Originally posted by Xtraeme
Therefore I was arguing we should address the problem by rewarding people who are financially responsible as well as people who contribute their time
towards pursuits that have significant social benefits, especially those that require a large upfront initial investment.
I did re-read your post, and this one thoroughly, and I am still annoyed at at least part of your point. You seem to be saying, and correct me if I
am wrong, that some people, those who train for jobs that "have significant social benefits" should be given leeway to act in ways those who work
"insignificant jobs" should not. It is classist. And, it in no way ensures that people who act honestly and responsibly are given a fair shake.
Why? Because a lot of people who work "insignificant jobs"
a) are actually working jobs that have a great deal of social significance,
b) they are working these jobs because right off the bat in life, in their late teens and early 20's they realized they could not afford to train for
years and accumulate that much debt.
You seem to be thinking that education and a certain job title makes you more valuable, and apparently should offer you a get out of debt free option
that the uneducated does not get. I worked with a lot of guys who did not have even a complete high school education. Many of them grew up poor and
had to leave school early to start work to help their families pay the bills. Going to school, student loans or no, was not an option as the
opportunity cost, (loss of a present income) was more of a burden than they and their family could bear.
They were not stupid. And their work is not insignificant. We need everyone from laborers to master electricians in this country to build the
hospitals, the law offices, etc. They provide real value for the money they earn. And for the guy who said tradesmen make more than a doctor, that
is just simply BS. Even working over seas, where you are compensated at a higher rate than in the states, I did not make more than a doctor. Not
If one of those guys got laid off, with his lack of a high school diploma, and he was forced to run up debt on credit cards to survive, he is no less
deserving of a "handout" or debt forgiveness than some kid who never did hard labor in his/her life and had the great good fortune to even be in a
position to take out $250,000 in loans for school.
Why do we allow a person who doesn't even possess a high school degree to accumulate 10 or 20 credit cards, max out the limit, and then
declare bankruptcy with little more than a slap on the wrist?
We dont anymore. The bankruptcy laws have changed. And along the same line, why do we let business and professional people form LLC's or
incorporate so that their failings do not attach to their personal wealth? Its a built in escape from culpability free card that the "professional"
gets that your average high school drop out never does.
Why is it that the government is trying to placate people (through mortgage rate renegotiation, abatement, and subsidies) who purchased homes
they couldn't afford?
Your student loans are exactly like a home you cannot afford. The only difference is, (and why they are not forgivable,) is that the creditor cannot
repossess the "good" that they loaned you money for. Your house can be repossessed. And in many cases in this crisis, IS being repossessed. You
seem very critical of people who did not know they could afford their homes at the time. Why the sympathy for the college educated person who did not
understand their loan agreement, and none for the often times less educated person who did not understand their loan agreement?
Investment bankers who lied should be forced to return their bonuses and pay other monetary damages. If they can't afford to do it
immediately, they can pay it back over time.
I agree wholeheartedly. I think the system of compensation in this country is horribly broken. And it is the heart of the real problem. Certain jobs
have more prestige, and are considered more "valuable." The jobs that promise the higher opportunity for income, also, not surprisingly, have a
high fee in terms of education. You pay to play. Hoping that over time, your income will exceed your investment.
But you are making an investment. And sometimes investements dont work out the way you hope. The guy who invests in an apprenticeship in a trade is
betting too. He or she is betting that their body will not become so damaged from the work that they can make it through the apprenticeship and
actually get the payoff for their investment too. They arent all right. Just like all doctors and dentists arent right that their investment will
It would be very, very nice if we had a system that worked in such a way that real investments in energy, be it physical labor or education, actually
paid out a fair wage to the people who made those investments. And I would love to live in a world where those who had the ability intellectually or
physically, got jobs and training based on merit rather than their financial ability to "buy" it. We would have a lot fewer crappy doctors and
investment bankers if it were NOT a "pay to play" system, but a meritocracy.
I would also like to see true equity in pay. I would love for a garbage man or a plumber (both trades contribute as much or more to the overall
health of a society as its doctors do) be compensated with pay and respect that matched their contribution. This idea that some are so much more
valuable than others is very skewed by the idea that high pay MAKES you valuable, when in fact, high pay just makes you highly paid.
Originally posted by Xtraeme
The majority of people look to benefit themselves however they can. Judge those people all you want, but your sense of righteous indignation won't
matter much because their value system is based on dramatically different principles from your own.
Here, I disagree. Maybe the majority of people you know are this way, but I can assure you that the majority of people I know are not trying to game
Consider from Freakanomics,
He had also -- quite without meaning to -- designed a beautiful economic experiment. By measuring the money collected against the bagels taken, he
could tell, down to the penny, just how honest his customers were. Did they steal from him? If so, what were the characteristics of a company that
stole versus a company that did not? Under what circumstances did people tend to steal more, or less?
Entering the summer of 2001, the overall payment rate had slipped to about 87 percent. Immediately after Sept. 11, the rate spiked a full 2
percent and hasn't slipped much since.
So even prior to the boost in cooperative thinking spawned in the wake of 9-11, 87% of people were not gaming the system. Sure, its just bagels, but
people in general are more willing to feel justified in taking a small benefit than a large one. Macro-socio economically, most people ARE playing
fair, and if you thought about it, you would realize that this is obvious. Societies would never have risen from the mire if MOST people were not
willing to do their fair share and then some. The "and then some" acts to support those free riders at the top of the system that are gaming the
What you are suggesting is that the real "fair" people take on another level of free-riders to support. That money has to come from somewhere to
"forgive" those debts. And where it comes from is from suckers like me who pay for our educations. (or any good or service) They bump up prices in
order to recoup the losses of those who will not pay.
The difference between your theory and the bankers theory is superficial. The amount you feel should be taken, and what you feel "worthy" people
are. Do you not think those bankers feel they are more worthy?
How in your proposed system could you ever compensate those who COULD have been doctors, who had the intelligence and inclination, who never went to
medical school because right off the bat they recognized the cost? How could such a system ever compensate the MOST fair? It wouldnt. It would just
spread the benefit of gaming the system around to a larger number of people.
There will always have to be people who pay more than their share in a system like that to make up for those who take more than they pay for.