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Mon Jan 20, 2014, 05:33 PM

 

Ok. the message on DU is clear. Be glad with what you might get, serf!

Yesterday, there was a link to a discussion about college degrees. Although the article was saying we're doing a disservice to the less fortunate by telling them higher education is a ticket out of poverty, the thread also seemed to veer into "education is not the key to prosperity".

Now today we have a thread saying "we shouldn't try to follow our dreams and do what we love--we should take that shitty sales job or become a garbage collector."

These are symptoms that our economic and education systems have been fucked up for far too long.

I will be telling my son to explore many paths in life and find out what he is good at and loves doing. He should try to make a career of that and get proper education to do so. I will be telling him how important higher education is in our increasingly complex world. To me, education in college programs is a great antidote to the lack of critical thinking skills in high school and the faith-based bullshit of religion.

I have no problem that others really like working on cars and they really want to go to a trade school to learn how to work on cars. It can be a nice living. But unless there are unions to protect jobs, that person is a specialist at the mercy of capital. As soon as the ownder jerks the job away to a new area, that person may find themselves unemployed with a very difficult way back into the work force.

No matter what people say, you SHOULD look for things that interest you and make you feel good about life while paying the bills. For some, that means being a biochemist looking for new cures. For others, that may mean building homes or working in landscape design.

Do not allow yourself to be a mindless cog in the machine of capitalism.



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Reply Ok. the message on DU is clear. Be glad with what you might get, serf! (Original post)
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 OP
tazkcmo Jan 2014 #1
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #2
tazkcmo Jan 2014 #4
bvar22 Jan 2014 #21
zeemike Jan 2014 #24
cantbeserious Jan 2014 #29
Bobbie Jo Jan 2014 #33
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #3
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #7
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #10
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #17
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #20
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2014 #50
TBF Jan 2014 #9
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #11
TBF Jan 2014 #12
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #14
TBF Jan 2014 #42
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #47
TBF Jan 2014 #48
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #49
TBF Jan 2014 #51
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #54
TBF Jan 2014 #55
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #60
TBF Jan 2014 #61
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #62
TBF Jan 2014 #63
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #66
TBF Jan 2014 #75
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #80
TBF Jan 2014 #81
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #83
TBF Jan 2014 #88
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #94
oldhippie Jan 2014 #65
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #67
oldhippie Jan 2014 #68
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #72
rhett o rick Jan 2014 #74
oldhippie Jan 2014 #76
rhett o rick Jan 2014 #78
oldhippie Jan 2014 #79
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #85
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2014 #73
TBF Jan 2014 #90
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2014 #92
TBF Jan 2014 #93
A HERETIC I AM Jan 2014 #95
sabrina 1 Jan 2014 #82
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #84
TBF Jan 2014 #87
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2014 #89
ancianita Jan 2014 #23
truedelphi Jan 2014 #5
Arugula Latte Jan 2014 #6
TBF Jan 2014 #8
Arugula Latte Jan 2014 #13
YoungDemCA Jan 2014 #15
TBF Jan 2014 #40
YoungDemCA Jan 2014 #69
TBF Jan 2014 #77
grntuscarora Jan 2014 #16
phantom power Jan 2014 #18
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #19
PowerToThePeople Jan 2014 #36
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2014 #22
ancianita Jan 2014 #25
fishwax Jan 2014 #96
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2014 #97
fishwax Jan 2014 #98
lumberjack_jeff Jan 2014 #99
obxhead Jan 2014 #26
davidthegnome Jan 2014 #27
YoungDemCA Jan 2014 #28
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2014 #30
davidthegnome Jan 2014 #32
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2014 #34
davidthegnome Jan 2014 #35
Dark n Stormy Knight Jan 2014 #38
TBF Jan 2014 #41
sabrina 1 Jan 2014 #86
jeff47 Jan 2014 #31
lib87 Jan 2014 #37
sabrina 1 Jan 2014 #39
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #43
Vattel Jan 2014 #46
xchrom Jan 2014 #44
Hippo_Tron Jan 2014 #45
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #56
YoungDemCA Jan 2014 #71
BrotherIvan Jan 2014 #52
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #57
BrotherIvan Jan 2014 #58
Pretzel_Warrior Jan 2014 #59
BrotherIvan Jan 2014 #64
Orsino Jan 2014 #53
Lady Freedom Returns Jan 2014 #70
alarimer Jan 2014 #91
redruddyred Jun 2014 #100

Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 05:48 PM

1. A college degree

A college degree is valuable not only because of the subject matter but also because it shows the holder has accomplished a long term task. I have a friend that was bemoaning the fact that he chose to pursue a degree in photography instead of something more "practical". I quickly gave him a fake kick in his private parts and told him he should be proud of his degree due to the difficulty in obtaining one and the accomplishment it represents. Besides, he'll be really famous after he's dead!

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 05:51 PM

2. yep. that is an unspoken truth about one value of degrees in work place

 

I have seen so many get degrees in one field and then do well in another, but they are able to be considered for the job based on the level of commitment they've demonstrated by earning the degree. Often, for working adults that 4 year degree translates into an accomplishment that spans many years. To finally accomplish that in the face of daily life SHOULD have it's merit-based reward.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:00 PM

4. You are correct!

Took him and his wife (then his girl friend) 6 years. Met him when he was 22 and she was 18 and they did it with no student loans and working at night as a bartender in one of the craziest bars in KC at the time while she served at an upscale steak house. I'm very proud of them both as I remind them just about every time I see them.

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 07:17 PM

21. 4 years in a machine shop as an apprentice with a Good Reference from the boss....

..also shows one can complete a difficult long term task.

I'm lucky.
Back when I wnet to school,
it was about learning about the World and the people in it,
and not so much pressure for translating that into money.

Sometimes, I think I would have done better if I had done the apprentice Machine Shop thing.
I love watching a Metal fabricator who has developed it into an art,
but then I might not have ever read Walt Whitman and so many others who taught me how to enjoy life.

Life IS a Crap Shoot.
Learn how to love the game.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #21)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 07:56 PM

24. You might enjoy this then.

I know nothing about being a machinist but this guy demonstrates his skills...and I have enjoyed watching it.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #24)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:32 PM

29. Fascinating - Thank You For Sharing

eom

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Response to tazkcmo (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:58 PM

33. Excellent point.

Meeting deadlines, organizing projects, budgeting time and money, family obligations, working/generating income, and busting your ass to make it all happen on your own, demonstrates an amazing degree of self-discipline (usually of the trial and error variety) and determination....IMO

On a personal level, wanting to give up many times over, and then digging in your heels to pull it off, is an experience I've drawn upon to get me through some serious challenges....even to this day.







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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:00 PM

3. Everyone should have a Master's degree to haul away their own garbage.

I have no problem that others really like working on cars and they really want to go to a trade school to learn how to work on cars. It can be a nice living. But unless there are unions to protect jobs, that person is a specialist at the mercy of capital. As soon as the ownder jerks the job away to a new area, that person may find themselves unemployed with a very difficult way back into the work force.


If I understand correctly this is a (justified) broadside against the outsourcing of jobs. While I am sympathetic to the sentiment you chose a really poor example. Auto repair jobs will be located where the autos are located, not elsewhere. No one is going to drive their car to Thailand or another state or even the next county over for repairs, ergo auto repair jobs will not be moving.

No matter what people say, you SHOULD look for things that interest you and make you feel good about life while paying the bills. For some, that means being a biochemist looking for new cures. For others, that may mean building homes or working in landscape design.


Please show us the people who like crawling in sewers, digging ditches, breaking their backs in resource extraction jobs, etc. Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:09 PM

7. car repair may have been less of an apt example for protection of skilled labor

 

but the main point that some enjoy careers fixing mechanical things and getting their hands dirty still stands.

The fact that SOME people due to a lot of circumstances end up being coal miners in West Virginia does not mean we should all give up on our dreams and just deal with the fact that we'll have to take whatever shitty job we can come up with.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:15 PM

10. "The fact that SOME people ... does not mean we should all give up on our dreams"

I'm not aware of anyone making such a statement but the pursuit of dreams is either an expression of luxury or a willingness to assume debt and those who do so would be prudent to acknowledge as much for their own sakes.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #10)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:35 PM

17. no. people today are calling it some aphorism for the rich and luxurious

 

to go pursue what they love for a career. and it just doesn't apply to the "rest of us".

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:58 PM

20. I'm not sure who "the rest of us" is supposed to mean.

My father never got to go to college. He started working in a union as an apprentice carpenter until he became a General Contractor and started his own business. My brother never got to go to college, he went to work in the restaurant business and moved up into management. My husband never went to college. He entered the Army as a Medic right after high school and after leaving the Army he went to work servicing diesel machinery in the field.

Of my closest relatives my FIL has an MBA and he works like an animal. My MIL (now passed) had a degree in Education but chose to be a homemaker. My step-mother is a CPA, now retired.

My dad helped subsidize my college but I did take out some loans. Life's circumstances came along and while my husband is willing to pay for me to return to college and finish my 4-year degree I cannot justify the expense in my heart. I would LOVE to be a professional writer but at this point in time family obligations -- which I joyfully accept -- aren't leaving an opportunity for that pursuit. My first job during my college years was as an Administrative Assistant, not for my creative talents but because I could properly format a business letter. During the 2009 recession most of my co-workers were laid off but I remained because my boss thought I had a little moxie on the ball so he groomed me to be his assistant Project Manager. I actually appreciate the twists and turns.

I fully understand this all just anecdotal. I don't feel cheated and I certainly don't begrudge anyone who can pursue their passions (in fact my husband and my brother keep toying with the idea of opening a restaurant together because my husband is such a good cook) but the fact remains: if someone gets to pursue their passions they are indulging in a luxury that most do not get to enjoy. There's no harm in that; God bless 'em if they get to live their dream. Find your dream and chase it with all your heart and soul and be the best at it. But if people ever mistake luxury for entitlement they will only disappoint themselves and probably piss off everyone else who isn't as fortunate.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 10:51 AM

50. +1 n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:15 PM

9. Straight from the right wing capitalist playbook -

"Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else"

Well, grasshopper, maybe in a resource based economy we'd get rid of the currency and let machines do the unpleasant tasks. Instead of turning human beings into the "someone else" that has to perform all the tasks you don't want to dirty your pretty little hands with ...

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Response to TBF (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:20 PM

11. You conjure some fiction of a world that doesn't exist just to insult me?

Please show me this world run by self-replicating, self-sustaining machines wherein no person is made to work that I have apparently stymied with a single post on the internet. Lemme guess, I'm also to be damned as a capital hoarder because I refuse to kill that goose that lays all those golden eggs.

Grow-up.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:22 PM

12. lol - hit a nerve, huh. Not surprised. nt

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Response to TBF (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:29 PM

14. Um, no; I'm stating the plainly obvious. The entire basis of your criticism is fictitious.

There is no world run by robots and obviously you never watched Wall-E or any of the movies in the Terminator franchise because these things never turn out well for the meat bags.

Do you have any critiques based in the real world?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:42 AM

42. Profit, profit, profit -

I'm not going to explain economics to you. Maybe you can have the butler google it and read it to you so you don't even have to move.

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Response to TBF (Reply #42)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 09:06 AM

47. You wrote --

in a resource based economy we'd get rid of the currency and let machines do the unpleasant tasks.


1. Where are these automatons today?

2. Why wouldn't a profiteer prefer a machine that doesn't get paid wages, never goes on strike, doesn't take sick or maternity leave, doesn't retire, can't be injured and doesn't take vacation?


I'm not going to explain economics to you.


It's not so much a discussion of economics as it is reality. You need something other than happy thoughts and a sprinkling of fairy dust to achieve flight so too it takes a bit more effort -- quite a bit really -- to run a modern society.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #47)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 10:07 AM

48. What we don't need is all the $$$ in the hands of a few -

there is no reason why we can't more widely distribute the currency, or get rid of it altogether. You may see that as fairy dust. It won't be "fairy tales" however if it keeps going in this vein. History tells us that when folks get to the point that they have nothing to lose they will rebel. Revolution. When over 40% of the wealth is controlled by just one family you know it isn't going to end well.

Your "modern society" is only benefiting the few global capitalists at the top who own everything. If that's what you want to keep defending go right ahead, but don't be surprised when others who are not in that global 1% view you as the enemy.

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Response to TBF (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 10:17 AM

49. When did I ever say wealth should be concentrated in the hands of a few?

I'm mocking your assertion that machines will handle all of society's unpleasant tasks. Mocking your fantasy robot world is NOT the same as saying wealth should be held by a select few -- unless you absolutely are wedded to this idea that income equality can only be achieved through liberation by android butlers.

Me? I'm of the crazy idea that people are the best, first place to start when trying to build a better world.

Now that I think about it, maybe I am the fantasist.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #49)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 11:12 AM

51. When you propped up economic inequality by stating

"Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else"

When you say something like this you are an apologist for the capitalists. You are stating that some humans must be subjugated and degraded in order for others to benefit. I simply suggested some of these unpleasant jobs could certainly be done by machines, therefore allowing humans to actually have dignity, not be in servitude to others, and maybe have more time to pursue interests they enjoy.

But you have your vision - some have to be at the bottom of society and do the tasks you find unpleasant.

I find that to be disgusting and I find it disingenuous that you would state "people are the best, first place to start". Sure, if they're cleaning up your waste then it's hunky dory.

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Response to TBF (Reply #51)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 01:08 PM

54. "You are stating that some humans must be subjugated and degraded in order for others to benefit."

That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time. You should educate yourself on the difference between observation and apologia before you go around making accusations like that. It's akin to claiming that observing the fact that trying to catch bowling balls with you nose leads to broken noses is an endorsement of broken noses.

Right here, right now there are no machines to go out and handle the sewers when they get backed up. I doubt you could do the work yourself and you don't want city streets running with raw sewage -- so you pay someone else to do it. I guess that makes you -- by your own definition -- the subjugator/slave owner.

Go peddle your fake outrage somewhere else.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #54)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 01:50 PM

55. Dumb to demand equality for others?

I suppose the others in the 1% would agree with you. Many of us would beg to differ. But please proceed ... we need to know who our enemies are.

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Response to TBF (Reply #55)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:49 PM

60. Again, you are fabricating your outrage.

You're just grossly misrepresenting what I say and can't even be honest enough to quote me.

Please show us this horde of obedient robot servants you claim are willing to free humans from menial labor. If not than you should have the honesty to admit that YOU, by your definition, are a subjugator because YOU pay people to do jobs you cannot and will not do for yourself.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #60)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:52 PM

61. "Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money ..."

"Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else"

There is your beautiful quote in all it's glory. Your desire to have folks in an underclass so they can perform tasks at your whim. Your words. Your love of capitalism. Own it.

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Response to TBF (Reply #61)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:59 PM

62. Which part of it is untrue?

Okay, we get it, you're outraged. It's the one thing you're good at but where is your explanation that refutes --

A) There are jobs to be done

B) Some people cannot/will not do those jobs

C) They will pay others to do those jobs

D) Others are willing to accept those jobs and that pay even though they do not like the job involved


And since you're so fond of your make-believe solution --

1) Where are your machines that will fill these jobs?

2) Why wouldn't a capitalist prefer automatons to humans?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #62)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:08 PM

63. The fact that you are NOT outraged by the economic inequality

tells me all I need to know about you. Your love of capitalism and the resulting inequities are obvious. The only thing I can't figure out is why you are posting at a website for democrats. I suppose in time that answer will become clear ...

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Response to TBF (Reply #63)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:32 PM

66. Before you even joined this thread I had written to the OP --

If I understand correctly this is a (justified) broadside against the outsourcing of jobs. While I am sympathetic to the sentiment...


emphasis added

In other words, I shared the OPs concern for situations that exacerbate economic hardships.

So, again, this is ginned-up outrage. This is you wanting to claim that because I don't share your personal pointless state of perpetual pissed-offedness that I somehow do not care about people. That is you imposing your interpretation and doing so with an amazing degree of inaccuracy if not outright dishonesty.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #66)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:31 PM

75. "pointless state of perpetual pissed-offedness"

Yet another personal attack in an entire string of them. That's fine, you've convinced yourself and your cooking & baking friends that economic inequality is a just economic system and you have "won" your argument that capitalism is superior.

I continue to disagree that an economic system that favors the few over so many is the way we should continue, but if that's what people in this country want then we'll pass TPP and more jobs will move overseas. If that's what you and your cooking & baking friends want that is perfectly fine - but I wonder if you have really thought that through. Are you sitting on trust funds? Are your own positions really that secure. That is not a question for you to respond to. It's a rhetorical question for anyone reading.

I feel that is not the way we should continue in this country. This is not a personal issue as you have attempted to make it with the string of personal attacks and your comment regarding caring about people. Whether you personally care about a person or not is irrelevant. The fact that you would wish upon the populace as a whole an economic system that will only make them subservient makes your intent and true feelings on the matter abundantly clear.

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Response to TBF (Reply #75)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:48 PM

80. wow

1. I have no idea who/what my "cooking and baking friends" is even supposed to mean.

2. I'm against the TPP and I have posted in several TPP threads that passing this trade "agreement" would derail all efforts to raise US wages.

3. Calling me a 1%er, claiming I don't care about the poor and advocate for human subjugation are personal attacks so spare us yet another fake display of grievance.

4. I still don't think your fantasy of machines managing menial and unpleasant tasks is feasible in the near future, i.e. several decades.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #80)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 05:48 PM

81. Yes, wow

Your string of personal attacks (which you decided to fling rather than discuss economic inequality):

"Grow-up"
"Do you have any critiques based in the real world?"
"You need something other than happy thoughts and a sprinkling of fairy dust to achieve flight so too it takes a bit more effort -- quite a bit really -- to run a modern society"
"That's the dumbest thing I've heard in a long time"
"Go peddle your fake outrage somewhere else"
"you are fabricating your outrage"
"Okay, we get it, you're outraged. It's the one thing you're good at"
"And since you're so fond of your make-believe solution -- "
"So, again, this is ginned-up outrage"
"your personal pointless state of perpetual pissed-offedness"
" with an amazing degree of inaccuracy if not outright dishonesty"
"your fantasy"


I'll give you one thing - you are very, very good at hurling insults. Excellent string of personal attacks.

But not a bit about economic theory. Not one idea of how we can ease economic inequality - other than the thought that others should clean up your messes. That would be from your initial line "Please show us the people who like crawling in sewers, digging ditches, breaking their backs in resource extraction jobs, etc. Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else"

Anyone fighting against economic inequality - they need to grow up, face the real world, not use fairy dust, are stupid, are an outrage, have make-believe solutions, more outrage, and fantasy. It couldn't possibly be that it is morally and ethically disgusting to prop up this economic system.

But now we are back where we started, after all your insults.

Let me know when you're ready to discuss economic theory.

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Response to TBF (Reply #81)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:07 PM

83. I stand by each of those statements without apology.

The first words off your fingertips were fake outrage. Shall I list the rhetorical barbs that you have cast, including those you made before I had even addressed you?

Again, fake outrage.

But not a bit about economic theory.


I called out your patently absurd nonsense about machines doing all the unpleasant work as such machines do not exist. You have yet to actually address that counterpoint.

You are either being hypocritical about lamenting the lack of discussion of economic theory or you have conveniently forgotten that you yourself wrote in Post #42 --

I'm not going to explain economics to you. Maybe you can have the butler google it and read it to you so you don't even have to move.


Not one idea of how we can ease economic inequality - other than the thought that others should clean up your messes.


What mess did I create? By the way, are you still paying another human being to keep your city's sewage in check?

That would be from your initial line "Please show us the people who like crawling in sewers, digging ditches, breaking their backs in resource extraction jobs, etc. Yet these are all necessary occupations. Some people take jobs because they need the money and other people are willing to pay to have the unpleasant task performed by someone else"


And I continue to stand by what I said. Apart from having a case of the incoherent vapors you haven't addressed the point with a counterpoint.

Anyone fighting against economic inequality - they need to grow up, face the real world, not use fairy dust, are stupid, are an outrage, have make-believe solutions, more outrage, and fantasy. It couldn't possibly be that it is morally and ethically disgusting to prop up this economic system.


Okay. We get it. You're upset. But apart from abusing your poor computer's keyboard and wishing for machines that don't exist what does that have to do with the validity of what I stated?

Let me know when you're ready to discuss economic theory.


I'm aching to see something. Where is your explanation that refutes --

A) There are jobs to be done

B) Some people cannot/will not do those jobs

C) They will pay others to do those jobs

D) Others are willing to accept those jobs and that pay even though they do not like the job involved


And since you're so fond of your make-believe solution --

1) Where are your machines that will fill these jobs?

2) Why wouldn't a capitalist prefer automatons to humans?

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #83)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:27 PM

88. I disagree with your entire premise

because it is based upon acceptance of capitalism.

I don't accept that capitalism is the answer and so I will not answer silly questions about who should be paid to do what. I'd rather do away with currency entirely and have a resource based economy.

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Response to TBF (Reply #88)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:56 PM

94. Not long ago I was reading Livy, the ancient Roman historian.

Pecuniary, which means "money," derives from the Latin word for cattle, peces, because the value of the coin was roughly the value of a cow -- a resource, it should be noted.

In ancient times when a person borrowed they were required to make repayment in the form of that which they produced. For example, a grain farmer repaid his lender in the form of grain. However, if his yield was insufficient his debt remained, generally accruing interest. Currency allowed him to repay his debts by other means. In other words if grain yields were lacking he could labor in more profitable endeavors thus earning enough money to repay his debt. It was one of the reforms instituted in ancient Rome at the time the Tribunes were asserting themselves on behalf of the plebes and these reforms allowed the republic to grow by leaps and bounds as well as recover from catastrophe.

Now, I remain curious as to how you imagine a society as complex as our modern society could offer an incentive to another human being to crawl into our sewers and keep the filth from inundating our streets. I don't see you volunteering to do it nor have you invented the much-ballyhooed machines that would obviate this unpleasant task. That said, perhaps some form of currency transaction would be in order. I would personally recommend a generous wage with generous benefits (I doubt the average urban dweller has room for peces pens) and I'm willing to affect such a compensation package through the municipal tax structure.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #62)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:27 PM

65. Wow! As an uninvolved bystander, I'd say ....

 

.... you won that one by a knockout. Your opponent could throw no other punch than outrage.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #65)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:45 PM

67. Thank-you but

I don't want to "win." I want to see people have the opportunity to look forward to better lives. If people would let go of the outrage-aholism maybe we could get more progress on real solutions rather than waiting for robots to save us from ourselves.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #67)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:51 PM

68. Agree ....

 

What I meant by "win" is that you made your points clearly and rationally and there was no rational opposition, merely "rage at the machine" non-arguments. It sometimes seems that rage itself has become an acceptable argument for many things here.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #68)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:08 PM

72. I appreciate your kind words and salient observation. Thank-you again. n/t

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #65)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:18 PM

74. How sad that we must look at discussions as winning or losing. Do you count the number of

punches? And you seem to disparage "outrage". Are you saying that you never are outraged? Or that you only disparage outrage that you dont agree with?

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #74)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:32 PM

76. Yeah, because .....

 

How sad that we must look at discussions as winning or losing.


.... nobody ever does that. Surely nobody on DU is looking to "win" an argument or have a point accepted. We just throw in an opinion in a discussion and then go about our business. Yeah, that's it.

And you seem to disparage "outrage". Are you saying that you never are outraged? Or that you only disparage outrage that you don't agree with?


I'd say I almost never get outraged. I am 65 and pretty mellow. I can't remember the last thing I got outraged about. Probably a good thing given my circumstances. I disparage outrage pretty much all the time. It is irrational. I disagree with all outrage equally.

Any other questions?


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Response to oldhippie (Reply #76)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:39 PM

78. So you are saying that since other DU posters do it, you can do it?

And IMO if you dont get outraged at least once in a while, you either arent paying attention or satisfied with the status quo.

I have no further questions. Go back to your cheerleading.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #78)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:45 PM

79. No, I didn't say that ...

 

If you thought I did, maybe you could point out where.

Oh, I'm paying attention all right. And I am not satisfied with the status quo. But there is no need to become outraged or irrational.

Cheerleading? I like cheerleading. Brings back pleasant memories and images.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #79)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:12 PM

85. Weren't we just discussing

how the urge for outrage inhibits actual substantive and productive discussion? I think we had even agreed to that point so much so that lamenting this fact trumped any sense of "winning."

It all seems so long ago.

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Response to TBF (Reply #48)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:10 PM

73. If that "40% of the wealth" comment refers to the Walton family (and I'm betting it does)

it is...


read this carefully...


TOTAL BULLSHIT

You have misunderstood the statistic/information/quote.

You said;
When over 40% of the wealth is controlled by just one family you know it isn't going to end well.


The Waltons are said to have more wealth than the BOTTOM 40% of Americans.

That is NOT THE SAME as saying "The Waltons posses 40% of all wealth."

I have seen this before on DU and it is just bullshit. I have no love for the Walton family, but at least get your outrage cited properly.

The Walton family does NOT control 40% of the wealth in this country.

And if it isn't the Waltons to whom you refer, it is still bullshit because no single family, person or entity controls 40% of all the wealth in the USA.

Next you'll be telling us that there are trillionaires out there.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #73)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:34 PM

90. I stand by my comments on economic inequality -

but must apologize to you for unintentionally misrepresenting the 40% statistic. You are correct. I needed to look up the original article and didn't want to respond to you until I fact-checked.

Here is the excerpt and it is 30.5%, rather than 40%:

Allegretto found that in 2007, the wealth held by the six Waltons was equal to that of the bottom 30.5 percent of families in the U.S. In 2010, the Waltons’ share equaled the entire bottom 41.5 percent of families.

That 41.5 percent represents nearly 49 million families, notes Josh Bivens at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. While median family wealth fell by 38.8 percent, Bivens wrote, the wealth of the Walton family members rose from $73.3 billion in 2007 to $89.5 billion in 2010, or about 22 percent growth.


1 family's wealth (Waltons) = 49 million families (or the bottom 30.5% of families in the US)


So it is a lower percentage than I remembered, but still very high. Nearly 1/3 of the country, 49 million families, have less wealth than the Waltons. I think that is a very sorry state of affairs.


Here is the article for anyone who is interested: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2012/jul/31/bernie-s/sanders-says-walmart-heirs-own-more-wealth-bottom-/

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Response to TBF (Reply #90)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:43 PM

92. I don't argue your comments on economic inequality.

And it is a worldwide scandal that taxation rates have allowed such wealth to be accumulated in the hands of so few.

But you must admit, your point is not furthered by hyperbole.

I hope you would agree that accuracy is important.

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Response to A HERETIC I AM (Reply #92)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:50 PM

93. Of course - hyperbole was not intended

and that is why I wanted to find the original article for everyone.

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Response to TBF (Reply #93)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:01 PM

95. Fair enough.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #47)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 05:59 PM

82. ATMs? We used to have Bank Clerks to do all those transactions. Credit cards? We used to need

people, in stores, to buy things from.

Lots of robots filling in for jobs people used to do.

And it isn't that long ago. Where we lived in the '90s eg, there were no ATMs so if you wanted to make a deposit and/or withdraw money from your account, you had to drive five minutes to the only Bank in town. The teller was wonderful, she knew everyone and you could TALK to her.

But before long they replaced her with an ATM.

Progress? In some ways yes, but I missed her.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #82)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:08 PM

84. Don't tell TBF because you might be accused of wanting to subjugate humans or something. n/t

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #84)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:24 PM

87. Is this really necessary? Seems low even for you. nt

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Response to TBF (Reply #87)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:30 PM

89. What? You want machines to relive people of drudgery.

You've said as much on multiple occasions and every time I have pointed out the fact that there are jobs that require human beings to be performed you've called me a 1%er advocating for the subjugation of people and I'm so ignorant of economic theory that I should have my butler Google it for me because I'm not worth your effort.

That is what you have said.

I'm still not sure what you mean by my "friends in the cooking and baking" group or whatever. If you could take a moment between spittle-flecked posts to explain what that is supposed to reference I am aching with curiosity.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #3)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 07:55 PM

23. Some degreed people start at the bottom of these jobs so they can move up knowledgeably and advance

their enterprises and those services better. They might not like the work, but they know how to get the work and its salaries to be more appealing to others once they themselves have done it.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:05 PM

5. And the other message - Chris Christie is the worst person in the world EVER!

Meanwhile the Big Bankers are laughing up their sleeves. "Over the last five years, we just transferred Middle Class Holdings to our empire, with Congressional and Presidential Approval.

"Ha Ha! American losers!

"Ha Ha! Go ahead and bitch about the NJ freeway shut downs over the four day period! Those didn't trouble us at all - we were out buying resorts in Cancun!"

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:05 PM

6. I sort of agree ... but

these debt kids are running up -- often $100,000 or more in the hole for a BA degree from a "cheap" state school -- are just killing a lot of people.

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Response to Arugula Latte (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:13 PM

8. True, but then what we should be discussing

is the real problem. Why are we propping up an economic system in which so few at the top are in control of most of the wealth?

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Response to TBF (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:28 PM

13. Yes, I agree, but

in the meantime, millions of young people have to decide what to do about college, and college costs keep rising and rising.

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Response to TBF (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:31 PM

15. Because it benefits the powerful

And their lackeys and messengers (both official and unofficial) get something out of it, too-whether it be material well-being or a sense of superiority over the rest of us.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #15)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:34 AM

40. Yes - their lackeys do. But there aren't so many

of them either. There are many more of us who are not controlling that wealth.

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Response to TBF (Reply #40)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:57 PM

69. I think a lot of people still trust authority..

Or they want to, at least.

Hell, we all trust authority figures, to one extent or another. Think of the very word "authority", and it means someone with some knowledge or expertise that others-who lack said knowledge or expertise-rely on. The problem is when so many authority figures in our political, economic, and other structures of society are so thoroughly wedded to the preservation of the system itself-the very system that creates all the economic and social inequality to begin with.

You should read the French writer la Boetie-he predated Marx but had some ideas that one can draw parallels to Marx with. Rather than ask, "How do the few govern the many?" like traditional political theorists did, he flipped the question and asked instead, "Why do so many accept the rule of so few?" All it would take would be for everyone at once to withdraw consent.

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #69)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:37 PM

77. Excellent point -

and I really like your last couple sentences. "Why do so many accept the rule of so few" is a very, very good question.

I see it on this website every day. People who want there to be a magic cure for capitalism. They want people and companies to be kinder - a sort of "gentler" capitalism. I think the answer to that is that they are looking for the easier and/or less violent way out. Folks who care about other people don't really want revolution - they want an easier way. They want to believe there is a way we can come together and fix the issues without it having to get so serious.

Ultimately what we see historically though is exactly what you've posited - eventually people have so little to lose that they do withdraw their consent.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:32 PM

16. College should not be as expensive as it is.

Cost should not determine who can go and who cannot.
My 16 year old is hoping to attend college, and we'll help her in every way we can, financially.
I'm not concerned if the degree will result in her making a pile of money. If holding a degree will make it less likely she'll be taken advantage of by the ptb, and more likely that she'll recognize injustices and have the confidence to push back against those injustices, then I'll figure the education was worth it. How she earns a living is of much less importance to her dad and me.
This trend to discourage young people from attending college, while understandable from a financial aspect, is frightening if you think about where it will lead. Only the well to do will attend, and ever more power will be wielded by the wealthy over the less fortunate.
The OPs use of the term "serfs" will be sadly accurate, at this rate.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:56 PM

18. The "DWYL" OP was about how "DWYL" is used to blame the 99% for their problems.

It's really just another variation on the old "poor people are poor because of their own moral failings" meme.

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Response to phantom power (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 06:58 PM

19. no. most people don't do what they want out of fear.

 

not because "the man is holding them back and laughing at them while doing so".

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 10:33 PM

36. There is a lot of fear when you are a paycheck or two from homelessness

It is very easy for to have the entrepreneur spirit when you are already financially secure.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 07:40 PM

22. The point of employment is *selling* the hours of your life as profitably as possible.

It's not to kid yourself that you're fulfilling a set of personal goals; employment is about fulfilling the employers goals.

I suggest to my kids configuring ones work life in such a way that you become as financially independent as possible as soon as possible. Only then can you be sure that you're following your own passion.

College is marketed two ways: a) an investment in greater earning potential, and b) a fulfilling personal quest for knowledge. If you see college as the former, then everything becomes a math problem. If you see college as the latter, then it's a lifestyle purchase, no different from a vacation or a stint in the peace corps.

If college were necessity to acquire critical thinking skills, then why are so many Starbucks baristas college graduates? Even a smidgen of critical thinking skill could make a person realize that the quality of life a $11/hour job will provide is better if one doesn't have a $400/month student loan.

And your fourth paragraph is a fundamental fail of the critical thinking test. Name me a college major that insulates the student from the mercy of capital to a greater degree than auto mechanics.

Mechanics, electricians, plumbers, repairmen of all stripes; they thrive because a bachelors degree in social media doesn't render the student smart enough to fix their own shit.

Fuck yer' "critical thinking skills".

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 08:02 PM

25. I've known young friends who did skilled labor work first, THEN afforded their college work after.

They called it their American Gap years. But they're now versatile and in the 30% of America with degrees that can add some value to their skills. And their debts are negligible, because they knew that, short of an Ivy League degree's guaranteeing employment, any other degree should be the cheapest degree possible.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:52 PM

96. no reason such things should be mutually exclusive

That is to say, fulfilling an employer's goals and fulfilling a set of personal goals. Ditto with the investment vs. lifestyle choice--college, of course, is both. I don't think there's anything wrong with the straightforward approach you're advocating of getting as much as quickly as possible in order to become financially independent. But that, too, is a goal that most aren't going to reach until retirement anyway (if then). It's hardly a sure thing.

And your fourth paragraph is a fundamental fail of the critical thinking test. Name me a college major that insulates the student from the mercy of capital to a greater degree than auto mechanics.

Mechanics, electricians, plumbers, repairmen of all stripes; they thrive because a bachelors degree in social media doesn't render the student smart enough to fix their own shit.


all of those careers tend to have (often significantly) higher unemployment rates than editors, journalists, authors, and educators ... to say nothing of engineers, scientists, etc.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #96)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:24 AM

97. "college is both"

I hear that argument a lot.
"Why should I go to college to get a degree when I can make just as much sans degree?'
... "Because college is about enriching yourself and teaching yourself how to think."
"Okay, I took your advice and now I have this crippling debt. Life is no fun because the job of adjunct professor doesn't pay any more than my car detailing job did."
... "We need debt cancellation! Jubilee! It's horrible that people can't afford to pay off their college debts!"

If college is a worthwhile investment in personal growth, then pay the bill, like you would any other. If it was a financial investment in an improved income, then stop disparaging trade schools and learn something which represents a skill that someone will pay for.

College isn't really "both"... it appears to be "either", depending on the argument to be made. It's a lifestyle choice that should be free, but should represent a good ROI, because animal rescue should pay more because you have a degree in the humanities.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #97)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 12:56 AM

98. disparaging trade schools is a rather different issue

Unlike a vacation, which you compared it to, a college education is very likely to give you skills that someone will pay for, in addition to access to networks, etc. Even in the humanities field you seem intent on ridiculing. Disparaging trade schools is a separate issue entirely. There is nothing wrong with trade schools--they offer some advantages that traditional colleges don't and lack some of the advantages that traditional colleges offer. Consequently, they are a good option for some and less so for others. Like traditional colleges, they have increasingly relied on a debt model for student funding. And they offer no guarantee of employment.

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Response to fishwax (Reply #98)

Wed Jan 22, 2014, 11:08 AM

99. I'm a big fan of my local community college.

They offer a great many economically useful vocational programs and a good transfer program, and it's very affordable.

What I am becoming desensitized to is people complaining how difficult it is to repay a debt related to a purchase that was sooo important for their personal growth that it was bad form and borderline rude to suggest that it should be justified with economics.

... and then to say that autodidacticism has left me with poor critical thinking skills.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 08:10 PM

26. I've recently discovered professional lawn care.

I work at a golf course and found that I LOVE the work. I spend every day making things grow. I get to shape that growth and see it change from day to day.

It's hard work, but I love it. I'm hoping to start turf school next fall to expand my own personal knowledge and possibly build my own company within the industry.

Will I ever get to 100k+ a year? I doubt it, but I might be able to squeak out a middle class life being my own boss.

I've heard for 2 decades that if I do what I love I'll never have to work a day in my life. That's BS, but I see the possibility of not minding having to work.

I'll certainly settle for that.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:13 PM

27. I come from a family of Educators.

Primarily English teachers - two grandparents, a sister, a father who went to school for English, but was never allowed to teach in the more relaxed manner he had hoped to.

So I think I can safely say that I know the value of education, and I will say that it is a great and wonderful thing. I had never been so optimistic, so hopeful, so full of energy and enthusiasm as the year I was able to finally enroll in college. The idea that, finally, after years of struggling through depression, overwhelming financial struggle and so on... that I would finally be able to move forward and live better, was beyond uplifting. It was the difference between night and day - between hope and despair.

Strange that it was only last year, it feels like it was so very much longer ago, as if I were a younger, happier, more inspired person. I suppose I was, when it comes down to it. After nearly a decade of spending all of my time either working, or locked up in my room reading, I was finally out among the world again, I re-entered society in a way that moved me more than I can say, that inspired my writing to greater heights, that led to members of my family who had given up on me starting to believe in me again. I can't tell you what it's like to be told by someone who long ago gave up on you as a lost cause, that they are now... "Very proud".

I read the works of Horace Mann - and was inspired by them. I read the works of more modern academics like John Taylor Gatto - and argued passionately against them. I wrote essays that never earned less than an A - and I had not been in a classroom, had not known formal education, for more than a decade.

It was student loans and pell grants that enabled me to do this - along with significant help from my parents in getting started. I lived in a tiny apartment (more of a slum, really, it was all I could afford) that I loved, I bought the cheapest furniture I could find from local thrift stores and Catholic charities - and I think I made it look good. I, who had long been a miserable, hopeless person, had changed so completely that old friends did not recognize me anymore. I had some measure of independence, pride, self respect.. I believed I had a future.

That dream slowly came to an end. The economic devastation of this modern time, was the key factor in what brought me back down. There were no jobs available that I could work with my school schedule. The work study positions were all taken up more quickly than I would have thought possible - and I was on foot. Every day I would walk a few miles, filling out applications and hoping for a phone call. I did this for months... with the belief that, sooner or later, it would pay off. It didn't. There were too many applicants, too many struggling people - and some of them pushed even harder than I did.

Ultimately, what happened was that I ended up owing money, in addition to student loans, that I could never hope to repay - and a significant amount would have to be paid before I could apply for another semester. There were so many days and nights when I could barely afford to eat - on some I just didn't, if I got lucky, my Father or sister would occasionally take me to lunch. When I did shop, it was at dollar stores, and I survived largely on some of the most terrible junk, processed food imaginable. You wouldn't believe how far you can go with tap water and a twelve pack of ramen... not something I suggest... ever.

I remember standing in the financial aid office, begging for more help... I remember it taking every bit of determination and will power I had, not to break down sobbing like a child when they told me there was nothing they could do.

So let me say that, for the vast majority of us... hell, for anyone who is willing and able, college is a wonderful thing. Higher education is fantastic. It is just not affordable, for the vast majority of us. You can give it everything you have (and then some) and still end up just like me. Back home with mom and dad, working for 8 bucks an hour, no health insurance, no friends, no social life. My life is divided, primarily, between working, reading - and frequenting sites like DU, searching for hope, an escape, something to lift me out of my state of depression.

If this noble pursuit of higher education, of knowledge... if this is the sort of dream that should be available to all (as I sincerely, profoundly believe it should be) then something must be done. I do not know what the solution is - but I believe it lies somewhere within our priorities and principles, that we might realize that educating our people is more important than draining them of every dollar, or every working hour we can get out of them. Perhaps we might realize that a more educated populace would benefit our society as a whole - through, in turn, educating our children, inventing things, coming up with cures for diseases, or music that blows the mind and inspires the heart.

It's all about the money, Warrior. Even our system of education (particularly higher education, which doesn't really have a "free" option that I know of) is largely a cog in the machine of capitalism. The problem is... perhaps, ultimately, capitalism itself. When profit comes first, everyone loses. I know. I've lost almost everything - if not for my generous family, I'd have nothing at all. Not even a place to live.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:16 PM

28. Very profound and well-thought post.

Wish I could rec it!

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:32 PM

30. "When profit comes first, everyone loses." Unfortunatley, not everybody.

It's those few who profit who are in charge of our world.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #30)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 09:47 PM

32. I respectfully disagree.

To some extent...

In their shortsightedness, they lose, I fear, even more than the rest of us. They lose their humanity. Life becomes a numbers game, a competition to make as much as you can, no matter what you have to do, who's ass you have to kiss, or who you have to hurt in the process. Their lives would ultimately be far richer and far better if they recognized the value of empathy, compassion, generosity - of helping to lift others out of despair and poverty.

One thing I learned in my sociology class (during my one year of college) was that the suicide rate among WASPs - particularly the upper class ones, is very high, higher than those who are far poorer financially, who's lives have much more hardship. I believe the reason for this is their lack of humanity in their pursuit of financial wealth as both a means and an end.

They may be in charge of the world - but they're doing a damn poor job of it, wouldn't you say?

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 10:01 PM

34. I totally agree that the're not running the world in a way that benefits the human race.

I'm not really talking about WASPs being in charge. I'm talking about the 1%. The ones whose money gives them the power that translates into control of our world. I don't think they're particularly suicidal.

Our lives would be better is they found empathy, generosity, and compassion fulfilling. But it appears money and power do it for them.

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Response to Dark n Stormy Knight (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 10:12 PM

35. Their lives would be better, too.

Unless they think that climate change is something only poor people have to worry about. Hell, maybe some of them do. I can't imagine though, that the high and mighty 1% are truly so ignorant as to think there is no danger. Much of what happens politically, in various governments, is through their interference and direction, I suspect that they have enough power and wealth to change policies to promote better environmental standards, better education... hell, better everything.

I also suspect though, that everything for the majority of them is second to money. They live lives that you and I can only dream of - and they want those lives to continue to be such a dream, for as long as possible. One day, they will have no choice but to suffer through the disasters brought about by their greed and shortsightedness, and when that time comes... I wonder if it will occur to them, that they might have made a difference. That they might have made THE difference.

It's not just about people like me, the poor class, the middle class, the working class.. it's about humanity. We're all kind of in this together. Even them - and the realization of this fact will probably be very painful, when it comes for them at last.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #35)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:29 AM

38. I think the problem is that unless the entire earth is blown to smithereens, the 1% will remain

largely untouched by the effects of their lack of concern for the planet and humanity. I wish you were right, but I don't think you're recognizing how much that kind of money can do to insulate them. They won't care about the consequences until they have to, and I doubt that most of them ever will.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:40 AM

41. Your gem is near the end -

"The problem is... perhaps, ultimately, capitalism itself"

Yes, yes, yes!

I don't know how we get from here (capitalist hell) to more of a resource based economy, but in my nearly 50 years on this planet watching this nonsense of profit over people, I know it is what we need to do.

Thank you for your post - it gives me hope.

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Response to davidthegnome (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:15 PM

86. You should make this an OP. Excellent post, thank you!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)


Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Mon Jan 20, 2014, 10:34 PM

37. Interesting

For me and my circumstances, college was what I needed to do in order to get where I wanted to be.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:37 AM

39. Is this the third time I have agreed with you? I'm getting really worried

Or am I thinking of someone else?

Anyhow, I do agree with you.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #39)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:44 AM

43. Why yes..that was me. :)

 

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #39)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 08:14 AM

46. This is the first time I have agreed with PW. I am disappointed in you

for agreeing with him or her so much, but I confess that the OP was really good.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:45 AM

44. du rec.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 07:53 AM

45. Anecdotally, I might advise someone not to go to college or to put it off at least...

But as a matter of public policy, "not everyone should go to college" is a mantra being taken up by a bunch of right wingers who think that college shouldn't be accessible to people whose parents don't have money.

College should be affordable to everyone, end of story. Whether or not everyone ought to go is a completely unrelated issue.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #45)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:01 PM

56. thank you! I can get behind that message. Public officials should be holding out higher education

 

as something available to all who want to attain it (much like in many northern European countries), and the actual decision to go to college or take another route can be on a case by case individual assessment.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #45)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:05 PM

71. +1000

Thank you.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 12:22 PM

52. I used to believe "college" educated a person which led to a better life. I no longer do.

At one time, it was a place of higher learning that would produce critical thinking skills. This was used as a sort of stamp of approval that one was ready for a leadership/management track in the workforce, a reflection of that same differentiation in the military. The college system, with its crushing debt and limited usefulness is a scam for the most part now far more discriminatory against the poor and middle classes than ever.

The trouble is, colleges are not educating people. Except for the very few, they're not. Students are paying exorbitant amounts to be able to place a name on their resume. They are competing to get the most prestigious seal of approval.

Yes, many students are choosing to use college as educational trade schools. The college I graduated from included almost 40% pre-med. The rest were pre-law and MBAs. Leveraging one's degree for money was the name of the game. When I chose to pursue a liberal arts degree, my peers and parents scoffed at me, asking how I could waste so much money on something that couldn't land a high-paying job. That's not education, that's trade school.

When I speak to Europeans, they do not have the same reaction. They are not forced to be mercenaries because they education is no or low cost. On the whole, I find them to be better educated and more excited about their chosen subjects.

At my school, which now costs almost $60k per year in just tuition, the vast majority of the students I met treated it just like high school. They treated classes as an annoyance to partying and hanging out. With the rabid sports and greek culture at many state schools, I fear it is no different. Students didn't care about their classes, they just wanted good grades that reflected well on their transcripts. They forgot the information as soon as they passed the class. And college was not so difficult that one cannot spend most weekends and many weeknights pursuing other activities. I had a full time job and blew through it. It was no harder than high school. The idea that everyone in college is busting their ass to get through the very difficult classes is a complete myth. Classes have been entirely downgraded to match the low academic levels of the students.

So when people ask me how to get into a prestigious school, I often shock them by telling them to wait (or avoid it altogether). They should instead invest their time in at least a year of traveling and study to find what subject they may like to pursue. Traveling matures them, opens their minds, and challenges their ideas. As in Good Will Hunting, directed reading is far more educational that many college courses. I mean truly, in a lecture class of hundreds, with no real access to a professor, what are you getting that you can't get out of reading a book and searching for answers to questions that arise? Some of the most brilliant men in all of history are self-taught, certainly they acquired much of their knowledge from reading. Now with the internet, there are so many resources as well.

Work experience is far more valuable to be good at one's job. I don't know many fields, besides those that require certification, that one actually learns in a college setting. If you're 18, debt-free and willing to live a spartan life, you have the ability to do internships or move around from job to job to find what you want to do. If you walk out with crushing debt and loads of expectations, you will take the highest-paying job you can get and then grind it out from there.

Then, once the student feels they need college in order to advance in their career, perhaps about 25-27, they can go back. In my experience, older students who have made a decision to be there, are in an entirely different class than their younger counterparts. They don't care about parties. They are there to learn and always elevate the discussion because they have been studying the subject for a while. In my film master's program the kids straight out of undergrad who thought they were going to be Spielberg would doodle while the four older students would try to get as much out of the professor as they could. The cinematography teacher offered a free Saturday class because the subject is far too complex to teach in just an hour a day. Free all day workshops! When you're paying that much for classes, that is a true gift. Only the older students showed up. So when it came time to shoot our films, the younger students wasted a whole lot of dad's money having mental breakdowns and screaming hysterically--and nearly electrocuting someone (all true)--because they were totally lost. They just weren't ready. They would have gotten so much more out of their schooling if they had worked in film first. They would not have had to stay at the most basic level.

Anyway, sorry for the long rant. I don't recommend anyone go to college if you can help it any more. Read. Pursue your education on your own. College has become a gatekeeper scam just like anything else. If you can side-step it, and there are many people who do, then do it. And if your skills lie in other areas that are not college subjects, pursue them elsewhere. We are allowing academia, which has become utterly corrupted, too much sway. When MBAs are a dime a dozen, when you work with a newly minted one from a big ivy league school and marvel at their utter cluelessness matched only by their incredible arrogance, the scales fall from your eyes. The whole idea that high school is college prep is also a scam. It completely ignores the majority of students who could be learning their future trade for free rather than paying some predatory trade school when they get out.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #52)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:08 PM

57. when I have more time I will share my story. But suffice to say I disagree with some of your broad

 

statements about colleges today. I think the move to online universities and for profit universities is a horrible development that needs to be reversed.

If I get an online degree from a graduate program with no ability to interact with my cohort, am I really getting a useful degree? I believe there are always trade offs and one devalues their degree if they do it as a short cut instead of really going through legitimate educational environment.

In undergrad, I took trigonometry, statistics, and discrete math in college. Those were not easy courses by any stretch. I'm pretty intelligent (posted a 650 on my GMAT) and I had to work my butt off for A's and B's in those classes.

I agree about your assessment regarding U.S. colleges vs. the environment in Europe. I hope we can bend public policy more toward that direction. If so, then the cutoff will be based on academic achievement rather than finances so when Richie Rich can't get into college because his scores suck, it will naturally move academic achievement higher in high schools.

One can hope.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #57)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:18 PM

58. I never advocated online universities. They are nothing but degree mills

I described being SELF taught. Or self directed learning which can be very fruitful.

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Response to BrotherIvan (Reply #58)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 02:36 PM

59. I know. I'm just sharing my personal limits on what is "relevant" higher education

 

I'd say someone going to a local vocational technical college or learning a skill with 2 year degree at local community college will have a better investment than someone with a University of Phoenix degree.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #59)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 03:15 PM

64. Agreed. Those are scams.

But we have become a two-tiered or many-tiered society precisely because the cost of college separates those that can afford it from those who can't. Or it creates a life of never ending debt for middle class students who are taught it is a path to prosperity when all facts show that it is no longer. We need to give people choices and options.

What if we encouraged people to instead of investing in overpriced colleges to invest in themselves or a business? Kevin Smith dropped out of film school and took his tuition refund to make a film. He always says it was one of his best decisions. Just thinking aloud, but the well-worn path isn't working so well. It has been co-opted by capital and now no longer serves its purpose.

If I were a Harvard alumni, I might feel a bit of a twinge when Mr. Summers lost all that money through his brilliance. I did know that as an undergrad at my swanky college, we were seen as a source of income but that's about it. They were much more interested in large endowments from corporations, the military and rich folk buying their child's way into prestige.

I'm also saying that once we feel dependent upon a person or a system, in this case academic institutions, to give us a seal of approval--"you're smart (because we allowed you to pay us)"--and especially when that has taken on the smack of indulgences sold to the highest bidder, it's time to find another way.

I don't hate college. In fact, I could have become a permanent student at a small, academically focused place. I considered getting my PhD for my own edification. I'm just saying this idea that 18 year olds need to run into college whether they are mature enough or not, that parents need to go broke paying for Tommy and Suzy to party their asses off, or middle class students need to bend their backs to carry their debts, is wrong-headed and bears some scrutiny.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 12:24 PM

53. Education isn't a key to prosperity anymore. Or not nearly so much.

I think it's still a key to understanding our various predicaments, and a great inoculation against Fox and the other corporate media liars. I think it's the key to building a world in which it *can* be a key to prosperity.

"Key to prosperity" is a vital, but limited way of looking at education.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 04:04 PM

70. OK, adding my two cents here...

I came from a small, poor family that the Father of HATED, I mean HATED the thought of his Daughters going to school. But I fought my way to get my GED all by myself ( I was Home School starting in my 7th grade year), then through to get my B.A. in Communication.

Now has it got me to riches, no. Yet it has gave me a great gift. It has gave me an edge that many others on this side of the wage gap does not. Critical thinking, the ability to think outside the box when things get rough. Even an avenue of making some cash here and there by tutoring others that are going through the educational journey ( I am in the home of the wildcats, some do need help from someone that took similar courses).

What other things I have learned due to higher education is how to understand all the legal stuff that is on many a form one needs to fill out for assistance. I have seen many at different offices scratching their head and hope that someone can tell them what this or that means.

You may not get rich from going to school, but it will help you, give you an edge, no matter where life leads. SO GO FOR IT! FIGHT FOR IT! GET IT!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Tue Jan 21, 2014, 06:35 PM

91. "Do what you love and love what you do" is elitist crap

It only applies to the 1% that can afford it.

Life is shitty and disappointing most of the time, I'm sorry to say. Sometimes you will have to take the crap job to make ends meet and you are not a failure for doing so. You have to do the best you can no matter how shitty the job. If you cop an attitude like "this is beneath me" or "this isn't what I had in mind," then you will be a lousy employee and coworker. And hopefully fired.

I personally think college should be free. But also think interns should be paid (yes even those White House interns because it levels the playing field and people other than the children of rich donors can do them).

But what we really should be pushing for is unionization, especially of the service industry.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #91)

Wed Jun 18, 2014, 01:33 PM

100. I have to agree with you on that one.

but will mention (with trepidation) that I have worked jobs which I thought were beneath my talents. probably beneath the talents of the other employees as well.

you don't have to do what you love, but don't get stuck doing what you hate, either, because you'll just end up making everyone else hate you too.

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