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Old 26-09-2007, 17:45   #31
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Well my pet peeve is the hand wringing.

I have hired 5 outstanding graduate engineers in the last year. If they are Gen Y then they certainly aren't working at McDonalds and they have awesome credentials.

I have also hired 5 "global" engineers. Once again highly qualified, young and expert.

The US is going to have to get off it's "I'm entitled because we won "the good war"" high horse and stay off it.

As for who's going to pay my Social security in 10 years or so? The same people who made the US the greatest country to work and live in. Immigrants and last I checked there are still hundreds of thousands of people wanting to come to the US.
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Old 26-09-2007, 17:48   #32
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You're right about the number but wrong about the X-Box. This is just my opinion but I reckon generation X/Y is soft comprising many kids who've simply had it easy and who are going to be up against kids overseas whose parents didn't have it so good and who've worked their ar*e of through school to get a decent education. By the time they realize they are years behind their globalized competitors, it'll be too late to catch up.

I don't think we need Mexico for the next generation of McDonald's workers. They'll come straight out of the middle class families who are generating X-Box kids.

It's a general view of course. In fact many kids will do terrifically well. The ones who have the wherewithal to put down the gamepad (or never pick it up) and work for a living. They will do very well because they'll be able to leverage the low cost labor around them.

I don't think this country is going down the pan but the wealth divide is going to shift and overall wealth generation along with it - ergo - reduced input into the pension pot. I think we've seen it's peak. If you can - save for your own retirement and don't gamble on the country choosing to run the dollar into the ground to avoid cutting s/s. Spend a bit more time with your kids doing educational stuff. Oops. Can't do both - can we?
I agree with most of what you say above, actually - and I want to point out that the little fire I throw below is not to you, personally, but to a large group. The largest group, population wise. I'm also aware that there are many very nice baby boomers out there. I have met some and was amazed. I think you're off on the first paragraph and here's what I have to say about it. Keep in mind when I say "you" I am addressing a generation... not you personally.

The Silent Generation called you baby boomers a bunch of slacker idiot hippie long hairs too. Are you, or was that just what your parents called you? See any similarity to calling a Gen Y kid weak because he plays Xbox? How weak did your parents think you were for being hippies and having "love ins?"

You all sure had an easier ride than an average Gen Xer. The Silent Generation was the hardworking one who paved the way for your easy lives by working hard and investing in the country's future. Whoops! You all forgot to do that for the X and Y generations. Your "I want it all for me and I want it now (me generation)" values sunk the country and mortgaged the future. Now we're in touble. Thanks.

Baby boomers were just along for the ride in life. Their parents provided everything (by building a good society). All they had to do was show up to work every day and the American Dream was theirs. They didn't even need to start work $50K in debt from college loans. They didn't need to go to earn 6 figures. Xers showed up to work every day (already $59 K in debt) only to get laid off/downsized and demoted to stocking shelves, working those Wallmart jobs, or scrapping around like I do.

In what other generation can one slide by without having to pay for a college education and still have 4 kids, own houses (sometimes two or more), and have ample cash left over for all the nice little things in life, like new cars and riding lawn mowers?

Sure doesn't work that way in Gen X. Gen Y is in even more trouble than we X'ers are. They are by and large not very well off at all. I have cited statistics many times on this forum, so I won't drag you through the pain of a bunch of numbers in this thread. The previous stats had to do with cost of cars, houses, taxes, and life in general for various generations at the same age. You guys had an easy glide. You're the only generation that really has had that kind of easy ride. Your parents didn't and your children don't.

Your large numbers are attributable to this easy ride since when you speak, people listen. (voting) Your political movements of the days gone by were listened to because of your numbers. My generation is a little blip. We don't count for anything, voting wise or any other way, except we are highly educated and could help this country get out of its rut if we were given the chance. Gen Y is large. You all better watch out when Y gets angry they have been left nothing and holding the bag so you all could buy another house/car/boat/etc...
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Old 26-09-2007, 17:52   #33
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All ranting aside, this is very accurate, Dan. Good points. So what are the starting salaries for these engineers you mention? I ask because although you are speaking about great *sounding* positions... are you paying them what they are worth? That's another issue - wage problems in relation to what a house/car/etc... costs now vs back then.

I don't think it's the fault of any generation... just of the system always looking to spend less, charge more and make higher profits.

So what are these high-flying positions paying?



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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
Well my pet peeve is the hand wringing.

I have hired 5 outstanding graduate engineers in the last year. If they are Gen Y then they certainly aren't working at McDonalds and they have awesome credentials.

I have also hired 5 "global" engineers. Once again highly qualified, young and expert.

The US is going to have to get off it's "I'm entitled because we won "the good war"" high horse and stay off it.

As for who's going to pay my Social security in 10 years or so? The same people who made the US the greatest country to work and live in. Immigrants and last I checked there are still hundreds of thousands of people wanting to come to the US.
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Old 26-09-2007, 18:24   #34
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We hire graduate engineers at around $50k. Within 5 years they are making $80k. regarding the "x-box" generation, until you meet these kids you cannot fathom their skills with the modern world. I am pretty savvy with technology but I sit a 26 year old next to my 50 year old and it's amazing. The 26 year old has 4 chat windows open, is pounding email and spreadsheets, is on the phone and has multi-tasking skills that would amaze you. Many of my 50 year olds wont even use a chat program. The x-ers and y-ers also think nothing of "being connected" 24X7. They are wired at work and wired at home. I am not saying they are working 24X7 but the model (at least for me in service engineering) suits them well. That is they naturally take care of their work life balance - they may be checking stock quotes and chatting with friends throughout the day but the work is getting done and at night if they need to pound out a work problem for 30 minutes they might be doing so at 11PM.

Regarding "who had it tougher" I am reminded of the MOnty Python skit - "My father used to come home fom his job at the dung factory, to our cardbord box and beat us to sleep with broken bottles. Oh you think you had it tough?"

Silents fought the "good war" - as my dad calls it
Boomers fought for civil rights, Vietnam and were the generation that had to come to grips with terrorism on a global scale.
X-ers are inheriting the sins of our past and will have to figure out what a new "truly global" America looks like. I think they remain patriotic but will have a more world without economic borders attitude than we do.

BTW - While we are blaming people let's not forget the corporations. Sure the governments have created the environment for corporations to do their damage but it's not the republicans or the democrats that send manufacturing jobs to low cost foreign labor. The corporation as an entity has no soul other than the dollar. Eventually if the environment overseas is more conducive to business, you will see the corporations leave and the people will be holding the debt bag...
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Old 26-09-2007, 18:53   #35
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I agree with most of what you say above, actually - and I want to point out that the little fire I throw below is not to you, personally, but to a large group.
I actually agree with much of what you said. I know I am part of the lucky generation. My father was an engineer - a very qualified one - who earned a modest income. I was a college dropout who obsessed with IT at just the time people were so desperate for the skills they paid over the top for my time.

On the other hand - I have worked my back end off all my life. I did not take my 20s off. My peers who did are don't enjoy the payback I'm getting. I had my share of bad luck and breaks and worked my way through them.

I agree with you that the next generations have it tougher. I think the biggest risks the Xs & Ys face is that many won't appreciate how tough it's going to be until it'll be too late for them. While at the same time, there are many out there who's parents didn't get lucky and weren't able to bring up their kids in cushioned luxury. I've generally been more impressed by the kids from the less privileged backgrounds than those of the privileged families.

I also have faith in the future as I also agree with those who say there are some fantastic workers coming out of the schools today. I make a point of hiring them and fight tooth and nail to keep them. The good ones do very well as demand exceeds supply.

The rewards for the next generation remain high but the risks are now higher. Luck will favor fewer and the dividing line will shift.
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Old 26-09-2007, 18:55   #36
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Regarding "who had it tougher"
When I were a lad we used to have to lick lake clean with our tongue.
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Old 26-09-2007, 21:16   #37
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When I were a lad we used to have to lick lake clean with our tongue.
A LAKE? You had a LAKE? Blooody loooxzury I tell ya. When I was a lad all we had was the sweat from our brow and spit to bathe in...

"ESS105 - I also have faith in the future as I also agree with those who say there are some fantastic workers coming out of the schools today. I make a point of hiring them and fight tooth and nail to keep them."

I think the ones who are bitter are the boom-boom 90's folks. There was a 10 year period where everyone with a computer thought that they deserved investment capital for every crap idea, a mulit-million dollar IPO and a billion dollar retirement in 5 years.

I know a couple of families who allowed their twin boys to drop out of med school and take up IT. Today they are both network engineers earning piss all.

The kids I see today, know the environment is screwed up, know that global competition is killing them, know that the today's Bachelor degree is yesterday's HS diploma and know that they are inheriting one hell of a problem. Many of them are pretty serious about it. But the ones I get to look at are wicked smart and part of the information age.

What they don't have, and it concerns me as an engineer, are any hand skills to speak of. I always ask in interviews because theory without practical knowledge can be dangerous. This is pretty much one interview I had.

"So have you gat any hands on mechanical experience."
"No not really."
"Ever work on your own car, motorcycle or lawnmower?"
"No not really."
"How about a bicycle or anything like that?"
"No."
"Lincoln Logs or Tinker Toys?"
"Is that like Lego or something. I did Lego as a kid."
"You're hired!"
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Old 26-09-2007, 23:08   #38
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When I were a lad we used to have to lick lake clean with our tongue.

And for your enjoyment, (Drum roll please)



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Old 28-09-2007, 04:45   #39
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I just finished reading the thread completely and ask: if the U.S. economy tanks big time, and we still have this large influx of immigrants, as well as a large pool of layed off semi skilled workers, and it drives unemployment to record highs, and the U.S. dollar is in the toilet, how long would it take for U.S. wages to be in parity with other countries where U.S. manufacturing has outsourced the jobs that formally were here? Wages are rising rapidly in most of the darling countries that now answer your calls for techical assistance etc. After all, we still have a good pool of natural resources, and a great location for shipping easily to Europe, East Asia and South America, so is it all really just a big cycle? And more importantly, can wages here sink and wages there rise rapidly enough to come together in OUR lifetime? Chew on that!
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Old 28-09-2007, 04:57   #40
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On the4 bright side, Kiwis can come to the US to buy boats
Us too us too!!!
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Old 28-09-2007, 06:35   #41
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also down against many others, including 37% vs. the Canadian dollar.

Tell me about it ... I get paid in US greenbacks. Went to the bank this week and got less than the face value of the cheque. First time that's ever happened to me.

And it hurt.

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Old 28-09-2007, 08:19   #42
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Jeez.
After reading this thread I'm beginning to think we are all doomed to gloom.
But then I pop my head up to look over the marina in the sun, and see '00's of yachts, owned by a wide variety of people of differing ages and backgrounds.
IMHO one would not have seen that thirty years back, and wonder if it really is all that bad?
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Old 28-09-2007, 09:32   #43
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The high US dollar has been killing US manufactures for years, who knows this may signal the resurgence of US boat building.
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Old 28-09-2007, 10:58   #44
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The high US dollar has been killing US manufactures for years, who knows this may signal the resurgence of US boat building.
Ah, for the days of the budget surplus, eight years ago seems so long ago ...
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Old 28-09-2007, 11:19   #45
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Ummmmm............ No

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can wages here sink and wages there rise rapidly enough to come together in OUR lifetime? Chew on that!
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