Is this where we are headed?

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by shelbygt350, Jul 24, 2014.

  1. wgbgator
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    wgbgator Sub-optimal Poster Premium Member

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    No one said that the state can make the world fair. But clearly the state can engineer more opportunity for social mobility. So, on some level, the state's investments in its citizens matter too.
  2. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    Through electroshock therapy?

    Wouldn't it be more practical to say, "For people to hold hands instead of weapons"? Or, "For people to sing 'Kumbaya' when they feel a crime wave coming on"?
  3. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    The solution is the following:

    1) Bring back manufacturing jobs. Reduce corporate taxes, enact tort reform, reduce regulation, whatever it takes. Manufacturing jobs gives lower income people a path to the middle class.

    2) Fix education with more discipline and higher teacher salaries, and less administration and useless bureaucracy. An educated workforce is critical to filling those manufacturing jobs successfully, and competing globally. For every dollar the federal government spends on education, $0.10 (or more) is spent on people filling out applications for that dollar. Yes, it's that complicated, and yes, the school system is that corrupt. And that's before the rest of the school administration takes their cut.
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  4. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    Ah yes bring back mfg jobs ... Just that easy.
  5. BastogneGator
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    BastogneGator Well-Known Member

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    The guy starts his paper saying he believes economic inequity is limits the opportunity of the poor. Then combines opportunity with inter-generational mobility to gather data points.

    There are multitudes of scholarships and grant money available today as well as compulsive public education. There are actually more grants and scholarships available to the "poor" and minorities. Heck, you might not even have to pay off your student loans. You could very easily argue that the data used by the author points to a lack of prioritization of education in lower income families. You are never going to get equality of condition but the opportunity exists.
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  6. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the author starts out where previous research left off, that's kind of how it works. Otherwise we would all be starting from scratch every time we wanted to study something. The author also cites the research that will let you read for yourself the information that led the author to start at that point. That is another part of how it works, citing sources so that others can check your work and see if your starting point made any sense.

    You keep telling me that you disagree with the author, but you haven't given anything other than opinion as a reason why. The author has given me several sources other than their own opinion as to why they are starting at that point. One of these is a more credible claim. (the next step would be for you to read the cited sources, and show why they are faulty or that the author's understanding of them is faulty)
  7. G8trGr8t
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    G8trGr8t Premium Member

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    What do you consider a welder, driller, pipe fitter? 70k + per year with his diploms
  8. BastogneGator
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    BastogneGator Well-Known Member

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    The entire article is faulty. Generational income levels, in my opinion, are not an indicator of opportunity they are an outcome. It selects one data point and tries goest abolish causation where there is only correlation. Seriously this guy was talking about the advantages rich fetuses have. It is a political paper.

    I have described how higher education, the key to higher incomes, is available. Opportunity is not "higher paying manufacturing jobs" it is the ability to seek education/qualification and compete for whatever job you want.

    No one started off being forced into the sanitation
  9. philnotfil
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    philnotfil Well-Known Member

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    Have you read the articles that the author cites, which cover the link between equality of opportunity and intergenerational mobility?
  10. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    A lot of manufacturing jobs are coming back, even without doing what I mentioned, because:

    1) Energy is way cheaper in the U.S. than Europe. German companies (BMW, etc.) invested over a trillion dollars in U.S. manufacturing operations in the last 5-6 years to take advantage of cheaper energy.

    2) Wages are coming up in China. China also has no respect for intellectual property, and little concept of laws protecting foreign investments. If you build a factory in China and later decide to remove your machinery and take it to another country, guess what? You'll wind up in jail before you're allowed to take your equipment out of China.
  11. oragator1
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    oragator1 Premium Member

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    The increase in domestic manufacturing has been one of the good untold stories of the last few years. Problem is that with automation companies need fewer and fewer workers to achieve it.
    [​IMG]
  12. BastogneGator
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    BastogneGator Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the state can effect social mobility. They can make it look pretty on a graph by punishing those in upper brackets.
  13. BastogneGator
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    BastogneGator Well-Known Member

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    I have not read all the articles cited but am familiar with the concept and argument. In my opinion it is a link of correlations. How does a rich kid staying rich effect a poor kids opportunity to better his economic condition?
  14. orangeblueorangeblue
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    orangeblueorangeblue Well-Known Member

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    Most of the manufacturing jobs went to Mexico. Those aren't coming back.
  15. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    That's pretty funny. Automation was done 20-30 years ago. The productivity "gains" since 2008 were due to cranking up production, which does not require additional workers. Just like the productivity "losses" in 2008 - 2010 were due to cranking down production. If and when we go past the 2007/08 peak, then workers will be added. In 2008-09, non-essential and less productive people were laid off, and not significantly re-hired since then. The work assignments of those laid off people were dumped on the remaining employees, which kind of sucks for those of us who have a heavier workload.

    Obama is one of the reasons that companies are not in a hurry to hire back those workers. Uncertainty around health care (plus high costs) is one reason. Uncertainty around regulation and taxation of business is another.
  16. oragator1
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    oragator1 Premium Member

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    Productivity has still been increasing substantially the last 20 years with a small break during the crisis. It's a much longer term trend which is still increasing. Some of that is due to increased efficiency (fewer workers), but depending on the industry automation (or improved automation) is definitely a factor.

    [​IMG]
  17. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    The biggest trend was the U.S. abandoning people-intensive (and lower skilled) manufacturing industries, including textiles and common clothing (specialty clothing is still made in the U.S.). In the chemical industry, a lot of the people-intensive industries were abandoned, including Dow Chemical's magnesium production, which employed about 800 people. Compare that to Dow's chlorine production, which employs a few dozen people, and generates many times as much profits, and it is easy to see why they walked away from magnesium. Basic chemicals and plastics (polyethylene, polystyrene) are also being abandoned as Asia and the ME have been picking these industries up. We've gone away from steel manufacturing, too. The U.S. is more and more going towards specialized manufacturing--making things that are too dangerous or too difficult for Asian and middle eastern companies to figure out (at this time).

    Benefits (primarily medical insurance) are getting too expensive, and profits have been shrinking across all chemical producers since the 1970's. This trend has little to do with automation. I agree that industry is slowly getting more efficient with their automation, but that is secondary to abandoning industries that are people-intensive.
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  18. gatorpa
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    gatorpa Well-Known Member

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    The only solution that I see the state using now is taxing one group at a higher rate to pay for the other group in an effort for "fairness". The WAR on POVERTY as failed, the answer is not throw more money at it. A certain segment of the population will always do what they need to just "get by" no amount of legislation will fix that. The more you give them the more they want.
  19. BastogneGator
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    I have told you why I disagree. I don't believe that generational wealth is an indicator of opportunity. I think there is a political bend to papers like these. Your statement in the beginning of the thread was that inequality (I presume economically) causes bad things to happen. In my opinion this is incorrect, however it does make a good talking point for people who want wide spread income redistribution.

    In my opinion there is no barrier to move up economically. Education to include higher education is widely available. We have a free market (kind of) and patent laws. There is even bankruptcy protection if you fail. Someone else being rich does not effect my opportunity. I believe if you took all the money away from the rich people and gave it to the poorest within a generation or two the same entrepreneurs/ prudent people would be back in the top 10%.

    What gives someone the right to prevent a rich person from passing along the fruits of his/her labor to their children? That's the only way to achieve economic equality. I'm certainly no trust fund baby, I drive a 10 year old pick up truck and buy second hand golf stuff. I do save money ever month for my children however, they have a savings account, a 529, and I'm going to gift them some shares of a mutual fund. If I choose to live within or below my means to benefit my children that's my business. Is that inequality? Will they have a head start? I hope so or I could have bought the new Titleist AP2s.
  20. chemgator
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    chemgator Well-Known Member

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    A lot more manufacturing jobs went to China than Mexico in the last 15-20 years. Regardless, some of those jobs will come back. If the manufacturing operations require energy (and most of them do), are automated in some way, and require skilled labor at a reasonable cost, and involve advanced technology, they will consider production in the U.S. We don't need to be making shirts in the U.S. because that is too people-intensive and the job doesn't require advanced technology. Cars with a reputation for quality or performance, like BMW? Absolutely. Econobox VW's? Not so much. We can do anything the Europeans can do cheaper than they can. We have better infrastructure than China (both in terms of transportation, utilities, etc. as well as support industries like welding shops or valve shops) and better average education (second children in China are not allowed to be educated by the state). Our freight rail system is the best in the world, by far. And we have less average corruption than China (or Mexico).

    It requires a president with some level of commitment to manufacturing. I'm not sure how strong Romney's commitment to manufacturing (versus paper-shuffling business jobs) would have been, but it would have to be stronger than Obama's commitment. Obama targets certain industries with the EPA, and generally disdains businesses ("you didn't build that", etc.) and has a lot more support for gov't workers than private industry ("businesses are doing fine"). The only businesses he seems to like are the ones that the Chosen One has personally chosen for gov't loans or bailouts. They are his pet projects, but unfortunately they don't seem to respond that well to his interventions.

    Remarkably, when Obama came into office in 2009 during a serious recession, no one asked him what his plan was to get people back to work. He had no interest in getting people back to work. Democrats were too busy handing out extended unemployment gifts and working on health care, which was supposed to "save the economy".

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