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US economy--all entertainment?
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5822

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 4:40 pm    Post subject: US economy--all entertainment? Reply with quote

I don't carry a smart phone around and consult it constantly, so this is not my generation. But I wonder what it means. You Tube and the newer inventions like Vine seem to be taking over our hearts, minds, and pocketbooks. Interesting article in the New Yorker http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/12/15/hollywood-vine

The startling statistic was that You Tube watchers more than 6 billion hours of video a month. Those videos are short, and the trend is even shorter--Vine videos are measured in seconds, not minutes. Have we moved past books to shorter and shorter attention spans, and what does it mean to the future of the Country.

There are 31 million people between 18 and 24, and 42% are enrolled in college. That seems pretty high, and probably much higher than people making Vine videos. http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_303.80.asp

But under 3 million of them are going on to graduate school. 20,000 of them are medical students in their first year, and about 30,000 students earn science Phd's each year. Only 18,000 of them are citizens, so we are continuing to educate a lot of the scientists in the world.

Is this about right? What is the proper balance between entertainment and hard education? Is only 50,000 of some million new graduate students in the hard sciences (1.2%) enough? And is the system of rewards so loaded for entertainment and video games that basic research is being slighted?
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MalibuGuru



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4407

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You cannot offer so much free stuff like section 8, food stamps, phones, and such without ruining a portion of the population.

Furthermore, the wealthy children no longer have to fight to win or compete, so many of them are out. I see this in Malibu.

This leaves a small portion of highly motivated government and corporate criminals to fight with the super productive few for control. The productive few are medical, engineers, managers, farmers and small business folks to provide the meat and potatoes for the non productive.

We need to incentivize everyone to produce something of value to society. You best do this by making a few people slightly hungry, and getting rid of the banksters and government abusers.

As for technology. It ruins creative thinking, but makes the dyslexic like myself super productive.
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techno900



Joined: 28 Mar 2001
Posts: 1647

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although indirectly related to who is doing what and it's impact on our economy, the number of those on SS Disability has always concerned me. I wonder what the numbers are now, 20 months later?

Quote:
Disability claims skyrocket: Here's why
By Steve Hargreaves @hargreavesCNN April 11, 2013: 11:38 AM ET

disability program budget The number of Americans on disability is skyrocketing due to the recession, an aging population and a decade of war.

The number of Americans getting some type of disability check from the federal government is soaring.

Since 2003, there's been a 29% jump in Americans with little or no work experience getting disability payments, according to the Social Security Administration. Over the same time, there's been a 44% increase in disability claims by people formerly in the workplace.

Disability claims among veterans are up 28% since 2008, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

All told, the federal government spent nearly $250 billion in 2011 paying more than 23 million Americans some type of disability claim. That's about 7% of the overall population, and 16% of the workforce.

Those numbers don't even include people out on worker compensation claims -- which are mostly paid for by private companies. Five states also offer short term disability, and there are nearly 1 million workers receiving private disability insurance.

But the Social Security-administered program that pays disability claims will likely run out of money by 2016, forcing politicians to either cut Social Security benefits, raise taxes or, most likely, dip into general Social Security funds for the money.

There are many reasons for the increase in disability claims, most notably the recession, an aging population, advances in medical technology and a decade of war.

The recession: The economic downturn in 2008 and early 2009 is thought to be the major reason for the jump in disability payments to people who were formerly working.

"With every recession, we see a rise in the number of applicants," said Andrew Houtenville, an economics professor at the University of New Hampshire's Institute on Disability. "People are looking for options in terms of income support."

Related: Seniors would see smaller Social Security checks under Obama budget

During the 2001 recession, disability claims from those who used to have a steady job shot up 13%, said Barry Lundquist, president of the Council for Disability Awareness, an insurance-industry funded organization. The growth in claims slowed during the subsequent boom years, but then skyrocketed during the most recent recession. In 2009, claims jumped 21%.


http://money.cnn.com/2013/04/11/news/economy/disability-payments/index.html
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 15020

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Assuming the OP's comment addressed news reports of Americans' irrational and vacuous obsession with the entertainment industry, it comes as no surprise considering the tiny speck of college students who have any idea what a Biden, Pelosi, Boener, Benghazi, or Gruber is when virtually every one could pick a Beiber or a Jersey Girl out of a lineup and know what sport some jock plays.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5822

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Techno and Bard--I suspect that you have no inkling of the rich ironic content in your responses. Let me review the bidding. I post an article and a few facts that suggest that entertainment has become a national pastime, if not obsession. We seem to have progressed from a norm of concerts that might last hours, to movies that clock in at about 90 minutes, to You Tube at 6 to 10 minutes, to Vine at 6 seconds. People seem to be making money at these things, relying, as in all net-based things, on advertising that we all try to click past. I ask if we are becoming a nation of shortened attention span, with the ability to concentrate on truly hard problems--in medicine and science--limited to a tiny fraction of the population. I am sufficiently out of touch with youth culture that I have no idea if this is the case. The subject is there for comment, and has little or no political content.

You respond by illustrating my point--unable to stay on topic and posting your favorite conservative political talking points without seeming to grasp the underlying concept i laid out. Attention spans measured in seconds not minutes?

If you haven't seen this, you should. The craziest things said by the right wing every week. I hear they're looking for Bard on video:

http://www.nationalmemo.com/week-crazy-bill-oreilly-advice-eric-garner-protesters/3/
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MalibuGuru



Joined: 11 Nov 1993
Posts: 4407

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My response was directly related to your posting . There are too many people locked inside their homes, with plenty of money to survive but not enough to thrive . They have little incentive to create.

My father used to say , that people lose their will to create and reach their potential if they are coddled. This is also true in the animal kingdom. I might refer you to signs in our national Forest that says "please don't feed the animals".

I Am shocked at the number of infants in cribs I see with iPhones. Their parents just don't want to take the time to take them out into the wilderness or read a book at bedtime.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 15020

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevenbard wrote:
There are too many people locked inside their homes, with plenty of money to survive.

Yet the average life savings of people nearing retirement ... along with unreliable SS survival pittances (as designed) ... is peanuts. How many people can live on these savings estimates for anywhere NEAR their projected life spans?
According to CNN Money, here is the average net worth today by age group:
45-54 $ 98,350
55-64 $180,125
65 and over $ 32,000

Other, equally credible, sources estimate MUCH less (more like $20,000 nearing middle and retirement age). Millennials in particular have a negative savings rate. i.e.. They're spending more than they earn (I wonder where they got THAT idea).

I sure hope they find good jobs in their 80s and 90s.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 2027
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
stevenbard wrote:
There are too many people locked inside their homes, with plenty of money to survive.

Yet the average life savings of people nearing retirement ... along with unreliable SS survival pittances (as designed) ... is peanuts. How many people can live on these savings estimates for anywhere NEAR their projected life spans?

This makes me think of all the hired protesters that show up at Walmart and fast food joints, crying for a national minimum wage.
If they were to succeed, then all the people on SS should do the same thing for the same reason.
Either or both of them would have a disastrous effect on the economy, for the same reason.

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5822

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So NW--do you also object to the hired thugs who spread lies about climate change using money from big oil and big coal? I didn't think so.
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nw30



Joined: 21 Dec 2008
Posts: 2027
Location: The eye of the universe, Cen. Cal. coast

PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Only you could use "thugs" and "climate change" in the same sentence.
LOL!

_________________
I don't drink the 'cool' aid, I drink tequila, it's more honest.
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