It is sad that students today spend so much on an Aviation degree, only to find a job paying less than minimum wage to fly. Why do we do it? Because of the love of flying, and at one time, not so distant, an airline job was coveted. But this was also a time when no airline executive made more than a Senior Captain. An airline Captain could own 3 airplanes, a Piper Cub, a Cessna 172 on leaseback to further the future aspiring airline pilot, and a twin Comanche. No more, airline executives and all executives are pilfering on the backs of hard working Americans. There was a time when greed wasn't good, and the middle class had opportunities. When a college degree, service to the military, and obtaining a good flying job meant something. Not anymore, until we airline pilots say enough, we will continue to be devalued as a National asset.
We safely fly millions, and our proficiency and the depandability of our flying machines have made our career undesirable. Time to take matters into our own hands, and the kids willing to work for 18K a year need to say, no, I will forgo flying for a Mesa, Eagle or Pinnacle for a job at McDonald's. But the problem with that is, there might be some other countries citizens that will fly for a lot less.
If we can change the age 65 rule, we as pilots, can change our pay scale. Sully needs to be our spokesperson. In one of his speeches, he said, "Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger Speaks to Congress - Stresses Need for Better Pay and Conditions in Industry to Retain Good Pilots"
Oh and fyi, Steve, thousands of people saw the tech bubble and the housing bubble coming. I cashed in my Nasdaq portfolio in 1997 (and built a second home with the money) and have not invested in stocks since, a sucker's game for street-level investors whose only purpose is to be sacrificial lambs.
Same with the housing bubble. Everyone I knew thought it was crazy and sure to collapse. Except maybe the dumbest and greediest who tend to close their eyes to common sense.
A young fellow I know, a recent graduate of a state university in Texas with a degree in Chemical Engineering, started at a big oil company last year at $80,000. Now at $100,000. My daughter, graduating from a state university with an electrical engineering degree has accepted a job with a large computer company for $65,000 a year. Another daughter got hired by a hospital right out of college as a nutritionist. Each case, technical degrees, something marketable. Until, of course, the jobs are moved to China. Hey Cessna, SkyCatcher, why? Retired airline here. I would love to encourage that but honestly I cannot. Took me into my 30s in aviation to make half the kind of money these kids are starting out with.
Just wondering, Bill Sterling. How exactly is Mr. Thiel trying to "solve" the economic crisis? Other then encouraging impressionable young people to believe that gaining education and knowledge is not one of the worthwhile and important things in life?
And how exactly is he putting "his" money on the line? Do you know what hedge funds are? They are casino gambling with derivatives, which brought down our financial system. Problem with derivatives is they are leverage. Borrowed money. And who pays in the end? How much public money has Fed chief Ben Bernanke funneled to the banks and other underwater financial institutions under Quantitative Easing and QE 2? It is in the trillions.
All these casino gamblers whose Ponzi scheme inevitably collapsed are being bailed out by me and you. How do you like them apples? Too bad people continue to believe the Kool Aid that is being passed around.
I'm an aerospace engineer currently working in turbine engine design. I hold a commercial ticket with IR and multi-engine, 1000 hrs in command. I agree that hard science education is badly needed. Problem is that even engineers are having a hard go of it because our industrial economy has been offshored int eh last 20 years.
Why is Cessna making planes in China? Same reason that GE just built a $3 billion plant in China to make light bulbs, and light bulbs made in America are now a part of history. This evening when you turn on your Chinese made light bulb, give a silent prayer of thanks to Jeffery Immelt, GE CEO and Obama's "Jobs Czar," for creating all those jobs in China.
Why do Immelt and other CEOs do this? Because this is what billionaire investors like Buffet and Thiel demand. They demand the most return for their billions. If Immelt does not deliver he does not get his hundred million bonuses. That is how our system works.
Same with the politicians who are bought and paid for by the billionaire class. They have to jump when Wall Street says jump. And the people? Well try explaining to the veteran coming home without legs why he has to buy his own crutches. There just isn't enough money to go around son. You see we have to cut unnecessary benefits, including VA of course. don't want to make the billionaires angry, now do we?
I would tell you to count your blessings that you are working as an engineer with a good pay and decent job security. Don't look over your shoulder though. I know dozens of engineers who have been "downsized" so that a foreign engineer brought in on a work visa and making one quarter the salary can take his place. I know companies where you have to train your own foreign replacement as part of your severance pay conditions.
So just keep agreeing with Mr. Thiel. If and when you are asked to train your replacement, be sure to thank him.
Supply and demand is an economic theory, not a law of nature. And economics is a social science, like sociology and anthropology (pre-Columbian pottery), not a natural science like math and physics.
So here you are trashing social sciences, yet your argument is based on social science. A little confused, are we?
The problem is not supply and demand or any other economic theory, but the fact that we have allowed greed to take over and our industrial economy to be dismantled and offshored by the billionaires who call the shots. There are over half a million foreign engineers and technicians in the US on H1B work visas.
Why? Is this supply and demand? Each and every one of these has directly replaced an American. Let's just put aside the question of the impact on these half million individuals and their families. What about the impact on their communities? What about the impact on the government's tax base when these highly skilled individuals earning $100,000 a year are replaced by a guy from India who is working for $25,000? Who does this hurt? It hurts everyone.
And what about all these young folks who choose a liberal arts education? Now we are supposed to believe that this is a waste of time and money because some billionaire parasite says so.
I took a liberal arts degree before I went into engineering. I am glad I did. It's called having a well-rounded education. Society needs historians, psychologists, teachers, and yes, even anthropologists. All of these professions are needed and all of the young graduates should be able to find jobs. The only thing we don't need is more billionaire parasites who are wrecking our country.
Socal, do you not understand the simple fact that the entire discipline of economics is a SOCIAL SCIENCE?
Supply and demand is not a law and has absolutely nothing to do with nature, or natural science. Look I am taking exception to this because it is important that we have definitions and boundaries in science---and in other disciplines for that matter.
Go to wikipedia entry for supply and demand. The very first sentence is: "Supply of and demand is an economic MODEL (my emphasis) of price determination in a market."
Common sense tells us that supply and demand can be controlled very easily by humans, unlike natural laws which are immutable. This is proven fact in a monopoly market, or an oligopoly. What kind of market do we have? How many choices do you have for utilities, communications services, banking, etc? Is there any substantive difference between those choices?
So you are saying it is okay for GE and other big oligopolists to give pink slips to half a million engineers, because they can bring in workers from India to do their jobs? That is supply and demand in your definition?
Or is that really going around the domestic labor market, and its supply and demand which was perfectly in balance previously, because the government lets them do that. And the government lets them do that because they have the money and they put those "elected" government officials in there through campaign contributions?
And now those engineers making $100,000 a year are "distorting" things? Please explain how they are the ones distorting things, not the big corporations who have decided to move their factories to India and China and bring in replacement engineers and technicians for the shell companies that are left here?
And what does this lead to? Do you want to try to think this through? Go visit the towns that used to have industry and good paying jobs? What do they look like now? A lot of people who used to make good money now unemployed or working at McDonalds part time. Maybe holding down a couple of more part time jobs at Walmart and some other such outfit.
What has this done for the tax base of those communities? Do you not realize that local and state government's are in a huge crisis because their tax base has evaporated? Go and visit some of these towns and tell the local folks who have been turned into paupers how wonderful supply and demand is.
Meantime, GE now employs 15,000 workers in China. Thousands of foreign engineers on H1B visas stateside. This is nothing less than carpet bombing of the American economy and tearing up the fabric of this country.
That is a free market and supply and demand to you? I'm glad you are enjoying it because there is a lot more to come. Only don't hold your breath for that pendulum to start swinging back.