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  #41  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:20 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Operative:



Yes, and we'll be back in Dickensian England. "Please, sir, can I have some more?" Sounds great. I have not read enough of you to know whether the above quotation is for real or not, so I am reluctant to say too much. I will say that if it's not tongue-in-cheek, it's frightening, and sickening, mainly because I hate to think of you, or your persona, becoming a spokesperson for intellectual culture. Do you really think you're up to it? What's the most intellectual thing you've ever done, just out of curiosity?
As far as I can tell, his comment wasn't tongue-in-cheek. And indeed, it is sickening. This is the new right, conceit and all.
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  #42  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:34 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Operative:



Yes, and we'll be back in Dickensian England. "Please, sir, can I have some more?" Sounds great. I have not read enough of you to know whether the above quotation is for real or not, so I am reluctant to say too much. I will say that if it's not tongue-in-cheek, it's frightening, and sickening, mainly because I hate to think of you, or your persona, becoming a spokesperson for intellectual culture. Do you really think you're up to it? What's the most intellectual thing you've ever done, just out of curiosity?
I value privacy so I prefer not to say. I do wish that you would stick to talking about ideas instead of fulminating moralism.

Quote:
As far as I can tell, his comment wasn't tongue-in-cheek. And indeed, it is sickening. This is the new right, conceit and all.
This from BH's resident Chavez apologist.
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  #43  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:38 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
I value privacy so I prefer not to say. I do wish that you would stick to talking about ideas instead of fulminating moralism.
I'd say that answers, or at least suggests a qualitative limit to any possible answer to your question, ledocs!
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  #44  
Old 07-04-2011, 11:53 PM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

I think you have to include Canada, because it is probably the country closest in culture to the US that is not the US, or perhaps the country most influenced by American culture that is not the US, and also Great Britain, for similar reasons. It's fine to look at low-expenditure countries, but you should also look at high-expenditure countries to see what they have in common.

But also, you have to get beyond just citing statistics or descriptive summaries of educational institutions. You will need to understand the various societies and know something about their histories in order to understand their educational institutions. You will need to understand something about wealth, power, and prestige in all the societies and how the educational institutions reflect these factors and help to create them. In short, you are going to have to do a lot of research. You should read a lot of books by the smartest people you can find. This won't be easy, because I don't think the field of education attracts very smart people, generally speaking. To the contrary, my impression is that people who hold doctorates in education are among the dumbest of all highly educated people, at least in the US. And sociologists probably are not too far behind them. Maybe there are some great books out there. You should try to find them and tell us about them.

I want to tell a brief anecdote. Between 25 and 30 years ago, I think, I went to hear Laura Tyson give a public lecture to a general audience in a big hotel in San Francisco. I don't remember what the title of the talk was. I asked her in the Q&A what effect she thought the US educational system was having on the economy, did she think that the US economy could continue to perform well with the educational system it had, something like that, and she gave a sort of dismissive answer, "I'm an economist, not an education expert, but clearly, education is important to the performance of a modern economy," something like that. Just recently, I read a quote from Ms. Tyson, and she is now on the education bandwagon.

Your best bet might be to start with histories (but beginning no earlier than the 19th century, unless you're a masochist) of the educational systems in all the countries you are interested in, if you can find such things.
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  #45  
Old 07-05-2011, 12:00 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
Yes, and we'll be back in Dickensian England. "Please, sir, can I have some more?" Sounds great.
I understand why you'd think that a drastically reduced state would plunge us back into Oliver Twist days, but I think that's far overstated. But regardless of what I think, can we acknowledge that there are alternative political systems that might be offered precisely because the outcomes might result in more justice and less suffering, even if it looks ridiculous on its face? That is, can you accept an alternative political system offered precisely because it provides better human outcomes and not automatically point to it as evil?

Because even if we disagree on policy, surely it's not some radical notion that minimum wages hurt the poor, is it?
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  #46  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:23 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I'd say that answers, or at least suggests a qualitative limit to any possible answer to your question, ledocs!
Says a poster whose sole ability seems to be unoriginal personal swipes.
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  #47  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:01 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
Says a poster whose sole ability seems to be unoriginal personal swipes.
Ummmm....Do I have to say it, or does highlighting what you just said suffice?
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  #48  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:02 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
I understand why you'd think that a drastically reduced state would plunge us back into Oliver Twist days, but I think that's far overstated. But regardless of what I think, can we acknowledge that there are alternative political systems that might be offered precisely because the outcomes might result in more justice and less suffering, even if it looks ridiculous on its face? That is, can you accept an alternative political system offered precisely because it provides better human outcomes and not automatically point to it as evil?

Because even if we disagree on policy, surely it's not some radical notion that minimum wages hurt the poor, is it?
There's a giant, yawning gap between arguing that moving incrementally in a libertarian direction might help us and arguing that an Objectivist society wouldn't, well, suck.
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  #49  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:51 AM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
There's a giant, yawning gap between arguing that moving incrementally in a libertarian direction might help us and arguing that an Objectivist society wouldn't, well, suck.
So, it's the degree to which operative asserts his arguments that is problematic? Too libertarian is the charge? What do Objectivists believe?
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  #50  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:08 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarkang View Post
I understand why you'd think that a drastically reduced state would plunge us back into Oliver Twist days, but I think that's far overstated. But regardless of what I think, can we acknowledge that there are alternative political systems that might be offered precisely because the outcomes might result in more justice and less suffering, even if it looks ridiculous on its face? That is, can you accept an alternative political system offered precisely because it provides better human outcomes and not automatically point to it as evil?

Because even if we disagree on policy, surely it's not some radical notion that minimum wages hurt the poor, is it?
If the alternative political system offered looks ridiculous on its face, then I don't in fact think that that system is likely to result in more justice and less suffering than the system we have. Since we have it, and there is no revolutionary fervor in the streets, it does not look ridiculous on its face. Repealing the entirety of the welfare state does seem ridiculous on its face. I understand operative's implicit argument that the riff-raff who are relying upon, or garnering government support will be weeded out or become a smaller proportion of the population if the state shrinks radically and stops intervening in the economy. But I just don't think that this kind of gradual and silent eugenics is likely to work, I don't think that requiring everyone to provide for his own old age, whether medically or economically, is at all politically feasible under contemporary conditions. On the other hand, I do think that it will be difficult to find a politically acceptable compromise that recognizes the new economic realities of lots of very old and frail people, many of whom have not been particularly high earners and many of whom may well have been imprudent and improvident.

I think the effects of a minimum wage continue to be hotly contested. What strikes me, and I have put this into a song lyric in "Blues for MF," which can be heard by going to my blog, is that population is the most important determinant of wages for unskilled work. It's true that if wages can be close to zero and if there is an excess supply of labor, more labor will be employed in the absence of a minimum wage than in its presence. But that's not the same thing as saying that every minimum wage hurts the poor. It hurts those poor people in the labor market who can't get hired at the minimum wage, it helps those who would earn less than the minimum wage if the labor market were completely unregulated but who do get hired at the minimum wage. So, in my view, everything depends upon the level of the minimum wage and the amount of surplus unskilled labor. Yes, it's true that new industries would develop if it were legal to employ people at wages that cannot sustain them at a level that Americans would find acceptable, a level similar to the living standards observed in the shantytown barrios of Sao Paolo or Rio, let's say.
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Last edited by ledocs; 07-05-2011 at 10:10 AM..
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  #51  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:08 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

Quote:
Originally Posted by operative View Post
I wouldn't call myself partisan--I'm not interested in merely advancing the cause of the GOP. I'd say that I'm never non-ideological in the sense that my positions are informed by my ideology, but that's not conditional on the behavior of my chosen party.
I don't totally buy the first bit, but more significantly, I agree with the second -- I think you typically do make ideologically-based arguments, and I disagree quite strongly with your ideology, including the faith-based assertions that it will achieve the results you claim to desire. And, yes, I know you won't agree with me here, but it does make conversation relatively useless, since you have decided that -- whatever works in other countries -- the correct approach in the US must and can only be privatizing the schools. Whereas I see no reason to believe that is a good idea and, more significantly, it's not going to happen. So I'd rather talk about the kinds of reforms that might happen and that I'm willing to work toward.
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  #52  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:17 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by stephanie View Post
I don't totally buy the first bit, but more significantly, I agree with the second -- I think you typically do make ideologically-based arguments, and I disagree quite strongly with your ideology, including the faith-based assertions that it will achieve the results you claim to desire. And, yes, I know you won't agree with me here, but it does make conversation relatively useless, since you have decided that -- whatever works in other countries -- the correct approach in the US must and can only be privatizing the schools. Whereas I see no reason to believe that is a good idea and, more significantly, it's not going to happen. So I'd rather talk about the kinds of reforms that might happen and that I'm willing to work toward.
Oh I'm willing to compromise on other, lesser legislation--a hybrid public/private system, for example. But that doesn't change that I think that a fully privatized system would be the most efficient.
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  #53  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:29 AM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

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Originally Posted by rfrobison View Post
Fair enough. I really was interested only in commenting on my impressions of Japanese education.
I don't think you should limit your contribution to this, but I found it quite interesting and would love to hear anything more about it that you think is worth adding.

Quote:
On the U.S. education system, I make no particular claims to expertise. I do think that in many cases teacher unions work against any change that might threaten their economic interests. This is a problem, in my view, and one that few Democrats are interested in grappling with seriously, given how dependent they are on support from teachers unions.
I guess it's worth making my perhaps overly-nanny-ish point again. In this conversation you are talking to a variety of real people, including Dems and liberals. It probably makes sense to ask us if we would agree to a reform you think is sensible or, if not, why not. That furthers discussion more than assuming that I or Jeff or ledocs or whoever disagrees with a proposal before it is made or that we disagree with you due to partisan or bad-faith reasons.

For example, the topic that had come up with school choice. I'm generally in favor of school choice in a lot of contexts. Yet there are definitely proposals relating to school choice that I'd oppose. Rather than assuming that I (as a Dem) simply bow down to the unions or am opposed to all choice or even want to outlaw all but expensive private schools, as the comment assumed, it's worth asking whether others think diversity in schools is a good thing.

Also, to the extent there's disagreement, it's worth exploring what that agreement really is. There seems to be a common strawman that the problem with schools is that "liberals" insist that everyone learn the same thing, and given that the failing schools aren't managing to teach people basic skills that I think we all can agree people need to know to hold any job and be citizens in a representative democracy, I hardly think the problem is that upper middle class liberals think all inner city schools should be identical to New Trier or Lane Tech.

My frustration here is that I suspect there's a lot we can agree on, and that you might even be willing to give on some of the things we can't, if we could get away from the silliness and assumptions of bad faith.

And I'll note that I haven't assumed that you or 'kang or even operative have different motives than I do -- improving the education of children in the US. With operative, he's open about how that fits into a general ideology where he wants to get rid of public schools, so I know this conversation is useless with him, but otherwise I see no reason why comparing what happens in other countries and discussing what is wrong in the US and what might work requires a partisan divide. It might end up with one, but it would be nice to disagree on something more substantive (for example, how much extra are we willing to pay for certain things or what responsibilities should we put on the schools).

As for the unions, I totally agree with you that the unions stand in the way of certain reforms. Just like the AMA stands in the way of certain reforms that would be good for health care, IMO, and other trade organizations/industry groups tend to do the same. That's to be expected -- they are somewhat reactionary and focused on a narrow aspect of the issue. But I don't have a problem fighting the unions. I simply reject the idea that unions disagree with me about school reform on some issues, so must be gotten rid of, despite their real function being (IMO) a totally valid one, to represent teachers in compensation discussions.

And I really don't know anyone (besides operative and some partisan Republican operatives) who try and make the issue with our schools as simplistic as your dichotomy. Absolutely no one thinks the problem would be easily solved if we just paid more, IMO.
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  #54  
Old 07-05-2011, 10:37 AM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

Quote:

And I really don't know anyone (besides operative and some partisan Republican operatives) who try and make the issue with our schools as simplistic as your dichotomy. Absolutely no one thinks the problem would be easily solved if we just paid more, IMO.
If I am on the same page as you in regards to the "problem", then I wouldn't include myself in that category either. Major reform is a significant step but the best results won't be achieved until there is a cultural values shift.
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  #55  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:59 AM
ledocs ledocs is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

"The problem" is that the intellectual level of the average high school or college graduate in the US is not very high by international standards, i.e. when compared with an international peer group. The solution, if there is one, will require very broad changes in all kinds of things.

I was not opposed initially to charter schools. I don't like them as a stalking horse for union busting. I hear from informed sources that Randi Weingarten has made important concessions involving her union, concessions that would be important to the "reform movement," but I don't know what the concessions are.

One of my first contacts with operative, by the way, was his citation of an article by Terry Moe about unions and educational policy that he misrepresented and probably never read. The general context was around the following intemperate little post of mine:


http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=182156&postcount=49


After a subsequent little interchange we had about Israel, I stopped reading operative. I've been hitting "View Post" a lot over the past few days. I have sugarkang filtered too, because he said he was going to filter me and I said, "Fine, no big loss to me." This was after he had written something unintelligible, and it happened to be the first time I had seen a post of his, I think.

I actually favor trying to inculcate a spirit of increased self-reliance in under-achieving kids, especially in what the French call "les quartiers defavorises," difficult neighborhoods. I'm OK with Bill Cosby and all of that, maybe not as an exclusive diet, but I don't have a problem with McWhorter or Cosby generally on that score.

I have to applaud you, stephanie, for your intelligent moderation and even-handed temperament. You're a model of Aristotelian virtue (no irony intended).
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  #56  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:25 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

Quote:
Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
"The problem" is that the intellectual level of the average high school or college graduate in the US is not very high by international standards, i.e. when compared with an international peer group. The solution, if there is one, will require very broad changes in all kinds of things.

I was not opposed initially to charter schools. I don't like them as a stalking horse for union busting. I hear from informed sources that Randi Weingarten has made important concessions involving her union, concessions that would be important to the "reform movement," but I don't know what the concessions are.

One of my first contacts with operative, by the way, was his citation of an article by Terry Moe about unions and educational policy that he misrepresented and probably never read. The general context was around the following intemperate little post of mine:


http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showpost.php?p=182156&postcount=49


After a subsequent little interchange we had about Israel, I stopped reading operative. I've been hitting "View Post" a lot over the past few days. I have sugarkang filtered too, because he said he was going to filter me and I said, "Fine, no big loss to me." This was after he had written something unintelligible, and it happened to be the first time I had seen a post of his, I think.

I actually favor trying to inculcate a spirit of increased self-reliance in under-achieving kids, especially in what the French call "les quartiers defavorises," difficult neighborhoods. I'm OK with Bill Cosby and all of that, maybe not as an exclusive diet, but I don't have a problem with McWhorter or Cosby generally on that score.

I have to applaud you, stephanie, for your intelligent moderation and even-handed temperament. You're a model of Aristotelian virtue (no irony intended).
I find your obsession with documenting past interactions to be a little bizarre. Maybe you should relax some and concentrate on ideas.

I do however share your praise of Stephanie for being willing to actually engage on the level of ideas, which unfortunately many on here are not.
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  #57  
Old 07-05-2011, 04:45 PM
sugarkang sugarkang is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

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Originally Posted by ledocs View Post
After a subsequent little interchange we had about Israel, I stopped reading operative. I've been hitting "View Post" a lot over the past few days. I have sugarkang filtered too, because he said he was going to filter me and I said, "Fine, no big loss to me." This was after he had written something unintelligible, and it happened to be the first time I had seen a post of his, I think.
I said I was going to filter you? When was this? This is now the second time you've placed blame on me for something I haven't done in recent days.

I haven't filtered a single person on this site except Voldemort. The only reason I made an exception for him was due to the sheer number of posts he would make; he made reading other people's posts difficult just as a practical matter. I suppose even in my utopian libertaria, I don't attempt to simply eliminate the people with whom I disagree just on the basis of their opinions. Though, I don't hold you to my own personal moral standard. And you won't see this message anyway because I'm on your ignore list.

Then there's the general sentiment that basically 2.5 libertarians are just taking over BHTV. One of whom has spoken openly about supporting Obama and even Obamacare. I'm not sure when intolerance was just acceptable because the other side produces "noise." After all, none of them are real human beings.
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Last edited by sugarkang; 07-05-2011 at 05:08 PM..
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  #58  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:52 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending in Japan

Thanks!
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  #59  
Old 07-14-2011, 02:41 PM
popcorn_karate popcorn_karate is offline
 
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Default Re: Education spending

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Originally Posted by operative View Post
But if we move to flat tax, privatize social security and move toward privatized medicare accounts, eliminate welfare, eliminate public housing, etc. then there will be some pretty positive results. For one thing, the reproduction rate of people with anti-intellectual cultures will drop.
and you view the black and hispanic portions of the culture as the most anti-intellectual, true?
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