T Nation

Nationalism and Globalism


#41

Actually, it's not that simple - islam is the Hotel California of religions. And that's pretty much the secret of it's success throughout the centuries - you can never leave. In the Middle Ages many Christians converted to Islam for practical purposes - tax breaks, more job openings etc. - only to find out that that's it, and you cannot renege on conversion.

Leaving Islam is a death sentence even today and all countries in the Middle East regularly execute people for apostasy. Even in the UK there were recent cases where muslim converts to Christianity were killed or had their kneecaps smashed.

One famous example is Michael Demetrios Shalhoub, an Egyptian Christian who was one of the most accomplished womanizers and gamblers in the world, with his drinking stamina coming in a close third. He converted to Islam out of convenience in order to marry one of the richest and most beautiful actresses in the world.

Despite his patently unislamic lifestyle , Michael or Omar Sharif as he was know after his conversion never had the courage to go back.


#42

It’s an interesting hypothesis. I think the portion about the feminization of culture is pretty spot on, but I think it’s just a symptom of one of our biggest problems, which is the state of our education system.

You’re probably wondering how I made that jump. K-12 is a disaster, IMO. Kids spend too much time “re-learning” the same things (I put re-learning in quotes because it’s more like temporary memorization than actual learning, but I digress…) year in and year out and too little using their hands and bodies in meaningful ways.

Every child is treated the same and every child is not the same. I’d wager children spend 85% if not more of their time in school sitting at a desk. For a large percentage of people, especially boys, this is unnatural. You never build anything anymore. If recess still exists it’s limited. If you’re lucky you get to take a gym class once a year. There is little or no mechanism for our youth to determine what it is they have a passion for or are good at. Regardless of your personality, you’re supposed to be able to solve for X or write a report on The Tempest. Being able to hang drywall not so much.

Then you get to college, which you’ve been conditioned to believe is your golden ticket and you sit for another 4+ years at a desk. Re-learning the same shit or learning pointless shit for half of that 4 years. I’m looking through my undergrad transcript and here are some examples; The History of Rock Music, Intro to Ancient Civilizations, Intro to Criminal Justice, Public Speaking, Sports and Society, Intro to Biology, Intro to Electronic Media, Sexuality in a Diverse Society, Nutrition and Weight Control, Physical Wellness in America, etc… That’s 30 credits of bullshit for a degree in Accounting.

Then you get a job sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day 5 days a week. That’s fine for some, but a nightmare for a lot.

Now you have an ever increasing number of people that are up to their eyeballs in debt, with jobs that they aren’t suited for and that pay okay at best, and that still have almost no outlet to be passionate.

On top of the above, my hypothesis is that the decline of the apprenticeship and/or a complete lack of mentorship is also a huuuuuuge part of the problem.

It’s true if you end up in a trade that you can still go through an apprenticeship, but as our economy and society have shifted towards services we’ve lost this valuable tool. There is no apprenticeship in the finance world. You get your degree and then you’re thrown in the deep end to figure it out. If you’re lucky you have a mentor that can guide you (not hold your hand), but my experience is that this is rare. Or, perhaps, you work with or for someone that you can emulate and learn from if just through observation, but, again, this is rare in my experience. Mid-level management is ill-suited to mentor anyone. Hell, again I’d wage 85+% of management across all industries lacks the ability to effectively manage anyone. Our workforce simply lacks those skills.

Leadership is a skill just like everything else and it’s sorely lacking in America.

All of this leads to being pissed off. Pissed at the world, pissed at the government, pissed at society, pissed at what you deem is unfair (whether it is or is not actually unfair), etc… Not surprisingly, many act on this anger. Some through voting and some through violence.

TL;DR: People end up in the wrong jobs because we no longer have an environment where a person can easily discover what they’re good at or what their calling is. Instead, everyone is treated and conditioned to be exactly the same, which is short-sighted and stupid. The backlashing shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.


American Education
#43

As usual, the Swiss diagnosed this problem and rectified the situation.


#44

Ya, I've read a bit about what the Swiss are doing. I think Germany has a similar program, iirc. We should look into it here.


#45

Vocational training is looked down on, yet then we are told oiur workforce is not trained to do technological jobs,,,,please!

You are proof that an 18 year old can be taught skills in a few months and then work on a military aircraft worth millions of dollars and potentially many lives.


#46

Ya, I think our mindset needs a serious re-adjustment.

That's why I like guys like Mike Rowe.


#47

I put out the word to our complex terrorist network. Some cold winter night when you least expect it, a group of Mormon ninjas will break into your house and leave extra blankets on your bed.


#48

I smelled a little Mike Rowe in that long post above.

I think his assessment is spot on. If you ever listened to him on Lewis Howes podcast he talks about how his grandfather didn’t make it past the 8th grade but could build a house from the ground up with nothing, but a guy like that would be considered an uneducated idiot by today’s standards. My Grandfather on my Dad’s side was the same archetype. Very intelligent with little formal schooling.

You can always bring back vocational schools, shop classes, that sort of thing for various trades. But in terms of manufacturing, it seems the consensus here is that automation is coming soon. What do we do then?? Do we move to the “basic income?” Where do we provide jobs for those archetypes.


#49

Ok women - time to get back in the kitchen and give me some children.

:zipper_mouth:


#50

Good luck!!!! ha


#51

While written in jest, there is coming a time when there aren't enough jobs for the majority of families to have 2. My wife were fortunate to be able to have her stay home until kid went to college. Neither of us would trade it either.


#52

Smaller manufacturers (and I mean a few billion or less) are not going to be automating anytime soon. It's just too costly. An Amazon will (and is actually doing it already from what I understand), but it will be a while for the little guy.

However, you will still need people to maintain and repair any automated process. So there will be some balancing there.

Unfortunately, I think this is the direction we are heading. I don't think a basic income is a good idea. I think it's the personification of apathy, but even another revolution (like the industrial or current "4th" revolution) will almost certainly be related to IT in some form or fashion. It may be related to the IoT, cryptocurrency, or any number of things. Point being, it will not likely, at least that I can see, be a revolution that increases the type of working class jobs many people want to return to America.

Hard to say. I wish I had a better answer than that, but the days of the low skill worker making a living are over.


#53

My BFF was just telling me about a young grad student in this situation. She has amassed nearly $200,000 in debt while attending private schools working on a PhD in philosophy. She has not yet advanced to candidacy, meaning a degree is far way, and she is taking a year or two away because she has two young children. And she’s not a real rock star student, and so it’s unlikely that she’ll do much better than teaching at a high school somewhere. To top this off, she’s in an abusive marriage that she needs to extricate herself from, so going to Teach for America or some other program of student loan forgiveness seems pretty unlikely. Who is going to pay for this disaster?

On the other hand we have people like my brother. He has a high school education. He’s been getting up by 5 am to drive into LA where he supervises construction crews. The hours are long, and he comes home filthy everyday. Some of my thoughts on how difficult it is for men with drug charges or DUI’s come from him, because he tries to hire these people down on skid row, and it’s very difficult since they need time off constantly to comply with mandatory drug screenings, AA meeting, probation officers etc… Some of them could work for $25 an hour as a skilled plumber’s helper or something, but he’s going to have them pushing a broom because they can’t drive to a job site.

Back in our home state, before this job, he would take his crew of welders and helpers on a 90 minute drive out into the natural gas or oil fields everyday where they work outside in insulated coveralls, freezing cold, to come home late in the evening, completely black with grime from head to toe. Then need to spend time on the paperwork that goes with running a small business and being an independent contractor. You can’t imagine the regulations that our government heaps on this (much of it motivated by environmental groups who would love to shut down his industry completely). A friend of mine is an environmental consultant for large firms. They pay her to just keep up with the laws that pour out every year, many of them so confusing and conflicting that she’s constantly befuddled. Small business people have no such luxury.

You can see why some of the people like my brother are a little unsympathetic to the idea of paying for college for the young woman in the first instance. “I deserve to spend a decade of my life in college, and you should pay for it.” The upper-middle, or middle-class people crying about how expensive college is. Some imaginary guy with a Mercedes should pay. That guy should also help the people on skid row. Sure.

Yeah, you can see why there’s some frustration.


#54

-Joseph Schumpeter
Can Capitalism Survive?


#55

Nice save, treco. You were about to be on my wrong side.

I put this up in dchris’s Portland thread, and I don’t know if any of you saw it.

An experiment with basic income in Finland. They are admitting that their current system is pretty broken in that it’s discouraging the risk of some of these skilled workers going on to a start-up or going out on their own. Surprise! Humans are pretty risk averse. I’m not sure what to think about it. It seems like maybe layering it on top of a broken system might not make sense.


#56

Not to be a jerk, but this student is part of the problem. Why on God’s green earth would you spend $200,000 on a degree in Philosophy?

That’s sad. I hope she gets help.

We are. I believe student loan forgiveness will happen in the next 4 years.

I completely get it. It sounds like your brother kicks ass. He shouldn’t have to pay for some special snowflake to waste years “discovering” his or herself.

The entire point of higher education was lost decades ago.


#57

I did see the piece. I don't know how I feel about it, really. Fundamentally, I believe it is on you to make a living. However, we don't live in an age where you can stand on an assembly line and take home a middle-class wage any longer. Too much is already automated as it is and we aren't going to reverse course. It doesn't make any sense to.


#58

Very good post. General construction and mechanical trades won't be going anywhere either. Same with a lot of heavy industrial. There are still, and will be a lot of things that really need to be done by human hands and judgement, and other things that are currently automated and robotic which have to be monitored in real time by people. You don't want to see what a high deposition automated welding system does when a malfunction occurs.


#59

Blankets with small pox surely.


#60

This was so wonderfully written that I almost stood up and clapped.