Episode-692- Listener Feedback for 6-27-11

It’s Monday and that means it is time for another round of your feedback of articles, commentary, questions and thoughts sent to jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com  We have some serious topics today and some fun ones as well along with a heaping dose of assclownery.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • Thoughts about college from an English teacher
  • Storing dehydrated food in jars with O2 absorbers
  • More thoughts on farming  vs drugs for fighting PTSD
  • States take aim at taxing internet sales
  • Brazilians buying up Miami on the cheap
  • Getting around idiocy in government with local egg sales
  • Is thorium the solution for nuclear energy
  • Cash in an IRA to pay off a mortgage?  may be, may be not
  • The TSA protects us by taking a diaper off a 95 year old cancer patient
  • Pontiac, MI the first City to Fall in the Coming Stream of Defaults

Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

66 Responses to Episode-692- Listener Feedback for 6-27-11

  1. I understand what you are saying about college is not for everyone…however, studies have shown that women with college degrees many times only make what a male High School graduate makes. Discrimination is still rampant in the business world. As a mom with 3 daughters, I told them to go to college, and then if they wanted to be ditch diggers they can do whatever they want. I want them to be able to take care of themselves and their children if they are left alone through divorce, death, or disaster.

    • Modern Survival

      Short sighted, sorry but it really is.

      What if one of them doesn’t really qualify for school?

      What if they are ditch diggers in debt for the rest of their lives?

      What if one wants to be a nurse?

      For the love of Pete such decisions are individual. Unless you are just sitting on enough money to send them all to school with no debt this is exactly why we have so many people that are in debt for their entire lives.

      Sorry but that is simply the truth. Please even if you steer them toward school, have a real in depth evaluation by BOTH OF you about college before you do it.

      Parents must also COME TO GRIPS WITH THE FOLLOWING. You are NOT SENDING your kids to college by the time they go you are directing young men and women into a life choice with life long consequences.

      • I’m pretty sure you have to go to college if you want to be a nurse

        • Modern Survival

          No, my wife is a nurse she when to Nursing School, not college. A good friend of mine has a wife that runs an MRI, she didn’t go to college and makes a damn good living. There is more than one option, stop believing the lie. And please remember that since I said 50% don’t belong, 50% do belong. However the odds that all three of anyone’s three kids all belong there are about as good as all three having identical personalities.

        • The classical college education of today –which involves 4 years, 120 credit hours, various philosophy courses and cultural appreciation courses– isn’t needed for a lot of the high-paying long-term careers of today. Nursing is an excellent example of such a job.

    • Jack, the nation of India is building brand new Nukes fueled by Thorium. Why don’t you do a show on Thorium? More people need to know about the newest technology in “Nukes” around the world.
      Robb

    • Laurie, it may be best to treat this as a business decision considering the amount of money involved in the transaction of participating in higher education. Part of the problem is that you don’t quantify, “tends to do well”. I’m assuming that you mean they will make a reasonable income but reasonable is a relative term, reasonable relative to what? Perhaps relative to any debt they would take on, capture your daughters finances on a simple balance sheet to help them understand what their net worth would be coming out of college based on typical salaries for their field. Make sure you add in living expenses. What is their monthly cash flow after they service their monthly debt payments, how much cash flow will they have? They may not be so impressed with the numbers and it may hit them that taking on substantial debt via college is not the right thing to do for themselves. If you don’t need to take on any debt then great, financially they’re ahead but don’t forget the opportunity cost of what they could have been doing for 4 years if they find out at the end of college that they’re not interested in their field of study anymore.

      Do your daughters have a vision for themselves and their career before they begin college. Not just what field they want to work in but for what companies, what specializations, geographically where do they want to work, etc. This makes it much easier to put the pieces in place and keep your eye on the prize when you’re going through college instead of aimlessly wandering through higher education.

  2. You scare the crap out of me. Now a city is going into default like you predicted. Where did you get your crystal ball? Oh, and what are next week’s lottery numbers…

    • Modern Survival

      Like Celente I just read the news as a political atheistic. The day you stop allowing any political beliefs to cloud your view of facts you see pretty clearly.

      I am a libertarian so it makes it easy for me to detach. The news is written for democrats and republicans. You don’t have to convert though, just let go of any political affiliation when looking at facts, especially math.

  3. who says they are going into debt? I don’t think it’s short sighted at all, sorry.

    • Modern Survival

      Did you completely ignore this part of what I said?

      “Unless you are just sitting on enough money to send them all to school with no debt this is exactly why we have so many people that are in debt for their entire lives.”

      This is my big problem parents are so emotionally attached to this idea (thanks to decades of false marketing) they can’t even consider an logical response to “all should go”.

      I do encourage you and all parents to VERY CAREFULLY consider this statement as well though.

      “Parents must also COME TO GRIPS WITH THE FOLLOWING. You are NOT SENDING your kids to college by the time they go you are directing young men and women into a life choice with life long consequences.”

      You don’t “send your kids to school” when you are dealing with 18-24 year old adults. It really isn’t a parents decision, though we seem to believe it is today.

      If you have enough money to fund three educations and your kids want to go, fine, so be it.

      • yes I completely ignored it because it doesn’t apply to me and mine. You can go to college on a payment plan, people who do go to college tend to do well in life and I’d rather hedge my bet than let my daughters take their chances….and they wanted to go so they went.

        • Modern Survival

          I am happy that you believe it is your right to make decisions for the life of your children after they reach adulthood. So you are saying at 18 you are sending them, even if they want something else?

          Let me know how it works out.

        • Modern Survival

          I can also show you tons of people who didn’t “do well in life”. This is my issue you are just parroting the lie.

          A person should go to college for REASONS THAT APPLY PERSONALLY TO THAT INDIVIDUAL. To their talents, desires, goals, etc. Not to a marketing slogan.

        • Wow, did you completely ignore my “tends” to do well?

          and so these people who didn’t do well, didn’t do well, solely because of their college degree, and not because they probably have other life issues that would make it difficult for them to do well at almost anything?

          I told you, I understand what you are saying when you say college is not for everyone but we decided that it was for my kids.

        • Modern Survival

          @Laurie please remember how this all started, you said.

          “however, studies have shown that women with college degrees many times only make what a male High School graduate makes. Discrimination is still rampant in the business world. As a mom with 3 daughters, I told them to go to college”

          Sorry but that sure sounds like, well may be men don’t need to go but all women do just to get a fair shake. Read it yourself with out any emotional attachment.

          I also now understand how you have so much of an attachment to this issue. The money is already spent.

        • Modern Survival

          And of course it DID APPLY TO YOU, it is called a mitigating circumstance in your favor. I have far less of an issue if college doesn’t mean debt. So had you simply said, “we won’t be getting into debt”, it would make me see your side a bit more clearly.

          Though I am not sold on this “payment plan” notion. If you can do it with out debt it changes a LOT.

  4. @Timothy – I think you mean TSA not TSP.

  5. One has a Business degree/works in accounting and one just graduated with a Biology/Anthropology degree and one is working on her Art History degree. now that one will never make much money, but that’s not the important thing. With a college degree she can get a job in many places and not have to work at Walmart because she has no skills. None of them wanted to be dental hygienist or car mechanics which was offered at the local tech college. I said they should go to college and I thank god they took my advice. I’m not criticizing anybody’s choice to go or not to go. I’m thankful the opportunity is there.
    I understand about not everyone belongs, in 1900, only 5% of the population had been to college. Now it’s 50% or more goes to college. Like inflation it drags down the value of a college ed. But that’s not to say it doesn’t help.

    • timfromohio

      I’m 100% serious when I ask to let everyone know how the art history degree works out.

      I have two young sons and my expectation is for them to present me with something akin to a business plan for their professional lives. By the time they are in their late teens they need to have developed a reasonable plan for what they want to do with their lives and how they plan on supporting their families. I’m open to all possibilities, the plan need not include a formal college education. Since I’ll be paying for whatever education and training they get, I get a say in what the money is spent on. The same was done for me – I loved (and still love) history – what fun I thought it would be to go and major in history! My dad told me I could read all of the history books I wanted to on the side, but unless I was 100% committed to a doctorate in history and becoming a history professor or using history as a stepping stone to law school to forget it (at least he wasn’t go to pay for it). I also liked to tinker with cars, so off to mechanical engineering I went. My folks told me that at the end of 4 years the hand that had thusfar fed me would be withdrawn and I needed to be able to obtain employment with whatever degree I got – engineering seemed a good way to go. I went on to grad school and can honestly say it has all worked out really well. A big part of the reason it did was b/c of the no nonsense plan my dad utilized.

      So, I’d consider college necessary for some life plans not others. All plans, however, should be based on solid reality and not generalizations such as “everyone should go to college” or “college is now what a hs diploma was a few decades ago”. Hogwash. I’d make a plan based on a compromise between what one enjoys doing and what the prospects for said activities are like. Take the art history degree for example – go and ask the department for statistics on where their grads went, what they currently do, who they work for, and what they make salary-wise. I’m sure some land good jobs in museums or go on to grad school, but for the life of me I just can’t see the majority landing great jobs. If your interest level in a topic like this is just casual then think again. If you absolutely want to do nothing else with your life then be prepared to get creative and face some struggles. Probably not impossible, but certainly more difficult to make a living with a degree like this.

      • Modern Survival

        Tim, STELLAR! Your approach is one for others to model. Both in what you did and what you are doing with your kids.

        • timfromohio

          Thanks for your compliment. I really owe how my life turned out to my dad and his guidance (which I still seek, even as a grown man). I hope I can do for my sons what he did for me.

  6. I went to college to become an engineer, and it has worked out well. That being said, Jack is spot on that more than half of the students should not be there. Heck, 20 years ago at least half the women I went to college with openly admitted their main purpose in being there was to find a husband. Hopefully at least that has changed.

    Later, as a grad student, I taught intro physics freshman lab courses to pre-med and engineering school students in a large well-respected Big 10 university. Half of the pre-meds were there because “daddy wanted me to be a doctor”. Typically those were also the ones that never made the cut – they needed at least an A- in my class to have hope of continuing on as pre-med and getting to any decent medical school, and most probably had, let’s just say, double digit IQs. Half of the engineering track types were happy with just “whatever”… scraping by with their minimum C to continue on.

    Don’t get me wrong there were some excellent students, both in the pre-med side and the engineering side, but my experience is in line with Jack’s “half shouldn’t be there” statement, and this is in a hard science class & are both career tracks you do need degrees for, so I can only imagine on the more liberal arts side of things – it’s probably more like 80% that shouldn’t be there.

    • maybe 40 yrs ago, metaforge. By 1990, I’m pretty sure many more young women had evolved more than that. Now that’s not to say some young people didn’t go to college to find mates, but I find it very hard to believe in 1990 things were really that bad.
      If someone had looked at my grades and behavior in my first 2 years of college, Jack would have said I didn’t belong there. But college was a place where I grew up and now have a Masters in Library and Information Science. I’m very happily a Librarian at a major state university.

      • Sorry Laurie, it was. I was there in 1990. Granted it was a small east coast school, so that’s the sample I present.

        Anyway, I think maybe the thing to think about is back then I could work summers and evenings and not come out completely in hock – I think I was $6k in debt after the whole 4 years. You didn’t mention when you were in school so I don’t know. Assuming it was 1990 or earlier, the cost/benefit ratio was a helluva lot more attractive than today – that’s one of the huge problems here. Nobody’s saying college is “bad”, but is it worth it nowadays? I guess your kids are lucky in that you paid their way.

        I’d also add just because you “grew up” there doesn’t mean that one can’t grow up in that 18-22 age range effectively somewhere else – plenty of people do it – and without the $100k+ debt at the end (or the loss of a $100k+ nest egg that could go towards a lot of other things).

        My advice to any high school grad would be just do an honest evaluation of what you want to do, a cost/benefit analysis, and ask yourself it’s worth it. If it really is after that, then go for it. But realize what you’re getting into, what you’re giving up, and don’t blindly buy this bill of goods that parents and gov’t shove down our collective throats.

        I would venture a guess that a heck of a lot of those kids I taught probably didn’t last more than 2 years. So if that’s $25k/year, they’re going to drop out after spending $50k and have NOTHING to show for it. So that’s another consideration – if you start, you finish!

        • small east coast school=expensive and so mostly (I only say “mostly”) rich kids wanting to continue the lifestyle’s they have known. I have no experience with that…only very middle class young women wanting to better themselves with an education.

    • Forgot to add – my vote would be ‘no’ on choice of a whole episode dedicated to this (college) topic. We’ve got better stuff to talk about IMHO and this decision is typically a highly personal & individual one anyway as we see from the discussion above. You’ve touched on it a couple times in episodes throughout the year and that’s probably enough. Thanks.

      • Modern Survival

        That is my gut too! Just when I get a request from several folks I try to comply if there is interest by others. I may do this to get Five Minutes with Jack going again instead.

        • This is the reason I believe that:
          1. Most people need to spend a couple of years in the real world before going to college. That way you hopefully have a better idea of what you want to do with your life.
          2. Unless you are going to college for a very specific profession (engineering, law, medicine, etc.), go to the cheapest college you can find. For the jobs that they use a degree as a screening mechanism, they don’t care what college you go to.

  7. One problem with not getting a college degree is that it can limit your options, even if you have the skills. I have had several jobs that required a bachelor’s degree (any degree), but they had nothing to do with what I learned in college. A bachelor’s degree is quickly becoming what a high school diploma used to be.

    • Modern Survival

      I will counter with I had two jobs that “required” a bachelors and another that would accept a bachelors but said a “masters was highly preferred”, I have neither, I got all three jobs.

      Can everyone do that? No but not everyone is capable of doing well in college either.

      • @Modern Survival – not everyone can sell themselves the way you obviously did in an interview. Not that a person learns how to do that in College but they usually get the opportunity to do some public speaking which does help in those situations.

        Dave Ramsey Follower here and he says basically the same thing but he puts it more on the topic of expensive schools (Public and Private). Its not so much the degree but the learning that is important.

        I tried college right after high school and wasn’t ready, 10 years later with some life experience under my belt I went back and earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science….the degree did help me acquire a higher salary in my salary grade.

        A degree isn’t a guarantee to success.

  8. Hi, Thanks for featuring my blog post on dehydrating eggs. I invite you to look around the blog and find all sorts of self sufficient topics. Also I do some solar oven cooking that might interest your listeners/readers.

  9. Hey Jack,

    In Virginia, we passed a 100% property tax exemption for vets: http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?111+sum+HB1645

    It’s not ‘a farm’ but like most Virginians, I hope it helps.

  10. On the college degree debate, if you want a high paying job that you don’t need a degree for, look into software development. It will take some effort for you to learn it and break into the field without a degree of course, and some technologies are easier than others, but the days of requiring a Computer Science degree are quickly fading (thankfully). You’d be much better off taking a few classes or certification courses, or using some of the excellent online training available.

    Now most of the idiot recruiters will tell you otherwise, but as someone who has interviewed a lot of software developers, I can tell you that more and more companies couldn’t care less where/if you went to school, only if you can do the job. I never care about the resume at all when I interview candidates. Which is the way it should be IMO. And there really isn’t a better field to be in today if you look at ROI, job availability, and pay scales.

  11. A college degree is just another way of gaining ‘experience’ and/or ‘specialization’. Some have to pay for it with time on the job. Some have the money (or access/willingness to take on debt) to buy their way in. Many specializations/skills aren’t taught in college.

    I work for a financial company and the phone centers are full of liberal arts majors. The application process ‘requires’ a college degree as a way to thin the herd. But anyone who can speak English relatively well can get a job (when we’re hiring). I bet that’s the only reason we don’t outsource it to India.

  12. $.02 on the show…

    College — in my personal experience the system is actually causing the quality of education to suck ass.

    I went to art school. It was a 2 year program with an associates degree at the end. Now, several years later if I WANTED to get a B.S. degree I would need to go to school for 4 years because almost NONE of my credits would transfer anywhere.

    However, I received a good ART education that helped me greatly understand the GRAPHIC DESIGN business and how to WORK IN MY FIELD. We took history classes and other B.S. to appease the regulators for accreditation purposes but they were ART HISTORY classes, or GEOMETRY classes, or basically they made it RELATE to your chosen profession.

    OK, fast forward to my second year at this school. The school was bought out by some cash cow mega-corporation (EDMC) and they switched to offering 4 year bachelors degrees.

    I could write a book about this, but let me just say this…

    When I WENT to art school I was taught by instructors who had WORKED IN THE FIELD for SEVERAL YEARS. One of my favorite teachers worked with SAUL BASS.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar, look at any corporate logo from a company more than 50 year old. Saul Bass most likely designed the logo.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=saul+bass+logos&hl=en&biw=991&bih=694&prmd=ivnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=U-0ITrvsAYXKgQewyt3aDQ&sqi=2&ved=0CEEQsAQ

    Google result for “Saul Bass Logos”

    Being taught by someone who worked side-by-side with the most prolific graphic designers of our time was beneficial to say the least.

    There were SEVERAL other TOP DOG instructors there along these lines. In fact at one time the school did not HIRE an instructor who had no real world experience.

    Now, let’s look at post EDMC. They added a 4 year curriculum with a bunch of HIGH SCHOOL LEVEL math classes, general education classes, history, home economics and god only knows what else to appease the regulators for accreditation.

    Here’s the best part.

    All of the BEST INSTRUCTORS — including the one who worked side by side with the most prolific graphic designer of our modern age were told they all needed to go back to college to get their masters in teacher certification or they could LEAVE.

    So guess what??? All of the REPUTABLE instructors with 30+ years of real world experience working in the FIELD quit. They were replaced by a bunch of college graduates who just got their teaching certificates and have NEVER SPENT ONE M-F-ING DAY WORKING IN THIS F-ING BUSINESS. I had a couple of instructors like this when I was in school and frankly I could never take anything they did seriously…

    For in this case the phrase “THOSE WHO CAN’T DO… TEACH” applies perfectly.

    So for 4x more money and 2 more years spent in school you are going to graduate “art school” with a crappy portfolio that shows you learned how to use “Kai’s Power Tools” in Adobe Photoshop to make some ugly ass background or make buggy eyes on photos of your friends but you have ABSOLUTELY NO DESIGN or CONCEPTUAL SKILLS WHATSOEVER.

    I actually have FRIENDS who went BACK to get their bachelor’s degrees (f-ing idiots and I say that to their face) because they felt like they needed them.

    ALL of these friends of mine have seen NO gain in their income from getting the Bachelor’s degree but now owe an additional 2 years of tuition!!!!!

    On the other topic — I would be willing to bet that dipshit who ordered the 9 million gallon reservoir to be drained over someone peeing in it is into golden showers but that’s just my opinion.

    I think it would be hysterical if someone else peed into the reservoir causing them to drain it again while the residents of Portland go thirsty and have to resort to drinking their own urine to survive.

  13. As a college graduate, I have to say – College is a scam.

    It was a scam when I went (in the early 1990s), and it is an even bigger scam now.

    When did it become a scam? Probably after the late 1960s when every young American realized that when they were going off to college, they were in fact going off to do some drugs, do some drinking, and to get laid. If they got a decent education and great job after college (which everybody thought they were entitled to), well then, hey – that was just the cherry on top of the banana split.

    Fortunately, in the 1980s, when all of those people who went to college during the 1960s started to hit middle-age, a very special thing happened. They started to make money. Also, simultaneously, their kids started to become teenagers, and to make matters even worse, the halls of higher education got a serious taste for the almighty dollar. Let the deep college scam preparations begin!

    The baby-boomers did not get into serious debt (unlike their children, who would do that for them years later), and these baby-boomer also bought homes. The materialism of this generation during the 1980s came about due to Reagan tax cuts, and it continued to surf the partial American prosperity of the 1990s due to Clinton never having to bankroll a war (oh yeah, and somewhere in there Al Gore invented the internet – which gave the economy a bit of a shove too).

    The end-result? A bunch of the disposable wealth of these baby-boomers started to go to their kid’s colleges. Like the government, the colleges just got bigger and bigger and bigger during the 1980s and 1990s. And as our government got bigger, college loans become more commonplace (and they increased in size too).

    So by the late 1990s these baby-boomers were sitting on some serious money and the self-deception that college was a crucial ingredient to achieving a lifestyle such as theirs. They were in theirs 50s and thought that their victories of materialism had something to do with the fact that they went to college (it didnt) or because they worked hard like the greatest generation before them (not even close to true).

    The baby-boomers thought that they had to give their rugrats what life gave to them (good times and the road to wealth) so they sent their kids to college. Hey, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    Everybody hoped that their kids could and would make a lot of money (they didnt). So now, for some dumb unknown reason, there are 2 or maybe even 3 generations of Americans that think you should send kids to college (you shouldnt) or they will end up broke and stupid.

    But the real dirty truth is that the kids of today (just like the kids of 15-20 years ago) will be more broke ( because they are now in debt) and dumber then they were before they entered college (because now they’re under the illusion that that they’re smart because they went to college – which is really REALLY dumb).

    Today, the act of telling your kids that going to college will make their life easier and/or better is basically akin to telling them that Santa Claus really exists.

    Just because college worked well for lots of people of *one* generation, and kind of well for *some* people of the next generation, does not mean that it will work well for *all* the kids of this generation.

    To all you parents out there; dont perpetuate the lie of college as a stepping stone to happiness and/or wealth potential. It may be good for some, but it is definitely not good for all.

    Like Frank Zappa said: “If you want to get laid, go to college. If you want an education, go to a library.”

  14. Nadja*isk*en*isk*ie

    I vote yes to having a show dedicated to the costs/benefits of getting a tertiary education (university/college).

    Oh, and no doubt I will make copies of the show and make it available to my students.

  15. I think with no college degree in some companies, if everything else is equal, they will choose the college grad, means they can stick with it, and follow directions. Yet if you stand out, over and above, think outside the box, in most cases, the degree or lack of it becomes a non-issue. At least with the smart companies. Unless of course it is a professional requirement like a dr, lawyer, etc.
    A story to follow is 3 guys who raised 1 million seed money and dropped out of Penn to start their own company. http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/27/coursekit-1-million-seed/

  16. matthew n gooseneck

    I have a lot of opinions on education Jack. I’ll keep it short. Part of the problem in the medical field is our national registrys. As a Radiologist Technologist(xray tech) I was certified through a hospital based program. Cost $ 2000 for two yrs. My ROE has been many many times over that initial investment. Our registry the ARRT has now outlawed theseprograms. Now you must get an associates degree. In the future they will go to a four year degree. You do not need a degree to do xray, cat scans and MRI ‘s but our very agency is perpetuating this myth to promote “professional standards”.
    Jack please do an entire show on the college myth.
    Also please do catch up shows on the email whenever you see fit. You don’t need a schedule. It your show!

  17. matthew n gooseneck

    Jack also as I talk to young people its seems they are concerned with where there degree comes from. So what is your opinon on degrees from smaller regional schools like Armstrong Atlantic State University, coastal college of Georgia or Southeastern Oklahoma State University? What about the online University of Phoenix? Do employers really care where a degree comes from?
    Thanks love the show!

    • I can attest to the fact that some do care where a degree came from. Some smart companies don’t care if you even have a degree, let alone where it came from if you can show competence and stand out among your competition. However, there does exist a “good ole’ boy” mentality in a lot of companies.

      I know of design firms in town that only hire graduates from Carnegie Mellon, so anyone who went to the local art school is really going to need a great portfolio in order to impress them.

      You see the same mentality in the workplace also. Time and time again I see the same groups of people swimming from one company to another, sticking together as a group because people are more comfortable hiring those they know, have worked with before, friends of a friend, and that extends to the university they went to in some cases.

  18. On the college debate, I think it’s also worth noting that some VERY successful people never graduated from college. People like Bill Gates (ok, he graduated LONG after he made his billions, like in 2007 or something).

  19. Hey Jack, there is an organization called the Farmer Veteran Coalition whose goal is to provide agricultural training to returning veterans:

    http://www.farmvetco.org/who-we-are/about/

  20. Scott Marcum

    I am not sure if it was this show or the one before. But Jack mentioned how the Chinese are buying up US property in Idaho. I was wondering if it was Moscow Idaho, like the book Patriots.. The Communism theme would be right! Guess I am putting my BOL there anymore..

  21. RE: GFI electrical outlets. In CA outlets in garages are mandated to be GFI outlets, as are exterior and in bathrooms. It’s cheap for the installing contractor to wire one gfi outlet and simply tie all the others to it. It’s a money saving thing, and a code related thing.

  22. Sad but true: In regard to sales tax for Internet purchases, these transactions already are taxable. Most of us just aren’t aware of it (or just don’t pay). Check out your state’s requirements for use tax. For Jack, here’s a link to the Arkansas use tax information: http://www.dfa.arkansas.gov/offices/exciseTax/salesanduse/Documents/ConsumerUseTAxForm.pdf. A representative of my state’s tax commission told me this is the law in every state. They run TV ads about it here and include a spot on the state tax return for paying up.

  23. I think it would be interesting to have a podcast on the college decision, especially, if it is geared towards the young people and parents of the young people.

    I would be interested in seeing a decision matrix and a breakdown of the pros and cons including a cost/benefit of sending a child to further education from the school of hard knocks to formal university.

    Knowledge (not education) is power and this could help give parents and young people a set of tools on how to make a truthful decision on the best path of transitioning a young person from a dependent into a member of the self sufficient majority in a manner that is best for that young individual.

  24. I would like to see a podcast on college decisions and also more listener/email shows. I enjoy those the most I think.

  25. CharlieFoxtrot

    You called it! California tells online retailers to start collecting sales tax from customers.
    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-tax-20110630,0,4344787.story

  26. I’ve been an adjunct professor for several years teaching IT courses for a major online University as a part-time experiment to see how I liked it as a possible second career scenario. It’s something I always wanted to try, and for the first few years, I genuinely enjoyed the contribution I was able to make for several students. Over time, however, it has become disturbingly apparent that the quality of students dropped in my classes, and the University’s policies were quickly changing in favor of keeping dollars flowing from federal tuition aid programs. I can understand that to some extent, (policies need to conform to basic external requirements) but the frequency and type of changes made it very obvious that the changes were focused specifically on retaining government funding and resulting in poor academic standards. This, coupled with spending more and more time with students that shouldn’t been allowed to enter my classes at all, led me to quit teaching. It’s a shame really, as I enjoyed it, and I think I made a difference in many student’s lives, because I truly cared about helping them learn. In the end, however, my time is worth more to my family than helping folks fail on the government’s dime (my dime) and being more and more frustrated with some of the antics being produced from poor quality students. You would be truly amazed with some of the behavior from students that became all too the norm in the last 2-3 years. That’s always something a professor has to deal with, but when it becomes the norm and not the exception, you know something is wrong. Having done this, I obviously have an advanced degree (so I spent several years in college myself), and I obviously believe in teaching. So, that being said, I’m obviously not “anti-college.” However, many of Jack’s general comments about some people should be there, and some people shouldn’t, are simply right on target. In my opinion, what has occurred in the last few years is hurting the people who should be there, and ultimately, is wasting tons of taxpayer dollars. It’s truly a shame.

    • Modern Survival

      @Kevin, You said,

      “In my opinion, what has occurred in the last few years is hurting the people who should be there, and ultimately, is wasting tons of taxpayer dollars. It’s truly a shame.”

      Thank you, not for the stuff about taxes though you are right, you are now helping me make my bigger point with hurting students.

      The current system hurts both good and bad students, equally.

      1. The crappy student that should be learning to fix cars or be an artist or what have you is hurt by a life time of debt and a degree that will never really help him/her.

      2. The good student that belongs in a University has the quality of their education damaged by lowering the bar.

      It is as you say all about federal and federally back monies. In the form of grants and government backed debt.

      As usual what the government touches they screw up.

      The big thing though and I have tried to explain this to the die hard college crowd is YES the quality students are being harmed by this system as well, thank you for confirming it with an insiders view.

      The problem is so many people are honestly now addicted to this idea, even when 500 teachers such as yourself line up and tell the truth they still don’t want to hear it.

    • We were talking to several of the teachers as my youngest was getting ready for high school. Our school district has career paths for several occupations they can follow throughout high school, hands on experience. The school has their own tv studio, newspaper, print shop. Seniors in the architectural program often are hired for small projects locally. They also have aircraft mechanics, construction technology, and many others. One thing I heard over and over again from the teachers of the college bound programs was how disappointed many of their students were with college, because it wasn’t until their 3rd year or more before their college classes caught up with where their high school left off in many cases. They wished they could have skipped the first 2 years.

  27. If you or anyone you know is interested in a career in software development, read this before investing in a Computer Science degree:

    http://brandonzeider.me/2011/random/computer-science-degree-should-you-get-one/

  28. Jack,

    With regards to the states taxing internet sales and the method in which they may take. I have worked for JC Penney for 10 years in the Customer Service Phone Center in Grand Rapids Michigan. During that whole time JC Penney collected the sales tax based on the tax rate of the state that the product was being shipped to. When Penney’s began their Internet Site the same practice was applied. This being done as company policy on JC Penney’s own decision mainly to keep peace with the individual states. To me this tends to make sense although I do not know how this would affect the small time entrepeneur selling their widgets out of their basements and or garage. Just an FYI.

    • Modern Survival

      @Darrell, that is simply because JC Penny has a physical presence in all 50 states. It was certainly not to “keep the peace” it was to comply with the law.

      No doubt some middle management type told you this but frankly they didn’t know their asses from a hole in the ground.

  29. On the internet taxes: I hate taxes on principle. I avoid paying sales taxes whenever it’s legal and if the math works. I believe that a state-mandated “use” tax on an out of state purchase is unconstitutional.

    But… As a part time entrepreneur, I’d be thrilled to have in-state mail orders taxed at my home rate. Any time I mail a product to someone in my own state, or to any state where for some reason I have to collect taxes, I’m required to collect it at the *destination* rate. For my state alone that means many thousands of overlapping jurisdictions, each with their own bit to add to the total rate. They expect it all to be reported with every jurisdiction code correctly applied on a monthly basis. Generally I’m not allowed to back it out of a fixed price – it must be calculated and added to the final bill.

    Of course this a royal pain in the ass! I can’t afford the online infrastructure needed to do it at my current (very small) sales volume. It’s kept me from attempting to expand my business, especially to new states. In fact it’s caused me to prefer only projects that aren’t taxable at all.

    Set the tax rate & jurisdiction codes to my front porch: Problem solved.

    On the Roman policy of settling former soldiers on captured farms: Sounds like simple colonization to me. If you want to keep control over an area, settle it with friends from your own country who are armed, trained, and have strong reasons to stick with it. Machiavelli said as much. But if the policy had mental health benefits for the Roman soldiers, that’s good too…

    (I’m only halfway through listening to this episode, so I have no comments about the rest yet.)

    • About the Roman soldiers; you are right on the money. Retired soldiers were given land grants on the borders of conquered areas and could act as local militia, marry into the local population, and breed the next generation of soldiers for the legions. It was a policy designed to pacify newly conquered areas, provide a buffer between those areas and provide an incentive for legion service. It also helped to spread Roman culture and thus civilize the new areas.

  30. Looking again at the matter of taxes collected at ship point, something like that would be a nightmare for Amazon. They’d have to figure out in advance which warehouses the parts of the order would be shipping from. Each item could conceivably have a different tax rate. Unless they cut a deal where the taxes could be backed out at reporting time. Then they could just raise the standard Amazon price a little bit to cover the difference.

    I predict a huge tax windfall for Coffeyville if this becomes law in Kansas.