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Old 11-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #1
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The random thoughts thread v2.0

Ever want to post something but decided it was too insignificant to warrant a whole thread? Bring it here!

Ok, I'll go first... ahem.


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Old 10-09-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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If by "more" you mean a job, a home, and food on the table, then we agree.
But most people aren't going without food, and while unemployment is high, do you really think that's who's standing on wall street? People lost houses, but were those people who bought houses they could afford or people who bought houses that were 10 times their annual income and paid 5% down?

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We went on vacation to Tampa last month, where we lived during the 05-07 boom times.
And that's just it - Boom times...This is harsh, but anyone who thinks the boom is going to last forever deserves what they got. There's a reason it's called a "boom" (by definition it won't last).

I remember one of my professors in the late 90s (so a decade before the recent issues) saying "you all wait, you've grown up when everyone's employed, when everything has been easy - when that ends, and it will, then you'll see who's prepared for the real world"

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So the people are hurting, losing houses, watching decades of accumulated prosperity disappear. I don't call that spoiled.
Then I would suggest your definition is very narrow. You said it yourself - they're watching "decades of accumulated prosperity disappear". At the same time, about 2/5 of the world's population is a peasant farmer in India or China living on about $1000 per year. 1/8 of the worlds population doesn't have access to clean water. 1/7 of the world lacks sufficient food.

Someone who has lost their job or their home is in a bad situation, I wouldn't say otherwise...But, despite the situation portrayed on the news or in political speeches, that's actually a relatively small portion of the country. And even for those who have suffered that fate, they're still way better off than the majority of the world's population. For crying out loud, the homeless in America can eat enough that obesity is a major health issue for them (studies show well over half are overweight) - Think the poor in Somalia or Bangladesh have that issue?


I grew up under the poverty line for most of my youth. In Jr. High., our household income was (maybe) $15,000 in good years. We almost lost our house twice. I go home to the Detroit area four or five times per year, and supposedly no area has been hit as hard...But looking back I see prosperity and I still see it today.

The US population has had a negative savings rate for years - That wouldn't have even been possible without remarkable economic prosperity. The US population averages $16,000 in consumer debt per household - They couldn't have kept that up for years without remarkable economic prosperity.

Whether the complaint is "I want more" or "I want it to go back like it was when we were ridiculously prosperous" doesn't matter; both are born of a generation raised in an extended boom and neither are going to effect any real change nor steel anyone to the dedication necessary to sustain a political movement.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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I'm not sure where those came from, but they are hysterical. Love it.
Incoherent leadership, wasn't that one of your points ?
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Continue on with your hate thread.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #4
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I'm not sure where those came from, but they are hysterical. Love it.
According to the "official" site, those came from one person on a message board somewhere and then grabbed by the media at large.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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I'm not sure where those came from, but they are hysterical. Love it.
Agree on both accounts. Those look like they were written by a freshman PoliSci major at home over Christmas break.

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Disagree vehemently. "Of the people, by the people, for the people."
Show me a corporation that isn't owned by people, managed by people, and operated by people, and I'll find this a much more compelling point.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #6
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Even if this is the case, so what?

You absolutely can protest. However, in order for your protests to have any kind of effect, it has to be clear what you want. What you want also has to make some kind of sense.
I don't know about that. Maybe you need to start with the demonstrations to get the attention, and make up the reasons as you go along. I think the Tea Party started with one ideal, as you mention below, and then morphed into something entirely different over time. But the important thing was you had people showing up, which made others take notice.


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The TEA protests began with a clear goal. Stop taxing the fuck out of the middle class. As those gained more ground, the crazies started coming out. Once it was a large enough platform, politicians joined in. Now...well, you see what happened now.

Compare this to the OWS protests. There are a lot of people just doing little more than bitching. Check out We Are The 99%. Some people have gotten legitimately shafted. However, there are also people bitching about their bad decisions. Everyone makes mistakes.

There are a lot of these people complaining about not being able to find a job with their degrees. One girl has a sign talking about going into 6 figure debt to get a Ph.D in Plant Genetics or something like that. Welcome to academia, eat your Ramen and shut the fuck up. Your dream was to study Marine Biology or Journalism? Fine. You don't get to piss and moan because you pursued something that has no practical use.

A few of them are artists. Well, that's your fucking problem. Get a skill that someone cares about. I have a friend who's currently entertaining 7 offers as a web application developer, with the minimum offer being $60K. He busted his ass for years as a freelancer to hone a skill that has some demand.

Being a dirtbag sleeping in a tent on the sidewalk in protest is just practice for sleeping on the sidewalk when your shitty life decisions mean you don't have a place to live.

Now I have to go get shit done because I have to get up in the morning so I can Occupy The Job I Got Because I Have Useful Skills.
Can't say I disagree with most of this. Doesn't mean that hidden in there isn't a legitimate complaint. Fer instance: Why do we let people take out 6 figures worth of loans for an academic discipline? We know how much these degrees pay inthe first 5 years int he work force. Index the debt to that figure. You'll max out at $50K as a jellyfish inseminator (marine bio degree)? Thats all we'll loan you.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:22 PM   #7
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The US population has had a negative savings rate for years - That wouldn't have even been possible without remarkable economic prosperity. The US population averages $16,000 in consumer debt per household - They couldn't have kept that up for years without remarkable economic prosperity.
That is a staggering figure.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:23 PM   #8
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According to the "official" site, those came from one person on a message board somewhere and then grabbed by the media at large.
My bad.

I'm contributing to making their message worse.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:24 PM   #9
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Show me a corporation that isn't owned by people, managed by people, and operated by people, and I'll find this a much more compelling point.
On top of that, find a corporation that doesn't serve people.
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Not sure if Kindness is normal also....fairly sure he is normal but bridges with his abnormal friends like a interpreter....
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He has a career which would send any of us into a booze-lubed dope spiral, and he drinks apple juice recreationally. Not even close to fucking normal.
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Kindness is absolutely not normal in the most awesome ways.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
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...Whether the complaint is "I want more" or "I want it to go back like it was when we were ridiculously prosperous" doesn't matter; both are born of a generation raised in an extended boom and neither are going to effect any real change nor steel anyone to the dedication necessary to sustain a political movement.
Um, why wait until things are as bad as Bangladesh to make a stink? I get where you are coming from on boom/bust, and I get growing up poor (single mom, 3 kids, welfare, etc). But any movement has to start somewhere, you know?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #11
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On top of that, find a corporation that doesn't serve people.
Jerkness Inc.?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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Can't say I disagree with most of this. Doesn't mean that hidden in there isn't a legitimate complaint.
Sure, there are a ton of legitimate hidden complaints. The thing is, these protests will do absolutely nothing to address those complaints.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:27 PM   #13
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That is a staggering figure.
No doubt. Shockingly, the savings rate issue is actually the much larger one, since that means that most people are going to keep getting worse.

Rather than deny ourselves what we want, we buy it with debt. Rather than pay of that debt, we continue to buy. As long as the cycle can be reduced to that, there's no happy ending.

The number of people who truly are crippled by things like medical debt, etc. is miniscule when you start disqualifying people who have unnecessary debt and expenses (car payments, cable tv, etc.)
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:30 PM   #14
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No doubt. Shockingly, the savings rate issue is actually the much larger one, since that means that most people are going to keep getting worse.
But without that never ending cycle of debt, the consumer economy doesn't run. Kind of a bug disguised as a feature. Save too much, demand drops, etc. Plus for the last 10 years any gain you made from traditional savings (money in bank, not investments) tended to be eaten by inflation due to the absurdly low interest rates available to consumer savers. Why save if you lose money? Which led to money getting pumped into investments, asset bubbles, etc.

Tangent: Other fascinating literature (sci fi) is Paolo Bacigalupi's stuff- the Windup Girl and his short stories collection (pump six?)
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:31 PM   #15
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On top of that, find a corporation that doesn't serve people.
I can find some whose damage to people outweighed their service *cough* Gruenthall*cough*.

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No doubt. Shockingly, the savings rate issue is actually the much larger one, since that means that most people are going to keep getting worse.

Rather than deny ourselves what we want, we buy it with debt. Rather than pay of that debt, we continue to buy. As long as the cycle can be reduced to that, there's no happy ending.

The number of people who truly are crippled by things like medical debt, etc. is miniscule when you start disqualifying people who have unnecessary debt and expenses (car payments, cable tv, etc.)
I read about these things, but those choices and values are so far disconnected from my world view I have trouble accepting them as real (which debt and minimal savings rate are).
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:32 PM   #16
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Is it unfair that I'm rooting against Briny Baird simply because he looks like an idiot in that P.F. Changs hat? I didn't think so either.

Go Bryce Molder!
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #17
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Although, a quick search revealled:

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Reserve Bank of Australia said...
figures show mortgage, credit card and personal loan debts now stand at $1.2 trillion, up 71 per cent from just five years ago and equating to $56,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Face melt.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:33 PM   #18
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Um, why wait until things are as bad as Bangladesh to make a stink?
It doesn't have to...But without true hardship, there won't be true dedication. If there are even a dozen people on Wall Street right now who, when offered the choice "Give up your life and everything will be fixed for everyone else..." would genuinely accept it, I'd be amazed. Honestly, I'd be shocked if there was even one.

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But any movement has to start somewhere, you know?
And if you think that movement is going to start among discontented middle class people taking time off work to protest - then you have a much more optimistic view of things.

The folks who desperately want jobs? They might be hungry enough to make the necessary sacrifices...except they're too busy trying to find work to feed their families.

Maybe if things were truly bad, they'd have given up that hope and, with nothing left to lose, provide that determination, but things aren't that bad (they're not even close)...which is essentially my point.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:34 PM   #19
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Noonan. Miss it!
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:35 PM   #20
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Nice.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:35 PM   #21
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I don't know about that. Maybe you need to start with the demonstrations to get the attention, and make up the reasons as you go along. I think the Tea Party started with one ideal, as you mention below, and then morphed into something entirely different over time. But the important thing was you had people showing up, which made others take notice.
It's still just completely disorganized which doesn't accomplish anything productive. When something large scale becomes defocused, it's much easier to exploit.

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Can't say I disagree with most of this. Doesn't mean that hidden in there isn't a legitimate complaint. Fer instance: Why do we let people take out 6 figures worth of loans for an academic discipline? We know how much these degrees pay inthe first 5 years int he work force. Index the debt to that figure. You'll max out at $50K as a jellyfish inseminator (marine bio degree)? Thats all we'll loan you.
Why should it be the responsibility of anyone but the individual? Forcing these kinds of regulations is nanny-state foolishness, protecting the citizens from themselves.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:36 PM   #22
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Maybe if things were truly bad, they'd have given up that hope and, with nothing left to lose, provide that determination, but things aren't that bad (they're not even close)...which is essentially my point.
I think a closer look at (specifically) the Egyptian protests would say otherwise. And to some extent the Green movement in Iran. Mostly middle class folks pissed off about how their lives are being run. People in the US don't want REVOLUTION, they want REFORM, which takes far less grit, and more perseverance.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:37 PM   #23
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Tangent: Other fascinating literature (sci fi) is Paolo Bacigalupi's stuff- the Windup Girl and his short stories collection (pump six?)
The Windup Girl was so much fun. Great read, but not mired.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:38 PM   #24
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The Windup Girl was so much fun. Great read, but not mired.
yeah, I really just disappeared into that book for a week. Fascinating world construction, great pace, and armored elephants. Whats NOT to like?
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #25
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yeah, I really just disappeared into that book for a week. Fascinating world construction, great pace, and armored elephants. Whats NOT to like?
That it's hard to condense into a single paragraph without making it sound boring in order to encourage others to read it.

It's amazingly cyber-punky considering how LITTLE technology there is in the novel.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:40 PM   #26
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Random example of whats wrong: Indexing executive pay to industry mean, and then aiming to pay 25% above that mean. Which leads to a never ending spiral, which is never questioned by the guys GETTING those paychecks, but which leads to "needing to cut costs" somewhere else, often in benefits, wages, or off shoring. Discuss.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #27
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That it's hard to condense into a single paragraph without making it sound boring in order to encourage others to read it.

It's amazingly cyber-punky considering how LITTLE technology there is in the novel.
yeah, though I think you may be mistaking electronics for technology. The spring tech was well done, as well as the gene-hacking.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:42 PM   #28
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But without that never ending cycle of debt, the consumer economy doesn't run.
Not at all. It worked for decades with a positive savings rate. It's only in recent years that it's changed.

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Plus for the last 10 years any gain you made from traditional savings (money in bank, not investments) tended to be eaten by inflation due to the absurdly low interest rates available to consumer savers. Why save if you lose money?
Because you're excluding investment for no reason?

Investment is savings. When "savings rate" is used, it's not about bank accounts, but net worth. Savings accounts are for cash flow, not real savings; I'm talking about true investment in personal and household net worth.

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Which led to money getting pumped into investments, asset bubbles, etc.
You're conflating investment and speculation - they're two distinctly different things (despite working through the same financial mechanisms). Investment is the growth of wealth through returns on production profits. Speculation is the growth of wealth through realized profit on perceived increases in market value.

To be simplistic - Warren Buffett invests, Gordon Gekko speculates.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:43 PM   #29
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Random example of whats wrong: Indexing executive pay to industry mean, and then aiming to pay 25% above that mean. Which leads to a never ending spiral, which is never questioned by the guys GETTING those paychecks, but which leads to "needing to cut costs" somewhere else, often in benefits, wages, or off shoring. Discuss.
Non-issue. If the compensation model doesn't work to the benefit of the corporation, another corporation takes its place.
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Old 10-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #30
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Non-issue. If the compensation model doesn't work to the benefit of the corporation, another corporation takes its place.
Unless Uncle Sugar pays the tab. And how long do the workers put up with this shit, getting progressively less and less in return for their labor across the market while the head guy, who may even have lost money, keeps getting raises?

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