Discussion Forum


Very powerful and shows you how things like that stay fresh in your mind forever. Having been through a similar situation as a parent that (knock on wood) turned out ok, the best advice I got was to be honest with your kids, adjust the amount of info you give based on their ages and, most importantly, even though you want to, don’t say “Mom/Dad is going to be alright.”

Maybe it comes with getting older but I feel cancer is as prevalent as ever. The other point I liked that Chris made was about “beating” cancer. There is a restaurant near where I live that is featuring people on signs during October that “beat” cancer and is describing them as “tougher than cancer”. I know their heart is in the right place but I don’t like the thought of people driving by who lost loved ones thinking that somehow they were less tough because they didn’t beat it. Everyone who fights this horrible disease should be championed. Just a pet peeve.


Amen. That is a huge pet peeve of mine.


Another amen. My wife couldn’t beat her cancer, but she definitely wasn’t defeated. She was the strongest, most courageous person I have ever seen, never giving up the fight or losing hope, and she continues to inspire me every day.


That was really interesting. Been thinking the same thing about higher education as the author says below. It can’t continue. College as we know it probably won’t exist. You just need someone to create a cheaper but prestigious online college experience and the dominos will fall. As a parent of two high school kids, I am leveling with my kids. Choosing between a great private school that will cost $300K+ vs a very good PSU in-state education at less than half. Graduate with maybe no debt vs 6-figure debt. Unless we get free college for all that is. :wink:

“It’s almost certain that the educational system will be upended. The current arrangement of needing a college degree in order to have a good chance at becoming and staying middle class, but taking on life-changing amounts of debt to do so if you don’t have family assistance, can’t last. I have no idea how it ends. But there’s practically no chance that in 30 years the story is, “Everyone just kept taking on education mortgages at age 18, tuition kept rising at double the rate of inflation, and it was all OK.” It’s going to break somehow.”

Technologies come and go, but people never change. They just get to spout off opinions that are published worldwide, and might stay up forever.

Reading that was,fun. My favorite was:

Blockquote Not meaning to be personal. SweetRenenge you are an idiot, no a prat, no a word has yet to be invented.

I wish I had bought a first gen iPod and left it in the box. I’m still a musical luddite, enjoying the radio and CDs in my single disc Bose. I used to burn some of my albums to my work computer so I could listen to them on iTunes. However my new work laptop no longer has a disc drive. I’m pondering going with Apple’s streaming service for work. Would also come in handy now that I switched to an iPhone 6s, which unlike my old Android phone, has no radio tuner.

My (then) new truck has a usb port which works great with ipods. I found an old used ipod touch with a damaged screen for cheap. Linked it to my itunes and downloaded all the favs that I ripped from CDs or bought digitally, stuck the thing in airport mode and plugged it in. It hasn’t seen the internet in years, hasn’t tried to update the software. It just plays the music I loaded to it, over and over and works like a charm. Even the battery isn’t so good anymore but it doesn’t matter because it’s always plugged in. Best accessory I ever added to my truck and it cost me maybe $40.

A LOT to unpack in that really good article. A few comments for introspection:

  1. This is the FIRST article that has said what I’ve been saying since the election… that the campaigns of Bernie and Trump were more alike than anyone wants to admit. Their solutions were completely different, but their identification of the problems were very similar (and unlike that of ALL the other candidates on BOTH sides).

  2. Birth rate - one factor he fails to mention is the utility of the children to the adult. 2 things having children provided was cheap labor and social security. Both of these are no longer needed from our children (we don’t live on farms and we have Medicare/SS/401(k) etc) Children are no longer assets, they are liabilities on the family balance sheet.

  3. Inequality. what he doesn’t mention here is how the earning power of Capital is far outstripping that of Labor. I think the information/technology revolution is driving so much of this. Who has all the capital? The Rich of course, and so while the rest of us put our meager savings into the bank to get 0.05% interest, the hedge fund guys aren’t even in if they can’t get a 10% return. I do agree that the eventual outcomes are the same. I just think he’s missing a structural change that’s helped to cause it, and the historical fixes for inequality (which usually end in collapse like Rome, or Revolution like France) won’t really fix a large part of the underlying cause.

We may have covered this before, but the ability of students and their families to get private loans for college in what appear to be of unlimited amounts has definitely allowed college costs to rise and stay incredibly high. If you cap the amounts that people can borrow, that will quite obviously limit their amount of debt. And maybe they don’t go to a super expensive private school anymore, but they get a great education and don’t have debilitating (or as much debilitating) debt when they graduate (if they graduate). There will come a day when loan limits for college get put back on (or private loans are otherwise restricted), and it will be interesting to see what the pretty immediate ripple effect is in terms of the survival of some of these schools when kids and their parents can’t cripple themselves with debt to pay the load anymore.

Just skimmed through the article but I didn’t see any references to the impact of economic globalization. For decades after WWII US firms and their workers were protected by limited global competition. Once Asian countries started gaining significant market shares that protection started fading away.

Major casualties were U.S. manufacturing firms and their workers, many located away from the coasts where high-tech services started thriving. At one time a high school diploma and a strong union could lead to a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. No longer the case as the rest of the world started to catch up.

The value of that HS diploma has been dropping like a rock, which is the second pillar (along with easy credit) for the ballooning student loan debt. Bernie was right, we need to re-evaluate the promise we made 100 years ago to provide an education to your youth, but the answer is not giving away college to everyone, it’s returning value to the HS diploma by fixing the k-12 system and making it relevant for the 21st century. Too many kids graduate HS with ZERO clue and zero skills for what to do for a living.

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The time scales of the stages of recovery are interesting. Humans were all hunter gatherers until about 12,000 years ago, a fraction of the timescales here.

Happy Valley is so beautiful in the fall!

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"I also realized something else recently. You heard me kinda allude to it in the piece. I said “I’m not losing. I’m still here, I’m fighting. I’m not losing. But I’ve gotta amend that. When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and in the manner in which you live.”

– Stuart Scott


Interesting pricing/demographics stuff in a long article, including:

It’s worth a pause here to explain how college pricing works. Like airline passengers, every student at a given college pays a different price. Colleges list high tuition prices hoping that enough students pay the top price to compensate for those who can pay little or nothing. Depending on the state, needier students will usually pay less at a liberal arts college than they would at a state flagship. It sounds counterintuitive, but choosing a public school to save money is actually a privilege for the affluent. And since the 2008 recession, more well-to-do parents are choosing those schools. To compete, private colleges are then forced to offer merit aid to top students who don’t need the money. Admissions professionals call the tension between giving grants to entice affluent students and using the money to increase diversity with need-based aid the “iron triangle.” And the pressure is a factor for the whole sector: A survey of 405 private nonprofit four-year colleges by the National Association of College and University Business Officers found that though the average tuition rate was $38,301, the average amount that first-time freshmen paid was just $18,424.

Ironically, wealthier, more prestigious schools don’t have to give out as much merit aid because they’re more likely to get qualified affluent students willing to pay a premium: Four percent of Hampshire’s new students paid full price in 2017-2018, but at nearby Amherst College, U.S. News’s No. 2-ranked liberal arts college, 34 percent of new students paid the list price of $71,300, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Enrollment experts say that difference has a lot to do with high rank. “As college prices exceed now easily $70,000 a year, parents are scratching their heads going, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be worth it unless my kid is going to go to a school that everyone is bragging about,’ ” says Bob Massa, a former enrollment manager at Johns Hopkins University and Dickinson College who teaches at the University of Southern California’s graduate school of education.

Wealthier people are waking up to the idea that affordability should maybe take a back seat to whether the investment is worth it.