantee acceptance, but it would have created a more level playing field.
I was always a little jealous of people whose parents had no savings. (The only reason mine had any is that they lived well below their means. Their economic peers lived in fancier neighborhoods where the schools were much better.)
ha, ledefense, I've returned to continue a bit.
we can take up where we left off if I backtrack the posts or we can start new from communal living which is actually something I'm quite interested in right now.
when israel became independent following WWII, in order to squeeze in all the new immigrants comfortably economically, they invented the kibutzim communal style of living.
combine that with Depression america with it's rural 70% and urban 30% stats and you found family farms in which people communally, by family, farmed together to withstand economic pressure. (good night Mary Ellen, good night John Boy, good night Grandma!)
then in 60s america there was a cultural push in the hippie community toward simple communal life. (good night Flower, good night Moonbeam, good night Gonzo!)
what if this recession or depression or whatever you call it... what if an answer is for a group of people to buy some land, give up electricity and live simply off the grid communally and rurally.
the thought has crossed my mind.
if you make me look up singapore, I'll be googling for poverty stats in asia all night.
Nah, you don't have to do that. The big problem with living communally is that some people will mooch off the labor of others. This was especially evident in the Soviet Union and also groups like the Shakers here in the US during the 19th century. In fact few anymore but scholars know that the Pilgrims were a communal society, at lest for the first two years of the existence of the Plymouth colony. One of the main reasons for that was that many of the Puritans had been living in towns in the Netherlands, where they could at least worship as they liked as opposed to England who persecuted them. Thus many were unprepared for the rigors of starting a farm in a howling wilderness.
What you find with communal living is that people just work hard enough. You'll note that few, if any, communal groups outlasted teh 60's and 70's. It may work for a while, but people are ambitious and want to carve out a niche for themselves. That seems to be a natural impulse of people that communal living doesn't seem to satisfy.
Sandra, wow, looks like we have more in common than we once thought. Honestly you shouldn't worry too much about what others think. People are usually wrapped up in themselves and their own concerns too much to really understand where someone else is coming from. Still I too agree that we need more input on what our money is spent on. While we may have those interceptors, we also have to agree with things like wars, welfare and more importantly the politicization of those things, which is worse. War, welfare and just about everything else are too important to leave in the hands of politicians. They are, after all, the ones who set the system up so that you can't get the help you need. We've given them too much power and it's past time we took it back.
yay! thanks. I will say though that possibly researching various diverse stuff constitutes "fun" for me. :p hehe
you may be right but I'm totally intrigued by the concept right now and I had remembered the Shakers generally but not the name and didn't feel like looking it up. I'm glad you filled that in, yes there have been several failed attempts at country communal.
I don't know why they failed and probably you are on the right track, however...
...with the current economy I could see a comeback at least for a bit.
If enough people did it, it might be a way to really tell slumlords and corporations take a big enough hit to back off some on living expenses.
I mean, how else can we 'strike' against them? I'm open to suggestions. I'm not all that fond of the Great Outdoors, personally, even though I'm not above hard work. I suspect I'm also not above resentment if some people were slacking though so I see the conflict built in the way you described it. :p
Well one of the big problems is people's insistence that we are a free market economy. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Government tells us how much we can pay people, what we can charge for rent, how much we pay for goods and services in general. True, through their manipulations they help corporations stay in business, but only their corporations. They set the monetary policy, so in a very real way politics determines what we can and cannot afford. Which might not be so bad, if these guys knew what they were doing. Which they don't. That should be obvious to just about everyone by now, but we still here the old mantra "It's capitalism's fault" when they know good and well it isn't.
that corruption you speak of and I see also exists in all humans, but I think capitalism rewards that character flaw rather than fights against it.
yes, the old capitalism was good and I'm thinking 40s 50s 60s, but that was because people exhibited good character and self-control and had society's interests at heart with their own personal interests.
how do we as a nation rebuild national character?
Funny you should mention those decades. We haven't had a really free economy since the turn of the 20th century. Most of the early decades of the century were taken up with the debate over progressive policies, at least in this country. Which we lost when Wilson was elected President. He was pretty much the intellectual face of Progressivism here. He began implementing policies that were adopted by other Progressives like Hoover and FDR. They thought government could control the economy and make things fair. Since that time we've had a Great Depression which lead to WW II, we got a break for a bit because after the war, we were really the only industrial power left. That was key.
We could afford to do stupid things like let unions push around business and create things like the Interstate highway program and the Great Society and afford to outspend the Soviets as well as prosecute several wars over those decades. All of those actions had an effect. We're feeling the effects of those today. Now with countries playing catch up, first Europe, then Japan, now China and India, we can't afford to play those games anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic that those countries are pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, but we have to work harder and be smarter like we used to.
Hear! Hear! I concur whole-heartedly! And I still think the only way this is going to be accomplished is by getting the government out of business, and back to doing what they were constitutionally set-up for.
I love FDR and I love unions.
I see the same things and attribute different reasons to them, so you and I have found our area of mutual split again.
What we have to have is a mentality that we aren't the superrich slave owners and not every American is going to live off the labor of others.
We need our manufacturing jobs back, that bled out during Republican tenures under 'free market'.
I was for NAFTA before I was against it. Sigh.
So true...if government was a corporation in this day and age, as a former broker, I don't know that I could ever convince any of my clients to invest in them. Lets see...they produce nothing but debt; their P/E ratio has to be about 10 billion to 1; when they do pay dividends they suck; they have no fluent business plan; and their management is consistently horrific.
But they do own a printing press and a minting facility!
I'm not so sure about the Amero. The strength of the Euro has to do mostly with the economic strength of Germany, the UK and even a bit form France. Actually I think most of the strength is coming from Eastern Europe now that they have somewhat of a market economy going. Soon enough, they'll falter under the burden of socialist programs and come to resemble the West.
On the Amero front, Canada seems to be doing OK. Of course they have all those natural resources and commodities which should do well regardless of how everything else does. The US economy is in shambles and if there is a place worse off than us, it's Mexico. So no, I don't think the Amero will have any long term or even short term effect on monetary policy. I also don't see the Fed or the government giving up monetary policy anytime soon.
We didn't lose manufacturing jobs because of "free trade", we lost them because it became too expensive to hire Americans to do work. In this country we have to pay Social Security Tax, Income Tax, Unemployment Tax, Workman's Compensation Tax, Corporate Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Tax, Tax, Tax. And that's for a non-union worker. Why should I as a businessman put up with that, when I can open a factory somewhere else for a tenth of the cost?
It only gets worse when you add in the unions. Not only do you have to pay for the above taxes but you also have to pay much higher wages, pensions, health care, etc. etc. etc. That's why manufacturing jobs have fled this country. It was flee or die. Labor is a market like any other. If you charge too much for your services, demand for your services will decrease.
NAFTA wasn't free trade, it was protectionism masquerading as free trade. The only thing a free trade agreement should say is if you don't put tariffs on my goods that I export to you, you won't put tariffs on goods you import from me. NAFTA isn't that cut and dry because they signatories were all trying to protect as much domestic industry as possible. They might as well have not signed the thing in the first place.
You also assume that all employers are out to make their workers slaves. Do you really believe that? What advantage would I get as a employer if I treated my people like slaves? Do you think they'd work hard for me? Or do you think they'd try to undercut me and drive my business away to ruin me? You have to treat your employees well or else they do stuff like that to you. You can't force anyone to work for you, you have to convince them.
Yes, I do believe that. I think there is no other way than unions to represent employee's interests and while I recognize that in some cases corruption set in and made some unions unfeaseable (like auto manufacturers) it doesn't HAVE to be that way.
I think there is not a level playing field to start with when large companies own all the means of production (since industrialization) and yes, that's Marx.
Marx either didn't understand or ignored the fact that if you don't like how your boss is treating you or paying you or whatever, you have the greatest power of all: leave. The market punishes stupidity. Witness all these bankers going bankrupt. They knew better and they thought they could outsmart the market. They were wrong. Now they're selling out their shareholders to the government to save them from the stupid mistakes they made. If anything it's the stockholders, which include I might add, pension funds and retirement accounts of hard working Americans and they're the ones getting the shaft. And Obama just stole from them and gave that money to his cronies in the unions.
This is a false premise. People can't just up and leave work and 'choose' not to feed or house their families. That's why it's stacked.
This isn't like some product, say a VCR that you vote with your pocketbook and buy or don't buy. This is people's lives.
I would have said Bush and people like him, of like mind, stole from people's pensions and retirement funds.
Sure you can. If you're any good at your job, you can find a new one with a better environment, pay, benefits what have you. You're confusing being unemployed with changing jobs. People change jobs all the time. If anything the premise that you're stuck at your job because you have bills to pay is incorrect. You can always choose to do something different. There are no laws keeping you in your occupation or with your employer. You just have to choose to make a change. Marx deliberately ignored that.
you must live in an imaginary world or are really lucky.
Do you hate your job? If so, why do you stay there? What laws are keeping you there?
reality of kids going hungry and putting them at risk keeps many people from up and quitting and exploring for other options.
No. I have kids to feed, and parent to feed btw. And I quit.
gah, you're so difficult. this keeps you interesting. you know how fond I am of difficult men.
So. Not everyone can luck out. Most people feel they have to stick it out and don't want to put their children at risk. Is that wrong of them?
Yes, see above reply from LDT. And it has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with tough decisions and hard work
I think more now than ever it has to do with being born into money to start with or being plain old lucky. Hard work is valueless in a society that rewards criminals like stockbrokers and politicians. Slimy.
Sorry. It does not always follow that line of logic as there are so many invisible, unspoken, oppressive ways to keep people down and to keep them from taking risks. I've been screwed, despite being hard working and qualified. My personal experience has lead me to believe that yes, I am lucky, and that not everyone has my resolve and determination to stay standing up. Does that make them less? No, it does not because I went beyond what I should have in order to keep a job, or to gain any type of success.
No. It's exactly what they want though and I'm not sure what it will take to get us out of this mess. Possibly more unions.
Then you don't have any guts. If you really wanted to care for your kids, you would do whatever it took, no matter the cost to you personally to see that you got a better job and were better able to take care of them. Nothing is keeping you from exploring other options except your fear.
Thanks to the unions, you even have unemployment benefits you can collect for like 6 months while you look too.
also thanks to unions, wages overall increased, living standards increased.. man I know where a great speech on this is if I can find it again.
sure beats the early years of industrialization with 5 yr olds locked into factories 14 hours a day.
LOL I send you to Tom Mullen's hubs about this matter, and say good night to everybody - it is 2:40am over here.
How does it look when you compare it to today with companies are bailing overseas and into Mexico because they can't afford to pay you anymore?
blackmailing people into lowered living standards is nothing to be proud of. what nafta was meant to do, and what I'd like to see it do since we're stuck with it, was RAISE the living standards there, raise wages there. Ideally they should have to follow the same regulations U.S. businesses follow regarding pollution and the like, which would certainly level that playing field.
But your labor is a commodity...thats all. A company is going to pay what that labor is worth and nothing more, or they won't be in business. If I told you I had a loaf of bread for sale for $5 when you knew you could get the same exact bread elsewhere for $1, would you still buy it? I doubt it....
thats some more false bullshit, the quality of your labor will be sacrificed for a lower quality and a lower cost, yes its a risk for the owner of the business, but often they will take it and say fuck quality.
You would be correct if you were compaing a better empployee to a lesser one. But like I said....if you were getting the EXACT SAME LOAF OF BREAD, would you pay more for it?
raider, my best wishes to you and your family. I pray for all of us, all the time.
If you go for cheap over quality, you run the risk of pissing off your customers. Pissed off customers don't buy your stuff. If they don't buy your stuff, you don't have a business anymore. Of course that's true of small businesses and even large businesses, but in the case of big business, they can get the government to bail them out. Kinda unfair don't you think?
you seem to be living in this fantasy world. People still shop at Wal-Mart despite knowing the mom and pop store will have more quality and more human touch to it but because they have to save money, they shop at Walmart and so the mom and pop stores can't compete with the company who uses kids at five cents per hour to make their products, so they fold up shop and go work at walmart or they either start robbin' or selling drugs. You can object but the reality is someone will be more desperate and replace the the departed employee who said they will maintain this sense of "quality". No one gives a fuck about the customer anymore, that's all hogwash too. The reverse of what capitalism is supposed to "inspire" has happened, people are lowering themselves in all aspects to stay "competitive", only a few make it out of that bullshit, but most wallow in it.
Never thought I'd say this to you...lol...but yes, you are seeing it clearly. Many here have old fashioned (if noble) ideas, and others here made their money quick, with the benefit of family background, good education and some breaks. Doesn't set them up to preach or voice moral superiority. Without you and me, ie, they wouldn't exist.
Why should people care about mom and pop stores if they have to pay more. Price is king when you're talking about business. But you're talking about why things seem to be going the opposite of what free markets tell us. Well that's simple. Government. The reason businesses don't have to give a rip about their customers any more is because they know the government will bail them out. Look at GM. GM failed because they built cars and trucks people didn't want to buy. Rather than listen to their customers, they were the ones living in a fantasy world. While GM did that, people bought other manufacturers cars and trucks. Now GM has gotten their bailout, do you think they'll listen to their customers now? No. They'll listen to their political masters now. So now we're building cars according to political whimsy. GM will still fail but instead of just hosing the shareholders, taxpayers, too, will be hosed. That's criminal right there, not propaganda against Wal-Mart.
Not only was mom and pop essential to the vitality of a community, this has nothing to do with bailouts, that's a pretty weak argument since this trend of business has been going back to the 80's with Walmart wiping out many communities across the country and the lack of government is what causes this situation, when corporations can move to Asia, South America to lower the costs of their production demands, into countries that don't have a standard in which to set for basic minimum labor wages or age regulations upsetting the balance of a fair employment market. Then you say, well it looks like the other countries are benefiting from this competitive system. But they are not competitive they are exploitative to their people. In the end, this capitalistic system will always be of, "the haves" and the "have nots" which means hungry kids, homeless people, sick, and a degenerate desire to consume as much as possible to keep feeding itself like a pig on a marijuana trip. Call it what you will but if business is king, let it get slaughtered, impaled, and rot. Let the crows peck its eyes out and have the maggots leave no traces of it. If you tell me the system doesn't have to lead to all this, history has proven otherwise, so why keep up with a broken theory that sucks out the soul of humanity?
No, I'm not socialist either. I'm just a guy who wants to honestly feed his family.
Tell it as it is Raider, Cabin Girl stands and applauds !
How are you gonna feed your family after you do all those nasty things to 'the capitalist system'?
You're getting cause and effect mixed up. It's the people who have chosen Wal-Mart over mom and pop stores. Why? Well price is a big one. By spending less money buying at Wal-Mart they have money for other things. What's wrong with that?
You also assume that corporations can do something other than move to Asia and use the cheap labor they have there. They have no other choice, it's far to expensive to hire Americans to do work. God forbid you have to use union labor, then you'll have a workforce that is not only expensive but the quality of work you get from them is questionable.
Capitalism is not about "have" and "have not" but who owns the means of production. In this case private people own the methods of production. Again, what's wrong with that? You yourself could own the methods of production if you ever decided to go into business for yourself.
I believe I said price is king, not business is king. There's a bit of a difference between the two. You seem to be a very angry person and anger always clouds a person's judgment. If business doesn't get you what you need or want, how are you supposed to meet your needs?
Of course I am angry. I have a pulse and a soul and it doesn't cloud any judgment that you try to impose on me.
Thanks genius for the info, Price is achieved by lower costs, lowering quality, very true but at what extent of human exploitation do you have to go to before you realize this is wrong? It appears you have swallowed some magic pill and lost all human truths and are unable to perceive the aggravation the world population experiences on a daily basis by this system. Of course it is expensive to hire Americans but other people of the world don't deserve the same standard of living or employment rights? You willing to tell a little five year old boy from Mexico, he better sew that shirt twelve hours a day so you can get fatter? At what point does it all this human exploitation end?
Are you gonna tell him that the little money he made so his family could survive is now gone because YOU don't like the fact that his country's economy is less developed than ours?
Is emoting gonna feed his family?
Price is not achieved by lower costs. Price cuts are. You can only lower your price of you control costs and increase production. Since price then does down, more people can afford what you're selling and even people living on the ragged edge can afford what you sell. What, exactly, is wrong with making things more affordable for people?
You know what, that poor five year old kid in Mexico would be better off working in a factory as opposed to selling gum on the Metro or begging on the streets. I know, I've seen it. So don't go lecturing me about how bad my mom's people have it because of "greedy" capitalists. You have no idea how bad it is there, none. At least by working in those factories they give their families a chance to survive. So you'll excuse me if I don't particularly care about some whiny lazy American worker who complains that his job is being sent out of the country.
Life is hard and it's about choices. You can be pissed off about where you are and how life is treating you, or you can do something about it. Believe me, you have no idea how bad other people have it. Hell Mexico is paradise compared to some of the other hellholes out there, like the Sudan for instance.
this is the exact point where we differ. human beings are not a commodity nor is their labor.
anyway, I've had such great fun, but I'm going to bail to watch a movie and because I'm down to Marxian rhetoric. hehe
we can start fresh another day perhaps. I hope you have a lovely middle of the night. thanks for debating with me, I so enjoy it and I learn a little bit every time from everyone.
Man, you don't know who you judge do you? For my kids I would rob you for everything you got to feed them. Fear does not exist in my veins. Reality is you can be superman, doesn't mean you are going to get hired by who you want.
Explain it to me then. Why don't you explore other options? Heck that's why I'm starting a business. That way I don't have to rely on wages from another, if I work hard and learn what I need to be a success, then I won't have to worry about unemployment or living paycheck to paycheck. Seriously man, what's holding you back? There really isn't anything other than yourself doing it.
Of course, I explore other options. Nothing is holding me back, but why maintain a condescending view of the average working man who just wants to do a good job and spend time with his family. I think there is a severe myopic view going on here and that people are hurting and it has nothing to with hard work and determination but a system in which the filthy rich throw their scraps down and occasionally someone gets a bite while the rest of the pack stays lean and starves.
I guess your definition of lean and mine are a bit different. I was ten the last time I visited Mexico and saw kids on the Metro selling gum just to have a little something to buy food. I also saw the shantytowns that ringed the Valley of Mexico were people lived not much better than people in other Third World hellholes. So yeah, comparatively speaking, even our poorest do amazingly well here.
You have somewhat of a point about the rich, but it would take quite a bit of explaining about what you have right and what you're mistaken about. Still man it's easier today to change things around than it has been in the past. Jim Crow, slavery, serfdom before that. If you think this sucks, imagine being forced by law to keep working somewhere even if you didn't want to. There used to be laws on the books back during the Roman Empire. Come to think of it, their economic situation was about as screwed up as ours. The best way to help the most people is not by unions, but encouraging entrepreneurs. If you have your own business, you don't have to take anything from anyone, you're free. Just like I think people need a bit of land to be free too.
We're trapped today, but instead of it being laws or chains, it's debt. That's what keeps us from being free. The good news is that you can only load up don debt so much, then people stop paying on it. Credit is like booze. A little is good and keeps things rolling, too much is a nightmare.
More and more you're going to see what it's like when there are no jobs to go to. But what has been the problem over the last decade or so is that there is like a conspiracy to keep wages low, so that any job you go to has the same low wage. It's hitting more and more occupations, now especially college type, even accounting and so forth.
Do we really want to be a third world country with only two social classes? I think better of the U.S. than that.
Absolutely not. But when I see guys striking for another dollar every year, (when they are making $20/hr for a job that 1000 other Americans would do for $10), I get a little pissed. If a corporation doesn't make a decent profit, then why sould they be in business? And yes...they have salaried guys making way more than they are worth too. But if a salried guy gets caught sleeping on the job (literally, and I have seen this happen), he gets fired. When a union guy gets caught sleeping on the job, the Union fights on his behalf and before you know it, he's back on the line. That just isn't right. The need for unions hass long past its purpose.
Once again I have to agree with LDT. Unions have played a MAJOR part in screwing up our domestic business. Ford went out and paid his workers back in the day an UNPRECEDENTED $5/day just to make sure he got the best guys around. And he did it without a union. It wasn't until some guy got the idea that corporate profits were somehow owed to him that the whole thing fell apart. Lets say you invented a widget and paid people excellent money to produce them for you while still making a nice profit yourself. Now all of the sudden your workers get it in their heads that YOU can't live without THEM, because, after all, they are the ones making these things for you. So they say, "we want more than our job is worth if you want us to keep making these widgets for you". What would you say?
I would tell them all to go fly a kite, and hire the next 100 guys on the unemployment line that would kill for their jobs, since they were the highest paying anywhere.
Unfortunately, with the strike laws, a company can't do that anymore....and so corporations either have to go outside the country or perish...just like LDT said.
ford had a really neat quote:
"There is one rule for the industrialist and that is: Make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."
see that? highest wages possible and that contributed to the success of the America of that era.
ford also said this:
"The highest use of capital is not to make more money, but to make money do more for the betterment of life."
He's almost a socialist, ffs. :p
And it worked great until some union guy came in and tried to play him like a chump.
Of course he felt that way, he was a great man. But he also said something like " a manager must be able to reorganize his workforce to meet the demands of a changing market". In his time he elevated people, demoted them, did whatever it took to retool his business so that it would survive. Read "The Wild Wheel" by Garet Garrett. It goes into the history of the Ford Motor Company quite a bit.
I learned that graduating college in 2008 instead of 2009 was an excellent decision!
I learned pot really should be legalized to deal with stress.
My parents went bankrupt when I was 7. Back when they could take your only place of dwelling. (sorry, too tired to check my fcts, Ive heard they cant take yor primary dwelling now..but then there's all these foreclosers?) My father was disabled and my mom had just had surgery on her shoulder and another baby. We never once got any state aid. As soon as my mom was well enough to work,I went with her, when I was 11. way long story...say what you want but I didnt have the luxury of college. I was on my own and had a job at 18. I have been (by my state's standards) living well below the level of poverty all my life. I guess I was prepared for this. I have a ciggarette tin with every penny I could save in it. I make all our food, we raise chickens and rabbits for meat, my husband hunts, we dont go out to eat,I dont have cable, I just recently got internet and its dial up, my computer is a hand me down, I havent purchased new clothing in years, I havent had a haircut in longer, I am thankfull evrey day I have a house, and my husband has a job. People used to make fun of him for being an " uneducated laboror"...well...who's still working? I know this sounds awful, but my life is just the same as its always been. I have been dirt poor all my life so I had nothing to come down off of. I guess I have learned to trust my instincts, and not care if other people think they are better then me cuz they have a credit card. I truly feel awful for people who have lost thier jobs, and I know my husband could be next (he works for a mom and pop in the summers) but Im going to keep putting pennys in my jar and working on my garden and if he looses his job, I hear that unemployment is hiring.
Dennise, I might have some small recurring job for you. Not much, but might help a bit in your situation. PM me if you are interested
Misha--you are a nice guy...or lol, can be, . And have earned my respect, for what it is worth! (I didn't know what to say to this--though this is exactly what I'm usually talking about.)
WHAT????? what are you usally talking about? are you guys making fun of me??
No I am dead serious. If you are interested, send me an email through profile, there is no point in having this conversation on the forums.
As for "usually talking" - I have no idea what Lita meant, she is the one who usually does the talking.
I just meant after reading what you wrote, the 'dirt poor,' and all you related, that if Misha has some internet work or something for you, its very nice for him to offer. Not making fun--see my above post. Not like I haven't been there.
OH! Just got back from some stuff to do...I get mixed up with all the "quotes" sometimes.I see your earlier posts now. Good for you to have done the hard work to get where you are!! I did send an email to you Misha...I have a bad habbit of instantly assuming someone is poking fun if I dont quite get whats going on. sorry.
NO...TK.. You are breaking into another's conversation here, if you didn't notice. I have been on hubpages longer than you, ie. I sort of know what Aya is about, as I have read her... Ayn Rand, her parent's history, etc., Israel, the discussions she's had with pgrundy.
Sigh... You are the one as usual making the assumptions. And like I have said, you stereotype and simplify everything, making you far less interesting to talk to than Aya.
We see here:
That you are assuming that her comments were not as carefully or specifically considered as yours and that they were not based on personal experience at least to the same degree as others. Not sure how you can 'know' someone that well from an online forum.
This is not to mention the assumption about what constitutes "most people's reality."
I'm not going to be drawn into a simplistic and silly 'argument' with you, TK. I'll let Aya address any assumptions that were made. I'm interested in her thoughts, not yours.
You are assuming what I'm 'assuming'...when, especially given you as the source, I'd say you know no such thing. You waste my time, cyberpaper, and your own time.
No need to 'argue.' It is a 'discussion' forum.
Why especially given me as the source?
So, you know her thought processes, how carefully and in what way she considered her comments, and ALL of her life experiences? Wow, you DO know her well!
And you know "most people's reality"? That is amazing.
In logic or debate, an argument is a set of one or more meaningful declarative sentences (or "propositions") known as the premises along with another meaningful declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as the conclusion.
And let's just say given you as the source makes me rethink a little my proposition that Kozoil and Kohn were correct. But then they were talking about young people, mostly. I'd like to think not, but at your point, I think it may be too late.
I do hope all that was not over your head. Why don't you start a thread about bikini-wear or something in the Middle East?
Bye-bye now. I understand you have been warned.
Very thoughtful of you to say so.
I'm not too interested in that topic, but thank you.
Now, you do understand the problem inherent in assuming you can know someone else's thinking and life experiences, right? And wouldn't you admit that "most people's reality" is far too broad and complex to base assumptions on? It would require a vast amount of data to come to reasonable conclusions about such a general idea?
I've learned that I can make a nice supplemental income using ticket presales and reselling tickets on stubhub or ebay, even wrote a hub on it.
Ok, it sounds that you actually had a similar background to my ex, a Georgian, part Jewish MD with roots in the former Soviet Union. His parents also had advanced degrees, valued thrift and education. What always made me jealous is that he had such parents.
This is what I'm saying... With parents/background such that one made it through to the 11th grade, the other graduating high school--it doesn't make it similar or fair on a few more levels than just materiality... Those people's parents don't know where to begin with anything regarding upward mobility. The onus is on the individual entirely, which is more difficult.
I work from the 'assumption,' also, that material wealth at a certain level is actually more of an illness (ie, Upton Sinclair's conclusion).
As I said, I'm not really a socialist in the classic sense, but I do believe in universal human rights, and look to a better means to that end.
I believe in universal human rights, too. I think everyone should have the same rights.
But do you agree that basic health care, shelter, etc. should be a part of those rights? Those can also be found within the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Some people want to 'expand' the notion of human rights to the point that it becomes meaningless. They don't see that they are doing more harm than good.
No, I don't agree that shelter or health care are basic rights. If they were, then it would mean that someone would be responsible for building other people houses and taking care of the sick. Those people would be enslaved to the "basic rights" of others. We don't have the right to anything of a material nature that comes from the labor of someone else, without their consent.
Basic human rights are the right to be free from involuntary servitude, the right to choose what do with your time, your life and your resources. The right to be free from marauders who commit murder, theft, rape, battery and any other action upon your person or property that you do not consent to.
The most basic human right is the right to grant or withhold consent.
Aya- What you are saying is that those parents who save shouldn't be saving since then there kids may not get the need based scholarships. But my argument for middle class folks (unlike very rich who don't have to worry and very poor who have no choice) would be that if I or my husband doesn't save enough then I would have to leave my kids to a chance and since very few universities have need based scholarships our kids would have a handicap pursuing there education. And where they do give loans then half there life would be burdened repaying the loans. Although I would be delighted if my kids end up in a ivy league but in case they don't get admit or we can't afford at least they will have decent education in some university with our savings. It is not a zero sum game of all or nothing. At least our kids would have some opportunity. I feel stray examples of some kids who prosper due to there parents lack of fore thought shouldn't be held as a model as much as Bill Gates being a role model for drop outs(these are exceptional examples not the usual norm). I would rather be safe than sorry at least as far as our kids concerned. Just my two cents.
Countrywomen, I'm not advocating that people not save for their children's college. What I would prefer is if people were not penalized for having savings. Whether you have savings or not is not based on your level of income. It's based on what you do with what you have. Many people whose parents made more money than mine qualified for need based scholarships, because they were not thrifty. This may or may not have been the intent of those who granted need based scholarships, but it certainly was the effect.
Anytime a measure is put in place to help one group of people over another group of people, someone is going to be hurt.
But for every one who got lucky getting a need based scholarship there would be ten who didn't get so lucky. All I am saying is that when it comes to our kids it is better to be safe than sorry. I would want our kids to have a head start in life with as few burdens as possible. I am ok with some people getting lucky but I would rather not take a chance when it comes to our kids. I hope you didn't feel bad as this is just my personal opinion.
What kind of scholarship are you talking about that is based on 'luck'?
In the context of Aya's statement those parents who didn't save enough but there kids still end up getting need based scholarship. I consider that luck or chance which is not something I would like to gamble upon as far as my kids are concerned. I said all I had to say in this matter and I have nothing new to add in this regard. Have a good weekend.
Come to the Obama thread, CW. They need your perspective.
Lita- Which one?Btw Thanks for considering my limited knowledge/perspective to be of any value in the first place.
The Obama appearing weak thread. Someone is asking for non American citizens to give their perspective.
edit* And you stop that 'limited perspective' thing... Talking around kinda mean type people makes one trip up and say something which just sounds like bad PR. !! You know I appreciate you.
At least when it comes to US I admit I am still not as knowledgeable as I would like to be. I guess if I stay a few more years in US I might have better grasp of so many issues/perspectives. Btw I meant that "limited perspective" being a compliment from you towards me that you would want my perspective even when I personally know it is not as informed/knowledgeable as some body like Sufi or LDT's usually is.
Oh, fooey (don't you love my vocabulary? lol), CW. I've been here 6 months or something and have noticed, for one, your English improving and improving as far as sophistication.... And you have your own pretty balanced perspective. Wouldn't want it changed.
So, it would be 'lucky' to have lesser means?!
Please read the whole conversation. She said more means but lesser savings i.e., leading lavish lives themselves and saving less for there kids. Those exceptional kids where the parents really didn't have any savings(not due to there extravagant life style but due to there limited means) still should get the need based scholarships. I am done here. Bye take care.
So they are "lucky" their parents didn't save any money? Still not seeing the "lucky" part.
Ok let me make it even more clearer. They are "lucky" that there parents who could have saved didn't save but they still ended up getting need based aid. I hope now finally you get it. I can't be anymore clearer than that. I already told you to read the whole conversation and try to understand the context. I am getting tired of such conversations.
I agree with your argument from the point of view of a parent, Countrywomen. My posting was not meant to criticize my own parents' actions. I am saying that the general public policy ought to be changed, not the behavior of concerned and responsible parents.
And I'd say (and so would Chomsky) that this is a technical issue. Right philosophy, wrong procedural solution. And such may be the case until we experiment enough with creating policies that do work in creating justice. I don't think people (in general theory) should be penalized for having savings either (such is the case with my parents, now, actually, in another situation).
Lita, I'm glad that you agree that people should not be penalized for having savings.
However, I don't think this is just a technical problem with social programs. I think it runs very deep. Let me explain:
it's a matter of supply and demand.
If you create need-based scholarships, then you have in effect created a market for need. The supply of need will increase proportionately.
If you create merit-based scholarships, then you create a market for merit. The supply of merit will increase proportionately.
While some people will persist in saving even when it doesn't pay, most people respond to economic incentives. You get what you pay for.
And I am saying there are actually more complex processes all around than supply and demand. It's a construct. A prison box based on the Marxist dialectic that we need to get out of in order to move forward and accomplish anything.
I do not pretend to know precisely how it must be done, but believe if we can create these previous 'isms,' we can create solutions...eventually.
Lita, I am always open to constructive solutions.
No it really is as simple as supply and demand. Economics 101 teaches you that so it's pretty easy to understand. Since most people aren't taught about it, they don't understand economic calculation. I'm looking for a chart that illustrates what happens when you subsidize a good or service for a hub I'm working on, but I can't seem to find one on the net. I guess I'll just have to make it myself.
Whenever you give money to alter the supply of something you also change the demand. If, by subsidizing something, you lower the cost of something, you'll increase the demand. Like student loans for instance. The more you subsidize them, the more students you'll get. But what you don't get is a cut in the cost of college. Prices go up. Sooner or later we'll price most people out of the college market. Look at housing. We subsidized people buying homes. Prices shot up and at one time only 20% of the people who lived in CA, for instance, would afford to buy a home at the median price. How many lower or lower middle class people do you think that subsidization left out of the housing market? Subsidization gives us a short-term gain at the cost of problems in the future.
To some extent, LDT, you are right. (And I may just know a little bit about the real estate market, lol. Read my latest hub.) But you are talking about economics. Not everything is about economics. This is what I'm saying. Governing--social justice, and the marketplace are not synonymous. That is a construct.
When we can disengage ourselves from the Marxist dialectic, we will be free to think in other directions.
The thing about governing and social justice is that you have to take economics into account, otherwise how do you know the cure is not worse than the disease. One of the best examples I can give it our governments fetish about high wages. They believe that high wages encourages a higher standard of living. If you really look at it, it's not wages but production that increases the standard of living. The more you produce of something, the less such an item costs. As cost lowers, more people are able to afford those items and even the poorest see their standard of living rise. Surely that is social justice.
That's assuming it doesn't matter what we do with our time.
The highest standard of living is the one in which the individual feels most comfortable. Time versus money is a matter of preference. Different people have different preferences.
As a Libertarian, I think those personal preferences really matter. That's why I think the right to withhold consent is the most important right of all.
Even what we do with our time is up to personal preference. Some people will go for the easy money and work immediately, others will study and pursue some sort of degree or certification and put off easy money for something that will (hopefully) pay better dividends in the future.
As for comfort, I think it's been proven by Maslow that we have basic needs that have to be met. Once those are met, however, higher needs seem to be different from person to person. Some choose material wealth, others status, others "social justice", etc. The best society is one which allows all people to first satisfy their basic needs, then once those needs are met, allows them the freedom to meet whatever higher needs they wish to pursue.
Actually, I'd argue, BINGO! But more on that later....lol
If the need for shelter is universal, why do some people live in tents or straw huts or prefer to sleep out in the open, while others need a house with air-conditioning and a two car garage? Even in our basic "needs", different people have different comfort levels.
It also depends quite a lot on climate. Depending on climate, even clothing is optional.
I think you just may over estimate the benefits of material items and success...interesting, the more I talk to you guys. I believe now that it indeed is part of America's illness.
I'm formulating another thesis, , having to do with basic human rights, plus our status as physical, and for lack of a better term--spiritual--beings. Lemme think about it some more and get back to you.
But LDT! Talking back and forth about this isn't convincing me at all of anything but that I may be on to something in my original thinking.
I'm not really trying to convince, just putting things out there and seeing what you come up with and how it impacts what you're thinking. Don't think for a moment that what you say doesn't get me thinking about my personal beliefs and the theories I'm formulating. That's how we learn and do better. I've gotten a lot out of our discussions and hope you've done the same.
That is not a "burden" imposed from without, it is a choice that people make when they decide that an investment in higher education is worth the cost and will more than pay for itself in the long run.
If you go buy a car so you can get a job further away from where you live, your car loan is not a "burden" someone or something has imposed on you, it is a choice, an investment made because you believe the benefit will outweigh the cost.
If my kid gets an admit in Stanford but due to no/little savings he/she ends up pursuing in some other university then throughout there life they would regret missing the opportunity. And if they do pursue and finish it then they may not be able to enjoy the benefits when they have to constantly worry about the huge costs that they would have to repay. My parents have done the best they could for us and we would do the same for our kids. I want my kids to have a good happy lives with as little burdens as possible. And in our traditions it is considered one of the duties for married couples to take care of there parents/kids. What I am saying is only an opinion which we subscribe to and not to be taken as preaching for everybody to follow.
Lita- Glad to know no more an ESL.
edit: I agree Aya about being the responsible parents. I don't know much policy making . I guess parents whose income is higher(as per there W2) then there kids shouldn't be equally eligible for need based scholarships as those that didn't have any means to begin with.
You write better than my ex, who has an MD/MBA now, . I think Hubpages may have been good for that...
Wow, CW, I never would have guessed you were an ESL student. Did you learn though immersion? I've heard that's the fastest way to pick up a new language, or did you watch soaps? Apparently that's how my mom expanded her English vocabulary. She still watches "All My Children", she's been doing that since before I was born.
Thanks for the compliment. I personally have learned a lot here at hub pages and if my language also has improved then it is a bonus.
The good news, if you want to call it that, is that this mess probably won't last more than a decade, surely people will get tired of the nonsense coming out of Washington before too much longer. So while it will be hard at first, at least you can rest assured things will get better over time. I was born in the midst of the last major economic crisis we had in this country. My mom told stories about having to sell her jewelery to get enough money to buy food for my brother and I. Still we grew up in relative comfort and never missed a meal. Things got better for her and they'll do the same for you.
Thing is, is there a recession or is it all a myth. All I know is the UK Government have made a total cock up of the economy but I still don't see a slow down in spending.
I have seen companies use it as an excuse not to give rises but if we are poor why are oil companies shafting us bigtime. Because we continue to pay the dollar for it.
I have learnt that this recession is a load of crock and so unlike the great Wall Street Crash recession. Back then you had to queue up for food, back then your shoes were most likely hand me downs. In this recession tell me a secret and I promise I wont tell.
Does your kid have a mobile phone, does your kid have a colour television in their room. Hey I bet they have an x-box and deff a computer with full on broadband, so recession please don't make me laugh.
When you cant afford a meal, you are homeless, or even worse yer kid loses their mobile phone then lets talk recession. What we see today is debt catching up with people that never understood the meaning of you have to pay your way. We are facing a Global Debt Problem and not a recession but hey what wud I know, I am just a silly lil Cabin Girl !
Just wait CG. Most people think that the stock market crashed and soup lines opened up overnight. That's not true. We're not even to the bottom of the stock market crash yet. Even in 1929 the stock market went back up about 40% before it crashed. I imagine we'll see our stock market crash again in August or September. We'll for sure see it when the Alt-A loans reset later this year and next year. That should be enough to kill off the rest of the national banks and most regional banks. Just so you know, banks know this is coming, that's why they're hoarding the money the got from the government instead of using it to originate new loans. The sad part is the bailout money won't be nearly enough to cover the defaults on the Alt-A, so we've basically thrown away good money after bad.
You are a smart guy and you have my respect. I like intelligent men !
Thank you for the compliment, my dear. I just wish more people could see what I do coming. One of my medium term plans is to get a bit of land and set up a bit of a homestead in case things get as bad as I think they might. Only the future knows what's in store for us, so all we can do is plan for the worst and hope for the best.
Trust me I only act the silly lil Cabin Girl, I have been reading all your comments right back and you actually make so many valid points. Worrying points but on the nail, myself I am building up a years earnings, I think perhaps a whirlwind will hit. I wish you a nice weekend !
And you as well. Looks like my pups are giving me that soulful woe is me look that means they want to go on a walk. As usual, it's been a great pleasure folks. I'll talk to you all later.
A house to live in is a material object. Health care is a material benefit.
A higher standard of living in terms of spending power is also material.
But the right to withhold consent is about as spiritual as it gets!
Yes. Very true. I believe what you phrased is another way to say 'free will.' But I lean more towards the Eastern, I would guess, in ideas about mind-body integration.
Oh, well...gotta think about my next thesis. And tend to this barbecue or whatever my other half is planning.
Enjoy the barbecue. We're going to swim soon, if Bow will allow.
Just one small correction. Not free will -- free choice!
Every human has free will. But only those who are not enslaved also have free choice!
I learned that the bottom of the totem pole is the first to know and the top is the last to feel it.
I have learned that I am lucky. I have always been sort of "poor" by US standards so my life basically didn't change. My mother grew up in the depression and taught us how to be sensible with our money. I drive a used car and live in the house that I was born in. More than lucky, grateful.
Anyways, I'm ignoring TK, as he has proven himself beyond worthless.
I'm leaving this forum and hope that one day those that still defend this economy and structure are one day hungry and are forced to ask themselves "what went wrong?"
Since we are comparing what is worse and letting the kid on the street be denied the right to a childhood, it proves my point is made and may you find it in your heart to understand it one day. And LD, don't try to claim Mexican blood, you've sold that out already.
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