If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Spiegel)   Economist Joseph Stiglitz:"The American dream has become a myth"   (spiegel.de) divider line 247
    More: Sad, Joseph Stiglitz, American Dream, social inequality, income inequality metrics, SPIEGEL, American families, economists, rhetoric of science  
•       •       •

10201 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Oct 2012 at 11:59 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



247 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

Archived thread

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all
 
2012-10-03 05:41:48 AM
If we, say, disbanded the Department of Homeland Redundancy and spent the savings on education, we might have a start.
 
2012-10-03 06:09:55 AM

ladyfortuna: As much as I like you, I can't help but think you've got some blinders on. Possibly because you've not experienced the same corporate abuse (and sheer bad luck) some of us have; obviously I speculate since I don't know you, but there are plenty of companies which don't give a rat's ass how hard you work and that you showed up every day.


Dont you have the same freedom not to "give a rat's ass" about your company as an employee? Today, the days of private security holding you at the door of a company and forcing you back to the line were gone about 130 years ago. For most companies, it costs a few grand in OT and HR costs to bring someone new in.

2words1finger: It is that "I've got mine, screw everybody else" attitude that is necessary for real success in the free-market system. I don't know about you, but I don't like, and will fight against to my last breath, a business culture that rewards those who care the least about whose throat they have to slit open to get ahead.


If only you had a government that protected people's property and rights. A corporation can only offer you a product you're not forced to buy or a job you're not forced to work. Nowadays, most of the "throat slitting" i see comes from business owners who are connected to government and find it easier to keep their product on the shelves by buying a few congressmen to keep the laws in their favor. than in competing in the marketplace.

intelligent comment below: 2) do you have any idea why you pay that much? hint it's because of rising food and energy prices and zero to do with "devaluing the dollar"


Food and energy are hard commodities whose worth can be measured against the dollar. When the price of those items goes up, it requires more dollars to buy them due to either shortages in food/energy supply or an overabundance in the money supply. The president says that we're drilling everywhere we possibly can so why is gas at a historic high?

The CBO bases inflation on a weighted system of price scales, putting more weight on some categories and less on others in order to make their calculations seem more friendly to the Fed. Housing is still bleeding so that is why the inflation numbers you see are still somewhat low. Food, energy, rents, college and healthcare costs are all through the roof. Money itself has no value, it is simply a token or marker which is supposed to represent something between points of exchange i.e. an hour of labor, a loaf of bread, gallon of milk, etc. Increasing the money supply only serves to raise prices which destroys savings - another component of inflation - which is at an all time low.

Something to take with you: When prices rise, the dollar is not worth as much as it requires more dollars to buy the product. When this happens across many economic sectors (savings included) and especially those which low and middle income people depend on, you have inflation
 
2012-10-03 06:24:33 AM
what the HELL is an American dream??? is it something like an Americone dream. or something more sweet.
that involves infinite free money
 
2012-10-03 06:39:27 AM

NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.

3 years ago I was making just a few bucks more than minimum wage. Now I have an awesome job, got promoted 3 times and have more money than I ever had in my life and the future looks nothing but bright. I did all this and all I have is a sh*tty associates degree. Working on a Bachelor's (still) but I'll get that eventually.

The American Dream is still alive and well. Just scale it back a bit. I can't emphasize luck enough, though. Luck plays a HUGE part in life. Call it fate or whatever, but that sh*t is real. It's that combined with showing up and giving everything you've got.

I respect Joe, but he's wrong. This is still an amazing country filled with amazing people capable of awesome things. Yes, the economy is tough right now. We all know that. We've been through it before. We'll come out the other side and we'll move on as we always have.


I too got dealt the good luck card, despite having broke-ass parents. Pair that with just a little hard work and things are nice :)
 
2012-10-03 07:08:00 AM
Stiglitz? Spiegel? Bullshiat? Yes!

Inequality in the US has grown for two reasons: globalization and immigration. Both increase the supply of low skill labor, driving down prices and resulting in a worse outcome for existing low skill labor.

You can argue that we should curtail globalization and immigration to raise the price of labor in the US, but be aware that a) such a policy will result in higher prices for everything, as opposed to the very benign inflation we've seen over the last 25 years, and b) non-American low skill labor (in countries that have recently industrialized and immigrants) will be harmed.
 
2012-10-03 07:09:59 AM

Guntram Shatterhand: You know what the real biatch of this is?

For years the American Dream has been pushed as an ideal. People would go into debt to find that slice of happiness that they've always been promised, the sense of final dramatic victory over the world in the form of financial security and 'independence.' But it's always been a way to create a slave class that can't move, can't do what they want, and have social pressures causing them to conform.

Americans know shiat about freedom. Freedom is scary: you're totally responsible for yourself, you can't shift the blame, and you have to make hard choices. Freedom isn't something you chant as a thought-terminating cliche, it's the power to do what you want. But it takes a lot of fortitude and honesty to do that. And to be honest, freedom isn't as freeing as it sounds. It takes work, and it's certainly not a house designed to create a tax base held hostage by a shifting economy that is controlled by the 1%.

The totality of American life today is essentially extortion via a greatly exaggerated form of responsibility. How much freedom does one have when forced to beg for bare subsistence while those with much taunt you and curse you for the results of their actions? But Americans like delusion, and we love the idea of freedom being some shiny pillar that we know absolutely farking nothing about. We love the chant, and that's where it really ends. We are the first to point out how much American life sucks yet do nothing about it. We've been beaten down. We're essentially the lambs born right onto a griddle. And we brag about it like it's something to be proud of, like working ourselves to death is somehow a noble thing.

The latest economic downturn should reveal one thing to Americans at large: that we're not free. We're far from it. And it's a systemic problem that we really need to dig deep down about. This isn't a problem that overthrowing a government or playing right-wing commando with a bunch of cheap guns can resolve. This is how we deal with the dead-end philosophy that America has come to accept as 'freedom.' How do we react to the reality of freedom when we use responsibility as a form of slut shaming? Our country is broken, and it's not just in an economic sense. The foundations of American thought are, at their heart, really rotten and needlessly vile and competitive. Exactly why is simple subsistence a moral failing again? And what kind of awful people thinks that way?

All I can say right now is that when you really have time to examine American life as an outsider--as an unemployed person who is detached from that Dream--a lot of things become very clear very quickly. And I don't see many Americans going back to the Dream once the economy sorts itself out. It's hard to measure consumer confidence when you're one write-up away from being excluded from a Dream that, at its heart, is Yet Another Marketing Tool, and just as hollow.


I'm sorry, I wasn't listening...
 
2012-10-03 07:45:04 AM

NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.

3 years ago I was making just a few bucks more than minimum wage. Now I have an awesome job, got promoted 3 times and have more money than I ever had in my life and the future looks nothing but bright. I did all this and all I have is a sh*tty associates degree. Working on a Bachelor's (still) but I'll get that eventually.

The American Dream is still alive and well. Just scale it back a bit. I can't emphasize luck enough, though. Luck plays a HUGE part in life. Call it fate or whatever, but that sh*t is real. It's that combined with showing up and giving everything you've got.

I respect Joe, but he's wrong. This is still an amazing country filled with amazing people capable of awesome things. Yes, the economy is tough right now. We all know that. We've been through it before. We'll come out the other side and we'll move on as we always have.


No, we won't. We never had 16 trillion in debt. We never had 50% of American workers paying no taxes. We never had entire generations of kids who are liberal and think working is not fair. We are screwed.

Obama gets another term, we will be at 22 trillion in debt by the end of that one. That is some serious interest payments alone.
 
2012-10-03 07:47:55 AM

Debeo Summa Credo: Inequality in the US has grown for two reasons: globalization and immigration. Both increase the supply of low skill labor, driving down prices and resulting in a worse outcome for existing low skill labor.


"Just blame it on the guy who doesn't speak English."

-- Homer Simpson
 
2012-10-03 07:50:34 AM

jaybeezey: I'm sorry, I wasn't listening...


Stay out of Malibu, Lebowski! Stay out of Malibu, dead beat!
 
2012-10-03 07:54:15 AM

Ennuipoet: Has become? Joseph the country was founded by rich, white, slave holding aristocrats [who couldn't get their way in Europe] who restricted suffrage to their class. It was always a myth. The economic elite have always given up just enough change to keep them from being hauled to an execution site in a cart.


Inserted for additional clarity.
 
2012-10-03 08:01:11 AM

Poo_Fight: bittermang: Keep your head up, but not all the way up in the clouds.

Or all the way up another mans ass simply because it soothes your conscience to vote for him simply because he is our first minority president...


Don't assume that because that's why you hate him, it's why we like him.
 
2012-10-03 08:01:24 AM

Thunderpipes: NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.

3 years ago I was making just a few bucks more than minimum wage. Now I have an awesome job, got promoted 3 times and have more money than I ever had in my life and the future looks nothing but bright. I did all this and all I have is a sh*tty associates degree. Working on a Bachelor's (still) but I'll get that eventually.

The American Dream is still alive and well. Just scale it back a bit. I can't emphasize luck enough, though. Luck plays a HUGE part in life. Call it fate or whatever, but that sh*t is real. It's that combined with showing up and giving everything you've got.

I respect Joe, but he's wrong. This is still an amazing country filled with amazing people capable of awesome things. Yes, the economy is tough right now. We all know that. We've been through it before. We'll come out the other side and we'll move on as we always have.

No, we won't. We never had 16 trillion in debt. We never had 50% of American workers paying no taxes. We never had entire generations of kids who are liberal and think working is not fair. We are screwed.

Obama gets another term, we will be at 22 trillion in debt by the end of that one. That is some serious interest payments alone.


You still don't.
 
2012-10-03 08:07:18 AM

Aussie_As: intelligent comment below: david_gaithersburg: notsureifyou'reserious

Cash for clunkers
Devaluing the dollar
21% real inflation
Obamacare
I can go on all night


1) helped save the auto industry and got more higher emission standard cars on the road
2) important to compete with global companies
3) notsureifyou'reserious
4) yes 0bamacare is a huge benefit, lowering costs and insuring tens of millions more

By all means, keep going on. This is amusing

I agree with all of these points. In my part of the world, the economic stimulus focussed on building school facilities. There were a few examples of unfortunate rip-offs but mostly it delivered decent community infrastructure and kept the building industry from disappearing. The government here toyed with a cash for clunkers scheme idea but realised it just would have sent a lot of money off-shore rather than assist local manufacturing.

Our currency was floated in the early 80's, and this has probably been the biggest and best economic reform in Australia in the last 50 years. Our dollar settled at around US$0.60 to US$0.70 in the early nineties, then when Asia had a meltdown in the late 90's (which usually would have had a massive impact in Australia), our dollar fell further (below US$0.50 for a while) and our exporters found new markets in Europe and the Americas. Unemployment was not the problem it usually would have been, and as our trading partners recovered our unemployment rate fell to levels not seen in over a generation. Even now, although times are tougher since 2007, unemployment is not a big issue.

This wouldn't work in the US though. The economy is too big to cope with all of the effects which come from having a dollar which can halve and then double in value in the course of a decade, as ours has done.


Hey if you want to be taxed out the ass to fund healthcare for lazy/illegals spread your cheeks all day. I prefer to keep the money I work for (such as it's worth now thanks to the king). They want insurance, it's called A JOB...novel idea huh?

Obama knows how to run a government like my dead grandma knows how to drive
 
2012-10-03 08:27:42 AM
white people problems, hah!
 
2012-10-03 08:39:59 AM
Huh, that's funny because I've gone to school (graduated from the CIA with a BPS in Culinary Arts Management), worked hard (15 years in restaurants and now 2 in private schools), got married, have two cars, just bought a house in a nice neighborhood with lots of kids playing in the yards and on the street, and am planning to have kids of my own in a year or two, oh, and we have a cat and are adopting a greyhound this year.

So, that's an education, a wife, a house, two cars, a big yard in a nice neighborhood with some pets and a few kids on the way.

Now, before the accusations of me being the exception to the rule. I live near DC, my wife and I make what would be considered very, very modest incomes for the DC Metro area, and it took me about 5 years longer than I expected to reach this point, but we did. And we know plenty of other people who are doing the same thing. Did I have my problems financially when I was younger? You betcha! Was in over my head with credit card debt at one point, but I set up a payment plan, lived frugally for 4 years and paid it off. It's not a "dream" as some are claiming, it's a goal, and you have to work at it. It doesn't just come because you want it, you have to work for it, and I think that's what a lot of people have forgotten in the past few decades.
 
2012-10-03 08:43:48 AM

skyn_floote: [we read this already...]
Hey if you want to be taxed out the ass to fund healthcare for lazy/illegals spread your cheeks all day. I prefer to keep the money I work for (such as it's worth now thanks to the king) ...


As long as you're good with us laughing and pointing at you when you get sick and have to spend all that money, and sell all your stuff to get better.
 
2012-10-03 08:59:47 AM
Um, yeah, like since the 1980's where the fark has this guy been.
 
2012-10-03 09:04:41 AM
For quitters and lazy bastards
 
2012-10-03 09:07:03 AM

skyn_floote: Aussie_As: intelligent comment below: david_gaithersburg: notsureifyou'reserious

....

Hey if you want to be taxed out the ass to fund healthcare for lazy/illegals spread your cheeks all day. I prefer to keep the money I work for (such as it's worth now thanks to the king). They want insurance, it's called A JOB...novel idea huh?

Obama knows how to run a government like my dead grandma knows how to drive


I can't speak for US healthcare, but the Australian publicly funded medicare system is excellent. I broke my arm one sunday afternoon a couple of years ago, was X-rayed same afternoon, admitted to a hospital 6 miles from my house, operated on at 8am the following day and was back at work less than two days after that. The benefit of public health care vs private is that it's cheaper because consumers of private health care are much more likely to demand shiat for their contributions (eg unnecessary dental work, top quality scans when cheaper ones would likely achieve the same result etc). There is a private insurance system here which provides these benefits to those who demand them, but they have to pay twice in effect.

As I understand the "Obamacare" system (and I barely do) it's still a largely private system. I think that's going to end in tears. But I don't pretend to know the details.
 
2012-10-03 09:21:42 AM

sethen320: Coelacanth: Sometimes I think the only reason I was born in this country was to punish me for something awful I did in a previous life.
Leave.


I'd love to. Just as soon as I can find enough work to save enough money to try to get another job in another country.........Hang on a minute. I'm having trouble finding a job here.
 
2012-10-03 09:28:39 AM

unyon: NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.

3 years ago I was making just a few bucks more than minimum wage. Now I have an awesome job, got promoted 3 times and have more money than I ever had in my life and the future looks nothing but bright. I did all this and all I have is a sh*tty associates degree. Working on a Bachelor's (still) but I'll get that eventually.

The American Dream is still alive and well. Just scale it back a bit. I can't emphasize luck enough, though. Luck plays a HUGE part in life. Call it fate or whatever, but that sh*t is real. It's that combined with showing up and giving everything you've got.

I respect Joe, but he's wrong. This is still an amazing country filled with amazing people capable of awesome things. Yes, the economy is tough right now. We all know that. We've been through it before. We'll come out the other side and we'll move on as we always have.

Good for you. But "the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else"? The evidence doesn't support that.

I assume that we're gauging that on one's ability to be upwardly mobile. Income elasticity in the US now falls near the bottom of industrialized nations. If you want to gauge someone's ability to succeed, the best predictor in the US is actually parental income. If you're truly interested in being the land of opportunity, you'll take your collective heads out of your asses.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 600x463]


That moment when you link a graph that disproves your post.
 
2012-10-03 09:53:28 AM
4 step plan to fix america

1. tax on all currency exports of 10-15% (5x number designated in step 3)
2. sunset all current taxes, income, sales, payroll etc
3. tax all property at a rate of 2-3% annually, including intellectual property protected by the US government, and the value of all "investment vehicles" like stocks, bonds, bank accounts, etc. This rate would be set to be revenue neutral with the current tax system.
4. pass constitutional amendment that no government entity on any level may use non-tax sources to fund itself
4.a. put all fines, fees, and seizure auction revenue into a segregated account and distribute it equally to all citizens

What this will accomplish:

It is a fundamentally more fair way to pay for government. Those who use more of the government's primary function to protect property rights are the ones who pay the most. There would be no loopholes as someone always has to own property. Corporations and wealthy individuals couldn't get out of it because they would be taxed based on what they owned, not on what they made.

The current level of corruption in the federal government where corporations can buy favorable tax provisions would cease. And with step 4 it would prevent corruption on the local and state level where law enforcement is currently being used as a revenue tool. And finally it would take power away from politicians and special interests so they couldn't use taxes to control behavior, which is inimical to a free society.

The one issue I see is with food production where the value of the crops is significantly less than the value of the land. And one potential solution I see is that the tax is deferred as long as a farm is being operated by an immediate family member of the owner. If the land is sold, to a developer for example, the tax bill comes due.
 
2012-10-03 09:59:47 AM
I know I'm an atypical anecdote... but it does happen here and there. And I'm not talking about rags to riches... just rags to comfy middle class.

But yeah... it's rare anymore. I'm 35 and of my contemporaries from high school, I'm one of three outliers who bettered their economic class. One middle class girl married into royalty (uh... you go girl?), one white trash girl worked hard and became a lawyer, and I was the white trash guy that made it into programming. Both of us white trashers grew up damn poor and were the first in either family to earn a degree of any kind.

Everyone else from high school seems to be in the economic class into which they were born: poor or middle class.
 
2012-10-03 10:10:20 AM
I've found a couple of things to be true about my peers (I'm mid 30s). 1) they don't do an ounce more than the have to. 2) they are too good to do a lot of jobs and would prefer to sit on thier ass and whine about how they can't find a job. They generally need somebody to draw them directions in crayon before they can accomplish anything. In 2004 - 2008 I worked an average of 340 days per year - 12 hr days. Every jackass I know said "I wouldn't do that, it's stupid". This led to my current position and now they all say " it must be nice, wish I could get lucky". The only answer i have for that is to go fark yourself. If the American dream were alive I'd be set for life, but I'm not. shiat happens and you gotta be ready for it. But there is no law saying you have to have a job that fits your requirements. There is also no law saying I won't be shoveling shiat in 6 months, but that's life.

Success is possible. Getting there is a biatch and staying there can be a bigger biatch. It's not a farking dream by any means.
 
2012-10-03 10:31:54 AM

Poo_Fight: vygramul: intelligent comment below: Poo_Fight: What? The magic negro was supposed to fix all this. Right? Right?!


I bet you have a lot of negro friends

I think "magic negro" is what his mom called black tar heroin when she was pregnant.

I you can't make a legitimate point, try to be funny.


You mean like making references to "magic negro"?
 
2012-10-03 10:57:16 AM

NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.


Apart from most of Europe. So yeah, you're full of bullshiat, good call.

And wtf., you're praising a system that requires intelligence and luck? Yeah, because fark people who aren't smarter than average, and yeah, because who cares if you're smart and hard working, if you didn´t roll a nat 20, you deserved it, some how.
 
2012-10-03 11:15:20 AM

spawn73: NewportBarGuy: Bullsh*t! With luck, determination, and some intelligence you have the best chance to make something of yourself in this country than anywhere else.

Apart from most of Europe. So yeah, you're full of bullshiat, good call.

And wtf., you're praising a system that requires intelligence and luck? Yeah, because fark people who aren't smarter than average, and yeah, because who cares if you're smart and hard working, if you didn´t roll a nat 20, you deserved it, some how.


Well, hard work should get you somewhere, but stupidity should not be a non-factor. I'd prefer we be closer to Europe to help those who are struggling, but I'm not prepared to subscribe to the notion that there's more opportunity in Europe. The single biggest obstacle to making it here is our education system.

What I find most interesting about Europe's social volatility is how much easier it is to drop. (It's a zero-sum game, determining which quintile someone's in, so if people can move up easier, they can also move down easier.)
 
2012-10-03 11:18:46 AM

RockofAges: Luck + hard work = success.

No luck + hard work = waste of effort, or subsistence.

I think I found your independent variable for you.


Very good. Except that we're not talking about a binary state but a gradient.

Luck should be mitigated as much as possible, though.
 
2012-10-03 01:16:38 PM

wildcardjack: What was the dream? Grow up, get a job, get married, have 2 or 3 kids, buy a house, get old and die.

Yeah, that really sounds like a dream.

/My only persistent dream is being passed by branches from evil faced cypress tree to evil faced cypress tree.
//Since I was six.


The Dream was to grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, the wife stays home and takes care of the kids, the husband goes to work and they save up money for vacations, retirement and the kids to go to college.

Nowadays, for the average American family, both parents have to continue to work, vacations are pretty few, retirement is a joke and the kids have to get college loans.
 
2012-10-03 01:58:18 PM
Nonsense, the US is still a great place to thrive, just make sure you are in the top 10% of talent and learned skills group.
 
2012-10-03 02:43:16 PM

cryinoutloud: sethen320: Coelacanth: Sometimes I think the only reason I was born in this country was to punish me for something awful I did in a previous life.
Leave.

I'd love to. Just as soon as I can find enough work to save enough money to try to get another job in another country.........Hang on a minute. I'm having trouble finding a job here.


If I could get back the money that my family and I paid in taxes for farking services that were never rendered, I'd leave in a heartbeat. Fark, my family donated most of the land that is now Griffith Park to the city of Los Angeles. I'd farking like that back too because my aunt who authorized that deal was operating under a diminished capacity.
 
2012-10-03 04:11:43 PM

Poo_Fight: I'm glad your User name is intelligent comment below because there never seems to be an intelligent comment ABOVE when you post.



You're so witty, did you think of that all yourself?
 
2012-10-03 04:13:42 PM

skyn_floote: Hey if you want to be taxed out the ass to fund healthcare for lazy/illegals spread your cheeks all day. I prefer to keep the money I work for (such as it's worth now thanks to the king). They want insurance, it's called A JOB...novel idea huh?

Obama knows how to run a government like my dead grandma knows how to drive



Many jobs do not give health care to their employees, and plans are too expensive for most families.

You are taxed at rates that are the lowest they've been in over 50 years.

Your dead grandma is still smarter than you
 
2012-10-03 04:15:21 PM

o5iiawah: The president says that we're drilling everywhere we possibly can so why is gas at a historic high?



Because the price isn't based on supply and demand. Demand in America continues to go down, domestic production goes up. Yet prices are set by cartels like OPEC and speculators.

This is the proof you idiots have that the dollar weakening is bad and 0bama's fault for high prices?
 
2012-10-03 04:16:03 PM

RockofAges: Very good.

Except for that we're actually talking about how much of a binary state our current economic slate has become due to vast income inequality.

As someone with a fairly advanced education, I'm quite well aware of the difference between absolute states and states placed on a continuum (my preferential array rather than binary / gradient which I consider to be too sterile). As a postmodernist living in a postmodern world, I think you would find it almost impossible to argue many absolute or binary states in the almost entirely subjective realm of human affairs and human creations (to which the economy and all economic theory belongs).

Not to suggest a Kuhnian interpretation, but there it is.

I wasn't being comprehensive, but rather incisive and making the point without belaboring the semantic details too, too much.

Yes, it's almost binary now. And that's the goddamn problem.


I think that we probably more agree than disagree, in which case.
 
2012-10-03 04:18:31 PM

intelligent comment below: skyn_floote: Hey if you want to be taxed out the ass to fund healthcare for lazy/illegals spread your cheeks all day. I prefer to keep the money I work for (such as it's worth now thanks to the king). They want insurance, it's called A JOB...novel idea huh?

Obama knows how to run a government like my dead grandma knows how to drive


Many jobs do not give health care to their employees, and plans are too expensive for most families.

You are taxed at rates that are the lowest they've been in over 50 years.

Your dead grandma is still smarter than you


No shiat. I love the people who are whining about taxes when they're not paying any more than they were 8 years ago, and less than they were paying in 2001 or before.

But people believe what they WANT to believe, facts be damned. Obama is a socialist, so we MUST be paying more. We just MUST be. Obamacare is a tax, so therefore, even though I've had health insurance for the last 20 years, I MUST be paying an additional tax now. I just MUST be.
 
2012-10-03 04:19:05 PM

Lagaidh: I know I'm an atypical anecdote... but it does happen here and there. And I'm not talking about rags to riches... just rags to comfy middle class.


tallen702: Now, before the accusations of me being the exception to the rule. I live near DC, my wife and I make what would be considered very, very modest incomes for the DC Metro area



Neither of you are living the American dream. Both of you are one missing paycheck away from a homeless shelter. That's the point Stiglitz is making. Your jobs are not steady income, your expenses on things like health care are through the roof, and if something happened you would be in deep trouble. Not to mention you going to college in the first place to get to where you are now is unobtainable for a large percentage of the population.
 
2012-10-03 04:19:37 PM

intelligent comment below: Poo_Fight: I'm glad your User name is intelligent comment below because there never seems to be an intelligent comment ABOVE when you post.


You're so witty, did you think of that all yourself?


The finny thing is that I don't think he thought his wittiness all the way through.
 
2012-10-03 04:20:50 PM

intelligent comment below: Lagaidh: I know I'm an atypical anecdote... but it does happen here and there. And I'm not talking about rags to riches... just rags to comfy middle class.

tallen702: Now, before the accusations of me being the exception to the rule. I live near DC, my wife and I make what would be considered very, very modest incomes for the DC Metro area


Neither of you are living the American dream. Both of you are one missing paycheck away from a homeless shelter. That's the point Stiglitz is making. Your jobs are not steady income, your expenses on things like health care are through the roof, and if something happened you would be in deep trouble. Not to mention you going to college in the first place to get to where you are now is unobtainable for a large percentage of the population.


Yeah - I think people forget that mortgages came from banks saying you can put the American Dream on layaway - not that the mortgage is the American Dream.
 
2012-10-03 05:23:12 PM

intelligent comment below: Lagaidh: I know I'm an atypical anecdote... but it does happen here and there. And I'm not talking about rags to riches... just rags to comfy middle class.

tallen702: Now, before the accusations of me being the exception to the rule. I live near DC, my wife and I make what would be considered very, very modest incomes for the DC Metro area


Neither of you are living the American dream. Both of you are one missing paycheck away from a homeless shelter. That's the point Stiglitz is making. Your jobs are not steady income, your expenses on things like health care are through the roof, and if something happened you would be in deep trouble. Not to mention you going to college in the first place to get to where you are now is unobtainable for a large percentage of the population.


See, I marked your comment as "funny" because your assumptions are just that, really funny. Try 1 year with $0 income before we start getting into trouble. If we were to both lose our jobs and have to go on unemployment, that'd stretch out even further. Here's the difference between us, and those who aren't attaining the same standard of living.

1) We both learned from mistakes we made early on. Her in college, me in my immediate post college years. She had a freeloading boyfriend, I made stupid credit decisions, we payed for those mistakes and learned not to repeat them
2) We both lived below our means for 5-8 years to save up for those things we wanted to buy down the road, like nice cars and a house that sits on an acre.
3) I chose an industry which will always reward hard work and creativity. She chose an industry which has rewarding work but pays jack crap (the arts) I've remained in my industry but sought better hours (hence the move to private schools. 2 paid months off in the summer is AWESOME when you're an adult). She realized she'd never make the money she wanted/needed to make to achieve our personal goals at her old job, so she switched industries. Her work is still rewarding and she makes far better money doing less work (she too is now in the private school industry). She has a masters in arts management, but is working as an administrative assistant because it pays better and she too, gets lots of time off.
4) Our incomes are most definitely steady. I can count on at least 3% each year because I do everything required of me. She too can expect at least that, even in a recession.
5) The American dream of working hard to achieve success isn't just about "hard work" it's about being in the right place at the right time with the right idea and right skills. And being flexible enough to adapt to changing situations so that you can take advantage of those places, times, and skills. It applied to Carnegie, Packer, Morgan, Vanderbilt, Edison, Gates, Jobs, etc.

I'm not arguing that the gap between rich and poor is getting bigger and bigger, that most certainly is true, but the American dream is alive and well, you just have to fight for it, Our grandparents did, their parents did, etc. etc. Be it by working 2 jobs and living in a tenement to give your kids opportunities you didn't have in your home country, or scrambling to get that promotion so you could buy a house in the suburbs. It's always required something other than sitting back and expecting it to come to you like so many people today think it should. My parents were the only generation that had that opportunity, and that's not the American dream.
 
2012-10-03 08:02:19 PM

fatassbastard: There's a house on the way to my friend's parents' place where we have our jam space. Big, brand new place on 5 acres. Guy's a Mexican immigrant who eventually started his own landscaping company, and now has this place to raise his family in.

How is that not the farking American Dream?

I have a job, make a decent wage, pay my mortgage and car payment, save a little money and have a beer with friends now and then. I'm more or less in control of my own destiny.

How is that not the farking American Dream?

Jesus Christ, you guys...


Control of your own destiny is an illusion.
 
2012-10-03 09:07:01 PM

tallen702: Try 1 year with $0 income before we start getting into trouble. If we were to both lose our jobs and have to go on unemployment, that'd stretch out even further. Here's the difference between us, and those who aren't attaining the same standard of living.



So what happens if your wife develops cancer, her insurance drops her... then what? My friend had a daughter born with a heart defect, without an insurance plan covering the countless procedures, hospital stays and medication, they would have no money at all.

I just pointed out how volatile your situation actually is and how the odds are stacked against everyone, including you. Yet you still claimed to have "made it" when you have no idea what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years just like a tech person working in the 1990's thought their good life would last forever
 
2012-10-03 09:21:11 PM

intelligent comment below: So what happens if your wife develops cancer, her insurance drops her... then what?


Then my ensuing lawsuit against the insurance company will pay for both her cancer treatment and a new Ferrari or two for me.

I just pointed out how volatile your situation actually is and how the odds are stacked against everyone, including you. Yet you still claimed to have "made it" when you have no idea what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years just like a tech person working in the 1990's thought their good life would last forever

What some random dumbass with a Netware certification thought in the 1990s doesn't seem relevant to my own future, or that of my family.
 
2012-10-03 09:42:55 PM
i172.photobucket.com
 
2012-10-03 09:47:41 PM

intelligent comment below: tallen702: Try 1 year with $0 income before we start getting into trouble. If we were to both lose our jobs and have to go on unemployment, that'd stretch out even further. Here's the difference between us, and those who aren't attaining the same standard of living.


So what happens if your wife develops cancer, her insurance drops her... then what? My friend had a daughter born with a heart defect, without an insurance plan covering the countless procedures, hospital stays and medication, they would have no money at all.

I just pointed out how volatile your situation actually is and how the odds are stacked against everyone, including you. Yet you still claimed to have "made it" when you have no idea what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years just like a tech person working in the 1990's thought their good life would last forever


I think you need to read up on the recent healthcare legislation considering that insurance can no longer drop you while you are sick. So your point is moot on that first bit. As for what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years, everyone's got to eat and fewer and fewer of you out there know how to cook for yourselves. Not to mention the fact that my knowledge goes far beyond cooking. Within the food and ag industries (which are closely linked) there are so many positions it'd make your head spin, and you can get into just about any of them so long as you have the knowledge you gain in my line of work.

Again, flexibility. Tech jobs sure as hell don't have it. Got your Red Hat Cert? Good for you, but we need MSCEs. What's that? You know Perl? That's fantastic, but we need someone who knows how to code using the .net framework. My career path, flexible, tech career path, rigid. Specialization can get you a bunch of money if you're in the right field at the right time, but having the ability to be flexible pays more constant dividends in the long run.

Case in point. I've lost my job in my industry twice. First time, it took me less than two weeks to get hired on at better pay. That was back in 2006. The second time was just last summer, in the middle of the recession where it supposedly takes 30 interviews to get hired these days. I was out for just 4 weeks. What's more, I had to actually turn down offers. One was a sales management position with a large broadline food distributor. Another was as exec chef at a well known resort in my area, and then there was the offer I took, which (funny enough) was the lowest paying, but provided better hours and quality of life.

I don't know how else to tell you, but yes, yes I am living the American dream. Yes, I do have money in savings, Yes I am putting money away for retirement. Yes I do have fantastic health insurance. Yes I do have the house, the cars, and soon the two and a half kids. And yes, emphatically yes, my wife and I both earned it all by working hard, being smart with our money and our choices, and being flexible enough to not only recognize opportunities when the arise, but to grab them and run with it.

I'm not saying everyone can do it. If they could, we'd be in a perfect Leave it to Beaver sitcom world. We certainly haven't done the current post-college generation much good by not explaining what it takes to get there.
 
2012-10-04 09:43:57 AM

RockofAges: tallen702: intelligent comment below: tallen702: Try 1 year with $0 income before we start getting into trouble. If we were to both lose our jobs and have to go on unemployment, that'd stretch out even further. Here's the difference between us, and those who aren't attaining the same standard of living.


So what happens if your wife develops cancer, her insurance drops her... then what? My friend had a daughter born with a heart defect, without an insurance plan covering the countless procedures, hospital stays and medication, they would have no money at all.

I just pointed out how volatile your situation actually is and how the odds are stacked against everyone, including you. Yet you still claimed to have "made it" when you have no idea what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years just like a tech person working in the 1990's thought their good life would last forever

I think you need to read up on the recent healthcare legislation considering that insurance can no longer drop you while you are sick. So your point is moot on that first bit. As for what jobs will be steady in 5-10 years, everyone's got to eat and fewer and fewer of you out there know how to cook for yourselves. Not to mention the fact that my knowledge goes far beyond cooking. Within the food and ag industries (which are closely linked) there are so many positions it'd make your head spin, and you can get into just about any of them so long as you have the knowledge you gain in my line of work.

Again, flexibility. Tech jobs sure as hell don't have it. Got your Red Hat Cert? Good for you, but we need MSCEs. What's that? You know Perl? That's fantastic, but we need someone who knows how to code using the .net framework. My career path, flexible, tech career path, rigid. Specialization can get you a bunch of money if you're in the right field at the right time, but having the ability to be flexible pays more constant dividends in the long run.

Case in point. I've lost my job in my industry twice. First ...


I don't doubt that most people are hard workers. Did I chalk my entire success up to that? No. If you read all of my comments, I chalk it up to the flexibility both my wife and I have in our careers, and the foresight I had when choosing what career path to take. We've told our kids (even my generation) that "if you do something you love, you'll never have to 'work' a day in your life." While that holds true, the reality is that people have been setting themselves up for careers that simply don't exist. Case in point is one of my best friends. He's got a degree in sculpture. That doesn't pay the bills. He biatched and moaned just like the rest of the doomsayers that he was never going to achieve the dream of home ownership, etc. etc. until he realized that he needed to be flexible in his career. He re-trained, is in the process of getting his MBA from U of MD and works a job that has not one goddamned thing to do with what he went to school for and he is married, owns a house, is working on having kids, and is getting his masters. The difference between him and the hard-luck cases out there is he realized that he needed to quit living in a dreamworld and re-train. Hard work is only one component of the whole thing. You have to be smart about it too, and again, you have to be flexible.

So, go take your assumptions about what I said and shove them up your arse, you know, right next to where your head is if you believe this dreck and doomsaying that you can't achieve the American dream anymore.
 
2012-10-04 06:19:01 PM

RockofAges: Which embodies the American Reality, rather than the illusory, flagsucking dream.


Ooh, he mad.
 
Displayed 47 of 247 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »





Report