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Would you work as hard if socialism

  1. Aug 1, 2009 #1
    basically, my opinion is that STEM careers are enjoyable BUT intellectually a lot toughter than other careers. It's been theorized that the reason why less Americans (and more foreigners) major in STEM is because kids who grew up in America do not want to work very hard (a product of entitlement) and thus do not enter careers that can potentially be "frustrating".

    Considering that the number of American college students majoring in math/engineering is down to 4% (http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/107402/most-lucrative-college-degrees.html?mod=edu-collegeprep [Broken]) and the rest are humanities, music, etc... the majority of whom are most likely to receive lower and lower wages in the future (greater labor pool, while demand is stagnating). Tech-related careers will probably earn more and more as baby boomers leave and demand skyrockets.

    Taking all this into consideration, it's a scary thought that America will become more socialistic as the majority of America's entitlement generation realizes that they aren't earning sh*t with their non-technical degrees. It would be almost impossible to stop them from initiating programs to "share our wealth."

    So, assuming that this does happen and everything changes... would you still be working as hard as you do?
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  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 1, 2009 #2
    I guess it's also kind of like how doctors have to endure through the hard years of med school... and all that debt in the 100s of K, but then realize that universal healthcare may become a reality.

    In your honest opinion, what kind of system would reward the right people?
  4. Aug 1, 2009 #3
    I think most people take non-technical (or "easier") courses in college because they are not really there to learn. I think most people go to college because they believe that is what they have to do to get into a decent career and survive or simply because it is expected of them. Perhaps it is a matter of pride and prestige rather than entitlement. They feel that to be worthwhile individuals and have a life worth living they need to go to college, otherwise they will just be another highschool graduate who can aspire to nothing much greater than working in a fast food restaurant.
  5. Aug 1, 2009 #4

    Ivan Seeking

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    More socialistic? Care to provide some evidence for that? I don't think you have justified any assumptions. Of course we could assume that pigs fly and then discuss flight paths as well. :biggrin:

    As for science, that is why Obama wants to not only invest in education, but also to promote the hard sciences. Perhaps the problems is that education is tending towards the kids who are fairly well off and used to having it easy. Obama wants to ensure that everyone can go to college.

    So I think the question is: What would be the result if a college education became a minimum standard, as Obama wants to do?
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  6. Aug 1, 2009 #5


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    I agree with this. The people I talk to who are in the sciences have career goals related to their field. The people outside of the sciences seem to have no idea what they're going to do with their degree (outside of a select few fields such as business), let alone their career. There's also, as you said, the people who just need a piece of paper. Then there are the people who say, become music majors because they love music or become a history major because they like history... but have no idea where they could get jobs or what they'll do with their degrees.
  7. Aug 1, 2009 #6
    But college would be easier to access in a socialistic system and thus the debt may not necessarily be there. I think you need to take a look at Europe and places like France and Germany where it is very cheap to study medicine and upon graduation you still hold a well income. People in those countries consider Medicine Doctors to be the wealthy people within their society.

    Ofcourse in these countries taxes are very high but they are not necessarily complaining. I spoke to a Frenchman the other day and asked him directly about his perspective on the French system. He explained that the French like the benefits for having universal healthcare, that everyone was equal and were guaranteed to get better, though they don't really like the higher taxes.

    But who does like taxes?
  8. Aug 1, 2009 #7
    What I don't understand is why any smart person would support socialism(i.e. more government and less freedom to make your own decisions). Bigger government just means less money for yourself and less liberty, and the government can't do anything that you can't do twice as good yourself unless you're an imbecile. If you really feel so sorry for the poor with no health insurance then why don't you establish a private Foundation to help them?
  9. Aug 1, 2009 #8
    I think a lot of people who support socialism have faith that the government would never do anything to hurt them... while condemning people who assume they will calling them conspiracy nuts.
  10. Aug 1, 2009 #9
    I'll take my schooling, debts and all, but I will most certainly not be paying for someone else's education long after I've graduated with my hard earned money. Wefare? Sure. Public schools? Sure. A nanny state that hands everything to people who don't even need to earn it? No way.

    If I recall correctly, the EU isn't doing so well on STEM majors either. I remember reading an article on how enrollment in technical programs in France is dropping and more kids are choosing to go completely liberal arts. I think it's a global problem, but what can you do? More jobs for me I suppose.
  11. Aug 1, 2009 #10
    Universal healthcare is available here (as it is in almost all 1st world countries), and doctors still get paid *loads*.
  12. Aug 1, 2009 #11
    Also, this thread is pretty much pointless without defining what is meant by 'socialism', a term which can mean a wide number of different things....from soviet/cuban/chinese style 'managed economies', from the pure marxist definition, and even a description for capitalist societies with high taxation and strong welfare programs like sweden...
  13. Aug 1, 2009 #12
    Ah! Penny dropped. i was wondering if a STEM job was tree surgery. Please don't use culturally specific acronyms in an international forum. Us "hard workings Europeans" want to get in on the discussion as well :-) By the way, I don't think I'm a harder worker than an American, I just liked doing science! It wasn't hard work for me, just fun.

    I don't get a-g's argument that doctors will be upset if universal health care becomes a reality. We have free, universal health care in the UK and most right-wing of doctors seem happy with it. Why not when the average doctor earns £100 000 a year!

    And America is now looking more socilaistic since Obama got into power (hurray!) Why shouldn't the wealth of the richest be shared about? There are lots of hungry children that need to be fed. Some, lile Bill Gates, seem to be happy to do some sharing. Others need some arm twisting, or a**es kicked into jail (Enron executives...) Bring on the (velvet) revolution.
  14. Aug 1, 2009 #13
    So you can run a universal health care programme, public education system, and defence portfolio can you? Fortunately we can delegate all these important functions to government! More liberty? So you can buy a bigger sports car? I'd rather vote in someone who would take your money and use it to help out disadvantaged children. There are too many selfish rich people for private foundations to work (Think Enron executives!). You need law and taxes to keep the rich selfish types in check.
  15. Aug 1, 2009 #14


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    Possibly because for example, in California, the public health care is simply god awful. Some doctors even refuse to accept medi-cal since they don't get paid or have to deal with a bunch of red-tape. Europeans might enjoy their health care, but the US just can't do it right. When the government gets involved in health care, there's problems. Hell, our government spends the most per capita on health care then any other nation and we have.... what we have. I think people who argue about government run vs. privatized are oblivious to the fact that there's problems that transcend both sides of the issue that's the real problem. I think it's simply that when we look at what we have as far as government involved health care, it looks terrible. Why do we expect things to all of a sudden be better if done on a national scale?
  16. Aug 1, 2009 #15


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    Yes, "think Enron", instead of actually thinking about the issue and all the rich people out there. Do you want to take a look and see how much charity exists in the US? It sure isn't the poor who funds them.
  17. Aug 1, 2009 #16
    Most socialists aren't idiots! They know what happened in the old USSR, when a government run by a maniac did a great deal of harm. But heads of industry, unchecked, have also done a great deal of harm. Look at Victorian Britain! Unions & some state controls are essential, otherwise industrial robber barons will run riot. Democratic checks on the government are also essential, so that we don't get Stalin or Mao replacing Obama or Mr Brown...
  18. Aug 1, 2009 #17
    Obviously not enough. Compare government funded provision of social goods in Scandinavian countries with charity provision of social goods in the US. Pop down to your local ER and see how the US health care system treats its poor. Watch "the Wire" and see a country in deep trouble...

    To get back to the title of this thread -- people do work hard enough in Scandinavian countries, & other European countries, that you would probably call "more Socialist". They also provide more help for the socially disadvantaged...

    http://www.openleft.com/diary/12781/us-public-spending-in-contextpart-2 [Broken]
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  19. Aug 1, 2009 #18


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    ... i hope you didnt just try to answer my question by telling me to go watch HBO?
  20. Aug 1, 2009 #19
    The vast majority of Americans aren't Enron exces who have loads of money to throw around for other people's needs. That's just the problem; I don't believe that I owe society anything beyond paying my fair share for infrastructure and the costs of operating a government. It is not my responsibility to do overtime to feed the orphans in Somalia. It is not my moral duty to give my money to people I neither know nor have a personal interest in.

    If peope want to give money to charity, more power to them. However, forcing people to contribute massive amounts of their pay (as much as up to 60% in Sweden!) amounts to legal stealing. Call me cold-hearted, call me callous, but I am not my brother's keeper. Nor do I wish to be.
  21. Aug 1, 2009 #20


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    But the French are complaining! They have had severe riots in recent years over their perpetually high unemployment (I can't imagine what it must be like now!).
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