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Forum Post: Why do students choose poor majors ?

Posted 2 years ago on Nov. 8, 2011, 5:27 p.m. EST by Rico (3027)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Go to this site: http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/NILF1111/#term=

Click on "Unemployment Percent" until the top entry is "0%" then note the "Popularity" of these fields with low unemployment. Not many people are choosing the majors with good employment prospects.

Next, click on "Popularity" until the top entry says "1" and notice the "Unemployment Percent." The most popular majors have poor employment prospects.

So why are students going into debt to major in fields that pay less and have poor employment prospects ? Could it be because the employable majors are HARD ? If so, can we say PART of the problem is because students don't want to work hard ?

Any OTHER suggestions why this is happening ?

446 Comments

446 Comments


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[-] 6 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 2 years ago

its because they make you decided a major at 17 years old. We are really not smart enough yet at that age to make such a big decision. And we are also told by our schools to go with what you love. Well, what i love will have me starving. We should really encourage young people to wait on college until at least 22 or some even later age. Work for a bunch of years, save...then make the decision if thats what you want to do. to make such an important decision at such a young age is insane. I was 20 grand in college debt when i was 22....i am 30 now and if i could go back and tell the 17 year old me what to do.....i would tell him to work for awhile and wait on deciding college.

[-] 2 points by frontierteg (137) from Kalamazoo Township, MI 2 years ago

YES!!!!

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

This is one of the best responses thus far ! I bestow an extra point ;o)

[-] 2 points by RufusJFisk52 (259) 2 years ago

yes!

[-] 1 points by Silica (51) from Suisun City, CA 2 years ago

I wouldn't say so much waiting on college as waiting on declaring/pursuing a particular major. I think that a college education (especially at Junior Colleges) is always a good thing even if it doesn't necessarily provide larger returns. The reason for this is that General Education classes can introduce students to a wealth of knowledge and dispel some of the most basic misconceptions or myths. It also provides an avenue for exploring interests, strengths, and weaknesses. While not every can or should make a living off of a college degree in a related field, I think that it's a good step to take in life.

[-] 1 points by Rob (881) 2 years ago

Or, maybe parents should take a more active roll in their futures. I have 2 daughters that I love dearly, both are very talented in the arts, one music, the other dance. they both love these hobbies and do them with passion. i explained to both of them that when it comes time to choose a major in college to choose something that will allow you to afford to do what you love to do. I told them if they went to a school of dance became proficient chances are excellent that they would still wind up working in a field that will only "get them by" as they audition for companies, just look at the starving actors and actresses in Hollywood. My oldest is an accounting major at the university and has maintained her status in the Presidents list. She understands that through this career path she will still be able to dance and have a nice livelihood.

[-] 3 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

Clinical Psychology is amongst the least popular?? Where the hell do these numbers come from??

Also, your assessment that the most popular have the highest unemployment is just factually incorrect. The pearson correlation between the unemployment rate and popularity of the major is 0.025. This is incredibly weak however I don't it matters much because the numbers are nonsense put out by Wall Street Journal. This is the same organization that says the top 1% only makes over 300K when the IRS reports it to be over 930K.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sorry. I just wanted to put it out there for discussion, and the discussion HAS been illuminating (at least for me).

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

Alright. Knowing that your intentions were to provoke dialogue, I can not argue against your success.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm learning a lot about myself, and maybe some others are learning from me.

I had never realized how deeply different my perspectives are due to the influence of my immigrant depression-era grandparents. They taught me "work" comes before "play," but that ethos is clearly not the norm anymore. No problem, as long as people take personal responsibility for their choices and the attending consequences, don't march in the streets declaring it's "unfair," and ask ME to bail them out !

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

I don't think the protesters are either disparaging the virtues of hard work nor declaring it's unfair you not bail them out. I may be hard-working and successful, but I make no delusion that there didn't exist a wide spectrum of other factors that have made me more successful than most. It may feel good for me to think that everyone has been given the same opportunities as me and that I made my decisions with clear foresight that it would make me successful, but that's just self-delusion. These people are not spending nights out in the cold and getting maced by police because they are lazy. They recognize that economic equality and mobility have constantly decreased for the past 30 years with no signs of ever increasing again. By the CIA Worldfact book's own measure, our economic inequality is between Cameroon and Uruguay. There's probably not a single country beneath us in that measure, where you'd be willing to live.(nor I) While I don't think this is some nefarious plot from the 1%, I do think it is a symptom of underlying systemic problems whereby legislation seems to go to the highest bidder. These people are fighting for the same rights your grandparents had after FDR brought us out of the depression that have been lost in the past 30 years. The same exact rights that instilled the philosophy of hard work being the road to success that they imparted on to you.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See my new post of Christmas Shopping guidelines for OWS at http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You're putting a lot of words into my mouth there.

I didn't challenge the OWS movement, I asked why people are staying away from the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields when their employment prospects and pay are so positive. I felt this was relevant given I have heard many hear complain about their student loans and inability to get a job. Many are also advocating that the taxpayer step in and fix the problem (somehow).

In another post (somewhere) I told an Anti-OWS guy that the mere fact we have so many people in the streets is in and of itself an indicator we have a problem. I'm not too sure many people in OWS understand what the problems are or how to fix them, but they know there is something wrong. Its like "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." Well, people aren't doing well, and there are very specific things that suggest the system does have some unfairness in it. I now see what they're talking about ( see my 3 part response to an NYU journalism student at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-295977 ).

In summary, I was probing one very specif point to gain an understanding. I wasn't withdrawing my support of the movement in many key issues !

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

"You're putting a lot of words into my mouth there."

Yeah, I probably did.

That was a great 3 part response, though. I especially like the 2nd part with 3 very different problems with rather compelling cases for what I believe is stifling people from enacting meaningful change.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Thanks, I take that as high praise ;o)

[-] 2 points by Riott (44) 2 years ago

How about not everyone likes to be forced to work in fields that make them unhappy? Have humans truly evolved to the point of misery, slavery, and unhappiness? I work jobs to live. I live to do the things I enjoy which may or may not make me money.

[-] 1 points by technoviking (484) 2 years ago

the day people can get paid to work in fields that make them happy is the day people get paid to play world of warcraft

[-] 1 points by Riott (44) 2 years ago

That would be cool, and, um, people do get paid to play that lol. But seriously, many people do end up working in jobs they enjoy.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right. So go to school to make sure you can support yourself and do what you love on weekends ! That's the ethos I was raised with. I guess I'm a little old ;o(

[-] 2 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

students study things in which they are interested, as they should

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

But when the graduate with debt and can't find a job, do they get to march in the street, declare the "system" is "unfair," blame others, and ask the taxpayer to fix the "system" that so harmed them?

[-] 1 points by Riott (44) 2 years ago

The system is broke Rico. If there were more jobs vrs employee's things wouldn't be so bad but right now it's getting worse. Supply and Demand. Less jobs, employers demand more from their workers and pay less. It's a vicious cycle. Employees take less wage to get the job, less wage puts them behind bills, others don't get work. No money means no money to spend. Companies make less, cut more work, job demand goes up, requirements go up. We're in a cycle for collapse.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Riott, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by madehero2000 (50) 2 years ago

We are in a cycle for collapse, but not for the reasons you claim. The reason we are headed for collapse is because of drastic over spending by our federal government. I suggest that you observe the European market to see what the near future will look like for the United States if federal spending is not cut and the economy is not stimulated.

In order to stimulate our economy, we need to cut taxes, cut regulations, and improve consumer confidence by cutting spending. Employees are still making respectable amounts of money. The only reason employment has not increased is because the cost to employers will out weigh the benefits. In a stable/growing economy increasing your workforce typically leads to increased profits through increased production or efficiency; however, in a weak economy, increasing your workforce adds extra expenses and the increased goods remain unsold.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You didn't answer my question.

I agree the system needs to be refined in two key ways. First, we need money out of politics so we can correct many unfair government policies ( see my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ ). Second, We the People need to excercise the immense power we already have as consumers by chaging our habits and showing some social responsibility ( see http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ ). I honestly believe that these are the only two changes we need to make. They will fix things in only a few short years if everyone gets on-board, and we won't risk trashing the world's economy and throwing millions into poverty ala the Depression.

[-] 1 points by Riott (44) 2 years ago

To answer your question, YES they get to declare the "system" is "unfair" blame others because that's freedom of speech. And the system is unfair. For the second, ask the taxpayer to fix the "system" that so harmed them? Yes that's fair to because everyone pays into the taxes. You can ask for a pony for Christmas with your tax money. I don't think anyone would care.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OK, I understand they have a "right" to complain and ask for things under freedom of speech. What I meant is whether it's PROPER to make a decision then blame others and ask them to help you out when your decisions turns out to be a poor one.

[-] 1 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

i dunno. some of them do i guess. what are ya gonna do, kill them?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

No, but I won't volunteer to bail them out using taxpayer dollars.

[-] 1 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

then dont. gov's goinna to use your dollars anyway, for all types of shit for which you wouldnt want them to be used.

you're only torturing yourself.

theres really only one answer and we both know what it is. you have to kill them all. it is the only way. teach them what happens when they take advantage of you.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

No, no, no. I'm totally non-violent. Maybe I'd just move.

[-] 1 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

oh yeh thats another option. never trust me when i present you with options. my bad

[-] 1 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

(i should mention at this time that i have wanted to kill people in the past, but i dont really do that anymore because it makes me unduly irritated)

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Because we cannot afford to lose the Humanities, or our humanity.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I value the humanities, but when someone takes out a student loan to study something that won't support them, do they then get to march in the street, declare it's unfair, blame others, and demand the taxpayer do something about the injustice of the system?

[-] 1 points by TheCloser (200) 2 years ago

Careful, friend. I don't believe you're a cynic. Let people live and make their own choices. Everyone in life has their own path.

[-] 2 points by JonoLith (467) 2 years ago

Because we were told, all through school, "Follow your dreams." Well we did.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

And how's that workin' out for you ? ;o)

[-] 1 points by JonoLith (467) 2 years ago

Badly. So now we're protesting.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You're protesting more than just this narrow topic, so I'll suppress the knee-jerk response I was about to provide ( "You're protesting because you can't chase your dreams?" ).

As I have mentioned many times in this discussion, I am old (55) and grew up greatly influenced by my immigrant depression-era grandparents who taught me that need comes before want, work before play. If students today followed the ethos under which I was raised, they would look at the employment opportunities associated with a degree as the most important factor.

Younger people sometimes forget how recently we developed this new philosophy of chasing what we want. It wasn't that long ago that we worried about simple survival rather than being "happy." Women even used to consider whether a man could support a family in selecting a spouse. Survival.

I'm not against people chasing their dreams, but I have found in my career that I was able to find a position with enough creative content to make me happy in a field that few consider creative (engineering). It's not perfect, but it's provided a very good wage and I do like what I do. I've put 3 kids through school without loans, own my home, and will retire at age 55.

My grandparents also said "we all start as slaves, but with self-education, hard work, savings, and investment, we can eventually buy our freedom." I'm on track to be free at 55, and I'm giddy over all the opportunities ahead.

[-] 2 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

What? I majored in blood sucking! Now they say there are too many blood suckers on Wall Street and we are a dime a dozen. Maybe vampire hunter jobs will open up?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL ! Yep. I just saw an article at http://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2011/11/08/on-wall-street-bonuses-arent-what-they-used-to-be/ saying the bonuses on Wall Street are expected to fall 35-45% ! The one irony about Wall Street ? Those firms are some of the best in terms of sharing the wealth with their employees !

[-] 2 points by JesseHeffran (3903) 2 years ago

Yeah, and Bernard Madoff kept his top tier chattel well fed too. Where is the irony in that?

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Blah, blah, blah... yes there were some criminals, but that doesn't change the fact that the financial firms have historically been better than most at sharing the wealth with their workers. You don't need to demonize your enemy to the point where you can't say anything positive about him like he were a 'Hun' or a 'Kraut' It's actually possible to see a little good in your enemy and still be determined to defeat him (which I, by the way, am not... I prefer to better constrain him only).

[-] 2 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

Isn't that the rub? So very true Rico! The great irony is that the top 1% are the best at obtaining and managing social welfare, Chinese style relationship networking and egalitarianism, but only within their own ranks. This country is Norway for the top 1%. [grin]

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I personally think we need only two changes to fix all our problems.

1) Get the money out of politics so we can use an uncorrupted Democracy to fix some of our taxation and regulatory problems ( see http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ ).

2) Teach the people to exercise the power they have in the marketplace ( see http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ ). Corporations are very responsive to consumer demands, and if the entire population started buying with a social conscious, they'll change pretty darned fast (or go under).

[-] 1 points by FUWB14 (3) 2 years ago

If OWS officially adopted these two issues as their core message and sought to work towards this end, I think it would be a fine movement. The quasi-anarchist, socialist sentiments demanding free universities and forgiveness of debt does not convey this message.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

FUWB14, Please help us do something right NOW. See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/ for some Christmas Shopping guidelines.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

Very sound recommendations Rico! I would also like to see the formation of a Social Democratic Party and I would like to work on the inside of the organization, in strategic planning and in other organizational mattersm while running others for office, rather than myself. I am not interested in backing any party, anymore, unless I benefit directly from it. I am tired of electing others, so their relatives can get jobs and I can get a snub, until the next election. [wink] S! MJ

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I don't know much about Social Democrats... I'm a fiscal conservative and social libertarian. Nevertheless, I would certainly like to see the two-party system broken, and my proposal is intended to do that. We need to hear a wider range of ideas, and I'm particularly frustrated watching otherwise good men "bend" their views to their party. In most cases, I liked them better before they "bent."

[-] 1 points by michael4ows (224) from Mountain View, CA 2 years ago

I see it that way too. Basically good people get sent to washington and they get chewed up and spit out when they get there by the deeply seated establishment. I buy the "get money out" agenda entirely. I wonder if an "abandon your failed party" agenda could be a second big ticket item. The thought being, other parties would form out of the diaspora. A little opposite of forming a new party and attracting folks to it, get folks to walk first, let the part(ies) form later.

[-] 1 points by ComeTogetherNOW (650) 2 years ago

--I'm a fiscal conservative and social libertarian--

So, what does that mean?

(My guess-----Your a tight wad who wants everyone to fight for themselves because foremost your money stays in your pocket. No social contract for you. You opt out Mr. Rugged Individual)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I want all traces of morality and religion OUT of my government, and I want the people of this nation to talk about how they plan to PAY for the benefits they vote themselves BEFORE they vote for them. Is that asking too much ?

By the way, since you've decided to judge me, please read my 3 part response to an NYU journalism student at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-295977 to see that I do NOT look out only for myself. You might ALSO take a look at my guidelines for Christmas Shopping at http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See my new post of Christmas Shopping guidelines for OWS at http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 0 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

You bet Rico, will do! Edit: I couldn't agree with you more, Rico. This is a great list, with really practical advice. Thank you for posting this list! S! MJ

[-] 2 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

Rico, you already responded to my previous message in this thread on why i chose the career choice (fine arts) that doesn't make as much as certain others (because i am passionate about it and care less about the money) but my older brother is a good example of going into a career that offers a lot of money but can be demoralizing. My oldest brother of 30 just quit his job working at a law firm in NYC where he has been working for the past 4 years. He had been making roughly $175K a year and gave it up because, besides the awfully hard work that the job requires, he is getting nothing back from it (besides money). He told me that he didn't want to spend his life as just another empty person typing away feverishly on his blackberry all day. So, after earning about $700,000 over the past 4 years, he has decided to quit his job and move out west and pursue something that will give him the happiness in return for the work he puts in. I believe he is opting for a job as either a fishing guide or ski instructor, both of which are jobs that do not earn anywhere near what he was making at his law office.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's fine as well inso far as he is taking ownership of his decisions and their consequences. If you read my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/inconvenient-truths-america/ and http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ you'll see I'm very into the idea of personal responsibility and power. I do, however, see a systemic problem in money dominating politics as reflected in my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/ and my proposal at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/

I'm taking a different course than your brother, but then I honestly like my high paying job. I've been saving investing my whole life per the advice of my immigrant depression-era grandparents who said "we all start as slaves, but with self improvement, hard work, saving, and investment we can buy our freedom." As it is, I'll be retiring at 55 next year so I can pursue my childhood passions of writing and/or teaching high school physics !

[-] 1 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

of course he's taking ownership in his decisions and their consequences. i don't think he could have graduated from Fordham law school if he made such glaring oversights. as i've been reading some of your posts including the belief that there is always time "later in life" to pursue your interests, you should also take into consideration that not everyone's minds are wired the same way. while it may be easy for you (or maybe not, but maybe you are able to just "push" yourself to work your ass off at something you may not enjoy doing) to just work now and "play" later in life, the idea of waiting to purse your interests when you retire would be incredibly hard for someone like me to put aside. my mind works in a more creative way, and the idea that i would not have a job in either the art or music field would simply be an impossibility for me. so just remember that the human mind is a complex beasts with many different models, and the way you approach an idea or way of life might be an impossibility for someone else. that being said, i am not suggesting that people should not be expected to work hard in life. i'm just saying that sometimes people can't separate a life of work from there passions, such as myself.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm not disagreeing. The limit of one man's right to judge another stops where there is no impact on him. When people make decisions (i.e. excercise their freedom) and accept the consequences without blaming or expecting others to save them, then they business is theirs alone. Judging beyond these limits is God's realm, not Man's.

This whole discussion is opening my eyes to a "generational shift." Heavily influenced by my depression-era grandparents, I put "play" after "work." This ethos is clearly not so common anymore. No problem as long as people don't later ask for me to "save" them from their decisions.

P.S. My work IS my passion, by the way. I was BORN to do what I do. Everyone says that about me ;o)

[-] 1 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

I guess to quote the shining, "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" :) I an happy when I hear people say that there work Is there passion, we need more people that are passionate about the work they do. I think a change in ethos is partly due to the "Me Generation" which seems to be very much ego-driven and so it isn't a reach and is sensible to think that people could care more about themselves than there work. Obviously that doesn't include everyone but there is a general feeling of more apart narcissism in today's world. anyway, it's been refreshing to take part in a "real" debate on these forums with you, Rico, and other meaningful participants. I think we need more though-provoking debates and arguments here which will serve to both educate people and open there eyes to new viewpoints. If everyone reads at least one post a day in here where they come out feeling "you know, I never thought if it that way!" than it will make our movement stronger and more educated.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

We appear to agree on much. Read my responses (3 in a row forming one long one) to an NYU journalism student regarding my experiences in this forum at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-295977 . Someplace in there, I echoed your sentiment. "The most important statement in reasoned and civil discourse is, 'I hadn't thought of that.'" Perhaps the second most would be "I don't know." Both are rare.

[-] 2 points by badconduct (550) from Ottawa, ON 2 years ago

Creativity is not a highly paid field, apparently.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's not true. Being an engineer, I can tell you that it's very creative. I make little living breathing creatures, and I'm very proud of my babies. I spend a lot of time infusing them with zen, elegance, and beauty. I suspect the same is tru of people working in material sciences, bio-engineering, etc.

Being "creative" in the classical sense is kinda like gambling isn't it? Some people in music, art, acting, sports, etc make fantastic fortunes, but most don't. Not being a gambler, that was not a good route for me, so I leaned to express myself in engineering.

[-] 0 points by Jimboiam (812) 2 years ago

Thus the term, starving artist.

[-] 2 points by laffingrass (362) from Normal, IL 2 years ago

Because they are told to major in what interests them, regardless of whether or not jobs are there.

I love psychology/sociology, it fascinates me. I'm a Business Admin major with a minor in Econ. Why? Because I can get a job just about anywhere.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Kudos to you !

I'm all for folks pursuing their interests, but there's plenty of time for that later in life. The objective on first entering the workforce has to be employment/survival/paying bills !

I'm dismayed to hear folks out in the street complaining they have student loan debt and can't find a job given those tables !

Kudo's to you for being practical !

[-] 2 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

There are a number of factors that play into that, one of which is that a decent liberal-arts degree used to land you a middle management job without many other qualifications. While that's clearly not the case now, society and social trends tend to lag somewhat behind the job markets and that's probably what you're seeing there. I won't deny that STEM is hard; I'm doing it right now at MIT and it's a lot of work. However, I don't feel that that's the main reason why we have so few STEM graduates.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

STEM has been berry berry good to me !

I actually have some nieces and nephews that STARTED in STEM then switched specifically because they said all their friends were partying while they were studying and they were "missing out" on the "college experience."

My son stayed the STEM course and graduated 3 years ago. He decided to change jobs 2 months ago. He got over 10 offers and chose the one who offered $90,000, paid for his relocation, and had a program to pay for his masters ! He may not have had much fun for his 4 years in school, but he's set for life.

[-] 1 points by ARod1993 (2420) 2 years ago

Why do you think I'm in STEM? I'm there for the long haul, most likely for an EECS degree and a possible fifth-year masters if things go my way. It's not going to be (and it hasn't really been) particularly easy, but it's what I love to do and it's where the money is. Now that's what I call luck.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. I dropped out of high school, have no college degree, put three kids through school without loans, and am on track to retire at 55. I managed to make it to the top 1% of engineering ranks in a Top-100 engineering firm, and have a very basic patent in the mill. Folks ask me how I was able to do all this, and my answer is always the same.... I LOVE IT !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Exactly, love ...

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Now, now I would not say set for life, but that is good. To bad all people do not have the same opportunity.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

But they do, don't they ?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

No Rico they do not ... whether it be mentally or physically.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Touchy ground here Karen. I distinctly recall reading in one of our Founding Documents that we're all created equal, and it is not politically correct to contradict that statement.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Yes it is. Oh right, I do remember reading that in school! Just because you read something (in theory) does not make it true does it?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I bet you have a bump on your head, and that's why you're so smart !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

ha ha

[-] 1 points by jackinthebox (3) 2 years ago

Rico, your analysis of that data is very poor. From a glace one can easily tell that there is no strong correlation between popularity of major and unemployment.

In fact, a simple average of the the top 10 ten least popular and top ten most popular majors shows that the top ten least popular majors has an average unemployment rate of 5.6%, which is 0.54% higher than the top ten MOST popular, who's average unemployment rate is 5.06. Striking considering that four of the top ten least popular majors have an unemployment rate of 0%! I am sorry to report that this is exactly contrary to your knee jerk assessment.

For the vast majority of any of those fields, a person possessing a degree is statistically less likely to be unemployed compared to the general population.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You chose the top ten (which is OK), now do the same for the top four in each category... Sort by lowest unemployment and you'll see the average popularity of the four fields with 0% unemployment is 165.5. Next, sort by popularity and you'll see the average unemployment of the four most popular is 4.7% You don't see any problem with those figures ?

I agree with your general assessment that a degree of any kind yields better success than having no degree at all. This is an argument for "a piece of paper, any kind of paper, is better than none at all." There are a LOT more affordable ways to get a piece of accredited paper rather than take out a huge student loan and attend a major university for the full period. In California, for example, one can spend the first two years at a Community College then finish at a California State University and save 75% relative to a four year program at a University of California.

[-] 1 points by jackinthebox (3) 2 years ago

Even better, why not resort the data in order of unemployment rate and you will see that the popularity of major is more or less randomly distributed. You will even see that the majors with the top ten highest AND top ten lowest unemployment rates(save for two in each set) all come from among the upper half of LEAST popular majors.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL ! OK. I give. I admitted elsewhere in this post that I did not do a full statistical analysis of the data, I only looked at the top four or so. Examining the maxima and minima does yield SOME useful insight, but it IS limited.

Better than any agreement on the details, if you read the comments I got, you'll find some interesting dialog. Having been strongly influenced by my Depression era immigrant grandparents, I would never have thought of choosing a major the way many describe here.

Per my upbringing, survival comes before fulfillment, but many of today's youth seem to see it the other way round. There are also some interesting discussions about the COST of an education and HOW we educate in the comments here.

All told, it has been a useful and enlightening dialog, even THOUGH my initial premise may be of limited value.

[-] 1 points by jackinthebox (3) 2 years ago

I think people would be more inclined to agree with your "survival before fulfillment" view if they thought it to be a necessity. This world is technologically well beyond the need to focus on survival as the primary activity of life, and many people understand this both rationally and instinctively. We see the power structures as forcing people to artificially remain in a state of struggling to survive. There is just no need for it. People are hungry to move beyond surviving and to begin thriving, and that involves a healthy measure of personal fulfillment seeking. This is a large part of the philosophy and psychology that underpins this Occupy movement.

[-] 1 points by speedyhobbit (2) 2 years ago

Of course there's more unemployment for the more popular majors- there's more demand for work in those fields after college, and the supply of jobs is smaller.

Supply versus demand. It's a basic rule of economics.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right. I'm asking why folks don't major in fields where the demand is high and supply is low... the fields with low unemployment.

[-] 1 points by Thinkdeer (250) 2 years ago

It actually appears that the most popular jobs seem like they will be the most lucrative, while the lowest unemployment jobs seem (in common sense rather than reality) like less lucrative positions.

That is accounting and business seem to be very popular, while positions people not be aware exist like Actuarial Science, or ones that have slightly lower respect amongst popular jobs, like pharmicology (vs other positions in medicine) or positions that are thought of not being lucrative or respectable like school counseling.

So i think it may have more to do with being misinformed or thinking and potential earnings before safer risks.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I think you're right. Too bad people didn't think about the fact that a $150,000 salary * 0 jobs is actually less than a $75,000 salary * 1 job ;o)

[-] 1 points by NLake72 (510) 2 years ago

The purpose of an education is not to make money. Anyone who seeks an education expressly for financial success is still very much a freshman, and has completely wasted their time.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Well, since people didn't think their education was going to get them a job, then why are they complaining "I'm buried in student debt and can't find a job" ?

I'm VERY much for studying the arts, philosophy, humanities, and so forth. But why do people rack up so much debt doing so? They can attend community colleges, use the free curriculuum provided by universities like MIT, or simply read a lot of books. Why do they need to "prove" they studied these fields with a bit of VERY costly paper ?

For me, the bottom line is simply this; we taxpayers should not in any way be subsidizing people's educations EXCEPT where the Nation has a need. People can pay for whatever else they want, but they don't get to complain about their debt or inability to get a job and ask the taxpayer to help them.

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21423) 2 years ago

No, you cannot say that students don't want to work hard. Young people today work harder than any generation before them with little prospect for any return in their future. Maybe, just maybe, it is because our education system is lacking and most kids are ill-prepared to succeed in STEM majors.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Good. I was hoping there was a better answer. How do we better prepare students for the majors that have high employment so all their hard work isn't wasted ?

[-] 1 points by beautifulworld (21423) 2 years ago

I don't know what you mean by hoping there was a better answer. To prepare students better for STEM fields you need to have an education system that is available to all children at a high level of quality. We only have this quality education available in small pockets of our nation, usually, the higher income areas.

[-] 1 points by theflamechild (27) 2 years ago

its because weve been institutionalized

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I don't understand. Care to elaborate ?

[-] 1 points by lancealotlink (147) 2 years ago

This is a good question and I dont think the taxpayer would mind footing the bill if the student would chose critical degrees that are in demand such a medical doctors , engineers or RNs

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. In fact, I have argued that if the government REALLY wants to do something about the rising cost of health care, ONE part of a solution would be to FLOOD the market in doctors and nurses. With a lot of doctors and nurses competing for jobs, all of them free of student loans, we should see a significant drop in costs. We should ALSO, of course, implement the "death panels," allow insurance companies to operate more freely across state borders, and do something about tort reform !

[-] 1 points by tasmlab (58) from Amesbury, MA 2 years ago

That's a great listing.

US History as a terrible major is interesting; we as a people could probably use a little better understanding of history.

Military technologies being bad is surprising. I would think that MIC would be booming with all of our wars. Even in peace time it would seem lucrative. Perhaps it is really really popular.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

History has little UTILITY to an employer, but it has GREAT utility to society.

Personally, I think the FIRST obligation of our K-12 system is to produce good CITIZENS. We teach far too little REAL History ( causation and consequence rather than mere dates ). We also teach too little Government, personal Finance, Critical Thinking, etc. We are producing TERRIBLE citizens.

[-] 1 points by tasmlab (58) from Amesbury, MA 2 years ago

Hi Rico, I agree the value of those subjects listed. Too little time is spent helping people think through a comprehensive worldview.

As a father of three young children, I hope to teach them many of those things myself than depend on the K-12 system. (full disclosure: my kids are at public school right now eating crayons and playing eraser tag)

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

All of us should remember that study and study shows that parental involvement has more impact on the education of our children than any other factor. I'm glad to hear there remain some like yourself that understand this and commit to being very involved in educating kids rather than treat school as government paid day-care where someone else will take care of all our child's needs.

By the way, what's up with crayons ? We ALL eat them as children !

When I was a kid we also used to have great fun smacking the chalk erasers together to make clouds and slapping eraser footprints on the other kids' backs. Unfortunately, this is yet another joy we're losing to technology, or perhaps, [dum, dum, dum] RACIAL BIAS; just as soon as the whiteboard came along, we all abandoned the blackboard. Maybe someone should call the NAACP ! ;o)

[-] 1 points by StudsDupa (22) 2 years ago

Before this recession, one had not heard of liberal art majors not getting jobs with their degrees. I think most liberal art majors understood that they may not work in their fields. Many employers use a college degree as standard to limit applicants for their companies, and do not value a high school degree as in the past. I recall in the past seeing various employment ads that required the applicant poses a college degree, but the position seemed to be simple enough for a high school graduate.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes, and in these conditions, shouldn't more students take the cheapest path? In California, for example, the cost of doing the first two years in a community college followed by two years in a California State University is 75% lower than the cost of attending a University of California for four years.

[-] 1 points by StudsDupa (22) 2 years ago

Yes, students should plan on obtaining a degree as cheaply as possible. Here in New Jersey we have numerous community colleges, but the problem is that many guidance counselors and teachers in high school portray these community colleges as a bad path. The high school staff does not want provide the proper guidance to their students who need them. I had graduated high school in the early eighties and had received my college credits from the United States Army, a private university, a community college, and I finally received my "worthless" liberal arts degree from a state university (in the mid-00s). My education was paid by Uncle Sam (during the mid-eighties, but I lost it when I quit college because I preferred to work and pay taxes), by myself when I returned to school, my current employer during my final stages, and mom and dad here and there. The degree is not needed for my current position, but may help in the future should I become unemployed. My advice to current students would be to consider a community college, since the first half of a college degree is spent on general education requirements. One could spend their final two years on their major and minors (or be a double major) in a four year college or university.
I had heard that there is a college in New York State that offers students the opportunity to obtain three majors (only English and Math are a requirement) for their degree. Theoretically under this scenario a student can receive a major in business, science, and the liberal arts (or one major and four minors). The collegiate system needs to be revamped.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree, the system needs to be revamped. One might say it IS being revamped via the on-line schools. By reducing the capital investment required to provide an education, on-line education introduces significant competition and reduces cost. I see this as the future.

[-] 1 points by StudsDupa (22) 2 years ago

I had spread my education over many years with three different colleges/universities. One thing I had noticed was the cost increases at colleges/universities in general. It cost twenty dollars a credit at a community college in the early to mid-eighties, and increased to over sixty dollars in the late nineties. The state colleges and private universities had increased at those rates if not more. In 2011, I can only assume it has increased even more.

One reason that the increases do not reflect the general inflation figures is that American colleges/universities were insulated from the effects of outsourcing. The first victims were the blue collar workers in manufacturing. The second were the tech support and call center workers. On line education may be the next wave of outsourcing, where a professor in let us say India would be able to do the work of an American professor via an online course. It would be an interesting scenario to see this as it unfolds.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

People will still want accreditation, and so far, I haven't seen anyone but Americans offering accredited degrees on-line. This may, of course, change but only if the accreditation authorities allow it.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 2 years ago

I agree and disagree on some level. Parent should always be involved in their kids lives and read books and such before hand to know more. Either way, I do appreciate a reasonable attitude in your response. It's rare to see someone being polite while they disagree with someone.

Outside of the few at 0% most of the others are so close in numbers and the fields vary from teacher to nuclear industrial radiology. Pharmacology is a good option though. If my higher percentage risk NON diploma didn't pay off, I don't know what will. Yep no diploma. I just took a few classes, used the school as a trade school. Got done in a year and a half, PART time, now I'm a technical director for the news. Have super low student loan debt from classes because of how few I took. The rest I can teach myself by going to the library or using google. I learned a trade that helps get a job based on product not a resume.

I also live in Omaha Nebraska though, where we have a great local economy and a good job market. Not every city has that. Not to mention the corporate trend that is laying off workers who have worked at a place too long and get paid too much because of their loyalty to the company. They fire those people, bring in someone for less and then only allow part time so they can't have benefits either. It's a big trend right now. That's why we see a lot of the people on unemployment are middle aged workers. It's hard to get a job in a top position when a lot of JOBS like that often promote from within and hire new workers at lower levels.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

Meh, we are told that we need engineers, but we have twice the engineering graduates, in NY, as me have engineering careers, in NY. I can't land a job, with my MBA, but if I were Chinese or Indian I would be in high demand. The USA needs to create lots of jobs. It is silly to say, just do something in demand, since such an approach just leads to more guys and gals, with majors piling up, with no job prospects. Accounting used to be a great major, now accounting firms can be super picky and this hurts accounting majors. With insufficient career creation, there is no sense remaining in the USA. Ultimately you need to more to a country where: 1) You can get a job with your degree 2) Get a new degree, within reasonable cost and then get a career 3) Start your own business and stop working for others.

Now I cannot achieve the first option, so far. The second option is too risky, if I do to school in the USA. Imagine I spend three hundred thousand on a medical degree and I could get into a good medical school, with my connections, then I get out of school and I am told that we are a dime a dozen, because all the unemployed went for a medical degree and the USA is going to flood the country with medical doctors, from foreign countries. In an effort to cut costs, I will have to work for peanuts, so administrators can hire twice the doctors for the same payroll. Can't happen or will eventually happen, as there is already a ton of pressure to cut salaries for new doctors.

Now the third option. Well, it sounds like a good idea to open a small business in the USA, but I may really want an education and it makes more sense to be in a country where my educations costs are subsidized by my taxes. In this country a marketable education can cost me more than a house and there is no guarantee that by the time i am out of school, me major will still be in demand. This is unacceptable and is not my problem, it is the problem of the US market, over all. This country is just not going to be an attractive place to be, unless you are ultra rich, in the not too distant future.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I think you made three points here: First, that we can't expect people to anticipate employment trends; Second, we need an expanding economy to attain employment; Third; the cost of the education makes the risk of the decision so large as to yield irrecoverable consequence on error.

We CAN anticipate employment trends. Folks need to not only look at what the current demand is but also at how full the pipeline in these majors already is. This is simply a matter of research. I hate to say this, but my experience with nieces and nephews indicates that the harder a major is, the fewer people pursue it. Pojection of trends, in all cases, is a statistical exercise, and by limiting your job prospects to New York, you are increasing the probability of error. In my day, we took whatever job we could get out of college regardless of location then kept an eye out for openings in the area we preferred. Perhaps this is "old school" now.

No doubt we need an expanding economy to lift EVERYONE up. How do we do this? Certainly not by spending all our disposable income then borrowing more on top of that to buy foreign made goods. Take a look around your own home and those of your friends and relatives. Check every piece of clothing and pick up every little item you see to determine where it's made. When we borrow money, we make banks rich. When we buy foreign made goods, we lose our jobs. It's that simple. See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ . People SERIOUSLY need to consider more than just the lowest sticker price when buying things; they need to consider the SOCIAL cost as well. This is part of being a responsible member of a capitalist society.

I have put three kids through school, and agree 100% the cost of education is ridiculous. Why is it so high ? Because people pay the amount the universities ask. In California, one can complete the first two years at a community college then transfer to a California State University and spend 75% less than if they attend a University of California for the full four years. Why don't people do this? I think there are a number of reasons ranging from a desire for the "full college experience" to a routine acceptance that student loans are the "norm."

People say the American Dream is fading, but I say that's only because the American Character that built it faded first.

WE borrowed money and made the bankers rich. WE bought Chinese goods. WE forced American companies to outsource our go out of business. WE pay exorbitant sums for the "college experience" and take out Student loans.WE fail to do our homework in selecting majors. WE think we're ENTITLED to the Dream, but we're not.

America will be great again just as soon as WE'RE great again.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

I agree with most of what you wrote, with few notable exceptions. We did not force companies to go abroad and use a Global Corporate model. They did so, on their own initiative. There are many ways to organize a corporation. The Global Corporate model of today is not the only model for doing business abroad and companies could have retained redundant functional areas, in each Nation, served by the Corporation, as companies actually did, many times, in the past. So there is an organizational component to Corporate Globalization that was forced on the American workforce, not the other way around. Sure, many Americans believed that some other guys job, would go abroad, but their jobs would stay here. Certainly there are many simpletons in the USA, as in all countries. Still. the effects of the Global Corporate model certainly was not lost on the ultra rich and Corporate management, pushing for the model. So, the ultra rich could have keep redundant functional areas, in each market and avoided the current situation.

No one forced the ultra rich to up end the US economy, they wanted to, in order to lower the standard of living here, while making lots of money abroad, growing foreign markets and taking advantage of low cost labor; figuring that the US workforce and the World workforce would find equilibrium, but even that was wishful thinking. Even if Americans made no more money than their foreign counterparts, the US economy would still present a problem. There is a perpetual need for new efficiencies, in order to sustain growth in shareholder value, off of servicing the US economy, but the US needs population growth, since population growth, more than anything else signals your ability to sustain shareholder value, over the long haul. Oops! No one is going to move here, so they can make no more money than they make in India or China. So you have to pay more, but why pay more, when you can do the same thing in India or China, for less money? Well, maybe the US Citizens will make babies, but they don't have jobs, because their jobs must go, in order to temporarily please shareholders, so this economy cannot keep an audience, a workforce, cannot reliably sustain shareholder value, off of servicing the US, etc, etc.... This was the doing of the Corporations, Wall Street and the ultra rich.

This isn't about doing homework. This is about there not being a future, not even for the rich, if the US continues to use the current Global model. The ultra rich are not refusing to invest in the USA, because I picked a bad major. They are wondering how it matters, what my major is, in the first place? It is my duty to do my homework? Meh, that cat is out of the bag. So what if it was my duty? How does that get me in a career, where the ultra rich can make money off of me? I am willing to leave the USA, if I cannot get a professional career. I am not spending hundreds of thousands, I don't have, because the USA thinks that Corporations can't use MBAs.

Why can't the USA just create jobs? The Corporations don't want to create jobs. The Government does not want to create jobs. The ultra rich don't have to create jobs. They don't need jobs. They don't need the USA. The ultra rich don't need the USA, whatever my major is, so will Companies get over themselves and abandon the Global Corporate model, create a job for me or are they saying the USA is over, as an economic power; long live Brazil, China, India and Russia? There are no two ways about it, this country cannot sustain the argument that the problem is with me.

The problem is that, under the current Global model, the US isn't worth investing in, doesn't create jobs and wants some ultra rich guy to do something about it, when he already did, he morved on to Russa, India, Brazil and China; unless you are investing in elder care, this country is not a great investment. The US Governement, the Corporations, Wall Street and the ultra rich investors don't see this country as the future. Blaming my major or third grade teachers is just silly. China can create jobs, create jobs for Chinese MBAs and China is not making an excuse, not blaming student majors, for a lack of jobs, they are making a future; a future, with or without the USA.

You are quite right, to point out, that we don't take social costs into account and this, has everything to do with American character, particularly the character of the ultra rich.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Your arguments are so flawed, I'm not even sure how to respond.

First, you like many are imagining that people at the tops of these companies are evil men wearing tophats and twisting their mustache between there fingers; "Muhaha let's screw them all !" I image you don't know a single CEO, CFO, COO. etc. They are normal people. They have wives and kids. They go to Church.

Splitting a company up to break new ground in China is a non-trivial exercise, and the leadership knows it's going to hurt people. They buying habits of the American public put them into the spot of deciding whether they will shut the company down and put everyone out of jobs or whether they outsource and stay open. I've participated in these type discussions.

You are paranoid and projecting.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

My arguments are not flawed. The literal structure of a Global Corporation carries with it anticipated consequences. You do realize that the Global Corporate Organizational structure is not the only way to organize Worldwide operations? How we arrange functional areas, primary or secondary, has a determinate impact on the nature of business, on the nature of our impact on any given market that we service or otherwise operate in.

If my priority is to optimize efficiency, to harness low cost labor, to eliminate redundant functional areas, across markets, there are predictable results and consequences. The notion of good and evil did not enter my calculations. I am merely ascribing basic intelligence and formal business training to the men and women behind forming a Global Corporate Organization. If they cannot see, for instance, the natural consequences of eliminating functions, otherwise conducted in each Nation serviced and performing those functions in one Nation, only one Nation, then they are hopelessly ignorant and should be removed from their management positions. They do see the consequences and so do the ultra rich.

Can a Nation, such as the USA, develop math skills and science skills and then depend on intellectual property based careers, when the World will have the same skills, is happy to steal the same ideas and provide the same services, for a fraction of the costs of performing the same services, in the USA? If companies are using the Global corporate organizational structure, I should think not, so it is that the ultra rich are highly skeptical of the USA, as a future investment, without regard to College majors, since the USA often depends upon things that need not be performed in the USA, that are easy to steal from the USA or things that are too Nation dependent, on the USA, like care services for the elderly. I suppose that the illiterate iIllegal aliens, from Mexico (70% of Mexicans illegals cannot read or write in Spanish) could work as field hands, feeding the middle class of China and India or they could become cops and keep the masses of poor in line....meh.

On the bright side, when this country goes broke and the US can't fly her Air Force, Alaska can become part of the Russian Federation. LukOil can use Alaska. Russia reserves the right to intervene wherever she has a historic privileged sphere of influence. Alaska, high in energy resources and once a part of Russia, will surely join the single largest energy export market, Russia, especially when that market will fuel Chinese growth. The men and women responsible for destroying the USA should know one thing, after the Globalist revolution, for what purpose shall a Communist country foresee for the Globalist revolutionaries? If I were the Chinese, I would ensure that every man and woman responsible for the fall of the USA, never made dog catcher in my society. I would even consider recommending to China that they imprison anyone advocating that China followed the lead of the USA. The fall of the USA will be a great morality tale, in China and elsewhere, no doubt about it.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

OK, you don't think corporations are evil, you just think they pursue profits, place work where it is most efficiently done, and that this model screws America. This is the classic business perspective and it is correct insofar as it ignores some very key factors.

First, business seeks maximum efficiency in producing what the consumer demands. Americans have bought into this model by making sticker price alone the sole basis of their purchase decision. If people include SOCIAL cost in their buying decision, the corporations will seek to maximize efficiency in making a socially responsible product. This requires change in consumer attitudes.

Second, the vast majority of touch labor that drives the cost of a product occurs at the lowest level. Robotics can be used in any country to approach parity given international pricing of energy. We didn't take this path because it was cheaper to use low wage foreign labor than it was to make large capital investments. Note that China's largest industrial city, Foxconn, has announced it plans to switch to robotics, and that alone proves the premise that robotics can undercut low wage labor. The financial equation which led us off-shore will be changed if people change their buying habits to include social cost. American companies will make the capital investment in order to meet consumer demand.

Third, the problem we face has a temporal aspect. We went through this same problem with Japan, they went through it with South Korea, and now both are going through it with China. A country enjoys a significant advantage in the form of low wages and a strong work ethic when it first transitions from a agricultural to an industrial economy. This advantage tends to me lost as the economy matures and the workers start asking for vacations, better wages, etc. Once the economies of all nations with a stable political/legal environment ramp to full maturity, the labor playing field tends to flatten, and we will find America no longer suffers a disproportionate gap in it's labor cost vs. that of other nations. Thus, we need only slow the trend down for a while by educating the consumer in the social cost of their decisions so we can retain adequate employment for the next 50 years or so while the world's economies mature.

Finally, it's funny you say the Chinese should not follow our model. They're not. We are a mixed Democratic/Capitalist society and they are emerging as a mixed Communist/Capitalist society. Insofar as their leaders are smart, they are free to lead the country in the right direction without having to fight a self-serving political system and a public that thinks they are the experts in every topic. I have proposed getting the money out of politics to reduce the self-serving aspect of our politics (see http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ ), but I have no idea how to get the American population to understand that they DON"T understand most of the big issues and learn to TRUST those that do.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

No, I believe that Corporations use a Global Corporate organizational model, that this model undercuts the ability of the US economy to effectively attract investment, because it undercuts, what we need to be an attractive market, to live, work, raise a family. We are not evidencing signs of being able to sustain long term growth in share holder value, off of activities, within the USA. We merely demonstrate that we can gain efficiencies, but in the absence of a plan for sustainable middle class population growth, we cannot sustain the benefits of free cash flow and we are moving counter to long term shareholder interests; at least off of activities performed with the USA.

I also do not believe that India and China are going to play nice. They will use their middle class populations to their advantage, not to ours. I think they will favor domestic producers of goods and services, undercut US intellectual property rights and really roger the USA. [giggle] I also believe that the ultra rich will not raise a finger to stop this, as the ultra rich do not depend on the USA and will benefit, cutting the throat of this country. Brazil, China, India and Russia, will have their own growth to attend to. I doubt they are going to hold back their progress so the USA and EU can get a competitive edge in anything. [wink] Capitalism is creative destruction, not patriotism. If there is more money to be made destroying the US, knife goes in guts come out and what not. The ultra rich don't need the USA, anymore. The US Government can live in denial or take action. If they like Globalism, then they take the good with the bad.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You didn't respond to any of my comments. You're proselytizing rather than discussing.

[-] 1 points by MJMorrow (419) 2 years ago

1) "If people include SOCIAL cost in their buying decision, the corporations will seek to maximize efficiency in making a socially responsible product. This requires change in consumer attitudes."

This would need an example, social cost is too nebulous a concept.

2) "Second, the vast majority of touch labor that drives the cost of a product occurs at the lowest level. Robotics can be used in any country to approach parity given international pricing of energy. We didn't take this path because it was cheaper to use low wage foreign labor than it was to make large capital investments."

Yes, very true. Only a few years ago Chinese manufacturing would have been cheaper, but we may now proceed with small highly efficient robotic flexible manufacturing techniques.

3) "This advantage tends to me lost as the economy matures and the workers start asking for vacations, better wages, etc. Once the economies of all nations with a stable political/legal environment ramp to full maturity, the labor playing field tends to flatten, and we will find America no longer suffers a disproportionate gap in it's labor cost vs. that of other nations."

Hmm, low wages and a strong work ethic are not the real advantages of China, but incidental to her advantages. China has a growing middle class. We know that the middle class is cheaper to service and is more profitable to service, than an upper middle class, middle ground rich, rich or ultra rich social classes. You ultimately need middle class population growth, to sustain long term growth in shareholder value, off servicing the given market. The USA could be as efficient as all heck and not create optimal conditions for shareholders, the way you could by growing the Chinese middle class or Indian middle class. The USA not only needs to grow her middle class, she needs to drain other Nations of their middle class citizens and pour these people into the USA. Keeping labor costs low may not be effective, as such low wage conditions will not lead the World to our doorstep. The ultra rich are not looking to defy gravity, but are looking for a safe bet. Growing the Chinese and Indian middle class will certainly benefit shareholders.

Betting the farm on math skills, amorphous green jobs and intellectual property, a fifteen year old Chinese hacker can walk off with, in a country that is not making jobs, babies or attracting sufficient immigrants, makes for sleepless nights. There are too many unknown quantities. Sure, the US can grind on, as she is and the ultra rich can make money, by letting the US Government borrow, from the ultra rich. The Govt can tax the middle class and the rich to pay the debt if need be, but there are too many unknown quantities, in other matters of private investment. The USA has no game plan, insufficient job creation, insufficient population growth, insufficient attraction for investors. The USA isn't a sexy investment.

4) "They're not. We are a mixed Democratic/Capitalist society and they are emerging as a mixed Communist/Capitalist society."

China has been far more like a National Socialist Society, with a State directed Capitalist economy, geared toward attracting Foreign Direct Investment, in a bid to gain sufficient critical mass ,to be more independent. Just as Nazi Germany once did.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

1) See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ . I posted this link early on in this discussion. If you want to understand my position on this, you need to read the post. It's not all that long.

2) Yes, and I think we can bring it home per 1) above

3) I think we're saying the same thing from different perspectives. In the end, competition for skilled labor in the workforce increases the power of labor, and people exercise that power by demanding fewer hours, more vacation, more pay, etc. In Japan, this was likely facilitated by their comparatively low population, so the process may take a lot longer in China than elsewhere. Nevertheless, it will happen... that large population ALSO fuels a lot of domestic demand, so we need not fear that ALL growth in China will come at our expense.

4) Right. Furthermore, while the Chinese currently show no intent of lessening their grip on the political system, we may someday see a "Chinese Spring." We've already seen some leading indicators. If the Middle East can do it, so can China.

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 2 years ago

I remember when you didn't need a college education to have a good job and be middle class...

When I got out of the military, there were allot of people out there, already established in business, who worked in their career field, instead of going to college to get where they were and they appreciated a person like myself, who just wanted to do good and make it.

I grew up in a country that told me I could do that..Where are we now? Why do we keep having to do more and more and get less for it?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree. Someplace along the way, we got lazy and decided to hire based on paper credentials that people pay a fortune to obtain but have little actual meaning.

I was a high school drop-out, and I have no college degree, but I am a staff engineer leading advanced research and development activities in a Top-100 engineering firm. I have managed to put 3 kids through school without student loans, have two houses paid off, and am set to retire at 55.

I used what is, to me, the most effective path... I apprenticed. I found people who were doing the kind of work I wanted to do then offered myself up as a slave doing their grunge work if they would be willing to answer my questions and help me learn. Not only did I learn by this process, I gained valuable allies.

I remember when I got my first promotion into the "Engineering God Rank" in my company. They were concerned I had no degree, but they appreciated all the letters of recommendation from the Masters I had studied under. I was called in for an interview by a panel who grilled me for about an hour, and they concluded by granting me entry into their ranks.

I think the apprenticeship approach is much more effective than our current system.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

I don't agree and I wouldn't be telling the young folks out there to follow in your foot steps. You really shouldn't mislead people about this. Plumbers use a apprenticeship program but not engineers. I don't know how you did it but I find it strongly suspect and if it did work for you, your extremely lucky.

I am an engineer and I know of no one who can even get an interview for engineering without a degree period. Engineering is a discipline that requires heavy mathematics and school is the place for that. Not on the job.

I know a ton about this subject. I started in electronics 30 years ago fixing TVs. There were still tube sets around at the time and I fixed them too. I knew of those OJT electronic techs and it worked for them since management would keep the scope of their job narrow and train them OJT sure enough. But I became an Engineering Technician, they could not compete, I went to school while fixing TVs to move up the ladder. And that I did, I went to work in Product Engineering for a big corporation setting up test fixtures and making measurements on integrated circuits for publishing in the data sheet. I tell everyone who reads this I needed that associate degree I earned to get that job. I again went back to school full time and worked my engineering technician job full time and got a BSEE graduating with a 3.74/4.00 honors. I worked 45 hours a week and went to school full time. I almost broke from the stress. I know what the limit is. I found it in my life. I earned that degree and I did what had to be done to get where I am today. Most who go to school for engineering especially electrical don't make it. Way less than half. maybe a quarter.

But, you know what. I earned every bit of that BSEE and you can't possibly ever think that you start as one without having the schooling first. It's ridiculous and truly irrational. This is like having doctors learn their job as a doctor on the job with no class instruction first.

Yes, when you have the ticket, then you may start as one, and that is OJT, true, but don't insult me that you don't need to know anything and your boss is going to turn your work area into a pseudo school playground. Doctors go into residency after they have had hundreds of classroom credits in Medical School after four years of college. So, what fantasy world are you in.

Do you realize people usually start believing lies when repeated often enough to others and in their head. It's your narrative.

Do you understand that if everybody is wrong then nobody is right?

Wake Up Man! Your life may have been fantasy but don't tell others here this crap. They may be believe. You really are old enough to know better Rico.

Get a grip!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You make a lot of good points, but I have to respond in my own defense.

First when I said "I think the apprenticeship approach is much more effective than our current system," I was speaking to a desired future change in the "system." I think most readers understand that this is NOT the system we have in place today, and I don't think many are going to take that path based on my words alone.

Second, you didn't "apprentice," you "laddered" your way up using the facilities of the current system.

Third, as for the quality of my education, I'll respond to you the same way I responded to my Company's Engineering Review Board that had to approve my promotion to the highest ranks in Engineering: "What makes anyone think that a few hundred hours spent with professors with limited hands-on experience is somehow more valuable than thousands of hours spent with our own internal experts having centuries of cumulative experience? In addition, note the tutorial materials required to learn the underlying theory are all publicly available, and it has been common practice for my mentors to send me to "the books" as needed to understand what they we're teaching. Finally, though I do not include myself in their ranks, recall that Faraday, Leibniz, Edison, etc had no formal schooling in their fields."

The fact that MIT now puts it's entire curriculum on-line demonstrates people can gain the required knowledge without a formal class-room experience. With there publication, MIT is essentially saying, "what you're paying for when you attend here is the certification that you understand this material, no more." In my case, that "certification" was performed by expert peers rather than professors.

Note the instruction I received did not cost my employer money. It actually improved the effectiveness of their experts. As an apprentice, I off-loaded the experts of some of their routine work, and they only needed to spend a little time reviewing and commenting on my work to show me where I needed to learn more. This freed them to focus on the tasks that required their full expertise.

I continue my "apprenticeship" even today at age 54. When I hear discussion of a complex topic amongst my teammates that I don't follow, I pull one aside and ask him to clarify. If it can be done quickly, I ask them what area of theory or research I should be looking at then go study that area. As a result of this practice, I have made significant contributions and received awards for my work in Digital Signal Processing (DSP), software, RF/Microwave, and mechanical engineering. Note, by the way, that I am now considered one of the Company's leading experts in analog converters, and I have a patent working it's way through the mill for a radical new ADC architecture that will revolutionize their application in broadband systems.

I take insult at your use of the term "lies" in regards to my statements. They are the absolute truth. I'll grant you that my case is somewhat unique. I have learned over the years, the most critical skill of all, the ability to teach myself. I am a skilled autodidact, and not everyone can do what I have done. Nevertheless, I hold that the "system" would be improved if we used apprenticeship augmented by on-line learning rather than mere college degrees to develop our people.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

Very well. Great response. I understand much better now and I do appreciate the clarification. I agree with what you just said and I understand much better now how you intended it. It really is, what I now believe, to be your honest story of apprenticeship in engineering. Your experience was a very positive one and it's good to hear that these days, it's too rare. It is an achievement to certainly be proud of, no doubt. You must of had some of those engineers in your corner fighting for you as well I'm sure. I applaud you and them for the accomplishment.

In my case, and as you do admit, most cases, you don't get shot to work with these high caliper engineers unless you have that ticket first.

I know earlier back in the late 70s and early 80s there were many non-degreed technicians coming in and some engineering managers, knew a couple of them, there was a great demand in those high techy manufacturing days. But the bottom started falling out and I saw guys cut loose with 15-20yrs of experience making good money, benefits, but no degree, they were cut loose. Some had severance packages--- one year full pay and benies on their way out. Nice but.

The one guy, right about your age, was taking classes at the community where I ran into him and he told me his story. He really didn't know what else to do but go to school and get the degree for the work he had been doing for the last 20 years. 20 yrs experience and now had to go to school to learn what he'd been doing for all those 20 yrs. This was 1992. It was shocking to me. The pain he was feeling at the time I never forgot and it inspired me to get my BSEE. 1994, that year I got my ticket.

Rico, we are both just real people doing the best we can as we see it. As I know you realize, engineering is very rewarding work and your always learning new things and trying to keep in with the latest technologies. Persistence pays off in dividends and the feeling of accomplishment as you see your creation working beautifully is beyond words to describe.

It's wonderful and I think this is right where we both would agree. The idea of apprenceship for many people is exactly the right answer. They don't make it in school for many reasons but real hands on they get it. Mentors are invaluable resources. We need to have inspiring work for people to do giving them the feeling of well being. Motivation, without it, ain't nothing happenin'. It can happen but as you and I both know too well. Devil's in the details.

Well, then, we just have to get busy. The country still has the best engineers in the world. We just need some really good marching orders.

Thanks sir, and I'm glad we cleared this up!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My experience is indeed rare, and I try to pass it forward to people I now mentor in exchange. I am in the priveledged position of leading team developing my companies next generation products, and have literally hundreds of people working to bring my products to market. Combined my teams brought in over $20 million in business last year, so we are quite well compensated for our efforts. If I could, I'd fly the jolly roger over each area my team occupies, but management would likely frown on that ;o)

It's amazing to me how few people understand that Engineering is a CREATIVE discipline. Math and all those other skills are just the paints we use. In the end, the joy of engineering is not only making something, but making it WELL. A good design has symmetry and elegance, what many call "beauty," and each creation is an expression of the artist. Better yet, OUR creations actually DO something ;o)

It's been a fun chat !

[-] 1 points by nickhowdy (1104) 2 years ago

Generally I get kinda pissy with you "rico"..But not this time...That land of opportunity isn't as much there now as it was for us...We had a hell of an electronics sector at one time!

[-] 1 points by julianzs (147) 2 years ago

The only real freedom is freedom from labor. If you are not that lucky, at least do what you love for living. This is what you might have done if you were free.

[-] 1 points by JenLynn (692) 2 years ago

Haven't done any study on it myself, but I see lots of kids take the easy way, just to get a degree because they are kids. Not sure if it's that or they take what they think is interesting. Both are fine, but if you are going to use the degree to look for work, you ought to research and find out what is needed.

[-] 1 points by Saikron (24) from Charleston, SC 2 years ago

Rico, through no fault of your own you seem to fit the stereotype of the out of touch old fogy. The economy today is bad. When you dropped out of school to be an engineer, the economy is good.

I have a BS Computer Science, one of the most lucrative fields today, and for almost a year I couldn't get hired anywhere except for a few weeks at a place where somebody I knew could get me a job. I mean, I applied to work everywhere from McDonalds to BestBuy to fortune 500 companies. Finally I did land a job in my field, and I count myself lucky.

What was it like for you when you dropped out of school? What percentage of kids do you think dropped out of school in the last few years are now on government assistance, working several crappy jobs, and/or have criminal records?

Your anecdotal experience is not really applicable to this debate, and you should probably just count yourself lucky like myself. Then you can wipe the smirk off your face and think about how you can help young people today do as well as you have.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I try to avoid being "out of touch" by engaging in discussion. I find it helps me a lot, and based on the responses to my many posts here, I suspect I have contributed to the cause. See a three part summary of what I have learned this far I provided to an NYU journalism student at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-295977. The positions I express there do not include the conclusions I am still forming regarding the education system, school debt, etc. I am building here in this post. Also consider reading my posts at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if and my proposals at http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ and http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ . All have received pretty thoughtful and supportive comments from the "kids" discussing things with this "old fogey."

Before you dismiss my career as having been easy, please remember I grew up during the Nixon years. I saw the '60's movement. I am a Vietnam Era veteran. I was here during the "Nixon Shock" (google it). I was here during the Savings and Loan meltdown which was even larger than the meltdown of 2008. Some of this experience may actually be relevant to today, don't you think?

The opinions people hold in the absence of any objective knowledge say more about the speaker than reality. You don't know what expression is on my face. I'll assure you it is not a "smirk." I have three kids in their 20's and I am as concerned about their future as these kids are. I AM trying to help, and the responses I have received to many of my comments proves I HAVE helped in some small measure.

[-] 1 points by Saikron (24) from Charleston, SC 2 years ago

I didn't say you're career was easy, I'm saying you were lucky to have not been born in the 80s and entering the work force post 2008. It's all very nice that you were there and saw some things, but you didn't mention specifically what year you were entering the work force as a high school drop out. I can make one point anyway: unemployment then was lower than it has been in the past couple of years, and somebody applying for your first good job then would not get it today without a college degree and therefore college debt. Everybody knows you /can/ have upward mobility in this country, but very few will admit to themselves that not only is it difficult (even more difficult the poorer you are starting out), but it's simply very unlikely.

[Deleted]

[-] 1 points by Saikron (24) from Charleston, SC 2 years ago

I got a chuckle that you failed to read what I wrote so miserably and then said my reading skills were weak. I'll just quote myself: "you were lucky to have ///not/// been born in the 80s" If you googled the Nixon Shock you'd see that it happened around 1971 when unemployment was 5.9%; it was 9.6% in 2010. Unemployment was 9.7% in 1982, but this was not due to the S&L crisis, and you didn't enter the work force in the 80s anyway.

What year did you enter the work force?

[-] 1 points by socal63 (124) 2 years ago

Statistics can always be misleading. These numbers will vary dramatically in different parts of the country. Also, when sorting by highest unemployment percent, the popularity column shows only 1 of the first 14 in the top 89 most popular. I stress to my children that there should be a balance between finding a career that interests you, that pays well, that you have an aptitude for, and that has potential for employment. I feel that you must consider all of these factors.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That seems like sound advice. At least your kids are going into it with some parental advice. Many don't get any advice or refuse to hear it.

[-] 1 points by socal63 (124) 2 years ago

Amen. Getting through to our youth can be very challenging. I've learned that advice is often cheap, but you often get what you pay for. Consider the source.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My grandfather was a salesman for much of his career. He said, "Though you often don't get what you pay for, you always pay for what you get." ;o)

[-] 1 points by socal63 (124) 2 years ago

I like that. Consider it stolen...:-D

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I forgot the "always" ...

"Though you often don't get what you pay for, you always pay for what you get."

[-] 1 points by frontierteg (137) from Kalamazoo Township, MI 2 years ago

Did anyone notice that 4 out of the top 10 Unemployed categories are people with PSYCHOLOGY degrees.

There is a very old joke. Q. What is the more common thing a person with a psychology degree say? A. "Do you want fries with that?"

Apparently, the statistics prove it!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sad and unfortunate too as we're slowly going crazy as a society ;o)

[-] 1 points by Jrobin8 (40) 2 years ago

I have to be honest I read a lot of these forums to try and get a since of where this movement is going and I think its going exactly the way the 1% wants it to. If we post 500 posts a day and each receives about 50 or 60 comments are we really discussing things or getting anywhere. I don't claim to know it all and that is the point. For a political party to go into office and believe that they know exactly how to better the economy is ridiculous. Yes they may have some great ideas, but why not consider what the general public has to say. Oh that's right because it doesn't matter what we think. I don't claim to know everything, but collectively I think WE can figure it out.

I am just suggesting that we narrow the posts down to general topics that people can discuss. For example, this could be used as a post on a forum under the category of Education. We should have topics on economy, corporate greed, healthcare, etc. That way we can read 5000 or 6000 posts relating to one topic. If WE want to be taken seriously we have to narrow our focus and give tangible ideas. For example, We can have free healtcare if 5% of our taxes goes to provide utilities to run these hospitals. In return we can reduce the fed tax by 5%. I am just stating tangible examples, once again I am not claiming to know everything just giving my suggestions

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Good ideas, but you'll have to talk to the site owners. As it is, we're stuck with these maddening forums !

[-] 1 points by Harper (13) 2 years ago

Personal bias: BA in mathematics, no debt.

For one, definitely there is a lot of general advice to 'do what you like and worry about getting a job later'. This is part and parcel of the complacent exceptionalism that feeds our college kids: 'so long as you're the absolute best at what you do, you'll always have a job! So you'd better major in something you're enthusiastic about!'

Disregarding, of course, that 99% won't be the absolute best. And then will be SOL.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Part of what worries me about this approach is that we sometime learn to love something after the fact. Kids don't know much of anything about any of the fields in the real workplace, and are choosing majors without any understanding. Often times, they could choose a field that's close to their passion and still be financially secure. They might, for example, enter graphics arts and do fine arts at home, etc.

[-] 1 points by Harper (13) 2 years ago

In general this is a large problem with the ~liberal arts education~ that is sold to our high-schoolers as the only alternative to becoming a bum. I don't think anyone in my high school graduating class seriously considered a trade school, for example, because those - so the prejudice went - were for middle-aged failures who had already lost two jobs. So instead we all went to more or less expensive colleges that all had fine arts programs and maybe 10% had graphic arts instruction at all.

Class stratification hurts everyone, fancy that.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yea, there was a time once when being a "working stiff" was a badge of honor. It seems like we've lost that a little. We all want to be so much more, but it seems like we've ended up with so much less. I don't have an answer. I wish I did.

[-] 1 points by Puzzlin (2898) 2 years ago

The most obvious truth here is of course some majors are harder. Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers. The big three. I'm an engineer. I know it's hard and many even tried and failed. I made it but mist don't. There is EE shortage in this country. I know, I'm one.

But to just say you won't be a doctor because you can't or won't do the hard work is nothing but a generalization. It goes much deeper than that. Some learn too slowly to make good grades in college. I remember one fellow student asked me to go out to the parking so he fight me because I bragged over a test that I thought was easy and he failed miserably.

Lesson learned. I'm not an engineer to be arrogant or brag. I do it because I love to design electrical circuits. I really do. (or I probably wouldn't do this work because it is difficult, believe me)

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Well, you have to remember that the "best and the brightest" have all gone into investment banking and stock trading and they're doing quite well for themselves with million-dollar bonuses, probably with a lot less work than if they had chosen a more difficult major. So maybe we should start looking at how we incentivize jobs.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's a good point !

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

Looks like you got peoples attention. Kudos.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. I figured out who the "audience" is and how to phrase things so they'll respond. I now have a much broader perspective on the whole "student loan, high debt, no jobs" issue and a newfound appreciation for the strength of the "follow your dreams" ethos. That ethos is quite foreign to me thanks to my upbringing with a post-depression ethos. I always feel better about the opinions I hold and positions I take when I have a wider set of perspectives to consider !

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

That's a wise philosophy.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

HitGirl, Will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Because the most valuable forms of human expression cannot be commodified, or forgotten.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Well that's a nice thought. If we still had Kings, you could be a court performer or something. In the meantime, what do you do to put food on the table ?

I'm being a bit sarcastic, but I realize I'm just old and suffer from the teachings of my immigrant depression-era grandparents who taught me what you need comes before what you want. You know, the old work before play ethos.

[-] 2 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Oh believe me, I was raised German Protestant, could work my ass off all day and still be accused of being lazy; yet, I now know that we do work too much, and for too little. The Humanities allowed me to question what I knew was wrong all along. Production is not the problem, it's distribution. The harder we work the less we are worth. Technology was supposed to liberate us and instead we were further enslaved... until we started using technology as we are now :) I currently toil for a heartless corporation, physically, with a Master's degree in American Studies. Do I regret my choice? Not for a second. My ability to comprehend and write about my situation makes it more bearable and I do know that I have obtained wealth through my studies and that it can never be taken away.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Hmmm, a point of irony comes to mind. My roots are Scandinavian and yours are German. Both of these regions are economically successful and socially well aligned to the ethos of OWS. Maybe their work ethic ultimately led them someplace good and perhaps we're premature in abandoning them (in a Zeitgeist sorta way) ?

I personally don't work too much for too little, but I certainly remember feeling that way when I was young. I couldn't imagine when I was in my mid 20's how I would ever get out of the shadows so people could see how I might contribute. I think the breakthrough came when I realized I needed to start thinking of myself as a business under subcontract to help my employer raise his profits. I then strove to figure out how my employer made his profits and studied, worked, studied, work to get myself in a position where I was bringing in more revenue than I cost them in terms of salary. Once I did that, everything took off.

You are right that you are richer for your degree. As you age, you're going to discover more and more how much it matters in ways you never imagined. I have that general feeling about any education; it's an end unto itself. It's just sad to see so many struggling when they don't need to but for selecting a different major, particularly when I can't hire enough engineerings to staff my teams !

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

I graduated from Lehigh U., a notable engineering school. Not an engineer, though, far from it. I'm not suggesting we abandon the work ethos. Problem is, work doesn't pay. Sure, many jobs are unskilled, though physically demanding, and the sad thing is that the majority of my fellow workers display a strong work ethic ... this while they perform highly-necessary jobs, deliver huge profits to others, and struggle to survive on subsistence-level wages. I think we need to revaluate the worth of work, understand the the bosses and the workers must not out of necessity war with one another. Recognition of our mutual humanity ... getting back to my education.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm guessing everyone is trapped because it's an "employer's market" right now. I bet your employer is going to suffer when the tables finally turn and it's more a "workers market."

[-] 1 points by madehero2000 (50) 2 years ago

You do realize that you can negotiate wages? If you honestly believe that you are working too hard for too little, discuss the possibility of a raise with your employer. If you do not get the raise, then you are free to seek employment elsewhere.

The problem with most people is that they over-estimate the value of their labor. I have worked both kinds of jobs (those that are physically demanding and those that are mentally demanding). Employers care more about mentally demanding positions because mistakes generally have more damaging consiquences. This means that they will seek out more qualified individuals that are less likely to make a mistake.

You also have increased value if you can perform mentally demanding tasks. As a chemical engineer, I know that most people cannot perform the tasks that I do; however, most people can perform physically demanding tasks, which is why their labor is worth so little. When you have a large supply of something, its value is decreased.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Oh, believe me, I can perform the mental. To what end, though?

I don't just believe that I am working for too little, I believe that all hard-working people earning subsistence-level wages are working for too little. And, the CEOs and their compensation? Really?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree, and I think We the People have done this to them.

Nichole, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by madehero2000 (50) 2 years ago

I will attempt to explain this in an even more simplified fashion. There is no demand for people that can perform physically demanding tasks because they are readily available. This means that that form of labor is worth less. There are fewer individuals that can perform mentally demanding tasks, which causes that labor to be more valuable and earn a higher wage.

What do you believe a fair wage is? It is also important to note that increases in the wage provided to all employees (an increase in minimum wage) results in job loss and increased costs of the provided product.

Business owners can pay themselves whatever they wish, and CEOs can earn whatever they convince the companies board to pay them. It isn't for you to decide maximum or minimum incomes. However, if you wish to have such power, then you are free to attempt to start your own business and pay the workers as much as you want.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

because the isn't enough labor needed by the wealthy

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right, so WE need to employ them whenever we can !

Matt, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Oh, but there are shortages in these Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields !

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

news to me

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 2 years ago

that's all weapons jobs

except perhaps HP on the 8th WWW

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Didn't even pay that much attention... just googled. Maybe the weapons houses are spending more on STEM so they get more hits and rank higher ? Dunno. In any case, if they can't get STEM people, I would imagine everyone is having problems.

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

I guess I don't see the correlations you're getting at in those data. The popularity of the majors seems to be fairly low for both jobs with good employment prospects and those without. I mean, Clinical Psychology at 19.5% unemployment is the 168th most popular major, yet the six fields with 0% unemployment all average around the same in popularity.

Which is to say, the most popular majors have averagely poor employment prospects, but neither the majors with the poorest employment prospects nor those with the best employment prospects are generally the most popular.

Plus, "hardness" of the majors is not mentioned anywhere in the article, so I don't know where you're getting it at all.

Further, there's no reference given to the data other than "Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce." There really needs to be a better link to the study so we can find out when it was done since that would have some relevance.

Not sure what you majored in, but at least us "non-popular major" majors have learned how to analyze statistics and data so as not to make confused statements about them ;-)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sort by lowest unemployment and you'll see the average popularity of the four fields with 0% unemployment is 165.5. Next, sort by popularity and you'll see the average unemployment of the four most popular is 4.7% You don't see any problem with those figures ?

As for "hardness," sort again by unemployment and note the number of majors that involve Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Next, sort by popularity and notice how few involve STEM. I'm pointing this out because I happen to be a hiring leader in engineering, and it's well known that we not graduating enough STEM majors. My own company, most of our competitors, and the government run programs to try and improve on the situation.

The report says it's based on the 2010 census, but other than that, I agree the traceability to the underlying data is weak. My intent, however, was to initiate discussion, partially based on my knowledge of the STEM problem and also because the debt/no job topic is common here in OWS.

By the way, I am a lead system architect and have several hundred engineers working on the products I create. I do understand a little math.

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

Again, you aren't analyzing the statistics properly. In the range of unemployment values on that chart, 4.7% is pretty average. Not to mention that the economy overall is still at 9% unemployment (and was higher in 2010). Further, the several least employable jobs also have very low popularity rates. You might have something here, but it's weak at best, and not something I would go on a tirade about unless I was trying to interpret data in a way that would reinforce a position I already held.

I have degrees in philosophy and psychology. I do understand a little bit about human self-deception.

Going home now, so probably won't respond anymore.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Ummm... where's my tirade ? I posted what was to me some interesting information and invited discussion. Much good discussion has ensued, and I have learned a good bit about myself as well as the views of others. By and large it's been constructive and respectful. At this point, the technical accuracy of the data doesn't even matter to me... I've learned a lot.

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

Maybe "tirade" isn't the right word.

In any case, since I finally got you to say what you should've said straight away in your first post, let's look at it.

"What I do believe is that folks who chose to pursue a degree in a field with poor employment prospects shouldn't then complain that they can't find jobs, march in the streets, declare the system 'unfair,' and ask others to save them from the consequences of their own actions."

I pretty much agree with that. But is that what you think those data you presented show? And do you think that's the general makeup of the OWS protestors? Do you think the protestors are mostly those who chose the most popular majors and are just now whining about it 'cause they can't find jobs? 'Cause unless that's what you're saying, I don't get what it has to do with anything.

But if it is what you're saying, I'd encourage you to look harder at the kinds of people who're down there. Hell, there was even a group of vets who marched last week with the protestors.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Please read my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/ and, if you're willing to read a bit, the 3 part response to an NYU journalism student at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-295977

I support OWS, but I'm still trying to get my arms around some of the individual complaints. One I often here is "I have a lot of student loan debt, can't find a job, and the government should do something about it." President Obama recently pandered to the crowd with talk about an anemic student loan plan. I posted in order to generate dialog so I could hear different perspectives so I could form on opinion with a broader perspective. I have learned a lot in these discussions, and my understanding is now deeper than it was before. That's called "success"

[-] 1 points by rickMoss (435) 2 years ago

We don't have time for this. If we want a better future, we better get our heads out of our behinds! We need a better plan of attack.

It's time!

The Revolution has started - Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( www.revolution2.osixs.org )

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm not a big fan of a complete revision. I'm a bit of a ZeitGeist'er, and I beleive our systems are evolutionary. We don't need to reengineer the whole system, we just need to fix the problems.

Personally, I think we need only two fundamental changes. First, we need to take our government back ( see http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-the-people-in-order-to-a-proposal/ ). Second, We the People need to exercise our power as consumers with social conscience ( see http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/ ). With these two changes, we can address every single problem people are complaining about, and neither is a major change to "the system."

[-] 1 points by rickMoss (435) 2 years ago

You mean, you just want to fix the symptoms. Keep chasing your tail. The only way to catch it is when you're dead. It's obvious most people have no idea what got us into this mess. Keep living, It gets much worse and unfortunately, you still wont know.

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM OsiXs (Revolution 2.0 - The Smart Revolution)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right. See how many Americans you can sell on total and complete revision.

[-] 1 points by rickMoss (435) 2 years ago

Are you kidding? You don't have to sell anything. Just tell the truth and live reality - life. We don't have another choice. Most of us are too dumb or distracted to realize how much trouble we're in. If we did, don't you think we would have done something before it got to this point? This is just the beginning of the beginning. When the "SHTF", ask me that question again. Of course by that time it'll be rhetorical.

FIGHT THE CAUSE - NOT THE SYMPTOM OsiXs (Democracy 2.0)

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Keep working on it. I'll be sure to give you credit when it happens !

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

So wait a minute... You're a fiscal conservative and a social libertarian... but you're also a ZeitGeister??

Explain this to me. Because every time I've tried to read about the Zeitgeist movement, it just comes off as a case for socialism. I hate to sound like a McCarthyist, but I just can't see the distinction.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I accept ONLY the Zeitgeist premise that knowledge, society, civilization can be viewed as living breathing beings that evolve over time. Beyond that basic premise the Zeitgeist'ers run off the road in my opinion.... if these creatures are evolutionary, then you can't force them to evolve. In fact, trying to do so is downright dangerous as you're trying to use the unevolved knowledge of today to force a future outcome. It's a bit like messing with the human genome... we'd end up inserting all our biases into something that has a million years more understand than we do.

In my opinion, the Zeitgeist stuff, after the basic premise of evolution in our knowledge and institutions, is pure babble.

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

If you think that education is a right then is owning a car a right? Or a cell phone? Or a house? Give me a break. A loan is a loan. The Fed Gov is 15 trillion in debt. All large cities and States are billions in huge debt. There is no money.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm seeing a lot of different responses here, but they're only solidifying my belief that federally subsidized loans should be reserved for fields where we have a National need.

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

I think you are right sir. Very good comment. Thank you.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

My major was one that typically means no high paying job without grad school.

But I also didn't:

  • go deeply into debt to finance my education
  • expect to make 60K at my very first job
  • & was willing to continue to do the office temp work & waitressing that helped me get through school if I needed to

I think the recent crop of college grads were sold a dream that:

  • everyone needs to go to college in order to live a middle class lifestyle and compete with those people next door

  • it should be the "best" (most expensive) college you can get into and

  • it doesn't matter how much you borrow to make this happen, because hell, once you graduate, you'll have it made.

  • once you graduate, you can be anything you want to be!

PARENTS for the past 10 to 15 years have been putting an enormous amount of pressure on kids to focus their entire high school and even middle school years on one goal - to get into an Ivy League school and if not an Ivy, then the closest thing to it that you can manage.

So that's part of the reasoning behind some of the college choices.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Makes sense. You're the second one to bring up parenting as one of the causes.

Lots of folks say the American Dream is fading. I say that's as least in part because American Character started fading first. Your story gives me hope !

Nice well thought out post, by the way !

[-] 1 points by TheCloser (200) 2 years ago

Good question: it's a mulit variable problem. First of which is the individual reason someone would go to college and weather or not there is any debt associated with it. My firm conducted an extensive research project of all employees that made $5mm or more to figure out how hiring should be done more efficiently. Surprisingly, education was not a factor. However, the fresh from college candidate for employment, held a highly entitled attitude and little skills. As it turns out, all of the top earners in my industry going back 80 years, had paper routes when they were kids. Anyone surprised? Most of them also put them selves through college, many did not finish their 4 year degree.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Kids haven't been able to get paper routes for the past 15 years, if not longer.

There aren't even places that will hire teens (under 18) anymore.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Powertothepeople, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's interesting, especially considering I myself dropped out of high school, have no college degree, but have made it to the top 1% of engineering staff in a Top-100 engineering firm. I had a paper route, and I was also a Boy Scout ;o)

[-] 1 points by TheCloser (200) 2 years ago

You're hired! That being said, I think college should offer a higher standard approach. Not just the end of the day tax-bracket issue. Education is a life long endeavor - not just a money pursuit. Mathematically, the most cost-effective education is Mercedes mechanic - second is specialty surgeon.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

When people ask me how I managed to succeed, my answer is "First, I love it and can't absorb as much as I'd like. Second, I make a point of learning at least one new thing about my job every day (usually technical); it really adds up over the course of a career, especially compared to folks who stopped learning after college!"

By the way, the Internet is a real boon for the autodidacts... heck, MIT has put their whole curriculum on-line! For people who have learned how to teach themselves, that's like a free degree (sans the paper) !

[-] 1 points by TheCloser (200) 2 years ago

I'm with you.

[-] 1 points by studentrallynyc (29) 2 years ago

This is because students are not being taught personal finance in schools.

Music For Change: Students Rally for Personal Finance Education

http://www.facebook.com/musicforchangerally

[-] 1 points by ramous (765) from Wabash, IN 2 years ago

Easy majors. I audit classes for free education. (get the education and it doesn't cost a thing.) Sitting in sociology and psychology classes (the fullest ones on campus) all the majors said the same thing: they were the easiest to get.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I get my free education from MIT on-line. No paper, but I get all the classes for free ;o)

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Most likely because of interest. I didn't do my undergraduate and my graduate degrees for money, but for the joy of studying a subject I love which is music.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's fine, but you're not now marching in the streets complaining you have student debt, can't get a job, that it's not "fair," and that the taxpayer should bail you out, right?

[-] 3 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

No, I'm living in Indonesia where I pay $1400 a year for a four bedroom apartment, $1.50 for a full meal and a drink at a restaurant, $1.10 for a pack of cigarettes, and around $1.50 to fill my motorbikes gas tank once a week. Since I work part-time as a computer programmer for a US company, I make about $35,000 a year for 20 hours a week. Considering I spend about $4,000 a year total if I include some trips to Thailand for my vacations, I end up saving a pretty nice sum each year. Also, I never acquired a student debt because my parents have money and university in Canada is no where near what it costs in US.

That being said, I do understand why students are protesting in US. University in the States is much too expensive and the government should step in to help. In Canada, if you come from a poor family, University is essentially free. If not, it will cost around $4000 a year. And, in most western European countries, university is free point blank. US needs to help its students if it wants to be competitive with the rest of the world. Or else, US will soon be made up of fat cheeseburger eating Jerry Springer rerun watching uneducated nitwits.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL ! I'm envious !

Yep, I agree we need to do something about university costs. On the other hand, we do ALSO need kids willing to tackle the hard stuff. The easy stuff's been done ;o)

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

There's definitely a "fast-food" culture nowadays where everyone wants everything to come fast and easy. That's true.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I can't tell you how widely held is the opinion that the new-hires we see today all think they'll be CEOs in a few years.

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

One of the problem with university costs is kids and parents choosing an out of state school and spending double or triple, when they could remain in their own state and attend school at a reduced cost. I've seen so many people take out loans to do this who couldn't afford to do so, and it's just poor money management. Also, people need to take advantage of some of the free programs here. In both of my children's high schools, they have the opportunity to attend community college their junior and senior year of high school. They can graduate high school with a two-year college degree FOR FREE. Then, they could attend school in state and save a lot of money. Unfortunately, I don't think my son is motivated enough to pull that off, but it's an excellent opportunity. I'd like to add that my brother is attending school in his state almost completely free. He has grants and may have taken out a few thousand dollars, but tuition is basically covered (I think he has $200 a semester in costs after everything has been paid, which is why he got a loan).

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Why do people go out of state for their education?

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

Sometimes because they like a certain state and want to live there, sometimes they want to go to a big party school, sometimes because there parents want to send them to a prestigious university, or sometimes because they want to attend a school that's known for being the best in that area or major. My daughter would have done it in a heartbeat if I had allowed that, but I wasn't willing to pay 20K to 30K a year in tuition out of state when I could pay 8K at home.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

and to follow up on that, the answer isn't more taxes on the 1% to pay for school, just as it wasn't more on them to pay for inflated housing prices. it was for the housing bubble to crash. and in this case, for the government to get out of the way and stop blowing up the education bubble and let it crash. "free" european education costs real dollars. those real dollars could be used on something useful like roads or energy infrastructure. in the US in 2010, 17 million americans had at least a bachelor's and were employed in jobs that didn't require one. that includes 21% of customer service representatives. i have no interest in my tax dollars being wasted on hiking that statistic up to 30%.

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I don't buy that. Everybody wins when everyone's more educated. People are wiser, they make better parents, they make better voters, etc... University is not just for jobs, it also cultivates your mind. One of the major problems with the ultra-capitalist system in US is that everything becomes about money, and only money. There used to be a time when people educated themselves because they had a true appetite for learning, not because they worried about making a buck or two more.

If anything, educate yourself as a gift to your future wife. She's gonna have to spend countless hours of her life listening to you, might as well give her the gift of wise words coming from a sharp brain.

[-] 2 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Excellent post. Education has value for its own sake.

I am saddened that there are younger people here in the US who are having to choose between crushing debt or foregoing college completely.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

that is simple, remove the government 100% guarantee backing and inability to discharge loans in bankruptcy and you will see the cost to attend school plummit. it's these interventions that made it explode in the first place.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

"I've never let my school interfere with my education." -Mark Twain

ah, i pity the man that requires more school for education! besides, if you got the government out of education (my post below this which you did not respond to) then the price would come down, and more people could afford to go anyway. and yes, this is about money, because school is not free. i have no interest in paying taxes any more than i need to, and no interest in that going not for a road but instead for some art student who can talk about paintings to his wife. that is not even a question of capitalism. it is a question of me enjoying what i earned, or sacrificing my standard of living so that someone else can be "cultivated" and talk to their wife. pass.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

You'll enjoy the world much more if people around you are well educated, than if they are of ape-like intelligence. To each is own, I favor a system like Canada. I guess Americans are individualists. That's fine. To each his or her culture.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

i'll actually enjoy it a lot more if i can buy a fun car instead of some bartender's degree.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

but the government is the reason it's so expensive. student loans are not dischargeable in bankruptcy, and more importantly, federal loans are immediately and fully guaranteed by the government.

we had an easy monetary policy, reckless mortgage lenders, and blew a huge housing bubble that resulted in the reckless lenders needing to be bailed out.

in education, we have an "all the money you want to borrow" monetary policy, even more reckless lenders that care zero about a student being able to pay them back (the government will do it - it's basically bailing them out all the time) and go figure - we blew a huge bubble in the cost of education.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_otfwl2zc6Qc/TA0AhcCyh0I/AAAAAAAANos/9aX9UMvM4LU/s1600/college2.jpg

[-] -1 points by Diamondf (43) 2 years ago

A Canadian living in India calling americans nitwits? Folks, you can't make this up. Canada is a small US state. STFU and sit down.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I have proof Americans are nitwits.

[-] -1 points by Diamondf (43) 2 years ago

Your proof Canadians are a shit country and could never survive without us. USA...USA....USA

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

No, my proof is formed around two simple premises:

  1. That Americans are the only ones who could possibly confuse two of the largest countries in the world, India and Indonesia. They know nothing of the world.

  2. That Americans are the only ones who would believe Canadians are a shit country. They can't make the different between a people and a nation. It's extremely bewildering, but I don't blame them. University in US is just too damn expensive, and US TV shows are a mind numbing experience.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wait, Canada is a country? I thought it was the 51st state ! ;o)

[singing] Oh Canada, the best-est place on the planet-a ;o)

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

Well hopefully you will see that not all Americans are nimwitts and not all Americans are rude like Diamondf was. We don't all think Canadians are a shit country. I know many people who have alot of positive things to say about Canada, the government, the healthcare and educational system, etc. And as far as India and Indonesia, I know the difference. Have to agree with you about the TV shows, though....

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

We don't all think Canadians are a shit country

I will be happy when the day comes and Americans either say "Canada is a shit country.", or "Canadians are a shit people." When that happens, when they stop saying "Canadians is a shit country.", then I will have hope that US is not lost.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Your happiness and hope are my pleasure; "Canada is a shit country."

Wait, wait... "Canada is a shit country, eh?"

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

Nice. Like your style.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

I agree Thrasymmaque, expatriation is always an appealing option. Intellectuals are not highly regarded here. Anti-intellectualism is rampant and menacing. However, I become dismayed whenever I perceive a sense of righteousness coming from a Canadian or European. America has (at the expense of entire continents) helped create a more favorable climate for the western world, one that you are enjoying much more than America's most powerless. I am heartened by OWS developments. We are trying to take our government back from the corporations that are currently desecrating the earth, at home and abroad. The American people themselves, at least the ones I know, would not conduct themselves similarly.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Don't take my banter at heart. America is one of the most interesting countries in the world, simply because it has some of the most impressive minds and some of the most depressive ones. It's a country where anything can happen, and anything does. John Cage couldn't have been born anywhere else. Richard Feynman is not only a genius, but a profoundly American character with a wit capable of moving mountains. The man behind your movement, David Graeber, is one of the most interesting writers I have read. Chomsky is sharp, and I always enjoyed watching Emit Smith scramble his way to a touchdown. To desecrate a famous expression - You have the best of things, and the worst of things. Isn't it Woody Allen in Annie Hall who showed the world the vast differences between New-York and California? How wide is the gulf between little people porn and Christian Evangelists (OK, not that wide, but you get the idea).

What must a man do in my position? I face Diamondf on a forum standoff, and you wish that I don't pull out my card of stereotypes? That I hold it tight in my pocket? Isn't it Zappa who titled a song - What Happened to all the Fun in the World? If it consoles you, know that I consider him an American caricature directly pulled out of Mad Magazine, and no where near the average American, Diamondf not Zappa of course. Once more, please don't take my banter at heart. It's only fun and games. We are all citizens of the world, no more, no less.

En passant, borders are of no interest to me. It is the Americans on these boards who always seem fascinated by the simple labels we can appose on others. Look, he is a Canadian! Look, he is a Jew! Look, there goes a colored folk! I did not grow up with such thinking, and I am still struggling to comprehend it. We do not have ghettos in Montréal. People of various nationalities live side by side. Again, Please forgive me if I have offended you. It was not my intent.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

Brilliant! I'm jotting down names of Americans you have mentioned that I am not familiar with and looking forward to potential inspiration. Yes, let's erase these borders -- too much constricted, narrow-minded thought going on within these borders.... others as well, not just here. Our sleepiness has inflicted dire ramifications on a global scale, given that our government, corporate and military appendages have coalesced to become among the most threatening entities the human race has ever known. We're going to need help from outside these borders.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Oh, PLEASE follow-up on Feynman. He is an American original and a great mind. The biography "Genius" is particularly good. There's a vignette with him in the woods and his father points at a bird and asks him what he knows about the bird. Richard replies with the bird's name, and his father responds, then you know nothing. The text then goes on to discuss how we assign labels to things and file them away as "knowledge" which creates a sense of comfort, but means nothing. All of Feynman's writings are good, but I particularly enjoyed "Genius." See http://www.amazon.com/Genius-Life-Science-Richard-Feynman/dp/0679747044

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I wish you luck with Occupy. Unfortunately, I live in Indonesia at the moment, so I cannot take an active part in the protests. My consolation is participating on these boards where I mix my speech from serious arguments to outlandish and crass trolling. I'm planning a trip back to Montréal in about half a year. I hope you can persist until then. Keep warm during the winter, and don't lose focus.

[-] 1 points by nichole (525) 2 years ago

You operate exactly as I had been on the Fox News discussion boards. Respectfully so? :) Thank you for the encouragement.

[-] 0 points by Diamondf (43) 2 years ago

You can't spell. What does that say about you? Never advise us americans on anything. We advise you! Understood? Who cares. Canada is our bitch. And Mexico's bitch. Texas would kick your ass.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You certainly didn't waste your money on an English degree !

Signed, your American friend (yes, I am a proper noun).

[Removed]

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

I spell better than you and English is my second language. In any case, I think you've proven to everyone on the boards that you are indeed a nitwit.

[Removed]

[-] 2 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

http://graphs.posterous.com/cost-of-a-college-education-over-time

Why did the cost of education grow faster than inflation? It is easy to blame the students for going to college, when people in the past had college at affordable costs.

I know we are going to differ here. I think education is a right, that everyone in any self-respecting society should be able to get an education and not be saddled with debt when they graduate.

[-] -1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wouldn't that be all the more reason why students should be picking professions with a high probability of employment and good pay ? It's called Return On Investment or "ROI." Why are so few considering ROI when selecting majors, ESPECIALLY given the size of the investment they're making ?

[-] 1 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

You do not pick a major because the job prospects are good. 4 years is a long time, what happens if your ROI goes to zero, the jobs swell up. Think of all the financial business majors out there that thought they would be able to get a job of BofA, that recently layed off 30,000 workers...

There are numerous stories of high paid majors having to work at best buy, a restuaruant, or as taxi drivers because there is no one now hiring in their field when they were before the crisis.

It is best to pick something you are interested in, it is what you will be doing for most of your life. Also, some peoples brains are wired differently, some people are good for engineering, and others the arts and sciences... it would be an atrocious waste of human capital to not put people in fields where they can excel (I assume if you are good at something you are interested in it), than to force an naturally talented english major into the math department.

http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/health/Bad-at-Math-Blame-It-on-Your-Parents.html

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

What I told my three successful kids is that wages are defined by the scarcity of your skills versus the demand for those skills. The scarcity, it in one sense, defined by the difficulty, especially these days. The demand is based on your value which is in turn based on your ability to generate profits for your employer.

Your BofA example is a bit distorted given they were forced to buy Merrill by the US government during the melt-down, and we then passed laws limiting proprietary trading and the fees they could make. The problems at BofA are not "natural," they're the result of government intervention. This is the truth... I'm not advocating for our against anything.

Nevertheless, I get your point about not pushing people into the wrong field. At the same time, however, when people choose to pursue a life providing goods or services people don't actually need, aren't they gambling with their survival a bit?

I am old and more than a little biased by the fact that my immigrant depression-era grandparents influenced my views a lot. They taught me that what you want has to come second to what you need. It probably due to their influence that I struggle with the idea of people following their wants then complaining about the outcomes and asking the rest of society to step in and help them.

[-] 1 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

I am glad to see someone with your history on this site, it gives us youngsters a little more perspective.

As per BofA, I see the need to pick a different example. Lets assume there was no government intervention to save AIG or the banks, many of the firms on wall street would have collapsed... this would undoubtedly of had an effect on the employment numbers of finance majors.

I agree that people are rolling the dice when they pick a major in less demand. That doing so exposes them to risk. However, in the context of the current economy and the looming EU crisis, the viability of one major or another in terms of financial security appears from my perspective to be negligible. The current unemployment rate for college graduates is around 4 to 5%, I can assure you more than 4 to 5% of graduates are in the arts rather than STEM majors. Most people who cannot find a job in their field, can still find a job that would rather have a college graduate over someone else.

I think what the protesters are angry about when it comes to education is that fact that it is growing at an exponential rate (http://graphs.posterous.com/cost-of-a-college-education-over-time)... with a graph like this, at some point it will only be affordable for rich people to go to school, and poor to middle class people to go into debt slavery or no school at all. Having no higher education now a days is not a good idea.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My youngest did quite well by attending community colleges and only transferring over to the University for the final bit. Is that not a viable alternative ?

Nevertheless, I agree colleges have gotten ridiculous. I wrote my Governor begging him to cut the University of California budget and give it to the California State system. The cost at a UC is double that of a Cal State, primarily because the UCs spend most of their time doing things other than teaching students. They run huge research facilities using unpaid grad-student labor solving problems thrown their way by DARPA, DOE, etc. If they want to be a business, then they should need less money, not more. Meanwhile, the Cal State schools are teaching more students for half the cost. The community colleges do even better.

[-] 1 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

That is actually a great option. I wish I had done that. Circumstance and my own ignorance coming out of High School lead me into the local state college rather than the local CC for the first two years.

Some colleges offer each student a job at admission, that will pay for their tuition and other costs. That is another option, kind of like a work-study program but everyone is in it.

[-] 2 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

i'm a fine arts major and i chose it because i feel like i should study what i am most passionate and interested in and not choose a career that i will be miserable in. i realize i won't make a lot of money working for a design firm, somewhere in the range of 40-60K a year as opposed to my brothers with law degrees who make 100K+ or my dad in insurance who makes a seven-figure salary. i don't have student debt, have been successful in getting a variety of jobs in the past. still, i am marching against corporate greed because regardless weather i make a lot of money or not, the systems fucked up (at least in my opinion).

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's fair. You made a decision and you're not now out there complaining about the consequences... you're complaining about OTHER stuff (me too).

[-] 2 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

right. and when i read your previous post i thought you were just being very sarcastic and were anti-OWS. i think if people in this movement focus there attention on being a bit more specific (i mean, not like so specific but even being more like "I'm against this or _", because its such a detailed debate and can be complicated) as opposed to just "Im opposed to everything America stands for!" (or something along those lines, because its just wayyy too general and doesn't get taken seriously). what are some of the stuff you are complaining about that has caused you to support OWS?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

An NYU journalism student asked me that very question over the weekend (for an unpublished news story ?), so I gave her a pretty complete response at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-297372

[-] 1 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

ah i read all of it, definitely a clear, concise, and unbiased opinion. informative! thanks

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Fetacheeseplease, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Thanks... folks rarely call me "concise." ;o)

By the way, I discuss how We The People can change things at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

Doing what you love is the most important. 40-60k is very respectable in my opinion.

[-] 2 points by fetacheeseplease (42) 2 years ago

one of the inherent problems in our country is that college is wayyyy too expensive and so if you don't have parents who have enough money to help you go to school you're pretty much screwed. and if you do end up taking out students loans in order to pay for college, you'll likely end up spending the rest of your life trying to pay off these loans. so if you don't go to college you end up getting a shitty job and/or may not get a job at all since you don't have a degree and then there's people looking down on you and saying "quit being lazy and get a job!" when in reality, its like, hey i'm not lazy but this is the reality of growing up poor in america. i can't stand all the rich and entitled people who say that because they live in a bubble that doesn't "deal" with people in poverty.

[-] 1 points by HarryPairatestes1 (23) 2 years ago

Poor kids have the best options in getting into college without loans. Middle class is where you get screwed. Look at Yale. Parents make less then $60k a year, you get tuition free through Yale's endowment fund. Not a loan but a grant.

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

Good point. It is the middle class that have a difficult time. My brother has college basically covered, as my parents are poor. Fetacheese, I'm sure you've looked into ways to reduce tuition, but staying instate and living at home if possible is a great way. It's too late for you since you're already in college, but in the last two states we lived in, high school kids could graduate with an associates degree for free (all they had to pay for was the books at the community college). Unfortunately, both my kids weren't motivated enough to take advantage of that.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

What I find unusual is that your claim on seeking the fields that have the lowest unemployment is that they include educational administration, school counseling, Teaching.. These are the exact fields that are under attack right now. When I was a teenager, everyone said a degree in Comp Sci will be the field that's in demand. I only minored in it, but they still grossly miscalculated that one. Then like 5 years ago they went on and on about how nurses will be making more than everyone. Now I meet nurses all the time that have been laid off.

This conservative notion that people just aren't picking the "right" majors is nonsense because it only applies in a bubble where time doesn't exist. Just like all conservative ideas on how markets work. It depends solely on time freezing and all factors remaining the same while participants calculate the choices that will produce the optimum outcome.

Another thing to look at is that many people can't do all these things. I would likely make an awful Educational administrator. Perhaps I would make a great actuary. But my propensity for numbers and statistics is rare. I've met many mathematically inclined people that failed statistics once or twice before they barely passed and they never want to deal with it again.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I didn't "claim" anything, I just posted an article I read and postulated some questions.

Per the source, they said the data came from the 2010 census which, as I recall, was done in early 2010. That would probably explain why their results don't show the impact of all the lay-offs at the state and local level as they struggle to get their budgets under control (unfortunately, states like my own California can't print money like the Feds ;o). I know the nursing problem pretty well because my wife used to run programs recruiting them. In that field, the average age is pushing 50 now because the downturn caused a lot to defer retirement. I suspect the same thing is happening in other fields as the "Boomers" have finally figured out they need to save for retirement and can't count on their house for their retirement fund.

I agree that some are not suited for some of these fields, but I think a lot of that is due to education system. I think the lack of interest in math and science is partially because we're so awful at how we teach it. I'll be retiring next year, and I'm considering (not fully sure yet) chasing an old dream of teaching high school physics. I think I can get kids excited about it and show them how to "see" the math.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

"I think the lack of interest in math and science is partially because we're so awful at how we teach it. "

I don't think I could agree with this more. I tutored kids in math before and it seems the professors that majored in math are the worst suited people to teach it. By the time they were done finishing the problem on the board, everyone was so lost they didn't know what to ask them. When I tutored the same people, my method was to represent the problems on pieces of paper for them, and if they didn't understand it, I'd scrap that paper and start all over until I had nothing but the most helpful pieces of paper. The first student would take an hour to teach. The second would take a half hour. By the time I got to the fifth student, they would learn everything they needed to know about Hypothesis Testing in 10 minutes flat. Compare that to the six hours the professor had to teach them and failed.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Precisely ! The way we teach is also too procedural and not visual enough. I have made a hobby of studying breakthroughs of physics, and it's remarkable how often the vision precedes the math. If we can get children to love the vision, they'll learn the language.

[-] 1 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

No, most people end up in careers unrelated to what the piece of paper states. A lot of employers do not care what your major was just that you got a degree. Now I am not talking about all fields like a doctor or accountant. The purpose of an education is to broaden your mind and teach you how to learn. Trade schools are for trades.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I understand, but a dark and terrible change is afoot. Have you read "Player Piano" by Vonnegut ? Written in 1952, it's coming true today.

[-] 1 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

That is quite a prophetic novel. I'll be adding that to my list.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See my post just below in response to karenpoore

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

No, I have not read it. I know change is coming that may not be liked by most, but I did not realize it to be dark and terrible. I will look the book up. Care to give a quick summary?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You can get a summary here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Player_Piano , I'll simply point out what is plain for all to see once we open our eyes....

In my workplace, we used to have a secretary for every 10 people or so. They edited memos, typed, filed, and so forth. Now we have one for every 100 because everyone uses Microsoft Word. We used to have a department called "publications" that made our transparencies, now we use Power Point. We used to have a department of drafters who did drawings, now we use Computer Aided Design (CAD). Many of the lower level design jobs have been absorbed into the "helpers" of our design tools.

We can never reach a human anymore when we call somewhere, it's always a computer. Robots are building our products. Go to the ticket counter at the airport and notice there's now only 1 human, but 20 auto-mated check-out stands. The guy who used to collect my parking fees at the downtown parking lots is gone, replaced by computers. The local theater wants me to buy my tickets from an computer. Banks use ATMs and employ many fewer tellers. At my grocery store, people now self-check on computers and the manned lanes are empty. These are all jobs lost, and it's getting worse.

IBM's Jeopardy winning Watson software, able to understand and answer difficult human-language questions, wasn't created to win Jeopardy, it's being marketed as a replacement for technical support applications. Foxconn, China's largest manufacturer, which makes all Apple products and those of many others announced it is planning to automate. Thus, even the people in India who took our technical support jobs and those in China who took our manufacturing jobs are soon to be replaced.

The demand for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) majors is being driven by the need for more and more advanced technologies to aid in replacing more and more workers. We're creeping up the chain and doing more and more sophisticated tasks with our machines. Engineers like myself are becoming the "elite" upper-middle class, and everyone else is out of luck.

Perhaps all these displaced people will work in service industries supporting the engineers out for a dinner, but that too is likely to change. Some restaurants are already using computers on the table to allow direct ordering and payment, so the waiter/waitress jobs are at risk. MacDonald's has demonstrated a fully automated facility, and people love it because it's fast, polite, reliable, and fun to watch. That technology will soon proliferate down into other restaurants. Even what service jobs remain will pay poorly as these are comparatively low skilled positions filled with commodity labor traded based on lowest cost alone in the labor markets.

Just above the elite top class are the Capitalists. Armed with a slave workforce that doesn't get sick and works for food (electricity) alone, they reap unprecedented profits, and they really don't need anyone else but their engineers to continue their growth. Note that productivity and wages started diverging just as computers and robotics came on the scene, and the gap continues to widen. That gap is filled by the computerized slaves we engineers continue to make and the public continues to use with pleasure thanks to the convenience.

We are in the midst of a socio-economic paradigm shift with huge ramifications for civilization. We can slow it down by refusing to do business with computers wherever possible, but the change will continue. Perhaps we can make it to a Utopia where the "products" people sell to earn dollars are simply art and ideas, but many are no more capable of art than they are of engineering. We can "tax" the slave workers and simply put more and more people on welfare, but we've seen time and time again that this is not particularly good for the human spirit.

It's hard to see where this will all end, but we better start thinking about it so we can plan the transition lest we wake up to violent revolution outside our doors one morning.

[-] 1 points by invient (360) 2 years ago

Yes, I hope you also realize that at the rate computers are growing, I am confident by 2020 lawyers, and engineers may become obsolete. I've read about algorithms developed at UC Berkley that from a set of data, derive natural laws (i.e. they were given a set of data, and derived newtons equations of motion, as well as the heat equation)... when computers start writing their own code, I'll be out of a job as well.

I am currently doing my senior project, and the company I am working with is developing robots for shipping companies (basically a motorized visually self-controlled palate fork)... so in a way I am replacing someones job... kinda makes me feel like an asshole.

The point is, no ones job is safe, computers will march on... some futurists think that we will have to all become cyborgs to stay in competition with robots. There are plenty of researchers working on the brain computer interface... I read on science daily that they are designing chips based off of dna, so who knows how far away the Borg is.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Invient, will you help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep, and the current CMOS roadmap is supposedly good dowm to 11 nm, and ARM just taped out a 20 nm processor http://www.anandtech.com/show/4976/arm-cadence-tape-out-20nm-cortex-a15-test-chip . We may slow down a bit 'cause we may change processes altogether (graphine, q-bit, etc), but then we'll have another 20 years.

The Watson code that I mentioned IBM is marketing for Technical Support is also being marketed as a medical diagnostic ( Dr. House in a box), and several companies are already making surgical robots. At present, the robots only facilitate a human surgeon, but some universities have already shown integration of these robots with real-time MRI to do fully automated surgeries.

As you are well away, software is reaching up higher and higher into the design chain, so many more engineering jobs will ultimately be consumed. Marketing research is already gone, replaced by clicks on web adverts. Your robotic fork-lifts will help Amazon.com eliminate even more people, so there goes all the sales staff, stock clerks, checkout clerks, etc at all the brick-and-mortar stores. Our cars will soon be 100% electric, and that will get rid of all the service stations. This just goes on and on, and I haven't even broached into science fiction yet.

As I noted below, this would all be fine if we thought the "masses" would sit at home peaceably painting, singing, writing, studying, etc, but we unfortunately have a lot of evidence that many will become drug addicts and so forth.

Scary stuff. It could turn out OK, but right now it's scary !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

God, I realize all this and more ... for years now. I already looked up "Piano Player" at three this morning. I posted it on the forum board too. This is probably one of the few reasons (ha, not many) why I am glad to be age 64 and hope not to be around for much longer. No that is not negative but reality. Either that or I really have to shut everything out that is going on to keep my sanity and maybe enjoy moments of life that are left. I am trying to do this but it is hard to ignore ...

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I share your thoughts... I'm an engineer which helps me survive, and I'm 55, so I might get by ;o) My kids will do fine as well insofar as their own jobs are concerned, but may suffer from the social consequences, so I do worry for them.

I'm generally an optimist, and there IS a chance we can turn this all for the better. Perhaps we'll see a shift twoard a fondness for arts, music, crafts, philosophy and the like, but our experience thus far has shown that only a very small number of people left idle actually grow themselves. I hope we can learn, because we either do that, or we start dismantling the slave workforce ASAP.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Please explain this statement: we start dismantling the slave workforce ASAP

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

The first step is easy. See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/

The second step is harder. We need to start taxing slave labor as though it were real labor so it does not enjoy such a huge advantage in the labor market. Doing so will decrease the competitiveness of the country that is first in applying such taxes. Thus, we need a world-wide and coordinated agreement regarding taxation of slave labor. We are not very good a this level of coordination, and some large economies based on robotics like Germany and Japan will likely fight to the end. Note we ALSO need more global cooperation to reign in the big multi-nationals that dodge the rules of each country by living between the lines so to speak.

If we can tax slave labor before it takes over, we can prevent it from ever doing so. The longer we put it off, the harder it will be. Now is the time to start the international discussion.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Now is the time to start ...! Long past due I think. I will go and read your link and then I need to get away from reality for a few days and enjoy nature, my dog and the birds! I have been saturated with this website and others like theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/this-is-only-just-the-beginning Mentally, I keep shifting between what use to be and what is now ... We are trying to prepare for what is down the road the best we can. I really enjoy reading your posts sir ...

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Thanks ! The dialog has been fun ! As for me, my Capitalist Masters are demanding much of me... they want the last drops of blood from this old turnip ;o)

[-] 0 points by nikka (228) 2 years ago

Game. Set. Match.

[-] 1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 2 years ago

Because they can't define the difference between "education" and "college degree". They pay heavily for the one without a guarantee of the other.

[-] 1 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

School is a business for profit!

[-] 1 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

No it ain't.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree... well said.

Should the Government be subsidizing student loans for any field EXCEPT for the ones where the Nation has a need and the student can be employed ?

[-] 0 points by nikka (228) 2 years ago

Well said.

[-] 1 points by HitGirl (2263) 2 years ago

I'd like to think students major in fields that they're interested in. And if you're being purely practical, a student does have to take stock of his/her capabilities. Many students aren't intellectually qualified for the harder majors and qualified students may not be interested. Some students simply aren't provided the opportunity.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wow. I was really HOPING someone would provide an explanation that would NOT mean our students are stupid. Now YOU come along and suggest it's because they're INCAPABLE. That's WORSE !

Do you REALLY think our students are INCAPABLE of working in this more advanced fields ? If that's the case, then what's the outlook for this whole idea that our workers need to be moving upward in skills if they are to survive.

I'm tempted to down-vote you just because you've depressed me, but I won't because it WAS a good response... I just don't like it :o(

[-] 1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 2 years ago

Relax. It's not about "stupid" at all. I suck at the English Arts, horribly. I love to read, but any sort of creative writing makes me look like a five year old. Hence, I took an engineering major and not English. I'm simply incapable of it and it amazes me every time a read a good book HOW the author managed to accomplish it.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

As a fellow engineer, I sympathize ;o)

[-] 1 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

YOUR capitalized words are extremely ANNOYING. Firstly, because I can read. Secondly, because you assume I can't. Thirdly, because it's ugly. Fourthly, because IT'S distracting. Fiftly, because it's arrogant. Sixtly, because it's CHILDISH. Sevently, because it's a cry for attention. Eighly, because it's silly.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sigh. You don't know why I use caps, and your guesses as to why are all wrong.

Do you know how when we speak we emphasize certain words ? That's all I'm doing. If I could figure out how to italicize or bold in the middle of a sentence, I would.

I won't comment on the significance of the opinions we hold in the lack of any objective evidence.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

You should create emphasis by using proper vocabulary. If annoying does not carry enough weight, you can use exasperating or maddening. Sprinkling text with uppercases, bolds, italics, etc... is a very bad habit only used by very bad writers. Don't do it.

The dictionary is your best friend.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

laughing exuberantly aloud.

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

That's much better. I'm curious, have you ever turned in a paper in university with uppercases, bolds, italics, colored words, etc...?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I don't recall using anything but italics in school. It is normal practice, however, to use bold and bold italics in my profession (which requires a good bit of writing).

[-] 0 points by Thrasymaque (-2138) 2 years ago

You are a cartoonist?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Some likely believe that to be the case, but that is not my intent !

[-] 1 points by nikka (228) 2 years ago

People seem to equate education with obtaining a degree. One can educate oneself all you want without having to go into major debt to do it, with little hope of finding a job in that field of interest that would support oneself AND pay back the loan.

Get a degree in an employable field. With a steady job and income, you can pursue your interests and passions as a hobby and on your own dime.

Many great thinkers, authors, artists, philosophers and inventors never got a formal degree in their field. They studied and flourished despite being non-degreed.

A diploma does not define you. Get a job, then pursue your muse.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

EXACTLY ! And an extra point for you !

I dropped out of high school, have no college degree, yet managed to make it to the top of Engineering ranks in a Fortune 500 technical firm. I even have pretty sophisticated and broadly applicable patent moving through the system right now.

I'm nearing retirement and looking VERY much forward to pursuing some of the interests I've always had but knew I couldn't make a living doing.

[-] 1 points by odiug (93) 2 years ago

But in our new economy this carrier path get more and more unlikely.

Back in the days a factory floor worker could work his way up within the company he was working for ... but now ... no ... hire and fire put an end to this.

Most people with out a collage degree do not stay long enough at a job to even think about working their way up.

But hey ... good for you ... my mother did it the same way in Germany.

Made it to middle management with out any higher education.

But today this is impossible to achieve.

Today factory floor workers are disposable.

[-] 1 points by daverao (124) 2 years ago

We as Americans do not want to study hard. We do not want take science and technology, then we have to study and work hard. We goof around for four years and then blame we cannot get job. Foreign engineers, IT major and scientists come to US and still get jobs.

Look at the latest figures form Labor dept, People with Phd has very low unemployment numbers.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. The American Dream may be fading, but that's only because the American Character started fading first !

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

Great thread! I think it could be true. I have a brother who has decided to major in a degree, sociology, because it interests him. I have warned him and my parents that he will have a hard time getting a job and might not get paid enough to support himself, but he isn't interested in pursuing something harder or something that doesn't interest. My Dad has a PHD in sociology, and guess what, he hasn't had steady work in 20 years. Yet, he's tickled pink that his son is following in his footsteps. Sadly, my daughter, is also in college and has changed her major because it's too hard. We've had many discussions on what degrees will be marketable, but she is content to just get by on whatever she gets paid. I'd love to hear more on this.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I actually have some nieces and nephews that STARTED in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields then switched specifically because they said all their friends were partying while they were studying and they were "missing out" on the "college experience."

My son stayed the STEM course and graduated 3 years ago. He decided to change jobs 2 months ago. He got over 10 offers and chose the one who offered $90,000, paid for his relocation, and had a program to pay for his masters ! He may not have had much fun for his 4 years in school, but he's set for life.

[-] 1 points by NortonSound (176) 2 years ago

No, it's that our society has had the value of social service brainwashed out of us, think it's easy working with addiction, hospice, and psychological problems? Every subject is Hard to learn, especially the subject of controlling one's ego and giving value to another's profession, maybe some of us could benefit from a few social skills. Look at the billions spent on advertising, books, magazines, consultants, there are plenty of high paying jobs for those with a sociology degree, in fact most of us do not follow our exact careeer path upon graduation, your view is quite narrow, how about we get fox news to devalue your career path, now that you are vested int it. Pointing fingers is not the way to solve problems, it's just taking the spotlight off of ourselves and passing the buck.

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

I'm really not trying to point fingers, but I think people need to take responsibility for what the choices they make. I think that the harder majors deserve better pay. Those who attend graduate school also deserve better pay. It's not that sociology, art, psychology, etc aren't important, because they are. I decided to major in what interests me, psychology, and became a social worker. My university was honest with me and told me that my salary and opportunities would be very limited if I stopped at a BS in psychology, and I still chose to. I was lucky enough to have a husband who can actually pay the bills, but if not, I would really regret my major, because the salary is just enough to support one person in an apartment. I worked my butt off and graduated with honors, but I won't lie and say that nursing, pre-med, engineering, computer science, etc, are comparable - they're a lot more difficult.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

How about people take responsibility for the choices they make while shopping?

Pk7, please help me get OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 1 points by pk7 (64) 2 years ago

I think that's a reasonable goal for all of us - start supporting small, local businesses when possible and buy American-made when possible. And, avoiding computerized checkouts will be my pleasure!

[-] 1 points by NortonSound (176) 2 years ago

I appreciate your remarks. I was told that my major would never support me by my college counselors, many years ago, and I have only thrived with my social skills and make more than most doctors. That's because with my liberal educatiion came speech and writing courses that taught me to negotiate without alienating, and my paycheck is just a fraction of the millions I make my bosses. I have become to believe that all jobs are valuable, and if you are working for a cheapskate, then don't be hesitant seeking one who is more generous, they are out there, but it takes work. Also, taking responsibility for our actions sounds responsible, but often times our choices are not our own, our choices limited, and our judgements tainted by bullies, abusers and luck. Capitalism is not designed to punish it is designed to reward, but it's more fun to punish and so the weak minded always go there. Remember, you never need a lifeguard until you're drowning, and if you are held responsible for your own actions and decisions, then the sharks win.

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

It's true, both of my best friends kids went to school and got degrees in political science. After college they could find NO jobs. Or no jobs that would pay any money. I know another guy that got his degree in kiln and clay work. He is a plummer.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Maybe we shouldn't be providing Federally Backed loans EXCEPT for the jobs the Nation seems to have/need ?

By the way, your plumber friend won't do too badly either. The "crafts" as we used to call them are actually pretty good jobs except when these bubbles come along and crash the housing market. I'm considering a second career in auto-repair... you should SEE what good auto mechanics make! These "crafts" jobs are ALSO very hard to "outsource."

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

I'm a car nut and I know how well an auto mechanic can do. Great idea. Even the guys who work at Ford shops can earn a good wage. They will also send you to all the great schools like A/C and smog and all the new cars. I would go to Ford. They seem to be on the up and up. They also did not take bailout money. My plumber friend is making a good wage. Always in demand. He works hard but has a good business. Go to Ford! I have a friend whose kid did it and now he earns $45,000 a year.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I was thinking more along the lines of BMW... they train in Germany ! After all, I've managed to keep and Rx-7 on the road, how hard can a BMW be ? ;o)

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

Yup, BMW, great cars. My favorite the M3. Love the 3 series. Can't go wrong working on them. Huge following in the US.. Good luck.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Thanks ! I'm still trying to decide between the auto-mechanic, high school physics teacher, writer, and inventor options in retirement ;o)

My immigrant depression-era grand parents once said "We all start as slaves but with self education, hard work, savings, and investment, we can buy our freedom." I'm 55, just about free, and giddy at all the opportunities !

[-] 1 points by audiman (90) 2 years ago

never too late to start over. Harland Sanders started KFC when he was 65!!! Good luck

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

the better question is why is anyone loaning them money to go to school? oh yeah, because the government 100% guarantees the loans. gee, maybe that's a major part of the problem that education has inflated so much.

[-] 2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree. Based on the comments I'm seeing thus far, I'm inclined to say the Government should only be subsidizing student loans for fields we KNOW the Nation needs.

[-] 1 points by sickmint79 (516) from Grayslake, IL 2 years ago

if they stopped guaranteeing the debt, or only did a certain %, or after 15 years, then we would see crazy lending and the price of education plummet.

i'd also only give grants to those majors that we need ie. engineering, not music or art.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. I agree 100%

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

Very interesting data, thank you.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Fascinating isn't it? I'm waiting for some students to weigh in to explain it... I'm HOPING my conclusion is wrong!

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[-] 0 points by ColbertLovesDanSavage (16) 2 years ago

Communications is where it's at!

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

What should we do with kids who study STEM and Business and then go to Wall Street and learn gobs of money? Should that be made illegal?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I'm not talking about making any field of study illegal. I asked a slightly provocotive question (so people would respond) intended to help me understand how people are choosing majors these days. The responses have been informative, and they help me refine, using a wide range of perspectives than my own, a own position regarding the "we have student debt but can't find a job" sub-topic in the OWS movement.

The core issue I am exploring is not whether some majors are "better" than others because that's clearly subjective. The position I'm working to refine with input from others regards the use of taxpayer funds to forgive student debt, subsidize education, etc. The impact on me as a taxpayer is the only "skin" I have in the game. Insofar as nobody requests taxpayer support, they can major in whatever they like as far as I'm concerned; "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose."

[-] 0 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

I disagree. You live in a society and pay the dues to society. Funding students to broaden their mind is one such due.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right. I knew I could count on you Vlad.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

An extremely poor educational system that denies children the right to prepare themselves... coupled with very poor guidance.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Both good points. It would seem to me that maybe our kids just don't know what they want to do or what some fields are really like at such a young age. Maybe more internships while in high school and some better counseling would help prepare them.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

See... I totally disagree with this. The formula is simple - those who show aptitude at a young age go to academia; those who do not go to vocational schools. The adolescent years are extremely boring for all... we trip through classes while our heads are filled with mindless shit and meaningless banter almost all of which will be immediately forgotten. It's a waste of educational dollars and a waste of the students time, and no child is foolish; he knows its a scam and that he must pay the price. What we need to do is start placing them on career paths at a much younger age - 14 or 15. Let them pursue their interests and far more will have an interest. Throw out the state and federal curriculum.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Hmmm.... I seem to recall hearing that some of the Europeans do that. Was it the Germans ? I'm not sure. I see the merits in what you're saying, but part of me worries a bit about making such major decisions when people are so young. I don't think many would have recognized the man I was at age 19 if they only knew me at age 14 !

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

Well, again I totally disagree. Our society treats adolescents as if they were children and they're not - they're young adults. And by that age they should be on a path... they can always opt for another course later and at least their minds would be occupied with something they are actually interested in.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

But it's scientifically proven fact that their brain development is nowhere near complete. Isn't it a bit unfair to put people into boxes before their brain is even developed ?

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

The scientific fact is that the brain doesn't not fully mature until the child is well into his or her thirties. Allow them to mature, stop treating them like children; it's juvenile.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Given you acknowledge the brain development science, how can you be so comfortable boxing kids into a career at 14 ?

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

You need to update yourself a little... that particular theory is not being refuted.

[-] 0 points by agnosticnixie (17) from Laval, QC 2 years ago

Funny story: unless you're studying business or some other qualitatively useless shit, or maybe, just maybe, oil-related science, your degree is "financially" useless.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

What ? Go back and sort by unemployment so the the ones with the least unemployment are on the top then start reading down the list. You'll see a bunch that have a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) focus. There is a nationwide shortage in these fields, and that;s why their employment prospects are so good. See, for example....

Boeing: http://www.boeing.com/news/speeches/2010/stephens_100204.html

HP: http://www8.hp.com/us/en/hp-information/social-innovation/catalyst.html

IBM: http://www.watson.ibm.com/leo/intro.html

Lockheed Martin: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/news/speeches/022811-stevens-eweek-forum.html

Northrop Grumman : http://www.northropgrumman.com/corporate-responsibility/corporate-citizenship/education-outreach.html

Obama: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/27/president-obama-announces-goal-recruiting-10000-stem-teachers-over-next-

Raytheon: http://www.raytheon.com/responsibility/community/mmu/index.html

[-] 0 points by agnosticnixie (17) from Laval, QC 2 years ago

Actually the science shortage is only for applied science, the Engineering and Tech shortage is by and large over or for some very specialized sectors. Math, honestly I have no clue why they're specifically targetting pure maths, by this argument they should push for more philosophy grads, because logicians often make as good if not better programmers than mathematicians. Note how all these give little to no numbers and mostly talk about generational changes, which have yet to materialize in actual statistics.

Yeah it's political bullshit.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I happen to be in a position to try and hire technical folks. I can't get enough. My son graduated with a STEM degree 3 years ago and decided to change jobs about a month back. He got a boatload of offers and took one that was very attractive.

[-] 0 points by MikeyD (581) from Alameda, CA 2 years ago

Power law curve? Natural selection?

The truth is, there is no equality. We are not even "equal" to our own family members that share our DNA. Some are smarter, some dumber. Some taller, some shorter, some stronger, some weaker, etc etc etc etc.

The government sets up subsidies for education and people create classes in "Chicano studies" or "Rastafarian culture" and a certain percentage of the population hop right on board.

Its like a commercial for some worthless piece of shit exercise equipment that will somehow magically make you thinner with almost no effort. Sure it defies the laws of physics, but it sounds great!

I'm convinced, by the way, that liberals consistently fall into the bottom end of the power law curve for their idealism. Idealism and altruism run in direct conflict to reality in most situations. They are convinced they are going to come out ahead in Vegas. They believe you when you say you won't cum in their mouths. They think if the government has more power to redistribute wealth, everything will be better.

Its a sad state of affairs.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Well, I happen to like some liberals. I even like President Obama ! We happen to disagree about the role government, and I certainly don't want his hand on the purse-strings, but I like and respect him.

I raised my kids telling them, "If you want to be a liberal, you really only need one bumper sticker: 'Bad Things Suck!' " Liberals see bad things, wish they weren't so, and think they can click their ruby red heels to make them go away. Conservatives tend to be more realistic about how people actually work. War is the perfect example.

I don't know of any conservative who wants war. However, as long as there are bullies on the playground, somebody is going to need to stand up to them. Sure, the bully may have grown up in a bad home or maybe he has a mental disorder, but that doesn't change the fact that someone needs to stand up to him. You can't wish him away.

[-] 1 points by TLydon007 (1278) 2 years ago

"I raised my kids telling them, "If you want to be a liberal, you really only need one bumper sticker: 'Bad Things Suck!' " Liberals see bad things, wish they weren't so, and think they can click their ruby red heels to make them go away."

I only wish actual liberal ideas could fit on bumper stickers. This potential bumper sticker applies for both sides. If punchy slogans and bumper stickers could justify the views of the Center-Left in America, we probably would be doing much better.

If I could only reduce our economic problems to imaginary welfare queens and how the divinity of unregulated markets could set us free, It'd be so much easier than explaining Glass-Steagall and Citizens United to people.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Touche ! I suppose liberals could say the same about most conservatives.

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[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Why some of my best friends are liberals ;o)

[-] 0 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

rico youre a pussy for not writing back.

you know that right? could it be because there's no fuckin way you could ever outsmart me in writing? and you know what the awesome part is?

if we were to meet in person you'd have to be nice because it would be fuckin obvious that i could kick your ass.

so basically, all you can do is ignore me when i call you a pussy in front of this whole lame forum. its the only way out. that or suicide.

choose wisely.

[-] 1 points by buik (380) from Towson, MD 2 years ago

well played

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[-] 0 points by Redmist (212) from Yazd, Yazd 2 years ago

You will see a lot more practical majors now, no more "English majors" or "philosophers"

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Is that a good thing?

There is room in the world for philosophers and the study of philosophy.

Classical education is being scoffed at in today's world, yet also hear people lamenting the "dumbing down" of our culture.

When the only education available is vocational education, we'll be even dumber.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree. Based on many of the comments here, some folks are making bad choices just do to poor parenting and others are doing so because they really want to follow their dreams rather than an assured job. I guess in the end I don't really care except where taxpayer dollars come into play (or people start marching in the streets complaining they had debt and can't get a job).

I'm starting to conclude the government should probably only subsidize loans for majors that we know the Nation needs. That should cut back on the "hobbyists" and also help offset any lack of parental guidance.

[-] 1 points by Redmist (212) from Yazd, Yazd 2 years ago

Hell yeah what the fuck has happened to the parents in this country.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Remember, they were the '60's hippies... what do you THINK they're doing ? Unlike my parents, it seems many parents are now their kids' best friends. Heck, my parent was most assuredly NOT my friend until I became a "productive member of society" !

[-] 0 points by Redmist (212) from Yazd, Yazd 2 years ago

Same here! My old man beat the shit outta me when I fucked up or did something stupid. Lesson learned- dont fuck up and do my damn chores.

[-] 0 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

Here's a reason, genius: because students see the point of a college education as more than vocational school.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Well, the only thing your fellow citizens who subsidize your student loans care about is your vocation. We aren't terribly interested in funding your efforts to "find yourself," and don't appreciate it it when you can't find a job, go out in the streets, declare life is "unfair," and expect others to fix the problem "they" created. Capice, genius?

[-] 0 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

Thanks for calling me a genius, but flattery will get you nowhere.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

People, the bottom line is that there are not enough jobs in America for everyone!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Karen, help me fix that. We need OWS to DO something right NOW that can help change the face of American business and labor ? See http://occupywallst.org/forum/ows-please-support-the-american-worker/

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Hey, hope you are doing well. I will go to link provided.

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I disagree. Monster.com is still in business, the medical field is desperate for people, we're having to import engineers, etc. The problem is that we have too many people who lack advanced skills, and because they lack those skills, they are either working as commodities in the service industry or risk their jobs being outsourced. Apple, IBM, HP, Dell, etc ale design their products in the US, but they manufacture overseas, for example.

Now before you get mad at me about this outsourcing thing, note that I do NOT like it and I think that We the People already have it within our power to stop it. See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/the-power-of-the-people/

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

I would also say that our public schools are weak in math education and especially in science education.

Kids are not receiving the preparation nor the inspiration to want to go into these fields.

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/20/nyregion/high-school-seniors-weak-in-math-and-science-tests.html

And technology education consists of being taught Microsoft Office.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

As a staff-level engineer unabale to hire enough engineering students, I agree.

Note, however, that there are two definite camps forming in the responses to this post. There are the "practicals" like you and I and the "fulfillments." In my opinion, it's fine for people to chase their dreams, but they don't need government subsidized loans and shouldn't be taking on debt then complaining they can't find a job. Not all do this, but some do. In my opinion, the government should only be subsidizing majors for which the Nation has a need, not what us "practicals" call their "hobbies."

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Yes, I am practical but I also realize the value of classical education.

I think we are poorer as a society when college costs become so prohibitive that talented students of the lower middle class can't afford to attend.

I think we are poorer as a society when education for its own sake is not valued.

College costs shouldn't be so high. The state college I attended has tripled tuition in just six years. It is almost six times more expensive than when I graduated 11 years ago.

But by the same token, the practical side of me knows that right now this is reality and that taking on crushing debt to go to school is not wise.

The practical side of me knows that everyone doesn't have to go to college and people shouldn't attend just because it is "the thing to do" in your town, or because you think it will land you the job of your dreams.

And yes, the government is going to have to decide what to subsidize and what not to. They can't just keep creating endless bubbles to keep billions flowing to the banks.

Universities keep investing in buildings and facilities when they should be focusing more on online education. With internet capabilites being what they are, it is time to cut costs and provide serious, for credit, online learning opportunities.

[-] 1 points by TechJunkie (3029) from Miami Beach, FL 2 years ago

I don't know if you have noticed me trying to get somebody on this site interested in high-pay, high-skill entry-level jobs that I could create. For weeks, I've been offering free training for anybody could can learn enough to qualify. Unemployment is very low in technology and we're desperate to find people who can do the work. I've been talking about it here since October 8. Not a single applicant so far. So what I do since I have so much trouble hiring people, is I hire Venezuelans. They want it a lot more.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep, I recall bumping into you in my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/inconvenient-truths-america/ . It's rather sad that we can't fill the jobs we need but have so many we can't employ. I'm starting to think we should ONLY offer student loans related to National need.

[-] 1 points by powertothepeople (1264) 2 years ago

Is it software work from home or do you have to go to a location?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Or is it stuffing envelopes or doing data entry at home? lol

[-] 1 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

And didn't I just read the other day that a large majority of jobs posted on Monster blatantly state to not bother applying if you are unemployed?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I have heard that SOME employers are showing this particular form of bias. Do you have a link saying it's "MOST" of them ?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

No, sorry that is something I did not save since I am retired and living the life of leisure. (-: No, I am not rich, but poor and happy. I am sure you could google it though. I have read that more than once from different sources.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I bet you think your sooooooo superior being all retired and all. Well, I'll show you! I'm going to join you next year ;o)

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

(-: I retired at 60 and you will be retiring at 55. So what will you do with yourself?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Movin' to Puerto Vallarta. Will write, invent, work with kids, maybe become a high school physics teacher (an old dream).

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Sounds wonderful! I bet you are real excited ... It is a transition, but it sounds like you will have a great time. The hardest thing for me is getting on a schedule which I still have not done. Some times I have to ask my husband what day it is! My husband is still working. Nice talking with ya!

[-] -1 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

What, are you trolling? Or have you just been asleep since the Bush years? Christ almighty...

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Sigh. Someone says something your don't like, so they're a troll.

I am not a troll. See my post at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/ and especially the discussion about calling folks "trolls" and "shills" at http://occupywallst.org/forum/one-percenter-ready-to-join-if/#comment-297372

I am also not a automaton that just believes everything someone says I should believe. I asked a legitimate question about one of the common complaints I'm hearing. I' sorry it made you uncomfortable.

[-] 0 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

Not troll. Just stupid. Got it.

[-] -2 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You have added zero value to this discussion. Can you point me to ANY post you've made in these forums that demonstrates even a small bit of intelligence or thought?

[-] 1 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

That's cute.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

See, you've made my point for me.

[-] 1 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

This ignorant, small-minded and parochial thread makes your point louder than I ever could.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

America can rest in comfort knowing that there we have such intelligent, respectful, and capable youth ready to lead us to our future. You are not one of them.

[-] 1 points by HPolloi (74) 2 years ago

Snap! Oh, the sting of a pitiful jerk's scorn.

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

Hey I'm majoring in physics, physical science, and intend to go into nuclear; 2.5% and 2.2% unemployment respectively, but I kow what you mean. My best friend is well on track to major in philosophy and won't listen when I tell him that it's not really worth much

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

Philosophy not worth much? This coming from a physical sciences major? Good God, what are they teaching you? Do you even know the history of your discipline?

Oh, maybe you mean it's not worth much in the job market, but really, a degree in philosophy is the ultimate transferable degree. Once you get that physics degree, you're pretty much locked into physics. With a philosophy degree, there are fewer things you can't do with it that you could do without it than there are with a more specialized degree like physics ;-)

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

Philosphy might be a great subject but as a degree it's crap. Ya, I'm getting a "specialized degree" but that mean there are less idiots competing for the job. A degree in philosphy is like getting a general studies degree. Any degree a philosophy major can get, a physics major could get

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

I have a philosophy degree and have done quite well for myself, so I'm a counterexample to your opinion that a philosophy degree is crap. Try to rationalize that in your little world.

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

How many succesfull people do you know have philosphy majors. Other than you

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

Off the top of my head, I can think of 7. But I don't know that many people, so it's not a very good indicator. Incidentally, I can only think of 2 I know who are successful and have physics majors (one is astrophysics, though).

But none of that really matters. The point is that you are now defending a generalization you made because you realize it might be wrong and you might have to re-examine it. This is making you self-doubt yourself, which is good since self-doubt it's a handy tool to have at times. It must be difficult for you, though, because physics has nothing to say about the subject of self-doubt. History probably does, though. Too bad you didn't double major in that...

[-] 1 points by Daennera (765) from Griffith, IN 2 years ago

The odds of a philosophy major finding a job paying median wage is substantially less than someone holding a physics degree. That is per the national data.

I guess it depends on your goals. If you want a job with a good wage and security, you can't get a degree in philosophy and then whine later how you can't find a job. You can't have it both ways.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

AWESOME ! Another STEM student ! Go Go !

It won't be long until you'll see your friend out protesting he has student loan debt, can't find a job, and that people like YOU should help him because, otherwise, it wouldn't be "fair."

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

What do/did you study?

And ya I don't support him. Honestly, I love history and for a long time I wanted to major in history but then I looked at the facts. History might kick ass but if I can't get a job, that degree is worth shit so I went with physics, my second favorite subject. Honestly, I'm fine with people getting degrees in things like english, theater, philosphy but I'm not cool with people getting those degrees befor they realize that it's unemployable

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

My case is odd. I learned electronics in the military then just kept learning and learning via the library and the Internet. I'm now at the very high rank of engineering within a Top-100 technical firm, have some VERY basic patents in the mill, put 3 kids through school with no loans, and will retire at 55.

STEM has been very good to me. My particular specialty is "systems architect" where I have to work from electro-magnetism through microwave, sampling, DSP algorithms, etc. I love my job, but am getting to that phase in life where I'd like to go back and explore the interests that don't pay well... high school physics teacher has always been of interest

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

ahh well nice. That's how my neighbor did it. He became a corpsman in the marines, was honorably discharged and now he works at the hospital. He put his son through college and does pretty good for himself. He goes to community college to get continueing education calsses on whatever he wants. He does good and if it works it works.

By the way, that shit sounds nice. My girl friend and my other best friends doing electrical. It's some tough stuff. Also, I have great respect for high school physics teachers becuase mine was the one who got me interested in physics.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

EXACTLY. Physics is darned interesting, and I think we need more people who LOVE it out there teaching our kids. I'm thinking right around 10 th grade or so where you can really light up a kid with some excitement.

Electrical isn't hard, not for a physics guy ;o)

There are only two root fields of knowledge: Psychology and Physics. Everything else is derivative ;o) Note, by the way, I put Religion and Philosophy under Psychology.

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

It's super intersting. And that would be cool. I don't know where you live, but II know in Texas physics was an 11th grade subject. Kinda sad seeing as how it was the best of the three sciences I took.

Lol true, it is kinda easy.

I thinks it's psychology and math. As superior as I find physics to math, I know that physics wouldn't ammount to much with out an understanding of math

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

LOL ! Now you're jumping to philosophy !

There are some that say physics is nothing but a very detailed and objective description of how humans perceive reality, so that might make physics subordinate to psychology.

I believe that physics is real albeit limited description of of an independent reality (the "observer" of a photon can be any atom with an electron cloud ready to accept it... no humans required). In that sense, math serves to bridge physics to psychology.

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

My man, I'm glad you've done well for yourself in electrical engineering by mooching off the public dollar in the military and at public libraries and all...

But really, if you want to talk about the history of how disciplines started and what gave way to what, you really need to head back to the library. Philosophy precedes all of what you're talking about. Sorry, but it's true. Psychology didn't even become a discipline until the 1800s. Thales of Miletus started asking philosophical questions in the 7th century B.C. The 7th century B.C., for God's sake! And don't even get me started on Chinese or Indian philosophy... they were doing that shit at least four thousand years ago! The only reason we don't know if they did it before then is because humans hadn't invented writing yet!

I think what it is is that you think all this academic stuff about liberal arts and philosophy and psychology and math is just up in the air and that no one really knows what preceded what and you can just think whatever you want 'cause you have a right to your opinion and all that. But there are people and have been for thousands of years who actually study this shit and know about it just as well as you know about electrical engineering. Yes, it really is like that: just as an electrical engineer like yourself knows there are some limits to what makes sense from an electrical engineering standpoint, a trained philosopher knows the same about his field, and brother, what you're saying don't make no sense from a philosophical, historical or mathematical standpoint.

This is what's wrong with your mentality: you think these unemployable majors aren't worth a damn, so you think whatever you say about them is valid because they're all just a bunch of worthlessness bullshit anyway, but you don't realize these are real disciplines with histories that stretch back thousands of years and are responsible for some of the greatest innovations in human history.

Historically, philosophy was part of any university student's required courses. You know why? Because it's one of (or maybe the one) discipline that could touch on all of the classical liberal arts. And do you know why the liberal arts were important? Get this: because in ancient Rome, only the slaves had vocation training, while the upper class had liberal arts training! How 'bout that? Not quite the same these days, is it? These days, things have gotten so backwards that people like you think of the liberal arts people as the moochers! How the times change...

[-] 0 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wow ! You put a lot of words into my mouth ! I'm gagging on most of them.

First, I am a Vietnam Era veteran. I suppose some might consider my military service to have been "mooching," but I think that's a minority opinion. Second, I did indeed "mooch" off the library. Worse yet, I drive on roads, listen to broadcast television, use GPS, etc. What's your point, and how does it relate to the topic at hand ?

I didn't mean to "elevate" one discipline over another, I was expressing my personal perspective based on my own philosophy, religion, and understanding of the physical world. I know that philosophy literally emerged first. I know that the earliest work in mathematics was actually tied to philosophy in a very intimate way. The simple fact that we found the donkey's tail before it's head, however, doesn't make it walk backwards ! Don't get to excited about that, I'm teasing... it really doesn't matter ;o)

I certainly do not think of arts majors as moochers, and I didn't say that I did. What I do believe is that folks who chose to pursue a degree in a field with poor employment prospects shouldn't then complain that they can't find jobs, march in the streets, declare the system "unfair,' and ask others to save them from the consequences of their own actions. Do what you want, but own it.

I am, by the way, a huge fan of philosophy, and I think it's one of the most important of all studies. It's just not a good major if you're hoping to find a job !

Finally, in regards to all those assumptions you made about me, I'll let you be the one to ponder what the opinions of a man speaking without any objective knowledge of the topic at hand really indicate.

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

From what I understand very few people have ever gone into fields they major in. Okay, High Tech - very little job security. They lay off all the time and most is overseas now. Medical? Talking about corruption. I wold rather work at Starbucks then work that field. If you can't major where your "heart" is then just close down universities and everyone go to trade/tech schools.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wow. I've been in High-Tech for 30 years and am set to retire at 55. It's been very good to me. My wife has been in medicine her whole career, and it's been good to her as well.

I don't mind people following their "hearts" in college, but should they then get to march in the streets complaining about their student loan debt and the fact they can't get a job ?

Maybe the Taxpayer should only be subsidizing student loans for majors we KNOW the Nation needs and will hire ?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Your last sentence is very depressing. Well, both by x husband and myself were both in high tech and laid off a lot and told sorry jobs have gone overseas. Now it is true we only had AS degrees, but my husband had years of experience. I made the mistake of working full time and going to school full time for 2.0 years when I was 40. I could not get a decent job because I had no experience. If you have been in the high tech field then you know they have a lot of lay offs. Sorry, I have little respect for the medical/drug business. Let's see the nation is service oriented now a days that is inspiring. The other option is to create communities with different skill sets and screw big business. Sorry not feeling well with allergies

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

You must be in a different tech field.... maybe one tied to the dot-com boom ?

By the way, I dropped out of high school and have no college degree, but am am in the top 1% of engineering staff in a top-100 engineering firm. It CAN be done.

Hope you feel better soon !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Don;t forget it was very different 30 years ago. Seagate and AMD were our main employers. Thanks for the well wishes and I wish your family continued happiness.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I buy AMD whenever I can just to keep Intel alert !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Funny!

[-] 0 points by RexDiamond (585) from Idabel, OK 2 years ago

Most companies hiring college educated people these days only care that you are college educated. I have a BA in Advertising. I have yet to land a job at an advertising firm. I am still able to use my degree to get a better paying job.

[-] 1 points by jimmycrackerson (940) from Blackfoot, ID 2 years ago

They have a degree for advertising? What do they teach you to do all day? Watch T.V. ?

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

You learn applied sociology

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I get the idea that degrees help in general, but why wouldn't students major in the fields that pay best and have high employment opportunities ?

[-] 0 points by RexDiamond (585) from Idabel, OK 2 years ago

If I had it to do over again, I would choose a better path. However, it's done and I have a job. I have learned so much by doing work outside my field of study. That will only help me more down the road.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

As an autodidact, I agree with you.

What I'm worried about is that so many seem to be pursuing what they want without regard for employment THEN go out in the streets and complain there have all this debt and can't find a job !

[-] 0 points by RexDiamond (585) from Idabel, OK 2 years ago

I agree. Truly smart people can turn lemons into lemonade every time.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes. I find that one of my MAJOR contributions is a different PERSPECTIVE on the challenges my company faces. Being self educated, I usually have a very different perspective/approach to the problem than my peers who were all taught essentially the same thing in the same way.

[-] -1 points by workhardplayhard (33) 2 years ago

I don't think the choice of major is the issue, it's mental toughness and the will to succeed. Kids now a days are growing up in very sheltered environments and constantly being told that they're special and to pursue their dream, it's no surprise that they just crumble and complain when things aren't going the way they're "supposed" to go. Of course, this is not everybody, but the attitude behind this whole OWS "movement" is somebody else is responsible for their struggles or lack of success. It's the sense of entitlement that prevents people from achieving success.

[-] 1 points by squaresphere (39) 2 years ago

I agree that I do see that sense of entitlement quite a bit these days, but that's what the country was founded on, wasn't it? Manifest Destiny and all that shit? The idea that we were entitled to take the land from whomever the fuck was here before us because, well, shit, we were just entitled to it! I don't really think it's a new phenomenon for young people these days. You want a sense of entitlement? Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase. 'Nuff said.

Further, it maybe be true that the OWS protestors are just trying to blame others for their lack of success, but if it the system really WAS stacked against them and things were beyond their control, how would you tell the difference? What would a society look like in that scenario?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

One of my favorite topics," The Cult of Self Esteem," and the damage it's done this Nation. If the Amercian Dream is fading, it's due at in some part to the loss of American Character on which it was built. That being said, read some of the other responses here and you'll see a wide range of causative factors. It's an interesting discussion.

[-] 0 points by betuadollar (-313) 2 years ago

It's just not that... at the precise movement when they feel they should be moving forward in pursuit of, we are stifling them.

[-] -1 points by steven2002 (363) 2 years ago

I studied Sanskrit and Medieval Aboriginal History is college, I can't find a job. Can anyone tell me why?

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yes. You need to move to Australia. They're very big on the're native people, and business with the Asian world is booming!

Go East Young Man !

[-] -1 points by steven2002 (363) 2 years ago

I should not have to move to Australia. The government should provide me with what i need to continue my education. Tax the rich people, we need to be free.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I think YOU need a dollar ! See http://youtu.be/USmdUDJPevY

[-] -1 points by greentara (78) 2 years ago

because nobody taught them the difference between being educated and earning a living. the two are often VERY different. i was not told the difference by my parents (who stressed being educated) and had to figure it out the hard way, ahhh...such is life

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Yep. I think perhaps I'm too old to understand sometimes. I got a lot of my formative advice from my immigrant grandparents and their Depression-era ethos.

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

Education is about broadening the mind, not employment.

[-] 1 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Now that is true and I forgot that. I was told years ago that school was to teach you how to learn.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Right. Then you can go out in the street and complain you have student loan debt but can't find a job !

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

It is the responsibility of the Govt to find our bright young minds a job.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Methinks you bait-eth me Vladimir !

[-] -1 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

How is it the government's responsibility?

[-] -1 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

How is it not?

[-] 0 points by gr57 (457) 2 years ago

Cus it's not their job. THey are in the business of running the country, not combing the population for our best and brightest to find them jobs. IF they are the best and brightest, they should have no problem doing it themselves

[-] -1 points by Joeschmoe1000 (270) 2 years ago

Because they are easier.

And because there is no downside to being a lazy and fucked up stoopid loser in the society of America any longer.

Basket Weaving 101

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's my premise, but I'm really HOPING some students will weigh in and provide another explanation. I don't WANT to be right on this one.

[-] 0 points by Joeschmoe1000 (270) 2 years ago

I am sorry

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

So you say you should major in what makes the most money even if your heart is not in it. Boy, that sounds like it would make good employees!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Wait a minute. Are you suggesting that people should do what makes them feel good and THEN go out into the streets and complain they can't find a job?

I was raised to take care of business first. Weekends are for my hobby. Over time, I DID finally manage to get everything aligned, but my primary objective on entering the workforce was employment, not "self fulfillment."

Have these values changed ?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

I hope so. Maybe less of the population would be on prozac!

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Are you suggesting that people should do what makes them feel good and THEN go out into the streets and complain they can't find a job?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

There are not enough jobs in America for everyone period!

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

No, I am saying that people need to learn to be more self sustainable, do what they are good at, create communities with different skill sets to live a decent, simple life and screw big business. We have given over control of most areas of our lives (we have got lazy) to other people and that is the cause of a lot of our problems.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

But, but, but.... who will make my iPod ?

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Very funny! Maybe you next store neighbor. (-: Or maybe we would not need them...

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

But with out iPods, phones, etc, we'll regress to tribes and have cute little wars again !

[-] 0 points by karenpoore (902) 2 years ago

Sad but true huh.. that has been human nature. Maybe we are due for a paradigm shift in consciousness! Sounds good anyway ... Einstein did say something like that he did not know what WW2 would be fought with, but WW3 would be fought with sticks. Of course, he may have been a WW off since WW3 will probably be nuclear. This old lady is getting tired and needs to go to bed. I am getting silly now. Have a good night ...

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

Good night ! It's been fun !

[-] 0 points by Joeschmoe1000 (270) 2 years ago

Don't care what someone does. Don't ask others to subsidize your life style.

[-] -2 points by JohnnyO (119) 2 years ago

Poor parenting.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

That's a more attractive explanation. Maybe these students just aren't being SHOWN the kind of data I linked to.

[-] -3 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

Students who are choosing their majors just to get a good job and become part of the 1% have sold their souls for filthy lucre. They are part of the problem and not the solution.

[-] 1 points by brooce (65) from Minneapolis, MN 2 years ago

What logic is this? Are you saying everybody should major in Art-who then designs shelter-or the playstation you have in your mom's basement?

[-] -3 points by VladimirMayakovsky (796) 2 years ago

Let the 1% worry about that.

[-] 1 points by brooce (65) from Minneapolis, MN 2 years ago

Maybe this is what has happened all along! Be glad Vlad.

[-] -1 points by nikka (228) 2 years ago

That's not true. Students who are choosing majors to get good jobs are being responsible. They will be able to provide for their families without having to ask for government handouts. They will be able to pay into the system rather than taking out of it. They will be able to pay property taxes that support the schools in their neighborhoods. They will be in a position to help those who cannot help themselves. They will be the ones funding community resources.

There is vocation, and then there is avocation. Vocation can pay the bills, and avocation can feed the soul. One does not have to choose such a black and white life.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 2 years ago

I agree. And don't let Vlad rattle your cage too much. He's not the devil's ADVOCATE, he's the real thing !

[-] 0 points by nikka (228) 2 years ago

Ha! That made me chuckle right there. :)