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Politics US Edition (2021!)


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18 minutes ago, Achilles said:

I'm two months away from paying off the student loans for my graduate degree. Meanwhile I've incurred $38k (so far) in parent-plus debt to send my son to three years of pubic university, because he can't bartend his way through the first four years like my generation could. I'll be paying on his education into retirement (assuming I don't die first).

My girlfriend has been socking money into 529 accounts for her girls since they were born. With luck, that will cover 2 years of community college and books once they transfer to a university.

All this so that our children don't fall back into the economic rut that we scratched and clawed our way out of. There's no reason it should be this hard. For anyone.

Stop wasting money on useless degrees? Stop wasting money on useless items and lifestyle? Learn to repair and reuse? Move to a cheaper place and maybe grow your own food? Learn some trade skills? Carpentry? Construction? Elcetricity? 

 

Heck, even old Bill knows where the future is, and that's not cities

https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielshapiro/2021/01/14/americas-biggest-owner-of-farmland-is-now-bill-gates-bezos-turner/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

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4 minutes ago, Darkpriest said:

Stop wasting money on useless degrees?

Luckily, everyone in my social circle avoided useless degrees. We all planned ahead and got useful ones.

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Stop wasting money on useless items and lifestyle? Learn to repair and reuse? Move to a cheaper place and maybe grow your own food? Learn some trade skills? Carpentry? Construction? Elcetricity?

All great advice (most of which we follow). Doesn't change the price of college.

If this is the economic reality for people in the top 5%, what hope is there for people at the 49th percentile? There is something wrong with the system.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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12 minutes ago, Achilles said:

Luckily, everyone in my social circle avoided useless degrees. We all planned ahead and got useful ones.

All great advice (most of which we follow). Doesn't change the price of college.

If this is the economic reality for people in the top 5%, what hope is there for people at the 49th percentile? There is something wrong with the system.

Yes, it's a debt driven economy, which requires constant growth in order not to collapse. 

The issue people do not see, is that eventually more printed money in the economy, only widens the gap between the poorest and the wealthiest. 

Look at what were the ratios of richest vs poorest and purchasing power of average family, before dollar was decoupled from gold, and look at what happened when the value of the dollar was based on 'trust' alone, that you will be always able to repay any debt with it. 

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1 minute ago, Darkpriest said:

Yes, it's a debt driven economy, which requires constant growth in order not to collapse. 

The issue people do not see, is that eventually more printed money in the economy, only widens the gap between the poorest and the wealthiest. 

Look at what were the ratios of richest vs poorest and purchasing power of average family, before dollar was decoupled from gold, and look at what happened when the value of the dollar was based on 'trust' alone, that you will be always able to repay any debt with it. 

non sequitur (noun): a statement (such as a response) that does not follow logically from or is not clearly related to anything previously said.

Learned about that while studying for my useful degree :)

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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30 minutes ago, Darkpriest said:

Stop wasting money on useless degrees? Stop wasting money on useless items and lifestyle? Learn to repair and reuse? Move to a cheaper place and maybe grow your own food? Learn some trade skills? Carpentry? Construction? Elcetricity? 

 

Heck, even old Bill knows where the future is, and that's not cities

https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielshapiro/2021/01/14/americas-biggest-owner-of-farmland-is-now-bill-gates-bezos-turner/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

OK let me put things to rest right now. No Darkpriest is not my alt and no I did not steal his password and post on this name! 😂

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Get off my lawn!

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1 hour ago, Hurlshot said:

Look, I'm not for nationalizing anything outside of healthcare, but I think you are missing out on the current outlook for young people in the country today. They can't buy houses, their 'college funds' don't come close to covering the costs, and everyone in the middle is slowly falling behind. The pandemic has made it even worse. 

This was a fun read I pulled up while looking into stuff this morning. I'd love to see an update after 2020. https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2020/01/09/most-americans-say-there-is-too-much-economic-inequality-in-the-u-s-but-fewer-than-half-call-it-a-top-priority/  

am in a curious position:

am believing national debt crisis and income inequality is the two biggest national scope problems. am recognizing how difficult it is to fix either 'cause obvious solutions to income inequality is gonna magnify debt. 

am also one o' the people who saw as axiomatic the pandemic would magnify income inequality.

young people today will still be able to buy houses and go to college in the future, but will be increasing difficult unless those young people is from families at the more economic advantageous end o' the income inequality curve. even so, horatio alger stories is possible in 2021, but too many people use such real life stories to perpetuate the myth that the system works fine 'cause a person may indeed go from lowest rungs o' economic strata to the top in one generation. 

increasing income inequality is in large part what made trumpism possible. polarization political increases as does economic pain. hurlshot is no doubt aware o' the nativism which accompanied the 1920s, yes? am baffled by how little we recall o' the 1920s and how similar is the problems. nevertheless, stephen miller, god help us all, were unapologetic using calvin coolidge policies as a freaking guide for the trump administration.  in 2021, inner city urban families is suffering from same core problems as working class americans in the heartland, but thanks to opportunists like steve bannon, hundreds of millions o' people functional sharing the same fox hole see each other as enemies. same nonsense as the 1920s.

provide people good jobs, economic security and a little optimism 'bout the future and much o' the anger and most o' the polarization will evaporate. easier said than done, eh?

and then we will still have looming and crushing debt...

HA! Good Fun!

 

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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One thing we can do right away to help bring college tuition down is to not require students to take useless classes. When I was in college I took creative writing, psychology, American literature, and a bunch other crap that I didn’t have to because I had to. All these classes take up time and cost money and are utterly useless in your chosen degree field unless they are in your chosen degree field. And since mine was electronics engineering they certainly were not. 
 

I realize the aim of institutions of higher learning is to provide a well-balanced education. And once upon a time that might have seemed important. Nowadays it’s just being very lavish with other peoples money.

Get off my lawn!

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58 minutes ago, Achilles said:

I'm two months away from paying off the student loans for my graduate degree. Meanwhile I've incurred $38k (so far) in parent-plus debt to send my son to three years of pubic university, because he can't bartend his way through the first four years like my generation could.

Why cant your son get a bartending type job and help with costs? I meet lots of young people in Cpt at University and also doing part time work to help with overall expenses 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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3 minutes ago, BruceVC said:

Why cant your son get a bartending type job and help with costs? I meet lots of young people in Cpt at University and also doing part time work to help with overall expenses 

is no reason why people cannot bartend to help... but the point being made is that a part time job + summer work could cover most/all o' college expenses once upon a time. people could put themselves through college w/o amassing huge debt or crippling mom and dad's retirement plans.  nowadays, such jobs cover cost of books and perhaps personal expenses but not tuition or housing.

HA! Good Fun!

Edited by Gromnir
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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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4 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

And utterly ruining all the people whose life savings depend on their investments in those corporations. What do you tell the stockholders then? Go hang? Do you want to see real sedition and insurrection? That’s one way to get it.

I really don't think Best Buy and Wal Mart becoming part of the State would kick up much fuss, most people who invest in these companies have tons of other investments and other prospects as well.

'He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing."

King Frederick the Great of Prussia

OUT OF STOCK

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1 hour ago, Hurlshot said:

Look, I'm not for nationalizing anything outside of healthcare

Proof right here how conservative mainstream Democrats really are.

'He who seeks to defend everything, defends nothing."

King Frederick the Great of Prussia

OUT OF STOCK

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5 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

And utterly ruining all the people whose life savings depend on their investments in those corporations. What do you tell the stockholders then? Go hang? Do you want to see real sedition and insurrection? That’s one way to get it.

If there's an enormous crash the shareholders lose their value anyway. The idea would be to skip the step where everything goes bust seen in the Great Depression and go straight to the governmental programs that got countries out of that rut. Also, with a more balanced model you can do things like have national superannuation programs that don't rely on sharemarket speculation for their funding.

That's pretty important because- much like housing speculation here- you're in a situation where continual unsustainable sharemarket appreciation is so fundamentally underpinning the economy that anything other than that growth is a massive problem, leading to even more artificial props holding it up. With that appreciation benefiting one very small group of people massively, a somewhat larger group somewhat, but for the majority it's of no benefit, at very best. For many it's a big net loss, like everyone here who ends up seeing houses appreciate 20%, rents appreciate 20%, and their wages so ability to get on the property ladder and pay their rents in the meantime appreciate... 2%. So the median person on ~70k is watching house prices rise by 2x their entire annual wage before tax, with the people doing the buying paying... 1% interest. And then, the government steps in to subsidise rents, giving the people buying the houses not just 20% government mediated capital appreciation, but 20% subsidised rent appreciation too, paid for by the guy making 70k a year. And, of course, those rent payments and the increased equity are then reinvested into... more housing subsidised housing purchases. Oddly enough, there are... not many (2) MPs who don't own property and thus don't benefit personally from the money merry go round. Same in the US, just different sectors and numbers. And there, I managed to work corruption in New Zealand in somewhat relevantly to a topic.

Nationalisation is not an idea I agree with in most cases but it is also not without merit. The 2008 bail outs, after all, were effectively government(s) giving vast amounts of money to corporations to prop them up. In some cases getting equity in return, but in most it was the taxpayer propping them up with no direct return at all. Same with the current crop of covid related bail outs and programs. Those programs all benefited the shareholder class with massive disproportion, which is one of the reasons there's a lot of support for making nation wide pay outs this time. And there has been very little to no actual movement on the problem of 'too big to fail', except more and more entities joining that list and getting the benefits of privatised profits and nationalised liabilities.

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I know it's silly but "pubic university" sounds... ****ed up. :lol:

I'm so happy that university is free in Germany (if you don't pick one of the private ones). We have long-term fees though: if you are not graduating quickly enough - after 1.5 times the standard period of study has passed - you will pay for every additional semester. But it's not super high.

We had fees for a short time but it turned out to be bad so we got rid of them after a few years.

 

Deadfire Community Patch: Nexus Mods

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Coming into this thread after drinking is a bad idea. All I'll say is anyone making a variation of the bootstraps line needs a hard kick in the ass.

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"I'm fine with humanity being wiped out" - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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3 hours ago, Darkpriest said:

Stop wasting money on useless degrees? Stop wasting money on useless items and lifestyle? Learn to repair and reuse? Move to a cheaper place and maybe grow your own food? Learn some trade skills? Carpentry? Construction? Elcetricity? 

 

Heck, even old Bill knows where the future is, and that's not cities

https://www.forbes.com/sites/arielshapiro/2021/01/14/americas-biggest-owner-of-farmland-is-now-bill-gates-bezos-turner/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

In the midst of a global pandemic, billionaires have increased their wealth while everyone else is struggling. You really think people just need to be smarter with money to get ahead? There is economic data showing a stagnant middle class, growing inequity in wealth distribution, and rising costs in housing, college, health care, food, etc. There are SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS IN OUR ECONOMY. 😑

It isn't just that I overpaid for my papusas I had for dinner last night. 🙄

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25 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

In the midst of a global pandemic, billionaires have increased their wealth while everyone else is struggling. You really think people just need to be smarter with money to get ahead? There is economic data showing a stagnant middle class, growing inequity in wealth distribution, and rising costs in housing, college, health care, food, etc. There are SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS IN OUR ECONOMY. 😑

It isn't just that I overpaid for my papusas I had for dinner last night. 🙄

I agree, but printing money and going into more debt won't solve that. On the contrary, it will expidite that process even more. 

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30 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

In the midst of a global pandemic, billionaires have increased their wealth while everyone else is struggling. You really think people just need to be smarter with money to get ahead? There is economic data showing a stagnant middle class, growing inequity in wealth distribution, and rising costs in housing, college, health care, food, etc. There are SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS IN OUR ECONOMY. 😑

It isn't just that I overpaid for my papusas I had for dinner last night. 🙄

We have a specific name for that sort of statement here, the 'Smashed Avocado fallacy': "if people just stopped buying smashed avocados for breakfast they'd soon save enough to buy a house" was a near literal quote from someone defending the housing crisis. ie, despite house price appreciation at twice the median wage annually, the problem is people buying luxuries- so if people just stopped paying a mythical $20 a day for a café breakfast they'd be able to afford their own slice of paradise. Complete fiction of course, that saving wouldn't even cover appreciation on the deposit, and would be, heh, eaten up as annual rent increases outstrip it too.

It doesn't stand the most basic scrutiny, and is just victim blaming. To put it in perspective, my parents worked 40 years and the thing that made them 'millionaires' was not that work, but buying a house for $16000 in 1980 instead of renting. They got 40,000$ average return per year, untaxed, every year, from that decision. Not really something someone can do in 2021 though.

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3 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

OK let me put things to rest right now. No Darkpriest is not my alt and no I did not steal his password and post on this name! 😂

I can't imagine you spelling electricity wrong 😛

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Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary. - H.L. Mencken

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3 hours ago, Guard Dog said:

One thing we can do right away to help bring college tuition down is to not require students to take useless classes. When I was in college I took creative writing, psychology, American literature, and a bunch other crap that I didn’t have to because I had to. All these classes take up time and cost money and are utterly useless in your chosen degree field unless they are in your chosen degree field. And since mine was electronics engineering they certainly were not. 
I realize the aim of institutions of higher learning is to provide a well-balanced education. And once upon a time that might have seemed important. Nowadays it’s just being very lavish with other peoples money.

"Useless" is relative though. The function of higher education is higher education. If you go to college, you should be exposed to those things because those things improve your mind. I didn't know that I cared about any of the things I spent my adult life being passionate about until I was exposed to them in college.

If you want to learn a trade, go to vocational school.

3 hours ago, Gromnir said:

is no reason why people cannot bartend to help... but the point being made is that a part time job + summer work could cover most/all o' college expenses once upon a time. people could put themselves through college w/o amassing huge debt or crippling mom and dad's retirement plans.  nowadays, such jobs cover cost of books and perhaps personal expenses but not tuition or housing.

HA! Good Fun!

Exactly. My son does work. More than I would like him to. But that's the money he's not asking me for while he's trying to do other things like eat.

59 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

In the midst of a global pandemic, billionaires have increased their wealth while everyone else is struggling. You really think people just need to be smarter with money to get ahead? There is economic data showing a stagnant middle class, growing inequity in wealth distribution, and rising costs in housing, college, health care, food, etc. There are SYSTEMATIC PROBLEMS IN OUR ECONOMY. 😑

The beauty of the grift is that the current system has some of us thinking the problem *is* us.

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"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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Vocational schools are great, btw. I hammer it into my students on the regular that plumbers, mechanics, and electricians make very good money. But those people are thriving in the pandemic, either.

1 hour ago, Darkpriest said:

I agree, but printing money and going into more debt won't solve that. On the contrary, it will expidite that process even more. 

Not really my solution. I'd rather see reasonable taxation of the wealthy and economic reform that doesn't allows the big fish to thrive while the little fish die. It obviously isn't a simple thing to fix. But we keep trusting the big fish to fix it, for some reason. 

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41 minutes ago, Hurlshot said:

Vocational schools are great, btw. I hammer it into my students on the regular that plumbers, mechanics, and electricians make very good money. But those people are thriving in the pandemic, either.

I think they are great also. My only reservation with promoting them as 1:1 alternative to college is that I'd hate to see us further institutionalize a separation into two classes, where one is exposed to "the liberal arts" and the other isn't. Perhaps the solution is to overhaul the high school system so that more of that takes place before young adults pick a career path.

"Art and song are creations but so are weapons and lies"

"Our worst enemies are inventions of the mind. Pleasure. Fear. When we see them for what they are, we become unstoppable."

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8 hours ago, Zoraptor said:

 

Nationalisation is not an idea I agree with in most cases but it is also not without merit. The 2008 bail outs, after all, were effectively government(s) giving vast amounts of money to corporations to prop them up. In some cases getting equity in return, but in most it was the taxpayer propping them up with no direct return at all. Same with the current crop of covid related bail outs and programs. Those programs all benefited the shareholder class with massive disproportion, which is one of the reasons there's a lot of support for making nation wide pay outs this time. And there has been very little to no actual movement on the problem of 'too big to fail', except more and more entities joining that list and getting the benefits of privatised profits and nationalised liabilities.

No not at all, Nationalization is not at all the same as bailouts and we mustn't confuse them. Bailouts sometimes have to happen and are occasionally necessary 

In the  USA you had bailouts and only in places like the UK did you see  government becoming the biggest shareholder in some of the banks. But even then the UK government did not dictate or tell the banks what to do, like normal shareholders you dont get to do that unless the majority shareholders decide to fire the board and replace them with a more favorable board but its always the board that drives the strategy and direction

In the USA the bailouts were mostly in the form of the Federal Reserve buying government bonds from the banks which pumped huge liquidity into the failing banking system

This is not even remotely the same as Nationalization, lets be clear when people talk about this they are somehow expecting listed companies now to be no longer " listed " because obviously that would be how you control the entity and the new entity would somehow continue to function under the control of  some government without a shareholder structure and its relationship with the board and C level like the CEO, CFO etc

You do get many examples of Public sector companies with a C level and Board that control the direction of the company and its profitability. But you cannot take an established,  legitimate listed company " owned  " by shareholders and now somehow make that a Public sector company without causing massive damage to the sector and the company  

 

 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

 

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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10 hours ago, Achilles said:

If this is the economic reality for people in the top 5%, what hope is there for people at the 49th percentile? There is something wrong with the system.

Easy access to student loans is what's wrong. It creates a positive feedback loop that endlessly inflates the cost of college. Maybe they need to provide free (or cheap) community college, then require high marks from there to attend a university?

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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