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  • #61
    Sorry for the delay in my reply.

    To respond to some points quickly:
    Originally posted by Snydley View Post
    I believe that CEOs should make far more than the lowest paid employee, but I feel this difference should be reasonable, should be, frankly, humane. Let's say 30X difference- so the lowest paid person makes 30K/year and the CEO 900K. Who on earth needs to make more than 900K per year??


    Fine. If a company wants to make that their policy and the Board of Directors and shareholders agree, go for it. I don't think anyone will argue that point. However, the government shouldn't pass a law that mandates that.
    Ok, maybe the government shouldn't set a 900K cap on CEOs (and TexasHusker would agree)..however, when a CEO of one company is worth more than 100 billion dollars, we have a massive problem. I hear "no more government" frequently from those with more conservative viewpoints, but we need a reasonable middle ground here, and/or we need strong unions. This is my opinion. We need to give everyone the chance to excel/earn lots of money but we need to have a system where we care about our fellow citizens on a basic level. This is also why I feel everyone should have basic covereage of health care.
    A company being worth 100 billion gets there by employing LOTS of people. A CEO making 100 billion is not a problem. Government could not eliminate polio, but Bill Gates is trying. If the government took more of his money away, this would not happen. Or Elon Musk makes billions, then uses money to start new companies (like SpaceX and Tesla). If the govenment took his money, he could not create new things which benefit society.

    I see it in my own working class town- many fellow parents telling me they are sending their kids to the tech high school to learn a trade because they don't have the $ for college and they don't want their kids saddled with huge undergrad loans with 6-8% interest. I never saw this happen as a middle class high school student.
    This is a much larger discussion but college doesn't have to involve huge loans. I know plenty of people today who are attending community colleges and getting their degrees with little to no debt. Several of my coworkers are in nursing school. One just graduated this week from community college. He works full time and our employer has tuition reimbursement. His out of pocket costs have been pretty modest. There are readily available ways to get a degree without burying yourself in debt.
    . I'm not disagreeing with you, but with private schools at insane prices (MIT, for example, is ~75K year including room and board) with interest rates on loans 3x what I paid it is harder to get to that bachelor's degree than when I was 18. I'm not saying trade school isn't the right match for many people, but I'm seeing families discourage kids from even considering 4 year school, and I never saw this when I was in high school, even among families with no savings or much of an income.
    student loan debt is not the root problem, colleges and universities going are immune to governments- private property, monopolistic tendencies, endowments which are not taxed. If you" fix" student loans, the colleges will still be able to practice predatory enrollment and tuition increases
    My peers in science (fellow faculty, biotech scientists, etc) are sending their kids to colleagues' labs to get experience to sweeten their college and grad school applications; these same kids have extensive private tutoring whenever needed, including for the SAT and graduate entrance exams. This puts middle and lower class kids at a huge disadvantage. There weren't so many of these elite 'hyper-groomed' kids when I was applying to undergrad/grad school.


    I would push back on this. I'm 54. I graduated high school in 1982. My dad was an accountant. My mom was a housewife. We were about as middle class as it got back then. But I took SAT prep classes and volunteered at the local hospital and shadowed our family doctor in his office to help "sweeten" my college and med school applications. That has been going on forever. And it wasn't just the upper class folks doing it.
    I'm not takling about taking a Kaplan SAT course or shadowing the family doctor- this are all within the realm of normal prep for med school. A colleague of mine was on the MD admissions committee at my university- she said every application included time in Africa or related countries, working with doctors without borders, etc for months..really out there stuff that require $$ and an in to do as a undergrad. Also, the SAT scores are so inflated now, not from a basic prep course, but extensive, expensive tutors to beat the test..that I suspect it will be thrown out within 5 years. We just got rid of GREs on our PhD admissions committee because they put minorites at such an extreme disadvantage. GRE/SATs aren't really measuring aptitude anymore due to the insane prep for them.

    I also think that the whole "middle class evaporates" thing is greatly misunderstood. The lower class hasn't been expanding. If the middle class has contracted it's because the upper class has grown. People have been upwardly mobile.
    I completely disagree, I can't imagine having this perception, to be honest. I just drove across the very top of NY state this past weekend, to my husband's hometown. His town was a solid, flourishing middle class area when he was young, with plenty of jobs provided by the Alcoa plant. The plant cut most of those jobs, and now what you see is homes in disrepair, shuttered business, increased crime, and about 1 in 5 homes for sale then last time we counted. My husband's childhood home (a small but nice cape on a side street with a backyard) sold for 25K ~ 5years ago. His town looks like other neighboring towns, and it's the same through the rust belt of the US. Even in big cities the change is dramatic- take the change in mission district of San Francisco in the last 10 years...in come the uber wealthy paying insane rents and goodbye to the thriving mexican community that was there when I lived in the city. I could go on and on.
    I like the idea that some occupations should pay more than others, however seeing doctors incomes not be higher (significantly) than an engineers needs some analysis... most engineers are employed privately, where as doctors/hospitals rarely follow supply/demand curves because of government involvement in healthcare suppressing income.

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    • #62
      Originally posted by jiM_Mi View Post
      A CEO making 100 billion is not a problem.
      There is no CEO making $1 billion a year as compensation, let alone 100 times that.
      How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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      • #63
        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
        As for the minority issue, I read that the SATs just added some sort of diversity score to try and adjust for some of that. I have no idea if that will work or not but certainly not all students have equal access to a quality education and that greatly impacts their ability to compete at the college level.
        College "aptitude" tests such as SAT and ACT are fine, provided you fit into their box. My daughter is plenty bright, but she has ADD and a visual conversion disorder that makes these tests excruciatingly difficult. A lot of good colleges are pretty much out of the picture for her because of this, but that's a shame. Her ace in the hole is that she's an outstanding volleyball player and schools often make accommodations if you can help them get some wins. Sad but true. But you play the cards that you are dealt.
        How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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        • #64



          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post


          As for the minority issue, I read that the SATs just added some sort of diversity score to try and adjust for some of that. I have no idea if that will work or not but certainly not all students have equal access to a quality education and that greatly impacts their ability to compete at the college level.

          College "aptitude" tests such as SAT and ACT are fine, provided you fit into their box. My daughter is plenty bright, but she has ADD and a visual conversion disorder that makes these tests excruciatingly difficult. A lot of good colleges are pretty much out of the picture for her because of this, but that's a shame. Her ace in the hole is that she's an outstanding volleyball player and schools often make accommodations if you can help them get some wins. Sad but true. But you play the cards that you are dealt.

          I think that's terrible and I don't know when your daughter is applying to schools but I suspect there will likely be a shift away from SAT/ACT scores being much weight soon. Also, I think the fact that she's an amazing volleyball player should legitimately give her an edge. Schools need students with a wide range of talents, period. I was a very good basketball player in high school (varsity starter) and I really think that my time playing competitive team sports gave me a big edge in my career. I am very "team" focused and I handle failure better than many of my peers. Sports teaches so many critical life/career advancement skills that the skilled test takers often never acquire.

          I also like the idea of this "adversity score" being added to college admissions. It really exposes the kids with the uber perfect applications due to environments that enable such ridiculousness (a few of my neighboring towns, for example). I sounds fair-ish in the sense that it is not based on ethnicity but environment via many variables. For example, in my daughter's case, her score might first be lowered because of the average income of the residents of my town, but then raised because of our higher household income...apparently there are 15 parameters measured.

          Also, I wanted to note that the discourse of this thread was respectful despite the very politically "hot button" topic, which is great. If only our politicians could converse in the same manner. Also, it seems that I'm the only "bleeding heart" liberal who saves $$ and would be a member of such a forum...LOL.

          One final comment- I used to work with a group in Sweden, and one of my Swedish colleagues started complaining to me about how much he was taxed and how lucky we were in the US. I think he said 50% of his salary was taxed. Then I said to him, "well, don't you have free health care for life and won't both your daughters go to college for free?" Yes, he said, but he still didn't like it. Maybe we should have swapped jobs (I'd need more sun in the winter, however).







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          • #65
            LOL "don't be political" on an issue that is 100% politically driven......joke.
            Gunga galunga...gunga -- gunga galunga.

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            • #66
              Originally posted by Snydley View Post
              One final comment- I used to work with a group in Sweden, and one of my Swedish colleagues started complaining to me about how much he was taxed and how lucky we were in the US. I think he said 50% of his salary was taxed. Then I said to him, "well, don't you have free health care for life and won't both your daughters go to college for free?" Yes, he said, but he still didn't like it.
              The grass is always greener.

              Many folks in America think it would be great if taxes got hiked and covered all of the stuff that we have to figure out on our own now like healthcare and college. But then there are many folks in countries that already do that who wish they could keep more of their income and take care of things themselves. Nobody is ever happy.
              Steve

              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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              • #67


                The new adversity score for college is supposed to be private and no one sees the score so how can anyone know if those in charge are not gaming their own system.
                Although it is new and maybe they have worked out details to avoid someone lets say creating creative address that is a more diversified area or low income area. For every new option their are those who will find a work around it.

                There simply is NOT a one size fits all for most anything .. yet so many seem to think with small adjustments they can make it work or "fair".
                Then they think up new challenges that make the playing field uneven again.

                The whole "inequality" argument ( that is what it is ) are not designed for people to solve or even rationally discuss but is a way to divide and create a void between people.

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                • #68
                  Originally posted by Snydley View Post





                  I think that's terrible and I don't know when your daughter is applying to schools but I suspect there will likely be a shift away from SAT/ACT scores being much weight soon. Also, I think the fact that she's an amazing volleyball player should legitimately give her an edge. Schools need students with a wide range of talents, period. I was a very good basketball player in high school (varsity starter) and I really think that my time playing competitive team sports gave me a big edge in my career. I am very "team" focused and I handle failure better than many of my peers. Sports teaches so many critical life/career advancement skills that the skilled test takers often never acquire.

                  I also like the idea of this "adversity score" being added to college admissions. It really exposes the kids with the uber perfect applications due to environments that enable such ridiculousness (a few of my neighboring towns, for example). I sounds fair-ish in the sense that it is not based on ethnicity but environment via many variables. For example, in my daughter's case, her score might first be lowered because of the average income of the residents of my town, but then raised because of our higher household income...apparently there are 15 parameters measured.


                  **snip**

                  Generally I think a free market will swing entrance to higher education in my lifetime, the bolded quote is one of key components. We have already seen companies like Apple and Google waive the "college degree" requirement- they stated this was a way to weed out applications, but it didn't weed out the right applicants.

                  I see the SAT score and ACT score as the same thing-
                  To me, as long as the student has the right motivation, what is needed is a baseline score- likely around 850 or 900 minimum, after that, the difference between a 1400 and a 1500 is what exactly?


                  Several data points on this- I come from a suburban OK off family, and I had 3 siblings. The oldest had the lowest SAT score, about 400-450 points under the best (3rd child was about 1400+). I was second lowest- I cracked a 1080, I am the second oldest. My two younger siblings did really well on the tests. Those tests do not predict motivation. My older brother was a civil servant in US Military, was awarded a presidential medal of freedom, and overall was highly motivated and highly successful in his professional life. I went on to a top 5 engineering school with my 1080 score, and because the school emphasized hands on, learning by doing (neither of which the ACT/SAT can predict), I graduated, with a decent GPA (I am proof you can be a solid B student and not completely f! up life).

                  So a school like Harvard and MIT which crave for intellectual types can use an SAT or SAT score to find the classroom competition those schools thrive on.
                  However 90% of universities would likely take a motivated person with a 900 score and help them grow into an adult- which is something the college experience does well (IMO). Because high schools are not standardized, the colleges need a way to compare someone which is in a 600 person graduating class to a person which is in a small 60 person rural school. I think activities like Robotics, drama club and other things would help equate.compare the two candidates, and I am sure colleges have other ways to predict student success after Freshman calculus




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                  • #69
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                    Wow, This would get you in a lot of trouble with nurses, and plenty of doctors. I'm not exactly sure how nurses can be compared to waitresses or realtors. Nurses are doing front line patient care every day. They are the eyes and ears of the doctors and need to observe and be ready to respond to all sorts of variables throughout they day. They're highly trained and generally well-compensated, as they should be.
                    Thank you for saying that Steve. I've been a nurse for 38 yrs. I think the poster you were responding to has a somewhat old fashioned view of things...he went from a discussion of male vs. female compensation to comparing nurses to engineers. Not all nurses are women, not all engineers are men.
                    signed,
                    your friendly male who is a nurse and loves it

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                    • #70
                      I do believe our tax system is very much skewed for the ultra wealthy. I also think the US is the easiest place on Earth to break out of income stagnation if the individual is a do-er, instead of a complainer. You really don't have to be very special to make 6 figures in the US, and then use that money to make more money. But people here has a culture of spending what they don't have and using every excuse in the world to scapegoat their problems. It's built into the political system to gain votes. It's a shame that both parties sell snake oil to people, hindering their progress. "Just wait until we raise taxes on the rich"..or "just wait until we kick out all the Mexicans". Americans sit on their ass and wait while they become poorer and poorer due to stagnation and inability to plan since they are bathe in the fallacy of failing due to external and uncontrollable situation that makes them poor.

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                      • #71
                        Originally posted by Singuy View Post
                        I do believe our tax system is very much skewed for the ultra wealthy. I also think the US is the easiest place on Earth to break out of income stagnation if the individual is a do-er, instead of a complainer. You really don't have to be very special to make 6 figures in the US, and then use that money to make more money. But people here has a culture of spending what they don't have and using every excuse in the world to scapegoat their problems. It's built into the political system to gain votes. It's a shame that both parties sell snake oil to people, hindering their progress. "Just wait until we raise taxes on the rich"..or "just wait until we kick out all the Mexicans". Americans sit on their ass and wait while they become poorer and poorer due to stagnation and inability to plan since they are bathe in the fallacy of failing due to external and uncontrollable situation that makes them poor.
                        Singuy is on a roll this morning.
                        james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                        202.468.6043

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                        • #72
                          My daughter was asking me a while back why the people who work the hardest don't get paid the most. I mean looking at it from a child's perspective, doesn't it make more sense for someone on a street repair crew working 10 hour days in 90 degree heat, earn more than some guy sitting behind a desk all day?

                          I had to explain that folks who work with their muscles usually don't earn nearly as much as those who work with their minds. That's because there are a lot of people who have muscles, and not many people with educated minds. So if you want to earn more, you have to obtain an education so that you can earn money by working with your mind instead of your muscles. Seems to have made sense to her.
                          How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

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                          • #73
                            You know what, not everyone grasps the concept of supply and demand. I find this a lot with real estate or even used goods on line. For example, people feel that because they lived in a condo unit for several years and loved it, that its worth more than the market price. Its the same for children's toys. Just because your child loved his/her Lego collection doesn't mean the Lego sets are worth their full retail value. The price of things, housing, toys, and labor, for the most part, is set by markets, not by what people's subjective desires of what they want the price to be.
                            james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
                            202.468.6043

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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                              My daughter was asking me a while back why the people who work the hardest don't get paid the most. I mean looking at it from a child's perspective, doesn't it make more sense for someone on a street repair crew working 10 hour days in 90 degree heat, earn more than some guy sitting behind a desk all day?

                              I had to explain that folks who work with their muscles usually don't earn nearly as much as those who work with their minds. That's because there are a lot of people who have muscles, and not many people with educated minds. So if you want to earn more, you have to obtain an education so that you can earn money by working with your mind instead of your muscles. Seems to have made sense to her.

                              the guy who invented the jackhammer is worth more than muscle guy using it.

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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
                                My daughter was asking me a while back why the people who work the hardest don't get paid the most. I mean looking at it from a child's perspective, doesn't it make more sense for someone on a street repair crew working 10 hour days in 90 degree heat, earn more than some guy sitting behind a desk all day?

                                I had to explain that folks who work with their muscles usually don't earn nearly as much as those who work with their minds. That's because there are a lot of people who have muscles, and not many people with educated minds. So if you want to earn more, you have to obtain an education so that you can earn money by working with your mind instead of your muscles. Seems to have made sense to her.
                                True to an extent. I argue the true barrier to wealth is a lack of ambition.

                                Imagine two people both just got hired to mow grass. One will take his paycheck and relax on that Friday by blowing half of it on booze and fun because that person feel they deserved it for such a hard 2 weeks worth of work. The other one saves the money with a goal of getting his own truck and equipment one day. Way too many people falls into camp one...cursing the CEO of the company for long hours, low pay, and greedy for taking too much profits/not paying his fair share of taxes. I believe both has similar muscles and brain power. It's really a matter of the person circumventing temptation that ends up winning.

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