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The Rich and the Rest

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posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: lordcomac

I think the arts are an important part of our culture and I would hate to live in an artless world.




posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 06:55 PM
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originally posted by: burdman30ott6
a reply to: onequestion

There may not be a worthless degree, but there are sure as hell a lot of degrees that don't come close to paying for themselves and are, thus, fairly worthless to the needs of the individual and society.


I agree with the 'worthless degree' theory.

I went to school to get a degree in a highly in demand profession and got that degree Information Systems. I then got paid by the school to get my Master's Degree in Business. I had multiple offers coming out of college because I had an in demand degree (go figure).

My wife on the other hand paid just as much as me for her degree (in English) and ended up with zero job offers and began work as a waitress. She then 'moved up' to working in a book store and then a bank teller and now she manages accounts for the bank. She doesn't make nearly what she is worth in my opinion even though she got a degree.

I told my daughter I would help her with college if she had a plan. That is the ONLY reason to go to college. Have a plan to get an in-demand degree a then execute that plan. Otherwise you are throwing away 100k or whatever for nothing.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 06:56 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: lordcomac

I think the arts are an important part of our culture and I would hate to live in an artless world.


I have no problem with people getting an art degree, but don't expect ME to pay for it...especially when it isn't something you will ever be productive with unless you plan to teach.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 06:57 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

That I can agree with.

The great thing about all this is we can fine tune what we're doing.

edit on 4/19/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

If you are angry over the cost of college, remove government subsidies from college. Inflation rates always sky-rocket when government gets involved.

Take the health industry, for example, the inflation rate was on par with the rest of the economy, until the government began subsidizing.

Unfortunately, the only answers proposed by government, are more subsidies.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:03 PM
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a reply to: burdman30ott6

I guess we should limit knowledge, and allow a select few to decide what and who get to learn.

Sounds like a plan!



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:10 PM
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a reply to: GodEmperor

I'm angry that companies don't have entry level jobs anymore and I'm sure that has something to do with the amount of taxes and other hidden costs involved with hiring full time employees and entry level positions forcing the hands of companies to find people with experience who can produce enough of a value to cover the hyper inflated cost of our social safety nets.

All of which I believe should be removed I think it will produce a healthier more intelligent society overall.

But we aren't in that paradigm right now.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: onequestion





So when I heard about people tell their stories of how they worked their way up the first thing that comes to mind is upward mobility in the current day and age and how that trend continues to change.


Coming from the "worked/continuing to work my way up" category, I usually think of this in two general ways.

The first is on a wider/national scale. This is when I read about statistics and percentages of people doing this, percentages of people making that, surveys about this and op-ed pieces about all of the above. I think it's important to view this topic through that lens for perspective and also to keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on out there.

However, I find the second to be more important. I think that with the understanding that there are "things" going on out there, it's more important to take stock of one's own immediate life. What do I like? What skills do I have? What jobs (even entry level) are there that I like enough and that pay enough?

Part of the second view is also to not get too bogged down on what other people have going on. Are there some rich "fat cats" out there that have no moral compass whatsoever and are billionaires? I'm sure there are. Are there people on the lowest end of the income scale that are gaming the system every chance they get? I'm sure there are. All of this is part of the system we live in. We may not like it and I don't mean this to imply that I like it this way.... but this IS the world we live in and while we can talk and debate about it, that in and of itself doesn't change anything.

If "they" suddenly confiscated ALL the money from the fat cats and cut off those that are abusing the system, it would change my lot in life in precisely no material way. So although it can get frustrating to see it at times, it's best to try to let it roll off you like water off a ducks behind.

What I'm trying to say is while it's important to acknowledge that many parts of our system sucks, this IS the game so it's best to figure out exactly what the game is and do your best to make the most of it for yourself and for your family. That doesn't mean screwing people over or anything like that. It means as you grow in your life and start having investments or dependents or purchase a home, it may be worth it to spend a few dollars on an accountant that will help you get the most out of your tax filings. It means understanding that "getting a job doing what you love" might sound like a great idea when you're twenty, but when you're forty you might have wished that you'd compromised and get a job that you like instead of love because it paid better. (Being extremely tight on cash can be exciting when you're first starting out but it's gets pretty exhausting after a while).

I want to state again that I don't necessarily like a lot (LOT) of the ways our system works and if I saw ANY way to help change and steer it more towards what my opinion of "better" I would do so in a heartbeat. At this moment, what is there to do? Vote? For who? Protest? Protest what and where? The best thing I can do is talk to those I know (although I could probably count on one hand how many people I've gotten to even question things).




Americans are really starting to feel the squeeze as those at the top become heavier and heavier while those at the bottom shoulder the majority of the responsibility.
I think you meant to say "those at the middle" shoulder the majority of the responsibility.

In either case, and as much as people don't like to acknowledge it, while it is true that the X-percent of people have Y-percent of the wealth.... as I understand it, it is also true that X-percent of people (depending on the state) pay something like 50-percent of all income taxes. I know it's not that simple, but I think people sometimes misspeak when they say that the rich pay nothing and all that. (Trust me, we just got our measly returns in the snail mail compared to what we paid in so I'm keenly aware about the middle or lower-middle class perspective).




Having money makes you more money


I'm not sure if this is a revelation to anyone really. It's true that for people born into money have an easier time using that money to make boat-loads more but referencing my above point about "others," while we can acknowledge that it doesn't do us any good to dwell on it.

ALMOST all of us that work have SOME "disposable" income (even if that is just a few dollars a week). We CAN use to save that if they wish. Keeping with the micro-theme, several years ago my wife and I started to put a few dollars aside each paycheck for a while until we had the $500 minimum to open an on-line brokerage account. Not knowing much about stocks, we realized we'd be investors rather than traders. We purchased "safe" stocks (things like GE and other companies that have been around forever and we believe will be around forever... and recently started getting into SPDRS). The point is that when we had that first $500 worth of stock (less the minor fees), when we would periodically look at our account we would see movement of a few dollars. Fast forward a few years and some more purchases later and in the same time frame the swings are much higher in dollar amount while keeping basically the same percentage change).

So yes, the saying is true that takes money to make money and while a lower- or middle-class person may not become millionaires by using their relatively small disposable incomes.... nothing is stopping anyone from saving and using their money to their advantage.




for whatever reason the same people who claim personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by your boot straps are also the same people saying that the people who take the most financial risk are the ones who deserve all the money, not the workers producing the actual products but the investors.


I'm not sure why you think the two are mutually exclusive...?
Yes, it's true that some people that are rich now were born rich and never had to "pull themselves" up but that doesn't make the sentiment any less true. It's also true that many people who are now rich were born poor and that doesn't make the sentiment and more true.

I'm of the opinion that but for the investor (yes, the guy/gal that takes out a loan and puts their rear-end on the line) the workers wouldn't be working there.... So of course the investor should take home the lion's share. If it wasn't such a huge risk and didn't take perseverance, guts and many long days and sleepless nights to create a new business than anyone/everyone would be doing it and it wouldn't be an issue.

Should a CEO of a company that makes widgets make X-thousand times the amount of the guy that tapes the boxes of merchandise closed before the next guy affixes the shipping label....? I leave that to everyone else to decide. Personally, if ever blessed with that opportunity I would like to think I would do well by all my employees (but then again, "do well by" is open to interpretation as well).



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:26 PM
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a reply to: eluryh22


for whatever reason the same people who claim personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by your boot straps are also the same people saying that the people who take the most financial risk are the ones who deserve all the money, not the workers producing the actual products but the investors.


What I mean is that it's interesting that those who claim to work hard and start from the bottom side with the investor and not the worker.

Seems counter productive and I agree with you mostly in your post that's it's not cut and dry and that our system does need work and can evolve I'm actively looking for solutions.

And I agree that the middle class shoulders most of societies responsibilities, they are slowly becoming the bottom though.

Like the article states wages haven't moved since 1989 and I know cost of living has that's for sure.
edit on 4/19/2016 by onequestion because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:29 PM
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a reply to: onequestion



I don't think there exist a worthless degree I think we need cultural evolution as much as anything.
I think this line of thought is contributing to the problem. I don't mean to sound disrespectful but I think people say things like this believing the world is as they wished it was, rather than how it actually is.

Cultural evolution? Having a "conventional" career in no way prevents individuals from pursuing their interests in the arts. However, if you are advocating that people essentially base their career (and college studies/degrees) on that.... and then expect that everyone else should have to pay for what is essentially a hobby.... that's where some issues arise.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: eluryh22

No I'm not advocating anyone do anything but to totally disregard cultural and artistic evolution for a career is ludicrous.

I don't exist to produce a value we should be using our minds and technology to create a world for everyone to live their dreams in not to be enslaved for those at the top to live their dreams.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus


I told my daughter I would help her with college if she had a plan. That is the ONLY reason to go to college. Have a plan to get an in-demand degree a then execute that plan. Otherwise you are throwing away 100k or whatever for nothing.
I've noticed many of your posts on the general topic of your daughter, her college choices and your guidance.

Our son is about a decade and a half away from that stage but I have to say I feel as though I'm peering into the future.

Not that you need some random stranger on the interwebz to tell you this... but I'll say it anyway.... Good form, Metallicus! Good form indeed!!!



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:48 PM
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originally posted by: MystikMushroom
a reply to: burdman30ott6

I guess we should limit knowledge, and allow a select few to decide what and who get to learn.

Sounds like a plan!


That's ridiculous and you know it. It isn't about "limiting knowledge," it's about "requiring effort." As you're so fond of saying variants of "there's an individual price to enjoying the benefits of society," there should always be an individual price to receiving a higher education. If you're unwilling to pay that price for your own education, then you do not deserve one.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

It is a losing battle to compete against companies that move overseas. They can employ millions of workers for pennies on the dollar, with no benefits and long hours.

The Trump talk about how America will become competitive with China is a scary idea. How does one become competitive with China with little regulation, and an average employee earning less in a day than a burger flipper makes in an hour? Will we get heavy import tariffs or economic 'free zones'?



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:51 PM
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a reply to: onequestion

2.9 billion was left unclaimed in scholarships and grants last year (I believe)

People, poor people, still have to obtain high scores to get them.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:52 PM
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My thoughts on this whole thing are still evolving. I don't pretend to have an answer as to how we ought to govern ourselves and power and wealth ought to be distributed. I have come to a few conclusions, but I don't really know how to follow through on them to a system I can live with.

1.) Democracy sucks. The average IQ is 100. Half are below that. (Please: I've taken enough psychology courses to know about the frailty of the IQ concept. I get that it's not perfect, is "biased," etc. so go on a tirade about this elsewhere. It ought to be a good thread.) So basically the stupid half plus one gets to decide: That's democracy. Now, of course that is a gross simplification. The truly stupid aren't going to participate. Perhaps the geniuses aren't either. But my main point here is that the "Low Information Voter" rules a "democracy," and the campaigns reflect that reality.

2.) Smart people aren't all that smart, either. We're driven by emotions--all of us. I've known PhDs that believe Jesus is their only Savior. It's a complete contradiction to me, but you can't deny it exists. My conclusion is: How can smart people be so stupid? But there it is. Once people take a position, it's almost impossible for them to change. One of my favorite examples is of "climate scientists" who blow off "Hide the decline" as if it did not exist. Or to go the opposite way, really intelligent people who believe evolution is not true. If even smart people are idiots, where does that leave us?

3.) Elitists suck, too. But it begs the question. A lot of you believe I am an elitist because I'm in the top 5%. But I think Metallicus is an elitist because he's close to the 1%. And Metallicus believes the billionaires are the elitists because they make vastly more than he does. And the bottom 47% who pay no income taxes at all blame those of us who do for how poorly they've done. Yet we pay their way. This whole logical train is seriously derailed.

4.) Capitalism sucks. Thomas Jefferson envisioned an America with an Artisan Class that made their own cool stuff and sold it to others to make a living. He did NOT envision a society in which the majority of us worked for someone else. Of course, he thought the Louisiana Purchase provided the USA enough land to absorb 100 generations of growth, too. And the fact is, you can't build 747s with a land full of independent artisans. It doesn't work.

5.) Socialism also sucks. Artisans don't like it. No one wants to be told what to do. The larger socialist experiments have resulted on the deaths of tens of millions because the populace didn't want to do it, so they were killed to make it happen. Don't talk to me about Denmark. Talk to me about the Killing Fields and the Gulag. Talk to me about the mass graves of those who opposed socialism.

6.) Religious zealots suck. ISIS sucks. Christianity used to not suck (pre-Roman), then it sucked (post-Constantine), then it sucked a whole lot (Inquisition), now it still sucks, but not quite as bad as it did. (today). Islam sucks. It was a reaction to Christianity (where it didn't really suck,) then Muhammad went on a killing spree, where it sucked bad. Then it calmed down a bit where it didn't suck so bad, then Muslim zealots decided it was Allah Akbar, and now it really sucks volumes because they like to kill anyone who doesn't believe their crap. Don't get me wrong. Mormons suck, too, but they don't go around killing everyone. Scientologists suck. Fundamentalists suck. And Jewish fundamentalists suck worse. But religion, kind of generally, has not done us a whole lot of good.

Obviously this is a quickee post and not a carefully reasoned erudite analysis of economic and governmental systems that took years to write. On the other hand, I don't see a good way out of this, and I don't see any of the proposed solutions I have ever read working for me--at all.

The whole bloody thing sucks. That's the bottom line.
edit on 4/19/2016 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 07:52 PM
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originally posted by: onequestion
a reply to: eluryh22

No I'm not advocating anyone do anything but to totally disregard cultural and artistic evolution for a career is ludicrous.

I don't exist to produce a value we should be using our minds and technology to create a world for everyone to live their dreams in not to be enslaved for those at the top to live their dreams.

I don't think that as a society we should (or even could) remove the various arts or the study of them. Also, art will evolve over time as it always has.

However, in the hierarchy of degrees that someone that is seeking a fruitful career (including a comfortable living) I honestly can't say that a degree in art will be as useful as a degree in, say, structural engineering or medicine or law.

You are absolutely right that you (or I or anyone) do NOT "exist to produce a value" because we all seek different things in life. Some people are driven almost exclusively by the desire to accumulate wealth. Others seek only to "live in the moment" and work just enough to go out, I don't know, hiking or mountain climbing or to travel. That being said, I think it's only reasonable for someone to expect compensation in relation to the services they provide that the rest of society either need or are willing to pay for.


edit on 19-4-2016 by eluryh22 because: fixed MAJOR missing word issue



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 08:02 PM
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a reply to: eluryh22

We exist to ensure the longevity of the human species, and given our peculiar position in the ecological system, the longevity of the entire planet. The idea that we exist to produce a value, is inherently self-destructive; that worldview would put ISIS above the average American, seeing how they pull in millions in black market oil sales.



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 08:03 PM
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a reply to: onequestion


What I mean is that it's interesting that those who claim to work hard and start from the bottom side with the investor and not the worker.

As a former poor person that pulled myself up I admit I may have a bit of bias... but... to me it's not surprising at all.

This is definitely oversimplifying it... but... when you start out life very poor you realize that you have two choices:

1) Say the world is against you and accept your lot in life

or

2) You see those that are successful (relative to your own starting point) and try to figure out how to get there. To answer the part of your post I quoted, I believe that is why much of the "pull yourself up" crowd sides with the investors. I think it is because we have seen that over time, with hard work and consistency and aggressiveness (and with yes, a little bit of luck) a person truly can drastically improve their lot in life. Or to oversimplify it further, the "pull yourself up" crowd likes thinking more about success than failure (despite that we all have failures along the way). We all believe that if we choose to, we can get a lot closer to those evil "investors."



posted on Apr, 19 2016 @ 08:05 PM
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originally posted by: GodEmperor
a reply to: eluryh22

We exist to ensure the longevity of the human species, and given our peculiar position in the ecological system, the longevity of the entire planet. The idea that we exist to produce a value, is inherently self-destructive; that worldview would put ISIS above the average American, seeing how they pull in millions in black market oil sales.


Nevermind, in my post that you were replying to... I had accidentally omitted two VERY important words.......
edit on 19-4-2016 by eluryh22 because: Deleted message because the post of mine that was being referenced was missing two key words (corrected now)




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