U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-04-2013, 05:19 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit, Michigan
18,079 posts, read 16,531,873 times
Reputation: 18000

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Thank you, andywire, for your well written and accurate essay. I started tending, building and repairing machinery before I went into the Navy where I went to school and eventually became a Machine Repairman (machinist). After I got back from 'Nam in ’67, I got a job as machinist working titanium. I was well paid for that job but it did not take long to realize a college degree would pay a lot better as well as being more interesting. I used the GI bill to supplement the pay I received working in various shops to pay for college.

Since then I have been working a mixture of field and office and although I am not getting great pay it is better than I would receive if I were still a working metal for someone else. Admittedly I prefer designing and building specialized machinery but I also do not want to run my own business. I am near retiring and then we will see what happens.

If I were a recent high school graduate in these times I am not sure what to do. I would definitely avoid any military service. I suppose I would place my soul in a lockbox and learn the religion of business in college and play the game for real. After a couple of decades I would see how much money I had stolen and if my soul had not withered away. If it had I would keep making money until a stress related heart attack took me out. If my soul remained intact I would just quit and live off the investments and write books warning kids about the personal perils of a financial career.
Interesting story you've described. I've been in the trade since 2004, and had breaks in between going to college, or doing other work. What I'm seeing... America is trying to compete with China in low end work. We should be competing by doing work that they can't do. High end precision molds, dies, stamps, anything requiring extremely tight dimensional requirements. That's challenging work, and it requires a certain breed of worker and mind. We still have enough skilled boomers around to handle some of the work, but there is no one... And I mean no one in my generation that want's to keep the tradition alive.

I still think the trade offers decent opportunities. I've never had a problem finding a job. I made 60K last year, and that ain't bad money for a 25 year old, especially since I didn't have to work mega OT to earn it. I could go to school to be an engineer, but in any shop I've ever worked, the machinists earn more money, but admittedly, a lot of that has to do with the OT worked.

The problem is you have to end up in the right places, where you can learn the right stuff. Most young folks end up tending robots for $10/hr and will never learn the trade. Others get pigeonholed into a very narrow role, and only learn a fraction of the trade. I started out running parts from print on manual equipment, doing one off jobs, machining die blanks, grinding parts after returning from heat treat, etc. It's very difficult to find those opportunities these days, but there is no better way to learn IMO. Good machinists can earn +$30/hr around here. They are very hard to find because shops are run by bean counters who think the work is akin to blue collar burger flipping. It's only going to get worse in terms of finding fully functional, highly skilled machinists, particularly those who can operate in the tool cribs. Where I work, we go through about 3 of them till we find someone who is at least trainable. Finding someone who can hit the floor running is an extreme rarity. We are losing the foundations of the trade, and once it's going, it ain't comin back I'm afraid.

If I were a high school student, I would think long and hard about what interests me. I was lucky because I took three years of manufacturing technology in HS. That program got closed down the year I graduated, and these shops have no new blood coming in. Even during this crappy employee recession, I could quit my job tomorrow and have work by the end of the week. Even better, I have never had a day in a shop that felt like work. I like what I do enough to not care so much about the money, and I do think shops are paying what they can afford. Before anyone with a brain will consider this work though, the suppliers are going to have to be able to pay more for their entry level workers. At least enough to afford a modest apartment and expenses. $15/hr seems about right. That will never happen until the corporations are willing to pay a little more for their widgets. Either they will wake up, or we will pretty much lose our domestic manufacturing base, and China is not ready to handle high end manufacturing work. It will all probably go to Europe, Canada, and other high wage nations where companies "pay it forward" and don't race to the bottom.

I think you can still get by with a HS diploma, but it takes a lot of luck, searching, and clawing your way to the right opportunities. You just have to be able to do something better than the next guy in line, and gain a reputation of reliability. I think my references more than make up for a lack of a degree, and they didn't cost me a dime.

As an aside, I have worked with a bit of titanium in the past. Our shop scored a job last year making titanium clips used in top research facilities across the nation. For that particular job, our shop gets $250/hr, and we have been running them non stop. There's still money to be made in this trade
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-08-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Ontario, NY
3,070 posts, read 6,793,583 times
Reputation: 3330
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
Banks would be writing off significant amounts of student loan debts.
Can you please explain to me how that would work? You can't "walk away" from student loan debt like many states allowed homeowners to do. People who HAD the money to pay back there home mortgages were walking away because in the long run it was financially beneficial to do so. In the case of student loans, you can't, short of death, you will be paying back your student loans into your 90's and beyond if need be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
College students and graduates fleeing the US en masse to escape their student loans.. an entire generation emigrating overseas.

Then the government sets up checkpoints closing the US border, prohibiting exit to any with student loans.
The governemnt will not have to, because this will not happen. Just like the United States discourages illegal immigrates, most other countries do as well. You have to have a needed skill or money to invest to start a business to legally immigrate overseas. There's some demand for English teachers, but if you don't also speak the native language of the country your immigrating to, good luck landing a teaching job.

The same would be true of any job, you really need to have a good grasp on the native language to have any hope of landing any job in a foreign country. I guess you could plain for it, train to be a doctor or other in demand field with second language education, borrow up to the limit, get your degree and flee the country to escape your 100k+ of debt.

Last edited by TechGromit; 04-08-2013 at 01:55 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-09-2013, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Beavercreek, OH
2,194 posts, read 3,373,402 times
Reputation: 2342
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
We already have an attorney for every 265 people in the US.
Do we really need more? How about insurance agents? Do we need more of them?

One more time... the un and under employment problem is less about not having enough jobs
for everyone that might want one (or may even be qualified to do). The problem is in having far
too many people available for the jobs that actually need doing.

What will we the surplus 2/3's of the attorneys shift to doing something else?
Hi MrRational--

If you think there's too many attorneys then I suggest you check out your local legal aid society or try to get appointed one by the court. It's next to impossible to get one quickly or get a job well done because they're too overloaded.

The problem is not too many attorneys, but rather too many attorneys in the wrong specializations. Everybody gets out there in the personal injury fields, the medical malpractice, the insurance liability, and the suits against large companies. Because that's where the big money is made.

But also because most law graduates are $150,000+ in the hole to Sallie Mae, Nelnet, and the other student loan providers.

Getting $50 an hour from the county courthouse to represent by appointment isn't going to cut it in those situations.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-20-2013, 09:22 AM
 
Location: Monterey County California
282 posts, read 280,072 times
Reputation: 301
People could just pay off their student loan debt over time like everyone else. Why would the government bail them out this is money that can just be taken from future tax returns etc. They will get their money back student loan debt is one of the only debts that is not dischargeable through bankruptcy no matter how much you just want someone else to pay it.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-23-2013, 01:21 AM
 
24,497 posts, read 37,501,445 times
Reputation: 12879
Quote:
Originally Posted by TechGromit View Post
Can you please explain to me how that would work? You can't "walk away" from student loan debt like many states allowed homeowners to do. People who HAD the money to pay back there home mortgages were walking away because in the long run it was financially beneficial to do so. In the case of student loans, you can't, short of death, you will be paying back your student loans into your 90's and beyond if need be.
A borrower does not have to walk away for it to be written off. If a borrower goes in default, the bank may simply decide to sell the loan off to another lender or collection agency for pennies on the dollar. The difference can then be written off.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2013, 09:42 AM
 
5,721 posts, read 5,814,984 times
Reputation: 3614
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaseMan View Post
I think there are many young people who would love to pay off their student loans, but simply can't. It has nothing to do with the over used "entitlement" buzz word.
There are some. Then there are others who are fine paying the minimum each month. Then there are others who have no intention of ever paying them off. I am 25 so I know many people in all three categories.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2013, 10:48 AM
 
76 posts, read 140,556 times
Reputation: 140
I don't think the student bubble is going to burst as long as the student debt is non-dischargeable during bankruptcy. The only reason it may burst if there is a prolonged depression when people cannot make ANY payments towards their student debt.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-26-2013, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Central Maine
2,867 posts, read 3,209,969 times
Reputation: 3993
I agree. Some students simply will not work (know one in particular that has a college debt and is in no hurry to pay it off) and "Uncle Sam" will simply end up absorbing their "debts" with taxpayer money. Why don't we make colleges fund student loans using their endowments or fund at least 50% of the debt.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-26-2013, 02:47 PM
 
28,900 posts, read 49,179,090 times
Reputation: 46323
It's not a student loan bubble. It's a tuition bubble.

Bubbles are formed when pricing exceeds any rational explanation. Given that tuition, particularly at private colleges, is rising at a rate 4x that of inflation, and have done so since cheap, government-supported student loans came into being in the first place, this will be a major challenge.

To be honest, my wife and I aren't 1%ers. But we're close enough. And when we look at shelling out $50,000+ annually to send a child to college -- the equivalent of buying a BMW a year -- public universities start to look really good.

The truth is that colleges are pricing themselves completely and utterly out of the market. If credit tightens up on this, or sanity simply takes hold among parents and students, it will kick the props out from under the education market. Small private colleges will die off by the carload. It will not be pretty in the least. Yet there will be a group of people who will shake their heads and bemoan the fate of these schools, never taking into account that they've been gouging their students for years.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-26-2013, 02:54 PM
 
24,497 posts, read 37,501,445 times
Reputation: 12879
Quote:
Originally Posted by cpg35223 View Post
It's not a student loan bubble. It's a tuition bubble.

Bubbles are formed when pricing exceeds any rational explanation. Given that tuition, particularly at private colleges, is rising at a rate 4x that of inflation, and have done so since cheap, government-supported student loans came into being in the first place, this will be a major challenge.

To be honest, my wife and I aren't 1%ers. But we're close enough. And when we look at shelling out $50,000+ annually to send a child to college -- the equivalent of buying a BMW a year -- public universities start to look really good.

The truth is that colleges are pricing themselves completely and utterly out of the market. If credit tightens up on this, or sanity simply takes hold among parents and students, it will kick the props out from under the education market. Small private colleges will die off by the carload. It will not be pretty in the least. Yet there will be a group of people who will shake their heads and bemoan the fate of these schools, never taking into account that they've been gouging their students for years.
College tuition is returning to the norm. We've seen college tuition be so cheap in the past several decades (since WWII) that it was available to practically anyone. Now that it's returning to the norm, it will price out those who don't receive merit-aid or those who aren't wealthy.

Essentially, we'll go back to the smart and wealthy attending college. Just like it's been for centuries. There's nothing wrong with that. The positive side effect will be that people won't need a college degree to work at the dry cleaners anymore.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Economics

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2021, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top