Unraveling of America? Is the decline of our "empire" a given at this point?

Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Amazon is not good for workers or working people. It's a known fact that Union workers earn more than non-union in those types of jobs. It's a shame, Amazon, which is almost a trillion-dollar company, who's CEO reportedly did not pay any taxes, is allowed to get away with treating workers like that.
You just can't get your facts straight. Bezos pays income taxes, it's Amazon the company that hasn't paid federal income taxes because they are using part of the tax code which I hate, called loss carryforward. It allows you to count past losses against current earnings, so a common strategy with American companies is to lose money during a growth phase, and then use the losses to offset future profits. It applies to individual taxpayers too, but Bezos makes hundreds of millions or billions in capital gains, and guaranteed he pays taxes on it.

Amazon's current market capitalization as of this posting date is $1.56 trillion.

I've read the articles about Amazon's working conditions, both good and bad. I'm not sure what to believe, but the conditions described in The Guardian article strike me as unsustainable, and I doubt Amazon management is that stupid.

On the other hand, many jobs are very physically demanding. Try being a UPS driver for a day, especially now.
 
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J

Jeff R.

Audioholic General
Amazon is not good for workers or working people. It's a known fact that Union workers earn more than non-union in those types of jobs. It's a shame, Amazon, which is almost a trillion-dollar company, who's CEO reportedly did not pay any taxes, is allowed to get away with treating workers like that.
That is flat out wrong. Our nonunion sites make more money than our union sites in many cases. Unions are out dated. They discourage individuals from bettering them selves and climbing the ladder.


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highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
You just can't get your facts straight. Bezos pays income taxes, it's Amazon the company that hasn't paid federal income taxes because they are using part of the tax code which I hate, called loss carryforward. It allows you to count past losses against current earnings, so a common strategy with American companies is to lose money during a growth phase, and then use the losses to offset future profits. It applies to individual taxpayers too, but Bezos makes hundreds of millions or billions in capital gains, and guaranteed he pays taxes on it.

Amazon's current market capitalization as of this posting date is $1.56 trillion.

I've read the articles about Amazon's working conditions, both good and bad. I'm not sure what to believe, but the conditions described in The Guardian article strike me as unsustainable, and I doubt Amazon management is that stupid.

On the other hand, many jobs are very physically demanding. Try being a UPS driver for a day, especially now.
Loss carry-forward is done because the IRS limits the amount of loss claimed in a single year- it works the same way if someone loses their butt in the stock market, even if someone spent/paid all of the money lost in one year.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
That is flat out wrong. Our nonunion sites make more money than our union sites in many cases. Unions are out dated. They discourage individuals from bettering them selves and climbing the ladder.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Some unions require ongoing training, but some don't. Depends on the job. Some have so much clout that the worst turd on the planet can keep their job because of seniority.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
We Americans like to say “We’re No. 1.” But the new data suggest that we should be chanting, “We’re No. 28! And dropping!”

Let’s wake up, for we are no longer the country we think we are.
Thanks to Congress, the American education system and the media, you're right.
 
Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Loss carry-forward is done because the IRS limits the amount of loss claimed in a single year- it works the same way if someone loses their butt in the stock market, even if someone spent/paid all of the money lost in one year.
I know why it's allowed, and I simply think it is wrong to have taxpayers subsidize losses by offsetting taxable gains in future years. Once you realize a loss that should be it. IMO, this is one of the biggest loopholes and inequities in the US tax system. #2 is so-called Carried Interest income, so you pay the capital gains tax rate rather than the earned income tax rate. #3 are trusts and foundations that allow wealthy people to avoid estate taxes, forever. Foundations also let you employ your relatives with no cap on salaries or spending on facilities, while giving away only 5% per year of asset value. Most of these foundations earn more than 5% on investments, so they go on in-perpetuity.
 
T

trochetier

Enthusiast
Thanks to Congress, the American education system and the media, you're right.
US education system at post graduate levels are the envy of the world specially in science and technology. At undergraduate levels the system is also extremely good depending on the area of study. That is why 100 of thousands of foreign students flock here every year willing to pay the full fare in tuition. Their tuition help subsidize American students.

As for our public school system, agree it's generally a disaster. It has been atrophying for decades. I blame it upon the parents and their lack of interest and participation in the quality of education their kids are getting.
 
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T

trochetier

Enthusiast
..... Unions are out dated. They discourage individuals from bettering them selves and climbing the ladder.


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Unions are not outdated the way they are run is outdated and in many cases the leadership is corrupt. The fault lies with the average unions members because they continue to allow it.
 
J

Jeff R.

Audioholic General
Unions are not outdated the way they are run is outdated and in many cases the leadership is corrupt. The fault lies with the average unions members because they continue to allow it.
Agree. The leaders are terrible and corrupt. Terrible employees are protected and kept around while the good hard working employees are asked to carry their load. It creates a poor level of motivation in the team.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
US education system at post graduate levels are the envy of the world specially in science and technology. At undergraduate levels the system is also extremely good depending on the area of study. That is why 100 of thousands of foreign students flock here every year willing to pay the full fare in tuition. Their tuition help subsidize American students.

As for our public school system, agree it's generally a disaster. It has been atrophying for decades. I blame it upon the parents and their lack of interest and participation in the quality of education their kids are getting.
I'm not referring to post-grad. The problem is that the lower levels are so bad that it has made bringing in foreign students necessary partly because they can afford the ridiculously high costs. Colleges and universities need to re-tool their systems to make attendance possible for more, rather than pay stupid salaries to tenured professors who do damned little but the public school systems that are under-performing should be seen as a symptom of the failure of the American education system to provide the tools for kids to become useful adults. The US needs to make sure more students see value in their education- otherwise, we'll never dig out of this hole.

How do students who were taught Common Core go beyond that, to study high level Math and Science?
 
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Irvrobinson

Irvrobinson

Audioholic Spartan
Unions are not outdated the way they are run is outdated and in many cases the leadership is corrupt. The fault lies with the average unions members because they continue to allow it.
I agree that some unions have corrupt leadership, but my fundamental issue is that many unions try to make their members appear perfectly interchangeable to their employers. Many actively suppress workers who over-achieve, and vigorously defend those who are low-performers or worse. Public service unions are the worst.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
I'm not referring to post-grad. The problem is that the lower levels are so bad that it has made bringing in foreign students necessary partly because they can afford the ridiculously high costs. Colleges and universities need to re-tool their systems to make attendance possible for more, rather than pay stupid salaries to tenured professors who do damned little but the public school systems that are under-performing should be seen as a symptom of the failure of the American education system to provide the tools for kids to become useful adults. The US needs to make sure more students see value in their education- otherwise, we'll never dig out of this hole.

How do students who were taught Common Core go beyond that, to study high level Math and Science?
Education reform is high on my list of things that need to be done in this country. We're now seeing the effects of having a less than educated population. Way too many stupid things are happening that could have been prevented with a decent education system.

If only it were like this...

 
T

trochetier

Enthusiast
I'm not referring to post-grad. The problem is that the lower levels are so bad that it has made bringing in foreign students necessary partly because they can afford the ridiculously high costs. Colleges and universities need to re-tool their systems to make attendance possible for more, rather than pay stupid salaries to tenured professors who do damned little but the public school systems that are under-performing should be seen as a symptom of the failure of the American education system to provide the tools for kids to become useful adults. The US needs to make sure more students see value in their education- otherwise, we'll never dig out of this hole.

How do students who were taught Common Core go beyond that, to study high level Math and Science?
Beg to differ about the stupid salaries for tenured professors. At least in Science and Technology areas they are doing or guiding Ph.D. or Post doctoral candidates in the cutting edge fundamental research, research that is NOT done by companies.

Not everyone needs to go to college, there should be other tracks too for well paid skilled jobs. The German system of apprenticeship to full time job offered by manufacturing companies is a good example.

As for K through High School - parents need to take responsibility for pushing their kids to do well. Schools are NOT day care centers. I have high school physics teacher neighbor he has complained that parents yell at teachers for failing their kids even when the kid has not done the work or failed the tests. What kind of stupidity is that?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Ninja
As for K through High School - parents need to take responsibility for pushing their kids to do well. Schools are NOT day care centers. I have high school physics teacher neighbor he has complained that parents yell at teachers for failing their kids even when the kid has not done the work or failed the tests. What kind of stupidity is that?
Like this?



After doing this lovely homeschooling with my kids I've come to the conclusion that teachers don't make even remotely close to enough money. I only have to put up with my own kids (who, if I'm being honest, are actually very good). I can't imagine having to put up with other people's kids.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Beg to differ about the stupid salaries for tenured professors. At least in Science and Technology areas they are doing or guiding Ph.D. or Post doctoral candidates in the cutting edge fundamental research, research that is NOT done by companies.

Not everyone needs to go to college, there should be other tracks too for well paid skilled jobs. The German system of apprenticeship to full time job offered by manufacturing companies is a good example.

As for K through High School - parents need to take responsibility for pushing their kids to do well. Schools are NOT day care centers. I have high school physics teacher neighbor he has complained that parents yell at teachers for failing their kids even when the kid has not done the work or failed the tests. What kind of stupidity is that?
I didn't think I needed to be so specific that the curricula needed to be specified when I referred to the salaries and I would think you know that I meant the studies in areas where there's just about zero demand for people with that experience.

STEM always has demand and those fields are objective, which means there's a need for accuracy, completeness in the material taught and hopefully, they impart some sense of the real world WRT what they can do in it.

Parents have taken the easy way when it comes to dumping their kids at school and picking them up (maybe) at the end of the day, without being involved in their education and I think that part of the reason they aren't very involved is that they may not have been particularly interested in some of the classes that are being taught when they were in school. Imagine being a parent when they realize they can't help the kid(s) with their Math homework because the kids are at a more advanced level- some kids are doing algebra in 4th grade (I don't know when they officially start that level but we only got to pre-algebra in 7th or 8th grade).

WRT your comments about people who don't need to go to college- absolutely! Some kids just aren't going to do well there and would rather do something as soon as high school is done- I know of many who entered the trades while we were still there, participating in co-op programs. Some tried college and decided it wasn't where they should be and some went for a while before reaching the impass of not knowing where they wanted to go. The high school I attended had strong shop programs but not long after I graduated, they lost the entire staff after forcing the drafting teacher into early retirement and with the trend of parents deciding that "My kid is not going to work with their hands", the programs were doomed and that, coupled with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs, set up the country for the future shortage of skilled workers. Also, as people became more affluent at younger age, they saw less need for doing things for themselves, which was taught to the kids, so the next generations didn't know which end of a screwdriver to pound on.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
I didn't think I needed to be so specific that the curricula needed to be specified when I referred to the salaries and I would think you know that I meant the studies in areas where there's just about zero demand for people with that experience.

STEM always has demand and those fields are objective, which means there's a need for accuracy, completeness in the material taught and hopefully, they impart some sense of the real world WRT what they can do in it.

Parents have taken the easy way when it comes to dumping their kids at school and picking them up (maybe) at the end of the day, without being involved in their education and I think that part of the reason they aren't very involved is that they may not have been particularly interested in some of the classes that are being taught when they were in school. Imagine being a parent when they realize they can't help the kid(s) with their Math homework because the kids are at a more advanced level- some kids are doing algebra in 4th grade (I don't know when they officially start that level but we only got to pre-algebra in 7th or 8th grade).

WRT your comments about people who don't need to go to college- absolutely! Some kids just aren't going to do well there and would rather do something as soon as high school is done- I know of many who entered the trades while we were still there, participating in co-op programs. Some tried college and decided it wasn't where they should be and some went for a while before reaching the impass of not knowing where they wanted to go. The high school I attended had strong shop programs but not long after I graduated, they lost the entire staff after forcing the drafting teacher into early retirement and with the trend of parents deciding that "My kid is not going to work with their hands", the programs were doomed and that, coupled with the loss of so many manufacturing jobs, set up the country for the future shortage of skilled workers. Also, as people became more affluent at younger age, they saw less need for doing things for themselves, which was taught to the kids, so the next generations didn't know which end of a screwdriver to pound on.
As the axiom goes, You get what you pay for.
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
As the axiom goes, You get what you pay for.
I wish. In the case of Milwaukee, the school system is what has been forced on taxpayers, partly because of what the state education secretaries have implemented. The MPS school board used to have one superintendent, now it has nine. The annual budget is very close to that of the whole city- last year it was $1.4 Billion and $1.2B for this year, for about 76K students. That would be fine if it went toward their education but 65% is for wages and pensions- the system also doesn't allow selling off schools and other facilities that are no longer needed but they still need to be heated and maintained. To make it worse, they have a terrible dropout rate & reading comprehension/math scores and extremely high chronic truancy.

I have read that the scores are improving, but the system has been terrible for decades. If the results were proportionate to the cost, MKE would have far fewer problems.
 
Ponzio

Ponzio

Audioholic Samurai
An interesting article in the Smithsonian, ‘How Algorithms Discern Our Mood From What We Write Online’, according to our intergoogle overlord watchers in 2020.
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/innovation/how-algorithms-discern-our-mood-what-we-write-online-180975840/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20200917-daily-responsive&spMailingID=43485789&spUserID=OTA1OTU5NzUzNTU2S0&spJobID=1841497307&spReportId=MTg0MTQ5NzMwNwS2

It got me to thinking about what Irv said in an earlier post. The country has gone thru some tough times before, that portended the eventual unraveling of Pax Americana, but here we are. The guardrails of American democracy are battered but not beyond repair.

It’s up to us. Do we continue to holler pass each other and nothing gets done? Or do we rediscover the importance of compromise and common sense, to continue this grand experiment for our heirs?

As Walt Kelly noted in the comic strip “Pogo” in 1971, metaphorically referring to the roiling internal domestic strife caused by the Vietnam War, ‘We have met the enemy and he is us’.

Let’s make a liar out of him; vote with your head, not your heart, and send a message to our feckless leaders.

Lead by consensus and the consent of the people governed or get the ‘eff out of the way.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
The author believes Trump's election indicates the extent or degree of decline, but denies that Trump is responsible for the decline
This has been my point for the past 4 years. Trump is a symptom and not a cause. Micheal Moore said it best about Trump being the middle finger that middle America voted with.
 

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