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Old 12-18-2008, 11:51 PM   #101
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Satisficing (a portmanteau of "satisfy" and "suffice") is a decision-making strategy which attempts to meet criteria for adequacy, rather than to identify an optimal solution. A satisficing strategy may often be (near) optimal if the costs of the decision-making process itself, such as the cost of obtaining complete information, are considered in the outcome calculus.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satisficing

cres,

It seems to be a way to make decisions. I've actually heard of this word. Like say you need to buy some glue to fix a chair. You want something that holds the pieces together. You don't need the best glue or the most cost optimal glue. You merely just want something that meets the criterion for holding the pieces together.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:54 PM   #102
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I have my own work to get to tonight, but I'll find time in the coming days to respond to the difference between happiness and utility. It's a natural way to look at it, but there's been thousands of pages of ink (mostly in philosophy) spilled on why there's really a big difference.
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Old 12-18-2008, 11:58 PM   #103
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I have my own work to get to tonight, but I'll find time in the coming days to respond to the difference between happiness and utility. It's a natural way to look at it, but there's been thousands of pages of ink (mostly in philosophy) spilled on why there's really a big difference.
Haha. This might be why I don't view it this way. I reviewed the economic stuff and still the modeling typically will use them as substitutes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:06 AM   #104
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I read the wiki link. From a philosophical point, this could be debated for ever. But in this thread, how does this concept apply to purchasing decisions or personal debt issues? There was a story on how grocers are devoting more shelf space to house generic brands of foodstuffs, but that won't stop the name brand goods from dominating their respective markets. People in general don't make rational purchasing decisions. The feel good factor is always present.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:12 AM   #105
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I read the wiki link. From a philosophical point, this could be debated for ever. But in this thread, how does this concept apply to purchasing decisions or personal debt issues? There was a story on how grocers are devoting more shelf space to house generic brands of foodstuffs, but that won't stop the name brand goods from dominating their respective markets. People in general don't make rational purchasing decisions. The feel good factor is always present.
I don't know. Decision theory is something I have no experience in.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:40 AM   #106
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Don't thumb your nose at philosophy...it's usually at the forefront of what laypeople (and trained people who should know better, but don't) consider to be important. Decision theory basically started in philosophy...so did many things. If not 'in' philosophy, it got quickly integrated and got spit out with a tonne of investigations into the consequences of concepts.

The funny thing about decision theory is that it's one of the most inter-disciplinary topics out there, but way too often the various groups aren't working together...but when they do, really neat stuff comes out.

If you want to know how to make good decisions, it's surprising that you wouldn't have gone out and looked into decision theory. It's one of the areas that I specialize in.

Cres: that's EXACTLY what philosophers in decision theory care about. But, fortunately, the good ones among us realize that cognitive psych (and other areas) are necessary for really understanding what's going on....Just because we may never decide on the 'ultimate' issue doesn't mean that talking about it won't produce really important and interesting results. When we start heavily analyzing concepts, we improve our understanding of the world...that's what philosophers do.
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:15 AM   #107
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Almost all of the decisions I make and worry about are ones regarding money. And they all almost basically boil down to +EG ~ +EU.
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:24 AM   #108
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Well, that's not what neuroeconomics says about how you 'should' do it
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Old 12-19-2008, 02:32 AM   #109
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Well, that's not what neuroeconomics says about how you 'should' do it
Haha. Now we're getting a little esoteric even for my tastes.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:23 PM   #110
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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What Taylor said. I mean, if you needed a "financial guru" to tell you this, it was obviously worth it, but not putting money in a 401k when you're effectively paying 20% a year for the privilege should be really basic, common sense stuff.



This kind of statement is very misleading. You didn't spend 13K on nothing, you spent 13K to drive a car for three (I assume) years. If that car was worth 30K when you drove it off the lot and is worth 15K today, your lease made money. If the beater you buy costs you 5K, needs 2K in repairs during the year you drive it, and you wind up selling it for 2K because it's such a piece of junk, you would have been better off leasing a new car like you were doing. This kind of thinking is just a crutch, and while it's better than not walking at all, you're best off just making the best financial decisions in the first place...such as, for example, buying a good used car off lease, financing it with some 0% APR intro credit card that you can make big payments on/balance transfer a few times before just paying it off.

I'm not trying to be obnoxious and I apologize if this comes off that way, but there are some serious logical fallacies here.
You're not coming off obnoxious at all. Invoice on this car was $22k (employee pricing - I was a Ford employee when I leased it). The lease-end value is about $12.5K and the book value on the car is currently $10K (will probably be $8-$9K in May at lease end considering it will be a model year older), so I disagree that the lease made money.

It is very reasonable to assume one can buy a late-model used car (maybe 4-5 years old) and not have $2k in annual repairs. When repairs do arise, however, the absence of debt payments makes those expenses easily handled with normal cash flow or with usage of the emergency fund.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:30 PM   #111
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I saw the name on this thread and realized I have read this guy's book. I remember as distinct chapter about praying to "God" for help with finances. I think I threw up in my mouth.

His advice is suitable (just like virtually anyone's) for most people in financial trouble, though he misses the mark on many issues.

I don't recall the "praying to God" piece of the book, but that certainly is not what the focus of the program is. Yes, he believes the giving component is important, even necessary, for ultimatel financial peace. IMO, that is for each individual to decide. I'm not a regular church-goer and do not consider myself overly "spiritual" either; however, I do feel good when I can donate time/money to my daughter's school, or the Human Society, or other charities of the like. Freedom from debt would allow me to be more comfortable giving and that would make me feel just as good as not having payments.

Don't take offense to this statement, but when you make a comment like "he misses the mark on many issues," it is generally good form to give an example or two and why you think the mark was missed. (Incidentally, I agree that there are probably minor details that could swing either way, but it's the overall concept of the program that I believe works.)
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:36 PM   #112
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I should clarify. He is writing for non-rational people. Rika made a comment about how you spend 16-18% more with a CC. I don't know these people, but they aren't me. I make a list, I go to the store. I buy it. I pay with a CC. I don't carry money since 1) its -EV for purchases 2) a hassle 3) I don't have the same protection as I do with a CC. The example of not using a CC is just wrong if you want to save the most money possible. The car buying advice is wrong as well. I'll leaf through the book I have of his and try to get some page numbers for reference.

But it isn't just about Ramsey, the whole "personal finance" field is like this. But perhaps it is the optimal approach for their intended audience.
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:57 PM   #113
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I should clarify. He is writing for non-rational people. Rika made a comment about how you spend 16-18% more with a CC. I don't know these people, but they aren't me. I make a list, I go to the store. I buy it. I pay with a CC. I don't carry money since 1) its -EV for purchases 2) a hassle 3) I don't have the same protection as I do with a CC. The example of not using a CC is just wrong if you want to save the most money possible. The car buying advice is wrong as well. I'll leaf through the book I have of his and try to get some page numbers for reference.

But it isn't just about Ramsey, the whole "personal finance" field is like this. But perhaps it is the optimal approach for their intended audience.
1) What is -EV about using cash for purchases? Unless you refer to 3) below
2) Hassle - agreed
3) Protection - agreed by and large but you can still get satisfaction if there was a problem with a cash purchase if you try hard enough
4) What was wrong about the car buying advice?
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:22 PM   #114
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Ugh...Thremp...these people are rational when they're purchasing 16-18% more with their CC...it's just that it's soooo natural to do it that it's flying under their conscious control. Your methods are absolutely in the minority and you need to appreciate that (in terms of how you shouldn't be the metric of "normal").
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Old 12-19-2008, 01:23 PM   #115
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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1) What is -EV about using cash for purchases?
Unless paying with cash gets you a discount vs credit card, credit cards that offer rewards (that outweigh costs, if any) are more EV. I get 1% back, but I should look for a better deal.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:41 PM   #116
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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1) What is -EV about using cash for purchases? Unless you refer to 3) below
2) Hassle - agreed
3) Protection - agreed by and large but you can still get satisfaction if there was a problem with a cash purchase if you try hard enough
4) What was wrong about the car buying advice?
1) Durka covered it.
2) Word.
3) I can dispute things on my CC that I can't satisfy otherwise. Much like Paypal. Its especially useful when buying things online.
4) Its not the way to save the most money. Everytime someone buys a car, the dealership is paid in cash. If you finance it, they still get theirs. Its much like when you buy a house. If you get a loan from a bank, from a friend, or pay straight cash, I still get cash at closing (Unless I finance it or blah blah blah). There is a pretty good thread where I get pozzed on this in this forum. Basically it involves financing it with a freebie early pay option, riding out the no financing period and then cutting a check for the balance.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:45 PM   #117
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Basically it involves financing it with a freebie early pay option, riding out the no financing period and then cutting a check for the balance.
Can you link this or post the thread title?
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:45 PM   #118
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

The ability to TRACK purchases is also very good about CCs vs cash. But, the ability to dispute is so so important to me. I hired some movers, paid the deposit, they never showed up...and within seconds/minutes of talking to Visa, the charge was reversed. Cash/cheque/debit would've required court.
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Old 12-19-2008, 03:57 PM   #119
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I have "Financial Peace Revisited" by Dave Ramsey.

Chapter 4 is titled "Understand the Spiritual Aspects of Money". I'm not going to quote all of his jibber jabber about how finance is not a mathematical science. It it wasn't you wouldn't need a budget. The chapter is also rife with quotations from the Bible, and I like the Bible as much as the next guy. But to date, I have had exactly no bills paid by God, in fact he's the worst panhandler that I've ever encountered.

However, he does kind of dance around the issue that most of the people with financial issues are weak willed and lack discipline or self control. I'd like his book more if he erased this chapter and wrote, "You're a bitch. You're a bitch because you can't control yourself. Grow some spine you ****ing pussy and stop buying **** you can't afford." But perhaps he would sell less books. He is an author after all, and probably quite skilled at marketing.

Oh dear god... I was leafing through and this is just AIDs. Downright horrid. Like you should kill yourself for writing something this bad: "On the average, the single family home increases in value over the five- to ten-year haul; that is the real estate's track record. We get our comfort from a track record, not a gurantee. Mutual funds can be selected in the same way. (p147) WTF? WTF? WTF? DIE DIE DIE DIE.

Ugh. That whole section is just cancer. If that silliness was reasonable, he'd be managing the greatest fund of funds ever and we'd be starting threads: "Dave Ramsey: Miser?!?" instead of on Buffett.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:00 PM   #120
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Can you link this or post the thread title?
It was a long time ago. And I don't have a very skilled use of the search function.
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:28 PM   #121
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Yeah, this thread can either be about good strategies for debt/spending...or on how stupid this actual 'guru' is. Either is fine...I find the former more interesting :P
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Old 12-19-2008, 04:33 PM   #122
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I prefer to just meander about a subject. I just did some actual work. So I can sit and play for a bit.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:46 AM   #123
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

lol
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Old 12-20-2008, 05:58 AM   #124
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Don't you see that it's MORE likely that people will start abiding by this advice given economic times?
No. Each generation is less talented and less willing to work but feels more entitled to live an extraordinary life. Credit allows them to do that temporarily. Unless credit itself is restricted the vast majority won't stop using it irresponsibly.

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Ugh...Thremp...these people are rational when they're purchasing 16-18% more with their CC...it's just that it's soooo natural to do it that it's flying under their conscious control. Your methods are absolutely in the minority and you need to appreciate that (in terms of how you shouldn't be the metric of "normal").
Which is why I have a lot of mixed feelings about Ramsey. Never read any of his books or any book on personal finance but I use to have KLIF on 24/7 so would catch Ramsey's radio show. His program works but it is so plainly obvious that I would seriously question the competency of anyone who needs to read a book to learn any of that.
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Old 12-20-2008, 06:05 AM   #125
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Henry,

Welcome to the real world. It is full of idiots. Grats.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:19 AM   #126
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

So if we predict that inflation is coming in a big way then how should we proceed in paying back our current debts? As in how aggressively should we be paying down CC debt, mortgage, car payments, student debt, etc.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:06 AM   #127
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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No. Each generation is less talented and less willing to work but feels more entitled to live an extraordinary life. Credit allows them to do that temporarily. Unless credit itself is restricted the vast majority won't stop using it irresponsibly.
This is actually a perpetual myth. Every older generation thinks that the younger generation has a drastically worse work ethic. It's false. Technology advances and so things change, but that doesn't mean that subsequent generations don't produce as much...otherwise, how could scientific findings and technological advances keep accelerating? It's just a perpetual myth.

There is certainly a 'me' generation, but your position throws up its hands and says there's nothing to be done...well, there is! Make them take responsibility.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:11 AM   #128
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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No. Each generation is less talented and less willing to work but feels more entitled to live an extraordinary life. Credit allows them to do that temporarily. Unless credit itself is restricted the vast majority won't stop using it irresponsibly.

I would disagree with this as well. I think each generation is larger, thus there's more talented people and also more less talented people. So yes there's a drag at the bottom end, but the top end is so much smarter then generations past. How could they not be? They have the past to learn from which is why we keep advancing in various different industries.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:13 AM   #129
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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So if we predict that inflation is coming in a big way then how should we proceed in paying back our current debts? As in how aggressively should we be paying down CC debt, mortgage, car payments, student debt, etc.
Not at all. If you expect that inflation is going to hit us in a big way please go borrow as much as possible and buy TIPS.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #130
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

I would say pay down all CC debt before anything because those rates are 20% or more. Then pay the others accordingly.

Don't leverage yourself in anything, especially one specific investment vehicle.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:19 AM   #131
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I would say pay down all CC debt before anything because those rates are 20% or more. Then pay the others accordingly.

Don't leverage yourself in anything, especially one specific investment vehicle.
I would borrow as much as possible if I knew we would have hyper inflation. You wouldn't?
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:23 AM   #132
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

If I knew(100% sure) things were going to happen, sure I would. Nothing is ever 100% these days.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:35 AM   #133
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Well, his question was what would you do if you knew x would happen...
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:40 AM   #134
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Fair enough. But I think advising him to borrow money and put it all in TIPS is aggressive. At least just tell him to put all his savings in there, not other people's money too, lol.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:06 AM   #135
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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This is actually a perpetual myth. Every older generation thinks that the younger generation has a drastically worse work ethic. It's false. Technology advances and so things change, but that doesn't mean that subsequent generations don't produce as much...otherwise, how could scientific findings and technological advances keep accelerating?
Because there is still plenty of bright people out there.



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I would disagree with this as well. I think each generation is larger, thus there's more talented people and also more less talented people. So yes there's a drag at the bottom end, but the top end is so much smarter then generations past. How could they not be? They have the past to learn from which is why we keep advancing in various different industries.
The group as a whole has more knowledge but not individual members of the group.

The problem with the each generation is larger argument is that you assume that every group reproduces at the same pace. The reality of the situation is that the group we want reproducing the most are not having as many children while the group we'd prefer to limit is pumping out the most children.

I don't believe this is as evident in the United States as in Canada mostly because the educational system in the States clearly has schools that are better than others so the bright people still congregate at top schools -- if you go to a top school you are to a degree insulated from the reality since you mostly interact with your own kind. In Canada, where the difference between a good and a bad school is smaller, you don't get that so it is easier to see just how bad things have gotten.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:13 AM   #136
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Because there is still plenty of bright people out there.





The group as a whole has more knowledge but not individual members of the group.

The problem with the each generation is larger argument is that you assume that every group reproduces at the same pace. The reality of the situation is that the group we want reproducing the most are not having as many children while the group we'd prefer to limit is pumping out the most children.

I don't believe this is as evident in the United States as in Canada mostly because the educational system in the States clearly has schools that are better than others so the bright people still congregate at top schools -- if you go to a top school you are to a degree insulated from the reality since you mostly interact with your own kind. In Canada, where the difference between a good and a bad school is smaller, you don't get that so it is easier to see just how bad things have gotten.


I do agree that the group we don't want reproducing, is doing just that at a higher rate then the group we do want reproducing. And that there is an abundance of lazy people out there who want to earn the quick buck. There is also a lot of people out there willing to work for it too. Seems like a broken argument to me.
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:56 AM   #137
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

It is a very difficult debate to have because there really is no metric by which we can measure ability / intelligence levels of large groups.

That The Secret sold several million copies while remaining the #1 book and DVD for weeks, and holds the record for the largest second print ever is scary.

When you watch politics you can clearly see that the message was tailored on the belief that the largest audience is borderline retarded. Political groups do a lot of demographic research so if that is who they believe is out there then it probably is. The same is true of advertising / marketing and news reporting.

I spent ten years at university and I can say with certainty that at least 30% of first year students in 2000 would not have made it past Christmas had they been admitted in 1991. The only reason they were able to succeed was because standards were lower. I still hover around academia and it has actually gotten worse since 2000 to the point where I no longer consider someone who only has an undergrad degree as being educated.

The reason smart motivated people don't realize how bad general society is stems from the fact that smart motivated people go to school with, socialize with, and eventually work with other people like themselves.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:03 PM   #138
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I would borrow as much as possible if I knew we would have hyper inflation. You wouldn't?
But to what end...you'd have to spend whatever you could borrow on stuff that you would need in the future to survive (non-perishable food, supplies, etc) and basically become a Y2K or Michigan Militia freak. You wouldn't want to just sit on the money because it would become worthless. You'd have to use it while it's still useful...and then...if hyperinflation doesn't come, you're ****ed.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:05 PM   #139
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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But to what end...you'd have to spend whatever you could borrow on stuff that you would need in the future to survive (non-perishable food, supplies, etc) and basically become a Y2K or Michigan Militia freak. You wouldn't want to just sit on the money because it would become worthless. You'd have to use it while it's still useful...and then...if hyperinflation doesn't come, you're ****ed.
Well, yes. That and TIPS.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:32 PM   #140
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

Wouldn't the government just default on all TIPS?
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:33 PM   #141
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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It is a very difficult debate to have because there really is no metric by which we can measure ability / intelligence levels of large groups.

That The Secret sold several million copies while remaining the #1 book and DVD for weeks, and holds the record for the largest second print ever is scary.

When you watch politics you can clearly see that the message was tailored on the belief that the largest audience is borderline retarded. Political groups do a lot of demographic research so if that is who they believe is out there then it probably is. The same is true of advertising / marketing and news reporting.

I spent ten years at university and I can say with certainty that at least 30% of first year students in 2000 would not have made it past Christmas had they been admitted in 1991. The only reason they were able to succeed was because standards were lower. I still hover around academia and it has actually gotten worse since 2000 to the point where I no longer consider someone who only has an undergrad degree as being educated.

The reason smart motivated people don't realize how bad general society is stems from the fact that smart motivated people go to school with, socialize with, and eventually work with other people like themselves.
And yet shows like the Daily Show are taking off because people are getting back into caring about politics. The number ONE hallowe'en costumes were: Palin, Bernanke, Paulson...doesn't that say something?

You can cherry pick all you want, but I'm sure that there are metrics out there and studies if you searched sociology databases.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:42 PM   #142
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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And yet shows like the Daily Show are taking off because people are getting back into caring about politics. The number ONE hallowe'en costumes were: Palin, Bernanke, Paulson...doesn't that say something?
Being into something is irrelevant. After What The Bleep Do We Know was released plenty of people were into QM and string theory and it was horrible as they didn't have a clue what they were talking about.

The Daily Show actually supports my point. People now get their news from the fake news -- a show hosted by a very funny man who is also not very bright.
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Old 12-20-2008, 12:58 PM   #143
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Wouldn't the government just default on all TIPS?
Could be. But if the US government defaults there are bigger problems than paying your loans...
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:12 PM   #144
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Being into something is irrelevant. After What The Bleep Do We Know was released plenty of people were into QM and string theory and it was horrible as they didn't have a clue what they were talking about.

The Daily Show actually supports my point. People now get their news from the fake news -- a show hosted by a very funny man who is also not very bright.
Actually, it doesn't make your point. They win emmy's for being the BEST news show...that means that the news programs are terrible. And, if people get their information from terrible sources, can it be any surprise that they're stupid? Blame the people in charge of the news feeds for that...but also blame people for being lazy for not finding out for themselves. But, is that really different from any other generation?

Unless you're actually going out into the world and finding a way to compare generations across metrics, then you're just speculating...and I suspect that you're doing a very bad job of it because there is some evidence that I've seen (a couple studies) that go against your thesis.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #145
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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It is a very difficult debate to have because there really is no metric by which we can measure ability / intelligence levels of large groups.

That The Secret sold several million copies while remaining the #1 book and DVD for weeks, and holds the record for the largest second print ever is scary.

When you watch politics you can clearly see that the message was tailored on the belief that the largest audience is borderline retarded. Political groups do a lot of demographic research so if that is who they believe is out there then it probably is. The same is true of advertising / marketing and news reporting.

I spent ten years at university and I can say with certainty that at least 30% of first year students in 2000 would not have made it past Christmas had they been admitted in 1991. The only reason they were able to succeed was because standards were lower. I still hover around academia and it has actually gotten worse since 2000 to the point where I no longer consider someone who only has an undergrad degree as being educated.

The reason smart motivated people don't realize how bad general society is stems from the fact that smart motivated people go to school with, socialize with, and eventually work with other people like themselves.

Very good point. As far as people in general getting lazy/dumb, I think I would agree too as you see most kids are taking more then four years now to complete undergrad classes. Then they go to grad school full time, instead of going at night while working full time during the day.

I still stand by my original point though that there is plenty of very hard working, smart minds out there. Much smarter then people in the past.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:55 PM   #146
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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They win emmy's for being the BEST news show
Emmy awards for entertainment. I don't disagree that the show is funny and entertaining -- it just is not a legitimate source or news and the host is not even close to being as intelligent as he thinks he is.

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But, is that really different from any other generation?
Yes. Mostly because of the legitimizing of pseudo-sciences like psychology / sociology the mentality of younger people is considerably different than even people my age (Mid-30s). Further, the world has become considerably more complex so that magnifies the problem. If you look at the skill set required to be successful 25-30 years ago and compare it with the skill set required to do so now the current world requires a skill set that is considerably harder to master. The world is simply much more complicated than it was even in the 80s.

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Unless you're actually going out into the world and finding a way to compare generations across metrics, then you're just speculating...and I suspect that you're doing a very bad job of it because there is some evidence that I've seen (a couple studies) that go against your thesis.
The problem with studies in this area is that they would generally fall into either sociology or psychology -- neither of which is a field I have any respect for.

Most of my evidence is anecdotal but I'm pretty sure my thesis is correct. For example, the issue of homework in grade school has become a major issue recently. Parents complain that their children can't do it and that is amounts to 4-5 hours of homework yet the actual quantity of homework has no increased. When I was in university the number of students taking a 80-90% course load grew from the occasional student to over 25% by the time I left university. Undergrad is a joke yet people can't handle a full course load.

I don't do much so the vast majority of my time is spent socializing. Outside of an academic environment and some professional environments I generally find that 95% of the people I just meet out in public places are not intelligent. I have a friend of a friend who does those interviews of people on the street for public reactions to political decisions for a major news outlet -- he works with a 3-1 ratio and even then is forced to air clips from people who are generally retarded and uninformed. Based on other serious news shows and their similar segment this seems like a fairly universal outcome.

I can't think of one thing that I could point to that would make me even consider the possibility that Western society as a group is getting smarter. I can point to thousands that make be believe it is getting worse.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:57 PM   #147
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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I still stand by my original point though that there is plenty of very hard working, smart minds out there. Much smarter then people in the past.
I don't disagree with that. The people who are smart and motivated are far more so than in previous generations. They just represent a much smaller percentage of the general population and also a shrinking percentage.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #148
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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This is actually a perpetual myth. Every older generation thinks that the younger generation has a drastically worse work ethic. It's false. Technology advances and so things change, but that doesn't mean that subsequent generations don't produce as much...otherwise, how could scientific findings and technological advances keep accelerating? It's just a perpetual myth.

There is certainly a 'me' generation, but your position throws up its hands and says there's nothing to be done...well, there is! Make them take responsibility.
I think the newer generations are not willing to undergo hardships in order to see a payoff down the road. The sense of instant entitlement along with the cultivation of an everyone wins mindset has placed them at a disadvantage for when their elevated status cycles back to equilibrium.

A few years ago I had a conversation with a German machinist. We discussed the North American apprenticeship system. In NA, an apprentice considers himself fully qualified, and therefore deserving of full journeyman status and pay, after the 4 year schooling phase. As opposed to a European system, where the apprentice will work under a Master for a period of years to learn more and eventually become qualified enough to work without supervision.

So many stories of people refusing jobs because they are beneath their social status or dignity. Take a ride in the way back machine to see what happened to that mindset in the 1930's. Not everyone is in the top 1% of their field.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:12 PM   #149
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

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Emmy awards for entertainment. I don't disagree that the show is funny and entertaining -- it just is not a legitimate source or news and the host is not even close to being as intelligent as he thinks he is.



Yes. Mostly because of the legitimizing of pseudo-sciences like psychology / sociology the mentality of younger people is considerably different than even people my age (Mid-30s). Further, the world has become considerably more complex so that magnifies the problem. If you look at the skill set required to be successful 25-30 years ago and compare it with the skill set required to do so now the current world requires a skill set that is considerably harder to master. The world is simply much more complicated than it was even in the 80s.



The problem with studies in this area is that they would generally fall into either sociology or psychology -- neither of which is a field I have any respect for.

Most of my evidence is anecdotal but I'm pretty sure my thesis is correct. For example, the issue of homework in grade school has become a major issue recently. Parents complain that their children can't do it and that is amounts to 4-5 hours of homework yet the actual quantity of homework has no increased. When I was in university the number of students taking a 80-90% course load grew from the occasional student to over 25% by the time I left university. Undergrad is a joke yet people can't handle a full course load.

I don't do much so the vast majority of my time is spent socializing. Outside of an academic environment and some professional environments I generally find that 95% of the people I just meet out in public places are not intelligent. I have a friend of a friend who does those interviews of people on the street for public reactions to political decisions for a major news outlet -- he works with a 3-1 ratio and even then is forced to air clips from people who are generally retarded and uninformed. Based on other serious news shows and their similar segment this seems like a fairly universal outcome.

I can't think of one thing that I could point to that would make me even consider the possibility that Western society as a group is getting smarter. I can point to thousands that make be believe it is getting worse.
I'm sorry, but you clearly have no idea what you're talking about with respect to sociology/psychology. You seem to have a very small taste of likely very bad studies (if you've even been reading real studies). You don't seem to understand what "science" even means, nor certainly how to distinguish between good/bad science.
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Old 12-20-2008, 02:22 PM   #150
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Re: Dave Ramsey: get debt free

With respect to your anecdotal evidence, if you cared about psychology at all, you could have perhaps learned that events that are salient to you tend to be biased. So, your "sample" is likely biased in that you're going to be more likely to "see" events that confirm your "thesis" and miss events that disconfirm it.

Once again, your anecdotes show no referece to PAST generations. How have things changed? You say buddy has 3-1 ratio, but what was it in the past? Say, 20yrs ago? You don't know...you're just guessing and doing EXACTLY what you think sociology/psychology does. Except, that they actually have set standards and statistical methods and follow a methodology. Odd how your conclusions are based off far far worse standards than these fields which you have no respect for...odd indeed.
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