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  1. #1
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    Better Schools Won’t Fix America

    I found this article very interesting. I hope you have 5 minutes to read it as it is great food for thought and leads me toward one candidate over another (put that is PA, so I will leave that aside here). From the article:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...=pocket-newtab

    "Long ago, I was captivated by a seductively intuitive idea, one many of my wealthy friends still subscribe to: that both poverty and rising inequality are largely consequences of America’s failing education system. Fix that, I believed, and we could cure much of what ails America.

    Taken with this story line, I embraced education as both a philanthropic cause and a civic mission. I co-founded the League of Education Voters, a nonprofit dedicated to improving public education. I joined Bill Gates, Alice Walton, and Paul Allen in giving more than $1 million each to an effort to pass a ballot measure that established Washington State’s first charter schools. All told, I have devoted countless hours and millions of dollars to the simple idea that if we improved our schools—if we modernized our curricula and our teaching methods, substantially increased school funding, rooted out bad teachers, and opened enough charter schools—American children, especially those in low-income and working-class communities, would start learning again. Graduation rates and wages would increase, poverty and inequality would decrease, and public commitment to democracy would be restored.

    But after decades of organizing and giving, I have come to the uncomfortable conclusion that I was wrong. And I hate being wrong."
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
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  2. #2
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    That was very well written and on point.



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  3. #3
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    Better Schools Won’t Fix America

    Thanks for sharing. I also really enjoyed one of the linked references when I read it a few months ago. However a much much longer read it dives more deeply into the drivers of economic inequality.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine...ocracy/559130/
    Uno mas

  4. #4
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    Excellent article.
    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

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  5. #5
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    Great article. Could have written it myself if I wasn't here so much. The human need to place blame to allay guilt. Whatever helps you sleep at night. FWIW, in 1970 a HS grad in the tech industry (Xerox) in a tight labor market (Rochester) started at $40k plus health insurance and profit sharing and two weeks paid vacation. Archie McCardell, the CEO made about $2 mil. Numbers are adjusted for inflation.
    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

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  6. #6
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    We have confused a symptom—educational inequality—with the underlying disease: economic inequality. Schooling may boost the prospects of individual workers, but it doesn’t change the core problem, which is that the bottom 90 percent is divvying up a shrinking share of the national wealth. Fixing that problem will require wealthy people to not merely give more, but take less.


    Ahhhhhhhh so one of the 7 deadly sins - Avarice!

    But seriously - yes. Capitalism is killing the middle class.
    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  7. #7
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    We need someone that will put Wall Street in its place. We need someone that will protect workers rights, someone not afraid to put on a comfortable shoe....

  8. #8
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    Another nothing article, based primarily upon conjecture and perception, on what's wrong with America. The author, while likely well-meaning (indeed, there are some good points made), is a fine example of one who may very well possess an education, yet knows very little.
    ˇÓrale, vato!

  9. #9
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    thnx Capt. Chuck Shunstrom

    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  10. #10
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    "In fact, the most direct way to address rising economic inequality is to simply pay ordinary workers more, by increasing the minimum wage and the salary threshold for overtime exemption; by restoring bargaining power for labor; and by instating higher taxes—much higher taxes—on rich people like me and on our estates."

    Really strong....If you don't subscribe to capitalism.

    No argument here against the growing income gap and the damage it's doing but the "just pay people more" argument is painfully untenable. Organized labor hasn't exactly had a sterling go of it historically, either. Taxes? Obliterate the tax code and all of its loopholes and make them flat. No problem there. But this sort of fairy dust thinking of pay everyone more AND increase educational resources AND unionize everything while maintaining a healthy economy without any anchoring to reality is painful. Ask France.

    I'm no believer in trickle down BS but as long as we're a capitalist republic, solutions must be at least vaguely rooted in the inherent mechanics of that system.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by FLS View Post
    We need someone that will put Wall Street in its place. We need someone that will protect workers rights, someone not afraid to put on a comfortable shoe....

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Reverend Floater View Post
    "In fact, the most direct way to address rising economic inequality is to simply pay ordinary workers more, by increasing the minimum wage and the salary threshold for overtime exemption; by restoring bargaining power for labor; and by instating higher taxes—much higher taxes—on rich people like me and on our estates."

    Really strong....If you don't subscribe to capitalism.

    No argument here against the growing income gap and the damage it's doing but the "just pay people more" argument is painfully untenable. Organized labor hasn't exactly had a sterling go of it historically, either. Taxes? Obliterate the tax code and all of its loopholes and make them flat. No problem there. But this sort of fairy dust thinking of pay everyone more AND increase educational resources AND unionize everything while maintaining a healthy economy without any anchoring to reality is painful. Ask France.

    I'm no believer in trickle down BS but as long as we're a capitalist republic, solutions must be at least vaguely rooted in the inherent mechanics of that system.

    our economy is not rooted in reality

  13. #13
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    Better Schools Won’t Fix America

    I just like to be reminded there is not one solution. That said, author doesn’t actually propose any realistic solutions to the spiral. People don’t really like to be taxed more, especially when our federal, state, and municipal systems do a pretty shitty job at cost control. Not to mention run by well to do white men who do a great job at protecting their flock. I don’t have a lot of faith more dollars would lead to equitable or meaningful change absent an overhaul on how our political leaders look and think.

    Oh and even if some of those protections include upping the amount of an estate free from taxation, the entire take from the estate tax provides 1% of the feds annual tax revenue. Raising the estate tax doesn’t really strike me as much of a solution.
    Uno mas

  14. #14
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    While it's true that schools won't fix our ridiculous wage scale and other structural inequalities, this guy overlooks the fact that our education system is part of the foundation of social problems in the US. The difference in quality of education between poor and rich communities is massive. Schools are more segregated than 50 years ago. Tests are demonstrably biased, yet that billion dollar industry remains a dominant force. Textbooks written by white supremacists are common (thanks, Texas). Going to "College," for many, is more like a massive ponzi scheme than a pathway toward the American dream.

    Yes, there are educators everywhere doing wonderful work. Despite this, we shouldn't be surprise that schools fail to reduce inequality because our education system is designed to maintain that inequality, just as our political system has morphed into something designed to defend corporate profits over individual rights, long term stability. This connect connects to a bigger problem with the article: Who the fuck is this guy?

    He's a venture capitalist. He invested in Amazon early and made a lot of money. Now he's an expert on schools and social welfare? I appreciate the message he's trying to put out there, but he has a voice here because he's rich, not because he's an expert. It's not his fault, but it's also fucked up. Expertise doesn't count for much these days.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KQ View Post
    But seriously - yes. Capitalism is killing the middle class.
    Decaying corporatism is killing the middle class... capitalism has little to do with oligopolies paying off the legislature & literally writing the nation's laws. Labor has a marginal voice, the government has no integrity: thus corporations do as they please & stifle competition by raising barriers to entry while dismantling consumer protections.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromontane View Post
    Decaying corporatism is killing the middle class... capitalism has little to do with oligopolies paying off the legislature & literally writing the nation's laws. Labor has a marginal voice, the government has no integrity: thus corporations do as they please & stifle competition by raising barriers to entry while dismantling consumer protections.
    I'd say that Capitalism as a belief system is killing democracy, and by extension, the middle class. Big "C" Captialism and corporatism are inextricable. Little "c" capitalism is just part of the human condition.

  17. #17
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    I guess I am not much of an original thinker, but I have always depended upon history or other examples of what I am looking at to provide insight into how to proceed. Why try and design a new wheel when history has already provided us a great example?
    That said, just look back into this country's recent history for a time when the middle class was strong, public schools were more adequately funded and staffed, colleges were much more numerous per the populations size, healthcare was much more affordable based on a more limited set of benefits and so on and so on and suggest to people the changes that are needed to get to that point again.
    I feel, KQ is right and Avarice is killing this country. Corporations, Wall Street, your representatives in government are all greedy fuckers that are selling the majority out. There are ways to address these issues, but as long as Big Business is writing our laws, it isn't going to happen.
    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    I think you'd have an easier time understanding people if you remembered that 80% of them are fucking morons.
    That is why I like dogs, more than most people.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    I guess I am not much of an original thinker, but I have always depended upon history or other examples of what I am looking at to provide insight into how to proceed. Why try and design a new wheel when history has already provided us a great example?
    That said, just look back into this country's recent history for a time when the middle class was strong, public schools were more adequately funded and staffed, colleges were much more numerous per the populations size, healthcare was much more affordable based on a more limited set of benefits and so on and so on and suggest to people the changes that are needed to get to that point again.
    I feel, KQ is right and Avarice is killing this country. Corporations, Wall Street, your representatives in government are all greedy fuckers that are selling the majority out. There are ways to address these issues, but as long as Big Business is writing our laws, it isn't going to happen.
    viva la revolucion
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by liv2ski View Post
    I feel, KQ is right and Avarice is killing this country. Corporations, Wall Street, your representatives in government are all greedy fuckers that are selling the majority out. There are ways to address these issues, but as long as Big Business is writing our laws, it isn't going to happen.
    Taleb has this heuristic that corruption goes up exponentially the larger a system of governance is. So corruption at the Federal level is the square of it at the state level, which is a multiple of it at the county level, then city and PTA levels. The smaller a unit of governance is, the more 'skin in the game' leaders have as they are more accessible for constituents & as a consequence they're more likely to listen and genuinely represent constituents.

    What I was trying to get at above, albeit haphazardly, is to diagnose and label the problem correctly. If the problem is too much power in Federal hands & too little ownership at relatively local levels, the solutions start to look very different than simply fixing the Federal Govt (which I think is futile).

  20. #20
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    I've thought for several years now that the successful dumbing down of the general populace over the past 20 years is to blame for what we have now via the foxes running the hen houses, return of racism and bigotry to the mainstream, and now the backlash/whitelash against everything remotely progressively beyond christian white hetero male dominance. No Child Left Behind has killed our level of intellect on a national scale and now unenlightened opinions are weighed as heavily or more than well documented and scientifically tested facts in the court of public opinion and at the polls. That allows the wealthy to fleece us on an obscene level while the less fortunate but still privileged folks rally around the propaganda of dog whistle (or megaphone) supremacy. We are truly living the Idiocracy movie.
    Go that way really REALLY fast. If something gets in your way, TURN!

  21. #21
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    Late stage.

  22. #22
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    Nothing ever changes until it has to, until the general run of people feel that the status quo is simply unacceptable. Politics, sure. But education, traffic, the environment, health/disease, human rights, population, etc. etc. (I could go on), none of it ever changes or ever will change until people have just had enough.

    I personally feel that we are approaching that point rapidly in American politics. Or maybe we've reached it. The question is, which way will it go? Trying to get in front of the change to help guide it thoughtfully is the challenge. It may be impossible, but it's worth a shot.

  23. #23
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    I always thought charter schools were idiotic because they further the fragmentation of society. I think a common root property of economic inequality is a lack of social cohesion and social manifestations of basic disrespect.

    I don't have numbers or data to back this up, but if one thinks about when countries or societies are more economically balanced, that is sometimes preceded by periods of social cohesion. For example, WW2 was a devastating event that brought about a period of societal sympathy, an event that brought together lots of different social classes where the horrors or war flattened the sense of supremacy that hierarchical societies manifest. Afterwards, as is documented in the kudos to the 'greatest generation' writing, people seemed to pull together to re-establish something that built us up and away from the dystopian phases of racial supremacy and war.

    I don't really understand what the causes of social upheaval of the 60s were, but during that time, there was a fragmentation of society that I don't think the USA ever really recovered from. My generation had a lot to do with it, cloaking classism in causes, better than thou weed and groovier attitudes. Virtually all of the executives at the top of the current corpocratic constructs in America came from my generation and manifest this sense of supremacy and disrespect for those outside their sphere. That's what allows the power elite to be satisfied with furthering economic inequality, they don't see themselves as having much to do with the rest of America.

    It's a cultural identity thing, something really difficult to articulate in any statistical, quantitative way. If one looks at Western Europe, where up until the last couple of decades, there was a much more cohesive sense of cultural nationality than America. They also have much less economic inequality. But that is being challenged with the advent of immigration straining the social networks.

    I ain't no power clown, gots no real impact on the weighty spheres of politics or power, so I make my little stand on trying to show more respect and be more abundant and inclusive as well as I can. I have my limitations and wads of personal problems and lack of strength to weather all people, so I don't mean to broadcast my godly magnanimity. But I give it a shot and encourage others to do so if they can.
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  24. #24
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    As a parent, I got pissed off at my son being held back or failing to make the lottery for the STEM schools around here. He is exceedingly bookish and manifests elements of Aspergers syndrome and has never gotten a B. We considered private schools.

    On expressing this to a family friend who has been in public education, she pointed me in the direction of a number of articles showing that students as a whole do better if the best student are not segregated into advanced classes. So we stayed with the public school.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bromontane View Post
    Taleb has this heuristic that corruption goes up exponentially the larger a system of governance is. So corruption at the Federal level is the square of it at the state level, which is a multiple of it at the county level, then city and PTA levels. The smaller a unit of governance is, the more 'skin in the game' leaders have as they are more accessible for constituents & as a consequence they're more likely to listen and genuinely represent constituents.

    What I was trying to get at above, albeit haphazardly, is to diagnose and label the problem correctly. If the problem is too much power in Federal hands & too little ownership at relatively local levels, the solutions start to look very different than simply fixing the Federal Govt (which I think is futile).
    When I read this type of argument, I always think about Alabama and Mississippi or Joe Arpaio. I don't know which is worse, provincialism or the sneer that metropolitical types have for it.
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

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