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     Thomas Friedman is recycling one of his stock columns today, putting new shoes on old socks with another Gee Whiz Technology Flat Earth Everything Must Change breathless column. It makes an interesting counterpoint to Laura Clawson's post on how the Republican Party has left working people behind.

       According to Friedman, ordinary people should no longer expect to succeed just by working hard and playing by the rules. Follow me past the Orange Omnilepticon while I recycle a comment to Clawson's diary that gets at why that is so wrong-headed and completely misses the problems with the economy today as far as most people are concerned.

  Friedman's column today is titled New Rules.  The Moustache of Wisdom is traveling again, and starts off with a classic Friedman non-sequiter:

I JUST arrived in Shanghai, but I’m thinking about Estonia and wondering about something Presidents Clinton and Obama have been saying.
snip
All of this made me think Obama should stop using the phrase — first minted by Bill Clinton in 1992 — that if you just “work hard and play by the rules” you should expect that the American system will deliver you a decent life and a chance for your children to have a better one. That mantra really resonates with me and, I am sure, with many voters. There is just one problem: It’s out of date.
emphasis added

He flails around for a bit before finally getting to the 'insight' of the moment, one that reads like so many previous Friedman columns:

That world is gone. It is now a more open system. Technology and globalization are wiping out lower-skilled jobs faster, while steadily raising the skill level required for new jobs. More than ever now, lifelong learning is the key to getting into, and staying in, the middle class.

There is a quote attributed to the futurist Alvin Toffler that captures this new reality: In the future “illiteracy will not be defined by those who cannot read and write, but by those who cannot learn and relearn.” Any form of standing still is deadly.

emphasis added

I've got news for you Mr. Friedman - what you're raving about today is a concept that has been around for some time. Charles Dodgson, AKA Lewis Carroll put a name to it: the Red Queen's Race.  Or as the book has it,

"Now! Now!" cried the Queen. "Faster! Faster!" And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy. The Queen propped her against a tree, and said kindly, "You may rest a little now."
   Alice looked round her in great surprise. "Why, I do believe we've been under this tree all the time! Everything's just as it was!"

   "Of course it is," said the Queen: "what would you have it?"

   "Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else -- if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."

    "A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

What Mr. Friedman fails to note when he dismisses the part about succeeding by playing by the rules is that - as Elizabeth Warren knows - the rules are rigged so that the Romneys of the world extract all the 'shareholder value' from the race, and tell the runners to get back on the track for another go-round while they pocket the gains. And this is something that more education is not going to fix.

      Friedman does give passing acknowledgment to the idea that efforts to fund continuing education is a good idea, but fails to ask who is going to pay for it. How are people with full time jobs supposed to find the time? How are people who can't find work supposed to feed themselves, buy text books, and keep a roof over their heads while they study? And how is this supposed to happen in a country where the idea of spending by the government on anything except killing people is a bad thing that must be reined in? Somehow Friedman always glosses over little details like that....

      Warren gets right to the heart of problem.

But for many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered. Talk to the construction worker I met from Malden, Massachusetts, who went nine months without finding work. Talk to the head of a manufacturing company in Franklin trying to protect jobs but worried about rising costs. Talk to the student in Worcester who worked hard to finish his college degree, and now he's drowning in debt. Their fight is my fight, and it's Barack Obama's fight too.

People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: they're right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.

       Friedman's delusion that life long learning is the key to staying in the middle class ignores all of the ways the economy is rigged against that class - and who is profiting from that rigging. For the last 30 years, the rewards for doing more with less, for increasing productivity, for adopting new technology, for upgrading skills - they have been reaped by a handful at the expense of the majority. Continuing education, new technology is important - but it's NOT a panacea. (I expect the day Friedman learns about the Raspberry Pi, he'll have an orgasm all over the Times about it.)

      Once upon a time the idea was that technology and the increased productivity that would result from it would be used to reduce the amount of time and effort people would need to spend providing for their basic needs, giving them more leisure and the chance to pursue knowledge, the arts, whatever they desired. Instead, we're heading for a world where most people will have to compete ever more fiercely for fewer jobs, work harder, study harder, - and put off their retirement longer as the age of Social Security goes up and benefits go down. All that plus more homework.

     And the Romneys of the world will go around talking about how important it is to celebrate 'success' while they skim all the profits off this Red Queen's Race (aka Rat Race).

     O Brave New World that has such Friedmans in it!

Originally posted to xaxnar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I didn't know free people were ruled by rules (16+ / 0-)

    I have always despised the playing by the rules thing.  Whose rules?  What are they?  Legacies get into Yale?  Don't get uppity?

  •  I just arrived at the Gingrich Hilton (16+ / 0-)

    at Tranquility Base, but I'm thinking about the squid at Reverend Moon's Last Supper, and wondering about the Thetans on strike at L Ron Hubbard's SeaOrg.

    Any opening at the New York Times?

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:33:01 AM PDT

  •  Pretty standard BS over the decades (12+ / 0-)

    as jobs have been outsourced.  Trouble is, it's an article of faith among most Democrats.

  •  Just how much continuing education does one need? (24+ / 0-)

    I've got a M.S., decades of experience, have written lots of peer-reviewed journal articles, encyclopedia chapters, have successfully managed dozens of major client issues as both an employed and private consultant, and I've not had any work or any employment for a full year. And I've been looking really hard. Does Friedman really think continuing education would work for me? Does Friedman really think?

    The issue is fairly simple. We have far more people needing to work than we have jobs for said people. Therefore, many of the people who are working are getting paid poorly because there is a surplus of talent. I've envisioned this occurrence since I was a child and pictured how robotics, etc., would replace people in a large percentage of jobs eventually. I remember at the time wondering how money would be redistributed so that people would still be able to survive and, hopefully, have a decent life.

    Although the current circumstances are not exactly how I envisioned them, the results are similar. How can we provide at least subsistence living for everyone in our society when there is a dearth of jobs and no relief on the horizon?

    •  My mother retrained and got a PhD (18+ / 0-)

      Now she is almost to the age of retirement [in her 60s] with all that student debt.

      And I know she isn't the only one.

      How long before Friedman starts coming after the children for the student loans of the parents I wonder?

      She got it so she could keep on working beyond retirement age. That sounds great as long as she doesn't get sick or injured because her tax returns and SS if I understand correctly can be garnished to pay back that student loan.

      She would have been hireable before that and a great addition to any firm or office before that, but was not hired due to her age. She wasn't willing to work for pennies on the dollar for not being young.

      No one wants to pay for experience or expertise, but then bitch up a storm that we need to retrain.

      For what? More debt? Because it's not getting us the jobs or the job security.

      Red Queen Race? That assumes you can get into position to run in place to begin with. I think perhaps a new phrase needs to be invented that addresses this other situation that really only nominally resembles the Red Queen Principle.

    •  There's always more work and more opportunity (0+ / 0-)

      Problem for Americans is that it is distributed much more fairly than it used to be.

      40 years ago an American with a high school education could work a forty hour week in a unionized manufacturing job and send his kids to college while a Chinese with a similar background was lucky to eat meat once a month.

      Today, there are far more manufacturing and similar jobs than there used to be, but there are about 500 million Chinese people with that level of education who want them too and stand a fair chance of getting them.  The average wages for those jobs has moved to somewhere between what the Chinese guy used to make and what the American used to make.  The total compensation is far higher than it used to be, but there is no question that the American has lost out.

      Unless you think that the American deserves to live better than the Chinese just because he is American it is pretty obvious that the current situation is fairer than what we had in the 1970s.

      Of course, the losers in this great reshuffling - yes, a flattening - obviously don't feel that way and since Americans are far more likely to be among the losers than the winners this is a political issue in the US.

      But you can't put the cat back in the barrel and you can't reverse this trend.  Even if we stopped outsourcing all that would happen is that American manufacturers would go out of business and we would end up buying our goods from factories in places like China that are owned by non-American companies.

      •  It's really sad to (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, Bright, splashy, ChemBob

        hear from people like you who insist that there is nothing we can do about anything.

        If we don't do something, we can forget about everything....there will be nothing left but a few rich people and serfs and slaves.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:45:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's NOT fairer if there are extremely wealthy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, ChemBob, Musial

        Who profit off both workers without giving back to them.

        The wealth disparity here in the US tells the tale of how the wealthy have taken from both the Chinese workers and the US workers. It's about being able to move capital anywhere, but the workers have to stay in their countries and not follow the money. That means the wealthy can play the workers against each other, leading to lowering wages and benefits.

        Women create the entire labor force.

        by splashy on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:31:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since slavery is no longer legal (0+ / 0-)
          It's NOT fairer if there are extremely wealthy Who profit off both workers without giving back to them.
          This obviously can't happen - you have to pay your workers.
          The wealth disparity here in the US tells the tale of how the wealthy have taken from both the Chinese workers and the US workers.
          What have the wealthy taken from workers?  I can see arguing that the wealthy have not paid their workers enough, but how can you claim that they have taken from them?
      •  You didn't address my point at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks

        There are still not enough jobs for everyone, irrespective of whether American, Chinese, or Ukrainian. In a world where fewer people can produce the requisite materials due to automation, etc., how do we go about making certain that everyone has a least a sufficient income and circumstance to survive? I don't like the current model in which entire populations are left to starve, freeze to death, or drink polluted water.

        •  We jave to go to cyclic and sustainable (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ChemBob, xaxnar

          Systems that are not wasteful. We need shorter work hours and local economies. Population growth cannot exceed the employment rate.

        •  But there are more jobs compared to (0+ / 0-)

          number of people than ever before.

          Several hundred million people in China have left their farms and gone to work in factories and in the cities.  That's more than the entire working population of the US.  And there is work for them.

          •  So all you give a crap about is China? (0+ / 0-)

            As though there aren't still people there flooding all job openings? As though there aren't starving people in other countries, including the U.S.?

            •  It means the claim that automation has eliminated (0+ / 0-)

              jobs is false.

              We have automated, etc. and there are more jobs than ever.  They just aren't as disproportionately concentrated in the US as they used to be.

              As though there aren't starving people in other countries, including the U.S.?
              Laugh.  There are starving people in other countries but they are almost non-existent in the US.

              In the US, when we talk about hunger we talk about people who are "food insecure" - they don't know where their next meal is coming from.

              In places like China, Bangladesh, India no one worries about people who are "food insecure".  They worry about people who are malnourished.

              We don't even measure malnourishment in the US because it is so rare that surveys won't pick it up.  http://www.ers.usda.gov/...

              •  There are more jobs than ever? (0+ / 0-)

                The one thing you don't address is how many of them are good jobs? Jobs that pay well enough to raise a family, put kids through school, retire comfortably. Jobs that don't put workers at risk, jobs that don't destroy dignity.

                Having lots of cheap crap to buy is not the same thing as prosperity. Malnourishment isn't just about starving - it includes things like diets that make people obese and soaked with chemicals, that cut years off their lives.

                If I can summarize your comments, they come down to:
                1) I'm doing just fine and everyone else could too if they just made the right decisions like I did.
                2) Your problems are not my problems.
                3) Money = success; anything else is for suckers.

                You refer to yourself as an ant. Interesting comparison. Good luck if you run into Captain Higgins.

                "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                by xaxnar on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 08:34:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  They are good jobs for the people who have them (0+ / 0-)
                  There are more jobs than ever?

                  The one thing you don't address is how many of them are good jobs? Jobs that pay well enough to raise a family, put kids through school, retire comfortably. Jobs that don't put workers at risk, jobs that don't destroy dignity.

                  They are good jobs.  The people who have them are finally able to raise families without sending their children to bed hungry at night, support retired parents and grandparents, send their children to school and even college, and yes, retire more comfortably than their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents were ever able to.

                  But those jobs are in places like China, Indonesia, etc.

                  And that's why Americans are hurting now.

                  Having lots of cheap crap to buy is not the same thing as prosperity.
                  Actually, it is.  We measure prosperity by the amount of toys people can buy, not by absolute amounts of money.
                  Malnourishment isn't just about starving
                  No, malnourishment is about starvation or borderline starvation.
                  it includes things like diets that make people obese
                  People who are really poor can't buy enough food to become obese.  In fact, a good absolute measure of whether a country has become rich is whether weight is positively or negatively correlated with income.
                  and soaked with chemicals, that cut years off their lives
                  I call bullshit.

                  Unless you are talking about some of the third world places where people eat food contaminated by chemical waste, etc. this is absolute nonsense.  

                  I challenge you to provide any evidence at all that the chemicals in commonly available food in the US can "cut years off [people's] lives".

                  1) I'm doing just fine and everyone else could too if they just made the right decisions like I did.
                  Not everyone, but many people.

                  Someone who grew up in the inner city and never had a chance to go to a school that did more than warehouse students has a pretty good excuse for not doing well.

                  Someone who went to a first, second, or third tier college and did not study hare enough or chose to follow his dreams instead of studying stuff that would make money has no one to blame for his financial problems but himself.

                  2) Your problems are not my problems.
                  Your self-inflicted problems are not my problems.
                  3) Money = success; anything else is for suckers.
                  No... but if you choose to chase non-monetary measures of success then you have no claim on my money if you don't have enough money to live comfortably.

                  You have your own priorities, so live by them and enjoy your non-monetary measures of success.

                  You refer to yourself as an ant. Interesting comparison.
                  Do you remember the parable of the ant and the grasshopper?  Given the way the economy has been the last 20 years, I sometimes think I'm the only person who ever really paid attention to that story.
                  •  One more time... (0+ / 0-)
                    They are good jobs.  The people who have them are finally able to raise families without sending their children to bed hungry at night, support retired parents and grandparents, send their children to school and even college, and yes, retire more comfortably than their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents were ever able to.
                    But those jobs are in places like China, Indonesia, etc.

                    And that's why Americans are hurting now.

                    I call bullshit.
                    Unless you are talking about some of the third world places where people eat food contaminated by chemical waste, etc. this is absolute nonsense.  

                    I challenge you to provide any evidence at all that the chemicals in commonly available food in the US can "cut years off [people's] lives".
                    Someone who grew up in the inner city and never had a chance to go to a school that did more than warehouse students has a pretty good excuse for not doing well.

                    Someone who went to a first, second, or third tier college and did not study hare enough or chose to follow his dreams instead of studying stuff that would make money has no one to blame for his financial problems but himself.

                    You really do live in a bubble, don't you.
                    Do you remember the parable of the ant and the grasshopper?  Given the way the economy has been the last 20 years, I sometimes think I'm the only person who ever really paid attention to that story.
                    Well no - but most of us managed to move past a child's understanding of the lessons in that story. Which is why the reference to Captain Higgins apparently went right by you.
                    No... but if you choose to chase non-monetary measures of success then you have no claim on my money if you don't have enough money to live comfortably.
                    It's all about you, isn't it?

                    Sigh.

                    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                    by xaxnar on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 06:26:42 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I must admit, I did not see the relevance of (0+ / 0-)

                      Captain Higgins to the story of the ant and the grasshopper.

                      Well no - but most of us managed to move past a child's understanding of the lessons in that story. Which is why the reference to Captain Higgins apparently went right by you.
                      So, past the idea that you need to save for the future rather than play when times are good?

                      Funnily enough I never did move past that.  Coincidentally, after 20 years of assiduous saving I'm financially far more secure than most people I know including some who make substantially more than I do.

                      Perhaps that child's understanding is a bit clearer than you think

                      •  Still All About You (0+ / 0-)

                        Your comments here amount to:

                        1) You made lots and lots of money, even if it meant taking jobs you really hated.

                        2) You've ridiculed everyone here who did not chose to devote all their time and effort to what would make money for them.

                        3) You've cheered workers in Asia having slightly less miserable lives at the expense of workers in this country, and called it inevitable.

                        4) You owe nothing to anyone - no one has any claim on you (and your money) for anything.

                        5) You've done everything you can to pay as few taxes as possible.

                        6) You've spent the past 20 years piling up money - so what do you think of the people who went off to fight in several wars during that time instead of following your example? Do you owe anything to them? Your arguments would seem to suggest otherwise.

                        7) Your moral compass still seems to be set at the level of a five year old. You're proud to call yourself an ant while you dismiss those who chose to live differently as grasshoppers. Are you familiar with the concept of human beings?

                        I'm not entirely clear what you think you're doing here. If you're trying to rattle cages for your own amusement, it's a sad comment on the quality of your life. If you're trying to inspire others by your example, you're doing it wrong. If you're looking for some kind of validation for your choices in life, you're really barking up the wrong tree.

                        If you're here because you're honestly trying to understand why we have such different opinions about the world and seem to working from a different reality, be warned.

                        You may be suffering from the early stages of that dread condition known as "liberal guilt" AKA giving a damn about someone besides yourself.

                        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                        by xaxnar on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 10:21:32 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, one writer (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, ybruti, splashy, ChemBob

      had a book called "The End of Work" [Jeremy Rifkin].

      It says that we'll need to find a way to re-distribute income because work is going to disappear.

      So, here we are......

      the end of work

      And no, Friedman and these other idiots who say education is a panacea [and that includes Obama and Clinton] are full of it.

      And best of luck to you in your job efforts.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:51:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm thinking we need to separate income (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, ChemBob

      From work, just as we need to separate health care from work.

      There needs to be a base income that no one can fall under, with no where to go but up. Perhaps something that everyone gets, regardless, so there's no paperwork to fill out.

      Of course, the right wingers would hate it, because they don't understand that those on the base income would be the bottom of the financial pyramid, sending the money into circulation into a wider economy so everyone else can make profits and pay taxes.

      Women create the entire labor force.

      by splashy on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:26:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  We cut work hours in half and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      double wages.

  •  Friedman is a living definition of sinecure (7+ / 0-)

    and the perfect illustration of the point. sadly.

  •  Let's see: workers, unemployed, business.... (9+ / 0-)

    These discussions get pretty one dimensional - what about human beings?

    There is more to life than work. Isn't there?

    Unless your work IS your life, it's something to do to make possible all the other things you want and need to do.

    Love.

    Play.

    Raise a family.

    Learn for the sake of learning - not just to keep a job. Ask questions. Do things for others. Teach - share your knowledge and experience. Catch up on your sleep. Get into shape. Watch those shows gathering digital dust on your Tivo.

    Live.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:50:38 AM PDT

    •  OK... but then please don't ask me to support (0+ / 0-)

      you.

      First, make enough money to support yourself and your family.

      Then have fun.

      •  But, what if you can't? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        What if there aren't enough jobs around to do it, and the jobs that are available are either low paying ones that can't support anyone, or high paying ones that take all kinds of education and connections?

        That's the problem: making ENOUGH money.

        Women create the entire labor force.

        by splashy on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:34:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Read the original post again... (0+ / 0-)
          There is more to life than work. Isn't there?

          Unless your work IS your life, it's something to do to make possible all the other things you want and need to do.

          Love.

          Play.

          Raise a family.

          Learn for the sake of learning - not just to keep a job.

          Do all those things after you make enough money to support yourself and your family.

          Until you are financially secure your top (and only) priority has to be providing for your family.

    •  without $$ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VictorLaszlo

      it's kind of hard to do what you're talking about.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:59:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You sound wealthy. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Paul Ryan has risen to prominence because he thinks that poor people should suffer and he doesn't mind saying so.

      by VictorLaszlo on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 02:22:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Friedman's "World is flat" was debunked (11+ / 0-)

    years ago in an Atlantic article. (I wish I could remember the name of the article & which issue it appeared in, but I read over 5 years ago.) The rebuttal was simple, based on a facts: the author compiled a list of the best-&-the-brightest names in a certain high tech, cutting edge field, & plotted their locations on a map. He found that they lived in the expected high-tech hotspots: Silicon Valley, Boston, & New York City.

    These are people who have the clout & opportunity to live practically anywhere they'd want (as long as it had high-speed Internet access, & near a transportation hub), but instead they clustered in these elite centers.

    The author went on to point out that these elite wanted to live near others of the same caliber of skills & with the same interests. And there is something to be said for that: I've worked at Intel (where there are a number of smart & curious people), & there is an unacknowledged fringe benefit in working with other smart & curious people.

    But it's also a matter of projection. When I was active with Wikipedia, the Wikimedia Foundation was originally based in St. Petersburg, FL due to historical accident: that's where Jimmy Wales was living at the time. When a new person took over the Foundation, she insisted on moving the headquarters to Silicon Valley because "that's where all the talent was" -- despite the fact the Foundation could be located anywhere in the world; its community is world-wide, with very few living in California. (There have been sporadic & less-than-successful attempts to organize Meetups in SF & LA; not enough people have attended either.)

    In short, the "World is Flat" slogan is nothing more than one more rationalization for offshoring good paying jobs rather than attempting to find ways to keep them in the US.

    •  It's not so simple. While talented people tend to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar

      cluster and right now the most prominent clusters in tech are in US, a lot of people working there are immigrants and there are plenty of clusters like this elsewhere in the world. And with manufacturing, the main cluster is in China. So there is some validity to his main thesis.

    •  Sounds like something Richard Florida (0+ / 0-)

      would have written. The guy who wrote "The Creative Class."

      Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

      by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:04:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Good guess by me! (5+ / 0-)

        Here's your link:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/...

        Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07. http://www.ewaynepowell.com/

        by anastasia p on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:09:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure it is... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xaxnar

          On one hand, I thought the article referred to a specific cutting-edge subject area, such as biotechnology. On the other, my memory sometimes is very accurate about things & other times very inaccurate about things. (And I find that very frustrating, too.)

          In any case, Florida makes a point  very relevant to this diary, & worth repeating here:

          But the flat-world theory blinds us to far more insidious tensions among the world's growing peaks, sinking valleys, and shiftitig hills. The innovative, talent-attracting "have" regions seem increasingly remote from the talentexporting "have-not" regions. Second-tier cities, from Detroit and Wolfsburg to Nagoya and Mexico City, are entering an escalating and potentially devastating competition for jobs, talent, and investment. And inequality is growing across the world and within countries.
  •  As a multi-millionaire, Friedman naturally thinks (14+ / 0-)

    that you plebes in the trenches need to keep running faster and faster just to stay in place. So he can send his servant to get decent arugula at Whole Foods. Because the world is flat, or something.

    You know, what's really galling about this is that Tom Friedman came by his millions the old fashioned way:
    he married them.

    He is a heartless, witless, smug piece of crap.

    •  I just wish that they* would be honest and ... (7+ / 0-)

      say "the best way to be successful is to pick your parents wisely."  Other possible ways for people who did not pick their parents wisely include piracy (including vulture Capitalism, bank fraud, and illegal foreclosure), and drug dealing.  These are much surer than honest work or winning the lottery.  The latter is waved in front of the peasant class to make them think they can join the ranks of the wealthy - only a few ever do and they are often picked clean and return to their original state.

      God, I'm starting to sound like a Marxist! And I used to be a good Republican!

      * Friedman, Romney, Ryan, Ayn Rand, etc. and their ilk.

      •  B/c Marx critique of capitalism was basically corr (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist, Cobbler, Musial

        ect.  The 'solutions', not so much.

        The only workable solution so far, such as it is, was found by the Social Democrats, who doctinaire Marxists called apostates.  Thus, capitalist countries since either have adopted various kinds of social democracy or they've failed as countries.

        Of course, FDR-Democrats created an American blend of S/D and private ownership/capital that eschewed government ownership of the means fo production for the most part (the true definition of 'socialism' btw tea-morons).  It has both its good and bad points, but its not really socialism, more 'socialistic'.

        •  Formerly socialist nations are nostalgic for (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Desert Scientist, xaxnar

          public access to economic surplus. If you worked hard and played by the rules, economic life was not as badly managed as is likely under capitalist austerity. A Stalinist police state and bad architecture are not intrinsic to socialism. Also, a stubborn fact remains that without the Soviet victory on the eastern front in WWII there would not be a US as we know it. The US owes much to the Indian treaties, the slaves and wage slaves, and to its WWII ally. The treatment of the labor force in the U.S. is conceptually derived from the harnessing of horses. As cars displaced horses, we expect robots to displace workers. The notion that humanity would not benefit by such efficiencies, is an example of class warfare. Difficult not to see the Wall Street point of view as being a crime against humanity.

          •  Eh, not exactly a reply to my or my reply to DS. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Musial

            BTw, you can understand that Marx correctly diagnosed flaws in capitalism, and the role of Social Democracy in trying to find a new, workable syntesis without all the US bashing.  Most modern nations have a history that includes shameful treatment of a minority on par with US native americans and slave.  Not so many have tried to actually redress it.

            And as for the Soviets... Fascist state capitalism and the Cult of Stalin has nothing to do with Marxism or socialism.
            Calling a fish a bird won't make it fly.

      •  Well, when Ike is actually to the left of even (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Desert Scientist, chrismorgan

        Obama on some issues it's easy to sound like a Marxist nowadays.  Actually, the only problem with Marxism is that it doesn't scale beyond the co-op level very well.

        There is no saving throw against stupid.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 10:01:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You mean like Kerry? (0+ / 0-)
      You know, what's really galling about this is that Tom Friedman came by his millions the old fashioned way:
      he married them.
      •  Kerry served in Vietnam, while Friedman... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        had "other priorities". Kerry has also been a creditable Senator, doing good work on a range of issues from the environment to helping secure loose nuclear materials in the former Soviet Union. Friedman by contrast has been consistently an ignorant ass devoting his sinecure at the Times to comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. The term "Friedman unit" has entered the lexicon for a reason.

        I don't hold anything against hereditary or matrimonial wealth per se; after all, look at what FDR did with his inherited privilege. But I do hold against unearned wealth and privilege actions that are despicable. And Friedman's consistent puckering up to kiss the asscheeks of power is a vile use of such unearned privilege.

        •  I'm not seeing much relationship between (0+ / 0-)

          Friedman's wealth and his writing.

          •  Look a bit harder, friend. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar

            Friedman is constantly nattering on about the need for the plebes to work harder and expect less of everything: less job security, less health care, shabbier retirements, more insecurity for their children...basically because he's decided it's a law of nature, rather than the intended result of government/economic policy to insure than all the gains from economic activity acrue only to the 1%.

            And as a card-carrying member of the 1%, it's natural for Friedman to see things this way. He literally can't see anything else.

  •  Short Version: (5+ / 0-)

    It's YOUR fault.  Stop Whining.  

    That pretty much sums up every republican position on the face of the planet.  The world's biggest Goldbrickers accusing everyone else in the world of slacking off.

    Oh, and Friedman?  When was the last time YOU forked over 30-40 grand to get retrained and then when that didn't translate to work, make payments on it.... oh right, never.

    I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

    by detroitmechworks on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 03:48:13 PM PDT

  •  I hope Friedman understands... (6+ / 0-)

    ...just what the hell he is advocating.

    If you tell the average "undecided voter" Joe that playing by the rules and working hard don't count, well, you're attacking the basis of the US and every other modern society.  You're asking for a social breakdown the likes of which would be unprecedented in American history.

    •  Probably Not (6+ / 0-)

      Friedman will just "Hire one half of the Poor to Fight
      and Kill the Other Half". Literally.

      That is what they do right Now.

      They point their Fat greedy fingers at Gays, African
      Americans, Women, Union Members, Whoever and
      Scream "They are the Cause of Your Problems".

      And while the "Little People" are fighting Each Other,
      Friedman & Friends are Stealing the World.

      On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

      by Brian76239 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:01:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He is correct in a sense in that whatever 'rules' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, VictorLaszlo

    you thought there were are long out the window.  Could you keep a straight face if someone said "Work now and I'll pay you in 40 years"?  After all, that is what a pension is...

    But there is little reason to let Friedman dictate the new rules.  In fact, he might rue the day he reinforced the meme that new rules are in order.  And they are.....

    and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

    by ban48 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:39:35 PM PDT

  •  What rules? There are no rules; it's (0+ / 0-)

    Much easier that way.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:46:29 PM PDT

  •  The best part, (not) is that "life long leaning" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xaxnar, blueoasis

    means You can be better educated then those in the past doing the same work, more productively, and earn less for it.

    "Behold the Turtle, it only makes Progress when it sticks it's neck Out."

    by vzfk3s on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 04:52:42 PM PDT

  •  Precisely. I have been in school continuously (11+ / 0-)

    since 1991 and have multiple advanced degrees. I have significant work experience in five major industries (IT, mass media, social and policy research, online retail, and higher education) and have multiple years of experience at job titles ranging from the technical to the functional to the managerial.

    I currently work in three separate industries at once, holding down one real job and two freelance gigs.

    We are just barely making ends meet.

    I am in continuous job search mode, as I have been for many years, and switch probably once every year to eighteen months.

    I started in NYC where my income was good on paper but living expenses were so high as to erase it.

    Now we've tried several other locations around the country, but without gaining much ground.

    Lower living expenses, smaller list of job opportunities, lower pay scale.

    So I work, work, work, work like a maniac and climb, climb, climb—and yet since 2008 we have merely slipped, slipped, slipped farther down the ladder. I have tons of social status but very little financial security or leeway.

    Every employer or partner has done well—in fact, some have put on rather posh events for employees and/or contractors and I've stayed in some swank hotels and eaten some swank catered meals while being thanked for all I do and given the opportunity to speak publicly (I guess at this point, with myself out there on video as a speaker, you could even list experience as a public speaker along with the items above).

    I have multiple books on the market, too, under royalty.

    But despite all the periodic swank, and the titles, and the climbing, and the moving around the country, we still struggle to pay bills and I still work until 10:00 PM every night.

    It would be nice if some of the money invested in silly perks like high-end hotel rooms and steaks would instead just be handed to me to pay some more bills and work a little less, or provide me and family with some actually useful health insurance.

    This economy sucks; my dad worked one job his entire life and afforded multiple kids, multiple college educations, multiple cars, and multiple houses on the income. And no, he was not a CEO. He wasn't even in management, nor was he a doctor, lawyer, or independently wealthy.

    It's just that things are different now, in all of the ways that DailyKos posters are too familiar with.

    -9.63, 0.00
    I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

    by nobody at all on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:20:19 PM PDT

    •  Unless you had a major financial catastrophe (0+ / 0-)

      someone with the history you describe should be doing well.

      When I got my first job working for a big software MNC they hired me and 5 other new fresh college grads to help staff a new office all at the same salary.

      I couldn't figure out how all the others were living so well - new cars, going out for drinks every Friday and Saturday, wind surfing on weekends, etc.  I didn't have the money to do that.

      Then along came the day that the ESPP plan that had been getting 10% of my pretax salary bought into company stock at a 50% discount.  I went to work, happy as a clam, and mentioned to my colleagues how great this was.  "Yeah... kind of a bummer - I don't have the money to put into the ESPP plan so I didn't get any."

      Well, I figured out how those guys were living better than I was.  

      The ant is rarely sympathetic when the grasshopper comes to cry on his shoulder.

      •  If only everyone (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar, Wham Bam, dirkster42, VictorLaszlo

        was exactly like you, then everyone would be perfect.

        The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

        by dfarrah on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:07:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if everyone who made more than (0+ / 0-)

          minimum wage and did not have a major financial problem (and needing a new car instead of a used car or Nike sneakers is not a major financial problem) saved 10% of their pre-tax income then they wouldn't be perfect but we would have far fewer problems than we have both as individuals and as a nation.

          •  And if it rained soup.... (0+ / 0-)

            No one would go hungry.

            Well, except those without a rain barrel and a soup spoon.

            Just like if everyone without a pre existing condition exercised more and ate less, we'd have fewer health problems as individuals and as a nation.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 04:27:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I seem to recall some other company ... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VictorLaszlo, splashy

        ...where the employees did really well by buying into company stock. For a while.

        I think it was called Enron.

        They were really smart people who thought they had all the answers too.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:42:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  With an ESPP you can sell the day after you buy (0+ / 0-)

          And lock in the immediate gain.

          If you are still scared that it will crater faster than that just hedge with Put options.

          If you're in a private company and don't want to own stock then save your money and put it in an S&P 500 index fund or somewhere else that has a reasonable combination of return and safety.  

          But SAVE SAVE SAVE and then INVEST INVEST INVEST!

      •  What an ass. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xaxnar

        People like you keep the economy in a bad place because you vote based on a belief that it's fine.

        Let me help you.

        We have:

        - One decades-old car that we struggle to keep running
        - No microwave
        - No big screen/flat screen TV
        - No major assets
        - No vacations, recent or otherwise

        We don't eat out.
        Our clothes are from Wal-Mart and the thrift store.
        We don't see movies.
        We don't go to amusement parks.
        We are on WIC and CHIP for the kids.

        Ever be a senior analyst at a company that says it's having "accounting partner problems" and gets three months behind on pay, only to turn up one morning and find the doors locked? I have.

        Ever get offered a management job where the last guy worked very high five figures but now they're offering the position as contract-based, no benefits, part-time onsite, at high FOUR figures? I have—and didn't take it at first. But then when I didn't find anything else I did.

        Ever have a book published only to find thousands of copies later that over the years its been on the market it's only earned you a few thousand dollars? I have.

        Things add up in this economy, my friend.

        They take away your benefits and you find that things like childbirth take tens of thousands of dollars out of your savings.

        You find that health insurance is very expensive and that periods of non-insurance during which health events happened make it very difficult to get effectively and cheaply covered again, employer plan or no.

        You find that people who have to work as contract jobs those that their predecessors worked as full-time employment pay much higher taxes due to self-employment tax.

        You find that as you get older (not even senior-age older, now just older than a recent grad), you become essentially unemployable because a cursor check turns up an "overqualified" resume or CV.

        You find that there are a lot of jobs out there that are "for the title" or "for the experience" at a very high level. I've seen multiple Ph.D.s working free for years to try to "remain competitive" in an escalating "it's all about credentials and experience and education" game in which there just aren't enough jobs to go around.

        Maybe you think they're dumb to work for free. I couldn't afford to do it—though it may have helped me out down the line to get some better paying gigs—but you can't call them grasshoppers. They are working for free, you see.

        Take a look around you. There are people called "Senior Manager of Product Development" and "Research Analyst" and "Operations Supervisor" working on a contract, incentive-based pay basis with a base salary that may be four figures or less.

        It is everywhere in our economy.

        Biggest mistake we ever made was in leaving the big city. Yeah, the costs were high and we were just barely making it, but we were making it. Salary history was going up, not down. There . were . jobs . to . be . had . But when you're struggling, the lure of very cheap living costs and ratings in money magazines for "livable areas" in middle America can be seductive. But you get there and you find that whereas there was tons of opportunity in the big city, there is next to none in the small city. But then your income is a fraction of what it was, and there's no way you can afford to get back to the big city if you've been relegated to contract (high tax, pay for your own insurance) work and have a family to support.

        And yeah, there have been times when I was flown to a company event as a contractor, put up in a hotel, fed swank food, and had no money in my pocket back home to buy shoes for the kids.

        So take your self-righteousness and stuff it. You work 60 hours a week and people imagine that what you do is serious and critical to the economy, you damn well ought to be able to afford health care, a decent, running, late model car, and a trip to the local diner every once in a while.

        Just because you're one of those that the economy has been kind to, don't pull the right-wing talking point out of your ass and suggest that when people are struggling it's their fault and they ought to "get a job" and stop living like a "queen."

        -9.63, 0.00
        I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

        by nobody at all on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 07:55:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So then where did the money go? (0+ / 0-)
          We have:

          - One decades-old car that we struggle to keep running
          - No microwave
          - No big screen/flat screen TV
          - No major assets
          - No vacations, recent or otherwise

          Ever be a senior analyst at a company that says it's having "accounting partner problems" and gets three months behind on pay, only to turn up one morning and find the doors locked? I have.
          Um... no.  I've worked for companies that have missed payroll and gone bankrupt but I've never worked at a company where the staff were stupid enough to believe a story like that so management was always smart enough to tell us the truth.
          Ever get offered a management job where the last guy worked very high five figures but now they're offering the position as contract-based, no benefits, part-time onsite, at high FOUR figures? I have—and didn't take it at first. But then when I didn't find anything else I did.
          High FOUR figures per year?  So call it $9,999 / year.  Then that's 1300 hours per year at minimum wage or 1,000 hours per year at $10 per hour.  And you're saying that's management?  Somehow I doubt it.
          I've seen multiple Ph.D.s working free for years to try to "remain competitive" in an escalating "it's all about credentials and experience and education" game
          Again, somehow I doubt it.

          And, btw, Ph.Ds in what?  If it's Computer Science or most types of engineering you shouldn't have trouble getting a job.  It it's English or Philosophy, well what did they expect?

          Take a look around you. There are people called "Senior Manager of Product Development" and "Research Analyst" and "Operations Supervisor" working on a contract, incentive-based pay basis with a base salary that may be four figures or less.

          It is everywhere in our economy.

          Nonsense.  Among other things, if they are working full time then 4 figures would be below minimum wage and not legal.
          So take your self-righteousness and stuff it. You work 60 hours a week and people imagine that what you do is serious and critical to the economy, you damn well ought to be able to afford health care, a decent, running, late model car, and a trip to the local diner every once in a while.
          Yup.. and if you can't then what you are doing probably isn't serious or critical to the economy.

          I'm doing contracting too with multiple clients right now since my previous contract ended.  I have to hustle, but I'm working 30+ hours per week at $50/hour and another 20 or so for some startups that are paying me in stock options.  The work is out there and I don't believe that serious companies pay minimum wage for white collar positions.  Sorry.  Certainly no one has had the nerve to offer a job like that to me.

          •  So, your argument is: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar

            "You're a liar or you're too dumb to do basic math. And if you were worthy, you'd be rich. If you're not rich, you're not worthy."

            Turns out, every ant that doesn't work in computer science or engineering is actually a grasshopper, advanced degree or no, long hours or no. After all, all those non-engineering degrees are so much elitist, luxury fluff and it's no wonder that those people can't get paid.

            My argument is: You're clearly a Republican.

            -9.63, 0.00
            I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

            by nobody at all on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:09:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He's also an obvious troll. Do not feed. (0+ / 0-)

              "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

              by xaxnar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:17:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Seriously. It's out there for people to see, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                xaxnar

                but I have more vision than most. Not that I want to "feed a troll," so this will be my last post in this thread.

                But my "real" gig happens to be teaching at a university (for adjunct pay, which amounts to $16,000 annually for the same courseload that full professors get $60k+ to teach, in the same courses, but that's another story) and I connect with any former student that has graduated (so as to avoid conflicts of interest/ethical issues) on LinkedIn.

                The good news is that almost all of them (I have about three dozen in my network right now) are doing something, for a great sounding company, that will look great on their CV, with a good title and lots of day-to-day input and responsibility.

                The bad news is that almost all of them are doing it for free, right out of college, with a B.A. or a B.S., in an internship situation. They are doing it for free because they are struggling to find paid work.

                I look at this an even I feel good about my economic life. People need to sit up and think about this for a moment. Dozens of college educated adults with titles that indicate responsibility, that are bright enough to be allowed to contribute in a substantive way to real products and solutions that will earn dollars in the marketplace, and they are being paid $0.00 for a year or several years of full-time work while living with their parents.

                That's the story of the generation coming along right now: take out student loans (most do this responsibly, with debt in the $5k-$20k range), do all the work to get a four year degree, then "enter the economy" with a paycheck of $0.00 for a year or more while living with their parents or even relocating (for an internship!) and living with friends while getting forbearances on their loans. They're not saving or investing money. They're not paying into the tax base. They're not contributing to demand, only to supply.

                I'm not so sanguine about free labor driving our economy. If it wasn't economically important, companies wouldn't be bothering to bring these extra people in house and pay the overhead to involve them. But let's not fool ourselves; the pay is $0.00 because there is so much labor competition right now and students are actually grateful to land a year-long unpaid internship right out of college.

                Compare to my parents generation (great job right out of college; middle-class lifestyle) or my generation (middling job right out of college and constant churn to keep wages stable or growing).

                How are they going to consume? Who's going to drive the economy? The long-term impact is going to be reminiscent of what's happened in traditionally underprivileged minority communities—a structural disadvantage that will take generations to clean up.

                -9.63, 0.00
                I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                by nobody at all on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 11:31:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Note the walkback (0+ / 0-)

                  Here's the original claim:

                  I've seen multiple Ph.D.s working free for years to try to "remain competitive" in an escalating "it's all about credentials and experience and education" game
                  Now here's the new claim:
                  The bad news is that almost all of them are doing it for free, right out of college, with a B.A. or a B.S., in an internship situation. They are doing it for free because they are struggling to find paid work.

                  I look at this an even I feel good about my economic life. People need to sit up and think about this for a moment. Dozens of college educated adults with titles that indicate responsibility, that are bright enough to be allowed to contribute in a substantive way to real products and solutions that will earn dollars in the marketplace, and they are being paid $0.00 for a year or several years of full-time work while living with their parents.

                  It's no longer PhDs.  And what do you want to bet that it's also not many B.S.s.  And multi-year internships are also pretty rare unless, of course, you are chasing fulfillment, not money and trying to work in politics, non-profits, or some areas of the arts.

                  Remember what I said about grasshoppers vs. ants?

                  How are they going to consume? Who's going to drive the economy? The long-term impact is going to be reminiscent of what's happened in traditionally underprivileged minority communities—a structural disadvantage that will take generations to clean up.
                  We consume far more today than we did 40 years ago.  However, many of the goods we consume are not valued by the consumers as much as they are valued by the government that makes us buy them.

                  For example, a new car purchased this year contains safety features that were not available for love or money 40 years ago.  Crashes that would probably kill you in a 1970 car are survivable with minor bruises in a 2012 car.  How much do you value that?

                  Well, you may value safety.  What about the fact that a new car today is far less polluting than a 1970s car - a new 1970s car would not be street legal today because of that.  So you are buying and consuming a whole bunch of pollution control equipment when you buy a new car.  How much do you value that?

                  It is impossible to say how much it would cost to buy a new 1970s car today if it was legal to do so, but at a guess it would be half of what a 2012 car costs.  

                  So we consume much more than we used to, but it doesn't feel like that to us - our direct benefit is still just a new car.

            •  If you study something you love instead of (0+ / 0-)

              something that will make you money, then yes, you're a grasshopper.

              Turns out, every ant that doesn't work in computer science or engineering is actually a grasshopper, advanced degree or no, long hours or no.
              Sure.  I've gone to work every day for a year doing work I hated for a company I hated for a boss I hated with coworkers I hated... because I'm an ant and that was what I needed to do to make money.
              After all, all those non-engineering degrees are so much elitist, luxury fluff and it's no wonder that those people can't get paid.
              Yup.  About a year after I graduated from college I went out to Pizzeria Uno with some of the younger guys from my dorm who were still in college and I bumped into a philosophy PhD who I had known while we were both in college.  He was our waiter.
              "You're a liar or you're too dumb to do basic math. "
              Yup... or you somehow work in management for less than minimum wage and so do all these other people you know.
              •  Thank you for your honesty (0+ / 0-)

                "We pray for mercy because we would all be fools to pray for justice."

                "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

                by xaxnar on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 08:24:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Because the economy never changes, (0+ / 0-)

                and nobody has ever followed advice about what will make money only to find out later on that the economy has shifted and those jobs are either no longer in demand or overpopulated by other people wanting to make money, too.

                Yes, you are in fact a Republican—whatever struggle you now have, it is your own damned fault. There are no exceptions to this rule. Anyone that struggles should have X, and instead did Y.

                You got bad advice? Too bad you chose bad friends. You got bad advice from counselors and the press? Your fault for attending one of those liberal universities or reading that liberal press. You're a lawyer and you can't find a job that will make it possible for you to repay your student loans? (This J.D. is a close relative with a degree from Stanford.) You must either (a) suck at what you do, or (b) [fill in blank here that makes it this person's fault], or (c) shouldn't have taken out student loans, but instead [fill in blank here with whatever it is they didn't do].

                We're just going to have to go with basic value differences on this one. I'm not a 100% supporter of Obama, but I do agree that if you work hard, play by the rules, and achieve, you ought to be able to find work that enables you to afford a basic, middle-class lifestyle. And I don't think that "achievement" is measured as that basic middle class lifestyle, because that would be tautological.

                You, on the other hand, think that economic struggle is evidence of inferiority—inferior morals, inferior work ethic, or inferior choices—and that anyone suffering from such inferiority ought to basically rot in our system.

                I have nothing else to say to you—you are everything that I am voting against.

                I'm voting in favor of taxing your type of ant and using those revenues to aid my former students to join the economy in one way or another.

                And just in your case, I'd love to tax you at a very high rate.

                -9.63, 0.00
                I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                by nobody at all on Tue Sep 11, 2012 at 09:17:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's not the problem for most people (0+ / 0-)
                  Because the economy never changes, and nobody has ever followed advice about what will make money only to find out later on that the economy has shifted and those jobs are either no longer in demand or overpopulated by other people wanting to make money, too.
                  What industry sectors do you think that has happened to?
                  You got bad advice? Too bad you chose bad friends. You got bad advice from counselors and the press? Your fault for attending one of those liberal universities or reading that liberal press.
                  Educators who tell students to do something they love instead of stuff that will make money are guilty of educational malpractice.   But there's always bad advice out there.  Is no one responsible for their own mistakes?
                  You're a lawyer and you can't find a job that will make it possible for you to repay your student loans? (This J.D. is a close relative with a degree from Stanford.) You must either (a) suck at what you do, or (b) [fill in blank here that makes it this person's fault],
                  A Stanford JD who can't find a job that will let him/her repay student loans is either a screw up or he decided to do something where the rewards are not monetary - like being a community organizer or practicing public interest law.  But if you voluntarily choose a life whose primary rewards are non-monetary it seems unreasonable to complain you do not make enough money.
                  (c) shouldn't have taken out student loans, but instead [fill in blank here with whatever it is they didn't do].
                  Well, if you want to be paid in job satisfaction or in the knowledge that you are making a difference to society then I would suggest finding a law school that will accept tuition payments in the same currency.
                  You, on the other hand, think that economic struggle is evidence of inferiority—inferior morals, inferior work ethic, or inferior choices—and that anyone suffering from such inferiority ought to basically rot in our system.
                  For those who had the chance to do well - who went to decent schools and who are not mentally deficient in some way - usually yes.
                  I'm voting in favor of taxing your type of ant and using those revenues to aid my former students to join the economy in one way or another.

                  And just in your case, I'd love to tax you at a very high rate.

                  Heh... easier said than done - like Mitt Romney, I pay what I owe but I structure my affairs to minimize what I owe.
                  •  Enough Said (0+ / 0-)

                    "I pay what I owe but I structure my affairs to minimize what I owe."

                    You don't do your fair share, but you expect others to do theirs and/or will suggest that if they actually do pay their own fair share it's their "fault" or "choice."

                    Basically (and this entire thread illustrates it), you have purely mercenary ethics, have been colonized by the commodity fetish, and are proud of it.

                    Discussion over; we operate from completely different value positions and want society to look and operate in two completely different ways. There is no point in talk, all that's left is to fight for history.

                    You'll say "may the best man win," I'll say "may everyone someday win," you'll say "that's utopianism," I'll say "until we get rid of people like you, it is."

                    -9.63, 0.00
                    I am not a purity troll. I am a purity warrior.

                    by nobody at all on Wed Sep 12, 2012 at 07:25:52 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to meet Thomas Friedman on the street (0+ / 0-)

    Just so I could grab my crotch and tell him to...

    Oregon: Sure...it's cold. But it's a damp cold.

    by Keith930 on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 05:54:46 PM PDT

  •  Gotta love someone sitting from the billionaire's (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VictorLaszlo, splashy

    perch laying it down for the middle class.

    What does he know about anything?

    I hope no one takes him seriously.

    "Human history is not the battle of good struggling to overcome evil. It is a battle fought by a great evil struggling to crush a small kernel of human kindness."

    - Vasily Grossman, Life and Fate

    by Tirge Caps on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 08:39:26 PM PDT

  •  Recced this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VictorLaszlo

    but for the life of me I can't figure out why the propoganda scribblings of this grifter need to be entertained....he's a bookend.

    I will push back, rise up, and speak out against all forms of discrimination that plague our community. www.getequal.org

    by teloPariah on Sun Sep 09, 2012 at 09:16:32 PM PDT

  •  The system is rigged and Romney manipulates (0+ / 0-)

    the rigging like a puppet master to guide the ship with its cargo right into his own private harbor.

    Because stupid people are so sure they're smart, they often act smart, and sometimes even smart people are too stupid to recognize that the stupid people acting smart really ARE stupid.

    by ZedMont on Mon Sep 10, 2012 at 05:37:43 AM PDT

  •  Be kind to Tommy. The insufferable little... (0+ / 0-)

    ...brat earned his money the old fashioned way:   He married it.

    I have known my fair share of people who were extremely wealthy for no reason other than the conditions of their families.

    Of them, I can't think of one who wasn't desperately anxious about their failure to understand what life is.

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