The Whatever's on Your Mind Megathread

1464946504652465446554657

Comments

  • edited May 10

    Aw come on man, cut Microsoft and their investors some slack, yes Microsoft may be worth three trillion US Dollars, and be one of the most powerful companies in the world, but they're just like us, really. Those poor investors barely have two cents to rub together, so Microsoft had to do a little layoff here and there, just a little one, a tiny one, one that nobody would even notice, to keep investors happy. We should be celebrating and worshipping them because they are better than us mere plebs, and they'll make more money as a result. Praised be! /s

    AronDracula posted: »

    Do I even need to remind you that Hello Games, being an indie studio, kept improving No Man's Sky with FREE updates for 8 years and did NOT

  • You did have me in the first half, not gonna lie.

    Aw come on man, cut Microsoft and their investors some slack, yes Microsoft may be worth three trillion US Dollars, and be one of the most p

  • edited May 10

    As someone who has invested through S&P 500 and total market funds in all of my retirement and investment accounts, of which Microsoft makes up a significant amount of those portfolios, and determines whether or not I am retiring in my 50's or 70's, forgive me if I do actually care about Microsoft's actual performance and retaining profitability, over some game developers. These funds cover 80% of my portfolio for each account, a failure of Microsoft would absolutely have a detrimental effect on them.

    Does it suck, absolutely, I feel bad for them and am pissed it off it caused the closure of these studios. Perhaps other things could have been done to avoid it and ensure the health of the company. But being so reckless and careless, and having a mentality of "oh, we'll just get bailed out" is such a horrible way to view it, and I pray you aren't that wasteful with your own money and that irresponsible with it. And it takes companies years to come back from something like this, it's not an immediate panacea. GM still deals with the effects of their failure, and many companies and people suffered from it

    It's not just the Bill Gates and the millionaire/billionaire investors. It's people like me, my parents, my co-workers, my neighbors, my friends, who need it. We have money invested with them, so it does behoove them to have a stable financial ground to keep that money flowing in. And even if they get bailed out, a Microsoft failure would have detrimental impacts on the economy, one that would hook the taxpayer and regular individuals. Just because it's a big company doesn't mean they are hugely profitable. Revenue does not mean profits. A billion dollar company can easily be less profitable then a million dollar company. It would not just be Microsoft that suffers, it would be every single individual, company, and service that utilized them.

    Two things can be true at once. It can absolutely be greed at the hands of Uber wealthy executives. It can also absolutely be for the financial health of a company that billions rely on for a multitude of reasons, and if something fails that causes millions to pull their money from the company, then it causes stagnation, financial insecurity, more job losses, shrinking of the economy and revenue, and various other outcomes that would not be desirable.

    Aw come on man, cut Microsoft and their investors some slack, yes Microsoft may be worth three trillion US Dollars, and be one of the most p

  • edited May 10

    But they literally aren't going to fail though, they literally can't, they could go on a reckless spending spree and leave themselves heavily in the red, and they absolutely would be bailed out. The type of company Microsoft is, they'll fluctuate, they'll be in the shits for a while and they'll go back in the green, they'll report profits, as is the way, while several real people, people like you and me, are thrown out like a used condom. And in regards to America itself, there are many a job that's tied to health insurance, lose the job, you will lose the insurance, so God forbid they take a dive one day while out for a walk, or something bad happens, and they need to go to hospital and if they aren't turned away at the door for not having health insurance, they're made to pay ludicrous amounts to just be treated, and then get slammed with a hefty hospital bill for having the audacity to experience physical pain.

    In regards to my comment, forgive me if it comes across like I'm having a go at all investors, I'd say honestly I'm having a go at the big dogs, those who possess the most pull, or those who are rather unsympathetic to those who lost their jobs. Given Microsoft is a publicly traded company, I really don't have all that much issue with the general public investing, I have a friend with stocks in Apple amongst other publicly traded companies, I don't take issue with him engaging in the practice. In saying that, I don't think there are too many people that invest in public trading unless they have the financial means to potentially part ways with the money that they are willing to invest, it's essentially glorified gambling in that sense. That is not some sleight towards you, but that's pretty much what trading is at its core.

    You mentioned you have a personal stake in Microsoft as you own shares, with the intention of funding your retirement, to which I say, good for you, I hope that you get to retire early and not have to be excessively worked to line someone else's pockets. But I'll say, the desire to invest in publicly traded companies in order to bolster your financial security later in life, kind of points out how much more could be done on the employers front to accommodate you for that, like better pay, so you can live a life with the means to do the things you want to do, a better work-life balance, cultivating a healthy environment of work for your own health and well-being, I'm not judging you for investing, do as you please, but the fact you feel the need to invest, and honestly, you were smart to invest in a company that is so safe, that won't be going anywhere, but the fact you feel the need to invest the money you have now in order to have a better life for yourself decades down the line, it seems to me that more could be done for you so you can enjoy life now to the fullest extent, without carrying a single worry or doubt in your mind over your financial security in the form of stocks.

    But back to the topic at hand, I take issue with the more wealthy investors, that do have a much louder voice, that can dictate where things go, even if that direction means cutting people loose.

    Even looking at Microsoft's performance in stocks over the past five days, they did take a dip around the time they announced layoffs, but it has risen a fair bit since then. So they're doing okay according to the market, and for their fiscal report for 2023, in revenue, they made $211 billion, a record for them, and $88 billion in operating income, that information is something they've disclosed themselves, does it really seem like they're strapped for cash, or that the decision to lay off staff, not just with these recent layoffs, but the 1,900 they laid off in January this year was a reasonable or necessary one? That they genuinely had no other options but to do that?

    And I agree, such a thing like a Microsoft bailout would be detrimental to the economy, on a global scale too, and it is the average Joe that suffers and pays that cost for said bailout, I take massive issue with that too, I'm not advocating for the working class to take it on the chin, I am directly opposed to that in its entirety. And yeah I think Microsoft probably should have examined other ways of managing their money before giving into the almost instinctive nature of the gaming and technological industry to lay off staff.

    But they are hugely profitable, it's literally a three trillion dollar company, what kind of company is worth that much and doesn't generate profits? We aren't talking about millions or billions, Microsoft are worth literally trillions, they are in a scarcely populated league. If Xbox were to fail, which let's be honest, it looks like it is well on its way in regards to reputation and such, as saddening as that is for me as an Xbox user for more than 15 years, Microsoft does have a wide array of other products, other avenues for income, would they take a big hit if they closed up shop on Xbox? Yes, of course, they've heavily invested in it, so much so that execs at Microsoft take issue with the open chequebook that the Xbox division has been handed, but Microsoft has Surface computers, Microsoft Azure (which Sony uses), Windows, LinkedIn, so many different products, services, apps that generate money for them, that they literally can't, and won't buckle, so my general point is that the idea of them, being as lucrative as they are, that they feel that they just had no choice whatsoever but to tell staff they no longer had a job, and shutter several studios that provided ample opportunity for them to enrich their Game Pass service in the form of moderate size and budget games, it's laughable, and lacking in any humanity, and that is directed solely at the management at Microsoft, I don't care about them, they sure don't care about us, and they surely didn't care about the staff that they kicked to the curb and developed content that made them money, it's rather ungrateful, a total lack of appreciation for those who make money for the Xbox division. Microsoft is financially healthy, and they will continue to be long into the future, so to me, I don't believe that to be true for a second, that they're looking to remain financially healthy, given all of the information that's readily available from Microsoft, their fiscal reports, they aren't stuck financially, let's just call it for what it is, corporate greed.

    Microsoft will be in the shit for a bit, and they will bounce back, because they always do, because they are such a big company, they will continue to be around, and if it ever occured that they declared bankruptcy or accumulated several billions in debt, we both know that slate would be wiped clean in a heartbeat, they cannot fail, because the economy itself won't allow it to fail. It's not a free market when they edge towards total monopolization of the various markets they're involved in, they literally control the market, or at least, have a massive hand in dictating the markets. Authoritative forces are so willing to accommodate Microsoft, why can't Microsoft accommodate their workforce within their many divisions? If they can't, they're a terrible employer, if they won't, they're terrible people. People come before profit, profit can't be made unless people are there to provide a service or product to sell in order to make a profit. If anything, this whole fiasco shows how important unionisation is, so people don't get shafted by the people up top that receive the money that the workers generate from their labour.

    As someone who has invested through S&P 500 and total market funds in all of my retirement and investment accounts, of which Microsoft m

  • It would be a very drastic U-turn from me if I was serious :joy:

    AronDracula posted: »

    You did have me in the first half, not gonna lie.

  • Aw come on man, cut Microsoft and their investors some slack, yes Microsoft may be worth three trillion US Dollars, and be one of the most powerful companies in the world, but they're just like us, really.

    Bill Gates agrees 😎👍

    Aw come on man, cut Microsoft and their investors some slack, yes Microsoft may be worth three trillion US Dollars, and be one of the most p

  • I just came to read the comments while eating dinner :p

  • edited May 11

    But they literally aren't going to fail though, they literally can't, they could go on a reckless spending spree and leave themselves heavily in the red, and they absolutely would be bailed out.

    But why should they? You're complaining about them laying people off, and then argue for a mentality that would inevitably cause them to fire more people. Reckless and irresponsible spending, regardless of how big or small your business is, is a sure fire way to cut off the money flow from all angles. Whether it's consumer revenue, or investments. A company's performance helps determine if they can get this or that loan, more investors, which enables them to do certain projects, ventures, and products. All companies have a central responsibility to make money for their shareholders, it ensures the longevity of the business. Just because you can get bailed out, doesn't mean you should. Just because you have car insurance, doesn't mean you should be street racing.

    I don't think there are too many people that invest in public trading unless they have the financial means to potentially part ways with the money that they are willing to invest, it's essentially glorified gambling in that sense.

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    About 58% of U.S. households owned stocks in 2022, according to the Federal Reserve’s survey of consumer finances released this fall. That is up from 53% in 2019 and marks the highest household stock-ownership rate recorded in the triennial survey. The cohort includes families holding individual shares directly and those owning stocks indirectly through funds, retirement accounts or other managed accounts.

    Most households own stocks through a retirement account, such as a 401(k), but more Americans in the past few years have invested in individual shares directly. Direct stock ownership increased to 21% of families in 2022 from 15% in 2019—the largest increase on record since the survey began in 1989.

    Over half of American households have some sort of money invested. Whether that's through their own personal investments (IRA, long/short term investment accounts, 529's, HSA's, etc.) or employee based accounts (401k's, 403b's)

    When you're thinking of investing, you're thinking of the day traders, the ones who watch the ticker constantly and are spending their entire day buying or selling stocks. I'm talking about the regular people. The ones who dollar cost average their way into wealth, the ones who FIRE (financial independence, retire early), the ones who carefully manage their money in all aspects of life. As Thomas Stanley and William Danko put it in their book, The Millionaire Next Door, I'm talking about the prodigious accumulators of wealth (PAW). Investing is not gambling, it's securing your financial future. There have been official studies conducted, and the science is clear. $100 invested every month for 40 years, starting from 25, can turn into $1,176,000 by 65. Investing in an S&P 500 fund (the 500 biggest companies in the US, and yes, Microsoft is one of them) has an average 10% rate of return on investments over 10 years. You underestimate how many people invest and save. And since Microsoft, in my S&P 500 fund, makes up over 7% of that entire fund, the largest share of any company by a significant amount (the next closest is Apple at 5.64%), them being put in a situation where they would be bailed out would be disastrous for my portfolio, and the portfolio of millions of Americans. Investing is not something the likes of Warren Buffett just does, especially now, it's done by the every day person. And if you aren't doing it, you're foregoing your own future.

    But I'll say, the desire to invest in publicly traded companies in order to bolster your financial security later in life, kind of points out how much more could be done on the employers front to accommodate you for that, like better pay, so you can live a life with the means to do the things you want to do, a better work-life balance, cultivating a healthy environment of work for your own health and well-being,

    I do. My company matches 100% of all my 401k contributions up to the first 5%. Meaning if I invest $100 from every paycheck, they give me another $100 free. They give out great health insurance, dental insurance, discounts of auto and renters insurance. Plentiful time off options. A solid structured work environment that allows for a work life balance. All while I still bring home enough money to save in other means, pay my bills, cover my expenses, and still live very comfortably. And this is not some high earning job, it's only about $60k a year. This is also with them taking additional money out of the paycheck to cover taxes (an extra $20 to the IRS so I don't end up owing taxes in the next year). I'm even going on a vacation next week to Milwaukee for a music festival. Oh, and I did all this while paying off my student loan debt ($40K paid back in less than 5 years) and a car ($16k in 2 years). I'm able to do this because I don't spend lavishly. I don't buy the new crappy iPhone every year it comes out. I'm not buying the expensive designer clothes to show off to my friends and people I don't care about. I'm not buying the Mercedes or Tesla. Why? Because I like the simple jeans and a t-shirt. There's nothing wrong with my 3 year old phone. There's nothing wrong with the pre-owned Hyundai I got for $16,000 that I paid off in two years.

    Rich people got to be rich because they adapted this same mentality. The overwhelming majority of America's millionaires are first generation, and they did not get their wealth from daddy, or inheritances. They got it from working, saving, and investing. The studies done on this prove this to be true.

    Of course they're things I want to do. I want to go to Scotland and play the golf courses out there. I want to go to a Metallica concert a couple of states away this summer. I want to get an exact replica of Neil Peart's drum kit. But I don't need them, that's all they are, wants. Would it be cool, sure, but it's not a necessity. The Scotland thing, I'm saving for so I don't put myself into debt. Metallica, I've seen them 10 times, I can wait for another time. The drums, I'm not nearly good enough, so I'm cool with the simple set I have. I'm a disciplined spender, there's very few things I've bought on a whim and said I'll figure it out later. And sure, I'd want more money so I can do some of these things, but lifestyle creep can destroy even the most disciplined people. Any extra money I get, I save. I do Uber Eats delivery once or twice a week, that money goes into a fun/activities fund for a rainy day. And if you think I'm not happy with this lifestyle, of saving and putting away for the future. You're wrong. I'm incredibly happy, because I've been blessed by God. I've been blessed with a father that showed me all of this, and I have taken his lessons and went even further. I'm blessed for what I have right here, right now, and that feeling of gratitude keeps me balanced.

    You treat this like it's a zero sum game, it's not. I can still do most things I want to do, and still know that I'm going to be able to retire before I'm 65. That's honestly how it is for most investors. Your view, I hate to tell you, is wrong and horribly skewed. If you'd like, I could hook you up with some good books or podcasts. The aforementioned Warren Buffett, the Oracle of Omaha, has some great writings from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholder letters, as well as other writings an interviews. Dave Ramsey is one of the most influential podcast and radio hosts in the world on this. Millionaire Next Door, Rich Dad Poor Dad, and The Little Book of Common Sense Investing are all good reads on this. Investing is a tool, it's a means to earn more money and gain security. It doesn't even need to be stocks. Mutual and index funds, dividing up the investment across multiple companies, giving you a bigger cut of the pie. High yield savings accounts, the average right now in America is about 4.9% interest. Bonds are a great one, whether they're treasury, municipal, I, or corporate bonds. Those last two are low risk, you will always get a return on them, hence why they're a smaller part of my portfolio. The smart investor has a balance of all of these. The young 20 year old should have a balance of about 80-20, which gets more conservative as you get closer to retirement, flipping entirely by a certain age.

    So they're doing okay according to the market, and for their fiscal report for 2023, in revenue, they made $211 billion, a record for them, and $88 billion in operating income,

    Revenue is not profit. A company with a billion in revenue, and a company with a million in revenue, the company only making a million could be a more profitable one.

    Why do you think that the overwhelming majority of economists and analysts (47 of 58, again, according to the WSJ) list them as a Buy? Because Microsoft is a stable company with continued demonstrations of growth, of earning profit, and a good return for their investors. A bad quarter here and there, it happens, but a company's response to it and how they manage to perform in spite of unforeseen circumstances, can be the change between a strong Buy, to a hard Sell. Disney recently, according to Marketwatch, saw a 10% drop in their stock price in one day. The reason being, the company reported $752 million in operating income. They expected $800 million. Now, will it stay like that, obviously not. Hell, a smart person would see that and say "Sweet, Disney is on sale" and buy the stock at a cheaper price. It's why companies often do stock splits. But the point is, continued declining performance, failing to meet expectations, you go from a buy to a sell quickly if you don't make changes, and that's billions of dollars lost not just in terms of revenue, but that impacts your funding for R&D projects. That impacts the investors, who will pull money and shift it somewhere else, that's billions more lost. Businesses rarely die immediately, it's the slow death and decay from within that will do it. And by the time it's seen and something is done, it's too late. Case in point, Telltale.

    Microsoft is financially healthy, and they will continue to be long into the future, so to me, I don't believe that to be true for a second, that they're looking to remain financially healthy, given all of the information that's readily available from Microsoft, their fiscal reports, they aren't stuck financially, let's just call it for what it is, corporate greed.

    Oh greed is absolutely a part of it, make no mistake, I'm not denying it. But does the person striving to lose weight and get healthier continue to do the same thing that put them in an unhealthy position to begin with? No, they make changes to themselves. They buy healthier options from the grocery store, they spend on a gym membership instead of spending at Burger King. They eliminate the bad forces and negative factors in their life causing them to be unhealthy, and replace it with new, positive factors to support their lifestyle. And while they may have the cheat day where they get the burger, or don't go to the gym, do they let it become a habit, or is it a one time thing and go right back to work the next day? A business is the same. If they don't show that they are healthy, if profits and revenue do drop because of this, and people start pulling their money, Microsoft needs to show what they're doing to course correct. Surgery is the last resort for anyone, but sometimes, it's the only way to ensure long term viability.

    I've been in those rooms having to fire people. I did it for four years at my old job. My body count is dozens high. I had multiple weeks where I was in HR every day terming someone. That shit sucks, it is one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when it's someone I liked and did good work (the majority were lazy bums, but I still felt bad because many had families or loved ones they cared for). So believe me when I say, as a manager, it does NOT come easy. Making these decisions is tough, and it's not something everyone can and should do. And sometimes, yes, innocents are caught in the crossfire because life isn't fair. But these are the hard decisions that have to be done for a multitude of reasons. The opportunity cost of not doing them is too great and too detrimental. And based on who's making that decision, their perspective will be different because of variables and interpretations that cannot possibly be explained. But these are the decisions that have to be made. Perhaps this wasn't the right call. Maybe they could have cut somewhere else to ensure stability and not tank several companies. Trust me, I hate seeing Arkane Austin go, I loved Prey. But it is what it is.

    I'm not saying this to try and change your mind, I think it's clear we won't see eye to eye on most things. But I respect that about you and why I do enjoy talking to you, you provide a challenge, a way to look at things differently. This is my perspective as someone who has worked in the corporate field and regularly invests and is on track to retire early and be able to enjoy my life without the burden of work sooner than others. I enjoy talking about this stuff, I find it fun.

    But they literally aren't going to fail though, they literally can't, they could go on a reckless spending spree and leave themselves heavil

  • JenniferJennifer Moderator

    Does anyone know of a list of single-emulated ROM images and compilations containing emulated ROM images from retro game consoles/computers that are available to purchase?

    I have a ton of them through mini classic consoles, Game Room for the Windows and Xbox 360 way back when, Steam, GOG, Project EGG, Wii, Wii U, DSi, 3DS, New 3DS and Switch eShops, the Microsoft and PlayStation Stores etc.

    The games I have include both iterations of the Disney Classic Games Collection, Blizzard Arcade Collection, Konami's Anniversary Collection Arcade Classics, most Limited Run Carbon Engine games, the Namco Museum releases on PSOne, the N64 Midway Classics, and the modern Namco Museum and Namco Museum Archives releases, plus the games exclusive to the Japan-exclusive Namcot Collection, Contra Anniversary Collection, both Mega Man Legacy Collection, both Mega Man X Legacy Collection, Castlevania Anniversary Collection, single game Arcade Archives releases, M2's Sega Ages releases, a ton of Evercade cartridges, and a lot more I can't think of off the top of my head.

    I love emulation. I always have since I followed and took part in it in the early days of console emulation in the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s.

    It's no longer niche and that's awesome to me. I really want to support the companies who sell them, but it's hard to determine exactly what's available.

  • The internet has officially rotten my brain.

    It happened yesterday at work. As a plumber I work surprisingly a lot with pipes. This day me and the apprentice were working together. It was an hour or so before the end shift so I decided we do some transport and we call it a day. We work at the magazine now, very big space. Empty at the moment. While I was carrying the big stainless steel pipes I told the guy to carry the smaller and shorter ones, cos he's very young and I don't want him to get injured or something. At one point, don't know how, he dropped those pipes and I was welcomed by precisely the same noise:

    At this point I started laughing like a fucking lunatic. I've watched so many stupid videos using this sound and my brain shut off completely and for the next couple of literal minutes I've been just sitting there on the floor, laughing my ass off with the apprentice looking at me with a concern in his eyes.

    I feel so fucking embarassed...

  • edited May 11

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by why should they, if it's regarding maintaining the wellbeing of staff, providing job security, then it is their duty as an employer, they are obligated to a duty of care for their workforce, Microsoft may be a juggernaut, but they aren't the exception to that rule, being a three trillion dollar company doesn't exempt them from looking after the very workforce that provides goods and services that keeps them in business, it is not the executive level that keeps things moving, the workers are the lifeblood, they are the ones that give Microsoft a reason to exist, if the thousands of Microsoft staff took a notion to just quit tomorrow, they'd be done, I'd have some laugh watching the board of executives and lower tiers of management try their hand at producing the products and providing the services that their workforce does on the daily. I'm not advocating for a bailout in any shape or form, my point on that is that Microsoft is a structurally sound company, a safe investment, that they won't go anywhere, they'll have low points, but they will have plenty of high points. I take great issue with how there is a much bigger emphasis placed on them as a corporation, and their own wellbeing, before the wellbeing of their own staff, that if Microsoft did ever happen to struggle financially in a hypothetical situation, they'll be looked after, their staff however? Whole different ball game, one with much less favourable results.

    A company like Microsoft would have financial forecasters, like most companies would, that would give a rough estimate on earnings and expenditure, which would act as a compass for any major decisions that have to be made down the road, surely Microsoft would have known there was more than one option to take. I'm not saying that those forecasts are always 100% accurate, the weatherman or weatherwoman could forecast a bright sunny day and it could end up being a day full of rain, but it's not too often those forecasts are wrong, and if they are, they aren't off by much, so if they saw that down the line that they may have to lay off staff, rather than toss out the full-time staff on a permanent contract, hire staff on a fixed term contract so those who join know that it's not a forever job, and they can make arrangements after their contract expires.

    That's not a new or foreign concept for Microsoft, they do hire a sizeable amount of staff, interns, on an 18 month fixed term contract, so while there will be a turnover of staff that will continue to exist, it provides staff with a bit of foresight and allows for better planning for what comes next, that is not the case with these layoffs, and it wasn't the case with the Activision|Blizzard layoffs back in January.

    For management to lay off staff, it highlights a failure of management, it indicates that they can't guarantee a secure safety net in the form of work, and when it's prominent in an industry like video games or the broader technological industry, it does little to benefit the wellbeing of the workforce, if they are conscious of the fact that the current status quo means they could easily be out of a job tomorrow even if their employer reported record profits, it doesn't incentivise people to remain in the industry. In the end, it's suddenly taking an individual's life, with their friends, their family, their community, their relationships with colleagues, and tossing it out the window. The part that doesn't make sense to me is how a company can report record profits and still lay off staff due to "market conditions", Microsoft itself does play within the market, but they also set the confines, it's their piece of clay to shape and mould, as it is with Apple and other big companies.

    Xbox President Sarah Bond sat down with Bloomberg and the topic of the layoffs came up, her response? "The news we announced," that is, the closures of studios that make games, are "an outcome of that". A "commitment to make sure the business is healthy for the long-term.One of the things I really love about the games industry is it's a creative artform, and it means that the situation—and what success [means] for each game and studio is also really unique," Bond begins. "There's no 'one-size fits all' to it for us. And so we look at each studio, each game team, and we look at a whole variety of factors when we're faced with making decisions and trade-offs like that."

    Like what even is that response? Hi-Fi Rush accumulated several awards, it was deemed a success by essentially every metric by Aaron Greenberg, VP of Marketing at Xbox, why was Tango Gameworks shuttered and scurried out the door when they gave a successful product that did well? If that's going be chalked up as collateral damage, then I'm sorry, that is a terrible excuse. Microsoft is run by adults, they can speak for themselves, if they can't speak up and be honest, and have to skirt around the issue with word salad, they need to grow a pair and they need to quit acting like a delicate flower that just can't seem to find the words to be truthful and have others do their explaining for them.

    I am well aware revenue itself doesn't equate to profit, I pointed out both the revenue and profits made in Microsoft's 2023 fiscal report to provide a full picture, that they still made a sizeable amount of cash, thanks to their workforce, and their way of thanking them is laying them off, it's like they are saying "Thanks for the money, but we don't need you anymore, clear out your block before the end of the workday", it's inhumane, plain and simple, why that's being overlooked, which it is in my opinion, because of a company's financial health takes precedence over the staff that maintain and enhance the financial health of said company, I fail to understand how it can be labelled as reckless or irresponsible, at the end of the day, we are talking about Microsoft, not the local mom and pop shop that opened down the street that's hiring anyone and everyone that walks through the door. Whether or not they are a publicly traded company, they still have that obligation to look after the staff, and frankly, I think that's of more importance than an obligation to anyone who has invested in them, and given Microsoft's financial capabilities, you and I both know that they can do both, they can look after investors, and look after staff, it but it's the more logical, and more humane choice to look after the people that built the company up and sustain it to the point where it could open as a publicly traded company and allow the opportunity for investors to come in and buy shares. Their hands aren't tied behind their backs, their hands are front and centre counting the sweet sweet money that their staff's work provided.

    As I have said, Microsoft possess the financial means to support their staff, to provide job security, to provide a working environment where people are comfortable, mentally fit to do their work, without worrying over whether or not they'll be sacked in the morning, if they can't provide it, they're a horrible employer, and if they won't, they are a horrible employer and horrible people.

    After the pandemic, tech companies took in a large influx of staff as the market itself was leaning towards a boom, an increase in demand of services and products, and sure enough, that did happen, tech companies have been taking in ludicrous sums of money ever since the economy reopened fully without the shackles of a pandemic holding it back, if they anticipated that the boom itself would last for a number of years, it is their responsibility as an employer to take on staff and properly accommodate and facilitate them, and hire on a fixed term basis so they can meet the demand and not meddle with the lives and security of their staff. If they can't do that, that is a failure, plain and simple, some things aren't black and white, but this certainly is.

    Forgive me if I come across as ignorant, but please point out how wanting a super company, with nearly endless pockets of money, to treat their staff better is a catalyst for reckless or irresponsible spending. I understand I'm very much taking a very morality based stance on this, but given the circumstances, people losing their jobs and all, I think it's fair game to take that stance, and truthfully, I think it is the right stance. Corporations aren't people, those who work within corporations are people, why do we give so much of a shit over allowing free reign to companies that conduct shitty practices, and treat it like it's some sort of natural disaster that we just have to make peace with? Safeguards should be in place, better planning should be in place, holding these companies accountable, when it comes to the lives of the people that directly work for the company, it is absolutely essential that they cater to the staff as much as possible.

    Regarding the percentage of households that do own shares, that is something I did not know, so thank you for sharing that. I'll say though in relation to that, given the minimum wage across states vary greatly, and price gouging from corporations using the pandemic as a crutch in order to increase prices of goods and services, do you believe it's plausible that there has been an increase in households that own shares due to financial uncertainty surrounding the cost of living and putting food on the table, that they do, effectively, take a gamble in buying shares in the hopes it pays off for them? Talking about that does venture into socioeconomic factors and conditions that are unique to every individual and it is exacerbated based on their region, but my point on that it's taking money that exists now, in the hopes it grows to a sustainable amount to fund retirements and desires of luxury items. As you said, there exists a difference between the types of investors, day traders, who monitor the slightest change in their stock, and those who invest and put into a retirement account, as we have established, I take more issue with day traders, I have little issue with those looking to provide financial security in retirement, but that in itself speaks to how incredibly shit it is that there is a need to do that, I have no issue with the concept of people saving, but the conditions surrounding quality of living, and all of that, needs a shake-up, a reform, it's in desperate need of it. Economies may be going well, but that doesn't mean much for the average person that barely gets by.

    The way I see it, I do see investing, purchasing stock as state sanctioned gambling, because there exists a likelihood, big or small, that companies can topple and collapse, and it's a chance, even if the chances are in your favour, that you will hopefully accumulate an adequate amount to better support yourself down the road.

    Against my own values, and as a result of my own conditions at the time, being in college, fresh out of school, I needed money, so I worked in a bookmakers shop, which is a gambling shop, did that for a number of months, I didn't enjoy it, aside from the obvious compromising of my personal values, which was enabling and providing a service that exploited people who took a chance in the hopes it paid off, it wasn't a good environment, I regret my time there, at the same time, it opened my eyes to the nature of that type of operation, which is the one thing I appreciate. I wasn't there terribly long, I'm not an expert, I'm not going to claim to be, but working near twelve hour shifts and witnessing all of that, and even providing the means for those to participate, it left a bad taste in my mouth. Now, I'm fully aware the conditions aren't exact, I'm not going to spend time claiming they are, but they are similar, the common denominator that is shared is it is an opportunity to hopefully better one's financial situation by spending money.

    When it comes to making changes, that's a decent description, the person makes a structural change in their lives to better themselves, the question I will ask though is, why can't a super company like Microsoft undergo a structural change without having to resort to throwing people out? Is it really beyond their means? They just can't seem to figure that part out? If they can't, it screams incompetence.

    You mentioned you were in the position of having to lay off staff, I am not blind or lack the empathy to recognise how awful a position that is, I'd say you were essentially the messenger that broke the news, but given you represented a company with a massive stake in the economy, I'm more inclined to condemn those above you. What is absurd though, is the claim that "yes, sometimes innocents do get caught in the crossfire, but that's life, life's unfair, it's just how things are". It's a very reductive way of looking at it, without looking at any solutions to the problem itself, life can be unfair, it doesn't have to be, it lacks any form of empathy when it's reduced to "it is what it is". There are easy explanations for why these sorts of decisions are made, easily explainable, regardless of perspectives and variables, but does it paint a good look for a business if they bluntly came out and said why they did it? It doesn't, they shit the bed and skirt around it, using pitiful excuses to justify their actions.

    My current workplace, I've been in for three years, I have three specific and distinctly different jobs in my workplace, which came about last year, as my own conditions required me to take on more jobs. Do I enjoy it? For the most part, yes, I am able to support myself, support my family, treat myself to things I want, but I do have a goal, I want to have a car, I want to get my driving licence, I want to travel, I want to live my life. Getting to work isn't an issue as I live in close proximity to the place, I work 12 hour shifts most of the time, I work unsociable hours, often finishing at 6:30am-7:00am. I have no issue with people taking on multiple jobs if they want to better themselves, I take issue with people taking multiple jobs because they must in order to support themselves. There's no balance in today's working world, in my field of work, there is hardly a balance, it's a fast paced environment, I could be off for a couple of days and on my second day off, I could receive a call to come in, it's not as often as when I started, but it happens. People cannot live their lives freely until they are retired, it's an illusion of choice, people may have the choice to spend and live life now, but do they really have much freedom or choice when they are required to put their lives, their relationships, their dreams and ambitions to the side to spend even more time in the workplace? If people are going to spend a vast amount of their day to day lives in the workplace, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide conditions, and meet the conditions, that allow for job security, adequate pay, the cultivation of a healthy working environment, and keep them in mind when making decisions regarding the direction of the company. Failure to live up to it, chalking it up as "it's just business" is a lazy excuse from them, an absolving of any responsibility, and a distancing of themselves between them and their poor management.

    What I want, is for people to have the freedom to be in a comfortable workplace, free from the fear of a layoff, free from being consumed by the workplace,I want people who genuinely want to, to have the freedom to pursue what they want, want to work two jobs? By all means, I won't stop you, want to go travelling? Go right ahead, live your life, I'll help carry the luggage, but essentially strong-arming people into doing things like that, wasting their youth, their lives, to work, work and work, and for the most part, still struggle to balance their lives, relationships, work. Does personal responsibility come into it? Yes, I'd be lying if I said that there aren't any people that do waste money, but for the most part, we all try to get by, we are allowed to treat ourselves, we've got one life, why spend it slaving away to enrich some faceless corporation ran by ghouls with no consideration for us and our lives? I look at an iPhone as a luxury item, I'm not going to judge if someone uses their money to buy one, it's personal preference, I use an Android, a Samsung, me and Apple products mix about as well as oil and water, but I won't judge if someone who struggles financially opts to buy a phone that best suits their preference, even if it's costly.

    I want for you to go to concerts, to go to Scotland to play golf, even fly over to Ireland, we've got plenty of golf courses over here, I live about 20 minutes away from one, and I'll say, the fact that you are very fiscally conservative with your money, I will say I admire, your investments in secure, sound companies, I recognise your game, that's good, and it does make me happy to hear that you have plans, but for a lot of people, not all plans go accordingly, an example would be these layoffs.

    I too recognise that there are very few things that we will agree on, this is no different, you may not be trying to change my mind, but to put it bluntly, I'd like to change your mind on this whole thing, because it is a cruel injustice that does exist, and it's not some rigid thing that can't be altered, it can be, and the changes can be positive, but don't buy into the "b-b-but if we do this thing then maybe something bad will happen" that the corporate ghouls love to spout, they're big boys and girls, they can handle themselves, they don't need someone to hold their hands when they've got enough financial security to provide for several generations of their families.

    But they literally aren't going to fail though, they literally can't, they could go on a reckless spending spree and leave themselves heavil

  • edited May 12

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by why should they,

    As in, just because they can get bailed out, why should they run a business so poorly, so irresponsibly, so spendthrift, that it forces the government/taxpayer to bail them out? Microsoft got to be Microsoft because they didn't treat things so casually. They're a three trillion dollar company because they of sound and responsible decision making. That mentality doesn't just magically stop because you hit a certain threshold. The stigma and disaster that would come from being in that position, pre and post bailout, would forever be a stain on Microsoft and impact them. GM still deals with it even after their bailout over a decade ago. It impacts their ability to hire the best talent. It impacts their ability to grow and expand. It impacts their ability to retain workers. It impacts their ability to attract investors. Your argument is essentially Microsoft shouldn't do anything, let their business start tanking, and just get bailed out if they fail. You can't argue you don't want the taxpayer on the hook for them, and then argue they shouldn't run their business because they would just get bailed out. You can't say I don't want them to get bailed out, but they should just do whatever they want because they will get bailed out. In your scenario, Microsoft looses either way in your eyes. They're the villains for making business decisions needed, and they're villains if they don't and get bailed out. You've made it so they can't win. And if you've made it so that's the rules of the game, then no one is going to want to play it.

    We all know what happened to Telltale here. We all know what happens when a company lets a poor performing culture and mentality fester. The cancer grew, and by the time steps were taken to eliminate it, it was too late, the cancer killed them. Just because Microsoft is a million times bigger than Telltale, the scale of the company size does not change anything, the same principles apply. Imagine if Telltale made their initial layoffs 2 years before they did. That they slowed down production on their games and took the steps needed to course correct far sooner than they did. I bet you Telltale would still be around if they had. Instead, what happened was they sat on it too long, their investors grew frustrated, and they pulled out. When that happened, Telltale went under. Sure employees make the actual products that the business wants, but without the money coming in to pay them all and make the business run at a responsible profit to expense ratio, the business will fail. I can't tell you how all of the companies looked from a money stand point. I do know Arkane Austin made Prey, a critical success, but not a commercial one, and Redfall failed in all regards. So more than likely, a poor performing studio got the ax because more money was being poured into it than was coming back. You can't just keep throwing more and more money at something, hoping that it will eventually start working, at some point, you cut the losses. Telltale tried to keep throwing money at it, and look how that turned out.

    A company like Microsoft would have financial forecasters, like most companies would, that would give a rough estimate on earnings and expenditure, which would act as a compass for any major decisions that have to be made down the road, surely Microsoft would have known there was more than one option to take.

    Yes, you're right. 100%. And they more than likely went to them and, based on their findings, determined this was the better route. Could have been another route would accomplish same or similar results, but it would have come at this and this expense. That was the whole point of my "And based on who's making that decision, their perspective will be different because of variables and interpretations that cannot possibly be explained" comment. One person makes the decision we see today. Person B, if they were in charge, might have made this other decision and left those studios in place, or merged them with another studio, or cut somewhere else. My point being, this decision is getting made, one way or another. How it comes to pass is up to the eye of the beholder. Their forecasts said "XYZ will occur unless we do ABC," so they did ABC to prevent XYZ. Not at this level obviously, but I've been in these meetings and discussions where our team reviews findings, results, and projections and argues for which path we should take. It can get heated, and there's never a clear cut answer, and very rarely will it be something that everyone everywhere will love. But again, the opportunity cost is too great, we can't just leave things as they are.

    For management to lay off staff, it highlights a failure of management

    Not saying you're entirely wrong here, again, we'll use Telltale as the example because Kevin Bruner was a fucking toxic moron who killed the company he created. But it's Microsoft's fault Redfall was a broken, unpolished, piece of shit game, and not the developers who made it? Employees are the lifeblood of the company that make it successful, but if it fails, it's the managers and executives fault? Management certainly played a role in Redfall and Austin's demise, but the developers made the game. They created it, and they are responsible for the end result. Perhaps if Austin was run better, or made a better game, Microsoft wouldn't have given them the ax. Sounds like Austin made their bed.

    Like what even is that response? Hi-Fi Rush accumulated several awards, it was deemed a success by essentially every metric by Aaron Greenberg, VP of Marketing at Xbox, why was Tango Gameworks shuttered and scurried out the door when they gave a successful product that did well?

    Very surface level analysis. Could be the game sold incredibly well and beat every and all expectations for its release. Was it sustainable? The Walking Dead changed the landscape and sold a bazillion copies for Telltale. How did all of Telltale's other games do after that? Well, everything outside of Minecraft Season 1 lost money for the company. Should the studio been given more opportunity to see if they could follow it up? Yeah, absolutely, I find it strange that you would shutter something that supposedly did very well and not even give them another chance. But if the decision was between close this, or layoff people at Bethesda, is it really hard to see why the decision was made? Could it also not be possible other factors were at play that determined it? How was the studio run? Did they burn through all of the money the game made? Was there a strong outlook for the company's future? Was there something else festering underneath the surface that has not yet come forward? Maybe it just wasn't the market the restructuring wanted to focus on? I don't have access to the forecasts, just as you don't. Maybe if we did, we'd agree that this was the best route to go. Inner corporate politics are like regular politics, it's fucking terrible and we all hurt because of it.

    The way I see it, it's like this. There's a great scene in Mass Effect 3 between Garrus Vakarian, one of your squadmates who has been with you for all three games, and Shepard, the main character. Garrus spent his entire career trying to do right, a black and white outlook on everything (ME2 has another fantastic line from him that sums it up: "It's so much easier to see the world in black and white. Gray...I don't know what to do with gray."). So long as it got the job done, it did not matter who he stepped on or how it got done. He was frustrated by all the red tape that his position at C-Sec (police) gave him, it prevented him from delivering justice and protecting people. In ME3, during the Reaper invasion, he becomes one of the leading turian military officials and advisors. During this conversation, he talks about the ruthless calculus of war:

    S: You know what you're doing Garrus. Trust me. Everyone can see that.
    G: Maybe. But you spend so much time on the outside trying to get in, and when you do, it's...not what I expected.
    S: How so?
    G: All the questions...and every one of them with a million lives riding on the answer.
    S: You do the best you can with what you know. It's no different than your days at C-Sec.
    G: You're right. Though I'm starting to understand why the galaxy needs cold-hearted dictators every now and then.
    S: They get things done?
    G: They don't give a damn about the consequences. Suppose that's what it's going to take Shepard: the ruthless calculus of war. Ten billion people over here die, so twenty billion over there can live. Are we up for that? Are you?

    This scene is followed up later:

    G: I just had to make a tough call with the Primarch. He said our fleets are getting decimated. So I advised him to cease all offensive operations against the Reapers.
    S: A full retreat?
    G: The only way to save Palaven now is to hold our ships back for the Crucible. But if I'm wrong...then a lot of other turian families won't be as lucky as mine.
    S: If it means anything, I would have given the Primarch the same advice.
    G: Yeah, there's that ruthless calculus again.

    I think this very well encapsulates the tough decision making and understanding of opportunity cost that goes into running any successful business. Immoral decisions are made for moral reasons, bad things are done for good outcomes. Short term consequences are felt, for long term benefit. No decision made is not done without somewhere at sometime getting screwed in some capacity, even the most mundane of choices have that effect. Some are just bigger than others. In the above scene, Garrus realizes he can't just keep throwing his ships and men at this problem, hoping it would get better. So, he redirects it to somewhere more beneficial. He knows fully well he's damning billions to death because of it, but the end result of continuing down this line would be weakening his forces to save a few people in the short term, rather than taking those forces to ensure the galaxy's long term survival. Should he have considered the morality of it further? There was no way to achieve both desirable outcomes, it had to be done. Continuing along with the way things are was not fruitful. Some will view Garrus as the man who saved the turians, the one who made the tough call and ensured their survival. Others would see him as a devil, the murderer of their friends and family.

    I'll say though in relation to that, given the minimum wage across states vary greatly, and price gouging from corporations using the pandemic as a crutch in order to increase prices of goods and services, do you believe it's plausible that there has been an increase in households that own shares due to financial uncertainty surrounding the cost of living and putting food on the table, that they do, effectively, take a gamble in buying shares in the hopes it pays off for them?

    Firstly, not gambling, but I'll get into that later. Secondly, barely 1% of US workers, or 1 million people, are making minimum wage, and I'd bet most of these people are young people just starting out or are in school working on a degree for future gains. Needless to say, an insignificant amount. Thirdly, I think the increase is largely due to the easier accessibility of various tools and resources to make it all easier. Whether it's through apps like Robinhood for trading, more information through Google, YouTube, Spotify, or TikTok, more studies and research being done, or just social media in general, it's made it a lot more accessible and easier.

    But I would also say it's companies looking to retain workers and talent through offering better and lucrative 401(k) packages and benefits. Believe it or not, and I'm stunned by this, apparently one of the companies offering a really strong 401(k) package for its employees, is Activision Blizzard. You can have 25% of your paycheck go into your 401(k), and they will match 100% (if you earn $100k, and you have $25k go into your retirement account, Activision Blizzard will give you another $25k to match it, you just made $50k without factoring in the portfolio's growth). You do not need to stay at the company for a certain amount of time either, it's yours as soon as it hits your account. Some companies have a vesting period, Blizzard doesn't. They're still a bad company, but I will say, I was surprised at how insanely generous this is.

    Another is the realization that our government is so poorly governed, regardless of who's in charge, that we all know Social Security is not going to be there. When Social Security first started under the FDR presidency as part of his New Deal era of legislation and executive orders, life expectancy and retirement was much different, the same standards of before do not carry today, and yet nothing has really changed with it. The overwhelming majority of our government's spending comes in the form of Social Security. The way that it works, however, is essentially a government sanctioned Ponzi Scheme. When Social Security is taken out of your paycheck, it doesn't go into a designated account for you, instead, it supplements the money going to people who are already retired. And when, years ago, there were 20 workers for every 1 person in retirement, it could work. Nowadays (it was years ago I read this stat and it might be outdated now), it's 2 workers for every 1 retiree. Sure you will be paid what you allegedly put into it when you do retire, but again, it's more so acts as money is taken out of my paycheck to help someone retired now, and then when I retire, someone working then is paying for me, and the money I receive is based on what I earned when I worked. So person A pays the government, the government takes that money and gives it to me in retirement, and then when person A retires, they are paid back with the money now coming in from person B. It is not sustainable under our current means and will be default come the 2030's without serious overhaul. Attempts were made to privatize it, give everyone easy access to their accounts and track it like a regular IRA account, but it failed. Every attempt to remedy from both sides has ended in failure because the other side accuses the other of wanting to kill grandma, or raise the retirement age, and blah blah blah. No one will do anything until it's too late. People see this, they know it, so they take actions into their own hands. They have their retirement accounts through their own brokerage and their employer, and they balance appropriately to make sure they are getting the needed money put away so they can live. This is not something that can be solved by taxing more, or seizing this or that, at best, it would be a band-aid to a stabbing, you're still fucking bleeding.

    And remember, this is not money that is being used to put food on the table now. When you put money into an IRA or a 401(k), there are tax penalties if you withdraw it too early. This is money that people are saying they don't need now, so they put it away and forget about it. That's what this investing is, putting it away, and forgetting about it. Periodically check in with it, rebalance and restructure the portfolio (most recommend every 6 months or so) accordingly, and that's it. It's that simple.

    I take more issue with day traders, I have little issue with those looking to provide financial security in retirement, but that in itself speaks to how incredibly shit it is that there is a need to do that

    What, why? This makes no sense. When you put money away, it grows. Why would anyone not want to do that. Yes you need to be careful with where you're putting it because there's always risk of it shitting the bed, but if you put it in something like a mutual fund, or an index fund, the growth is easily there. Historical data and performances show that. People have done this for decades, and it's enabled people great levels of success and wealth that has caused an increase in quality of life. HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) are investment accounts for people to save and invest money for medical expenses. That way, they aren't freaking out if the worst happens and they have the money in a safe and secured investment that grew at a certain average over years, thus supplying them with the funds. 529 accounts have been incredibly beneficial in reducing the amount of debt people have going into and coming out of school, because people can invest this money, and then take it out for education based expenses. All of this grows completely tax free. So if you pull the money, and show it was used for a health expense, or an education expense, you pay 0 taxes on the capital gains from it. And thanks to expansions to what is an eligible education expense by both Presidents Trump and Biden, families are seeing a huge ease on their expenses because of it. These are tools meant to increase wealth, just as a hammer is used in construction. This is not only something extremely wealthy people do, anyone can do it, and improve the lives of themselves, or their family. At the end of the day, it's my responsibility to look out for me, not someone else's. Sure you don't have to, but if it comes at little to no expense, you have this extra money that you aren't using, why would you not want to?

    The way I see it, I do see investing, purchasing stock as state sanctioned gambling, because there exists a likelihood, big or small, that companies can topple and collapse, and it's a chance, even if the chances are in your favour, that you will hopefully accumulate an adequate amount to better support yourself down the road.

    I had this same stigma too, but it's really not that true. Sure, all investments have some level of risk, and what's great is that there are plenty of websites and tools out there for people to research various companies, stocks, funds, etc. to see there inherent risk. If something is too risky, then you don't have to invest in it, there are a million strategies out there for people to invest their money, short and long term, all based on their risk profile. I've been saving up for a new set of golf clubs for the last two years. I knew this was my time frame going in. Two years, it's not smart to invest that in a stock or fund, because it's simply not long enough and there are too many fluctuations. My strategy was instead just put it in a high yield savings account, where it was growing 4.5-4.9% interest. I saved about $2000 from my contributions, but thanks to the interest, I've gained an almost $100 extra from it. For a new car, which I don't plan on buying for another 5-7 years, I researched and found a fund that is a slightly higher risk, but has a good return on it. I've been putting my money into it, and so far, it has grown. Yes there will be times where I will be in the red, but I've got time to let it sit there, and it will inevitably come back because the overall financial market is relatively stable. These are not investments in something like crypto (I fucking hate crypto, I don't get it, it's too volatile, and it's more so for memes than actual real sound investing) or some 3rd world African country that's supposedly on the rise. This is stuff like US treasury bonds, since the US has a good credit rating, or S&P 500 companies which have had a historical trend of strong financial performances and growth. Even more importantly, they have their hands in numerous cookie jars at once.One sector or business does bad, there's another that is doing well. And I think we've established it's not an "adequate" amount. As stated, $100 every month for 40 years turns into millions, and that's just from an S&P 500 fund. A diversified portfolio grants you even more money. It gives you something that is invaluable, peace of mind.

    Against my own values, and as a result of my own conditions at the time, being in college, fresh out of school, I needed money, so I worked in a bookmakers shop, which is a gambling shop, did that for a number of months, I didn't enjoy it, aside from the obvious compromising of my personal values, which was enabling and providing a service that exploited people who took a chance in the hopes it paid off, it wasn't a good environment, I regret my time there, at the same time, it opened my eyes to the nature of that type of operation, which is the one thing I appreciate.

    I feel you on that. I don't like gambling, I don't like casinos, and it's a refuge for suckers and idiots to dump their money, along with being an ugly addiction on the likes of drinking, drugs, and porn. But these are people who chose to do it at the end of the day. You didn't force it on them, they made their decision. I don't particularly like it, but others do, and they have the freedom to do so if they so choose. You didn't make them waste their money, they are not your responsibility to look after and hold their hand. At the end of the day, you know you weren't doing anything ethically wrong, you were just doing a job. It's great that you have such strong moral convictions, your level of empathy towards them and the fact you care about it shows a strong conscious. Despite our disagreements, the devotion to those beliefs is commendable. But at the end of the day, you can't help someone who isn't willing to help themselves, and you don't have a moral obligation to help them if they aren't. Spending too much time trying to help those people can actually be far more detrimental to you. I'm not sure if that helps you feel better about it, and if it was causing you mental anguish I'm glad you're out of that environment. But just know that what those people do are not your concern, and if you waste so much of your energy trying to help others, you have nothing left to help yourself. If someone isn't willing to fix themselves, then no need to waste your time on them, and that's not heartless or selfish to say. Even selflessness and empathy can be taken to a harmful extreme, and frankly, I don't find it either of those things if someone continues to want to help someone who doesn't care enough to accept it. You can be putting that time and effort into something that actually does need your help.

    When it comes to making changes, that's a decent description, the person makes a structural change in their lives to better themselves, the question I will ask though is, why can't a super company like Microsoft undergo a structural change without having to resort to throwing people out?

    What would you suggest? Most businesses should not run at a higher expense ratio of 30%, and by far the biggest expense is going to be employees and workers. Some companies it can number 70% of their total operating expenses come just from workers. And who's to say they aren't making cuts in other areas? The workers fired is the big headline grabbing one, but who's to say they didn't cancel a bunch of other projects, or slash something like marketing, or R&D, or customer support, etc. in it as well. Chances are it wasn't just one thing, it was probably a multitude of things across a ton of areas that no one actually cares about outside of the studios closing.

    You mentioned you were in the position of having to lay off staff, I am not blind or lack the empathy to recognise how awful a position that is, I'd say you were essentially the messenger that broke the news, but given you represented a company with a massive stake in the economy, I'm more inclined to condemn those above you.

    Oh yeah, some things were definitely not decisions I had a hand in. But there were a ton that were because I wrote someone up for not following a certain safety procedure, or time theft (clocked in but were not even in the building for hours at a time), inappropriate behavior, sexual or racial abuse, and coming in drunk or high. The overwhelming majority of the people I fired were by my own hand, and they were absolutely justified. Even some of the ones not by my own hand were justified. People not hitting certain productivity numbers 8 times over a 12 month period, again, not my fault, that's on them. Whenever I saw someone struggling I did what I could to help them, either tried to get them resources that we offered such as mental health guidance, time off, easier tasks, a more accommodating position, etc. They still would get fired, because of their actions. That wasn't me, my boss, or someone in an office hundreds of miles away, that was them. And when you don't have that accountability, I don't really have the same levels of sympathy as someone who tried and worked hard, but just couldn't make it. In my opinion I stuck my neck out for my employees more than others, and most of those times, I ended up getting severely burned. I told everyone I will always go to bat for you, but you're the bat boy, are you giving me a bat, or a stick. The choice is yours.

    What is absurd though, is the claim that "yes, sometimes innocents do get caught in the crossfire, but that's life, life's unfair, it's just how things are". It's a very reductive way of looking at it, without looking at any solutions to the problem itself, life can be unfair, it doesn't have to be, it lacks any form of empathy when it's reduced to "it is what it is". There are easy explanations for why these sorts of decisions are made, easily explainable, regardless of perspectives and variables, but does it paint a good look for a business if they bluntly came out and said why they did it? It doesn't, they shit the bed and skirt around it, using pitiful excuses to justify their actions.

    Well here's an example. I had a worker who was coming in for work, they saw someone waiting outside the security gates waiting to get in. The person asked them nicely if they could badge them in. The employee said sure, completely innocently and with the best of intentions. They leave thinking they did a good thing and helped someone get to their work station on time and not use their time to go home and grab their badge.

    That person ended up getting fired. Why? How do they know that person was an employee? How do they know they weren't fired and trying to get in and hurt someone? As covered during their orientation and in the safety and ethics packets, badging someone else in is strictly against policies and is deemed an immediately fireable offense due to security and safety reasons. The person, didn't see anything wrong with it, they were just trying to help someone, completely innocent intentions. But it was a clear violation of the guidelines and could have put others at risk. And if we were to make an exception for one person, sure they are grateful, but it changes the culture. No one can and should be above the rule of law, and when word would get out that someone did this and got away with it, it would happen again and again, and now we can't do anything because our hands are tied and they could claim wrongful termination and be vindicated because we gave an exception to one, and not another.

    This person was one of the nicest employees I had, an absolute joy to talk to, and had some good numbers. Doesn't matter, it had to be done. It sucked, but it was what it was, and we have to move on. They made a mistake, it just so happened to be a huge one, and there's nothing I could do to fix it.

    I take issue with people taking multiple jobs because they must in order to support themselves.

    I think the ultimate lesson, is that there are multiple decisions or actions that inevitably lead people to certain outcomes or positions, it's very rarely just one thing. Some are by their own hand, some are factors out of their control that we are the victims of. The measure is how much and what else are we doing to try and fix it? And while it's a great mindset to want to help others and give them the resources, at the end of the day, it's there responsibility when it comes to the things they absolutely can control. And people are in more control of their own lives than you seem to think. I was exhausted from my old job, working 13-14 hour days 5 days a week, so I worked on my resume, and I spent my weekends searching for a new job. I made some sacrifices in order to do so, but at the end, the reward was worth it. A life without sacrifices is impossible, like quite literally impossible. And whether you're working one job or two, it's even more imperative then to use these resources such as investing so that you don't have to be working in this position for decades on end and have little to show for it. You don't like the 12 hour job, there are tools out there to help you either get out of it, or ensure you aren't working in it for the rest of your life. If you choose not to take them, that's on you. I know it's easier said than done, believe me, I do, but there's always a way, very rarely have I ever seen, heard, or been in a position where there wasn't.

    What I want, is for people to have the freedom to be in a comfortable workplace, free from the fear of a layoff, free from being consumed by the workplace,I want people who genuinely want to, to have the freedom to pursue what they want, want to work two jobs?

    That's great. And absolutely and utterly impossible, like actually a complete and ridiculous pipe dream. No matter what economic system you're in, no matter what country you live, no matter who's calling the shots, this is complete and utter fantasy. And the more you try to live in that perfect world, the less you live in reality. The more you try to pretend that something like that can exist, the less time you spend improving yourself and making things better in the here and now. You think you're going to be the one to usher that world in, or the party you support, or the politicians you endorse? Tons of people have tried before you, they all failed once reality slapped them in the face. At the end of the day, the thing standing in the way of this glorious future for people, is people. People lie, steal, cheat, abuse, take advantage of, and sin, across all walks of life and across all cultures. This is not something bound by race, sex, religion, creed, ethnicity, politics, etc. The only way to create this utopia, full scale purge, or re-education. That's not freedom.

    By all means, I won't stop you, want to go travelling? Go right ahead, live your life, I'll help carry the luggage, but essentially strong-arming people into doing things like that, wasting their youth, their lives, to work, work and work, and for the most part, still struggle to balance their lives, relationships, work. Does personal responsibility come into it? Yes, I'd be lying if I said that there aren't any people that do waste money, but for the most part, we all try to get by, we are allowed to treat ourselves, we've got one life, why spend it slaving away to enrich some faceless corporation ran by ghouls with no consideration for us and our lives? I look at an iPhone as a luxury item, I'm not going to judge if someone uses their money to buy one, it's personal preference, I use an Android, a Samsung, me and Apple products mix about as well as oil and water, but I won't judge if someone who struggles financially opts to buy a phone that best suits their preference, even if it's costly.

    I do. By all means, I'm quite libertarian on things, you want to do this or that with your life, go right the hell ahead. I can't force it on you, nor will I try. I also think people in those scenarios are foolish and wasteful and kicking the can down the road rather than addressing it now. I see the person complaining about how shit their life is and how hard things are, and I see them wearing Air Pods with an iPhone with Gucci stuff, you bet your ass I'm questioning how much of that is the system's fault, and how much is you being a materialistic, reckless spender. Because again, we are responsible for our lives. You made these choices to buy this stuff, when there were cheaper alternatives somewhere else. This is the mentality of the under accumulators of wealth (UAW). Believe or not, this knows no class restrictions. Whether you're living in the slums, or a doctor or lawyer (the most guilty UAW's in the world), this mentality cripples you and causes so much mental anxiety and stress. Debt will destroy you. It will upend the things you truly want, and handicap you for years. I've been a longtime advocate for teaching more personal finance in schools, using them as areas to actually improve and enrich people's lives with the skills they need throughout life, regardless of career path. We don't need more tests, we need more of this to actually help people be productive and fruitful members of society. But the ultimate responsibility is on the parents and the household. Schools, families, and churches and other social institutions, more needs to be done to correct this horrible lifestyle.

    There's a great YouTuber I often watch by the name of Caleb Hammer. He has a series called Financial Audit, where people or couples in tough financial situations go on his show, and he sits and goes over with them their finances. Some of these people are truly strapped and in some tough situations, they made mistakes and are genuinely looking for advice and guidance on how to fix themselves. I respect these people greatly. They know they fucked up, and they're searching for help to fix it and are willing to make changes. But there are some others, who give excuse after excuse after excuse, justify this and that terrible spending, and have no accountability for their actions, and its clear that whatever advice Caleb gives them, they will not listen to, they will not follow up on, and they'll go right back to the bad habits that put them in this position to begin with. Now, I think his titles and thumbnails are very clickbait-y, but the actual content is very good if you're willing to sit down and watch these videos for an hour or more.

    To end on a lighter note, Ireland is also on my list of places of potential visits. I know my parents have discussed going there. Scotland is higher because it's the historical home of golf. I have ancestry roots in both countries so I would love to see both of them. Germany is another place, maybe Italy. All things that can wait and can be done through careful measures and actions to ensure that I'm not giving up something else. Can't always predict the future, but the opposite, not planning for the future, is just as dangerous if taken to the extreme.

    That being said, this also took me a couple of hours to write it all down. I like these talks, but I got to make sure I keep things more simplified going forward.

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by why should they, if it's regarding maintaining the wellbeing of staff, providing job security, then it i

  • For your perusal, I’m attaching this.

    This is a study of over 10,000 millionaires conducted by Ramsey Solutions, Dave Ramsey’s company. It is the largest study of millionaires ever conducted. These are the results:

    • 8 out of 10 invested in a company 401(k), and 3/4ths in outside accounts.
    • 75% regularly invested their money over long periods. Very few in individual company stocks, most were in mutual, index, or target date funds.
    • 3/4ths carry no credit card balance, and over 90% live on less than they earn
    • 79% did not receive a cent from an inheritance, 5% got less than $5k, and another 5% earned a significant amount after already being millionaires. So 90% earned their millionaire status by their own hand.
    • 8/10 came from families at or below middle income level
    • Top 5 professions are accountants, engineers, teachers, management, and attorney. Only 15% were senior leader roles in companies.
    • One third never made more than 6 figures, and another third only averaged $100k over the entire course of their career.

    Similar studies, such as by the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, have found similar results spanning decades, and their books go into far more depth. They study cultural and ethnic backgrounds, purchasing behaviors, comparisons, trends, and various other factors that go into it. Their results go against the societal expectations and perceptions.

    Saving, investing, and spending are the three big things separating everyone from living happily, nothing else. Investing is 90% discipline, 10% knowledge. It’s really that simple. Staying out of debt, knowing your spending limits, tracking your net worth (assets minus liabilities), and regularly contributing to investments, you will succeed.

  • For anyone whos been to Texas you know how big it is in food. I moved from Orlando a year ago to Houston and man I'm grateful for the food heaven here. It's a shame that alot of good family owned resturants shut down but man Texas has no lack of food even then. I will say it's a challenge for those like me who want to lose weight and stay healthy but as they say "everything is bigger in Texas" and I can confirm that after living here for a year.

  • edited May 13

    So I've read that "study", and due to this being something that will require less time for me to address, I have prioritised it ahead of your previous comment, I have every intention of responding to the previous comment, I've got it saved in my drafts, but due to a busy work schedule, I've not had the time to post or complete my response, so I'll address this one here and now.

    For a start, the document itself refers to it as a survey, it is not a study, a study would be working with a small pool of a specific group, which according to the actual document itself, and as per your comment, it includes the input of 10,000 millionaires, not exactly a small pool, not exactly representative of all millionaires, in this case, it is self-reported data, which may not be wrong, but skewed, and that's me being charitable, and in saying that, there does exist the possibility, one I would consider likely, that those who engaged with the survey, likely those in Ramsey's orbit, people he knows personally, or through a mutual friendship etc. may not have given a completely accurate telling in their answers, what millionaire is going to loudly and proudly boast about inheriting wealth thanks to daddy? They will opt to engage in revisionist practices to distance themselves from that likely reality of their lives, and boast about being self-made, that they pulled themselves up by their bootstraps, and gave it a real go. We're putting an awful lot of faith in those surveyed to be truthful about how their wealth was accumulated.

    Another issue I take, is how exactly that survey itself was worded, how did they go about obtaining that specific set of information that they report, is that something that Ramsey Solutions have released for public consumption so we know what exactly was asked of participants going into it?

    Regarding one statistic mentioned in the survey, that 3/4's don't carry a credit card balance, why would that matter to those in the survey? They're already wealthy, a credit card balance doesn't matter when they have the financial means already.

    The rest of the statistics, as interesting as they appear on the surface, I'd say isn't really sufficient information based on the little we know about how Ramsey's Solutions went about gathering that information from their survey pool. Do the statistics themselves truly matter, if it's not as transparent as it needs to be in order to be genuinely informative? Like, he mentions the top 5 most common careers for millionaires is teaching, accounting, management (which is ironic, as those positions do offer better pay and give a headstart for those willing to grow their wealth), attorney's (also pretty funny, given their rate in which they charge clients, so they're already a step ahead), and engineering, which does also pay well as a career the more you progress into it beyond being an apprentice, and I am all for engineers to earn more given their work is invaluable to wider society. Teaching can make decent money, but given their importance to society, they deserve more money, accountants can make good money too, so like, most of those careers already set people on a path where, if they didn't invest or anything, they are still more well off than others who don't work on those fields.

    About Ramsey, what exactly is he advocating for the readers of the survey to do? To be like him and take big financial risks in the hopes it pays off, because to make money, you need to spend money, or do you have to be super duper fiscally conservative to keep money? How did Ramsey go about accumulating his own personal wealth? Why might he pushing for this piece to hit all corners of the earth, other than to try to reframe the narrative and construct one in favour of millionaires. I have no issue with the accumulation of wealth, my views aren't that people have to be poor or not have any money, I do however take issue with the hoarding of wealth that is accumulated.

    I have to ask, what is the genuine purpose behind this "study"? What's the end goal? To change public perception of the upper class, to say "millionaires aren't bad, m'kay? They're just like you and me, for you to not accumulate wealth is a skill issue, so lay off these poor millionaires now please"?

    As for The Millionaire Next Door, you mentioned how The Millionaire Next Door post works and results that absolutely shatter the public perception of socioeconomic influences that would affect one's ability to build a structurally sound life with their finances, that's a bold, and a big claim, on your end and on their end. You mean to say that from what can easily be observed by the average person, what is experienced by the average person, is just not there? As we've established, there does exist, to a degree, a level of personal responsibility, in other cases, there isn't.

    Someone could bust their asses working multiple jobs, but unless they are really lucky, and they have the right connections, or happen to bump into somebody wealthy that offers them an opportunity, which is an astronomically low chance in and of itself, that's all they'll do in their lives, bust their asses, and never reach the security they crave. They could follow Ramsey's and The Millionaire Next Door's advice to the letter, and still not hit the heights that were promised. Now that can be seriously disheartening, it leaves the individual crucifying themselves over "not working hard enough", maybe instead of working three jobs they should have taken on one more, questioning their financial choices regarding leisure, romantic dates, holidays, committed relationships, or blasting themselves for spending money while they were young because they were young and wanted to enjoy their lives in that moment. If they can't hit the exact same highs that the likes of Ramsey did, which is why the likes of Ramsey has an audience, he has money and people want to reach the same summit as he did, but if they can't, those are the results that will follow.

    Even all of these studies that encourage basic things like "want to have more money? Try spending less!", like, yeah, no shit, that's some deeply philosophical train of thought they came up with there, they should pat themselves on the back for thinking of that one. They're a real modern day Socrates. That advice though, is drowned out by sensationalist stories that do encourage big risks. Ever hear of the story about FedEx? I only learned about it recently on a fateful day that I decided to scroll through Instagram and came across it, but Fredrick Smith, the founder and chairperson of FedEx, struggled to keep the company financially afloat, an application for a loan was denied, so he took the last $5,000 dollars of company money to Vegas and gambled on a game of Blackjack, and won enough to cover the cost of their fuel bill. That was a reckless financial decision that could have very easily bit him in the ass and nailed FedEx's coffin, but it didn't, it was a rare stroke of luck, and it paid off.

    That is more enticing than a boring thing like "yeah, just save your money over some years", are there many movies that cover success stories of individuals that just frugally saved? Not to my knowledge, perhaps there is a few, but who is going to watch that? They're going to watch and follow the stories that highlight a massive financial and reputational risk that, thanks to an incredible stroke of luck, happened to pay off, and given the low chances, repeating those very same results are astronomically low. How is one to save or be financially secure when we live in an age of rampant consumerism, where you must buy this or that?

    Companies like Microsoft and Apple, Sony, all them have people in marketing and advertising that know how to structure an advertisement in order to manipulate people into purchasing their stuff. Casino's exploit people and manipulate them through the use of bright, flashing colourful lights that stimulate and release dopamine, advertisements use the very same trick. Supermarket's keep sweets and soft drinks close to the line to purchase goods because if people bring children with them, they rely on the children to push the adults enough that they cave and buy those sweets and soft drinks. The good, healthy stuff? Hidden at the back of a supermarket, where you have to pass by all of the unhealthy stuff to reach, and if you resist the temptation to buy the unhealthy stuff, you pay a sizeable amount for wanting to consume healthy food and drink products. It's manipulation, it's effective, I've studied psychology as part of college for a few years, psychology is something that I have a high interest in despite no longer being in college and I continue to study it, to better myself, to help my friends and family, and understanding the human mind and it's influences by external and environmental factors. Anyways, it's a common practice by businesses with the aim of enrichment.

    And given Microsoft needs people to continuously buy their products for profit and please shareholders, and investors like yourself also rely on that in order to grow your savings and accumulate more wealth, it is keeping people down, people cannot be financially secure when there is a pervasive, hyper capitalistic culture created by these big companies to push their products as God's gift to the world and a must buy.

    For the continuous accumulation and hoarding of wealth, there needs to be a permanent underclass that works so many hours to get those products, leaving themselves financially short, then having to work more to support themselves, until the point comes where a new product or service is released and heavily promoted as something that is needed in order to fit in, belong, or be with an in-group of people that also have it. The underclass are the foundation that upholds the rest of the hierarchy, without them it crumbles, these companies know that, so they push advertising to those groups in the place that the top of the hierarchy designated upon them, and it works within the current form of the system to keep people down, and keep the rich and powerful up, both in stature and in financial status. They don't want you to financially succeed, they want you to financially invest, so you can keep yourself in the same box that you were put in from the economic system. The system itself is rigged to keep things like that, to maintain a status quo, that's how it isn't a free market, it's an illusion, it's a conquest for monopolization, or maintaining of a duopoly. For the few that manage to go through the other side, they're picked up by the same people that were enriched by those products being sold, and they are taken on as a partner to join in on all of the fun and exploitation. It's easily observable, plenty of research has been done to indicate exactly what I've said about people being exploited and growing up and living in poor environments, but they're questioned, scrutinized, but why?

    Perhaps acknowledging the reality of current society and its wealthy individuals, that it, and they, depend on exploitation and the maintaining of a permanent underclass, is a reality we are ashamed to admit is real, so we'd much rather believe that it's solely an individual's fault for not pulling themselves up by the bootstraps hard enough to explain why they struggle to live secure lives, than to acknowledge it is rigged against them, to keep them like dogs on a tight leash, all in order to further enrich the rich? That is how social and income inequality exist, it bleeds into racial inequality, not because people aren't pulling themselves up by the bootstraps, but because for those companies to exist and continue making money, they need to keep people down, in poor conditions, so their profits go up. This is real, no matter what biased "study" will tell you otherwise.

    For your perusal, I’m attaching this. This is a study of over 10,000 millionaires conducted by Ramsey Solutions, Dave Ramsey’s company.

  • edited May 13

    Alright, I'm really struggling to understand how maintaining full time staff that do their work and not hitting them with a sudden layoff despite an excellent performance is a cause for a business being run poorly and irresponsible, because I just don't get it. Like, how? Hiring fixed term contract workers that will benefit both Microsoft, and the fixed term staff, in that it provides a workforce for Microsoft to provide their services and enables the staff to work within the contracted timeframe, and make arrangements after their contract expires, that's considered spendthrift? In what sense? Both parties win, Microsoft get new staff, and the staff don't have to worry about being kicked out the door one day even if their work led to the company recording high profit margins. Surely this is the most logical choice? If the looming threat of a layoff is dangled over the head of staff, even when their labour produces excellent results up until that point, you don't believe for a second that wouldn't affect staff performance and morale? They aren't machines, they're people, people that know their best work, that financially benefitted the company, isn't enough for the company, because not enough money was being raked in when the fiscal reports say otherwise?

    Look I'll be honest, my structuring of my comments have left a lot to be desired, I've worked long shifts for the past couple of days so the structuring did take a back seat. But I did think I made myself relatively clear on a number of occasions that I do not wish for Microsoft to be foolhardy with their cash, and have the end result be a bailout. My point about the bailout is Microsoft will always be looked after, their staff won't be because the conditions of our modern society emphasizes the stability of a money hungry corporation over the wellbeing of those who provide labour that increase the revenue and profits of said corporation. What would your solution be if everyone at Microsoft decided to just quit, all 200,000+, how much value is Microsoft really worth, if their entire staff count decided to walk out? A very, very unlikely scenario, but what's Plan B if a mass scale walk out happened? Are we going to throw Phil Spencer into developing first party games for Xbox, while also having him be a support agent at the Windows division, and if he gets the time, to scurry over to the development of the Azure cloud services and development of their AI? The way things work now, it's broken, there are cracks, that have been covered up by the money that Microsoft generates per year, in its current form, it is very much a bandage over a stab wound, they are bleeding, perhaps not financially, but their workforce, you know, the people that make Microsoft as successful as it is, they're what provides the work for Microsoft to be what Microsoft is, to heal that wound, Microsoft need to use their brains a little bit more, just a little bit, and maybe strive to employ people and not shaft them later when they've milked their staff's labour to generate money.

    As for the Bethesda studios under the Bethesda umbrella, I don't blame the Devs, I blame the execs, I blame them for maintaining a flawed vision, I blame them completely for having the Devs abide by the constraints placed upon them from the executives, and I blame Microsoft, who owns, or owned those studios, for lacking the cognitive functions to get in there and address the problems within those studios in regards to the poor management and their flawed vision of a game that wouldn't do commercially well, and their inability to provide a healthy work environment. Is there a possibility that some people didn't pull their weight? Yes, perhaps there was, but it is their duty as an employer to encourage employees to pull their weight, to cultivate an environment and provide incentives to lead to better quality products. To say Arkane made their bed, that comes across as deeply unsympathetic to those who lost their jobs, that they are the reason they shut down, and not because the management couldn't manage better. You may not be throwing all blame on the Devs, your comment does touch on management, but it is on the management to cultivate an environment that brings out the best in their staff, the staff can't do that, it comes from up top, any approval of any changes that the staff want to make has to be signed off by up top. So yes, despite the developers being the Devs behind Redfall, it is mostly management's fault for how it turned out.

    I did not for a second advocate for Microsoft to splurge cash in a reckless manner that would lead to an event like that, my point was that Microsoft could do such a thing, be financially reckless, and the red carpet will be rolled out for them while they're wheeled into a hospital to be treated, while those that enrich the company, the workers, get treated like shit that's on the road and run over by traffic.

    I advocate for Microsoft to get their fingers out, and do their jobs, adhere to their responsibility as an employer to look after staff, not shaft them for making the company money, but to treat them like human beings, to cultivate an environment that is healthy and positive. Do you truly think that is really going to break their bank accounts? Do you think that treating staff better and providing more incentives and better pay is so detrimental in a financial sense, that Microsoft should just not do it? Is that really going to leave Microsoft in the shitter? It absolutely will not, to suggest otherwise is silly. Now I don't have a complete and total dislike of Microsoft, I'm sure given their stature they do offer benefits to staff, regarding financing, perhaps in-house counselling, I don't know, I haven't called into their offices, I won't slander them for providing those services to staff, I respect that, but I will encourage, and I will do my best to pressure them to do more. The work that they do, it comes at a human cost, their accumulation of wealth, sure it definitely would have come from sound decision making, in part, but they themselves could not, and cannot operate as a business, if they do not possess a workforce, and given their stature, their vast array of services and products, they need a sizeable workforce, and in order to ensure that the quality of the product or service remains high, it should not come at the cost of the people producing it, they literally can do both, I am unsure as to why Microsoft are being made out to be this helpless, frail little thing that lacks the ability to do the right thing, they are the furthest thing from that.

    They are in a scarcely populated league, accompanied by the likes of Apple, but they would not have got to that point without a workforce to do the work required, so why is there such an opposition to wanting staff to be treated better, provided better job security, increase in pay, an improvement in the benefits that should come from working for a company like Microsoft? They may have maxed out their intelligence skill tree, but if they don't put a few skill points into the rest of their skill tree, they won't maximise their potential as an attractive and ethical employer, it will come at a human cost, which they very obviously don't care about since they are making fat bank, and any attempts to address the issue (e.g. the Sarah Bond interview), they skirt around it, throw some words together even if they are incoherent, and that's deemed an official statement that is not, and must not be scrutinized. Sarah Bond came out with such sheer nonsense, and rather than make it about the people who lost their jobs, instead they opted to focus on their own feefees and talk about "financial wellbeing", like man, you and I both know Microsoft will always continue to be financially well, I'm as sure as the sun comes up tomorrow, why else did you opt to invest in them? They'll be okay, they don't need you to run damage control for them, they've got people they have employed to do that, and even then, they do such a terrible job of it, that they lack any form of emotion and avoid talking about the people that had their lives turned upside down. Microsoft can win, and win without it coming at the expense of their own teams, it's not some pipe dream that's totally unrealistic, and even if it is some idealistic notion of mine, what makes that a bad thing? Every single advancement we've made as a society, came from an idea, that was laughed off by others in the populace. Let's go back to the feudal times, they thought that how things were then were as good as it was ever going to get, they became complacent, lacking any willingness to change or improve, until one person thought otherwise, then one person became two people, two became three, and sure enough, society advanced beyond those feudal times. How things are, it worked to a point until the lack of willingness to improve creeped in, and, history is repeating itself, society itself now views the status quo as the peak of human achievement, the ceiling has been reached, that we can't do anything more to make things better. Pardon my French, but I call bullshit on that. We've stuck to something that has evolved into a monster that feeds off the vulnerable, and we just chalk it up as "life's unfair, sucks to suck doesn't it?". We limit ourselves because we are conditioned to believe that things can't get better, they can't be improved any more, by who? Those who pull the strings, when they can, but the idea of improvement, comes across as a threat to them and their bottom line. Want to form a union? They'll sack your ass for that and shut that shit down, want to advocate for better pay for everyone, or for yourself? They'll have some chuckle when you leave that office, or maybe they'll laugh in your face, maybe both, but they won't give you what you want, because what you want, what is best for you, to live your best life, to live a comfortable life, is perceived to them as you trying to take away their lavish lifestyle.

    Maybe a few of those Devs in those Bethesda studios were taking out a mortgage for their house? What if one has a medical condition and requires medical attention that they may not be able to receive because their health insurance was tied to their job? What about a member of staff that is expecting a baby, or deals with personal loss in their life and they need to cover expenses for arrangements in the aftermath of that personal loss? What about those people? Why run damage control for a company that laid off people that live in circumstances we aren't acutely aware of, and may struggle in, and although we don't have the specifics, we are aware of the general issues, we know how unpredictable life itself can be, but why rush to their defence, even though you personally have skin in the game in the form of investments towards your retirement, when those greedy little gremlins up top reap the rewards of their workforce's labour? Why do that for them, when they view you as just another sucker that gives them what they want?
    It wasn't some God-given right bestowed upon them by the almighty to exploit and shaft their workforce, it is greed, a complete and total lack of care and disregard for the very people who produced labour that enriched those in executive positions.

    This isn't a sophisticated thing man, this isn't some unfortunate tragedy that we are powerless to do anything about. Do we sit and watch a hurricane coming towards us and think to ourselves "GG's, we had a good run boys" and sit idly by waiting to be consumed by it? No, we put measures in place to minimise the destruction it causes, why are Microsoft exempt to the implementation of safeguards that benefit their workforce? These aren't unreasonable questions that I ask, and the solutions to these issues aren't a big ask, they aren't unreasonable, they can be implemented, without Microsoft having to worry if their accounts will be drained. It's a matter of if they want to, and everything right now, not just at Microsoft, but at most companies, says that they don't want to. If the money printing machine is broken, why put genuine effort into fixing it so it works properly when you can slap on some chewing gum and throw in some thoughts and prayers for it to work? It may still work, but it's not working at optimal efficiency, not when it comes at a human cost, unless the machine is designed that way specifically using cheap parts, with minimal investment into proper equipment and upgrades that would ensure its longevity if implemented, but they don't want to do that, that's too much work for them, how will they find the time to do something like that for their staff when they're too busy counting their money and looking for more ways to receive more from their staff, by giving less?

    What makes them so special, that they can do as they please, and we have to bend the knee and plead like a little Victorian child hoping they don't go as hard next time? There is no reason, other than some terribly misguided idea that because their wealthy, that all of the hard work was done up top, and the workers are just some randomly generated NPC's in the background just occupying space and did nothing of note, when we both know that isn't true. My argument is not that Microsoft shouldn't do anything, my argument is that they absolutely should do something, something genuinely good, and I will praise them if they were to do that. What is it I want them do to? Be a better employer, that's not a big ask, they don't need to become Moses and part the Red Sea or shift mountains to do that, their staff does that for them, and enriches the management, and they get laid off.

    What happened with Telltale is that their vision was flawed at the start. What we got from 2015-2017, believe it or not, that was the end goal since Telltale's inception. Content that can be digested in a single sitting, pumped out on a regular basis, and it didn't work. Their vision was fundamentally flawed, when they captured lightning in a bottle with The Walking Dead, it accelerated them to that goal, they could now use massive, established IP's to garner more players instead of continuing the cater to the niche audience they built up before The Walking Dead, and they didn't realise that the goal itself was unsustainable, they didn't realise that all the way back in 2004, and due to that misguided vision from up top, it led to the layoffs in November 2017 and total studio closure in September 2018. Now, how I know that, is I've got a massive trove of Telltale interviews dating back to the early to mid 2000's, I had free time during the pandemic, I was fangirling pretty hard, I was in that character arc, so I sought out those interviews, now, bear in mind, there is a lot of them, so it will take me a while to find the one I'm referring to, but I promise that I will link it once I have the time to find it, and if it is still available. I do care a lot about Telltale, so having that information accessible is important to me, because I do care about them, and I want them to succeed, but their end goal was what led to everything that went down with Telltale.

    So, about 1% of the American workforce being on minimum wage, thing is that it's actually 1.3% that work for, or below, the minimum wage, but what is the minimum wage? That's the problem, it varies greatly amongst states, as does the cost of accommodation, food, drink, sure the overwhelming majority percentage wise aren't on minimum wage, or below it, but are they earning much more than those on a minimum wage? That's the real question here, how much more they do earn, if they aren't being paid at the minimum wage per hour? That's fairly deceptive, and dishonest, as it paints a picture that the overwhelming majority actually make a sizeable amount, but just don't spend it on supporting themselves, because they don't know how to, that they're stupid and need to be told how to spend their money, because it's said that they'd much rather buy the new iPhone than to feed their families. And yes, there are people that are that selfish, nobody is saying otherwise, they're the exception to the rule, not the rule itself. That's remarkably unfair and demeaning so it is to those who aren't like those people.. They may make 20 cents more, maybe 40 cents more, maybe a dollar, or two, or three, maybe they're only making 10 cents more than the standard minimum wage, and sure that's a welcome change as they are earning more, it all adds up at the end of the week but is it sufficient? Is it really sustainable to provide for their families and themselves? Ireland is no different, so while you may wonder why I criticise America for this when I don't live there, I keep up with what goes on in America, I see it in Ireland, I keep up with what happens in Ireland, and I see it in America, two sides of the same coin, people get shafted, get ridiculed for their financial choices, and told that they absolutely must pull themselves up by their bootstraps and quit being lazy and just work and break their backs a little bit harder, when they aren't being given a loaf of bread, they're being handed breadcrumbs.

    About the Activision|Blizzard perks and benefits, I've got very little to say about that other than it being a W. But you know what makes it an even bigger W? An expansion of those perks and benefits so the staff are appropriately compensated for the value their labour generates for the company. That's not financially reckless or irresponsible, it's humane, it's rewarding good work, and that work must be fairly effective if Activision|Blizzard can make so much money, but then they reward the staff by laying them off, it really shows how much they appreciate their staff at the end of the day.

    Between the two specific groups of day traders and those who invest to fund retirement, those two specifically, I have more of a problem with the day traders. Why you may ask? Their investment tells the company that their actions are good and to keep doing it, even if they aren't good. Remember how I mentioned that the recent layoffs led to a drop in Microsoft's stock, and it rose a day or two after? The drop would be from the negative PR the layoffs got, but layoffs are a catalyst for an increase in value of stock because for the likes of a day trader, it's perceived as a trimming of excess fat, that the company will push to make even more so they will invest to get in as a response to that and reap more money as the stock value grows and the company performs.

    To say my ideas are great, but also ridiculous, unrealistic, a total pipe dream, a fantasy, you can think what you wish, I won't lose sleep over that, I'll sleep rather soundly. I possess my ideals because I see the world for what it is, and I see the world for what it can be. They didn't just appear in a vacuum. I'm not one of a kind, I'm not special, I'm not looking for heaps of praise, or attempting to look good by virtue-signalling. I can recognise the reality of the world, and the potential of the world, while living in the current reality. I have not lost track of how things are, why would I possess these ideals if I had no idea as to how things truly are or if I am disconnected by the current reality? I see them for how they are, I see the ugliness of it all, which is why I hold these ideals, which is why I want change, it doesn't have to be this ugly. We are past the days of hunting and gathering, survival of the fittest, eat or be eaten, we have grown beyond that as a species, why do we insist on implementing those very same mentalities into our society structure?

    We may be animals, but what seperates us from the animals, is we possess more of an ability to actually make a change, we evolved over the course of several million years to get to this point. We live under a system that encourages the worst in us, and slanders the best in us, we live under a system that creates injustices and inequality, and pretends they aren't there, that they're all lies but rather some unhinged nonsense, not one that recognises the ugly truth and seeks to fix and balance things, we live under a system that divides us, rather than unite us. My ideals, while collectivist in nature, reaps benefits for the individuals that make up a collective, I really don't care if you think I'm totally naïve or just plain silly for wanting a balance for everyone, I'm sure you too want that, but have a different approach, similar, if not the very same approach in effect right now. I'll ask, how has that been working out so far? Really and truly, it hasn't, and it won't, maybe for a time it did, but now, it's a bubble waiting to burst, with disastrous results when it does.

    My comment was that long, that I lost a sizeable amount of it, I presented my ideas on how to improve things, and how to make and fund those changes, which, to be brief, is not as costly as it's being made out to be, the output in quantity and quality of products and services, that would increase, without the compromising and exploitation of any human being. I would type it out again, but it's a lot of effort, I'm afraid to lose it again. Maybe that's a discussion for another time. Anyways, I appreciate your time and patience, I'll link that interview when I find it, and I'll watch that Caleb Hammer video. Regarding some points in your comment(s), there are some I don't address directly, not because I can't or refuse to, but because what I said does touch on it indirectly, I am not dodging anything you've said, there are
    some things I felt didn't require any input from me,
    but those are one or two things. If you wish for me
    to answer them directly, I can, and I'm happy to the
    best of my ability. I appreciate the chat Metallica.

    UPDATE: Here's that interview I was talking about, one of the first interviews that Telltale did, with an outlet names Adventure Gamers: https://adventuregamers.com/articles/view/17751

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by why should they, As in, just because they can get bailed out, why should they run a business so

  • A lot of text in here. I'm much more like this:

    I did think Phil Spencer getting nuked in Fallout 76 was funny tho.

  • Yeah, I am very sorry about that, being brief isn't a strong suit of mine, and it's something I wish to improve on, that's a skill issue on my part.

    I did think Phil Spencer getting nuked in Fallout 76 was funny tho.

    Downright hilarious so it was.

    A lot of text in here. I'm much more like this: I did think Phil Spencer getting nuked in Fallout 76 was funny tho.

  • Again, I refuse to believe the recent layoffs and shutdowns were anything but greed.

    For a studio like Volition, it was expected due to their latest Saints Row game which had a giant budget and it flopped massively, no thanks to the marketing team who trashed on the fanbase.

    Tango Gameworks never did anything to deserve this and Arkane Austin didn't even want to make a live-service game in the first place. Phil Spencer is a fucking liar. Nothing he ever said was delivered. Why should I not blame him? He is the head of Xbox.

  • We'll be getting news on Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse Remaster very soon, I for one am excited!

  • JenniferJennifer Moderator

    A modder named wynwnata was inspired by Borderlands and Telltale Games to mod Fallout 4 to have outlines reminicent of cell shading. It definitely has a late-era Telltale look to it.

    https://www.nexusmods.com/fallout4/mods/49402

  • edited May 16

    It's a small PDF, for a more full fledged breakdown of the actual study, it's in one of Ramsey's books, Baby Steps Millionaires. There, he goes over the actual results for about 100 pages with the charts and data to back it up more thoroughly. This was an easier to digest PDF with some basic results.

    Again, 10,000 surveyed from across the country, the accusation that it was just "Ramsey's inner circle" is wrong. If you're trying to disregard this entire study by insisting it was just Ramsey going to his neighbor and asking a couple of questions and publishing the results, not true. In that, there were 119 questions asked on a variety of topics, and the responders were pretty evenly distributed across the four regions of the US. It's even something Ramsey addressed in the study, that they did use a sampling size from his listeners, but they also downplayed their results and more heavily studied the random ones that had nothing to do with him. From the study:

    The research for The National Study of Millionaires included 4 phases. In the first phase, more than 50 random millionaires were interviewed to collect qualitative data. This information was used to shape the survey that collected quantitative data for the next phase of the research.

    In the second phase, the research team examined the results of the interviews and developed the quantitative survey. This survey tool was distributed to 2,000 randomly sampled millionaires. The data gathered from these individuals represented the primary research for the study and were used to determine the validity of the working hypothesis. It should be noted that these millionaires were drawn from "white space" - individuals not affiliated with Ramsey Solutions - to help ensure that convenience bias was not an issue.

    The third phase of the project focused on millionaires who were part o the Ramsey Solutions "tribe." Eight thousand millionaires who were members of various Ramsey Solutions email lists, along with individuals who responded to requests made during The Ramsey Show radio programs, were included in this phase.

    Since this was a convenience sample drawn from the Ramsey audience, the main purpose of this phase was to compare and contrast their responses with data collected from the white space. **While a great deal of similarity existed between the two groups, the 2,000 randomly sampled white space responses were given greater emphasis in the book and in validating the working hypothesis when the data diverged. **

    The final phase of the study involved a random sample of 2,000 people from the general population. This provided a way to compare the characteristics of millionaires with the habits and lifestyle of those who are not millionaires. Being able to compare millionaires with the general population also allowed the research team to address the question of survivorship bias.

    In some cases, the research team was able to collect general population data from larger, recognized sources, such as the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and other government data sources. When this demographic information or general data was available, the team relied on that information. When such information could not be located in a broad, general database, the team used the random sample from the general population study. [Baby Steps Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth - And How You Can Too, pg. 133-4]

    And yes, that is the first time I've had to use sourcing since college about 5 years ago, so my citations are a bit rusty. That being said, yes, they relied on their user base. You have millions of people that tune in and listen to the show on a weekly basis and have been doing it for several decades, it makes sense that they would use this base as a tool. And these people became millionaires through following the steps (some of which I agree with, some I don't) that Ramsey has coached and wrote about. But as the study notes, they prioritized the white space responses far more, the ones who had nothing to do with Ramsey, and still got the results they did.

    What incentive would they have to lie? The results are anonymous, they have nothing to gain by being deceitful. And even if so, you mean to tell me that every study, of which there have been dozens across a variety of age spectrums, generations, demographics, cultures, etc., had a bunch of people lying through their teeth to publish almost the exact same results? That's wild, conspiratorial nonsense. It doesn't add up. So let's actually focus on the data that was found, rather than trying to tear it down because it doesn't conflate with the worldview you have established. Even The Millionaire Next Door found this to be true:

    • Only 19% receive any income or wealth of any kind from a trust fund or an estate.

    *Fewer than 20% inherited 10% or more of their wealth.

    *More than half never received as much as $1 in inheritance.

    *91% never received, as a gift, as much as $1 of the ownership of the family business.

    • Nearly half never received any college tuition from their parents or other relatives. [The Millionaire Next Door, pg. 16]

    Numerous studies, conducted differently from different groups and in different years, are getting mirror like results.

    Regarding one statistic mentioned in the survey, that 3/4's don't carry a credit card balance, why would that matter to those in the survey? They're already wealthy, a credit card balance doesn't matter when they have the financial means already.

    Multiple reasons. One, wealth is not always liquid. You can be a millionaire, and have very little cash on hand. Most of it invested, or through real estate holdings or ownership. Stuff like houses, cars, property, retirement earnings, and other non-liquid assets go into a person's net worth that makes them millionaires. They have enough cash on hand to pay off their debts, such as their monthly credit card balances, and not much else, because that money is better allocated to areas that can earn more (which, by the way, many companies do as well). It's also worth noting, and one thing I disagree with him on, Ramsey is completely against credit cards in general. I like them because, when used responsibly, they are a handy tool to get some disposable income, but I'll agree that others definitely shouldn't if they can't control their spending. Secondly, because becoming a millionaire requires discipline, and discipline starts with not spending above your means. They became wealthy by not carrying a balance, that mentality doesn't just stop once you hit millionaire status. Millionaires are not born, they're made, forged through work and their lifestyle. Treating a credit card like a debit card, and not carrying over a balance and getting bogged down by interest, is a sure fire way to increase wealth. Thirdly, most of the people we view as millionaires, the doctors and lawyers and such, make a ton of money, but are so far in debt because of their lifestyle that they aren't real millionaires, or under accumulators of wealth. From The Millionaire Next Door:

    His counterpart is James H. Ford II. Mr. Ford, age 51, is an attorney. His income last year was $92,330, slightly more than Mr. Richard's [$90,200]. What is Mr. Ford's actual net worth? His expected level of wealth? Mr. Ford's actual net worth is $226,511, while his expected level of wealth (again, computed from the wealth equation) is $470,883. Mr. Ford, by our definition, is an under accumulator of wealth. Mr. Ford spent several years in college. How can he possibly have less wealth than a mobile-home dealer? In fact, Mr. Richards has nearly 5 times the net worth of Mr. Ford [$1.1 million]. And remember, both are in the same income/age cohort...

    Clearly, Mr. Ford, the attorney, must spend significantly more of his household income to maintain and display his family's higher upper-middle class lifestyle. What make of motor vehicle is congruent with the status of an attorney? Foreign luxury, no doubt. Who needs to wear a different high-quality suit to work each day? Who needs to join one or more country clubs? Who needs expensive Tiffany silverware and serving trays?

    High spending lifestyles create debt or bad habits, which limits wealth over time. It's that simple.

    The rest of the statistics, as interesting as they appear on the surface, I'd say isn't really sufficient information based on the little we know about how Ramsey's Solutions went about gathering that information from their survey pool.

    I'm going by these things bit by bit, so I'll just refer you to what I said above about how the study was done since I already inadvertently addressed it.

    Like, he mentions the top 5 most common careers for millionaires is teaching, accounting, management (which is ironic, as those positions do offer better pay and give a headstart for those willing to grow their wealth), attorney's (also pretty funny, given their rate in which they charge clients, so they're already a step ahead), and engineering, which does also pay well as a career the more you progress into it beyond being an apprentice, and I am all for engineers to earn more given their work is invaluable to wider society.

    But you don't start out making uber levels of wealth in these fields. When I started in management, my salary was only $50,000. Over years and hard work, I grew it to $70,000 (which, I'll add, I avoided making major lifestyle changes and increases in spending despite the higher income. This helped me not only save more, but when I took a lower paying job, I didn't have to make many lifestyle changes to accommodate), but it's not an excessive or unattainable level of income to most people. First stat I want to point out:

    In addition to modest homes, the zip code analysis suggests that the millionaires in this study also tend to live in modest neighborhoods. As Figure 3f demonstrates, more than half of these millionaires (51%) live in neighborhoods where the average family income is less than $75,000. This includes 16% who live in neighborhoods where the average family income is less than $50,000. Only one in five (21%) live in a neighborhood where the average family income exceeds $100,000. [Baby Steps, pg. 147]

    Notice he says family incomes. Meaning it's a two person household. Some of these, only one person can be making an income (in Millionaire, half of wives do not work outside of the home). In others, two people accumulated are not making $100k, and yet, are still the majority of households. So while these are high paying fields, it doesn't seem like they are making a high, or at least an unrealistic high, level of money in their profession.

    The full list of Top 10 also included Biology (about $80k a year), Computer Science ($111k), Economics ($115), Finance (this is a broad spectrum, but a Finance Coordinator makes about $55k, while Analyst is about $75k), Political Science ($73k), and Psychology ($106k). These numbers were taken from Indeed.com, except for political scientist which was gotten from Career Explorer. Also worth noting is that these are averages, so higher earners in this are going to inflate it. I could not find easily accessible data on medians, which would have been a more useful stat for this particular information. Point being, while some are 6 figures, these jobs do not immediately start out in this area, they are often still low paying and require work and years of experience to get to anywhere close to this. But again, it's not like these are unrealistic expectations when it comes to this, or unattainable incomes. Be smart with money, do good in school, and work hard. Regardless of where you are, what your background is, what you do, that's all you need to do. An almost guaranteed recipe for success.

    One thing mentioned in The Millionaire Next Door that is either not mentioned in Ramsey or a possible contrast, is that 2/3rds of millionaires are self employed (pg. 8) and that most of these businesses are "welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors" (pg. 9). Though maybe they are included in Business Administration and Management.

    About Ramsey, what exactly is he advocating for the readers of the survey to do? To be like him and take big financial risks in the hopes it pays off, because to make money, you need to spend money, or do you have to be super duper fiscally conservative to keep money?

    So a bit of background on Dave Ramsey, from Wikipedia:

    By 1986, Ramsey had amassed a portfolio worth over $4 million.[4][5] However, when the Competitive Equality Banking Act of 1987 took effect, several banks changed ownership and called his $1.2 million in loans and lines of credit because he was over-leveraged.[2] Ramsey was unable to pay and filed for bankruptcy in 1988.[6]

    Ramsey experienced several years of financial recovery and began offering financial advice to couples at his local church.[5] In 1988, he founded the Lampo Group, a financial counseling service,[5] and in 1992 he wrote and self-published his first book, Financial Peace.[4][2]

    Also a piece by ABC News

    He's been very open about how shitty he came into wealth in the beginning, how much he screwed up and made wealth the wrong way, and made it his life mission to make sure other people do not fall into the same trap as he did. He doesn't want people to take financial risks. His Baby Steps are as follows:

    1. Save $1k as a starter emergency fund
    2. Pay off all debt, except the house, using the debt snowball (pay off debt based off smallest amount to give psychological victories, I prefer debt avalanche but this is a decent method for those afraid of starting out)
    3. Save 3-6 months of expenses
    4. Invest 15% of household income in retirement (which is lower than what I would say and others I listen to say, I think 20-25% is good, and he says these should be mutual funds, while I prefer index funds because they charge less in expenses and mutual funds don't often beat the market)
    5. Save for children's college funds
    6. Pay off the house
    7. Build wealth and give/donate to charity

    None of that is a risk. None of that is some get rich quick scheme you find on TikTok. It's careful planning and being smart. Yes, it's about saving, as he says, eating nothing but rice and beans. But that's more for the people who are in massive debt. If everything is paid off and you're saving, just live below your means. It's not hard.

    I have to ask, what is the genuine purpose behind this "study"? What's the end goal? To change public perception of the upper class, to say "millionaires aren't bad, m'kay? They're just like you and me, for you to not accumulate wealth is a skill issue, so lay off these poor millionaires now please"?

    Everything has to be so negative with you sometimes. Yeah, some of it is about changing perception. Not to give sympathy to millionaires, but to show that the way they're portrayed in the media (the famous athletes, the reality stars, the Elon Musk's), are the extreme minority of how millionaires actually are. They're you, they're me, they're, well, our neighbors. That being a millionaire is not hard, it's easy to achieve, and it's easy to grow and accumulate wealth and be successful. Sure some people have advantages and disadvantages, some don't have access to all the same resources. But if you constantly view yourself by your victimhood, and not on your successes and what you can achieve, then you will never be able to do it. And there are ways to become wealthy, regardless of economic background, and ways to lose it all, regardless of economic background.

    Most American millionaires today (about 80%) are first generation rich. Typically, the fortunes built by these people will be completely dissipated by the second or third generation. The American economy is a fluid one. There are many people who are on their way to becoming wealthy. And there are many others who are spending their way out of the affluent category. (Millionaire, pg 18).

    America has always been a land of opportunity for those who believe in the fluid nature of our nation's social system and economy. More than one hundred years ago, the same was true. In The American Economy, Stanley Lebergott reviews a study conducted in 1892 of the 4,047 American millionaires. He reports that 84% "were nouveau riche, having reached the top without the benefit of inherited wealth." (Millionaire, pg 16)

    Ignore this, this is just text to create line spacing.

    As for The Millionaire Next Door, you mentioned how The Millionaire Next Door post works and results that absolutely shatter the public perception of socioeconomic influences that would affect one's ability to build a structurally sound life with their finances, that's a bold, and a big claim, on your end and on their end.

    Most true things are.

    You mean to say that from what can easily be observed by the average person, what is experienced by the average person, is just not there?

    Yes, because the science doesn't back up the common perceptions. Something the Ramsey study acknowledges and finds since it interviewed several others who are not millionaires and how they think people got wealthy. For millionaires, how they achieved wealth, inheritance was listed 7th out of 8 contributing factors. For the general population, it was perceived as the 2nd most important. The public perception and "common knowledge" is wrong, and if we continue to teach and tell people that it's impossible to get ahead, than they never will take charge of their lives (pg. 155). 77% of the general population believes wealthy people come from wealthy families, and 62% believe a majority inherited their money, when I've just shown that to be not true (pg. 176).

    They could follow Ramsey's and The Millionaire Next Door's advice to the letter, and still not hit the heights that were promised

    Nope, because if they were following it to the T, they would have wealth. I laid out Ramsey's entire philosophy, if you're deviating from it, you're not following it. If you're racking up the debt, if you're not saving and are just spending, then that's your fault and not someone else's. Sure variables happen that we can't predict. Sure people get ahead thanks to connections. Sure, some people fail upwards. Those are always the ones who are publicized and glorified, but never the majority. The majority succeed because they want to succeed, and they do. They are not overly smart, they're not taking gambles or investing in this company that's about to make it big. They keep things simple, to the point, and dumbed down. Next thing you know, their wealth has doubled, tripled, and even quadrupled. To take from Geico, it's so easy, a caveman can do it.

    If they can't hit the exact same highs that the likes of Ramsey did, which is why the likes of Ramsey has an audience, he has money and people want to reach the same summit as he did

    You don't need to hit the same heights as Ramsey, nor would he want you to. He wants you to make enough money for yourself, and to not give a flying fuck about what others are doing. You can have $1 million, and the other have $3 million, who cares? It's not a competition, it's a marathon. A marathon you enter and run in of your own choice. Who gives a shit if your neighbor got a Mercedes? Who gives a fuck if your co-worker just went on a week long trip to the Bahamas? Who gives a damn if their son just got a full ride to Harvard because he was roommates with the cousin of the guy who does the dry cleaning for the dean? Stop caring what others are doing, all that matters is YOU! You determine your life, not Bob, not Stacy, not Jim. You want to use them as an aspirational tool, one for motivation, go right ahead. But when it comes to the point of envy and jealousy, then you need to stop. There's a reason why that's one of the 10 Commandments.

    Even all of these studies that encourage basic things like "want to have more money? Try spending less!", like, yeah, no shit, that's some deeply philosophical train of thought they came up with there, they should pat themselves on the back for thinking of that one. They're a real modern day Socrates.

    Then why aren't you doing it? If it's so simple, why aren't you, or others? Why is it so hard, and worthy of mocking and contempt in your case, for others to tell other less disciplined people that what they want, they can achieve, if they're willing to better themselves. That's like a friend saying "you want to be healthy, go to the gym" and you saying "No fucking shit Sherlock," and then not doing anything about it. Why does it have to be some groundbreaking new way of thinking? Why is emphasizing a tried and true method frowned upon? Why is telling someone that they can achieve it if they put their mind to it bad? I don't want people to be negative and think that they're a victim of a society that hates them. I want people to feel empowered, to feel like they have autonomy, and they absolutely do. They want people to have autonomy, that's what they preach. Hope. Responsibility. Success. Why is that criminal to you?

    How is one to save or be financially secure when we live in an age of rampant consumerism, where you must buy this or that?

    By not giving a shit, like I just established.

    Big Hat No Cattle. We first heard this expression from a 35 year old Texan, He owned a very successful business that rebuilt large diesel engines. But he drove a 10 year old car and wore jeans and a buckskin shirt. He lived in a modest house in a lower middle class area. His neighbors were postal clerks, firemen, and mechanics..."[My] business does not look pretty. I don't play the part, I don't act it. When my British business partners first met me, they thought I was one of our truck drivers. They looked all over my office, looked at everyone but me. Then the senior guy of the group said 'Oh, we forgot, we were in Texas!' I don't own big hats, but I have a lot of cattle." (Millionaire, pg. 8)

    There's a plentiful amount of tools at your disposal to find affordable and cost saving ways to live. It's a culture of consumerism because you made it so, but it doesn't have to be with discipline and care. You want to know what I think when I see someone who won the lottery: Good for them. Most likely, it will be gone in a few years anyway, so why should I care (70% of lottery winners declare bankruptcy according to the National Endowment for Financial Education). You know how I looked that up? Google. The best place to find those alternatives, Google. Want an easily digestible video on how to save and budget? YouTube. Want to buy a book on this topic? Amazon. There are so many tools at your disposal, I don't want to hear excuses on how to achieve it.

    Ever hear of the story about FedEx? I only learned about it recently on a fateful day that I decided to scroll through Instagram and came across it, but Fredrick Smith, the founder and chairperson of FedEx, struggled to keep the company financially afloat, an application for a loan was denied, so he took the last $5,000 dollars of company money to Vegas and gambled on a game of Blackjack, and won enough to cover the cost of their fuel bill.

    All that did was keep Fedex going for another week, at most. You mean to tell me that all of Fedex's success, everything that they have achieved, is as simple as just one choice that ended up paying off? Not the millions of other things that came after? Or the multitude of things that came before that put them in that situation to begin with? You're boiling decades worth of company success and failure to one simple thing, life is never that simple. But again, who cares? That's an interesting story, sure. And yes, sometimes, you have to make risks, and desperation pulls you to it. But again, that's not the majority of people, and if the majority spent less time caring about the actions of the minority, they would be able to achieve what the minority have.

    Not to my knowledge, perhaps there is a few, but who is going to watch that?

    Funny story, the authors of The Millionaire Next Door propose this in one of their chapters, and fully acknowledge it would be a boring show that no one would watch. But again, that's a good thing to me. The fact that you put so much stake in what the culture shoved in our faces, and believes so readily what they want you to believe, it makes me worried that you would rather continue down this lifestyle rather than take the necessary steps to improve yourself. Again, who cares, all that matters is what you do. Stop putting so much stake in what others did and put that stake into you. "People who don't have their own houses in order, should be very careful, before they go about reorganizing the world."

    Companies like Microsoft and Apple, Sony, all them have people in marketing and advertising that know how to structure an advertisement in order to manipulate people into purchasing their stuff. Casino's exploit people and manipulate them through the use of bright, flashing colourful lights that stimulate and release dopamine, advertisements use the very same trick. Supermarket's keep sweets and soft drinks close to the line to purchase goods because if people bring children with them, they rely on the children to push the adults enough that they cave and buy those sweets and soft drinks.

    But who is the one ultimately making that decision at the end of the day? Are we so bereft of personal responsibility that our problems are always the result of someone else, rather than the behavioral decisions we make on a day to day? Are we not the ones making the purchases? Should not at least some of the blame fall on ourselves for doing so, and not recognizing that we should be doing something else? Why are we not talking more about this? We can't control what others do, we can control ourselves.

    I've studied psychology as part of college for a few years, psychology is something that I have a high interest in despite no longer being in college and I continue to study it, to better myself, to help my friends and family, and understanding the human mind and it's influences by external and environmental factors.

    That's worrying to me, because I fear you have spent more time trying to help someone else, rather than trying to help yourself. It's great that you do these things to help others. I've never once doubted your lack of empathy and care for others, it's hugely admirable and something I'll admit I was better in myself. But helping others should not always come at the expense of helping ourselves. I just hope and pray you have a respectable balance. And that what you do do to help yourself is geared towards making you a successful person in your own right and being someone who does good for their local community.

    And given Microsoft needs people to continuously buy their products for profit and please shareholders, and investors like yourself also rely on that in order to grow your savings and accumulate more wealth, it is keeping people down, people cannot be financially secure when there is a pervasive, hyper capitalistic culture created by these big companies to push their products as God's gift to the world and a must buy.

    And yet these places of work give everyone the tools and resources needed to be successful, if they so choose to. At Amazon, our employees had exceptional time off options, a generous 401k program, numerous mental, physical, and financial resources, employee assistance programs, career focused programs to help people afford school, family assistance plans, and other benefits. Microsoft more than likely offers similar things, but I don't care enough to do research on it. Ultimately, what it comes down to is a different interpretation. You see an exploitative system that has people at the top feeding off of the bottom dwellers, creating an inescapable hole that cannot be dug out of and requires a tear down of the system to remedy. I see a system based on voluntary acceptance that offers mutual benefit determined by how much we put in and personal responsibility that determines our own levels of success and autonomy. You perceive it as a system that keeps people down, I perceive it as one that builds people up. But the people who refuse to participate, who refuse to improve, they are the loudest complainers, the ones who say everyone and everything is out to get them. When the tried and true methods can save anyone from that, if they take matters into their own hands. I think the evidence posted and done proves that.

    They don't want you to financially succeed, they want you to financially invest

    That's the same thing.

    these companies know that, so they push advertising to those groups in the place that the top of the hierarchy designated upon them, and it works within the current form of the system to keep people down, and keep the rich and powerful up, both in stature and in financial status.

    How cynical. But, as previously mentioned, wealth is extremely fluid and wealth does not often stay in one place for long, it's often burned away by the second or third generation and new people come in to take over. These studies show that, federal statistics show that, it's just the truth. But don't let the numbers get in the way of a good narrative. The rest is a bunch of word salad that I feel is redundant to address since I've already made my points up above with the citations needed. But by all means, feel free to take a look at my sources and see how they line up. And maybe, just maybe, you'll see that the "truth" you hold onto so tightly, is not what you think it is. "Reality is often disappointing."

    What a lot of this boils down to is just excuses. You're making excuses after excuses for why people an individual is like this. I'm not into excuses. If someone doesn't want to save because they saw someone else through bad means, that's their fault, not the other person's. Their choice is in their hands, not someone else.

    I'm in a rush for a flight, so I'll try to only get to the other comment's major topics.

    I advocate for Microsoft to get their fingers out, and do their jobs, adhere to their responsibility as an employer to look after staff,

    Are they not? Are they not looking out for the majority of their staff by focusing on their financial health and well being? Sacrificing some for the sake of all? As cruel as it sounds, and if there was an alternative, by all means they should have done so, perhaps this was the best way? Could continued failures not have resulted in further purging of their employee workforce, or the cut back in other benefits? Cut the cancer now so that we do not let it metastasize? Just a theory, but a perspective I believe worth examining before automatically assuming the opposite. I like to play devil's advocate in many things, I find it a good way to critically think.

    They may have maxed out their intelligence skill tree, but if they don't put a few skill points into the rest of their skill tree, they won't maximise their potential as an attractive and ethical employer, it will come at a human cost

    Then it should. By all means, people should go somewhere else if they think it's the better route for them to take. If Microsoft wants to run their business this way and risk losing people in the future, by all means, do it. I think it would be stupid of them, but I can't force them one way or the other. But I don't think Microsoft really has anything to worry about, they're still well perceived as a good company to work for and have tons of people wanting to work there and are happy in their current positions.

    Crap, got to get ready, I'll try to tackle the rest later if I have the time.

    So I've read that "study", and due to this being something that will require less time for me to address, I have prioritised it ahead of you

  • Horizon is getting a spin off in the form of a Lego game called Lego Horizon Adventures! It's been described as essentially Forbidden West but in Lego, which is interesting. Very out of left field but I'll take it. I wonder if we'll get Lego Ted Faro.

    Also I really want that Lego Tallneck set.

  • edited May 17

    I'm surprisingly curious. Will Ashley Burch be playing Lego Aloy?

    Also, which Ted Faro? Actual human Ted Faro, or monstrosity Ted Faro?

    lupinb0y posted: »

    Horizon is getting a spin off in the form of a Lego game called Lego Horizon Adventures! It's been described as essentially Forbidden West b

  • edited May 17

    I'd be surprised if Ashley Burch doesn't, and I'd assume most of the main cast will return.

    Also, which Ted Faro?

    I kinda want to see giant tumor Ted Faro if they do adapt that part of the game, even if they just make him like a big Lego head. Honestly I thought it was lame that we didn't get to see him at all and just had a reaction from his descendant.

    I'm surprisingly curious. Will Ashley Burch be playing Lego Aloy? Also, which Ted Faro? Actual human Ted Faro, or monstrosity Ted Faro?

  • just remembered I'm going to be reading the fiona book in like a month

  • Asking for Sam and Max everyday guy

  • edited May 19


    ...

    Poogers555 posted: »

    Asking for Sam and Max everyday guy

  • JenniferJennifer Moderator

    When I was a little girl, my town had a Dunkin' Donuts that became Mister Donut, then just Donut.

    Not Donuts, just Donut.

  • edited May 20

    It's a small PDF, for a more full fledged breakdown of the actual study, it's in one of Ramsey's books, Baby Steps Millionaires. There, he goes over the actual results for about 100 pages with the charts and data to back it up more thoroughly. This was an easier to digest PDF with some basic results.

    He couldn't provide more of his findings in the form of a PDF? Instead he covers the broad strokes, leaving out what may be necessary additional context? Seems like if it's truly accurate information, that it would be pretty important to get that information out to the masses and turn the tide, to change people's perception and views towards the upper class instead of placing it behind a book. Not that he's the only person in the world to do such a thing, plenty have, which I question why they do that if the information is so crucial, it makes more sense to have it more accessible to attain as maximum a reach as possible. That's why I question what the intent is, if he's putting it behind a paywall, in the form of buying a book, it's going to cater to like-minded people that know him or know of him, or wish to avail of the groundbreaking, pioneering rhetoric he says in the form of "you'll have more money by spending less", and yes, doesn't mean that advice is wrong, but it's such a common sense thing, he isn't exactly moving mountains or taking the form of a Christ-like figure for saying that. It's not much of a secret if everyone knows about it. Literally anyone could tell you that, does that make them wise? Does that make them some thorough, complex philosopher full of wisdom that rivals the philosophers of Ancient Greece and during the Enlightenment? That's what I find to be laughable, absolutely hilarious, a complete and total joke, not based on the content of his words himself when he says that, but the fact it's taken in as such a well constructed train of thought, like he went on a pilgrimage to Wall Street or Silicon Valley and had this deep revelation, a vision, bestowed upon him by God himself and that he was chosen as a messenger, the sort of reverence he's held in for saying something that literally anyone can say, regardless of their financial means, but because he's got wealth, that he's the physical embodiment of Christ in his Second Coming, it is freaking priceless.

    Again, 10,000 surveyed from across the country, the accusation that it was just "Ramsey's inner circle" is wrong. If you're trying to disregard this entire study by insisting it was just Ramsey going to his neighbor and asking a couple of questions and publishing the results, not true. In that, there were 119 questions asked on a variety of topics, and the responders were pretty evenly distributed across the four regions of the US. It's even something Ramsey addressed in the study, that they did use a sampling size from his listeners, but they also downplayed their results and more heavily studied the random ones that had nothing to do with him.

    Say 10,000 again if you want, doesn't really change anything. And "accusation"? A bit dramatic, not sure why you insist on dying on the hill for a bunch of wealthy people that profit off your hard labour, and don't care about you or acknowledge your existence. To them, you are a walking wallet, so it doesn't make sense to me personally why you are so defensive of them. What have they done for you specifically that has helped you in any way shape or form? Besides give you advice that literally anyone else could've told you, but you opted to take their word for it because they have a position of authority and they have money, not exactly living up to the libertarian ideals in my opinion.

    To get into the study itself, it says that it involved people not affiliated with Ramsey, okay, I'll just have to take his word for it, so, they aren't affiliated with him supposedly, but most people that took the survey itself worked in jobs that didn't initially start off with a high wage or anything, but would grow, so they are still in a much better financial position than most people would be, whether or not they chose to invest in stocks, while most jobs wouldn't offer that sort of progression financially. That's something I pointed out in my response to your comment, that the likes of engineering and etc, that the money is complete doodoo, but in a gradual, annual process, the earnings grow. That's the point, those people are still in a better place financially, and over time, with or without stock investment, they have more of a means to support themselves, while most don't have that, do they just pull themselves up by the bootstraps and just suck it up? Plenty of working class people bust their asses, I come from a working class background, I work hard in the three jobs that I do, I do make enough money to get by, but in saying that, I currently live in conditions where the pressure is taken off of me, I don't feel the full brunt, but even then, it still hits me, that's not a "victim-mentality", how utterly disgusting and shameless that you view those that live in poorer conditions and held down by a greedy society dictated by the wealthy are just wannabe victims, and I'll be honest, it shows just how brutally out of touch you are with the average person that is affected by societal conditions imposed by the wealthy that you perceive the conditions set in society as non-existent, that people would much rather spend their time being victims than work, when people work their asses off. It's never enough, never enough to support themselves, and certainly not enough to stop Microsoft or the like from kicking them out of employment. Work on that, that's something I recommend to you.

    Maybe do a little experiment, go down and say that to a random person down the street, tell them they're poor because they view themselves as victims, they aren't pulling their bootstraps hard enough, that the wealthy are doing everything they can out of the kindness of their hearts to make common folk more financially secure (when spoiler alert, they literally aren't), tell them if they want to be rich, to not be poor. I doubt their reaction will be one of total agreement or submission to you or your rhetoric, and really, who could blame them, because that's essentially what you are saying about them. It's so out of touch, like, at least read the room before you say something, I find that to be absolutely incredible so I do, it's actually mental, and sad. It's one thing to look after yourself, it's something else completely to just disregard others, I'm not suggesting you keep yourself up every night thinking about other people's problems, and I'm not suggesting you are totally selfish, but like, based on how you have phrased things, how you are coming across, it just screams a lack of consideration for others, you don't have to love everyone, but a bit of decency for your fellow men and women, that would be good, and it would be more so in line with the Christian values you claim to hold.

    What incentive would they have to lie? The results are anonymous, they have nothing to gain by being deceitful. And even if so, you mean to tell me that every study, of which there have been dozens across a variety of age spectrums, generations, demographics, cultures, etc., had a bunch of people lying through their teeth to publish almost the exact same results? That's wild, conspiratorial nonsense. It doesn't add up. So let's actually focus on the data that was found, rather than trying to tear it down because it doesn't conflate with the worldview you have established. Even The Millionaire Next Door found this to be true: His counterpart is James H. Ford II. Mr. Ford, age 51, is an attorney. His income last year was $92,330, slightly more than Mr. Richard's [$90,200]. What is Mr. Ford's actual net worth? His expected level of wealth? Mr. Ford's actual net worth is $226,511, while his expected level of wealth (again, computed from the wealth equation) is $470,883. Mr. Ford, by our definition, is an under accumulator of wealth. Mr. Ford spent several years in college. How can he possibly have less wealth than a mobile-home dealer? In fact, Mr. Richards has nearly 5 times the net worth of Mr. Ford [$1.1 million]. And remember, both are in the same income/age cohort...

    Clearly, Mr. Ford, the attorney, must spend significantly more of his household income to maintain and display his family's higher upper-middle class lifestyle. What make of motor vehicle is congruent with the status of an attorney? Foreign luxury, no doubt. Who needs to wear a different high-quality suit to work each day? Who needs to join one or more country clubs? Who needs expensive Tiffany silverware and serving trays?

    The incentive to not tell the full truth is because it takes the constant pressure off of wealthy people, millionaires, that a lot of them are actually self-made and didn't have their dad accumulate that wealth through his own work, the question I asked about that survey is how exactly would it compare to those who didn't. Here's one issue with the study, based off what I've gathered from what you have cited, is that it doesn't take into account, in regards to Mr. Ford, it fails to take into account, or even explore the possibility of other expenses that would explain why his net worth pales in comparison to Mr. Richards, instead it just opts to say "greedy man bought stuff because he was greedy and lacking any discipline or self-control in his spending. It is around this part of my comment that I was going to delve into the average cost of grocery shopping, renting, buying a house/apartment, car insurance, pet insurance, health insurance, cost of ambulances, cost of specific treatments and criticisms of needlessly excessive hospital bills student loans and so on, effectively pointing out how people are charged so much money for so many different things, that to keep one's head above water, when they get nickled and dimed on everything, it's very difficult. Not impossible, but certainly close. You cannot balance it, because either you, or your family will suffer through lack of available money due to being spent on all of these things, or you'll be hounded and harassed and even taken to court for not paying for certain services.

    My criticism is if this is such pivotal, accurate information that completely and totally shatters societal perceptions in regards to income inequality and so on, why is he summarising it and putting it into a short PDF, locking away the nuances of the topic behind a paywall? The only people that will buy the book are people that want to hear what he says because it makes them comfortable in their beliefs, or those who are like-minded.

    It has taken me so long to reply because I approached this very differently initially, but I realised, there really is nothing I can say that will change your view, because you see nothing wrong, you see it purely as an individual's fault that they're screwed, not the system at fault, so the more I actually tried to appeal to your humanity, which in and of itself isn't a bad way of debating, you clearly didn't care or wish to view it through that lens, you'd much rather argue within the framework of a system that you benefit from personally that you don't want it to change. Any flaws that are pointed out, you ignore, because just like Microsoft execs, it threatens your bottom line, if you are personally thriving financially due to people breaking their backs and losing their jobs, and being underpaid, as a result of Microsoft's unethical employee management, why would you want it to change? Why would you want staff to be better treated and paid better if you feel that, in doing so, it devalues your investments in Microsoft? That's why you've taken such a hard stance against any and all measures to address it, because you too perceive it as a threat to your own wellbeing. That's why you're so insistent on defending a bunch of ghouls on the executive level, because those ghouls and their unethical practices benefit you personally. I can understand your desire for financial security, but if you're so willing for that it comes at the expense of people losing their homes, their jobs, their career path, you genuinely don't care, otherwise you wouldn't be staunchly supporting Microsoft and their decisions regarding their treatment of staff, or be in complete and total opposition of any measures taken to fix those problems. You don't see a problem, you see things working as intended, and that, in itself, is gravely wrong. If what I've said offends you and you feel the need to come in and tell me how wrong I am and how nasty I must be to say that, I'll just point out, that's what you are arguing for bud, what you seek to maintain, those are the consequences, whether you are willingly, or willfully ignorant to that fact.

    You've made a series of assumptions of my own status, that for me to argue for things like I have, that I too must possess a victim mentality, that I must be financially wreckless, that I too must pull myself up by my bootstraps. I am doing okay financially, as I said, I get by, things are pretty cushty for me at the moment, but with certain life decisions I've made, that will change, I will feel the full brunt of it all once that time comes in a matter of weeks. When that time comes, I acknowledge and take responsibility for how I spend my money, and I will spend it accordingly, to ensure I survive and thrive.

    Nobody denies financial responsibility is important, but the point is, people spend their money to survive, but why must they spend it solely on survival? Maybe because you are in a better financial position, and I'm very certain you grew up in a different class than working class, that you have not struggled to the same degree as most people do on a daily basis. Now, I'm not saying you haven't struggled, that would be wrong of me, I'll assume you have, but I will say, I strongly doubt you faced struggles such as those experienced by those below you on an economic level. I do advocate for financial responsibility, as much as you seem to think otherwise as you believed that I wanted Microsoft to spend so much money that they'd require a bailout, when my point was completely different to what you took away from that. That also points out that you believe any measures taken to better pay and treat staff more appropriately would be one that would threaten the existence of Microsoft, unless you'd like to step forward and explain yourself? Again, not sure if you know, three trillion dollar company we're talking about here, jumping to such a conclusion is a tad overdramatic on your part. But, how can people be safe and secure in their finances when the cost of everything has gone up? It's not a skill issue, the difficulty level has risen, they can't just grind and things will get better. They're level 15, when the recommended level is level 50. You play games, try and see how effective you are when the level requirement far exceeds your current level.

    Not too sure why I typed that, I know and you know that I wasted my time, you honestly don't care, it's pure nonsense in your eyes. So, I'd like to point out just how wrong you are, without trying to appeal to your humanity, because honestly, based off this entire conversation, any efforts I've made have received a very blunt, inconsiderate response on your side, you can come in and do damage control on your own behalf of you want, in a similar fashion like you did for Microsoft, but as I said, what you advocate for, is the maintaining of a system that exploits, because you too benefit from it, and you will seek to argue to defend and maintain it, even turning to studies that tell you what you want to hear, completely ignoring that you are getting grifted nice and hard by paying your own money to tell you what literally anyone else could tell you. You don't want to bite the hand that feeds you, you seek to bite any hands that reach out to be fed.

    Here's an excerpt from a report, by Oxfam America, published in January, 2024, that's free to access by the way, you can put your credit card away and save your money, and it says this, "Since 2020, the richest five men in the world have doubled their fortunes. During the same period, almost five billion people globally have become poorer. Hardship and hunger are a daily reality for many people worldwide. At current rates, it will take 230 years to end poverty, but we could have our first trillionaire in 10 years." Shocking right? So, I'll ask you, what is your suggestion? Do we wait 230 years to fix a problem, that, based on current rates, that are constantly changing and rising, that affects billions? Or do we wait in anticipation for the world's first trillionaire and pat him (because it's going to be a him, let's not kid ourselves), for making so much money off of work he didn't even do? Which sounds more appealing to you? Do we end poverty, or do we celebrate some greedy, self-centred prick making money while the rest of the world starves and can barely keep themselves afloat? Based on this conversation, I've got a feeling what your answer is, but I'll not say it, I'd like to hear what you actually say rather than just assume, you're a big boy, you can speak for yourself. Here I go again, trying to appeal to your humanity, I can't help it, because usually people are actually open to things like that, not because of feefees, but because they aren't totally oblivious to what's in front of them.

    The report itself contains forewords from the likes of Bernie Sanders, whom I know you don't like, but also from people like Rokeya Rafique, she is a lead Karmojibi Nari (KN), a non-profit, non-government, women-headed organization in Bangladesh. She says "Working since 1991, we are still marching on the road to ensure women’s rights, dignity, power and authority. Our mission is to create a just and egalitarian society free from exploitation, deprivation and discrimination; a society in which women workers, women and labourers enjoy their rights, dignity, power and authority.We work to organize my working-class sisters working in the garment industry; we fight for their rights, risking death to fight for greater equality. The minimum wage for garment workers in Bangladesh has remained unchanged since 2019 at Tk. 8,000 per month (US$73). This is only one-third of a living wage. Meanwhile, the cost of living has significantly risen due to inflation, with food prices increasing by 21% to 50% between 2022 and 2023. Many garment workers are trapped in debt and have to borrow money to meet basic needs like food, medicine and transport. They work about 11 hours a day, six days a week, rarely receiving sick pay despite this being a legal requirement. They are often working into the night to meet impossible production targets, sometimes having to work all night long. Safety is a fear for all; we often hear of women being injured at work and many are afraid of factory fires because of blocked exits. After 47 workers died in a fire at a garment factory in Chittagong in 2006, Karmojibi Nari has been working on this issue as a founder member of the Workers Safety Forum (SNF). Our organization was the secretariate of the forum and has held dialogues with the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers Export Association (BGMEA) and other related stakeholders and duty bearers.
    We work to organize and educate working-class women to understand their rights and to fight for them; to understand that they are part of a huge global system. A system that extracts wealth from their labour. A system that seeks to exploit women in Global South countries such as Bangladesh. The garments they sew during long hours in the factory are sold in rich nations, often for more money than the garment workers are paid in a month. This money does not go to them, but to the owners of the clothing companies, the fashion corporations far away, and their rich male shareholders in rich countries, some of them billionaires.
    These billionaires have more money than a garment worker could earn in a thousand lifetimes. Who could ever justify such wealth built on the suffering of my sisters sweating each day?"

    We even get some comments referring to your old boss, oul' Jeff Bezos, who also financially benefitted from your exploitation, amongst others you worked with.

    Jeff Bezos is one of the world’s richest men. His fortune of US$167.4bn has increased by US$32.7bn since 2020. Bezos flew to space for US$5.5bn and thanked Amazon workers for making this possible.Amazon has a history of making efforts to prevent unionizing by workers.
    ➜ Reverend Ryan Brown works at an Amazon fulfillment center in North Carolina. He describes the work as physically demanding, monotonous and grueling, with workers subject to racism and discrimination. He is involved in workplace organizing to address racism and secure a living wage.
    ➜ Seafood-processing workers in Southeast Asia have supplied food to supermarkets such as Amazon-owned Whole Foods and others. Workers in this industry include Susi, who used to work at a shrimp factory. She said, ‘While we were working there wasn’t time to rest. I was not allowed to drink.’

    The wealth of the world’s five richest billionaires has more than doubled since the start of this decade, while 60% of humanity has grown poorer.For years, Oxfam has raised the alarm about widening and extreme inequality. As we enter 2024, the very real danger is that these extraordinary extremes are becoming the new normal. Corporate and monopoly power, as this paper shows, is an unrelenting inequality-generating machine.
    The 2020s offer opportunities for leaders to take our world in a bold, new, fairer direction. This is yet to happen. An era of widening inequality has coincided with a narrowing of economic imagination. We are living through what appears to be the start of a decade of division: in just three years, we have experienced a global pandemic, war, a cost-of-living crisis and climate breakdown. Each crisis has widened the gulf – not so much between the rich and people living in poverty, but between an oligarchic few and the vast majority.

    But wait, there's more!

    Since 2020, and the beginning of this decade of division, the five richest men in the world have seen their fortunes more than double, while almost five billion people have seen their wealth fall.

    • If each of the five wealthiest men were to spend a million US dollars daily, they would take 476 years to exhaust their combined wealth.
    • Seven out of ten of the world’s biggest corporations have a billionaire CEO or a billionaire as their principal shareholder.
    • Globally, men own US$105 trillion more wealth than women – the difference in wealth is equivalent to more than four times the size of the US economy.
    • The world’s richest 1% own 43% of all global financial assets.
    • The richest 1% globally emit as much carbon pollution as the poorest two-thirds of humanity.
    • In the USA, the wealth of a typical Black household is just 15.8% of that of a typical white household.15 In Brazil, on average, white people have incomes more than 70% higher than those of Afro-descendants. 16
    • Just 0.4% of over 1,600 of the world’s largest and most influential companies are publicly committed to paying their workers a living wage and support payment of a living wage in their value chains.17
    • It would take 1,200 years for a female worker in the health and social sector to earn what a CEO in the biggest Fortune 100 companies earns on average in one year.

    Meanwhile, the dramatic increase in extreme wealth witnessed since 2020 has become set in stone. Billionaires are now US$3.3 trillion or 34% richer than they were at the beginning of this decade of crisis, with their wealth growing three times as fast as the rate of inflation.
    This wealth is concentrated in the Global North. Only 21% of humanity lives in the countries of the Global North, but these countries are home to 69% of private wealth, and 74% of the world’s billionaire wealth. The other big winners in this period of crisis are global corporations. For huge corporations, just as for super-rich individuals, the last two decades have been extraordinarily lucrative and the last few years have been better still: the biggest firms experienced an 89% leap in profits in 2021 and 2022. New data shows that 2023 is set to shatter all records as the most profitable yet. Eighty-two percent of these profits are used to benefit shareholders, who are overwhelmingly among the richest people in every society.

    Speaking of rich corporations, let's talk about Microsoft,

    In 2021, a subsidiary of Microsoft made a profit of $315bn (£222bn) last year but paid no corporation tax as it is “resident” for tax purposes in Bermuda.

    The profit generated by Microsoft Round Island One is equal to nearly three-quarters of Ireland’s gross domestic product – even though the company has no employees.
    The subsidiary, which collects licence fees for the use of copyrighted Microsoft software around the world, recorded an annual profit of $314.7bn in the year to the end of June 2020, according to accounts filed at the Irish Companies Registration Office.
    The company’s profits jumped from just under $10bn in the previous year and compare with Ireland’s 2020 GDP of €357bn ($433bn).

    So they paid zero in tax because they exploited a loophole in our taxation over here in Ireland. Seems like they're doing pretty well financially. I'd say a couple billion out of that could easily fix problems that exist in their studios without them having a stroke or completely shitting the bed and closing up shop.

    What do you think Metallica? Many, or any thoughts on that? "Fair play Microsoft, good on them"? Or something a little more damning? They won't bite you. And of course, I'll link my sources at the end of this comment.

    Here's another interesting little thing, in 2023, there was a bill proposed in Congress to increase taxes on companies based on their CEO to employee ratio, named the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act of 2021. Somehow, that's stirred up a bit of controversy, I can't seem to put my finger on as to why that is. I'll quote Close Up, who wrote this article,

    In the proposal, a ratio is ascribed to a company by dividing the CEO’s compensation by that of the median employee.1 The tax hike proposed in the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act is gradually increased in proportion to the ratio, starting with a 0.5 percentage point increase for companies that pay their chief executive between 50 to 100 times more than their median worker. The highest tax applied is a five percentage point increase for corporations in which the CEO makes more than 500 times the typical employee. These percentage points would be added to the current corporate income tax rate of 21 percent.
    Compensation ratios vary greatly depending on specific organizations. Coca-Cola’s ratio, for example, is on the high end of the spectrum at 1,621 to 1.2. Of the top 1,000 firms, around 80 percent would be subject to higher taxes because of pay disparity. However, compensation can sometimes be difficult to calculate, with many CEOs receiving stock options and other forms of payment. Using data from the top 350 firms, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) found the CEO-to-worker pay ratio to be 399 to 1 in 2021. This is an increase from 20 to 1 in 1965 and 58 to 1 in 1989. Some scholars credit this trend as contributing to growing wealth inequality in the United States. The EPI study found that from 1978 to 2019, CEO compensation expanded by 940 percent while median worker compensation grew by only 12 percent.

    Arguments against that bill is that the corporations will opt to pass that onto the workers, the average person, and make them pay for it. How unfair! Maybe we should do something about how much unrestricted freedom we grant super corporations instead of sitting and twiddling our fingers while they push their burden onto their workers? If they do, as Close Up goes on to say, it will affect the functioning of the economy. So that means we should just get rid of it because of that? Or, should we be more firm on big businesses to ensure that doesn't happen? Maybe safeguard employees? Implement more stuff for them and protect the staff? Food for thought my friend.

    So let's delve into what the Bill, which has been introduced, seeks to do:

    This bill increases the current 21% income tax rate of corporations whose ratio of compensation of their principal executive officers or other highest compensated employees to median worker compensation is more than 50 to 1, in which case the increase is 0.5%. The pay ratio disparity extends from 100 to 1 to 500 to 1, in which case the increase is 5%. The bill exempts from such increase certain corporations based upon their average annual gross receipts.

    Sounds good on paper, or looks good on a screen, whatever, but it seems decent am I right? But, as we know, they'll always find a way around that, maybe they'll push it onto their staff, which is wrong, I am sure you would, or at least, hope that you would agree. Now, what do we do about that? I vote we actually take measures to prevent that from happening, what says you Metallica?

    Let's talk a bit more about the income inequality, according to AFL-CIO:

    2022, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $16.7 million in total compensation. This was the second-highest level of CEO pay in history for S&P 500 Index companies.

    The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 272-to-1 for S&P 500 Index companies in 2022; overall, U.S. workers’ real hourly wages fell in 2022 for the second year in a row by -1.6% after adjusting for inflation. So for Microsoft, their CEO-to-workee pay is 289-to-1, with the median worker pay coming to around $190,302. So, you work at Microsoft, your pay will be good, but in comparison to the value your labour generates, which, according to Microsoft's fiscal reports, go into the billions. Not a very fair trade-off to be honest, it's good money don't get me wrong, but it's not exactly a clean split, compared to how much Microsoft as a company makes, it's crumbs from their apple pie left over on their tray. And that's according AFL-CIO.

    Companies are implementing AI to reduce their wage bill, why hire a person if you can use that very person that you will lay off down the road to develop an AI that can do their work without you having to spend a dime on making sure they can actually survive? Remember how I mentioned Microsoft laid off staff and then invested $3.3 billion USD on improving their cloud and AI infrastructure? Just around the time of the layoffs too, not too discreet about things were they? This investment will run through until the end of 2026, so they've got plenty of time to shaft some more staff until then, you and I both know, they'll do it, and they'll do it with enthusiasm, for the love of the sport.

    I don't know about you, but the future we are galloping towards doesn't seem good, seems like a dystopia, I'm sure, or at least, optimistic, that with your eyes wide open now you may ask "what can we do about it?" Fret not, for there is a solution! Let's check in with Oxfam again:

    Revitalize the state - A strong and effective state is the best bulwark against corporate power. It is a provider of public goods; a maker and shaper of markets; a corrector of market failures; and an owner and operator of national commercial ventures, accounting for up to 40% of domestic output worldwide in 2018. Governments need to take a proactive role in shaping their economies for the common good. They must:

    • Guarantee inequality-busting public services including healthcare, education, care services and food security.
    •Invest in public transport, energy, housing, and other public infrastructure.
    • Explore a public monopoly or a public option in sectors that are prone to monopoly power and key to tackling extreme inequality and driving a rapid transition away from fossil fuels. These could include public energy, public transport (where the infrastructure investment costs mean there can only be one efficient provider), and other sectors where there is a significant national benefit.
    •Improve the transparency, accountability and oversight of public institutions (including state-owned enterprises).
    • Strengthen, finance and staff regulatory capacity to
    enforce regulations to ensure that the private sector serves the common good.

    Keeping with Oxfam, let's look at some "fine gentlemen" that definitely don't monopolise or do any of those shenanigans:

    1. Bernard Arnault

    Bernard Arnault (net worth: US$191.3bn) is the world’s second richest man and presides over Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world’s largest luxury goods empire, which holds a reported 22% of the global luxury market.200 Mr Arnault not only collects exclusive properties on the Champs-Élysées,201 but media houses too, including France’s biggest media outlet, Les Echos, and Le Parisien, a newspaper widely read by the working classes. LVMH has been fined by France’s anti-trust body for anti-competitive practices.
    2. Jeff Bezos
    Jeff Bezos (net worth: US$167.4bn) built the Amazon ‘empire’ – that now spans from producing television series to being the world’s largest provider of computing services – by positioning the company at the ‘center of ecommerce’ and cultivating reliance on Amazon across markets, using its scale to set pricing.
    3. Aliko Dangote
    Aliko Dangote (net worth: US$10.5bn) is Africa’s richest person and holds a ‘near-monopoly’ on cement in Nigeria and market power Africa-wide.204 Dangote Cement has enjoyed some of the world’s highest profit margins on cement (45%), while paying a tax rate of 1% over 15 years: World Bank data has in the past shown that Africans pay more than others worldwide for cement. Dangote is now expanding his empire into oil, raising concerns about a new private monopoly.
    4. Julio Ponce Lerou
    Julio Ponce Lerou (net worth: US$2.5bn), Chile’s second richest man and the former son-in-law of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, is described as the ‘Lithium King’ due to his ownership stake in SQM, the world’s second largest lithium-mining firm. SQM was privatized by Pinochet in the 1980s. The Chilean government plans to bring lithium under greater state control
    5. Masayoshi Son
    Masayoshi Son (net worth: US$22.5bn) runs Japanese investment giant Softbank, which has been described as a ‘monopoly manufacturing machine’. Firms under its ownership include Arm, which holds a 99% market share on designs of chips found in smartphones.

    See these people you fight in the corner of, they didn't accumulate wealth due the breaking of their own backs, they relied on others to break their backs, and they reap the rewards. Your own former CEO, who implemented a culture that drained you and your colleagues, and you still defend him? Did he not drain you hard enough? He's responsible for the culture that was cultivated in Amazon facilities.

    According to the International Labour Organisation's Global Wage Report of 2023:

    In Northern America (Canada and the United States), the composition effect was very pronounced in 2020, with average real wages suddenly jumping by 4.3 per cent. Wage growth then slid down to 0 per cent in 2021 and dropped to –3.2 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In Latin America and the Caribbean, the composition effect was also very visible, with real wages increasing by 3.3 per cent in 2020. Wage growth then decreased to –1.4 per cent in 2021 and –1.7 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In the European Union, where job retention schemes and wage subsidies largely protected employment and wage levels during the pandemic, real wage growth slowed down to 0.4 per cent in 2020, increased to 1.3 per cent in 2021 and fell to –2.4 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In Eastern Europe, real wage growth slowed down to 4.0 per cent in 2020 and 3.3 per cent in 2021, and fell to –3.3 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In Asia and the Pacific, real wage growth slowed down to 1.0 per cent in 2020, increased to 3.5 per cent in 2021 and slowed down again in the first half of 2022 to 1.3 per cent.
    In Central and Western Asia, real wage growth fell by –1.6 per cent in 2020, recovered strongly in 2021 and slowed down to 2.5 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In Africa, evidence suggests a sharp fall in real wage growth of –10.5 per cent in 2020 and thereafter real wage growth of –1.4 per cent in 2021 and –0.5 per cent in the first half of 2022.
    In the Arab States wage trends are tentative, but estimates point to low wage growth of 0.8 per cent in 2020, 0.5 per cent in 2021 and 1.2 per cent in 2022.

    Want to know what the original meaning is behind "pull yourself up by the bootstraps"? It originated in the 1800's, and meant to "do something impossible". It is impossible for the common man or woman to remotely challenge the wealth accumulation, hoarding and financial success of juggernauts like Microsoft, as I've so clearly pointed out thanks to my sources, so, while personal responsibility for finances does come into it to a degree, everything I've showed you says that the way the world is built, economy's are structured, you can be as fiscally conservative as you wish, but, if you're a different ethnicity, from a different economic class, you WON'T succeed. And no, that doesn't mean someone didn't follow Dave Ramsey's teachings to the T, doesn't mean they fucked up, doesn't mean they did a no-no, it means they're being kept in a specific position economically, because it suits those who shape our society. Very easy, simple, easy to grasp.

    Seems to me that those "societal perceptions" that Dave Ramsey supposedly and epically annihilated with his "facts and logic" are alive and well today, unfortunately. Thoughts on that? Any solutions? Other than "get another job", because based on current trends, these businesses you defend so staunchly will consume everything, so you will always work under them, one way or another. You cannot run from them. It isn't me being negative, it's me being realistic, and yes, I'm a cynic, for good reason, I've got many, I've included them, makes sense why I'm such a cynic, I'm not oblivious to what I see with my own two eyes.

    Oh, and don't worry about me, I can worry about other people and take care of myself, I'd rather you didn't lose sleep over what I do in my life. Having empathy doesn't come at my expense, it makes me human, something that I feel is lost in yourself in your pursuit to defend the rich and mighty, and ridicule and dismiss the poor and downtrodden.

    This will be my very last comment, because the longer we go on, the longer our comments will get. It will delve deeper into issues prohibited from the Forums, and I wish for my comments to stay up, as the sources provided, paint a damning, but realistic picture of our world today, whether or not you like that or can't accept it for what it is. I've got no issue debating you, and frankly, I think I'm doing far better than you anticipated, I do find it silly we are debating whether people losing their jobs are justified and that I have to be the one that opposes your view on the wealthy. The wealthy may be people, but maybe they should start acting like it, and my suggestion to you, save your disdain for the poor and target the rich with it, they don't care about you, and they never will, no matter how much money you invest in them. To them, you are a walking wallet, not a human being with thoughts, feelings, a family, friends, they don't see that. They see what you can give them, what they can take from you. The power is in your hands, choose to keep licking the boots that keep you and everyone else down, or actually strive for a better economy that everyone can participate and benefit from. By the way, just because what I said doesn't conflate with your worldview, doesn't make it inaccurate, these are reputable sources, all saying the very opposite of Dave Ramsey and his ilk, you can choose to believe it or not, but if you don't, you will live in complete denial over the reality you reside in.

    Links to articles, reports:

    1. https://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/issues/extreme-inequality-and-poverty/

    2. https://webassets.oxfamamerica.org/media/documents/Inequality_Inc._k6NfmGq.pdf

    3. https://www.ifcreview.com/news/2021/june/ireland-microsoft-s-irish-subsidiary-paid-zero-corporation-tax-on-220bn-profit/

    4. https://aflcio.org/executive-paywatch-0

    5. https://aflcio.org/paywatch/company-pay-ratios

    6. https://researchrepository.ilo.org/esploro/outputs/report/995264896002676#file-0

    It's a small PDF, for a more full fledged breakdown of the actual study, it's in one of Ramsey's books, Baby Steps Millionaires. There, he g

  • Me causing a big-ass conversation with essays between two forum users:

  • That's what happens when part of your neon sign burns out and you don't bother to fix it.

    Jennifer posted: »

    When I was a little girl, my town had a Dunkin' Donuts that became Mister Donut, then just Donut. Not Donuts, just Donut.

  • On a different note, I've got a job offer, better pay, accommodation provided, access to facilities such as a gym, relocation to a very gorgeous part of Ireland, it'll be my first venture into the world on my own, I'm nervous, but I'm excited, I want to have my own peace, continue to work on and better myself and become the person I want to be, I feel that this decision is the right one, and although I'm anxious, it's a normal feeling to have, I am excited for what is to come next!

  • Is there any guy on this forum who is able to grow a mustache like this or am I the only one?

    Unfortunately I have to use mustache wax to keep it handlebar style. If I don't it becomes more like this.

    Kinda weird to ask this but I'm curious.

  • I'm torn on how they executed it in Forbidden West. On the one hand, I wanted to see it. On the other, leaving it to our imagination and going solely based off of the noises it makes and the image of the reactor, probably creates an even more haunting image than what the developers could cook up. And as cool as it would have been for Aloy to confront him and for him to see the spitting image of Elisabet, let's face it, there was nothing left of his mind that would have recognized her.

    lupinb0y posted: »

    I'd be surprised if Ashley Burch doesn't, and I'd assume most of the main cast will return. Also, which Ted Faro? (Spoiler)

  • Have I ever tried? No. But I think I could. I've always had (irritatingly) active facial hair growth.

    Menofthe214 posted: »

    Is there any guy on this forum who is able to grow a mustache like this or am I the only one? Unfortunately I have to use mustache wax to keep it handlebar style. If I don't it becomes more like this. Kinda weird to ask this but I'm curious.

  • edited May 21

    Nice strawmanning. Really appreciate how you just twist people that, on a free to listen 3 hour daily radio show available across multiple media spectrums where they talk to people and give out a ton of information and resources free on their website and social media that is easily accessible to everyone, and conflate them as cocksuckers for people that I never even talked about or give a rats ass about. You can say or believe whatever you want about me, regardless of actual truth. I can laugh it all off because it doesn't bother me, if I gave a shit about what someone on the Internet thought about me, I would have offed myself a long time ago. I was bullied and shunned constantly when I was younger, it gave me a ton of thick skin. But outright lying about people who are actually trying to help other people, tearing them down when I know for a fact you actually haven't read a damn thing they've said or written. I find that gravely insulting for the thousands who found something of value, and used it as a mechanism to turn their entire life around. Most of which, I would imagine, started as lower class and rose up. Because I listen to those shows. I listen to those people go on and do their Debt Free Screams about how they paid off their college loans, or credit card debt, or their house, in just a couple of years despite earning little and being tens if not hundreds of thousands in the red. But tell them they are the scourge of the earth. That their hard work and effort makes them villains. Crooks. Evil people.

    You talk about these 1% of 1% of 1%'ers, when I never even so much as mentioned them. Almost nothing you even mentioned or referenced had ANYTHING to do with the majority of my topic. You're arguing about something I didn't even argue for or discuss. Everything I said was about the everyday person. The people who take ownership of the things they can control are my focus. Ramsey's focus. Thomas Stanley and William Danko's focus. Benjamin Graham's focus. JL Collins' focus. These are the names I care about, and you and most people probably have no idea who they are. These are writers, analysts, professors, etc. whose teachings have uplifted people. I don't give a crap about Dangote, he's in Africa. Lerou in Chile. Son in Japan. None of these people know me, I don't know them, so they do not intrinsically matter. They're not here raiding my fridge for food, or my bank account of money. Their actions carry such little weight that I'll forget them as soon as I'm done writing this.

    The only one of these people whose opinion I actually care for is Warren Buffett. Easily one of the greatest geniuses of our time and one of the smartest men to have lived. And yes, I will say that with the straightest of faces because the Oracle of Omaha earned that name for a reason. His financial acumen and investment strategies extend beyond his perch, and his charm and wit are evident in his writings. Read them and you will find wisdom and advice that will benefit everyone, even the most downtrodden. One of my favorite quotes: “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

    You ask (rhetorically because you don't actually care) how to fix it? We need better education on how to make people responsible stewards and citizens. This starts primarily in the home, raising children in a stable, two parent household. But this extends outside as well. Financial literacy courses in schools as a requirement to graduate, supplying the youth with the tools, knowledge, and resources to improve themselves. A culture change away from a materialistic, hedonistic pursuits that engulf and consume the modern person. A shift from moral relativism and legal positivism, doing away with the mentality that "what you're doing is okay because it's not hurting anyone." It will take time and effort, its effects will not be immediately felt. That's because very few solutions to problems can so easily be fixed and remedied with a short term solution. An actual foundation must be laid to attack the root of the problem. So my answer: start planting the tree. You can start in your own backyard.

    It's a small PDF, for a more full fledged breakdown of the actual study, it's in one of Ramsey's books, Baby Steps Millionaires. There, he g

  • Geez if someone cared so much about my opinion that they responded with a full blown essay including references I’d be flattered.

    No hate, you do you guys.

  • edited May 21

    For me it takes at least 2 months without shaving for it to grow like that.

    Have I ever tried? No. But I think I could. I've always had (irritatingly) active facial hair growth.

  • edited May 21

    I've said all that I've needed to say, I think my comment speaks for itself, choose to do with that information as you wish. The topic was on Microsoft layoffs, and turned into a debate on income inequality and the enrichment of the wealthy, and how difficult it is for people to actually attain a comfortable financial position, you disputed that, and I backed it with a multitude of sources that proved my stance to be correct. Not a strawman. I addressed the points on income inequality, and Microsoft's excessive wealth, and thoroughly disproved that "everyone can make money if they stopped being so silly with their money". The points you made, I addressed with my sourcing of multiple reports, and I went even higher than millionaires, because they aren't the only ones perpetrating income inequality. You haven't addressed anything I mentioned in my comment, that's on you, that is your personal responsibility. I doubt you personally know Ramsey or anyone affiliated with The Millionaire Next Door, yet you place an awful lot of importance on what they say, and take offence on their behalf, when they've got cash to wipe away their tears. You're taking a lot of offence on the behalf of people you don't personally know, because they've enriched you, and don't seem too interested in those who seek to monopolise ecommerce and various industries and further exacerbate the problem. About those you do choose to defend, they can fight their own battles, they don't need you, I don't understand the raging clue for these people, they're ghouls plain and simple, and no matter how adamant you are, no matter how much you tell yourself they aren't, they are, there's not a single thing you can do to change that.

    I have planted my tree, and I plan on sharing the fruits of the tree with the people I meet in my life, not hoard it to myself or target those who wish to indulge. Also, I was genuinely interested in what solutions you had, as much as you may think otherwise, I probably would have disagreed with them, who knows though, but alas, it is what it is. I don't know those people personally because I don't seek out grifters, that's the difference here. Lastly, since you are a man of faith, I'm sure you are aware of a certain quote, from a certain book, on how a rich person has as much of a chance entering heaven as a camel has the chance of going through the eye of a needle. Deduce from that what you must.

    Side note, I've experienced bullying myself, I still feel the impact it's had on me today, so, all things aside, I am genuinely sorry that you had to experience that, I cannot measure the pain you experienced, nor would I expect you to try and measure the pain I've felt, I'll say this, fair play to you for overcoming it, and not letting it define you or keep you down.

    For you and for me, let's just drop this, I've said my piece, you've said yours, my comment speaks for itself, let's just go on with our lives and actually try to make a positive change in society, for everyone.

    Nice strawmanning. Really appreciate how you just twist people that, on a free to listen 3 hour daily radio show available across multiple m

Sign in to comment in this discussion.