Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

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Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:24 pm

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/05/ronald_ ... one_tells/

I didn't realize this happened on his watch. Yet another reason Reagan is way overrated as a President.

As with the other topic, I'm limiting myself to this one and walking away if things get heated.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby Jordan » Mon Jul 07, 2014 12:32 am

I don't really feel like commenting on Reagan, but I feel like at least part of the rising costs of education are due to a much higher demand for it as time has passed.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Mon Jul 07, 2014 3:09 am

I actually hate how college-focused many employers have gotten. You can't seem to get anywhere without college. A stupid college grad can easily get hired over a smart high school grad. The silliness over a diploma is depressing.

As for demand causing rising costs, I would counter that the availability of information should be making costs go down due to the increased supply.

The student loan system simply doesn't work as it is. The amount of debt is staggering, and even now, half of college grads can't find work. To be quite honest, my biggest reason for wanting to expand welfare is actually the fact that there are far more people than there are jobs. People who have more than one job exasperate the problem exponentially.

Worst part is, I don't see a solution coming anytime soon because there's still so much anti-socialist sentiment. Once Generation X is rotating out of the world, we may see improvements, but I doubt much before then.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby James » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:13 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I actually hate how college-focused many employers have gotten. You can't seem to get anywhere without college. A stupid college grad can easily get hired over a smart high school grad. The silliness over a diploma is depressing.

As for demand causing rising costs, I would counter that the availability of information should be making costs go down due to the increased supply.

How appropriate this may or may not be depends on the sort of field someone wishes to get into. It is pretty much the only valid path to some fields such as being a lawyer, a doctor, or a teacher. And the availability of information runs somewhat contrary in this regard. As more information is available, and technology becomes more advanced, workers in various fields are expected to know more—to be capable of doing more. This increases the burden on education and having a corresponding education to enter certain job fields.

It is also a somewhat regional thing. Some regions/states have cultures which place a much greater emphasis on college education than others. For example, here in Utah a diploma is considered to be very important, while back in the Bay Area of California employers seemed more interested in demonstrable skills and experience (with exceptions—professions like those mentioned above, and some of the top employers in various fields).

That said, I wouldn't go too far out of my way to defend the circumstance. There are many extremely important things which college does not teach. A lot of what makes a good employee is reflected in areas like attitude, character, and intelligence (sometimes a double-edged sword). On-the-job experience is frequently extremely important in a field and college typically does a poor job of preparing people accordingly. And this doesn't even touch up on the outrageous fees that are being charged by colleges, or the rate at which those fees are increasing relative to middle class income or inflation. All of this is compounded again by the student loan situation.

And finally, there are some fields where a college education really isn't that big a deal. If you're entering an artistic field, for example, you're going to want to weigh the value of that college education accordingly. College isn't going to teach you to be a good artist. Nor is it going to teach you to be a good creative writer. I'm of the opinion that college doesn't do a good job of teaching creativity at all. Your portfolio and attitude (if a field like design) are going to be far more important.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:The student loan system simply doesn't work as it is. The amount of debt is staggering, and even now, half of college grads can't find work. To be quite honest, my biggest reason for wanting to expand welfare is actually the fact that there are far more people than there are jobs. People who have more than one job exasperate the problem exponentially.

Agreed that the student loan system is bad. A good first step would be to reform the system so the government is no longer trying to profit off student loans. At minimum it should be a break-even sort of operation. That said, I think it would be highly beneficial for the government to invest into education as it is a direct investment in the future of a country. At the same time, the approach has to be considered carefully. Part of the reason why college is so expensive is because people can 'afford' it (even if that may be in the form of student debt they'll pay off for decades), and giving people the ability to spend more money they don't have on the system may well result in a system which expands to absorb more money. I imagine if the government is to intervene in this regard (beyond the thoughts above) it would be through government-funded and sponsored colleges.

Don't necessarily agree on the welfare, though. There are many areas the government could be improving that would also positively impact the situation. One small example is to stop hindering alternative energy development. And good reform of social welfare systems could also carry a great benefit. I just don't think pouring more money into those systems as they exist today is necessary the correct answer. Honestly, I might feel differently if the government could make functional programs, and refine existing programs, without half of the political leadership working to deliberately undermine and sabotage government support.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:Worst part is, I don't see a solution coming anytime soon because there's still so much anti-socialist sentiment. Once Generation X is rotating out of the world, we may see improvements, but I doubt much before then.

Probably not. There's not a whole lot of pro-socialist sentiment floating around anywhere in the US.

And I'd go on to argue this is the case for good reason.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:02 am

I dunno, countries that practice forms of socialism have proven to have strong economies, while capitalism falters in places its widely practiced (especially the United States, which is a capitalist nightmare where CEO pay increases exponentially faster than pay for the people near the bottom. This is, quite frankly, an unfair burden on all citizens. Meanwhile, in Scandinavia especially, socialist stuff tends to make the people prosper. In Denmark, their taxes are double ours, but most don't complain because of what those taxes go to pay for.

Of course, this brings up inherent flaws in the United States welfare system, which has been done entirely wrong. The UK did a much better job of this for the most part. The red tape, the administrative costs, all of that corrupt the hell out of the system. This happens because Reagan got this idea of the "Welfare Queen" in people's heads (which it's never been more than a myth) and made workers think people on welfare were just lazy when there are numerous reasons someone may be unemployed. This is why we need a stronger safety net than we currently do. You are correct, however, that the system needs to be reformed and rebuilt. Once the United States decides to look at other countries' models, especially in Europe, thinks may get better.

First, though, the United States has got to get off this "privatize everything" kick, that only hurts the economy in the long run.

On the topic of education, you hit the nails on the heads. Perfect score I'd say. I agree pretty much completely. Personally, I think college needs to be reigned in and not used so much. Outside of the professional fields you mentioned, it's really unnecessary. Especially in tech, education can hamper things and stifle creativity because, as you mentioned, college does a poor job of teaching creativity. This is why most of the world's most brilliant minds were outside the norm of society and considered wild for their times.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby WeiWenDi » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:03 am

James wrote:There are many extremely important things which college does not teach. A lot of what makes a good employee is reflected in areas like attitude, character, and intelligence (sometimes a double-edged sword).


DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:You can't seem to get anywhere without college. A stupid college grad can easily get hired over a smart high school grad. The silliness over a diploma is depressing.


Amen to that. I'm in perfect agreement with both of you on this.

Speaking as someone who was once a 'stupid college grad', by the way. As many of the older forum-goers will readily attest.

James wrote:Probably not. There's not a whole lot of pro-socialist sentiment floating around anywhere in the US.

And I'd go on to argue this is the case for good reason.


Depends on what you mean by 'for good reason'.

Is your statement a constative one; namely merely that there is a cogent logical explanation, proceeding from the facts of our history and development, for the lack of enthusiasm for socialism in the United States? That being the case, I would agree with you completely. Though, even there, path dependency is not absolute, and a lot of what we might call socialist reforms have come under the name of populism or just 'common sense', as with North Dakota's state-owned bank system.

Or is your statement a normative one; that socialism as a political philosophy is inherently bad or ill-suited to the realities of American politics? There I would take issue. But since I'm not sure which one you mean by 'for good reason', I await your clarification. :)

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:I dunno, countries that practice forms of socialism have proven to have strong economies, while capitalism falters in places its widely practiced (especially the United States, which is a capitalist nightmare where CEO pay increases exponentially faster than pay for the people near the bottom. This is, quite frankly, an unfair burden on all citizens. Meanwhile, in Scandinavia especially, socialist stuff tends to make the people prosper. In Denmark, their taxes are double ours, but most don't complain because of what those taxes go to pay for.


Well... Scandinavia is a tricky case.

During the '70's and '80's, I would have agreed with your assessment here. The 'Nordic model' of development seemed to be something of a silver bullet with regard to people's livelihoods. But starting in about the mid-'90's, the Nordics - Sweden, Finland and Denmark in particular - have been quietly privatising away their enviable public accommodations under the table, including the railways and the school systems (which in Sweden now seems to resemble the voucher system of American libertarian wet-dreams), and attacking trade union benefits and organising power. They still retain a lot of the old welfare-state benefits, but even these seem to be quietly vapourising.

The governments to watch in the coming years will be the Latin American governments of the 'pink tide' (Ecuador and Uruguay especially), along with Eastern Europe, particularly Belarus.

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:First, though, the United States has got to get off this "privatize everything" kick, that only hurts the economy in the long run.


Absolutely agreed about that.

Though I think Clinton and Gore with their NPM experimentation certainly haven't helped matters, and in my humble opinion rather entrenched a lot of the damage and debt-ballooning that Reagan was responsible for.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby DreamGoddessLindsey » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:07 pm

WeiWenDi wrote:Well... Scandinavia is a tricky case.

During the '70's and '80's, I would have agreed with your assessment here. The 'Nordic model' of development seemed to be something of a silver bullet with regard to people's livelihoods. But starting in about the mid-'90's, the Nordics - Sweden, Finland and Denmark in particular - have been quietly privatising away their enviable public accommodations under the table, including the railways and the school systems (which in Sweden now seems to resemble the voucher system of American libertarian wet-dreams), and attacking trade union benefits and organising power. They still retain a lot of the old welfare-state benefits, but even these seem to be quietly vapourising.


I wasn't aware of this.

Now I'm confused. Their model worked. People were happy. The happiness index in those countries have been higher than any other over the years. Why would they dismantle a system that a) everyone loved and b) worked? If the greed of capitalism truly so powerful?

Yeesh.
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Re: Interesting article that explores Reagan's "legacy"

Unread postby Shikanosuke » Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:34 pm

DreamGoddessLindsey wrote:
If the greed of capitalism truly so powerful?

Yeesh.


I agree with a lot that has been discussed, but I did want to pop in here. 'The greed of humanity/humans' is more appropriate. There is greed, corruption, and favoritism in every system. In fact I'd wager there's just as much or more in 'socialistic' and 'communist' countries as there is in capitalistic economies. But greed isn't unique to one system or another.
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