Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

US Government Will Never Fix It's Financial Problems


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
115 replies to this topic

#61 Oberon_Command   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1967

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:55 PM

I think this discussion needs some numbers if we're going to talk about this "laziness problem" meaningfully. Do we have quantative data which shows that this problem exists in the form discussed in this thread?

Edited by Oberon_Command, 27 November 2012 - 02:56 PM.


Sponsor:

#62 Bregma   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5441

Posted 27 November 2012 - 02:57 PM

...in a few years, you'll be owned by communist China anyway.

Just who do you think owns the debt this topic was originally about?
Stephen M. Webb
Professional Free Software Developer

#63 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:02 PM

blah

Just one point. I generally agree with you, but your post is still kind of enforcing a similar false dichotomy. You choose the false dichotomy that people believe only the extremes exist, but the false dichotomy that I find more troublesome is that people equate being liberal with being socially and fiscally liberal and being conservative with being socially and fiscal conservative. It flattens a 2D landscape to one dimension with the false dichotomy of liberals vs conservatives.

There was a cool "This American Life" on a couple weeks before the election about how people don't pay attention to people with disagreeing viewpoints (even if they don't actually disagree, they are just perceived to disagree). I think this whole liberal vs. conservative thing is a big part of compounding that problem. It totally silences meaningful discussion when we associate all conservativism/liberalism with any conservativism/liberalism.

Two frequent recent examples are whenever I would tell people I wasn't voting for Obama (I didn't vote for either Obama or Romney) they would retort that I was anti-homosexual, racist, or that I hate poor people. To my knowledge I do not exhibit any of those traits. I generally don't like talking about politics because I have to spend so much time telling people the points they have mistakenly attributed to me are not even remotely close to anything I believe in and it is, quite frankly, exhausting.

Similarly, I don't suppot marriage as a government institution for people of any romantic identification, and I had to spend near an hour explaining to one of my friends that I wasn't anti-gay marriage I was anti-federal marriage.

Now I'm rambling, but I hope the point came across; having the false dichotomy between liberalism and conservativism can be just as damaging as having the false dicohotomy between extreme liberalism and extreme conservativism.

#64 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:12 PM

I think this discussion needs some numbers if we're going to talk about this "laziness problem" meaningfully. Do we have quantative data which shows that this problem exists in the form discussed in this thread?


I don't know if this link will work, but if you look for the "Labor Force Participation Rate" on the labor statistics site you'll find it:
http://data.bls.gov/...eyOutputServlet (editathon: now with demographics)

We've been generally rising from WWII until ~2000, but recently we are seeing pretty dramatic drops in people's willingness to be part of the labor force.

More than the current labor force I'm really worried about the standard we're setting for our children/future workforce. Our education system has not been adapting to meet the standards of a rising global economy. It has been relatively stagnant. We have a very short school year, and poor results across the board; the most troublesome problem is we aren't acknowledging the latter with the significance it deserves. It's creating an environment of, "We're still better than everyone, even though we suck" which is going to be toxic over the next 20 years--This is what scares me most of all tbh.

edit: sorry for double post Posted Image

double edit: Interesting read:
Are American Workers Getting Lazy

Part of this is no doubt due to the overall economic picture; job creation hasn't been high enough to keep pace with population growth for years. America is also aging, but this isn't just older people stepping out. The numbers are particularly painful in the 16- to 24-year-old male demographic, with workforce participation falling from nearly 80% in the late 1970s to around 58% now.


Edited by way2lazy2care, 27 November 2012 - 03:22 PM.


#65 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2499

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:29 PM

Just who do you think owns the debt this topic was originally about?


That was kinda my point.

You choose the false dichotomy that people believe only the extremes exist,


er, that's not a false dichotomy. Where are the only two options I presented?

but the false dichotomy that I find more troublesome is that people equate being liberal with being socially and fiscally liberal and being conservative with being socially and fiscal conservative.


If you read my post again, you'll notice I never mentioned social policy, only economics. I agree that social/political and economic ideals are orthogonal (you actually brought up one of my pet causes: the political compass)

That said, the two do tend to broadly correlate. Most fiscal conservatives are also socially conservative, and vice versa with "liberals". Even if you look at lists of candidates on the political compass, they generally tend to fall on a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. Not all of them, obviously, but the majority.

Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand?
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#66 Kaze   Members   -  Reputation: 948

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:30 PM

For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.

#67 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:39 PM

Either way, I'm not sure what this has to do with the topic at hand?

Fair points made. It's just one of my pet peeves when people associate conservativism/liberalism as I pointed out. Just figured I'd chime in on it while I had the chance as I think it's a very relevant problem in today's politics.

That said, the two do tend to broadly correlate. Most fiscal conservatives are also socially conservative, and vice versa with "liberals". Even if you look at lists of candidates on the political compass, they generally tend to fall on a diagonal line from bottom left to top right. Not all of them, obviously, but the majority.

I think this is kind of what I mean. Enforcing the diagonal across the compass as the single dimension of valid political stances kind of forces people into falling onto that line rather than freely roaming around the compass. Kind of a positive reinforcement loop of poor political policy :P

For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.

That's not really what labor force participation rate measures.

The labor force participation rate is the percentage of working-age persons in an economy who:
Are employed
Are unemployed but looking for a job



#68 Kaze   Members   -  Reputation: 948

Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:53 PM


For youth unemployment I think its less laziness than a lot of trades are impossible to break into if businesses are unwilling to train new people.

That's not really what labor force participation rate measures.


This was mostly in response to the second article you posted.

Either way I'm very sceptical about claims of moral decline when more tangible factors exist.

The big one is that as much as business claim their is a skill shortage very few are desperate enough yet to create their own skills.

Ex: Machine operators with 10 or more years of experience are going to dwindle in numbers if your never going to hire anyone with less experience.

Edited by Kaze, 27 November 2012 - 03:56 PM.


#69 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1809

Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:17 PM

The economy is very bad right now in terms of "entry level positions", however kids are still signing up for college / vocational courses that will not net them a job.
I have technical certifications out the ###, yet I am lucky to work 4 mouths out of the year.

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about $65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD .

Why does my tax money get wasted on folks like that - even the lazy #### who buy tons of soda-pop and junk food "on the card" #### me off to no end.

Does Anyone Actually Read This ?
 


#70 slicer4ever   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3982

Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:53 PM

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about $65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD .


you know nothing of that person, nor do you know that she isn't simply borrowing the vehicle to go purchase grocery's, such assumptions are utterly ridiculous for you to make.

their have been several examples of random people used in this thread to demonstrate the points being made, but at the end of the day, none of you know the people your using to make your points, nor have an idea what they real situation's are, i'd rather hear from personal experience with people you actually know, rather than random isolated incidents that involve complete strangers.

Edited by slicer4ever, 27 November 2012 - 04:55 PM.

Check out https://www.facebook.com/LiquidGames for some great games made by me on the Playstation Mobile market.

#71 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 626

Posted 27 November 2012 - 04:57 PM

The economy is very bad right now in terms of "entry level positions", however kids are still signing up for college / vocational courses that will not net them a job.
I have technical certifications out the ###, yet I am lucky to work 4 mouths out of the year.

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about $65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD .

Why does my tax money get wasted on folks like that - even the lazy #### who buy tons of soda-pop and junk food "on the card" #### me off to no end.


I think this is disgusting. I live in what is the most poverty stricken neighborhood in the New York State, the south bronx. For you to think that everyone on food stamp is a lazy #### is not only disgusting but deplorable, and shows how disconnected you are from these people. Alot of my friends (read most) come from very poor back ground but the majority of them work hard at what they do whether its school or whatever kind of employment they have. Sure I have met some people who I would consider lazy and unmotivated but the majority do want more out of life, but if you have no money and the price of rent and necessities are high you'll find it real hard to dig yourself out of the ditch you inherited. So they take the jobs that you don't want for the pay that you wouldn't settle for working shifts and hours you couldn't imagine, to come home to public housing (if you ever visited its not exactly the best living arrangements), also you don't get food stamps our public housing if your not working. If they feel like buying a new iPhone or gaming system with some saved up money they earned (because food stamps dont cover that) by all means more power to them.

On average people pay about 1000 something dollars a year to feed the rest of the population who might have troubles with necessities like food, day care, housing, educational grants for those who cant afford it, etc. If this is such a big deal to people then no we wont ever fix our financial problem because we apparently live in a society where most people only care about themselves and how they can save a few extra bucks a year.

#72 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1809

Posted 27 November 2012 - 05:06 PM

So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy JUNK FOOD with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a $65,000 car, and get free food ?
#### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal.
My tax burden is 34% ....

Edited by Shippou, 27 November 2012 - 05:07 PM.

Does Anyone Actually Read This ?
 


#73 The_Neverending_Loop   Members   -  Reputation: 626

Posted 27 November 2012 - 06:25 PM

So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy JUNK FOOD with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a $65,000 car, and get free food ?
#### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal.
My tax burden is 34% ....


you said it yourself you'r lucky to work 4 months out of the year?... Do you really feel more entitled then someone who works minimum wage the whole year around? and if the person was in fact driving a 65k car. You were either mistaken about them paying with food stamps or that car was definitely not their. The whole story sounds a little weird anyway, you look through the persons groceries and checked to see if they are paying with food stamps after you noticed 400$ worth of junk food to then follow them to their $65,000 see what kind of car they are driving? when did you even have time to shop for your own groceries if you were so concerned with what someone else was doing?

You cant expect to work 4 months out the year and still be better off then most people who work year round, that's much lazier then anyone you consider "lazy" if you ask me.

#74 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2499

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:17 PM


So it's perfectly fine for some one to buy JUNK FOOD with tax money? It's perfectly fine for some one to drive around in a $65,000 car, and get free food ?
#### your ideology. I can't afford one decent meal.
My tax burden is 34% ....

....

You cant expect to work 4 months out the year and still be better off then most people who work year round, that's much lazier then anyone you consider "lazy" if you ask me.


To be fair to Shippou, I think you're missing his point. He's not working 4 months so he can slack off for the remainder, that's all the work he can get.

That said, I don't really buy his story about someone on food stamps buying $400 of groceries and loading it into a $65k car. It smacks of bullshit. Either that, or that particular person was scamming the system. Either way, it's not a good argument against people who genuinely need help.

And as to Shippou, I have to say that if you have "technical certifications out the ass" and you still only work 4 months a year, then who are you to say what courses kids should or shouldn't be signing up for?
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#75 phantom   Moderators   -  Reputation: 7565

Posted 27 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

See, this is the problem all over the place; we have systems in place to help those who need it yet someone sees ONE person who is playing the system and declares the whole thing rotten.

Yes, there are people who play the system, for example in the UK you get money based on your number of children (simplification of the system) and there are people out there with a few kids who can pull in a large amount each month and things like that should probably be clamped down on. And yes, in some areas there is an 'entitlement' attitude (I once saw a comment made by a friend of a friend who was complaining because she couldn't get a house for her and her kid from the council) but there is also genuine need out there for people to be supported by others because they have fallen on hard times or have significant medical issues (an old friend of mine had a disability living allowance because she couldn't work on account of serious health problems which would leave her unable to move at times).

Even those people don't want to live on them; my sister has various health problems yet she has gone out and got a degree so she can run her own life rather than live on any hand outs she might be able to get.

So yes, we need to clamp down on those 'playing' the system as well as fix the social problems which have caused an upswing in the problem (because 'laziness' is a poor reason and often for a significant proportion of people there is going to be other reasons why they don't want to work) in recent decades.

Of course the whole 'look after those less well off, let the system help people' is a very European view to hold so I don't expect it to play well with people in the US (I got into an argument on IRC once with someone from the US whos basic position was "everyone for themselves; if someone cant look after themselves then fuck 'em").

(For the record I also believe that things such as power, water, utilities and public transport, to name a few, should not be run by 'for profit' companies because frankly that hasn't work and was just a really dumb idea resulting in price fixing, poor service and a lack of competition it was meant to foster such as in the UK's rail networks. But once you get beyond the 'basics' to make a country run and let people live healthy lives, then yeah, enter the free market...)

#76 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:25 PM

That said, I don't really buy his story about someone on food stamps buying $400 of groceries and loading it into a $65k car. It smacks of bullshit. Either that, or that particular person was scamming the system. Either way, it's not a good argument against people who genuinely need help.

It's not that unrealistic. I'd see probably ~1 person/day do similar things while I worked at target. It's definitely the exception, but it's definitely not so much the exception that I'd call it uncommon. The thing that bugs me most is how many people are against action that prevents abuse. I'm more upset with those activists than the people gaming the system. The people buying junk food with food stamps make me more sad than angry.

(For the record I also believe that things such as power, water, utilities and public transport, to name a few, should not be run by 'for profit' companies because frankly that hasn't work

It depends. There are a lot of very successful public works run by for profit companies that do a lot better than their previous counterparts. There are a lot of ones that went wrong, but I don't think as large a percent are failures as you think. A large problem is that the successes are generally silent and the failures are catastrophically bad.

#77 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:36 PM

The economy is very bad right now in terms of "entry level positions", however kids are still signing up for college / vocational courses that will not net them a job.
I have technical certifications out the ###, yet I am lucky to work 4 mouths out of the year.

The problem I have with lazy folks, who love to leach off the system. Many times I am sitting in line at a grocery store, buying the cheapest items I can find, while I see folks all over buying the best name brand items, and paying for it with a food stamp card.
Last week I watched a lady buy over $400 USD worth of groceries, all on her food card, and when I went out to the parking lot, she was loading the food into her almost new Mercedes e250, worth about $65,000 USD ... for comparison I drive a 2003 Kia Spectra, worth about $550 USD .

Why does my tax money get wasted on folks like that - even the lazy #### who buy tons of soda-pop and junk food "on the card" #### me off to no end.


So you saw one person who may have been (perhaps was very likely to have been) scamming the system, and now everyone's a welfare queen? That's an absurd way to conceptualize a problem (poverty) that I think you would probably admit exists, your stated experience notwithstanding.

The government can't keep out all scammers, nor can they control what food stamp recipients buy all that precisely. Even if it could do the latter, I doubt you'd be less than outraged about it.

I see people who are scamming welfare/WIC every day at my job. Of those, the vast majority are in fact lazy, and are pulling tiny cons for the saddest gains imaginable. The rest are very competent, and could probably do quite well if they expended the same amount of effort on something productive. But vastly outnumbering both of these groups combined are the people who would not be able to contribute to or interact with the economy without some form of assistance for some period of time.

If the idea is that any economic activity which has inefficiencies should be abolished, then we aren't going to have any economic activities at all beyond subsistence farming.


Just who do you think owns the debt this topic was originally about?


That was kinda my point.


The majority of US debt is owned by the US. China owns ~8% of it.

#78 ChaosEngine   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2499

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:13 PM

The majority of US debt is owned by the US. China owns ~8% of it.


True, but 8% is still a lot (more that $1trillion in this case). Not to mention that 47% of the debt is owned by foreign investors.
if you think programming is like sex, you probably haven't done much of either.-------------- - capn_midnight

#79 tstrimple   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1734

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:16 PM

So yes, we need to clamp down on those 'playing' the system as well as fix the social problems which have caused an upswing in the problem (because 'laziness' is a poor reason and often for a significant proportion of people there is going to be other reasons why they don't want to work) in recent decades.


We do need to clamp down on them. Not because they are a significant drain on society (they are just a drop in a very large bucket), but because they give others an excuse to accuse all poor people of being lazy. I do think those who are determined to get out of poverty can get out of poverty. There are tons of success stories around, and people love to blame those on luck but at Thomas Jefferson said, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it."

Of course the whole 'look after those less well off, let the system help people' is a very European view to hold so I don't expect it to play well with people in the US (I got into an argument on IRC once with someone from the US whos basic position was "everyone for themselves; if someone cant look after themselves then fuck 'em").


I can understand the sentiment. I know plenty of people who work much harder than average and do not see a significantly better quality of life and they see people who barely work and are doing just fine. I have tried to explain that simply working harder at what you're doing isn't enough. If you're trying to improve your lot in life, you've got to work on developing skills that are in demand and are scarce. Some people for some reason have decided that they can only do what they are doing, while others I have met have dropped everything to make dramatic changes in career. A couple weeks ago at a Startup Weekend, I met two guys who decided to quit their jobs and create a startup even though they knew nothing about software development. Obviously not everyone can just drop everything, but there is a happy medium here where you can develop new skills on the side, and not just sink 80 hours of your life a week into a job that makes you miserable.

(For the record I also believe that things such as power, water, utilities and public transport, to name a few, should not be run by 'for profit' companies because frankly that hasn't work and was just a really dumb idea resulting in price fixing, poor service and a lack of competition it was meant to foster such as in the UK's rail networks.


Maybe... those things haven't really been left to the free market in the US. Most of them are government sponsored monopolies which combine the worst parts of government and private industry. The problem with nationalizing things like this is there is very little faith in the government to do anything well. There has to be a way to keep the profit motive which can encourage lean and efficient with consumer protection built in.

#80 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

Posted 27 November 2012 - 09:37 PM

True, but 8% is still a lot (more that $1trillion in this case). Not to mention that 47% of the debt is owned by foreign investors.


I'd read that ~66% of US debt is held by the US government or citizens, which would be less dire. Regardless, the distribution of sovereign debt ownership isn't important in the "they own us" sense unless one specific group has a massive share. 47% owned by non-US entities isn't remotely the same as X% owned by China, which at 8% is the largest single foreign holder.

It's not insignificant, but I think that concern about who owns the debt is overblown.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS