VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
  • Mwerks and Fourtitude have rejoined VWVortex. For more info, see this thread.

Status
Not open for further replies.
261 - 280 of 763 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,225 Posts
One of the most interesting threads in a while, what some posters are losing sight of is the growing inequality and how wealth for the majority is decreasing. Many people forget that they are actually part of the top 20 - 10% in terms of wealth even though many people think of themselves as middle class even though they aren't. Things aren't much cheaper in many parts of the world where people earn far, far less. Try entering you salary in here to put things into perspective: Income Comparison Tool – SALDRU

Comparing USA numbers to what the majority of the world's population experiences: you are all a very privileged nation that's all I'll say. What's so disturbing is the inequality is intra- and inter-national. Just to give you some idea (when you think you've had it bad, you have no idea):

Mortgage interest rates in South Africa:

Unemployment rate South Africa (excludes those that have stopped looking for work so the real numbers are significantly higher):
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,963 Posts
College is great in certain careers, and in others trade school is appropriate.

I got really lucky to land the position I have now and to be working for the people I do. I’m also lucky that my career, in large, isn’t huge on degrees but rather experience and certs.

Others aren’t so lucky, and I have to be honest, where I live the folks that go to trade programs at the local community college come out making as much as anyone else in a factory. There are no unions, so if you do a plumbing program you come out to make $13/hr with no benefits. Automotive mechanic? Same. Who wants to do that when you can walk into a factory and start at $18/hr with great benefits and all you need is a diploma/GED?
Amy job that anyone can walk off the street and do is a job with no security and probably very little upward potential. The tradesman has a better career path. Factories are always opening and closing but water will always leak :) Plus a trade is portable. I'd imagine most people in trades are leaving your area for more money because that does indeed not make any sense.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,963 Posts
One of the most interesting threads in a while, what some posters are losing sight of is the growing inequality and how wealth for the majority is decreasing. Many people forget that they are actually part of the top 20 - 10% in terms of wealth even though many people think of themselves as middle class even though they aren't. Things aren't much cheaper in many parts of the world where people earn far, far less. Try entering you salary in here to put things into perspective: Income Comparison Tool – SALDRU

Comparing USA numbers to what the majority of the world's population experiences: you are all a very privileged nation that's all I'll say. What's so disturbing is the inequality is intra- and inter-national. Just to give you some idea (when you think you've had it bad, you have no idea):

Mortgage interest rates in South Africa:

Unemployment rate South Africa (excludes those that have stopped looking for work so the real numbers are significantly higher):
People can be thankful to be in a better situation than others but still recognize that their situation isn't perfect. Materially I live a dream life, but I know many of my neighbors/coworkers/peers see me as "less than" because of my skin color. The other day my 3 year old was crying because her skin isn't "pretty pink" like all the Disney princesses on TV. Etc. Plus even in SA the average person has way bigger day to day issues than sky high mortgage rates.

I get that the thread is about sports cars and this is a car forum but I think getting into all this economic technical stuff is missing the forest for the trees. Income inequality is growing and there are a lot of symptoms that stem from it. That some people's analyses of it aren't technically perfect or that other countries have it worse doesn't change the underlying premise.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
239 Posts
Exactly, but interest rates were 11% in 1988. The cost of carrying that mortgage today is FAR cheaper.
Very true statement - if rates shot up even to 6-7% on a 30YR the impact on housing prices would be severe. The hope is, that if it does, it happens gradually with some associated wage growth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,154 Posts
I worked 70 hour weeks to get the attention and those promotions. I even took a transfer to Tulsa, OK, because nobody else in the SF office wanted to move out of SF. Ask a millennial today if they'll uproot their new wife to move to Tulsa from San Francisco and see how many takers you get. I did it to get ahead.
I actually use a similar example to describe millennial disillusionment. My college roommate was a chemical engineer from a top 10 program. He was working for a fuel cell company that subcontracted to larger aerospace firms. He started out in Seattle, but was told he had to move to Cheyenne to stay with the company. A year or two later, they folded domestic operations and he was told to pound sand. Now he does marketing for a cell phone company. Another of my college friends did IR/poli sci. He wanted to get into policy, but his wife is an environmental engineer, so they moved wherever she could get a job. They started out in Baltimore, moved to Detroit, and ended up in Olympia. He was selling floors for Sears for a bit. Now he’s doing healthcare management for the prison system. I also have a pile of friends who went to law school and now push a lot of papers for very random places. Then there are the doctors who saddled themselves with an absurd amount of debt to train in the best programs, that are almost always in high cost of living areas, to a time of low reimbursements and increasing administrative/documentation requirements.

All that is to say, I think a lot of kids of my era were told to work hard, go to a good school, train hard, and it’ll all work out. Honestly, I don’t think a lot of my friends are living as comfortably as they should/could be, for the debt accrued and what they’ve done. And these are already “very successful” people by most metrics.

When I posted this article to my FB, one of my colleagues said “coming from a doctor who has owned multiple fun cars.” I said that goes to the point. If I as a doctor/military officer living in “affordable” south Texas have to debate if I can really justify a Miata as a second car, then really how affordable are these affordable sports cars?

This also segues nicely into how I think protected leisure time is diminishing, which in combination with reduced purchasing power explains the shift in hobbies. Millennials are picking houseplants over gardening. Only a few of my friends are willing to spend a weekend afternoon wrenching on a car that might not take them to work the next day. Craft beer and avocado toast has much lower activation energy!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
352 Posts
FWIW, we're currently fixing up a foreclosure (the irony of us, millennials, working to score real estate bargains is not lost on me), and most of the work we don't do ourselves we hire out hourly. Incredibly, our architect works for less hourly than our plumber. Lots of people want to be architects--or accountants or nurses--but not lots of people want to do to a job that's difficult and dirty. Supply in the job market is pretty off kilter right now and I think that contributes some.
Nursing can be a pretty "dirty" job. In some areas there is a glut of nurses to choose from but in others they are hard to come by.

I get your point. I have convinced a couple of guys here to go to a trade school and be a bitch for a couple of years making $10/hr. One sent me a card a year ago saying he made it through the HVAC program and he just bought a new Ford F250. That wasn't going to happen mopping floors and he hated school work.
I think his starting pay was around 50k plus OT plus the opportunity to go out on his own.

I wish high schools really pushed trade schools. I can't find welders at all. My brother runs a small shop and he has the same problem
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,453 Posts
I actually use a similar example to describe millennial disillusionment. My college roommate was a chemical engineer from a top 10 program. He was working for a fuel cell company that subcontracted to larger aerospace firms. He started out in Seattle, but was told he had to move to Cheyenne to stay with the company. A year or two later, they folded domestic operations and he was told to pound sand.
I bitch about Chicagoland all the time, but I will tell you I won’t leave while I still need to work. There are just way too many job opportunities here (or Boston/NYC/DC corridor, or SanFran/LA, etc). My company now has plants in all sorts of backwater areas and I could take a promotion and relo to one of them, but then I’m married to this company and if something happens I’m SOL. You never want to work at the one place in town that will ruin the town of it closes down. It’s also very hard to move back into a HCOL area after you leave in terms of buying a house.
I’m glad relo-ing to Tulsa worked for Dave and he was able to move back to CA, but I honestly wouldn’t counsel anyone to do that these days, just too much risk of being stranded with no new opportunities.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,944 Posts
my dad got an engineering degree paying out of pocket cash while working summers at target, left with no loans, and graduated into an economy with not only a job, but a signing bonus.

every time a boomer tries and fails to utter at the "millennials are entitled, we worked for what we have" i laugh. what a joke.

you guys didnt work for ****ing ****. born on 3rd, thinking they hit a triple. and then of course ruined the field and game behind them because they didnt want to pay for anyone else to be born on third, even there own children. and promptly destroyed everything that got them born on third in the first place. being a white guy, born in the 50s, probably the easiest existence that has ever or will every happen in human history.

and there last coup de grace: ending the peaceful transition of political power in america because they are in need of so much ****ing therapy they dont realize that other people exist and are people too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,627 Posts
I actually use a similar example to describe millennial disillusionment. My college roommate was a chemical engineer from a top 10 program. He was working for a fuel cell company that subcontracted to larger aerospace firms. He started out in Seattle, but was told he had to move to Cheyenne to stay with the company. A year or two later, they folded domestic operations and he was told to pound sand. Now he does marketing for a cell phone company. Another of my college friends did IR/poli sci. He wanted to get into policy, but his wife is an environmental engineer, so they moved wherever she could get a job. They started out in Baltimore, moved to Detroit, and ended up in Olympia. He was selling floors for Sears for a bit. Now he’s doing healthcare management for the prison system. I also have a pile of friends who went to law school and now push a lot of papers for very random places. Then there are the doctors who saddled themselves with an absurd amount of debt to train in the best programs, that are almost always in high cost of living areas, to a time of low reimbursements and increasing administrative/documentation requirements.

All that is to say, I think a lot of kids of my era were told to work hard, go to a good school, train hard, and it’ll all work out. Honestly, I don’t think a lot of my friends are living as comfortably as they should/could be, for the debt accrued and what they’ve done. And these are already “very successful” people by most metrics.

When I posted this article to my FB, one of my colleagues said “coming from a doctor who has owned multiple fun cars.” I said that goes to the point. If I as a doctor/military officer living in “affordable” south Texas have to debate if I can really justify a Miata as a second car, then really how affordable are these affordable sports cars?

This also segues nicely into how I think protected leisure time is diminishing, which in combination with reduced purchasing power explains the shift in hobbies. Millennials are picking houseplants over gardening. Only a few of my friends are willing to spend a weekend afternoon wrenching on a car that might not take them to work the next day. Craft beer and avocado toast has much lower activation energy!
I saw this over the last few years. At my old company, I had the pleasure of working with interns and then a recent college graduate program to get them ramped up into our sales program. Across the board, they are not doing as well as people think. Most that I dealt with over they years had significant debt and were in the early stages of income generation.

Here are a couple of other things that my company and industry saw trends in. BTW, I was in mortgage for years.

Younger people are moving back to cities not to the burbs. They are more willing to move to housing where things are centrally located and cars are becoming less important. Take a look around your city and notice all the development. Younger people are more willing to move to a section of town where work, shopping, social, are all in walking distance. I routinely dealt with workers that had not driven their car in weeks depending on where they lived. When they needed transportation, more like to hop a lyft or uber.

Kids dont car about sports cars a much. Many of these kids spent their lives shuttled around in the largest SUV their parents can find. These kids didnt grown up with sports car posters on their walls. The industry is asking them to purchase something they have never cared about to start with. On top of that, many younger people literally look at a car as an appliance. They didnt grow up shifting gears. As tech increases in cars, they are moving more from that connected feel to get me to point a to point b.

We forget many of these people in the age range grew up through the financial crisis. They saw mom and dads cars and toys getting repoed and some experienced home loss. Getting the sports car is that big of deal when you saw dads toy get hooked by a tow truck when you are in 6th grade.

This generation is more eco friendly. I would see that if I can buy a car might as well buy an appliance that is practical and good on gas. Sports cars represent the exact opposite of what some younger car buyers are looking for.

Car makers have moved away from a model that got many of interested. All car manufacturers used to have fun moderately priced cars that got you into a brand and moved you up as you progressed in life. There are very few, what I call cheap but fun cars out. The closest would be the hot hatch segment I guess. Other than than, if you want something sporty, you have to pay for it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,300 Posts
My college roommate was a chemical engineer from a top 10 program. Now he does marketing for a cell phone company. Another of my college friends did IR/poli sci. He wanted to get into policy, but his wife is an environmental engineer, so they moved wherever she could get a job. They started out in Baltimore, moved to Detroit, and ended up in Olympia. He was selling floors for Sears for a bit. Now he’s doing healthcare management for the prison system. I also have a pile of friends who went to law school and now push a lot of papers for very random places. Then there are the doctors who saddled themselves with an absurd amount of debt to train in the best programs, that are almost always in high cost of living areas, to a time of low reimbursements and increasing administrative/documentation requirements.
A top ChemE struggling to find work? I would wager that person chose to not work in ChemE anymore, or is in a location they don't want to leave. When you start talking about couples, these are the choices you make with careers and spouses. Which career is going to take precedence more or less, that's not right or wrong, but rather a choice. If your friend decided that the spouse with the EE degree was precedent than that's the choice, you know this more than most here as a physician. How many med-student spouses find out where they are moving on match day? Their career means what in that formula? Not a damned thing.

Speaking of physicians, this is a choice again. Physicians don't have to pay back their educational loans. There are so many programs that can get your loans repaid in relatively short time periods it is amazing, and I am not talking about IHS jobs, but places that are reasonably desirable, good cost of living, and good compensation. The problem, as I am sure you know, is that most residents end up taking a job near where they train, which is almost always near major metro areas and they get ~bottom 20% of MGMA

All that is to say, I think a lot of kids of my era were told to work hard, go to a good school, train hard, and it’ll all work out. Honestly, I don’t think a lot of my friends are living as comfortably as they should/could be, for the debt accrued and what they’ve done. And these are already “very successful” people by most metrics.
I don't know if I agree. I think a large part of this is that young people are being told to make a decision they are often ill-prepared for and the consequences are greater than in prior generations. Now, a young person has to make a ~$100k decision on college, without having a solid concept of the real cost or opportunities, while in previous generations that risk was ~$20k. It is just extremely difficult for a 17 year old to make a $100k decision on a lifelong career path and understand the economics of it.

Nursing can be a pretty "dirty" job. In some areas there is a glut of nurses to choose from but in others they are hard to come by.
Nursing, and all of healthcare really, is a horrendous career path. However nursing jobs are incredibly well paid for the skill/training/requirements that go into it. Ask Xiao above how many RNs are making more money than PCP MDs, with a third of the training, half the hours, and none of the liability. Or better yet, why be a Pediatrician when you can be a Nurse practitioner and make the same money for less work, less training, and not need the next standard deviation in intellectual capacity?

I wish high schools really pushed trade schools. I can't find welders at all. My brother runs a small shop and he has the same problem
Agreed. A business I am involved with does survey work, they can't find people to do the work, it is a 2 year trade school/associates program, starting total comp is near six figures. Primary complaint? It's outside, where it gets cold and wet.

my dad got an engineering degree paying out of pocket cash while working summers at target, left with no loans, and graduated into an economy with not only a job, but a signing bonus.

every time a boomer tries and fails to utter at the "millennials are entitled, we worked for what we have" i laugh. what a joke.

you guys didnt work for *ing *. born on 3rd, thinking they hit a triple. and then of course ruined the field and game behind them because they didnt want to pay for anyone else to be born on third, even there own children. and promptly destroyed everything that got them born on third in the first place. being a white guy, born in the 50s, probably the easiest existence that has ever or will every happen in human history.

and there last coup de grace: ending the peaceful transition of political power in america because they are in need of so much ****ing therapy they dont realize that other people exist and are people too.
Not a boomer, but a large part of this was timing and circumstance. If you joined the economy in the late 50's or early 60's life was golden, but a lot of these people also had hard times when industrial jobs disappeared due to automation and international competition. The white collars, like the engineer you reference, sure they did very well. However the blue collar guy on a factory line went from making a solid middle class income, with a pension and great benefits, to suddenly wondering what happened as he was unemployed.

I am not sure what your rant really is on the boomers though. Are you suggesting that they should have stopped globalization from interrupting wage growth for low/unskilled labor? I agree on the education, but we will probably disagree on the answer. IMO, every education loan should be required to be applied for and underwritten to financial viability. Want to borrow $50k/yr to get a sociology degree? Rejected. Want to borrow $10k to get a trade education in welding? Sure. The problem is that when the federal government began throwing money at every educational program they inflated their costs ridiculously. University campuses have absolutely no connection to economic reality because they don't need one. They are the ultimate government trough animal and they are doing it by cheating, swindling, and lying to kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,668 Posts
Jobs were hard to come by and houses were very expensive. I just wish people would stop cherry-picking data to suggest that kids today are SOOO much worse off. In many ways they are, and in many ways they are not. But in terms of housing and jobs, the last 10 years has been a golden age for Millenials, but they're too busy bitching about it to notice when unemployment is 2%, their employers gives them meals and vacations, and the houses just 40 minutes out of town are cheaper than they're ever been. The people with a legitimate gripe are low-wage workers, non-college grads and service workers. They can't find housing near where they can live. I get it. But that has more to do with the changing nature of the work we do in this economy.
Look, I have no dog in this fight, I put myself through school at a top 3 chemical engineering program, picked up a chem degree while I was there too because why not, and bought a house with no help.

But I also know that while you worked 70 hours to get promoted 3x in 4 years, I was also working 60-70 hours out of school working my ass off doing emergency relief system design for major oil and gas companies (deep pockets) to ensure that people didn't die in catastrophic overpressure events (overpressure scenario identification/mitigation/relief device and flare load sizing). This was very meaningful, very impactful work (every millenial's wet dream!) and very difficult; almost an art form. Far more important and value add to humanity than the vast majority of work out there. Never again will I have a job that important or meaningful, or difficult. Cutting my teeth just as you had, putting in the work.

And in that time I got one "promotion" that came with a whopping 1% raise. The other 3 years? 1-2% raises. No meals, no vacations. Meals and vacations a la google, facebook, Apple, are not the norm, sorry. They just aren't outside of Silicon Valley.

Don't assume all millenials are just whining lazy-asses. Perhaps that isn't your intention, but it's how the bolded part in your quote above comes across. At the end of the day, the boomers raised the millenials the boomers are all now whining about, so what did boomers do wrong in their parenting? shrug

Bottom line - we face a different set of challenges than your generation did and our experiences are not to be invalidated and just written off as whiny bitching. People can't buy houses anymore, and I'd wager more likely goes into it than just whining. Like I said, I have no dog in this fight as I was able to pull myself out of poverty (was paying the mortgage and all utilities at 17 on $8 an hour while keeping up appearances) and do well today. But, I also realize that just because I did it doesn't mean everyone can do it; I'm not going to harp on other millenials about "bootstraps" and all that.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
7,995 Posts
I know others have stated this, but there's one big thing this article misses: what's in fashion. Decades back the automotive desire was to get in your low-slung and quick car and go out for a great drive. These days the drive isn't the main event, the destination is. And the bulk of buyers are looking for something to get them out into nature, to get them away from it all. It would be more interesting to see how young people's income matches up with outdoorsy vehicle sales; Jeeps, 4x4 pickups, etc. Those are the aspirational vehicles now; something to get you to an adventure. Better yet, it's a tool to get you to the adventure. Gone are the days that the car was the adventure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,345 Posts
One of the most interesting threads in a while, what some posters are losing sight of is the growing inequality and how wealth for the majority is decreasing. Many people forget that they are actually part of the top 20 - 10% in terms of wealth even though many people think of themselves as middle class even though they aren't. Things aren't much cheaper in many parts of the world where people earn far, far less. Try entering you salary in here to put things into perspective: Income Comparison Tool – SALDRU

Comparing USA numbers to what the majority of the world's population experiences: you are all a very privileged nation that's all I'll say. What's so disturbing is the inequality is intra- and inter-national. Just to give you some idea (when you think you've had it bad, you have no idea):

Mortgage interest rates in South Africa:
You are absolutely correct. And while I have discussed housing herein, I have continued to try to recognize that I am in a privileged position and don't see the plight of the lowest wage earners and I have acknowledged that wealth continues to grow for the upper end and not at the lower end. I know this a bit because I also support 3 people in my extended family who are in somewhat dire straights, financially. But they're still better off than the vast majority because they have a support structure (not just me, but societally speaking).

Also, my daughter just moved back to the US after 3 years in Cape Town. I visited twice. The income inequality is stark, and makes the USA situation look like paradise. South Africa is a beautiful country, with amazingly diverse people, and having met many of them in the townships I am amazed at their resilience in the face of overwhelming odds. It is a country of resources that I hope can find ways to close those gaps. But Unemployment and interest rates are hard to fix when the country is somewhat isolated in spite of good port infrastructure. Unless Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe can help grow the region, South Africa is still too dependent on the old-guard European patriarchy. (My daughter just received her PhD from the University of Cape Town in Transitional Justice and the Media's Impact on Perpetrator Justice. Her Master's was in Conflict Resolution and her BA in Human Rights. She wanted to stay in Cape Town to help the country heal, but there were no jobs, particularly for a non-citizen). Anyway, cheers to you in SA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,944 Posts
Not a boomer, but a large part of this was timing and circumstance. If you joined the economy in the late 50's or early 60's life was golden, but a lot of these people also had hard times when industrial jobs disappeared due to automation and international competition. The white collars, like the engineer you reference, sure they did very well. However the blue collar guy on a factory line went from making a solid middle class income, with a pension and great benefits, to suddenly wondering what happened as he was unemployed.

I am not sure what your rant really is on the boomers though. Are you suggesting that they should have stopped globalization from interrupting wage growth for low/unskilled labor? I agree on the education, but we will probably disagree on the answer. IMO, every education loan should be required to be applied for and underwritten to financial viability. Want to borrow $50k/yr to get a sociology degree? Rejected. Want to borrow $10k to get a trade education in welding? Sure. The problem is that when the federal government began throwing money at every educational program they inflated their costs ridiculously. University campuses have absolutely no connection to economic reality because they don't need one. They are the ultimate government trough animal and they are doing it by cheating, swindling, and lying to kids.
back in reality ... government subsidization of college has massively been reduced since the 1960s. the government didnt "throw money" at colleges, it reduced there funding, forcing them to compete with each other stay afloat. this drove them to have increase luxury to compete with each other. because they are no longer defacto but a choice, between competing schools. which drove the cost up. combine that with the middle class since the 1970s theory that you can buy a middle class life on credit, and boom, here we are.

neoliberalism at its finest.

i would bring up the fact that welding, or engineering or whatever, is only valued by the market compared to sociology, because of the military industrial complex, but i dont think we are ready to have that conversation yet. maybe if we had more and listened to sociologists more, we wouldnt be in this downward ****hole trend.

i say this all as a practicing engineer 10 years into my career. the only reason my value on the market place is so high compared to a liberal arts degree is because my career is easier to convert to killing people. not because liberal arts are not valued o dont produce value. they are criminally undervalued, even within an engineering career. the utter failure of industry to value such human skills is exactly why we have such terrible corporate culture, such terrible retention, such terribly middle managed companies, who ultimately cannot produce the value there shareholders demand ... because they think being able to stack dimes in more important than understanding humans. its not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,668 Posts
i say this all as a practicing engineer 10 years into my career. the only reason my value on the market place is so high compared to a liberal arts degree is because my career is easier to convert to killing people. not because liberal arts are not valued o dont produce value. they are criminally undervalued, even within an engineering career. the utter failure of industry to value such human skills is exactly why we have such terrible corporate culture, such terrible retention, such terribly middle managed companies, who ultimately cannot produce the value there shareholders demand ... because they think being able to stack dimes in more important than understanding humans. its not.
This is well said, the value of humanities cannot be understated, yet it gets completely shat on in society because people equate college with making money instead of enlightenment.

I can't tell you how many f*cking clowns I work with who can't be bothered to even half-ass format an email or use proper grammar. And don't get me started about asking two itemized, numbered questions in a two line email and getting half an answer to a question that wasn't asked and no answer at all to the other one. This is the rule, not the exception, sadly. IMO, these people are f*cking unemployable. Maybe had there been more emphasis on humanities these people would come across more employable because they would've paid attention in the classes that focus on human interaction/communication, grammar, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,944 Posts
This is well said, the value of humanities cannot be understated, yet it gets completely shat on in society because people equate college with making money instead of enlightenment.

I can't tell you how many f*cking clowns I work with who can't be bothered to even half-ass format an email or use proper grammar. And don't get me started about asking two itemized, numbered questions in a two line email and getting half an answer to a question that wasn't asked and no answer at all to the other one. This is the rule, not the exception, sadly. IMO, these people are f*cking unemployable. Maybe had there been more emphasis on humanities these people would come across more employable because they would've paid attention in the classes that focus on human interaction/communication, grammar, etc.
i dont give a **** about grammar, or spelling or anything. communication isn't spelling or grammar or formatting. communication is the ability to take what is inside your brain, and put it into someone else's brain. or the ability to ask the right question, in the right way, in order to get the useful information from someone in such a way that its useful to you.

and it simply amazing how hard that truly is.

and companies that have people, esp managers, who can do it well, are wildly successful. and the companies that cannot, fail. sucess in the market has very little to do with how technically or scientifically competent your people are, and has everything to do with choosing the right ideas, and executing them effectively, and those, are liberal arts skills. understanding people, how they work, what they want, what they need, etc. put another way, its economics, sociology, understanding culture, understanding humans, understanding how humans lives interact. you know: liberal arts

there is a lot of brilliant technology that never left a lab or a failed company, not because it didn't work, but because no one wanted it. because its the wrong thing to have done with that time, skill and money.

companies they don't fail because their welder can't stack dimes. they fail because the welder doesn't do the right thing the right way, or communicate why he can't do the thing expected of him. he quits not because he can't stack dimes, but because he can't explain or communicate what is frustrating about his job, or the issue with what is asked of him, to a manager who can actually listen, understand and help him. employee turnover is a cost. if a competent engineer quits because of the culture of your company, you just lost 100 grand. right off the top. it takes that long for you to train a new engineer for that position, and in the meantime that work doesn't get done. the typical engineer changes company 4-6 times in his career (because its somehow easier to get a promotion from someone you dont know, than someone you do), that's 400-600 thousand dollars, per engineer, value, that is simply lost. its a cost, but it doesn't show up on anyones spreadsheets.

i could go on and on.

anyone who says the liberal arts are not valuable, is moron. and i say this as practicing technical engineer with 10 years in research and development at a fortune 100 company with multiple patents to my name.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,300 Posts
back in reality ... government subsidization of college has massively been reduced since the 1960s. the government didnt "throw money" at colleges, it reduced there funding, forcing them to compete with each other stay afloat. this drove them to have increase luxury to compete with each other. because they are no longer defacto but a choice, between competing schools. which drove the cost up. combine that with the middle class since the 1970s theory that you can buy a middle class life on credit, and boom, here we are.
The problem is exactly what you just mentioned, they are competing on superficial things, not education and value. University pricetags have skyrocketed to add state of the art gyms, recreational centers, and all sorts of other things not directly related to educational value. Why? The students, the uneducated and naive consumer want them. The colleges prey on this and get away with it because there is no price discovery, nor any really price competition/ceiling. You can't do this with almost any other good or service. How do you sell someone a product for $50k/yr when they can't afford it today, and never will be able to afford it in the future? You get someone else to pay. If suddenly that big pot of federal lending money wasn't available schools would have to compete on price and value suddenly.

i would bring up the fact that welding, or engineering or whatever, is only valued by the market compared to sociology, because of the military industrial complex, but i dont think we are ready to have that conversation yet. maybe if we had more and listened to sociologists more, we wouldnt be in this downward ****hole trend.
Oh, cmon. It has nothing to do with the fact there is a shortage of a lot of trades and that trades/engineers actually create things?

i say this all as a practicing engineer 10 years into my career. the only reason my value on the market place is so high compared to a liberal arts degree is because my career is easier to convert to killing people. not because liberal arts are not valued o dont produce value. they are criminally undervalued, even within an engineering career. the utter failure of industry to value such human skills is exactly why we have such terrible corporate culture, such terrible retention, such terribly middle managed companies, who ultimately cannot produce the value there shareholders demand ... because they think being able to stack dimes in more important than understanding humans. its not.
So, out of curiosity, if you have such an ability to see opportunity and create value, why are you still an employee? Why not start your own business and do things differently? I have always stood amazed at the number of people who have such amazingly insight on life and commerce, yet stand on the sidelines on their soapbox. Reminds me of pretty much every academician I have ever met.

This is well said, the value of humanities cannot be understated, yet it gets completely shat on in society because people equate college with making money instead of enlightenment.
Regardless of your chosen profession, you need to be able to communicate clearly and concisely, the difference is that someone who can do that in humanities can't also be an engineer, or a physician, or something else which has an academic barrier. The best communicator in the world can't build a bridge, perform surgery, or do something else which requires actual training. This is part of the reason why technical skills are still valuable, they are more tangible and quantifiable. When I used to review resumes every now and then I would get some sort of liberal arts resume in the stack, it was pretty much immediately discarded, because it didn't have the tangible qualifications I was looking at in a stack of a hundred resumes, of whom the vast majority were polished to a tee on paper and in person.
 

·
Registered
2017 Genesis G90 Ultimate, 2017 Miata RF GT
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
One that cost data matches exactly what I said. Housing costs are not rising to such levels that people coming into the market are facing higher hurdles than their forbearers.

Two when quoting five year old earnings and wealth data you leave out a market that has increased 93% in the last five years. The labor market prior to covid was in the high 2% for unemployment. It was a roaring job market and whether it was your retirement plan, brokerage account, etc the average worker has seen their wealth greatly increase over the last five years.

Third not outpacing your parents earnings doesn't mean you're doing terribly. It just means we have stagnated in our incomes. But when you start out number one by a mile staying there while no longer increasing the gap isn't exactly a crisis. Also using 2011 data to write a paper that was published 43 months ago isn't exactly relevant today. Not saying they cherry picked the numbers, but using the earnings of millennials just out of college in the midst of the worst recession in 90 years and trying to apply it an economy that no longer at all resembles the 2011 economy is pointless.

The fact is we have come out of one of the strongest runs in our economy in decades, and most people are doing well. Are there people who don't think it's "fair" that they can't afford their dream home in the perfect location three years out of college, I'm sure there are.

But that doesn't mean we have a huge crisis in our economy.
The BLS is looking at all housing in that study, which includes both renting and ownership. If you break out just home ownership, which is an important indicator of how much wealth you need, we see:

"The latest Employment Situation Summary report released from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated that the average hourly earnings for all employees on private non-farm payrolls only increased by 3.2% in 2018. ATTOM points out that home prices are climbing faster than wages in 80% of U.S. markets. In fact, median home prices increased at a faster pace than average weekly wages in 601 of the 755 counties analyzed in its report. Furthermore, home prices outpaced rents in 70% of housing markets, and median home prices rose faster than average fair market rents in 531 counties, according to ATTOM... “With rental affordability outpacing home affordability in the majority of U.S. housing markets, and home prices rising faster than rental rates, the American dream of owning a home, may be just that — a dream,” Pohlmann concluded." (Lloyd, 2019)

Regarding wealth, that hasn't been accruing equally. In fact, according to the Federal reserve, the Boomers (and to a lesser degree, Gen Xers) have been accruing the vast majority of your record market growth (Federal Reserve, 2019, The Fed - Table: Distribution of Household Wealth in the U.S. since 1989). Indeed, "[a]dults under 40 have been accumulating less and less wealth over the past 30 years, plummeting from owning 13% of the wealth in 1989 to less than 7% today. Indeed, at a median age of 35, Gen Xers owned just 9% of the nation’s wealth in 2008 — less than half what boomers had at that age. And millennials will have to triple their net worth in the next four years to catch up to Generation X at 35, and increase their wealth sevenfold to catch up to boomers at that age. That will be a difficult feat indeed considering most are saddled with student loan debt which has hit a record collective $1.6 trillion. The Federal Reserve estimates that more than a third of the 45 million Americans burdened by that debt are under 30. "

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,300 Posts
Regarding wealth, that hasn't been accruing equally.
Of course it hasn't, why? Largely fed and fiscal policies. We have been trying to inflate our way out of problems, or rather devaluing fiat currency values. What that effectively means is that people who actually own things (stocks, real assets etc) are going to appreciate in value. Those that don't own things are going to see their purchasing power of those real things diminish. Further, it means that the compounding and increasing value of those things favor those who started with them. The same way in 2008-2010 the inequality gap narrowed dramatically, because those things declined dramatically and sharply in value. So a sharp person back then could have bought a property for ~25-30% of what it is worth today, welcome to hindsight 101 :)
 

·
Registered
Model 3P, AP2 S2K, 981 Boxster S
Joined
·
3,397 Posts
i dont give a **** about grammar, or spelling or anything. communication isn't spelling or grammar or formatting. communication is the ability to take what is inside your brain, and put it into someone else's brain. or the ability to ask the right question, in the right way, in order to get the useful information from someone in such a way that its useful to you.
and it simply amazing how hard that truly is.
Reminds me of an MIT course I listened to this year.
“Your success in life is largely determined by your ability to speak, your ability to write, and the quality of your ideas in that order”

 
261 - 280 of 763 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top