• Member Since 23rd Apr, 2013
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Deep


"A world without friendship is a lonely world indeed."

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  • Thursday
    Almost ALMOST Done Beating Genetics

    A couple of weeks ago I said I was almost done. So now I'm almost almost done haha.

    100% done with shoulders + like 75% done with hips.

    Ugh, I don't want to jinx it but I'm getting excited that after 9 years I'm gonna finally KO my genes this year!!!!!

    0 comments · 24 views
  • 4 weeks
    Getting Close to Being 3x Stronger than Sombra

    In the spirit of insanity, I shall continue my "Sombra" series as long as I can lol.

    Last time I was easily 2x stronger than him: https://www.fimfiction.net/blog/994920/i-am-now-over-2x-stronger-than-sombra

    Well, am I now 3x stronger than him?

    Read More

    0 comments · 39 views
  • 5 weeks
    Almost Done Beating Genetics

    Ughhhhhh why can't I be 100% done, though :raritydespair:

    Alright, so despite basically every joint having issues at first, I can minimize the major starting issues to:
    - Right hip tear + instability
    - Left hip tear + instability
    - Left shoulder instability
    - Right shoulder instability

    The two bolded ones were the biggest issues. As of now, I have:

    Read More

    6 comments · 53 views
  • 6 weeks
    Got Bored and Drew an Anime Twilight

    Haven't drawn for like a month, but I had some time and was bored. So here you go... anime Twilight based on the actual MLP manga.

    I was gonna draw a clothes on her (which is why there are basic lines for that), but decided not to. Hooray for laziness haha.

    2 comments · 35 views
  • 9 weeks
    Rare Political Post: Kanye's Campaign is the Most Insane Sh*t I've Ever Seen

    You have:

    - Kanye "every human being has something of value they've brought to the table, especially Hitler" West

    - Milo "ex-gay" Yiannopoulos on his left

    - Nick "(paraphrased) We need to burn women alive like the good ol' days for them bearing false witness, worshipping minerals and being 300lbs" Fuentes on his right

    Read More

    7 comments · 60 views
Nov
12th
2022

Is the American Economy Dying? · 8:08am Nov 12th, 2022

Semi-political post. Please, forgive me :raritycry::rainbowlaugh:

I'd post this on Twitter or Reddit, but:
1) I don't want endless comments from insane people (cuz Reddit/Twitter :rainbowlaugh: )

2) I'd rather blog it here as a sort of diary post for myself


Anyway, so the state I live in right now has an insane amount of unemployment. In daily life, I'm taking about Dunkin Donuts being closed in the early afternoon, places that'd have food until 11pm now only having it until noon, Wal-Marts having 1 cashier despite endless job wanted posters, workers being forced to work from 9am - 1am five days a week to keep their store alive. Not even kidding on that last one.

In pharmacy, we have a lot of stores that went from 4 - 5 technicians and 2 pharmacists to just 1 - 2 techs and 1 pharmacist. Some stores have zero technicians. Meaning stores routinely have to close, with only a little note on the front door to alert patients who need their meds. Some stores have patients with three week delays on their meds, since so many stores routinely close. I mean, I can only run one store and serve 600 patients at most a day. I can't do dozens of daily closures just in my area.

It's like this in hospitals too. Technicians are hard to find there too, as are nurses. As a result, certain hospitals are using home health aids to do the lower-level duties of nurses. I have no clue on the legality of this :rainbowlaugh: However, this has resulted in disabled people and geriatric patients being unable to find home health aids.

I hear this situation is the same for most of the country. And really, I don't blame for not working.

Slave away for most of the week for 20 bucks an hour at most? I'd stay at home too. Go to school for 4 years and be tens of thousands of debt only to have a sub $50k/year career with no room for progression? Guys, I'm running away with my wife to my grandpa's village in India :rainbowlaugh: Oh, want a higher paying job? Just spend 6+ years minimum and be $250,000 in debt. I know doctors who are paying their student debt while in their 40s!!!

Even worse for the economy, most of the smartest people seem to view their career as a back-up while they start a business and can retire from their job early. Get a 6-figure job --> start a side biz --> retire by 35 is the standard among many circles now. I'm an idiot, and even I'm on that path. My lawyer best-friend? Same there. Most nurses I know? They're out of the hospital or soon will be. Some are going back to school! So basically, you have:

- Most jobs that suck and pay like shit. I don't blame anyone for not working.
- Middling jobs that pay like semi-shit but have no room for growth, and you waste time/money in college
- The high paying jobs usually require a high investment in time and debt
- Many of the people who do these higher paying jobs now want to retire early because they find modern jobs unfulfilling

Great recipe to entice young people to join the economy, guys :rainbowlaugh: For reference, I've retired my wife, and though she's going to be a teacher, it's because she likes it and not because of having a career/for money. The slightest hint of stress = she has the option to leave. What kind of a husband would I be if I let my wife suffer the stress most teachers go through?

And that right there is why the economy is fucked. Most people rightfully don't want to work. And those who would otherwise have great careers have one foot out the door due to stressful work.

Edit: And I shouldn't even have to talk about how most people can barely afford their groceries nowadays due to inflation

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Comments ( 18 )

Well, you have to start by figuring out "how much money am I making for the company?" Then you need to realize that it costs far more than $50,000 to pay a worker $50,000 once all the taxes, insurance, and benefits are figured in. People tend to fall into one of a few categories. If you are being paid (after overhead) 10% less or more than the value you are providing then the company is in trouble -- at least where your job is concerned and you need to really worry about your job being phased out. At the other extreme are the people who make millions for a company but are paid only tens of thousands.

The problem today is that far fewer people are providing the healthy median amount of value for the amount they are paid than usual. The exploited and the marginal are becoming more the norm. At that point lots of businesses become understaffed and closing while others just shovel in the cash.

5697535

Well, you have to start by figuring out "how much money am I making for the company?" Then you need to realize that it costs far more than $50,000 to pay a worker $50,000 once all the taxes, insurance, and benefits are figured in.

My family, extended family and most of our family friends are business owners, so I actually know specific numbers for certain businesses. But yeah, obviously pay is dependant on how much value the employee brings into the business. Most employees are severely underpaid, and to be honest, that isn't my issue. It's more that:

1) Things have gotten so expensive that most jobs are effectively slave labor in much of the nation. This kills low-paying jobs.
2) Tying most jobs to a degree puts an artifical barrier to entry on most jobs that makes the job much less valuable to have. My job should have a degree, but most shouldn't. This degree bullshit kills many mid-level jobs.
3) Working conditions of most of the higher paying jobs drives people away.


As for the question of "value"... (I hate corporate jargon like that haha. Just say how much money you can estimate the employee helps create).

1. Employees are going to be paid as little as possible in almost all circumstances. What someone makes an hour or per year is very arbitrary much of the time, and is basically how little the business can get away with. And my family and I are guilty of this too.
2. Most businesses and positions are purposely understaffed so there are less people to pay. If you can make 2 nurses do the work of 4 nurses, you save money.
3. There is often no incentive structure for most jobs. As in, no equity or performance bonus. Or if there is one, it's miniscule.

It's not sustainable for half of all jobs to be slave labor, another 40% be blocked by a degree, and only 10% be worthwhile to have.

I'm trying to be balanced with this. Divide and conquer has worked well for people to hate one another.

Oil shortage: everything costs more. Oxygen of the modern society. Without it, we might as well go back to the medieval ages.

Huk

"You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy" :rainbowdetermined2:

YES, and know it's misquoted, and it's actually not as 'evil' given the context, but it's still morbidly fun to 'quote' it :rainbowwild:


As for the question... Yes, the American (or rather, the Western) economy is dying... That problem is not new, and it has been tracked since around 1980 or so. Now it just became more visible due to what happened during the pandemic, the war, and the aftermath.

But if you think what happened in the States is bad, then come to Europe. The shock we had over here when the energy prices went up 500% the last year alone is something to behold. Our great politicians basically went nuts and wasted the last 20 or so years pushing for unsustainable energy policies, and now the entire economy is at risk. And the worst part is they didn't learn their lessons at all - just pushing for even more of their failed policies. Thanks to their effort, the EU is going to belly up before the States, so... yay, I guess :unsuresweetie:?

But worry not! Soon it's gonna be another 2008 (or maybe even 1929) all over again. The balloon will pop, and many companies will go under. Some people will be forced back into the market, while others will lose their cosey jobs. A few protests, wars, and revolutions later, everything will return to 'normal.' Then, 15-50 years later, we'll rinse and repeat and start the cycle all over again, as always :unsuresweetie:.

It's no different on this side of the pond either, to be honest. Supposedly, we have the lowest unemployment rates in a certain amount of years that I don't remember. Sounds great, right? Well, we also have rapidly rising inflation rates and a broken economy with businesses closing down everywhere due to high costs from the energy crisis and other shortages, and tons of people on strike because in some cases it's cheaper to go on benefits than it is to work and people also get to actually spend time with their families if they're not at work.

The NHS also has people leaving in droves. Actually, I think both nurses and paramedics have now voted to go on strike because the pay they get for the hours they work and what they do for us is ridiculous. For some reason, everyone in the NHS has to work 12 hour shifts, and the pay is still too low for most people what with the rising prices at the moment. :twilightoops: I think nurses are asking for a 17% pay rise, which I sort of understand, but which I know the government won't be able to afford unless the politicians cut their own wages... Like that's happening any time soon. :facehoof: Surely, wouldn't it be best to offer enough of a pay rise that nurses and paramedics aren't relying on food banks so much, and then making it so that they only have to work 8-10 hour shifts but they can do overtime work if they want to earn more?

5697545
I've heard so many horror stories about the energy prices in Europe now. Well, at least the West learned not to depend on dictators for energy anymore (looks at the U.S. and Saudi Arabia/most of the Middle East)... :facehoof:


5697579
They'll get a 17% pay raise only if they do 170% more work. Unfortunately, that's how it goes usually. And Jesus christ at 12 hour shifts. That's fine if someone only has to work 12 or 24 hours a week, but it's nuts when you have people doing 48 or 60 hours. At that point, I'd probably go full Muslim and ban my wife from working lol.

In all seriousness, though, healthcare is demanding here, but it's not that bad *yet.* it's why I like that my wife is in college for teaching elementary school.

Remember, "we need mass-immigration to do the jobs Americans won't do." The country is suffering from a huge overabundance of labor, useless degrees, and benefits. Even with so much potential labor, it's much cheaper to manufacture overseas, and a service economy cannot expand the way a manufacturing one can.

There are several factors that have all been wearing away at the economy for decades. It's just accelerating a bit as we near the cliff.

Huk

5697647

To paraphrase an old joke from the commie era:

"Dear Americans... Just yesterday, we stood at the edge of an economic precipice. But thanks to the valiant efforts of my administration, today we make a huge step forward!"

- Joe Biden (probably) :trollestia:

5697630

To be fair, when it comes to fuel, neither the States nor Europe has enough resources to be self-reliant, so we are destined to make some shady deals with 'not nice' people.

But that's even more of a reason to be cautious and buy your energy from multiple sources. If you had a neighbor that is a shady dude who in the past threatened to burn your house and rape your wife and who now wanted to sell you oil and gas cheaper than anybody else, would you be like:

Yay! Cheap energy! Let's show a finger to all other suppliers and get totally dependent on that dude! ... what? Precautions? Nah! He had a change of heart! Just look at his trustworthy eyes :twilightsmile:!

Or rather:

Hmm, it sounds too good to be true :trixieshiftright:. We better be cautious here and diversify our suppliers. It may be a bit more expensive in the short run, but until our 'friend' acts like a mobster, we shouldn't believe in his good intentions :unsuresweetie:.

Poland, the Baltic States, and a few other countries in Central Europe chose the latter approach, while the rest of the EU, led by Germany, chose the former, calling us all 'Russophobes' and other shit like that. When Trump tried to raise similar concerns, he was laughed at too...

Well, nobody is laughing now, I assure you. The real tragedy is that nobody will ever face any criminal charges for anything because even though Gazprom and other Russian energy companies hired/sponsored former politicians sympathetic to their cause, like Gerhard Schröder, officially, it wasn't illegal. Funny, huh :trixieshiftleft:?

And, of course, there was also the forced push towards CO2 reduction and dependency on the 'cheap and reliable' renewables ... which turned out to be neither of those, but that's a topic for a different story. If you know someone from California, you can ask them how well renewables works for them :unsuresweetie:

The bottom line is that for at least another 5-10 years, Europe is pretty much f*cked when it comes to energy prices and maybe even availability itself. All thanks to corrupted politicians and climate activists who decided to ignore all warnings and pushed forward no matter the cost.

I hope people in the States wake up before making the same mistakes.

5697669
Well, we were energy independent under the last administration. It was quite an accomplishment; brought down our prices for gas, added to the GDP by exporting oil for sale, replenished the Strategic Reserve (that we've been drawing down to fight high prices in the short term), and helped us avoid foreign entanglements over oil.

The US woke up already. We had our chance. There was too much rot, and we're back to sleep with the mandated Orange Man Bad lullaby. Nothing but nothing is going to save us from imploding.

Huk

5697672

Well, we were energy independent under the last administration. [...]

Huh, I didn't know that. So... what happened? ... then again, I have a feeling I already know the answer :trixieshiftleft:

The US woke up already. We had our chance. There was too much rot, and we're back to sleep with the mandated Orange Man Bad lullaby. Nothing but nothing is going to save us from imploding.

If you mean the midterms, honestly, I'm not surprised there was just a 'red trickle' instead of a predicted 'red wave.' When I heard the whole 'democracy is in danger!' babble, I knew it would be much closer than pools suggested because it's the tactics used to convince people to vote against someone rather than for someone.

That said, I heard some right commentators like Shapiro pointing out that in many places, Reps were asking to get their asses kicked by putting up crappy and unpopular candidates and thinking that people gonna vote for them even if the Dems' candidate was more likable.

I don't know how true that is, but if it is, then they should stop smoking whatever they use and start searching for better, more likable people similar to DeSantis. Seriously, clone the dude or something :unsuresweetie: (but send one clone to Poland too! That guy seems to talk a lot of common sense; we could use him :trollestia:)

5697647
Yeah, the loss of manufacturing jobs definitely fucked over lots of Americans. When I lived in Ohio, much of it felt like an economic wasteland since the manufacturing jobs were mostly gone. You went from people being able to start their life at 18 with a factory job and one parent working to both parents needing a degree and working some office job that arguably pays less adjusting for inflation.

5697669

I'm a big supporter of renewable energy, but yeah, it clearly isn't going to cover all our needs for a while.

To be honest, the entire system of trading with dictators and hoping capitalism/free trade promotes democracy has proven to be a sham. I mean, it's worked in India, which has clearly gotten more Westernized. However, India was still democratic since its independence (despite utterly insane corruption lol). No amount of trade will give democracy to places like Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, or the Gulf States. If anything, it just strengthens the dictatorships.

5697704
Despite my leaning towards conservative values, I wouldn't say that having both Houses all one color would solve anything. By and large, they're two faces of the same coin; individuals come and go, but the lifelong system they're part of remains. It's almost a Ship of Theseus setup, now that I think about it, but it ensures that anyone moving to the top has paid their dues and is a willing participant.

By the US waking up, I meant the last administration. Despite eventually putting himself on the Republican docket, Trump was not a lifelong politician or party supporter. The US has had plenty of so-called "big name" independent party candidates, and they have never gotten more than a handful of percentage points in the final tally. If you want someone to win, it simply has to be someone from one of the two major parties. Besides that angle of it, Trump was absolutely running as an independent candidate, someone from outside who wasn't beholden to maintaining the status quo. The midterms, the rest of it; mostly window dressing.
5697729
Yep. Two major events directly behind that. At a specific point in history, for some reason, the labor pool literally doubled in a day despite the population not changing. And universities started receiving fed payouts for degrees, which meant they were no longer dependent upon graduates having successful careers to pay off their tuition and later donate to the school; the more graduates they had, for any and every degree regardless of usefulness or viability, the more guaranteed fed cash they got.

5697773

Ah yes, the labor pool suddenly doubling "for some reason" :rainbowlaugh:

I'll actually go on record and say, from an employer's POV, women make better employees on average. This is just based on the experiences of me, my family, family friends, and some others. And this is based on experiences with Gen Z and Millennial guys who are *American-born*. It's actually baffling how often a 50 year old mother of two makes a more reliable and hard working employee than a 25 year old guy.

Edit: It's also crazy how often I'm seeing younger women working to support their unemployed boyfriends.

Huk

5697773

Ah, gotcha! And you're right, of course. In most cases and most countries, regardless of who you vote for, there is not much difference because the elites stay the same, just switching places every few years.

That said, an interesting thing is starting to happen in Europe in that regard. Whether this is good or bad, it's hard to tell yet, but for the first time in many years, people are fed up with mainstream narration, and the winds seem to be changing direction. Mainstream elites are losing elections to more populistic (Trump-style) politicians (like in Sweden and Italy). Media are, of course, screaming 'right-wing!/'fascism!' and so on, but people seem to give less and less crap about what the media say, which gives me some hope.

I hope (although doubt) this trend will stay, and in the future, we'll be able to remove the 'elites' that put us in this mess with someone new. Maybe then things will start turning for the better.

5697734

I'm a big supporter of renewable energy, but yeah, it clearly isn't going to cover all our needs for a while.

So am I :trixieshiftright:, but we have to realistically judge the technology we have instead of using wishful thinking and lies.

It so happens that I have a cousin that works in the power industry. In the past, still believing all the mainstream BS, I told him how I think we should all go 'full renewables' because they're cheap, reliable, and so on. He laughed his ass off and explained to me how these 'cheap,' 'reliable,' 'longlasting,' and 'eco-friendly' solutions really work.

  • How much do they really cost to build, operate, and maintain.
  • How many problems - invisible to us, end receivers - do they cause for the power industry.
  • And so on.

Comparing what he - an engineer, who works in the industry, and with these systems, every day - told me to what 'experts' on the news claim is like comparing Soviet-era propaganda to reality. An old joke comes to mind:

"Comrade Stalin! Is it true that they're giving out free cars on Red Square?
"Yes, it's totally true! Except not on Red Square, but Lenin's Square. And not cars but bikes. And not giving out for free but stealing.

The bottom line is that unless we fix the underlying issues with renewables - the biggest one being energy storage - we shouldn't use them as the base but only as an additional power supply. And yet, even now, politicians in the EU are pushing toward this like crazy... :facehoof:

To be honest, the entire system of trading with dictators and hoping capitalism/free trade promotes democracy has proven to be a sham.

... I'm sorry :rainbowhuh:? Who told you that 'spreading democracy' was ever the point of us trading with dictators :rainbowlaugh:? And what makes you think people in these countries want and/or are ready for democracy :unsuresweetie:?

5697908

The bottom line is that unless we fix the underlying issues with renewables - the biggest one being energy storage - we shouldn't use them as the base but only as an additional power supply. And yet, even now, politicians in the EU are pushing toward this like crazy...

Agreed, and that's more than fair. When I say we need to move to renewables, I don't mean immediately. I mean over time and while we improve the technology. It's more than fine with me if it takes 50 or 60 years.

.I'm sorry :rainbowhuh:? Who told you that 'spreading democracy' was ever the point of us trading with dictators

Why the trustworthy American media, of course :trollestia:

Haha seriously though. Despite American propaganda making it seem like the U.S.'s only goal is to spread democracy, our cultural influence and trade does effectively spread our values. Even China and Saudi Arabian culture among the youth is more Western now than ever before (source: knowing people from those countries). The influence is just nowhere near enough to counteract how much the trade benefits those governments.

And what makes you think people in these countries want and/or are ready for democracy :unsuresweetie:?

Even if a culture isn't ready for democracy *now*, it doesn't mean it'll stay that way forever. Decades of American cultural influence can do wonders. Like I said, even many Saudi dudes are more Western now if you talk to them in a place where they feel safe.

Huk

5697956

Why the trustworthy American media, of course :trollestia:

Ah... that explains a lot :trixieshiftleft: Try some Polish propaganda instead called 'TVP World' if only to laugh at the funny English accent :trixieshiftright:

Even if a culture isn't ready for democracy *now*, it doesn't mean it'll stay that way forever.

Sure, but that's assuming that:

  1. Western democracy is a universal political system that everyone will eventually want - and frankly, that's a big-ass assumption that I would not dare make.
  2. That it will survive the upcoming trepidations - and that's far from a given.

My point is that democracy is not the only political system in the world, and it's not certain that it is compatible with all cultures. If one day they choose to become democratic, more power to them. But it can take years until that happens. Until then, we should steer clear.

Like I said, even many Saudi dudes are more Western now if you talk to them in a place where they feel safe.

I can believe that, but I would like to know whether they're cherry-picking only what they like or do they also accept what they don't like...

For example, I talked online with a Muslim who claimed he likes Western values and democracy but... still believed that all women should wear burkas and hoped that one day they'd pass a law in Holland (or Sweden, I don't remember) to force all women to do it :facehoof:.

This guy didn't understand what Western values really stand for, even though he claimed he did. Based on my conversations with people from high-emigration EU countries, this seems to be a common view among immigrants coming to the EU from the Middle East. If that's how they understand 'democracy' over there, I have a feeling it's not going to change anytime soon... :unsuresweetie:

5698045

  1. Western democracy is a universal political system that everyone will eventually want - and frankly, that's a big-ass assumption that I would not dare make.

I'll make that assumption. People innately love freedom. Even if they're hypocrites and don't want others to do certain things, they still want freedom for themselves. The only way to keep people from going toward democracy is with 1) a dictator 2) culture/religion. For point 1, how long can a dictatorship last? Not forever obviously. And as for point 2, I 100% view cultures as malleable, especially due to the internet and how connected the world will keep getting. I'm Indian, live in America, and am talking to a Pole. This is the first generation where people can connect like this across the world, and unsurprisingly, culture is more connected as well.

I'll use India again as an example because of how suddenly it's modernized due to the internet. In 20 years, the village girls went from only knowing their nearly city 30 miles away to now seeing the West on their phones everyday and wanting to be like Western girls. Insane progress. The allure of freedom is always too much, which is why they're latching on to sexual liberation, feminism, and similar ideas. I truly believe the allure of freedom will cause democracy to win out in the end.

The specifics of the democracy will obviously be different based on the country.

This guy didn't understand what Western values really stand for, even though he claimed he did. Based on my conversations with people from high-emigration EU countries, this seems to be a common view among immigrants coming to the EU from the Middle East. If that's how they understand 'democracy' over there, I have a feeling it's not going to change anytime soon...

I mean, I am pretty strict with my Islamic beliefs and would want something similar to a burka law too :twilightblush:










Okay, obviously joking :rainbowlaugh: For whatever reason, immigrants into Europe do not integrate to the culture anywhere close to how well they do when joining America. Canada does it much better than Euripe, but still not as well as the States. And to be fair, I don't know why that is. Our Muslim immigrants and their kids end up much more moderate, and the kids especially become mostly Americanized.

As for that Muslim guy... I've met guys like that (such as one who openly talked about killing anyone who criticizes Saudi Arabia lol). But I've also met more guys who end up embracing Western values after studying in the U.S. *as long as the American students embrace them and don't exclude them.* By the end of their stay, my school's Saudi students were okay with the clothing and practices of the American girls, as long as their own wife was traditional. Which is a fair compromise IMO.

And the Saudi girls loved the U.S. and often ended up as the most promiscuous girls on my campus :rainbowlaugh:Which I actually believe helped the guys get more Westernized too, because it cemented the fact that the only reason their home country was a certain way was because of force.

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