The end of middle class growth: What it means for the future of work, family, and the economy — from theatlantic.com by Jonathan Rauch
There is no modern precedent for America’s stalled middle class — or for the double detachment from work and marriage among low-earning men. So, what do we do now?

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Infographic

 

 

Excerpt:

With the public’s continued focus on value and affordability, higher education finds itself at a critical juncture. Cost pressures and increased global demand for access have given rise to innovations that have unleashed new delivery models into the education marketplace. Such innovation is required if universities are to thrive, compete, and bring new relevance and meaning to the value of college in the 21st century.

Also see:

  • Americans believe higher education must innovate — from Northeastern News
  • President: Witt must adapt to survive — from springfieldnewssun.com by Tom Stafford
    Excerpt:
    Liberal arts colleges that ignore market realities “absolutely won’t exist in the next decade,” Wittenberg University President Laurie M. Joyner told Springfield Rotarians on Monday.  But the practical or applied liberal arts education that she predicts can sustain Wittenberg will encourage deeper connections with Springfield, she said while speaking at the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center, because “our students learn better when dealing with real-world problems.” A shrinking pool of price-sensitive high school graduates has combined with a bad economy to produce “the equivalent of a perfect storm for some of us,” said Joyner, who succeeded Mark Erickson on July 1.
  • Surviving disruption — from hbr.og by Maxwell Wessel and Clayton M. Christensen
    Excerpt:
    …to meet disrupters with disruption of their own, but also to guide their legacy businesses toward as healthy a future as possible.
  • Sanjay Sarma appointed as MIT’s first director of digital learning — from MIT by Steve Bradt
    Mechanical engineering professor will shepherd efforts to integrate elements of online education into traditional MIT courses.

From DSC:
Experimentation. Innovation. Experimentation. Innovation. Fail. Fail. Succeed. Fail. Succeed. Fail. 

 

Executing on Mary Meeker’s Vision for America: USA Inc. — from readwrite.com by Michael Tchong

Excerpt:

In true Meeker style, USA Inc. is a meticulously crafted, chart-heavy presentation. This one, though, paints a bleak picture. Most startling: America’s entitlement costs accounted for 56% of spending in fiscal 2011, 40 years ago it was just 25%. Here is more food for thought:

  • Expenses have exceeded revenue in all but five of the past 47 years.
  • 1 in 50 Americans needed Medicaid when it was created in 1965. Today, 1 in 6 do.
  • Unfunded and underfunded entitlement liabilities now total $66 trillion.

 

 Also see:

 

Tagged with:  

To students studying Business, Economics, Religion, Political Science, and Philosophy:

 


Please consider — and research/define where necessary — the following items occurring in the United States today. 

The fiscal cliff.
The U.S. debt limit.
Federal spending vs. revenue.
Printing money and it’s potential impact on inflation.
Recent election results.
A global economy; global competition.
The place/role of money.
Race against the machine; also see this posting.
Matthew 6:19-34.

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Then, please discuss/answer the following questions:


  1. What makes our debt risky? On a national level? On the money and banking level? On a personal level?
  2. What are your thoughts about the following items:
  3. What implications do you see in these items? Will they be impacting you and/or your future?
    • Are there political ramifications for this?
    • Are there spiritual ramifications for this?
  4. Could the U.S. be heading for trouble? If you say yes, what support do you have for this assertion? If you say no, what do you support your argument with?
  5. Do you think we are a divided nation? What support do you have for this perspective?
  6. What characteristics of leadership would you most like to see at this point in time?
  7. After reading Matthew 6:19-34:
    • If you, personally, lost everything you had, what would that do to you emotionally? Physically? Spiritually? That is, if our savings completely dried up, what would life be like for us as a society? What would that do to our hearts?  To our perspectives/worldviews/priorities? How we choose to spend our time? What would it do to our view of God?  To our view of ourselves?

 


Some other resources to consider:


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fiscal cliff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Digital Revolution’s Winners And Losers — from Information Week by John Foley
Workers with in-demand digital skills benefit most as computers increasingly take over
everyday tasks. In this InformationWeek 500 video, MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson discusses
how this trend could affect your enterprise.

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From DSC:
I agree with Erik that a large swath of people are being left behind, mainly because of technological changes and the pace of those changes. Again I ask, can you hear the engines roar?  How can we re-train folks to take advantage of the 3+million open jobs out there? How can we reinvent ourselves as quickly as possible?
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The pace has changed -- don't come onto the track in a Model T
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Addendums:
  • Andrew McAfee: Are droids taking our jobs?
    Robots and algorithms are getting good at jobs like building cars, writing articles, translating — jobs that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee walks through recent labor data to say: We ain’t seen nothing yet. But then he steps back to look at big history, and comes up with a surprising and even thrilling view of what comes next.
  • America’s jobs gap: 9 million — from cnn.com by Tami Luhby

Book description:

Wired magazine editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson takes you to the front lines of a new industrial revolution as today’s entrepreneurs, using open source design and 3-D printing, bring manufacturing to the desktop.  In an age of custom-fabricated, do-it-yourself product design and creation, the collective potential of a million garage tinkerers and enthusiasts is about to be unleashed, driving a resurgence of American manufacturing.  A generation of “Makers” using the Web’s innovation model will help drive the next big wave in the global economy, as the new technologies of digital design and rapid prototyping gives everyone the power to invent — creating “the long tail of things”.

Also see:

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3d Printing by Freedom of Creation Monarch Stools in situ How 3D Printing is Disrupting Mainstream Manufacturing Processes

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dropout-nation/

U.S. debt $417 billion below the debt ceiling — from CNN.com by Jeanne Sahadi

Excerpt:

The debt ceiling is currently set at $16.394 trillion. At the end of August, the amount of debt subject to that limit — which excludes certain types of debt was $15.977 trillion, roughly $417 billion below the cap. Since the government typically borrows between $100 billion and $125 billion a month, that means it’s on track to hit the ceiling sometime in December. But the Treasury Department will likely be able to use “extraordinary measures” to keep the debt just below the legal limit for a couple of months.

Bottom line:
Congress will likely need to raise the ceiling in early 2013 or Treasury will risk defaulting on the country’s legal obligations by failing to pay all of its bills in full and on time.

From DSC:
At some point, if we don’t turn things around, the vast majority of our tax dollars will go to pay for interest on our debt…and. nothing. else.

 

More than 16 million U.S. children currently live in food insecure households, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). These families too often confront a painful choice—pay bills, provide shelter, or put food on the table. To address this increasing need, nonprofits, foundations, government, and corporations must work together to make sure more children have access to the safety net programs that can provide them with the food they need to thrive.

 

—  Collaboration and Partnerships: The Path to Ending Child Hunger
Neil Nicoll, YMCA of the USA – Posted August 27, 2012

Also see:

 

The middle class falls further behind -- part of the perfect storm for higher ed in the US

 

From DSC:
Along with a host of other trends, this is a piece of the perfect storm in higher ed. People will find a way to make a living — whether this involves “traditional” higher education or not. From a career development side of things, robotics may make these graphics even more pronounced as jobs move from being done by humans to jobs being done by robots.

Also see:

 

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Addendums:

 

The decline of US manufacturing jobs and living standards — from bbc.co.uk by Jonny Dymond BBC News, Michigan

Excerpt:

For decades America’s vibrant manufacturing sector provided poorly educated workers a bridge to the middle class. But today’s plants need highly skilled workers who know their way around ultra-high tech machinery.

From DSC:
While manufacturing levels are back up, unemployment rates continue (McAfee, 8/8/12 –> “But new manufacturing facilities in America and elsewhere today don’t need large numbers of hard-working-but-unskilled workers; they need small numbers of hard-working-and-highly-skilled ones.”).

I have a feeling the middle class is going to continue to shrink here in America, unless we can reinvent ourselves. But reinventing ourselves requires that people learn about new things — something much more feasible if people like to learn. 

Upon graduating high school, do our students like to learn? Upon graduating college, do your students enjoy learning about new things? If not, how can we make learning more engaging and enjoyable?  That’s imporant these days because there”s no more hopping on the corporate bandwagon for 40 years and then retiring with a nice pension/401(K) plan.  All of us will need to “go back to our drawing boards” many times during our lifetimes now.

 Also see:

 

 


Below are but a few examples that focus on money — is it any wonder that Jesus talked so much about this very subject!?!
(Second only to talking about the kingdom of heaven.)


 

 

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Addendum on 7/23/12:

  • Wealthy hiding $21 trillion in tax havens, report says — from cbcnews
    ‘Debtor countries’ are actually wealthy when hidden money is accounted for

    Excerpt:

    The “super-rich elite” are hiding more than $21 trillion US in tax havens around the world, an amount roughly equal to the combined GDP of the United States and Japan, according to a new report.

Internet Trends -- Mary Meeker's 5-30-12 presentation at D10 Conference

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© 2021 | Daniel Christian