Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Dumbing Down of America

I know it’s an election year, but the statements get more ridiculous. “Everyone needs the right to have a college education.” A college education will not in a lot of cases get you a better paying job. It may make you overqualified for the job you’re applying for. Probably at least 70 percent of the jobs in this country don’t require a college education, trade school training maybe. A college degree comes with the automatic assumption of higher wages. That’s not necessarily true.

Congress created a new form of serfdom with the promise of easy money loans for education. Student loan debt is not an issue of irresponsibility with the students, they had no idea of what they were getting into. It was a trap fashioned in Congress that the banks could not say no to. Credit cards and student loans are about the only moneymakers for banks since the Federal Reserve went into the mortgage loan business.

You can’t support a family on $10 an hour, so that justifies $15 an hour? In California, you better be living at home with your mother if you only make $10 hour. Have a kid or two and see what that does to your take home party money-- diapers instead of a 12 pack.

They do have one thing right; the middle class is shrinking. Why? The jobs are being moved offshore. Or worse yet the people with jobs are being replaced by immigrants with H-1B visas. The workers at Disney Studios were shown the door but they had to first train their replacements from India, irritating to say the least. How do you get the jobs back?-- make it more expensive to produce it over there than here. So you put a tariff on every cell phone of $300 and one on shirts and shoes of about $8. Will it be done? Probably not.

The real problems are created by government policies, lawyers and laws. A US company making red plastic gas cans, got sued several times and went out of business. The rest of the worlds labor pool doesn’t have to worry about social security, unemployment insurance, health insurance and worker’s compensation. Overseas production limits the owner’s liability.

Some businesses are trapped and can’t move off shore like food, shelter and services. Many companies that produce a product can successfully make the move. The real trouble is; people earn a living producing product for consumption. If the production moves off shore, the job moves with it. Will you move to Mexico to get your job back at half the price and no benefits? The rest of the world knows how this works, no job in your country, move to one that has jobs. The new people at Disney Studios know that quite well. And computer tech support goes one better. With the phone, the employer can farm out tech support to various companies located in India 24-7.

Current unemployment rate is listed at around 5% here in the US. Estimates place the real figure from 15% on up to 20%. Obama has even referred to the great recession of 2007 to 2010 as being a bad one. So if you carry that one step forward, he is implying that we are no longer in a recession that didn’t exist until after the fact.

To listen to Obama, I’m tired of “We’re not out of the woods yet,” for 8 years running. We are not blaming this disaster on any President. It has its roots back when FDR was president and the advent of Social Security. But the call to bring jobs back to the USA is a little hollow. Very few things that I have purchased in our home have “Made in America” stamped on them. Everything with a made somewhere else tag is a job lost in the US. These jobs could come back, but it would be gradual over decades of time.

The rich people from other countries will silently move here to retire and enjoy our way of life semi-tax free. Of course they will need servants at $15 per hour. And then Drugs, Sex and health care. Retirees’ here do the same thing when they move to Mexico to enjoy their Social Security retirement on a lower income level. Peculiarly if you are a foreigner reaching retirement age here in this country legally, you qualify for Supplemental Security Income and Medicare. So this road to citizenship for illegals could be the real road to hell for Social Security. I complained about the disparity to Social Security and they were very indignant pointing out that SS and SSI were two different programs. To me it’s kind of like the wife buying the new TV instead of the husband, it’s the same bank account.

Congress increased our unemployment numbers by cutting the military budget by 20%. Of course Congress will argue that, they only cut the military budget; the commanders had to figure out what they could cut and it wasn’t the weapons Congress forced them to buy, it was men. Budgets determine what you can do next year. So when the VA falls short on promises to veterans, it's the Congress you need to blame, they have the checkbook.

Congress tells private employers what they have to pay to employees and dictates their benefits. Any wonder why businessmen move their factories off shore?

The real problem is not the promise to fix, but rather the will to provide the funds necessary for these government institutions to perform as expected. And if you want to stem the flow of production overseas, read the writing on the wall; am I going to pay you $5 for something that I can get for $2 somewhere else. The minimum wage is set by laborers in Asia, not by the US Congress.

What we need to realize is, we have a bunch of old farts in Congress using a 20th century mindset that used to work well, but is severely outdated today. The laws no longer fit the times. It’s kind of like the right to bear arms. You wouldn’t rob a bank today with a flint lock pistol made in 1792. IMHO we need younger people at the helm, that can think outside of the "outdated box."


Sackerson said...

Yes. Globalism is undermining the fabric of Western society, as the late Sir James Goldsmith warned at the time of GATT.

Sackerson said...

The Archdruid echoes some of what you say, today:

"Spengler’s historical analysis covers a vast amount of territory, but the point at issue here appears late in the second volume of The Decline of the West, where he sketches out the immediate future of what we call Western industrial civilization and he named the Faustian Culture. His theme was the way that democracies die. He argued that democracy suffers from a lethal vulnerability, which is that it has no meaningful defenses against the influence of money. Since most citizens are more interested in their own personal, short-term advantage than they are in the long-term destiny of their nation, democracy turns into a polite fiction for plutocracy just as soon as the rich figure out how to buy votes, a lesson that rarely takes them long to learn."

AIM said...

The Clintons gave Wall St. students on a silver platter with the legislation that doesn't allow them to default on a student loan via bankruptcy. Once that was passed Wall St. created a new investment vehicle: bundled student loans. The evil that exists in this country is mind boggling. Here is the formula for the youth of America: student debt, then auto debt, then credit card debt and finally mortgage debt... now they are fully locked in and will spend their whole lives servicing all of their debt. Banks and Wall St. make a fortune in interest and late fees for lending out money that doesn't even exist. What a racket.

The politicians and bankers responsible for all of the destruction and misery in this country should all be hanging from lamp posts. One can dream can't he?

AIM said...

You should've held off on this post. The prior post was still active, had momentum and good input. The one before the prior one was totally stagnant. You need to recognize a good thing when you got one going.

Jim in San Marcos said...


You bring up an interesting issue. About 90 percent of the readers of this blog never get to the comments. Most are looking for a fresh post, and if it isn't there, they move on.

A lot of bloggers think that their readers will read every word they write. There is a site meter at the bottom of this blog and you can see my customer count and time spent on the page. Out of 10 readers, I get about three reads, two for about one minute and maybe one for 4 minutes. So if you are not brief and to the point, you don't get read.

The comments section is for interaction with the author. Out of 200 reads, I might get one post.

I hurried up and posted this one to take the pressure off of Anthony and at the same time keep my regular readers happy.

The comments section for Anthony's post is still open, you have an open line to him on that page. I wrote one column about a root canal 6 years ago, and it has pretty much turned into an experience forum for people going through a root canal. I get one or two comments posted to its comments section every year.

It's my bad posts that make my regular posts look good ;>)

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

Thank you for the link. I don't know if you already read it, but "Democracy in America" by Alexis de Tocqueville written in the 1850's --150 years ago, is a hell of a read. I'd almost accuse the writer of that quote you posted of reading Tocquerville's book.

AIM said...

I didn't realize that the comment section is solely for dialogue with the author. I thought it was for that as well as commentary and discussion between readers regarding the subject the author blogged about. I just assumed that the blogger wouldn't add another post if there was active discussion going on regarding the current post. It appears that isn't the way it works. I learn something new every day. (Although it does appear to me on this site that once a new blog is posted, the commentary in the earlier one(s) dies.)

Jim in San Marcos said...


Maybe "dialogue with the author" is a little too specific. "Discussion between other commenters," might be a better selection of words. I've had to deleted several posts for writers flaming each other.

You are right that the conversations tend to stop when something new is published.