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birdguy

Brave New World

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29 minutes ago, Mike A said:

And in companies buying houses to rent them out which reduces housing stock, which reduces the opportunity for families to be able to afford their own homes & acquire wealth that can be passed down generations:

Related...a healthy economic system is one where people can easily afford to purchase the products they produce be it food stuffs or automobiles while at the same time providing a reasonable profit for the employers/manufacturers.  If the balance is skewed where less buying power converts to greater profits then you have a system that can't sustain itself.

Noel

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The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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12 minutes ago, dave2013 said:

Sorry, but I must disagree that teachers are generally underpaid.  Teacher salaries average about 50K/year, higher or lower depending on the State.

I rest my case. I made more than that 25 years ago 🙂

You're a free market guy - it doesn't matter whether 50k is a "good" wage or not. It's whether it's sufficient to attract smart, capable people into education relative to the alternatives, and it's pretty obvious that it is not. Even red state Governors are going out of their way to brag how they are raising teachers' salaries - because they are crazy low compared to their competition.

My daughter just graduated; in her field she would be able to make 50k as well as fully funding a 401K on top of that in her first year. I'll take a fully funded 401K over a government pension any day, especially considering how poorly funded they are relative to their liabilities. She said no, and went to school to get her Masters degree so she can make six figures. As I tell my other kids, learn Python and you can make six figures on day one. We pay our entry level folks that much.

The crisis in education started when we stopped forcing intelligent women into teaching as their only career choice. Lack of funding, political interference and disinterest has made things worse. Given how wealth is increasingly correlated to education, I am worried for those localities who rate poorly in education in national or state rankings. They will fail to attract wealthy, educated people and suffer a brain drain as anyone with education and ambition leaves as soon as they can.

Cheers


Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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1 minute ago, Luke said:

I'll take a fully funded 401K over a government pension any day

I have a military pension and it does pretty well.  I've been retired for 30 years.  I don't have to touch any savings because my military retirement and our social security have gotten us through very well.  We have no healthcare costs save 12.00 for a 3 month prescription for drugs.  If I lived near a military base I could use their facilities and commissary and base exchange.  And state tax breaks for those in military service.

Noel


The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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You don't have a traditional pension, Noel, unless you contributed to the TSP. IIUC traditional military pensions are just general government obligations and cannot run out of money. The government would just print more.

There's a reason it's not offered anywhere else (and in may cases is illegal to do so!)

Cheers


Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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48 minutes ago, CO2Neutral said:

I'm hoping this is a typo or bad satire or I'm not understanding your intent ... because this is the most sexist comment I've heard in long long long time.

Sexism is not my intent. My point is that the quality of education was artificially boosted by the restrictions we placed upon women in the workforce. All the women who today are successful professionals would have been forced into teaching 75 years ago. While this is a good thing overall it did have negative effects on the teacher population as it forced them to compete against other employers, which most school systems (and their voters, as we see here) are poorly equipped to do.

Cheers

Edited by Luke

Luke Kolin

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6 hours ago, CO2Neutral said:

wanting to live in 1940's or 1800's and completely ignoring the reality of that period of time

I live in an aging community.  And one common thread we all have is a desire to return to a time when we were motivated, actively employed, and enjoyed life.  And we are all, to put it bluntly, waiting to die.  Most of us would gladly return to the 40s and 50s and 60s fully recognizing the realities those periods of time.

In our dining room I sit at a table of six.  The youngest is 86 and the oldest is 96.  And while they have some activities for us like dime bingo every Wednesday afternoon and guitar players who show up from time to time to entertain us we are a community of useless people.  We are not productive.  We do not have anything important to do.

I live in a small apartment with a living room that has a small kitchenette at one end...a bathroom...and a bedroom.  Once a week a maid comes in to change the linen on my bed and launder the old linen and kitchen and bathroom towels.  She sweeps and mops the floor and dusts the apartment.  Like everyone here I have virtually nothing to do but march like a lemming to the dining room three times a day and get fed.

For most of us watching television most of the day is our only activity.

I am more fortunate than most.  While I do watch a lot of television I also have a couple of computers.  One is my dedicated flight simulator and as I mentioned in a previous post I will be starting my around the world flight on New Years Day.  And every Tuesday I will post my stories of growing up in the forties.  Unlike most here I can still walk a straight line without a walker, am not wheelchair bound, and I can get out and drive my car.  But except for a couple of e-mail pals AVSIM is my only remaining link to the outside world.

We here at Peachtree Village have left behind our purpose for living.  We are not gainfully employed.  We produce nothing.  We have nothing to look forward to except the artificial activities they provide for us.

For most of us, and it has been said aloud when we gather for meals, we lived in the best of times and are moving into the worst of times. 

Extending longevity is not really an advancement when it just means existing comfortably without purpose.  So we relive our past lives in conversations with each other and long for those years when we were productive and had a purpose for living.

Noel

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The tires are worn.  The shocks are shot.  The steering is wobbly.  But the engine still runs fine.

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13 hours ago, Swe_Richard said:

 A guy going by the name of, for example 'Martin', will tell us all about how being slaves will set us free. Everything from 'self-driving' cars (people might crash you know. Better let the 'AI' handle that) to what-ever. He will cite 'science' to back the garbage up. 

 

Not sure why you've suddenly decided on a random attack on me. I wasn't even part of this conversation. 🙄

Don't think I've ever promoted slavery. Technology that saves lives is obviously beneficial though. You mention self driving cars... given the huge number of people that die or are maimed on the roads each year, I would certainly favour a technology, in the background, that intervenes when you are about to have an accident. Having the capability to drive ourselves in the knowledge that there's an AI system ready to save our lives, if required, seems like a common sense use of technology to me.

Fully autonomous cars are here of course, but not perfected, it's only a matter of time untill they are though.

I would never favour the authorities taking away the ability for a person to drive themselves in their own personel vehicles, their own property, and its not required to save lives when the AI can be on standby in the background.  I suspect the ability to drive ourselves will remain for a long time to come given how its an effective marketing tool. Taxis, however, are a different matter and we will most definately see plenty of those guys on our roads. 

Edited by martin-w

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35 minutes ago, martin-w said:

 

Not sure why you've suddenly decided on a random attack on me. I wasn't even part of this conversation. 🙄

Don't think I've ever promoted slavery. Technology that saves lives is obviously

It was ment a bit tongue-in-cheek to be honest. Reading it today I realize it sounded way more harsh than I intended. Never write when you have migraine I suppose. I do apologize for the tone as it was way off!

Regards

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Richard

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18 hours ago, birdguy said:

But in the digital age of AI do we really need humans?

Don't worry Noel, the WEF have a plan for that!..................................................

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I dunno, as automation and AI continue to expand, what will humans do?  Makes me think of this song from way back in 1969.

 

 

 

Or is this guy our future?

T-800-terminator.jpg


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This all seems to be focussing on how the Brave New World will affect us in first world countries. How much effect, if any, do you think it will have on the billion or so impoverished people in third world countries?


Dugald Walker

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4 hours ago, SierraHotel said:

Don't worry Noel, the WEF have a plan for that!..................................................

"Soylent Green is people!!"

Did you know that the movie was set in the year 2022? 😄

Hook

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Larry Hookins

 

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

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16 hours ago, Luke said:

I rest my case. I made more than that 25 years ago

Well, that's your particular case.  I don't know what job you had, but it clearly warranted a higher wage than the average teacher.

Again, you're failing to factor in the guaranteed pension plan.  Most teachers can retire after 25-30 years of service.  If one starts teaching at age 25, then that person retires at 55.  Using an average lifespan of 75 years, that person will receive, let's say, a 50% retirement for 20 years.  At an average salary of 50K, that is 25K/year for 20 years which amounts to 500K.  Moreover, I'm not factoring in cost of living increases which are 2-3% per year, plus any govt. subsidized health insurance which most retirees can take advantage of until they reach 65.  The salary ends up being quite good when you factor all that in.  Many govt. workers get these lucrative benefits, BTW, not just teachers.  It's grossly unfair to the much larger percentage of non-govt. workers who get much less benefits and no pension.

Anyhow, I suggest that you should call your local govt. officials and let them know that you're happy to pay more property tax so that teachers can get higher salaries.

Dave


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45 minutes ago, dave2013 said:

Well, that's your particular case.  I don't know what job you had, but it clearly warranted a higher wage than the average teacher.

Warranted? Sure, by the forces of supply and demand - they couldn't get enough people in the field, so they raised salaries to compensate. Dramatically - it was an industry that had been turned on its head in the previous five years, and it adapted. As Clint Eastwood said "Deserve's got nothing to do with it."

46 minutes ago, dave2013 said:

Again, you're failing to factor in the guaranteed pension plan.  Most teachers can retire after 25-30 years of service.  If one starts teaching at age 25, then that person retires at 55.  Using an average lifespan of 75 years, that person will receive, let's say, a 50% retirement for 20 years.  At an average salary of 50K, that is 25K/year for 20 years which amounts to 500K.

You seem very fixated on the pension plan and resentful, to be honest, based on your comment. I'd suggest that you're looking at it all wrong, and the pension is a tremendous disincentive for smart, ambitious folks to go into teaching.

Take my daughter's example. She takes the $22k difference in salaries and plunks it into her 401K, pretax. She's fresh out of school and even a $50k salary (that's her pretax after 401K deduction) would be living like a queen by comparison. She invests that into an 85/10/5 portfolio that averages 7.7% returns a year. Each year her 401K contribution limit goes up by 2.5% a year because of inflation. After 25 years she'll have just under $2 million, allowing her to withdraw around $60k a year indefinitely. A good pension makes up for a few percentage difference in pay. But the significant disparities we see now mean that compound interest runs away with things.

There's two other huge advantages of a private pension - it's completely portable and her dollars vest immediately. She can switch jobs, multiple times and the money follows her. If she decides to put her career on hold or exit altogether (because of health, family or personal reasons) she doesn't lose a thing. Public sector pensions are heavily biased towards the last few years of salary and participation years - the difference between 15 or 20 years' payout versus 25 is usually very large.

I haven't gotten into additional nuances such as employer matching or the fact that most public sector pensions are underwater and rely on states or municipalities to bail them out. And unlike Noel's former employer, they don't have a printing press in the basement and just print money. At some point retirees will get a haircut.

I don't want my children being taught by people who can't do basic math and decide in their early 20s that they're just going to plunk down and never move until they retire. I'll tolerate that in DMV employees - but teaching children? No way. You get what you pay for. Years ago the voters decided that they would kick the can down the road and offer lower salaries and maybe a higher pension later. Today the chickens have come home to roost - the pensions are unaffordable, they can't attract new teachers and educated families won't be attracted to places with lousy schools.

1 hour ago, dave2013 said:

Anyhow, I suggest that you should call your local govt. officials and let them know that you're happy to pay more property tax so that teachers can get higher salaries.

We do. It's why our school system is one of the best in the state and our property values are much higher than other counties with poorer schools. An extra thousand or two a year in taxes has been an investment that has paid for itself many times over in terms of higher property values and an educated, high income set of neighbors.

Cheers


Luke Kolin

I make simFDR, the most advanced flight data recorder for FSX, Prepar3D and X-Plane.

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