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The Wall Street Protests

Discussion in 'Politically Incorrect' started by Dragonlady, Oct 3, 2011.

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  1. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    For my senior year in college, we had to build our own monthly budget using the typical living costs for the area, and some of my classmates were :eek: :eek: as to how hard it would be to stay within a budget with a typical new-grad salary. :lol:
     
  2. PRlady

    PRlady flipflack

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    It's crazy like that. My nephew, the one who got the good law firm job, was a Golden Boy, ranked fourth in New England in his sport and his undergrad was at the college regularly on top of the US News rankings. He told me seriously that he couldn't get into that college now. And he's only 27 years old!

    And I'm sorta glad to hear Prancer's and skater1964's stories about their meandering education. I lost credit for half of year when I lived in Israel as a junior and, uh, never went to class. (Did many interesting things, but not that.) I ran back to the US the day before second semester, took extra courses that semester and over the next two summers, and fall semester senior year, to graduate on time because I was panicked about "four years." Now my daughter's boyfriend is picking up his truncated education at age 27 and I admit I've worried he'll never get there....but you two are certainly good role models.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  3. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    :lol: The feds certainly wouldn't like it. But here you are.

    Yah, I hear ya. Never mind that the average is five years. Never mind that we have NO control over 99.9999999999% of the reasons students don't finish in four years.

    :soapbox:

    Oh, sure. Some students lead freaking miserable lives and it's rarely just one thing that takes them out of school.

    Ah, yes, I remember in high school we had to do a personal budget for independent living based on what we were earning (we all had jobs). I remember thinking that I would NEVER be able to move out of my parents' house :lol:. I think that they were afraid I wouldn't, either.

    My husband just got his bachelor's degree last year after starting college in 1978 :lol:. He called it his 30-year-four-year-degree plan.

    I didn't take as long to get there, but between dropping out of high school, nearly flunking out of community college, earning assorted unrelated certificates and a couple of associates for jobs I ended up hating, working, going back for something else, and generally wandering around trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that for more years than anyone likes to remember, I was a lot more lost than he ever was. He got a job as a programmer right after he got his AAS and never looked back (the degree means nothing more to his career than a checked-off box). Me, well, :shuffle:.

    If the boyfriend has an interest--a genuine interest--in going to school, he should be fine. And it can be fine if they get married, too; I didn't accomplish a damn thing in school until I got married. It's kids who really put the strain on older college students' academic lives :shuffle:
     
  4. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

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    I think it's a family trait :lol: I think it took my father 14 years (between being drafted, and having to work 40 hours while going to school part time in order to afford it, then getting married and becoming a father). My mother went to university right out of high school (she met my father at Wayne State), then stopped when I was born. She went back to school when I was around 14. However, both my mother and I have advanced degrees, and my father had finished everything except the thesis when life interfered and he wasn't able to get back and finish it. We've all had good careers. So there is life for us non-traditional students! :)
     
  5. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    Yeah, BA is a good degree as long as one doesn't overspecialize (and there're plenty of overspecialized divisions). For instance, putting all your eggs in the Eng literature dept may be a problem, but a variety of courses in economics, writing, history, etc. may be a good combination. Statistics and basic accounting courses don't hurt either.

    Speaking of majors, Chronicle of Higher ed published an issue focusing on the relative "uselessness" of business majors : http://chronicle.com/article/Business-Educators-Struggle-to/127108/
    Among other articles. Basically, it's complaining about business majors not working as hard

    ETA: Speaking of communications, I always wonder why unis don't require history or economics for journalism or communications degrees. Subject knowledge always helps IMHO. (I'm continuing that discussion there http://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/showthread.php?t=80410&page=10)

    While we're talking budget:
    Presidents Defend Their Pay as Public Colleges Slash Budgets
    http://chronicle.com/article/Presidents-Defend-Their-Pay-as/126971/
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  6. Prancer

    Prancer Cursed for all time Staff Member

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    Well, now that we all know (yet again) that higher ed is just as big a mess as everything else, back to OWS, or at least to something related:

    Are we gonna have a revolution? Well, you know. We all wanna change the world:

    The US is probably getting ready for a revolution. Back in the Cold War days, the CIA was asked to do a portrait of a country that might have a revolution. It decided that such a country would have three characteristics:

    A big gap between rich and poor.

    A middle class that was disappearingÂ…or one that never existed in the first place.

    A lot of people with a grudge.


    http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/T.../1012/What-Occupy-Wall-Street-is-really-about (Must say that I am :lol: at the idea that only useless people join revolutions--um, how 'bout them Founding Fathers, who thought their taxes were too high?)

    The rich are fighting back: http://news.yahoo.com/occupy-wall-street-protests-rankle-rich-193928054.html

    Most of us don't care: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...eet-overblown/2011/10/12/gIQAjnjyfL_blog.html

    But people overseas are beginning to take an interest: http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/wall-street-protests-draw-1199070.html
     
  7. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    D attends a large public university, and I've been pretty impressed at the degree to which they chivvy kids through the degree program. Their "front page" that kids log in to for everything show's whether the student is on-track or off-track for graduation based on "major maps" that lay out what you specifically need to take semester by semester, degree audits that they can run whenever they like that will show them exactly what they're missing in the area of general ed and requirements for their major, and mandatory advising holds that require a meeting with their advisor before they're allowed to enroll for the subsequent term at several key points. There's even an electronic advisor system that can advise kids what majors might fit with the coursework they've already taken. Supposedly they've improved the graduation rate more than ten percent, and the freshman retention rate more than that. They've added a whole bunch of half-semester classes (full semester of material in 7.5 weeks) for students that prefer a more compacted approach, but also to help students not fall behind if they drop a class early in the semester. Kids are strongly encouraged to take prerequisite classes early, and to get their math finished promptly too. I also give them kudos for figuring out how to offer enough sections of common gen ed classes (traditional, on-line, and hybrid) so that you don't hear about kids not graduating because they can't get what they need for their degree.

    Compared to the maze that was my university -- where it was not uncommon for students to learn only weeks before graduation that according to the current advisor, they were missing something -- this seems like a much stronger system.
     
  8. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I've yet to see a public university allow a student to take only cases in one field with no general ed courses. Actually, I can't think of any private ones that do either (with the exception of proprietary ones perhaps).

    Have to say jlai, some of your comments about higher ed seem grossly unrelated to, well, higher ed.
     
  9. jlai

    jlai Title-less

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    I'm looking at higher ed not from inside out, but from the view of someone who looks at their budget requests. The inevitable question: WHy should the state fund x/z/z in higher ed and not allocate more money to human service type programs or other programs? Hence, I guess I'm not looking at this the same way you all do.

    Yes, there're always general ed courses. Right now the univs here are merging related programs, esp in programs with few students graduating. It's actually a good time to look at subject division, and how disciplines relate to each other and offer more interdisplinery studies. But that belongs to another thread.

    Sorry. Back to OWS.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2011
  10. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    If you're willing, can you PM me with the name of this university? My husband's community college is looking for ways to increase retention and etc., and I'd like to point him toward this school in case there can be any learning there.
     
  11. Louis

    Louis Well-Known Member

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    Back when I graduated ('01), some of the Ivies were piloting a curriculum where general education requirements would be met with four courses, leaving more room for electives or double majors. Don't know what ever came of it and not interested enough to look :lol:.
     
  12. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Pfft, that's nothing. While I was a SENIOR in college, everyone in my class joked that if we had tried to apply for that year's freshman class, none of us would get in. :rofl: Thanks to the great US News rankings, the applicants that would have applied to the Ivies were trickling out west....

    Like it was said earlier, it seemed everyone applying was curing cancer in their spare time. :p

    :rofl: One of the grad students talked about passing her college president's mansion one Christmas Eve (on her way to the lab :shuffle: ) and the gate was actually open and there were tons of cars parked there. Rolls Royce's and Bentleys made up most of the population. "There wasn't a single Toyota in the bunch!"

    That sounds pretty :kickass:
     
  13. Civic

    Civic New Member

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    $19,000K a year x 4 years = $76,000. That's still a lot of debt.
     
  14. susan6

    susan6 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe that's referring to students who come in with a bunch of AP credit which counts toward their gen ed requirements? At my university there were "freshmen" who essentially came in as sophomores since they already had enough credits for one year.
     
  15. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    There is a protest planned for Toronto this weekend. Yeah, there's an idea. March on Bay Street on Saturday. All of the offices are closed.

    At least they won't disrupt traffic because there isn't any in that part of the city on the weekend.
     
  16. peibeck

    peibeck Lost in Space

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    This quote:

    "Whoever posted the sign {a trader put a sign in his office window saying "We are the 1%"} , trader Eric Wilkinkson says he is in sympathy with it. The real parties responsible for the nation's economic ills are not the rich, in his view. Says Wilkinson, "It's capitol hill and Obama that are the culprits. They're the ones not doing their jobs."

    seems (to me) part of the disconnect that the "1%" seem to have from the "99%." Washington (no matter who is leading it) has basically become so ineffective because so much money from big business and special interests has clogged the ability to govern, compromise, and legislate. Why blame the "99%" for the mess in Washington that the "1%" created?
     
  17. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Students are supposed to be able to earn about $3,500 a year while going to college. Families can usually contribute something -- and this is the middle class we're talking about -- and the cost of attendance is typically overstated by about $1000. Even if the middle class family has no college savings at all, a kid living away at college doesn't need to figure into the family food budget, the family clothes budget,..., since those things are already incorporated into the COA. If the family is really poor, instead of middle class, Pell Grants come into play, and a number of other states have programs that help out lower middle income in-state families. (University of California's Blue & Gold plan pays all ed fees not already covered by Cal Grants or Federal grants for any in-state student with an income of less than $80K.)

    Still no reason that any middle class student should graduate with that much debt.

    I know several families who've basically wiped out their home equity paying for kids to go to out-of-state publics or pricey private universities -- and the kids also have student debt on their own. It is this kind of poor decision-making that worries me, because now those families have less financial resilience when something bad happens and the parents are heading towards retirement with a big chunk of housing debt, the kids start off life with a big chunk of debt hanging over their heads, and both of those things are bad for our economy. These are smart people, but in my mind, they've made dumb decisions.
     
  18. jenlyon60

    jenlyon60 Member

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    Just out of curiousity, I looked up the current tuition rates for one of the state universities in my state.

    The in-state cost is approx $17,000 annually. This includes room and board plus tuition. It does not include books, or "living money" (aka fun money) or transportation cost to/from school. I am not sure if it includes any additional lab fees. Thus, a student finishing in 4 years (with no financial aid) will incur a cost of at least $68,000, not counting books or other expenses.

    The out-of-state cost is approx. $31,000 annually. Same provisions as above, except the 4 year cost would be $124,000.

    This is not one of the higher-priced state schools in my state, but it is a decent engineering/sciences school--originally it was a "land grant" college.

    The tuition page states that approx. 60% of all students receive some sort of financial aid. But no "average amount" was given. I also don't know if there is an average "amount paid by student/family" available anywhere.

    FWIW, this school considered a "good value" university (24th on Kiplinger's 2011-2012 list), so it's not considered overly expensive.
     
  19. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Since you mentioned this was on Kiplinger's list, I looked it up. One of the stats Kiplinger's provides is the average student debt upon graduation for each institution. For this particular one, the average student debt (this includes out-of-state students as well who pay far higher) is $22,000--below the national average. Presumably for in-state students, that number would be lower.
     
  20. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    Right, and a far cry from the $76K in debt Civic mentioned. $22K is an amount of debt that most graduates would be able to pay down. $76K -- or the $125K or $150K amounts that have been mentioned for grad students -- mostly isn't.
     
  21. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

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  22. jenlyon60

    jenlyon60 Member

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    Of course, Northern Virginia is also one of the few areas of the country with an unemployment rate quite a bit below the national average. Which also makes a difference. Graduates from the particular school for which I quoted costs may have a stronger chance of being employed soon after university than graduates elsewhere in the country, if they are applying for jobs in Northern Virginia.

    (Having said all that, if the govt both cuts back on federal employment AND contractor employment, Northern Virginia will probably experience a sudden rise in unemployment.)
     
  23. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

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    Regarding the productivity chart, I would hazard to geuss the explosion of technology and computers had more to do with that then did political policy. I didn't see my first personal computer in the workplace until 1986.
     
  24. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    The "Occupy Denver" group was cleared out of the park across from the Capitol a couple of hours ago; some arrests, but no violence. A Veteran's group has a (long-held) permit to use the park Saturday, so I can understand the timing. I was very disappointed to see some news reports featuring participants urinating on the Veteran's Memorial at the park. That's a political statement that does them little good, I think.
     
  25. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    While computers may have helped increase production, workers have to be a whole lot better trained to use that technology. Before computers, in addition to my legal training and skills, I had to know how to type and photocopy. Now, I to be able to use Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Outlook, Conveyancer (real estate transaction software), Teraview (electronic property records and registrations), OnCorp (online incorporation and due diligence software), FastCompany (incorporation and corporate maintenance software) and PCLaw (accounting software) in addition to knowing the law.

    Today we sold a house for some clients. In 1986, I would have prepared 4 documents. Today, I sent 8 different documents to the purchaser's lawyer to complete the same transaction that required 4 documents 25 years ago. In 1984 mortgages were, at most, 8 pages long. Some mortgages today have more than 30 pages of standard clauses.

    We were supposed to be working in the paperless office by now. Computers haven't simplified the process. The ability to create documents quickly has seen amount of closing documentation for all manner of legal transactions explode. Every time there is a law suit in a transaction, a new document appears to protect against a similar action and becomes standard to the transaction.
     
  26. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    So it turns out there is an “ask” on the part of the protesters and apparently they have had this available back to September. The last link at the bottom reviews some of the (lack of good) media coverage where this was totally overlooked. Excuse the caps but this is a copy..

    LIST OF PROPOSED “DEMANDS FOR CONGRESS”

    1.CONGRESS PASS HR 1489 (“RETURN TO PRUDENT BANKING ACT” http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1489 ). THIS REINSTATES MANY PROVISIONS OF THE GLASS-STEAGALL ACT.

    2.USE CONGRESSIONAL AUTHORITY AND OVERSIGHT TO ENSURE APPROPRIATE FEDERAL AGENCIES FULLY INVESTIGATE AND PROSECUTE THE WALL STREET CRIMINALS

    3.CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections.

    4.CONGRESS PASS THE BUFFETT RULE ON FAIR TAXATION SO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE & CLOSE CORPORATE TAX LOOP HOLES AND ENACT A PROHIBITION ON HIDING FUNDS OFF SHORE.

    5.CONGRESS COMPLETELY REVAMP THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION and staff it at all levels with proven professionals who get the job done protecting the integrity of the marketplace so citizens and investors are both protected.

    6.CONGRESS PASS SPECIFIC AND EFFECTIVE LAWS LIMITING THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS AND ELIMINATING THE PRACTICE OF LOBBYISTS WRITING LEGISLATION THAT ENDS UP ON THE FLOOR OF CONGRESS.

    7.CONGRESS PASSING “Revolving Door Legislation” LEGISLATION ELIMINATING THE ABILITY OF FORMER GOVERNMENT REGULATORS GOING TO WORK FOR CORPORATIONS THAT THEY ONCE REGULATED.

    8.ELIMINATE “PERSONHOOD” LEGAL STATUS FOR CORPORATIONS.

    http://occupywallst.org/forum/proposed-list-of-demands-please-help-editadd-so-th/
    http://freethoughtblogs.com/almostdiamonds/2011/10/10/understanding-occupy-wall-street/
     
  27. purple skates

    purple skates Shadow Dancing

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    I would like to see how many of the people camped out in that park have a clue as to what the Glass-Steagall Act is. :rofl:

    DL, you may be doing eight forms instead of four, but you're probably doing them faster. To use your legal example (and yes, I used to work for a law firm too, as a legal secretary/pseudo-paralegal), before computers you had to type the document, submit it for revision, retype the entire document, submit it for signature, and if (heaven forbid!!!) there was another error, retype the damn thing once again. After computers, revisions were a cinch.
     
  28. Dragonlady

    Dragonlady Sew Happy

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    Before computers, I typed the document, submitted it for revisions, used white out and "cut and paste" to correct it, and photocopied the end result onto a clean document. Cut and paste had to be done so that it looked like a cleanly typed document - no tape marks on the photocopy. I never, ever retyped a document from scratch.

    Now we can do almost everything from our desks. I don't know about litigation because I have never worked in litigation but in corporate, commerical and real estate transactions, nearly everything can be searched or filed from the desk in your office. You still have to go to Companies Branch to file an amalgamation or a dissolution, but incorporations can be done from your office, as can corporate searches, real estate searches and real estate closings. I can log into any Land Registry Office in Ontario through Teraview and close deals without leaving my desk, much less my office.

    Am I more productive than I was in 1984 before I started working with computers? Yes I am, but I have had to learn to use 10 different software programs of varying degrees of complexity, code new documents for Conveyancer, and create precedent applications for other programs to make it happen.

    Last but not least, offices now have 3 or more lawyers sharing one assistant - something that was unheard of before computers.
     
  29. peibeck

    peibeck Lost in Space

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    Probably just those unemployed law students we discussed earlier up thread! :p
     
  30. snoopy

    snoopy Team St. Petersburg

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    I thought the list was reasonable - and the corporations as persons - we discussed that one when it happened, I'm glad to see it on the list. It's not like they are asking for things that would directly and personally benefit them (like $1MM or a job or longer vacations).
     
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