06 October 2018

Thought for the day


Via.

20 comments:

  1. I joined to get money for college. Thirty years ago. Nothing has changed.

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    1. I joined to learn a useful skill that I could turn into a rewarding career. More than 45 years ago. Nothing has changed.

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  2. Lost me at the "free college" comment. Do people really believe that a college education can be had for free? I suppose that is like the free roads I get to drive on, the free response to a 911 call, and the free firefighter service if I need it. Oh, and the free protection that the military provides when called on.

    I am OK with universal health care, universal college education, etc. None of that is free. Let's not pretend we don't know who would shoulder the majority of the taxes to pay for this. Not the poor, and likely not the rich.

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    1. No not really "free," paid for by taxes that would not be going towards bombs and other weapons of mass destruction (some of which the Pentagon itself says we don't need and are made anyway), many to be used in countries that have never harmed us as in Viet Nam and Iraq.

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    2. You're angry at the use of "free" instead of "universal" or "taxpayer-funded" or "equally accessible" or "tuition-free?" Seems like a weird hill to die on. It's just an expression.

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    3. People who lean toward the right-end of the spectrum tend to base their entire world view on whether people get what they deserve, or whether they are "free riders" profiting from others' work. They also tend to subscribe the the "Just World" theory.
      Thus, the word "free" tends to set them off into fits of apoplexy. How dare someone get something for "free!!" they screech. They are philosophically opposed to the very idea.
      I prefer to use the words "collectively provisioned" because it's more accurate. What I don't understand about these right-wingers is why they aren't opposed on philosophical grounds to the very *idea* of insurance. After all, if you paid a premium and someone else's house burned down, you just helped buy them a "free" house. The only difference in social welfare democracies is that everyone pays in via taxes, and receives as citizens.

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    4. Someone recently said to me:

      "When people feel like the system is failing them, nothing makes them madder than seeing the system about to successfully help someone else."

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    5. I am not sure if the above replies are aimed at my comment. I am not at all angry. I am all for universal health care, universal post-secondary education (college is not for everyone), universal public transportation, subsidized loans to buy homes, etc. Call of these things "free" if you would rather. My point was that many people seem to believe that we can have these things for free, i.e., without a substantial increase in the percentage of our income that we would pay in taxes. If we as a society agree that having all of the above (healthcare and such) is worth a 50% or more tax rate, count me in. I will happily pay my fair share. Sorry if that view makes me a right-winger...

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  3. Free college and health care for all - especially the returning draftees.

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    1. Um, there has not been a draft in the USA since 1973, about 18 months after I enlisted. A "returning draftee" would have served for 45 years by now, and would be at least 63 years old. If there are any such out there, I am all in on free everything for them.

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    2. My point was that if there was free college and health care and no one volunteered for the services because they didn't need the money, there would shortly be a draft. Although, since women wouldn't be exempt, your odds of being drafted (if you're a man) would be way down. During WW2, something like 55% of all the men under 40, who hadn't already volunteered, were drafted. They registered men up to 64, but didn't draft anyone over 45.

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  4. Americans do have free college. If you get into many European universities you can attend for almost nothing (e.g. $100 / term in registration fees.) You do not need to either be a citizen or speak the local language (although it gets lonely if you don't.) Germany has figured out that smart young people are worth encouraging.

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  5. I need to applaud you for your having used the full letter assembly for the word fucking.
    So often people want me to sound the word fuck, or other 'cuss' words, in my head, but have not the balls to actually write the letters that spell the word.
    As an abuse of asterisks it is horrible, as a yellow bellied way of being a bloody puritan while writing words such as fuck and it's ilk and having no swear police beating down their door it is irresponsible and childish.
    I understand that TV in the USA has 1950s standards and I am fully aware that a large proportion of internet posters in the USA are unaware their little comments are read in countries other than theirs, but out here in the rest of the English speaking world (and the Spanish speakers !) the word fuck is as common as .... well, fuck.
    I thank you for being grown up and allowing the U, C and K to see the light of day

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  6. If we had universal health care and higher education, I'm sure we could come up with other incentives for military service. If we wanted to.

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    1. I like the idea of a mandatory service period for everyone post high-school. The ruling class would be much less inclined to keep the US in a perpetual state of war if their kids were also going to be fighting.

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  7. Oddly, nobody asks the question why a smaller American military would be bad.

    A smaller military would make it harder to waste American (and foreign) lives in mistaken wars. One would think America has enough experience by now to change its mind.

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  8. Saw this today, and it is definitely relevant to the discussion:

    "This small Kentucky college—and the first integrated, co-educational college in the South—has been TUITION-FREE FOR ITS STUDENTS SINCE 1892.

    Every student on campus works, and its labor program is like work-study on steroids. The work includes everyday tasks such as janitorial services, but older students are often assigned jobs aligned to their academic program, and work on things such as web production or managing volunteer programs. And students receive a physical check for their labor that can go toward housing and living expenses. Forty-five percent of graduates have no debt, and the ones who do have an average of less than $7,000 in debt, according to Luke Hodson, the college’s director of admissions."

    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2018/10/how-berea-college-makes-tuition-free-with-its-endowment/572644/

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  9. When I was in undergrad, my tuition was around $2800/yr for a decent, public university in-state. Tuition today is $7,000/yr. I graduated undergrad in 2004. That's a 150% increase in 14 years. Yikes.

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    1. Your numbers calculate to a compounded rate of 6.76% per year. Well over the CPI, of course, but not astronomical.

      Students today respond with disbelief when I tell them that my medical school tuition was $600 per year ($300 one year when I got a scholarship). I borrowed the $2100 at 3% interest and was able to pay my way through medical school with a summer job for books, apartment rent, etc without any $ from my parents.

      Nowadays that same medical school has an annual tuition of $19,000. When I punch those numbers into a compounding calculator, the rate is 7.15% - about the same as yours (but over a 50-year period).

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    2. I should add that my first salary as a physician (intern) was I think $5,200/yr and I remember buying TV dinners at 3 for $1 for my evening meals.

      It's hard to compare one set of numbers without looking at other factors.

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