Vanilla Forums has been nominated for a second time in the CMS Critic "Critic's Choice" awards, and we need your vote! Read more here, and then do the thing (please).
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Rain? Snow? Try $5.5b in debt [US POSTAL SERVICE]

123457

Posts

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    The practice of keeping talented new people out of the labor market because they are competitive is no better.

    Healthy industries can keep a mixture of both. Some even use the older workers to mentor the younger ones.

    How are we defining healthy in this case? Has tech ever been a healthy industry?

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    mrt144 wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    I'm trying really hard to see the lamentable point in that though or something that we can or is worth changing.

    Come back to us when you are 50, and you can't get a job because of systemic bias against older workers. You'll lament quite a bit.

    And on the societal level, the practice of shafting entire generations of trained engineers and programmers because of this represents a massive loss of effective human capital. It's really kind of insane.

    The practice of keeping talented new people out of the labor market because they are competitive is no better.

    Don't do either then? I mean, both are bad, yes, but this isn't an either or.

    Getting rid of old workers is a huge waste of human capital and a strain on government support systems.

    Plus, sometimes you end up needing those older guys when it turns out your new employees don't know how to use the systems from the early 80s still kicking around.

    mrt144 wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    The practice of keeping talented new people out of the labor market because they are competitive is no better.

    Healthy industries can keep a mixture of both. Some even use the older workers to mentor the younger ones.

    How are we defining healthy in this case? Has tech ever been a healthy industry?

    And since when was this a good thing?

    shryke on
  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    I think that it is an either or depending on the product/service of the company. And I'm calling into question that there is an objective universal definition for labor market health.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    I think that it is an either or depending on the product/service of the company.

    How is it an either/or?
    And I'm calling into question that there is an objective universal definition for labor market health.

    Where are you doing this and based on what?

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    How are we defining healthy in this case? Has tech ever been a healthy industry?

    The age bias seems to have crept in during the go-go late 80s and early 90s, when all the youth-led startups used their age as a marketing tool to distinguish themselves from older and stodgier companies like IBM. The constant overtime and crunch hours are definitely a legacy of that era.

    Before that, there was certainly no connection between youth and ability to work in the industry. George Pake, as an example, was in his 50s and 60s when running Xerox PARC, and the majority of his staff were DARPA/Defense veterans in their 40s and 50s. The tech industry didn't become a bastion of 20 and 30 somethings until well into my lifetime.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    I think that it is an either or depending on the product/service of the company.

    How is it an either/or?
    And I'm calling into question that there is an objective universal definition for labor market health.

    Where are you doing this and based on what?

    When your product is basically commodified code solutions, the more cost effective solution results in either or.

    Doing it based in Phillishere's statement about healthy industry.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    mrt144 wrote:
    How are we defining healthy in this case? Has tech ever been a healthy industry?

    The age bias seems to have crept in during the go-go late 80s and early 90s, when all the youth-led startups used their age as a marketing tool to distinguish themselves from older and stodgier companies like IBM. The constant overtime and crunch hours are definitely a legacy of that era.

    Before that, there was certainly no connection between youth and ability to work in the industry. George Pake, as an example, was in his 50s and 60s when running Xerox PARC, and the majority of his staff were DARPA/Defense veterans in their 40s and 50s. The tech industry didn't become a bastion of 20 and 30 somethings until well into my lifetime.

    There's a bit of revisionism going on here; IBM was an old and stodgy company in the 80s. They completely revamped their business to get out of hardware sales and into consulting and solution building.

    And there was no connection before because the access that youth had to the tools of computing were very limited and very much hardware reliant. You're basically saying that a paradigm shift is all flim flam because the paradigm was different in the past.

    Also you'll get no argument that management can be older and often is. But the Andy Groves of the world aren't being replaced by younger execs because they cost too much.

    mrt144 on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    shryke wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    I think that it is an either or depending on the product/service of the company.

    How is it an either/or?
    And I'm calling into question that there is an objective universal definition for labor market health.

    Where are you doing this and based on what?

    When your product is basically commodified code solutions, the more cost effective solution results in either or.

    Doing it based in Phillishere's statement about healthy industry.

    That's a meaningless garble of a sentence. It's an industry that uses educated professionals in a changing profession to produce a product. While this does mean it's cheaper to hire new people who you have to pay less and come pre-trained, that doesn't mean it's the only viable business model. Nor does it mean it's the one that's best for the industry.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    mrt144 wrote:
    How are we defining healthy in this case? Has tech ever been a healthy industry?

    The age bias seems to have crept in during the go-go late 80s and early 90s, when all the youth-led startups used their age as a marketing tool to distinguish themselves from older and stodgier companies like IBM. The constant overtime and crunch hours are definitely a legacy of that era.

    Before that, there was certainly no connection between youth and ability to work in the industry. George Pake, as an example, was in his 50s and 60s when running Xerox PARC, and the majority of his staff were DARPA/Defense veterans in their 40s and 50s. The tech industry didn't become a bastion of 20 and 30 somethings until well into my lifetime.

    There's a bit of revisionism going on here; IBM was an old and stodgy company in the 80s. They completely revamped their business to get out of hardware sales and into consulting and solution building.

    And there was no connection before because the access that youth had to the tools of computing were very limited and very much hardware reliant. You're basically saying that a paradigm shift is all flim flam because the paradigm was different in the past.

    Also you'll get no argument that management can be older and often is. But the Andy Groves of the world aren't being replaced by younger execs because they cost too much.

    No, he's saying that it was a paradigm shift. That the industry changed. But not based on necessity, but on availability.

    Like the manufacturing sector, a cheaper labour pool emerged and the companies jumped all over it. And this was also helped along by an emerging culture within that profession that encourages this kind of behaviour. (see video game development for an even worse example)

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    Right, but how is that lamentable or the non inevitable conclusion absent drastic labor market intervention?

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    Right, but how is that lamentable or the non inevitable conclusion absent drastic labor market intervention?

    Aren't you in the tech industry? Doesn't the fact that your industry has a bias against older workers worry you, as a human being subject to the aging process?

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    Yes, I worry about it but that's not unusual for many people in various industries. I do my best to be indespensible, but I also have a much more people based IT job. Ultimately I don't see what I can do, or what collectively be done so long as there are people out there with the skills and willing to undercut.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    mrt144 wrote:
    Yes, I worry about it but that's not unusual for many people in various industries.

    Such as?

    I can't think of another industry that works the same hours as tech, except maybe law and finance. Even then, it evens out after the youngsters get older and either make partner/manager or go into private practice. Medicine is bad for interns, but even that ends after the initial hazing period.

    The more I think about it, the combination of eternal crunch time and discarding of older employers seems unique to your sector.

    Phillishere on
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    So how about the post office?

    Their hours and conditions are a lot better. It's one of the positive side benefits of having a workforce with a reputation for going on management killing mass shooting sprees.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    mrt144 wrote:
    Yes, I worry about it but that's not unusual for many people in various industries.

    Such as?

    I can't think of another industry that works the same hours as tech, except maybe law and finance. Even then, it evens out after the youngsters get older and either make partner/manager or go into private practice. Medicine is bad for interns, but even that ends after the initial hazing period.

    The more I think about it, the combination of eternal crunch time and discarding of older employers seems unique to your sector.
    The hazing pool as you call it in medicine is longer than many people's careers in the tech industry, and far more intense. They had to fight to get their residency work hours down to 80 hours a week, at 35k a year, for 3-7 years. On top of the 8-12 years required for a phd. Medicine is a brutal field.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    Public Relations is one for sure and they make less money than IT. Sales is another, especially technical sales. But lawyers are different than programmers or it infrastructure as they're able to become business owners (and law is becoming a crowded field with very few entry level openings that pave the way to partner or reputation, all for the benefit of the older generation.) Medicine is another profession where you can buy in eventually based on reputation. You're essentially asking why what riveters of the information age are thrown away its because their long hours are not about client building, retention, they're about riveting code.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    Actually, no, I'm not getting into that argument, because it doesn't fucking matter. Regardless of why they live wherever they choose to live, universal postal service is something that we as a wealthy developed nation can absolutely provide. What, $5.5B? Even assuming it wasn't because of stupid pension-overfunding shenanigans, the Pentagon spends more than that on toilet paper. Per day. Who cares? We can absolutely afford to subsidize the post office if need be, because we are the United States of fucking America, not Uganda, and we can afford to deliver the mail. Even to hermits.

    I would prefer to have a premium for shipping to and from the Alaskan Hermit. There's no need to subsidize him.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    I would prefer to have a premium for shipping to and from the Alaskan Hermit. There's no need to subsidize him.

    And when the Alaskan Hermit president gets into office, he can punish you for not being Alaskan. Yay!

    Part of the idea of national services is that they are equalized among the population. You subsidize a bit of the cost of mail to the hermit, and the hermit subsidizes that huge federal dam that generates power to your house. In the end, it evens out on a societal level even if not the individual level.

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    And the post office can be profitable if congress would take the damn handcuffs off. Drop Saturday deliveries raise the cost of postage a bit, spread out the 75 years of pension over 20 years instead of five, and cut some unnecessary personnel. Back to profitability

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    zepherin wrote:
    And the post office can be profitable if congress would take the damn handcuffs off. Drop Saturday deliveries raise the cost of postage a bit, spread out the 75 years of pension over 20 years instead of five, and cut some unnecessary personnel. Back to profitability

    This is what the Republicans are proposing.

    easybossfight_zps4752c132.gif
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    Isn't the GOP mainly responsible for this mess in the first place?

  • AiouaAioua Novus Ordo Seclorum Lord of the ForumRegistered User regular
    edited December 2011
    zepherin wrote:
    And the post office can be profitable if congress would take the damn handcuffs off. Drop Saturday deliveries raise the cost of postage a bit, spread out the 75 years of get rid of the stupid pension requirements over 20 years instead of five, and cut some unnecessary personnel. Back to profitability

    There.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we got booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • SarcasmoBlasterSarcasmoBlaster Registered User regular
    Isn't prefunding a pension fund at 100% actually less healthy for the fund than funding it at, say, 80% - 85%?

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Isn't prefunding a pension fund at 100% actually less healthy for the fund than funding it at, say, 80% - 85%?

    I don't think the health of the fund or the Post Office were top in the mind of the people who made this law.

  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    I would prefer to have a premium for shipping to and from the Alaskan Hermit. There's no need to subsidize him.

    And when the Alaskan Hermit president gets into office, he can punish you for not being Alaskan. Yay!

    Part of the idea of national services is that they are equalized among the population. You subsidize a bit of the cost of mail to the hermit, and the hermit subsidizes that huge federal dam that generates power to your house. In the end, it evens out on a societal level even if not the individual level.

    But the whole thing is that it doesn't really even out between rural and urban. Everything that the governent does is more expensive for rural.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    rockrnger wrote:
    But the whole thing is that it doesn't really even out between rural and urban. Everything that the governent does is more expensive for rural.

    This evens out because a huge percentage of the children born in rural communities migrate to urban ones. Likewise, a large number of urbanites retire to rural communities. Neither of these type of communities are static.

    Phillishere on
  • rockrngerrockrnger Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote:
    But the whole thing is that it doesn't really even out between rural and urban. Everything that the governent does is more expensive for rural.

    This evens out because a huge percentage of the children born in rural communities migrate to urban ones. Likewise, a large number of urbanites retire to rural communities. Neither of these type of communities are static.

    By that logic, why don't we subsidize urban areas with the rural ones?

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    rockrnger wrote:
    rockrnger wrote:
    But the whole thing is that it doesn't really even out between rural and urban. Everything that the governent does is more expensive for rural.

    This evens out because a huge percentage of the children born in rural communities migrate to urban ones. Likewise, a large number of urbanites retire to rural communities. Neither of these type of communities are static.

    By that logic, why don't we subsidize urban areas with the rural ones?

    Because the money is in the urban areas.

    People an resources flow from rural to urban, while money flows from urban to rural. And even with the money flowing out of urban cores, there is still (generally) enough to provide basic services.

  • NoughtNought Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote:
    rockrnger wrote:
    rockrnger wrote:
    But the whole thing is that it doesn't really even out between rural and urban. Everything that the governent does is more expensive for rural.

    This evens out because a huge percentage of the children born in rural communities migrate to urban ones. Likewise, a large number of urbanites retire to rural communities. Neither of these type of communities are static.

    By that logic, why don't we subsidize urban areas with the rural ones?

    Because the money is in the urban areas.

    People an resources flow from rural to urban, while money flows from urban to rural. And even with the money flowing out of urban cores, there is still (generally) enough to provide basic services.

    Well, you could de-fund all initiatives to help rural areas, and then watch as only the people willing to work for slave wages are left.

    The Hispanic shall inherit the earth, the rest will live on concrete.

    Island. Being on fire.
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote:
    Isn't the GOP mainly responsible for this mess in the first place?

    If by mainly you mean completely, yes

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • UnknownSaintUnknownSaint Registered User
    Dropping Saturday delivery has been mentioned a few times in this thread so far, and I'm sorry if it isn't precisely what is being talked about right now but here's something worth considering.

    As part of some outreach for the local Occupy movement myself and some others went to the local lettercarrier's union meeting a little while back. The attitudes there are all pretty much that dire doesn't even begin to describe their situation, and Saturday delivery was brought up. Apparently Amazon (the #1 user of the postal service, their biggest customer by far, they say) has made it clear that without Saturday delivery, they would take their business elsewhere. Netflix, another huge name for the USPS, would also possibly move away from them.

    They had some job loss statistics that were projected as the result of dropping Saturday delivery, and they were pretty staggering. (I of course realize they would be the first group to overstate such figures, but let's not discredit everything with that notion.) Given that the USPS is also one of the larger employers of veterans in the country, maybe this information will give you folks some pause about taking it for granted that Saturday delivery is a thing that can easily be done away with.

  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    I actually would find it really inconvenient, personally, if USPS closed their Saturday branch office hours.

    I live in an apartment. My mailbox is tiny. If it gets full (which happens easily) or if I get a box larger than a baseball, my mail gets held at a USPS branch. I also commute nearly 50 miles to work, so picking up my mail at my local branch is literally impossible for me during the work week.

    I try to get everything shipped to work, but when I can't, USPS Saturday pickup is the next best thing. The absolute worst is UPS - not only do they fail to deliver shit because I'm not home, their stupid little sticky notes don't stick to my door. Sometimes I'll find one on the ground outside, sometimes I'll have no idea they even came by until I get an email from the sender that delivery failed.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • TomantaTomanta Registered User regular
    I'm not sure what alternatives Netflix would even have.

    camo_sig2.png
  • FeralFeral Who needs a medical license when you've got style? Registered User regular
    Tomanta wrote:
    I'm not sure what alternatives Netflix would even have.

    Further push people towards streaming and away from DVD-by-mail.

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch, man" fallacy.
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Nought wrote:
    Well, you could de-fund all initiatives to help rural areas, and then watch as only the people willing to work for slave wages are left.

    The Hispanic shall inherit the earth, the rest will live on concrete.
    Possible, or what is more likely is that raw materials and food costs will go up to compensate.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
  • override367override367 Registered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    Tomanta wrote:
    I'm not sure what alternatives Netflix would even have.

    Further push people towards streaming and away from DVD-by-mail.

    Well the US will be pay-by-the-megabyte within a year or so in all likelihood, so that's a no go as well

    XBLIVE: Biggestoverride
    League of Legends: override367
  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    Tomanta wrote:
    I'm not sure what alternatives Netflix would even have.

    Further push people towards streaming and away from DVD-by-mail.

    Well the US will be pay-by-the-megabyte within a year or so in all likelihood, so that's a no go as well
    I think there is enough backlash towards that idea that isps have been rethinking that strategy on the home internet level.

  • mrt144mrt144 King of the Numbernames Registered User regular
    Feral wrote:
    Tomanta wrote:
    I'm not sure what alternatives Netflix would even have.

    Further push people towards streaming and away from DVD-by-mail.

    Well the US will be pay-by-the-megabyte within a year or so in all likelihood, so that's a no go as well

    How much you want to bet?

Sign In or Register to comment.