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Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:02 AM

Explain This To Me Like I'm A Complete Idiot, Part 15: No Millennial Left Behind?



The question everyone in business should be asking: How does a debt-strapped millennial buy big ticket items, like homes, cars, insurance, tools, furniture, appliances, etc.???



My generation (X) was only semi-able to afford those things and still managed to survive with a threadbare nest egg at best . . . . mostly because even though our jobs were lower-income during college, they were at least able to buy us an education for the most part. Those days are long gone.

I mean, did the Ownership class not THINK about this before raising and raising and raising prices, crashing the economy (twice), exporting all the blue and white collar jobs to lower paying shores and, most importantly, arbitrarily stagnating the middle/working/poor wages (according to . . . . are you ready . . . . TEH FREE MARKETZ) so that pretty soon, only the upper middle class and above won't be priced out of everything?

"I believe the children are our future". Explain this to me like I'm a complete idiot . . . . HOW does this get repaired? Yeah, someone better figure out goddamned quickly how you un-bollocks this looming issue.

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Reply Explain This To Me Like I'm A Complete Idiot, Part 15: No Millennial Left Behind? (Original post)
HughBeaumont Apr 2015 OP
RiverLover Apr 2015 #1
lapfog_1 Apr 2015 #2
Taitertots Apr 2015 #3
AllyCat Apr 2015 #5
YoungDemCA Apr 2015 #28
Taitertots Apr 2015 #33
Dont call me Shirley Apr 2015 #4
Demeter Apr 2015 #6
HughBeaumont Apr 2015 #14
mountain grammy Apr 2015 #7
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #19
Taitertots Apr 2015 #35
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #37
Taitertots Apr 2015 #39
mountain grammy Apr 2015 #36
1StrongBlackMan Apr 2015 #38
mountain grammy Apr 2015 #41
randr Apr 2015 #8
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #25
annabanana Apr 2015 #9
Thespian2 Apr 2015 #10
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #26
Democat Apr 2015 #11
1939 Apr 2015 #12
jwirr Apr 2015 #15
1939 Apr 2015 #17
Demeter Apr 2015 #24
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #29
Cryptoad Apr 2015 #13
GoneFishin Apr 2015 #16
appalachiablue Apr 2015 #31
JayhawkSD Apr 2015 #18
F4lconF16 Apr 2015 #40
Calista241 Apr 2015 #20
paulkienitz Apr 2015 #21
Skittles Apr 2015 #42
gordianot Apr 2015 #22
d_legendary1 Apr 2015 #23
Octafish Apr 2015 #27
HughBeaumont Apr 2015 #30
Octafish Apr 2015 #34
Sen. Walter Sobchak Apr 2015 #32

Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:06 AM

1. Brilliant post. Thank you!

No one can explain it to you, & you are no idiot.

Its the age of greed. And obviously, short-sighted stupidity.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:46 AM

2. The saying is missing a few words...

"I believe the children are our future"

should be

"I believe the children (of the elite) are our future (overlords)"

in other words... "Things are going as planned"

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:50 AM

3. Tax rich people and spend it on infrastructure/jobs programs... Solved

 

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Response to Taitertots (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:00 AM

5. I second that.

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Response to Taitertots (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:43 PM

28. Only one problem...

 

Well, 298 problems.

You can find them at the following latitude/longitude coordinates:

38 53′ 23.29″ N, 77 0′ 32.81″ W

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Response to YoungDemCA (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:27 PM

33. I've got 298 problems, but the truth ain't one.

 

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:50 AM

4. That's not just generation X, that's the late end baby boomers too.

My husband and I, both 55, had to put on our own roof after scraping the money together, buying roofing materials instead of paying regular bills for a couple months. That's how we afford the big ticket items. His body is wearing thin fast after being a construction worker his whole life. Not sure how we are going to afford the furnace/ac when the moment comes and it's is approaching at lightening speed.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:07 AM

6. The family model is shifting

 

Instead of earning and spending, and lending your savings to strangers...

You earn what you can, spend as little as possible, invest in housing for your family members. Reuse, regift, recycle. Invest in green technology to cut costs and get off the grid.

Forget the "magic of 401K". Reduce the FAMILY outgo and put the savings in something real, not paper.

There will be no consumer economy in 5 years. There is but a shadow of it left already. Unless you belong to the Walton clan, that is.

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Response to Demeter (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:20 AM

14. "The 401k"

More smoke and mirrors from the "You're On Your OwnErship Society".

Unless you make a shit-ton of money, the math just doesn't add up.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:15 AM

7. Simple solution, we used to do it..

TAX THE RICH!!!!!

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:51 AM

19. I agree that taxing the wealthy can/should be done ...

 

to address the infrastructure and to fund jobs programs; but, how will taxing the wealthy address the problem of stagnated/stagnating working class wages (absent a direct revenue transfer)?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:32 PM

35. Keynesian macroeconomics - wages will follow the money

 

Middle class spending raises middle class wages.

When the economy is at "full employment", employers (not workers) compete for jobs. Wages will increase when employers are forced (by economics realities) to raise wages

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Response to Taitertots (Reply #35)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:50 PM

37. I understand the Keynesian stuff ...

 

and that full employment (normally) results in increased wages ... what I don't understand is how anyone could call increasing rates of pay (for wage earners) will significantly affect income inequality; because the Keynesian stuff doesn't stop with increased wages ... those increased wages produces increased demand, which drives corporate sales, which drives increased revenue, which drives (corporate) share price, which increases (the passive) dividend pay-outs, and/or capital gains which goes primarily to the wealthy ... and, is the primary cause of income inequality.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #37)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:09 PM

39. Is the mulitplier for infrastructure/jobs spending larger than the impact of a tax rate charge?

 

I don't think it is, but I don't have any data to back it up.

Of course we need to change the entire corporate structure (among other things) to reduce inequality to socially acceptable levels.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #19)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:43 PM

36. A more equitable tax system would bring in revenue to support

not only infrastructure but education. State schools used to be affordable for all and should be again. More revenue would support a Medicare for all health care system that would improve the lives of all Americans.

Citizens of countries with higher tax rates are enjoying a better standard of living than Americans just by redistributing the wealth into the economy. In America, taxes for the rich are low but they still shelter their money, stashing in far away accounts where it does absolutely nothing to help stimulate the American economy.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #36)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:06 PM

38. I kn0ow, and agree with, all of that ...

 

however, a more progressive tax system does little (if anything) to address income inequality.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #38)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:39 PM

41. True, but as our tax system has become less and less progressive

income inequality has grown, so there is some connection. When money made from money is given favorable tax treatment over money made from actually making and selling things or just working, I think the system begins to get skewed and lopsided, like it has for the last 30 years.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:17 AM

8. The 1% are closing the gates-that is all

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Response to randr (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:28 PM

25. +10 And they have mucho force to deter any personal or property damage. If that fails,

they leave as many are already doing. Most have had second properties in foreign counties for years. With everything global now, it's a fluid, mobile world for the 1% with plenty of resources.

Not so for regular folks restricted to place by limited funds and options, declining opportunities and resources. And our government is corrupted and mostly powerless right now. The obvious, ugly reality. I feel for younger people, the poor, and others who have little recourse.

It's been 35 years of complete butchery of the most successful economic and social system of representative democracy in modern times. We produced the largest middle class the world has ever known, peaking 1945-1985 after centuries of strife and progress. Decimated in the pursuit of profit, greed and self interest. Horror.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:34 AM

9. The Illusion is getting too expensive to maintain...

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:43 AM

10. K & R !!!

Unfortunately, there is little hope that the oligarchs who own America will allow their puppet government to do anything to alleviate the suffering of the 99%.

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Response to Thespian2 (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:30 PM

26. It looks that way unfortunately, short of some real movement in a better direction.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:49 AM

11. They should have included salary numbers for professors on the graph

It includes an "average hourly wage" field, but I wonder if wages for teachers follow that same graph? If the money isn't going to the teachers, then where is it going?

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 09:51 AM

12. Some perspective

I am quite a bit older than most here (1939) and I went to college 1957-1961. Factors other than inflation have dramatically increased college costs.

Most of the married faculty lived in on-campus faculty housing and the bachelor faculty lived in a section of the student dorms. Non-tenured assistant professors in the "arts" departments made about $3500 a year (graduating engineers were getting offers from 5K-7K a year). Faculty were also expected to perform a lot of unpaid work for the school like assistant coaching, being timers and judges for athletic events, chaperones for formal dances, and a lot of one on one counseling (when they were not in class, they were expected to be in their offices and available).

Staff and faculty "productivity" has gone way down since then. A lot of the non-teaching staff (and some of the teaching staff) performed multiple jobs and the administrative offices were limited and austere. The Director of Admissions was also an English prof. The Dean of the faculty taught courses. Academic Departments heads also had a teaching load. Most faculty taught 15-18 credits while department heads were expected to tech 9-12 credits.

Textbooks were smaller (usually about 5" x 8" x 1", continued over more courses, and were packed with info. I paid $8.50 new for my surveying textbook which took me through two semesters of surveying and one semester of mapping (I still have it). Textbooks now re huge (9" x 12" x 3", are only good for one semester, contain an awful lot of white space, and get changed from one year to the next so that they cannot be resold.

I visited my granddaughter in college and she took me to the dining hall which was cafeteria style. There must have been a dozen choices with ethnic food areas, grill areas, and health food areas. When i was in college, we ate family style and each table for eight would get a pot of beef stew, a bowl of canned green beans, a plate of bread, and a bowl of pudding (it varied from night to night, but that was typical).



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Response to 1939 (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:29 AM

15. I went to the University of Iowa campas about that time to visit a friend. Many of the married

students lived in older military style metal housing. Also the campus did not have all the huge expensive housing it has today.

When my uncle visited me at the campus I went to in the 70s we took him to the student center. It was luxurious. He took one look at it and said, "If this is what we are paying for it has got to stop." It did not.

I guess we used to have what we call bare bones colleges. That is gone today and that is what we are paying for.

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Response to jwirr (Reply #15)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:33 AM

17. Professors and ministers

It used to be a "calling" while now they expect to get rich.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:50 PM

24. The University Emphasis is now RESEARCH esp. in Tech and Science/Medicine

 

In other words, go out, find your own salary (and something for the overhead!) from somebody in private industry or government, and forget about teaching anyone....that's what the adjuncts and grad students are for.

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Response to 1939 (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:48 PM

29. Like the college caf you describe it's been a 30 year reckless drive to excess & consumerism to

the extreme. Almost all unnecessary like the housing boom, McMansions, malls, suburbia extreme, clothes, wasteful large autos and lots of material junk. The crash of this now brutally exposes the senseless waste and profit from promoting tangibles rather than what was and is lasting: education, work, family and community, peace, genuine prosperity and security, harmony in living, human rights, social justice and guardianship of our most precious gift on earth, nature.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:08 AM

13. "Household" is not a quantitative "Unit of Measurement" over a timespan.

They started using it so things would not look so bad. Look at the Median income of wage earners per yr,,,, that an eyeopener.

" HOW does this get repaired?" Only one way. Government must redistribute wealth from The Super Rich to the poor and middle class, rather than doing what they have for the last 50 years redistributing from the poor and middle class to the Super Rich.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:32 AM

16. IMO It accelerated when the media began glorifying conspicuous greed and consumption in the 1980s.

I remember people worshipping junk bond traders who became filthy rich. Again, IMO, becoming rich became the end game, and what service you performed or pretended to perform in that pursuit became nearly irrelevant.

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Response to GoneFishin (Reply #16)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:15 PM

31. "Now you're not naive enough to think we're living in a DEMOCRACY are you Buddy?

..It's the FREE MARKET". Gordon Gekko to Bud Fox, movie "WALL STREET", 1987.

When I saw director OLIVER STONE remark a few years ago that in the first film he was pointing out the corruption and greed but many viewers came away enthralled and wanting more, it was very revealing. Stone's father was in Wall Street finance I think. The 80s, it was too much and the start of the fall.

*VIDEO, 2 minutes, Memorable Quotes & Scenes from "WALL STREET" 1987.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:47 AM

18. You don't repair it by reelecting...

 

...the same legislators again and again, which millenials are doing at the same pace as the generation before them.

You don't repair it by focusing on minimum wage because you now accept that selling hamburgers is a meaningful and useful lifelong career.

You don't repair it by pleading with the government to create labor unions for you.

You repair it by demanding that your employer provide you, in return for your labor, with what you need to live your life with dignity, and by banding together and doing whatever it takes, with or without the permission of law, to enforce that demand.

We did that in the 1960s, us Teamsters; standing at the gates of our steel plant with axe handles in our hands, refusing the demands of armed policemen to disband, and denying entry to any who wanted to replace us for lower wages, who we called "scabs" and threatened with bodily harm.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 05:11 PM

40. Damn straight.

This is how things change. Not by voting. Not by hope. Not by looking again and again to the same people from the same parties who have held the status quo for over a hundred years.

No.

We change things by getting out on the streets and fighting for them. The Black Lives Matter movement is doing it right. They're shutting things down until TPTB are forced to hear them. We need to do that everywhere. Walk off your jobs for the $15 wage movement. Block up the streets, make it so Walmart's tractors can't get through. Scream, yell, make yourselves heard. Do this if it's legal or not.

Make them listen.

And above all, be ready to sacrifice. Change is not easy. The people who have it are going to want to keep it. They will do everything they can to try and do so. Unionize even if you can't. Be prepared to lose your job. Be prepared to be arrested. People will be hurt; people will be killed. They will keep on doing it until we stop, and we say,

Enough.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 10:58 AM

20. Taxing the rich is not the complete solution to this problem.

It can be part of a solution, but after we've taxed them into the middle class, were still going to have deep structural problems with our economy.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:02 AM

21. We've been undervaluing inflation for decades

Consumer goods made by machines get cheaper. Real wages drop but you can still afford to fill your house with junk. You don't see how much earning power you've really lost until you try to buy something that can't be made by a robot or a third-world laborer, such as an education or a house or a hospital stay. Wages aren't just stagnant, they've been driven downward by a huge distance. They hide this fact by basing the inflation index on consumer prices for cars and TVs and stuff, which cost far less than they used to because it takes far fewer person-hours to make each unit than used to be needed.

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Response to paulkienitz (Reply #21)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 08:48 PM

42. PAULKIENITZ NAILS IT

yes indeed

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 11:12 AM

22. Excellent observation

For sometime I have suspected the left behind phrase actually means leave them less educated. Those who insisted on being well educated face a lifetime of control by debt.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 01:39 PM

23. Here's several ideas

1. Tax the rich

2. Put some of that rich taxed money into the state and local colleges where it belongs (which makes college affordable)

3. Make it a crime for anyone to start a for-profit college. If we can't do that then at least make sure that the funds these institutions receive from the government go towards education costs and not overhead. Here in Florida we've had several for-profit colleges go belly up and screw over the students.

4. If anyone wants to cut money towards education they have to have a 3/4 majority in order to do so (cons have been using this rule to impose gay marriage bans, tax cuts, etc. in their states).

5. Get rid of all state contractors. Want the roads fixed? Start a Department of Labor that hires qualified Joes and have them fix our infrastructure. For the most part contractors build shitty roads in urban areas while they build pristine ones in suburban areas. At least these guys would be accountable to us, unlike the scam most of these contractors have going in their states.


BTW these ideas are meant to be at the State Level.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:37 PM

27. Empty each and every offshore account.

Use the trillions to rebuild the global economy from one driven by greed into a sustainable system that ends war, ignorance, poverty and want and provides meaning to life for the most precious resource there is, the minds of billions of people and whatever other sentient beings we share the planet with.

If everyone in the rebuilt economy wants to be an artist, fine. Let robots do the heavy lifting.

The guy who knows how to make this all work is Jacques Fresco.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 03:55 PM

30. At least invade the Caymans and put a stop to the legalized tax dodges.

Even grand bastard Milton Friedman toyed with the idea of a Guaranteed Minimum Income funded by the extremely well-to-do.

Just like the Repubs say "There's no such thing as a 'fair share'", I can say "There's no such thing as 'punishing success'".

These thieves really want to give back, start with universal health care (which should be a due human right) and go from there. If you had universal health care, that's the first path to not having well being tethered to how gainfully one is employed.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #30)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:32 PM

34. Agree 100-percent.

The idea one life is worth more than another isn't just undemocratic, it's fascist. Doing -- meaning backing politicians and buying propaganda -- that serves to deny another person food, water and medicine is criminal and, at heart, murderous.



The billionaires and millionaires who dodge taxes and offshore their horde should thank their lucky stars the tumbril doesn't show up when they next ring for the car.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Original post)

Mon Apr 27, 2015, 04:22 PM

32. Why repair something when you can rationalize it?

 

Isn't that the usual narrative about how millennials don't want cars or houses or full time jobs? They want to use public transit, live in dangerous neighborhoods with half a dozen roommates and work part time so they have more time to devote to their Tumblr blog about tattoos. Did I miss anything?

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