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Old 06-04-2011, 02:25 PM   #57
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My wifes company (grain) had it's best year ever last year, but most of the grain they shipped went overseas. This year she's gotten a raise and two bonuses that makes about a 50% increase in her income. I work for a retirement center and still make minimum wage as the occupancy is way down. Lots of the residents have moved in with their kids. Luckily we also have two retirements we're getting now. I retired 13 years ago at 60% of my working wage, my wife qualified for a retirement with her company just as it was sold, then the new company hired he at her old rate. Our IRA's are coming back to almost pre crash levels.
Are we doing well? Not really as our house value has gone way down and still going down. We had planned on selling the stick house and paying off the MH with the proceeds. Won't work now.
However, if we raided our two checking accounts, took the money out of one IRA and traded the Dutch Star in we could get the Newmar Essex ($630,000 list) that we like!!
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:34 PM   #58
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This country is quickly developing into a two class system---no middle----just haves and the rest of us.
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:47 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
I'm not sure that ALL of the blame can be laid at the feet of governmental and industrial greed. The "average person" sometimes participated in work stopages to continually bid up wages and benefits paid to labor... leading in part to jobs being shipped abroad.

JMHO

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I agree that this is a component, but is just one of the straws piled on the camel's back.

I was just talking to the ranger at a park I've recently volunteered at. I commented on how the camp sites were so much closer together than most government operated facilities, including those in the same county system. He explained how any project (private or public) has to be preceded by an archaeological assessment and that they found 'things' of historical / archaeological significance every place they had wanted to site the campground. The little corner that was left is where it ended up, and I'm sure they need a minimum number to make it worth the infrastructure investment. Now this is a government agency.

Imagine you're a private company looking to build or expand, virtually anywhere. There will always be impacted neighbors that will object to anything, you'll need to get approval from the local board. Now you have to get past the state DNR, those achaeologists, the EPA, and the inevitable lawsuits filed by what I refer to the 'Eco-terrorists'. Those opposed to any development for any reason. Once you have your approvals you now need to design your facilities to comply with widely varying local ordinances and standards, the disabilities act, any special accommodations you had to make to gain local approval, it goes on and on and on and on...

Or, you can go to China and start digging the foundation today.

Hmmm. Are we our own worst enemys?
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #60
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Well said Jay. That poor camel has so many straws piled on his back that he doesn't seem to have a chance anymore.

Rick
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Old 06-04-2011, 02:58 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickO View Post
I'm not sure that ALL of the blame can be laid at the feet of governmental and industrial greed. The "average person" (read union people)sometimes participated in work stopages to continually bid up wages and benefits paid to labor... leading in part to jobs being shipped abroad.

JMHO

Rick
"I remember in the 60's when the media made a big deal out of Nixon opening up trade with China. It was supposed to be a good thing. I think what they hadn't counted on was the US labor market having to readjust to compete with cheap 3rd world labor.
We as consumers can only buy so much "stuff" from abroad before our economy can no longer sustain itself. To become competitive in todays world market our labor force must "readjust" to the rest of the world. I believe this readjustment will eliminate much of the middle class. America will still be the land of the free. We will have room for entrepreneurs to become rich, but I predict the working middle class will vanish."

John

Rick, one would think that Johns' reasoning is much closer to the facts. When we went to a World economy we were told that we would have more people to export our goods to if their standard of living rose, in truth it has become a race to the bottom. The only thing we export in large quantities, is jobs. They will not run out of places to produce things ever more cheaply in our life times. We need to pray that our leaders stand up to big Businesses and start trade tariffs and bring home our jobs!
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:07 PM   #62
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Since right after the initial beginning of time there has always been different
classes of people. You look at the kids in school, and i`m talking about grade school up through Hs. Some choose to study, apply themselves, learn what they can, and looking for ways to improve their position. You have those that want to watch tv, play video games, and other various forms of entertainment and just choose to get by. The wonderful thing about america is as long as you choose to exert yourself, and not just get by, or be frugal,and plan ahead, not relying on someone else to take care of your finances for you, or your health, you can come out on top.
I don`t believe any of the classes of people will disappear, its what makes up the social fabric of this country.

There are many examples of both sides, educated, blue collar
that have made it big here, you just have to find out what that is for you, but entirely possible.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:10 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMonroe View Post
I agree that this is a component, but is just one of the straws piled on the camel's back.

I was just talking to the ranger at a park I've recently volunteered at. I commented on how the camp sites were so much closer together than most government operated facilities, including those in the same county system. He explained how any project (private or public) has to be preceded by an archaeological assessment and that they found 'things' of historical / archaeological significance every place they had wanted to site the campground. The little corner that was left is where it ended up, and I'm sure they need a minimum number to make it worth the infrastructure investment. Now this is a government agency.

Imagine you're a private company looking to build or expand, virtually anywhere. There will always be impacted neighbors that will object to anything, you'll need to get approval from the local board. Now you have to get past the state DNR, those achaeologists, the EPA, and the inevitable lawsuits filed by what I refer to the 'Eco-terrorists'. Those opposed to any development for any reason. Once you have your approvals you now need to design your facilities to comply with widely varying local ordinances and standards, the disabilities act, any special accommodations you had to make to gain local approval, it goes on and on and on and on...

Or, you can go to China and start digging the foundation today.

Hmmm. Are we our own worst enemys?
YES
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:16 PM   #64
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Rick, one would think that Johns' reasoning is much closer to the facts. When we went to a World economy we were told that we would have more people to export our goods to if their standard of living rose, in truth it has become a race to the bottom. The only thing we export in large quantities, is jobs. They will not run out of places to produce things ever more cheaply in our life times. We need to pray that our leaders stand up to big Businesses and start trade tariffs and bring home our jobs!
No argument here. The path I see the US on unfortunately reminds me of the path followed by the Fortune 10 high tech company I retired from after 33 years. When I joined them in the early 70's they were top dog in their industry... differintiated from the competition by technology and quality. As time went by the gaps in both of those areas narrowed to the point that our products were "commodities" which anyone could design and produce so it became a race for the lowest price.

I sure wish I could point to something I think would differentiate the US from our competition but it's getting tougher and tougher to do that.

"Protectionism" is often looked at as a bad word but we probably do need to take drastic steps to level the playing field at least. Even at that, I fear the vanishing US middle class is going to be difficult to restore. I really feel for our kids and grandkids.

Rick
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:22 PM   #65
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I've always been intrigued by the conceptual contradiction that in each of our personal lives we often (1) want to be paid a higher and higher wage and benefit package, but (2) when we go to purchase goods and services we want to do so at lower and lower prices.

Absent some magical money tree available to "business companies" which many believe exists, isn't this model self-defeating in the long run??

I've never owned my own business, other than being an investor through the stock markets, but I can understand that higher and higher expenses with lower and lower revenues is unsurvivable in the long run.
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Old 06-04-2011, 03:36 PM   #66
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Just saw this article in the NY Times that seemed pertinent to this thread
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/bu...5backpage.html
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:12 PM   #67
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Just saw this article in the NY Times that seemed pertinent to this thread
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/bu...5backpage.html
Sounds like these guys have an idea about whats going on
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Old 06-04-2011, 04:28 PM   #68
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Take a look at this Vanity Fair article
http://www.vanityfair.com/society/fe...percent-201105


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Old 06-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #69
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I read some of these articles

I'm depressed;
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:07 PM   #70
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I read some of these articles

I'm depressed;
There's no reason to be depressed, we just have to wake up and do something. Remember this is our country as much as any big business The politicians work for us not big business, they keep us divided over
the gay rights and abortion issues, so we take our eye off the ball. Let's all start looking out for our selves, doesn't matter the party as long as they are working for us.
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