Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.
if your picture of the economy came entirely from headlines and cable chyrons — which is probably true for many — would you know that the economy has grown 6.7 percent under Biden so far and inflation for the past 6 months was 1.9 percent?
David, you're sounding like that other leftist, quasi-Marxist guy Lewis who somehow can post stuff like how great the 1619 anti american project nonsense is and the board soaks it up. Soon as someone disagrees, all the lefties come out of the woodwork and say keep the focus on investing.
C'mon guys, what's up with all that?
...And I can digest snark, up to a point, myself. But the kool-aid brainwashed vitriol just tells me that the source of such a remark has eagerly turned off his brain and turned on the switch which auto-permits trash and lies to fill it. Fixed Noise, much?
Moreover, Biden worked for over 30 years as a senator of Delaware, the nation’s incorporation capital, helping to pass legislation highly favorable to the extremely capitalist credit card and banking industries. But somehow he’s a Marxist too for wanting poor people to eat, our roads and bridges to be repaired and children and the elderly to have healthcare.
Where do people who oppose any sort of taxpayer funded government programs think the money goes other than the private sector in the U.S.? The two work in concert in the U.S.. That is not Marxism by any means. The reason Moderna's stock has done so well is the government spent billions of dollars helping it develop vaccines and then purchased those vaccines from it. That is true for the entire healthcare sector by the way. And yes, as DavidrMoran has pointed out, such government spending stimulates the economy, creating jobs and increasing GDP. It's called the multiplier effect, not Marxism.
By the way, if he knows it, it must just kill Trump that the annualized return for the stock market was 13.8% under Obama versus Trump's 13.7%.
As distressing as the inflation in the US is, it is far worse in Europe and many other countries. That cannot be blamed on Biden. This is a worldwide phenomena. I tend to believe the one stimulus passed under Biden was too much. Without it, the Democrats could have blamed all the inflation on Trump policies. I guess they thought it was still necessary.
An overlooked feature of the Chips act is the massive investment in Red States and jobs that do not require college.
I have read a lot of the 1619 project and object strongly to it's thesis that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. This distortion has been widely criticized by professional historians. The NYT is actively promoting 1619 for high school curricula although none of it's authors are historians, and I object to that as strongly as I object to the continuously right wing WSJ editorials.
On the other hand I can understand some of the criticism in Florida of the Advanced Placement African-American curriculum if, in it's final section, it really does focus on "intersectionalism", black queerness, and demand reparations, without any other perspectives.
I am generally a lifetime Democrat and strongly support helping people get ahead. To me this means safe neighborhoods and workplaces, laws controlling buildings and roads, decent public schools and rewarding someone financially for a job well done with advancement. Leaving all of these to the private sector, without regulation, is a proven disaster
I do agree that the Government should cost as little as possible and there are many things the private sector does better, and there are many things people should pay for themselves, if they alone are to benefit. Building sports stadiums come to mind. I do not think the Government should shower benefits on one group or company exclusively if they are not available to everyone and increase our taxes to pay for it.
Bernie was right to focus on the massive wealth accumulation that investment, side deals and other benefits Federal laws allowed to happen . But his demand that I help pay off all student loans goes to far.
I do think people with adequate resources should pay the full price for their kids education, and these people should not get their student loans forgiven. However, when the government twists the regulations for private for profit "colleges", to allow their owners to get very rich, under a woman whose family, already billionaires, personally benefits from these regulations ( DeVoes), there is a moral duty to deal with the financial disaster that these regulations caused in students lives.
Critical Thinking, much??????? LOGIC was a REQUIRED course when I entered college as a freshman. And at least some Philosophy courses were mandatory, as well: to expose students to challenging ideas, to investigate the nature of the way things ARE. Sad to see that Philosophy has morphed into mere word-games in more recent years. Deeper questions of Ethics and Meaning are left for someone else to worry about. What a pity.
But nevermind all that. I just want to blare this gawd-awful noise with my windows rolled down in my car, loud enough to wake the dead and shake buildings as I pass by. Because consideration for others doesn't matter to me, nor the car manufacturers who pander to brain-dead narcissists like me.
And finally, the cost of tuition is astonishing today even at public universities, when the older generations had much more affordable educations. The average cost of attendance for a student living on campus at a public 4-year in-state institution is $25,707 per year or $102,828 over 4 years. Out-of-state students pay $43,421 per year or $173,684 over 4 years. Private, nonprofit university students pay $54,501 per year or $218,004 over 4 years. This in a country where tuition at public universities was once exceedingly low and in certain cases free. It is also true that it is extremely difficult for anyone to have a middle class life today without a college degree when this was not the case in earlier generations. Well-paying Industrial blue collar jobs that don’t require a degree have largely disappeared in 2023. So kids have to go to college and they end up in debt because of it.
From an 1887 letter from the Commissioner of the Department of Education, referencing Thomas Jefferson's Notes on Virginia, Query XIV: Thomas Jefferson and the University of Virginia (1888)
Jefferson posited that for the benefit of society, education should be available to everyone up to their ability level or further if willing to pay.
In a recently concluded college course in rhetoric, we were split into groups to debate the merits of free tuition (the topic I suggested for debate). There are valid, and many invalid, arguments on both sides. While I was assigned to the anti-free tuition group, personally I side with TJ.
https://statesman.com/story/news/politics/politifact/2022/09/06/fact-check-ppp-loans-forgiven-republicans-matt-gaetz-marjorie-taylor-greene/65470173007/ It's OK for Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene to get their business loans forgiven, but not students.
There are also ancillary benefits to society overall from an educated populace: less crime, better understanding of the political process and an educated workforce to compete with other nations. It isn't just me, me, me as Crash suggested, although a degree is pretty much essential now to be in the middle class. Ironically, there are states today that spend more tax dollars on prisons than they do on public schools and their university systems.
>> Yes. "Woke" has just gone way too far. It's to the point where any recognizable standard of behavior or academic touchstone has become the enemy. That's just wrong.
Sorry, is this sarcasm? If not, examples? Not clear what you're talking about.
>> I have read a lot of the 1619 project and object strongly to it's  thesis that the American Revolution was fought to protect slavery. This distortion has been widely criticized by professional historians.
I'd say you have not kept up. Lots of modulation and text changes and emphasis since initial publication. No serious historians objected to its general centering of institutionalized racialized slavery in the American story. To some details still, sure.
Good to see someone siding w TJ as his star continues to fall.
At least in Southwestern Connecticut, Electric Boat is desperate to hire "blue collar" technically trained industrial workers to build subs. They subsidize the training programs in high school and guarantee a job if student finishes program. Unlike the Cape, where you can charge $350 to put in a toilet ( personal experience) people can afford to live in SW CT.
A lot of the CHIPS act and Inflation Reduction Act is directed exactly at building those training programs in Red States
How US compares to the rest of the world in College expenses
"All told, including the contributions of individual families and the government (in the form of student loans, grants, and other assistance), Americans spend about $30,000 per student a year—nearly twice as much as the average developed country. “The U.S. is in a class of its own,” says Andreas Schleicher, the director for education and skills at the OECD, and he does not mean this as a compliment. “Spending per student is exorbitant, and it has virtually no relationship to the value that students could possibly get in exchange.”
For example, U.S. colleges spend, relative to other countries, a startling amount of money on their nonteaching staff, according to the OECD data."
That doesn't include the climbing gyms, hot tubs and locally sourced organic food the students demand!
https://bls.gov/opub/btn/volume-9/forty-years-of-falling-manufacturing-employment.htm This long-term loss of manufacturing jobs is only going to get worse with time due to automation.
I also don't think it helps to stereotype the younger generations as wasteful foolish ones that spend all their money on "hot tubs and locally sourced organic food." What's next, a mention of avocado toast? The truth is, Gen Z and Millennials spend more money on some things than Boomers and Xers and less on others. They probably find what we spend on our cars and houses wasteful:
Any school that doesn't looses "customers" whose parents can write checks for $50,000 plus a year.
When I went to the University of Texas in the 1970s we ate enchiladas and meatloaf. Now even the kids there get kale, organic sprouts, six desert stations, all you can eat fresh midnight cookies etc.
There was one University I read about a few years ago that decided to lower their tuition to attract more applicants. In fact their applications fell dramatically because applicants thought they might not get all the services other schools were offering.
It is an arms race that has little to do with the quality of the education, but the image and amenities.
Regarding wages for college graduates vs non-college ones:
Public university tuitions have gone up because state supports have declined significantly. At my university, state support was about 70-80% when I started, but only 10-15% by the time I retired. Some joked that we could stop using the state's name and be free but the explanation was that it wasn't simple - as land-grant university, we got lot of land, and buildings that were from separate capital budgets, and it would be impossible to pay for those.
In as much as out-of-state tuitions are attractive to universities, several have strict limits on nonstate enrollments. This is because for each nonstate student admitted, there may be a qualifying state student not admitted.
Private university tuitions are going up because many rich folks are willing to pay for the name and prestige; but lot of students get financial aid (via scholarships, grants, loans, campus work) and their effective tuition may be about half the listed tuitions.
Community colleges/2-yr colleges are mostly funded locally (property taxes, etc); there is some state funding too. Often, one has to a resident in the district to qualify for low tuition.
Their budgets may be axillary, and for a lot of Public Universities, football and basketball pay for all of the other athletic programs combined, but the money still comes from the students for the most part through increased room and board fees , books etc.
The other insanity is the endowments of many top universities would pay all their operating costs for years, but if they can get parents to pay , they limit the withdrawals to only the bare legal minimum.
As the students are aware of how much it costs to go to College now, and pick majors that will ( they think) allow them to make those kind of salaries
30% of the students at the Ivy League U my son attended were majoring in finance, to work on wall street. They knew teaching, social work, etc would never support their kids.
Sorry, is this sarcasm? If not, examples? Not clear what you're talking about.
Not sarcasm. A bit of hyperbole, I suppose. The Woke thing in general has just become a ridiculous free-for-all by which we are just supposed to assent to anything, anywhere, anyway, anyhow. Hairstyle legislation? Gimme a break. Reparations to be paid for what happened hundreds of years ago? C'mon. ... And I'm supposed to address this one person standing in front of me as "they?" Silliness. But a big chunk of our society is buying into it all. We are doomed. Common sense and any sort of recognition for the very need for standards of any sort are gone. The victim-card is just de rigueur now.
De Santis is a jerk. REQUIRING that a thing must NOT be taught? I can't fart loud enough to express how utterly stoopid that is. (In his case, Critical Race Theory. But that doesn't mean I buy-into CRT, lock, stock and barrel. ) Just how guilty and privileged am I supposed to feel? Bushwah.
I’ll be specific and honest. I have not read the entire Project. The essay that interested me, which I’ve previously discussed here, was the one on “low-road capitalism” by Matthew Desmond because of its direct relationship to subjects discussed on this board: https://nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/slavery-capitalism.html
The question that fascinates me in this essay is whether the institution of slavery influenced how capitalism in the U.S. functions today—how labor is treated, how certain investments such as mortgage bonds came to exist and how profit generation in a still capitalist system might be different if we took the high road instead of the low one.
A related story: US law permits manufacturers to claim a garment was American made if just one step in the process is done on US soil. So, one famous maker of blue jeans hired Vietnamese workers because they could be paid in peanuts. The jeans were manufactured, finished, ready to wear. Then they were shipped to Saipan, where a flag and logo was sewn onto the back pocket. The slogan said: "Made in the USA." As the French would say: "Merd."
anyone can be a nerde* about this:
This is almost as comical as getting woke wrong, CRT wrong, 1619 wrong, mixing in car audio and god knows what all.
you k, bruh?