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Corporate earnings up again

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Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Prince » Fri 18 Apr 2008, 09:34:53

After a down quarter, it looks like corporate earnings are beating expectations. The season is young, but already big hitters like IBM, Google, Honeywell, and Caterpillar have done well. GE took a hit, as did Citi, but the results were on par with expectations. Many more follow in the coming days. The market is poised for a big gain today.

In some ways I predicted this would happen in 2Q and 3Q--right before the election. I have to believe this is another calm before the storm. I can't possibly believe the underlying recession fears are behind us, but I'm sure the economists will tell us otherwise. What does everyone think about this?
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby sittinguy » Fri 18 Apr 2008, 10:00:15

I agree, its a sham. How in the hell can the market be going up with the low dollar, the Euro is about to hit 1.60. and inflation is at its infancy. I think Obama going to be elected then we will have a Depression,,, and they will blame it on him. :) He's the fall guy. And we are the suckers
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Lore » Fri 18 Apr 2008, 10:04:04

Prince wrote:After a down quarter, it looks like corporate earnings are beating expectations. The season is young, but already big hitters like IBM, Google, Honeywell, and Caterpillar have done well. GE took a hit, as did Citi, but the results were on par with expectations. Many more follow in the coming days. The market is poised for a big gain today.

In some ways I predicted this would happen in 2Q and 3Q--right before the election. I have to believe this is another calm before the storm. I can't possibly believe the underlying recession fears are behind us, but I'm sure the economists will tell us otherwise. What does everyone think about this?


Most of the increase in Big Caps is coming from overseas infrastructure plays. The bounce in the market is only a relief rally in which the fundamentals have not changed, but the worse outcome, so far, has not materialized.

The "catch 22" is that as developing nations improve their economic status they will continue to absorb a greater amount of commodities, depleting an already short supply. This year, the Chinese are buying autos at a 1,000 vehicle a day clip. The capitalist model of growth is not sustainable.

The US consumer is still weighed down by the rising cost of energy and food, while wages have remained stagnant since 2000, leaving very little for discretionary expenditures. You only have to look at the recent news from Harley Davidson to see the contraction.

I think the election has little impact right now on the changes taking place. The candidates are not even talking about it, with the exception of the McCain gas tax holiday. There is going to be the ole two step shuffle in the 4th quarter for the election.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Plantagenet » Fri 18 Apr 2008, 13:14:17

sittinguy wrote:I agree, its a sham. How in the hell can the market be going up with the low dollar


US manufacturing Companies like Catepillar and Boeing that export benefit from the low dollar.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Lore » Fri 18 Apr 2008, 14:12:29

Plantagenet wrote:
sittinguy wrote:I agree, its a sham. How in the hell can the market be going up with the low dollar


US manufacturing Companies like Catepillar and Boeing that export benefit from the low dollar.


The market goes up because many investors have been sitting on the sidelines waiting to put their money to work. They can't make any money by putting it under the matress. Buying into a rally no matter how short lived is an opportunity.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Sun 20 Apr 2008, 00:32:52

Corporate earnings are up because real wages are declining. We could have an economic collapse tomorrow and the bastards will still find a way to make a profit; it will simply be at the expense of everyone else.

The top 1% wealthiest of the world's population own over 40% of the world's wealth and acount for 32% of the world's resource consumption, which is more than the bottom 90% of the world's population(which still includes half of the world's "middle class").

Since 1970, productivity per capita has nearly doubled, yet real wages have declined. It now takes two parents working for a family to have a standard of living still reduced from over 30 years ago, even though one parent is producing double what they would have in 1970. So, four times the productivity per family for a lower living standard. Someone is making a lot of money in the meantime, and it is not Joe Sixpack.

This gap will keep on widening. If current trends continue, Americans will live like those in Bangledash so that the corporate execs and politicians can stay rich and profitable.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby jasonraymondson » Sun 20 Apr 2008, 01:16:15

The_Toecutter wrote:Corporate earnings are up because real wages are declining. We could have an economic collapse tomorrow and the bastards will still find a way to make a profit; it will simply be at the expense of everyone else.

The top 1% wealthiest of the world's population own over 40% of the world's wealth and acount for 32% of the world's resource consumption, which is more than the bottom 90% of the world's population(which still includes half of the world's "middle class").

Since 1970, productivity per capita has nearly doubled, yet real wages have declined. It now takes two parents working for a family to have a standard of living still reduced from over 30 years ago, even though one parent is producing double what they would have in 1970. So, four times the productivity per family for a lower living standard. Someone is making a lot of money in the meantime, and it is not Joe Sixpack.

This gap will keep on widening. If current trends continue, Americans will live like those in Bangledash so that the corporate execs and politicians can stay rich and profitable.


That my friend, is my greatest fear. Living like they do in third world countries, controlled completely by the government and big business and living with 3 families in a fucking cardboard box just happy that I can make enough money working 12 fucking hours a day to buy a loaf of bread and some fish.

If it even starts to come to that, I am going to john fucking rambo up the place.
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BP Expects U.S. Earnings Uplift From Tax Reform

Unread postby AdamB » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 17:30:31


Oil giant BP will take a one-off $1.5 billion charge to adjust to new U.S. tax rules, joining rival Royal Dutch Shell and other companies, but expects a long-term boost from the corporate-friendly tax rates, it said on Tuesday. The massive $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that U.S. President Donald Trump signed into law last month cuts the corporate rate from 35 percent to 21 percent and temporarily reduces the tax burden for most individuals as well. BP, like many other international companies, said it expected a positive impact to its U.S. earnings in the long run. But in the short term, lower tax rates will affect its deferred tax assets and liabilities, resulting in a one-off, non-cash charge of $1.5 billion to its 2017 fourth quarter results which are due to be announced on Feb. 8, it said. "The ultimate impact of the change


BP Expects U.S. Earnings Uplift From Tax Reform
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 18:55:32

And here we are in early 2018. (Thanks for the hit on the wayback machine, Adam).

S&P 500 earnings solidly higher. No sign of zombie hordes. No (credibly) starving people in the US due to lack of funds and social programs.

In fact, low unemployment rates, and economic acceleration forecast for both the US and globally for 2018.

...

The one doomy thing there is still no sign of shortage though, consistently, is fast crash doomers. Even with their long term track records.

(Definitions matter. Just because everyone can't afford a luxury penthouse in downtown Manhattan or SF doesn't mean we are living at third world standards generally. :roll:
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby asg70 » Wed 03 Jan 2018, 21:00:20

Outcast_Searcher wrote:Just because everyone can't afford a luxury penthouse in downtown Manhattan or SF doesn't mean we are living at third world standards generally.


Exactly. People can shift the goal-posts all the way to make it seem like we're worse off than we are but at some point it sounds like first-world-problem whining, which is ironic, coming from people who are quick to promote the virtue of powerdown and austerity.

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-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Sun 28 Jul 2019, 01:00:10

Outcast_Searcher wrote:And here we are in early 2018. (Thanks for the hit on the wayback machine, Adam).

S&P 500 earnings solidly higher. No sign of zombie hordes. No (credibly) starving people in the US due to lack of funds and social programs.


The stock markets have been artificially propped up for more than a decade by now, due to a mixture of taxpayer dollars, federal reserve printing, toxic financial instruments/fraud, and practices such as stock buybacks. The U.S. is really a zombie economy, waiting for the Collateralized Debt Obligations and student loan bubble to blow up in everyone's face.

Have you seen the extent of homelessness in many U.S. cities lately?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04Z3Rd0rD_I

It's way worse than 11 years ago. Many of today's homeless are degreed professionals making average-level incomes, but still priced out of a roof over their head in many U.S. cities such as Seattle or Los Angeles. Typhus and other medieval diseases are even making a comeback in L.A.

In fact, low unemployment rates, and economic acceleration forecast for both the US and globally for 2018.


I can't help but question whether those "low unemployment rates" are accurate. Once your unemployment aid has expired, whether you have a job or not, you are no longer counted as unemployed.

In fact, I'm an electrical engineer with 9 years of experience. I've been unemployed for more than a year, living off of my savings. Supposedly there's this huge shortage of engineers that is so pronounced that companies are petitioning the government to allow H1B visa applicants into the U.S. because they can't find engineers to do the work. I've applied to hundreds of engineering firms for jobs I'm more than qualified to perform, and I've only gotten 2 interviews thus far in more than a year.

The real issue is these companies don't want to pay U.S. wages. There are a shortage of people with my skillset. When I was still employed making $30/hr, I never got raises even when my productivity was at the top of the employees measured. When I got job offers over the phone, companies were insulting me by offering $12-15/hr, one of them telling me to "be reasonable" when I told them I was currently making $30/hr for the same type of work. EVERYTHING is being reduced to McJob wages.

Some of those I graduated with are currently homeless. They're qualified to do engineering work, but no one hires them, in spite of the shortage of those with their skills/talents. One of them works at a Starbucks and is homeless because he defaulted on his student loans after being unable to find work out of college, and his paycheck is garnished, pricing him out of shelter.

In fact, I can't even land a job flipping burgers or cleaning shitters, just to keep from draining what remains of my savings.

I have no criminal/arrest record of any sort, a credit score of around 800, nothing but good references from my former jobs as an electrical engineer, no debt, no medical problems, and I can't get anyone to hire me no matter how hard I try, no matter how many hundreds of applications I send out.

Supposedly this economy is "booming", but I'm not seeing any of it first hand, at all. Almost everyone I know is also out of work, and being that I'm the one with the engineering degree among my circle, they are freaking the fuck out because they know that if I can't get work with STEM degrees and 9 years experience and no criminal record and perfect credit, they sure as hell won't being high school dropouts with criminal records and ruined credit.

I'm beginning to think I should have dropped out of high school and sold dope instead of slogging my way through college and earning lots of scholarships to help pay for it(even then, I ended up having to pay enough student loan interest to have bought a house, without the house to show for it, and would only have done better were I high school Valedictorian).

Shadowstats.com tries to parse through the obfuscations inherent in the "official" numbers and finds that the real unemployment rate is closer to 23%, than it is to 3%. This would match what I've been seeing on the street. If unemployment were really so low, I should have been able to find work immediately after quitting my former job as an engineer to move home and help take care of my mother. But nope, I can't even find a job cleaning crappers, let alone another engineering job where my skillset is said to be in such short supply.

(Definitions matter. Just because everyone can't afford a luxury penthouse in downtown Manhattan or SF doesn't mean we are living at third world standards generally. :roll:


Living standards in the U.S. have declined in quite a pronounced manner from when my parents came of age.

Americans today are nowhere near as wealthy in a material sense as previous generations. Sources are cited at the end. I compare 1968 to 2018(2019 figures for the prices compared aren't available yet because the year isn't over).

In 1968, the minimum wage was $1.60/hr and the median wage was something around $2.75/hr($6,000/yr divided by an average of 42 hours a week worked back then). Currently, the minimum wage is $7.25/hr and has been unchanged for a decade, and the Social Security Administration reports that median wage for 2017 is $31,561/yr(most recent I could find), which at 34.2 hours a week per job average, is $17.74/hr.

Now, we are going to get the cost for some items, 1968, versus 2018:

New 1665 sq ft house price: $14,950 / $178,454
Average new car: $2,822 / $36,270
Average monthly rent: $130 / $1,419
Loaf of bread(would have been non GMO in 1968): $0.22 / $2.35
1,000 kWh electricity: $23 / $122.50
Gallon of gasoline: $0.34 / $2.72
Dozen of eggs(again would’ve been non-GMO in 1968): $0.53 / $2.27
Gallon milk(modern equivalent is lower quality loaded with rGBH): $1.07 / $3.11
Movie ticket: $1.50 / $12.00
1 year public college tuition: $295 / $10,230
Health Insurance cost per person per year: $146(1960) / $10,739(2017)

Lets take a look at how many hours of work it takes to buy the following items, in 1968 vs 2018, at both minimum wage($1.60/hr 1968 vs $7.25/hr today), and median wage($2.60/hr 1968 vs. $17.74/hr today):

Hours worked at minimum wage: Item: 1968 / 2018

New 1665 sq ft house price: 9344 / 24614
Average new car: 1764 / 5003
Average monthly rent: 81 / 196
Loaf of bread: 0.14 / 0.32
1,000 kWh electricity: 14.4 / 16.9
Gallon of gasoline: 0.21 / 0.38
Dozen of eggs: 0.33 / 0.31
Gallon milk: 0.67 / 0.43
Movie ticket: 0.94 / 1.65
1 year public college tuition: 184 / 1411
Health Insurance cost per person per year: 91 / 1481

As you can see, almost across the board, minimum wage buys far less per hour worked than what it used to. Minimum wage today has about one third the overall purchasing power per hour of work it used to have 50 years ago. For minimum wage to pay the same today as it did in 1968, in real terms, it would need to be more than $20/hr.

Now, lets look at the median wage, or how many hours an American worker making the 50th percentile wage has to work to afford various things.

Hours worked at median wage: Item: 1968 / 2018

Average new 1665 sq ft house price: 5436 / 10059
Average new car: 1026 / 2044
Average monthly rent: 47 / 80
Loaf of bread: 0.08 / 0.13
1,000 kWh electricity: 8.36 / 6.91
Gallon of gasoline: 0.12 / 0.15
Dozen of eggs: 0.19 / 0.13
Gallon milk: 0.39 / 0.18
Movie ticket: 0.54 / 0.68
1 year public college tuition: 107 / 577
Health Insurance cost per person per year: 53 / 605

At the median wage, the difference in purchasing power from 50 years ago isn’t as drastic as at minimum wage, but on big ticket items like homes, college education, and cars or paying rent or health insurance, purchasing power per hour of work has still decreased by a factor of two or more between then and now, while one can buy slightly cheaper foodstuffs per hour of work at degraded quality(the organic foods that would be more comparable to the 1960s equivalent will turn out to be similar or costlier per hour of work).

Now, lets compare the median income today to minimum wage in 1968 in terms of real(not CPI) purchasing power. Average new 1665 sq ft house price in 1968 took 9344 hours of minimum wage work to pay for, while today it takes 10059 hours of work at the median wage. The average new car in 1968 took 1764 hours at minimum wage to buy, while today it takes 2044 hours to buy at the median wage. The average month of rent at minimum wage in 1968 takes as many hours today at median wage to afford. A year of public college could be afforded by a part time minimum wage worker working 184 hours in 1968, or about 2 months at a little over 20 hours a week, whereas a median income earner today living a paycheck to paycheck existence working their 40 hours a week will need to work an extra 11 hours a week overtime all year long on the side to afford that year of school(and if overtime cannot be obtained, 17 hours a week working a second job!), which will leave them no time to study. Health insurance requires the median worker today to work roughly 6 times as many hours to afford it as a minimum wage worker would have required in 1968.

The median wage today, in REAL terms, pays LESS than the minimum wage of 50 years ago by a sizable margin. This is why a family that used to be supported with one income earner, with the household able to build wealth, now requires two income earners living paycheck to paycheck and unable to save anything, constantly mired in ever-growing debt. This has happened, WHILE productivity per worker in the U.S. has more than doubled since then.

The above explains why more than half of Americans cannot come up with $500 in an emergency, and why 3/4 of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. This doesn't just affect my generation, the millenials. Most Gen Xers and Boomers are broke due to life circumstances outside of their control that have parted them with their money in time as well. The wealthiest 1% have pocketed the difference and have grown immensely richer, the upper 10% have stayed about as well off as they were, and everyone else has seen a sharp drop in living standards with debt used to keep the illusion of prosperity alive.

Meanwhile, the consumer price index lies about the real inflation rate. The CPI often neglects to include cost increases for things like food and housing into its inflation calculations, uses tactics such as "substitution" of lower quality items for more expensive items to claim there's no price increase(lets say hamburger and steak cost $3/lb and $6/lb, respectively, and increase to $6/lb and $9/lb. The CPI will substitute hamburger for steak, and claim that since hamburger is now $6/lb, the same cost steak used to be, and that since they're both beef, no price increase for beef has occurred), and even allowing shrinkage in product amounts at the retail level for a given cost to claim no price increase(that 64 oz tub of ice cream shrinking to 59 oz retaining the same price, the CPI says there's no cost increase).

For the real inflation rate, check the Chapwood Index.

Sources:
https://www2.census.gov/prod2/popscan/p60-066.pdf
https://eh.net/encyclopedia/hours-of-wo ... s-history/
https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/central.html
http://www.1960sflashback.com/1968/Economy.asp
http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1968.html
https://www.blogthings.com/whathappened ... esult=1968
https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/an ... ?t=ptb0810 ($0.023/kWh electricty cost in 1968)
https://mediaroom.kbb.com/2018-02-01-Av ... -Blue-Book
https://www.thehomesdirect.com/blog/ave ... tured-home (New homes cost $107.18/ft^2 today)
https://247wallst.com/special-report/20 ... re-born/6/ (Average new home was 1665 sq ft in 1968)
https://www.rentcafe.com/blog/rental-ma ... nt-report/ (average rent 2018 is $1,419)
https://www.eia.gov/electricity/monthly ... epmt_5_6_a ($0.1225/kWh electricity in 2018)
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/c ... ted+States (cost of bread, gasoline, eggs, movie tickets, and milk today)
https://www.gobankingrates.com/saving-m ... re-born/#2 (cost of college in 2018 and 1968)
https://www.thebalance.com/causes-of-ri ... ts-4064878 (Health insurance costs)
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby tire » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 08:09:52

The_Toecutter wrote: I'm an electrical engineer with 9 years of experience. I've been unemployed for more than a year


I agree with much of what you said in your long post.
But I have to wonder regarding your employment opportunities. I'm in the business myself and I see a brutal competition between companies snatching up any half-way decent candidate walking into their corporate building.

You must have a very narrow field of expertise or you're living in some remote farm town?
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 11:37:36

tire wrote:But I have to wonder regarding your employment opportunities. I'm in the business myself and I see a brutal competition between companies snatching up any half-way decent candidate walking into their corporate building.


Perhaps that's the tactic I need to take then. Most of my efforts have been sending online applications.

You must have a very narrow field of expertise or you're living in some remote farm town?


I have 9 years of experience designing circuits for the utility industry, which entailed use of AutoCAD for drawing the circuits and various other software to run structural and electrical simulations on construction items and produce coordination studies and one-line diagrams.

I stayed in this field not because it was what I wanted to do, but because once I was in it, I couldn't get anyone to hire me for anything else. Out of college, I took the job I could get, and didn't wait around to get picked for my dream job, due to financial necessity. Even though I excelled at this career, it was excruciatingly boring work for me, since I went into engineering with the desire to work with electric vehicles. I've tried to branch out during that time to little avail. During that career, I got one decent raise about 3 years in without raises elsewise, and another by changing companies(the new company never gave raises in the 3 years I worked there), and that is all, in spite of consistently being a top performer according to the productivity report. Adjusting for inflation(especially the cost of food, insurance, and rent), it is almost as if I made less money with 9 years experience than I did starting out.

In my spare time, I've built an electric car conversion that is currently 90% complete(runs and drives, put together during vacations from work) in addition to having built a velomobile that I currently use for transportation. The money I set aside to finish both of them as well as what I was setting aside for a doomstead was instead used to save my mom's house from foreclosure(she's unable to walk or work, too young for SS, and has too much assets for disability). Once I find a job, I will finish them both(the velomobile was also meant to be electric) and start building up that doomstead fund again.

I live in a large city. I've applied to literally hundreds of engineering firms. Getting an interview as a result of applying is about a 1 in 200 event. If I can't find some kind of income source, I'm going to end up homeless. It wouldn't be the first time, but it will suck if it happens again especially given that when I was first homeless, I had money saved up and could shower at the gym in the building where I worked, which is a totally different world than being homeless and broke.
Last edited by The_Toecutter on Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:17:06, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby rockdoc123 » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:02:36

Perhaps that's the tactic I need to take then. Most of my efforts have been sending online applications.


been quite a while since I was in "the game" but for many years I interviewed young geoscientists and engineers looking for work in the oil industry. I would end up with a high graded stack of resumes on my desk with the much larger stack having been sorted by an HR person previously. What I found when I asked to look at the rejected resumes was that although many were frivolous applications there were some that were discarded simply because the HR person didn't know what they were looking at. HR folks are not rocket scientists generally, they have been trained to look for a certain style of resume and reject others given they don't have a hope of evaluating someone's background. As a consequence, you might be very qualified for a particular job but because your resume was either old-style or didn't fit the new idea of what a resume should look like you would be discarded early on with your resume having never made it to the people who actually do the hiring.

Networking is your best friend. You need to find a way to do that. Professional organizations are helpful, Linkedin is a great online source to help with that to some extent. Most hiring these days for professionals is done through the "I know someone who might be interested" framework. I can't remember how many times we would get a ream of resumes for a particular position but when it was all said and done end up hiring someone who had not been part of the resume submission cycle but had come to use through contacts.

When I was choosing staff what I looked for was someone with a sound background including schooling and some work experience but the main thing I was looking for was energy, desire and the recognition that they didn't know everything and there was a lot to learn but they were eager to do that. To get that across to someone you need to be in front of them. I was also particularly impressed by those who had recognized an opportunity to learn something new that although related to their field could help to expand their abilities in an ever-changing environment. Some had taken courses at the university or through a professional organization just to achieve this...that shows drive and ambition.

The bad news is it is tough out there I'm sure, the good news is you have probably been going about this the wrong way which means there is great opportunity to improve your chances by tweaking your approach. Good luck.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby tire » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:03:59

The_Toecutter wrote:designing circuits for the utility industry,

That's not my area of expertise. I have no idea how the market looks like in the high power electrical field. I can imagine that your opportunities are mostly with electrical installers of factories and big construction projects. Although this work is important, not something I would consider exciting.

I stayed in this field not because it was what I wanted to do, but because once I was in it, I couldn't get anyone to hire me for anything else.

Yes. I've seen that many times. People get suckered into a comfortable, yet very narrow expertise position. And once that job's gone it becomes extremely difficult to transition to something new.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:28:24

tire wrote:Yes. I've seen that many times. People get suckered into a comfortable, yet very narrow expertise position. And once that job's gone it becomes extremely difficult to transition to something new.


Any ideas on what to do? I have other engineering skills. I fucking designed an electric car when I was 17, the main barrier to completion this entire time having been money:

Image
Image
Image
Image

The above pics are 5 years old.

I've applied to various firms that were building these vehicles from college onward, and have heard nothing.

I'm beginning to think I'd have been better off if I avoided college and the years of my life wasted paying off the debt that accompanied it, dropped out of high school to sell dope to finance the prototype, and drove it over to Tesla or some other firm to ask them to hire me. But, what's done is done, and there's no do-overs.
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Newfie » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 12:34:12

Toe Cutter,

I sent you a PM.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby The_Toecutter » Mon 29 Jul 2019, 13:18:24

Newfie wrote:Toe Cutter,

I sent you a PM.


Reply sent, even though it says it's still in my Outbox.
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sat 03 Aug 2019, 18:05:39

The_Toecutter wrote:Living standards in the U.S. have declined in quite a pronounced manner from when my parents came of age.

Americans today are nowhere near as wealthy in a material sense as previous generations.

You can't reasonably just make flat statements like that.

There are many things that are WAY cheaper than they were several decades ago, in real dollar terms. Others, like medical care and education have had high rates of inflation.

Does said American live in a small town with a very low cost of living, or in a major metropolis with a very high cost of living? The "affordability" of such places can differ by a factor of 5 or even 10, depending on one's "expectations".

Just because outfits like "Shadowstats" make wild claims, it doesn't mean they're true. There are SEVERAL ways to measure unemployment, such as U3 or U6. Guess what -- they're not all the same, and it's not a conspiracy.

People who I know who are running small businesses like restaurants are having trouble finding reliable help -- because there are so many places hiring.

I live in a pretty humdrum top 100 city in the US. So, are the stats all "a conspiracy", or do top engineering jobs perhaps require modern educations, and do most corporations perhaps ignore middle aged folks more than is optimal?

One thing I certainly don't envy working age people for these days is how relatively tough the job market is for well paying jobs in corporations, and how fast the employment market changes.

Despite all the calls for the stats people like doomers don't like being a "conspiracy" for decades now, I think in the US, most government stats while clearly imperfect, are reasonable, given their definitions, and that they have corrective mechanisms and DO correct as better data comes in.
Given the track record of the perma-doomer blogs, I wouldn't bet a fast crash doomer's money on their predictions.
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Re: Corporate earnings up again

Unread postby asg70 » Sun 04 Aug 2019, 09:42:56

The_Toecutter wrote:I've applied to various firms that were building these vehicles from college onward, and have heard nothing.


Toecutter, you just missed the boat on this.

People used to convert old cars to electric because there weren't any mass-produced EVs. These conversions acted as ambassadors for electric car advocacy which is why organizations would sometimes award grants. This was during the whole "Who Killed the Electric Car" era.

But even a first gen Volt has as much all-electric range as most of these lead-sled conversions, with far better safety and creature-comforts. So the cost-benefit analysis simply doesn't work anymore. The cheapest way to go all-electric is to buy a second hand Volt or Leaf. Over time the used market will get more and more attractive to those on the cheap who don't mind planning their life around BEVs with limited range. Plenty of "compliance cars" (eGolf, Fiat 500e, etc...) will trickle down that still offer an experience that, back in the day, would have amazed those who were in love with their EV1 leases.

There is still a small niche for converting old cars but it's more a case of well-heeled classic car collectors who want to absolve themselves of eco-guilt hence they stick in an AC motor with lithium and all the goodies. But lead-sled shade-tree conversions are relegated to eccentrics who are in it for the DIY aspect.

I had an old car myself that I was planning to convert. But that was back when I thought 2008 was "the big one" and the idea of rolling around in an antique lead-sled was more appealing than ponying up to $10+/gallon gasoline. Well, we know how everything played out, don't we? The sky didn't fall and BEVs started ramping up the adoption curve. So I gave my old car away to a collector/mechanic who has given it one last lease on life as a gas car.

The_Toecutter wrote:what's done is done, and there's no do-overs.


Life is nothing but a series of decisions and dealing with their consequences.

The other thing I learned from this whole exercise is that gas bills are NOT as big a factor on personal finances as peakers once suggested. Rent, groceries, and especially health insurance, are the biggies, and these are not really impacted by gas prices that much (yes even groceries). We didn't see food prices skyrocket when oil was $100+ a gallon. The closest we saw to a real peak oil impact was the airlines teetering towards bankruptcy but most air travel is unnecessary (like Plant's).

So while I'm happy to be off gasoline, I don't simplistically view myself as being "home free" from peak oil doom. I still have to pay the damn car off, for instance. And I have a mortgage, etc...

The whole EV fad reflected a gross oversimplification of peak oil vulnerability and what cosntitutes necessary preps. It's something peakers should do, but it is not the be all end all.

HALL OF SHAME:
-Short welched on a bet and should be shunned.
-Frequent-flyers should not cry crocodile-tears over climate-change.
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