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Gerry Clinchy
11-24-2010, 02:11 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/opinion/24friedman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a212

We've been talking a lot about how wealth is becoming concentrated in a smaller %-age of the population. Our changing world is part of the reason.



The deeper problems fostering unemployment in America today can be summarized in three paragraphs:

Global competition is stiffer. [snip]

Then, just as the world was getting flattened by globalization, technology went on a rampage — destroying more low-end jobs and creating more high-end jobs faster than ever. — destroying more low-end jobs and creating more high-end jobs faster than ever. What computers, hand-held devices, wireless technology and robots do in aggregate is empower better-educated and higher-skilled workers to be more productive — so they can raise their incomes — while eliminating many lower-skilled service and factory jobs altogether. Now the best-educated workers, capable of doing the critical thinking that machines can’t do, get richer while the least-educated get pink slips. (We used to have a receptionist at our office. She was replaced by a micro-chip. We got voice mail.)

Finally, just when globalization and technology were making the value of higher education greater than ever, and the price for lacking it more punishing than ever, America started slipping behind its peers in high school graduation rates, college graduation and global test scores in math and critical thinking.



Beyond the recession, this triple whammy is one of the main reasons that middle-class wages have been stagnating.



If you want to know who’s doing the parenting part right, start with immigrants, who know that learning is the way up. Last week, the 32 winners of Rhodes Scholarships for 2011 were announced — America’s top college grads. Here are half the names on that list: Mark Jia, Aakash Shah, Zujaja Tauqeer, Tracy Yang, William Zeng, Daniel Lage, Ye Jin Kang, Baltazar Zavala, Esther Uduehi, Prerna Nadathur, Priya Sury, Anna Alekeyeva, Fatima Sabar, Renugan Raidoo, Jennifer Lai, Varun Sivaram.

Do you see a pattern?

Buzz
11-24-2010, 03:13 PM
Pertaining to your quote:



If you want to know who’s doing the parenting part right, start with immigrants, who know that learning is the way up. Last week, the 32 winners of Rhodes Scholarships for 2011 were announced — America’s top college grads. Here are half the names on that list: Mark Jia, Aakash Shah, Zujaja Tauqeer, Tracy Yang, William Zeng, Daniel Lage, Ye Jin Kang, Baltazar Zavala, Esther Uduehi, Prerna Nadathur, Priya Sury, Anna Alekeyeva, Fatima Sabar, Renugan Raidoo, Jennifer Lai, Varun Sivaram.

Do you see a pattern?

I would be remiss in failing to extend congratulations to a very good friend, Dr. Robert Swenson, and his family. Bob is a member of Sioux Valley Retriever club and owner of FC Blackwater's Last Resort "Finn." He is known as drbobsd here at RTF. His daughter is an American Rhodes Scholar-elect for 2011.

From the press release:

South Dakota
University of Oklahoma
Ms. Sarah A. Swenson
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

I got a call from a very happy Dr. Bob last Saturday night and he was in the mood for bragging. Sarah was one of 40 or 42 out of over 4000 applicants accepted for next school year at The Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Now the question is, will Mayo give her a deferment so that she can complete her studies at Oxford before starting at Mayo?

Dr. Bob also has a daughter studying at Yale Law School. So, there are worthy American students. They are the ones lucky enough to be both born with exceptional potential and to caring parents who can mentor them and instill the work ethic and the desire for learning. Bob, your cup runneth over! Congrats and Happy Thanksgiving!


PS: I just got word that Mayo gave her a 2 year deferment, which is very unusual. Here is a story from OU.

http://www.ou.edu/content/publicaffairs/archives/SwensonRhodesScholar.html

BonMallari
11-24-2010, 03:49 PM
Pertaining to your quote:




I would be remiss in failing to extend congratulations to a very good friend, Dr. Robert Swenson, and his family. Bob is a member of Sioux Valley Retriever club and owner of FC Blackwater's Last Resort, Finn. He is known as drbobsd here at RTF. His daughter is an American Rhodes Scholar-elect for 2011.

From the press release:

South Dakota
University of Oklahoma
Ms. Sarah A. Swenson
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57108

I got a call from a very happy Dr. Bob last Saturday night and he was in the mood for bragging. Sara was one of 40 or 42 out of over 4000 applicants accepted for next school year at The Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. Now the question is, will Mayo give her a deferment so that she can complete her studies at Oxford before starting at Mayo?

Dr. Bob also has a daughter studying at Yale Law School. So, there are worthy American students. They are the ones lucky enough to be both born with exceptional potential and to caring parents who can mentor them and instill the work ethic and the desire for learning. Bob, your cup runneth over! Congrats and Happy Thanksgiving!


PS: I just got word that Mayo gave her a 2 year deferment, which is very unusual. Here is a story from OU.

http://www.ou.edu/content/publicaffairs/archives/SwensonRhodesScholar.html

extremely impressive...kudos to Ms Swenson,being a Rhodes Scholar is indeed a special accomplishment,being a med student a the Mayo clinic may be even more impressive...bravo young lady,bravo :D:D

Gerry Clinchy
11-24-2010, 03:55 PM
Congratulations to Sarah! Well done!

dnf777
11-24-2010, 04:00 PM
Any school would be STUPID to disallow one of their own to become a Rhodes Scholar!

We really need to re-emphasize education in this country, and reverse the dumbing down of our people. When I watch tv (rarely) I am amazed at how advertisers portray the American male in the commercials. Usually he's a bumbling idiot with a snappy woman nearby...or a snotty attitude kid telling parents what's right.

I was reading through some letters my Grandmother had written years ago, and was amazed at the grammar, style, and correctness she wrote with, considering she had an 8th grade education. I promise you, an 8th grade education from 1935 carried far more weight than many college degrees being conferred today. Sad.

Buzz
11-24-2010, 04:06 PM
Any school would be STUPID to disallow one of their own to become a Rhodes Scholar!

We really need to re-emphasize education in this country, and reverse the dumbing down of our people. When I watch tv (rarely) I am amazed at how advertisers portray the American male in the commercials. Usually he's a bumbling idiot with a snappy woman nearby...or a snotty attitude kid telling parents what's right.

I was reading through some letters my Grandmother had written years ago, and was amazed at the grammar, style, and correctness she wrote with, considering she had an 8th grade education. I promise you, an 8th grade education from 1935 carried far more weight than many college degrees being conferred today. Sad.

I'm dying to say something, but I'll stay away from politics for the moment.:p

dnf777
11-24-2010, 04:12 PM
I'm dying to say something, but I'll stay away from politics for the moment.:p

I refrained as well. Its my new "compassionate independentism". ;)

Gerry Clinchy
11-24-2010, 04:13 PM
I can recall years ago, when I first started doing office work, typing speed and accuracy were important. With today's computers that is no longer a big deal.


Today, it's hard to find a typewriter if you need one! Some teenagers have no idea what a typewriter is!

However, when I think of what a "secretary" has to master in terms of technology ... software, scanning, networking project documents in software programs like Word, it is awe-inspiring. Yet, the wages of such a secretary have not increased very much from the typewriter days even though he/she must have more, and more complex, skill sets. It's a good thing computers have Spell Check, because God knows what texting will do to spelling skills :-)

I think this was what the article was getting at. Except for those guys along the road who turn the signs from "slow" to "stop", there are not a lot of higher-paying jobs that don't require more education or training.

Thus, among those of lower socio-economic means, a work ethic is not enough. They must be prepared to take on jobs that require higher levels of skills in order to support themselves.

If farm workers get paid minimum wage (and some would dispute that illegals are paid less than that), it would take both parents working long hours just to scrape by with only two children. In fact, would they be able to do so without any assistance programs?

My sense is that 20 years ago, $30,000/year might have been at the lower end of the middle income range. Today, that's not true any longer ... certainly not for a family of four. A local lending program for low-to-middle-income first-time home buyers requires income of no more than $$47,750 for a family of 4! Even a 1-person household is $33,450.

So, in a way, it's not surprising those at the lowest income levels are growing, and the middle class is shrinking.

YardleyLabs
11-24-2010, 05:02 PM
I can recall years ago, when I first started doing office work, typing speed and accuracy were important. With today's computers that is no longer a big deal.


Today, it's hard to find a typewriter if you need one! Some teenagers have no idea what a typewriter is!

However, when I think of what a "secretary" has to master in terms of technology ... software, scanning, networking project documents in software programs like Word, it is awe-inspiring. Yet, the wages of such a secretary have not increased very much from the typewriter days even though he/she must have more, and more complex, skill sets. It's a good thing computers have Spell Check, because God knows what texting will do to spelling skills :-)

I think this was what the article was getting at. Except for those guys along the road who turn the signs from "slow" to "stop", there are not a lot of higher-paying jobs that don't require more education or training.

Thus, among those of lower socio-economic means, a work ethic is not enough. They must be prepared to take on jobs that require higher levels of skills in order to support themselves.

If farm workers get paid minimum wage (and some would dispute that illegals are paid less than that), it would take both parents working long hours just to scrape by with only two children. In fact, would they be able to do so without any assistance programs?

My sense is that 20 years ago, $30,000/year might have been at the lower end of the middle income range. Today, that's not true any longer ... certainly not for a family of four. A local lending program for low-to-middle-income first-time home buyers requires income of no more than $$47,750 for a family of 4! Even a 1-person household is $33,450.

So, in a way, it's not surprising those at the lowest income levels are growing, and the middle class is shrinking.
The difficulty in comparing wages 30 years ago vs today is the dramatic change in the value of the dollar. Measured based on inflation in the US, GDP has grown 67% over the last 30 years (technically, 1980 to 2009). In that same period, median income grew by only 15% (both measured in constant, 2009 dollars). However, $30,000 in 1980 placed you somewhere above average among the middle class and, depending on how you measure such things, is equivalent to an income of $75-80,000 currently, or about 1 1/2 times the median household income. The biggest devaluation of the US dollar actually occurred during the 70's when a dollar went from being worth 4.33 Swiss francs to less than 1.7 Swiss francs. Thus, compared to Swiss francs and other major European currencies, the dollar lost 50-60% of its value. That was the effect of dropping the gold standard and allowing our currency to fluctuate in the market rather than propping it up artificially. Between 1980 and 2000, the value of the dollar remained relatively stable, However, after 2000 it collapsed again, losing 40% of its value by 2008. Stated another way, the dollar lost 3/4 of its value measured against major European currencies between 1970 and 2010. As a consequence, our standard of living went from being dramatically higher than the standard of living in Europe to being relatively average with a number of countries exceeding ours. More on the topic of this thread, I believe that our loss of competitiveness in the global economy is directly linked to the growth in anti-intellectual and anti-scientific beliefs. This was a cornerstone of the Reagan presidency, and has become an increasing part of political campaigns since then.

Buzz
11-24-2010, 05:20 PM
More on the topic of this thread, I believe that our loss of competitiveness in the global economy is directly linked to the growth in anti-intellectual and anti-scientific beliefs.

Along these lines, one of my all time favorite movies is Idiocracy. It's completely mindless entertainment, but there is a message in there.

Gerry Clinchy
11-24-2010, 05:33 PM
Jeff, clearly, inflation, alone had an impact on what is now "low income" v. "middle income". But this article I think points to the fact that those $30K/year jobs that used to be available for low-skilled jobs, have disappeared. Like the receptionist who is no longer needed for answering phones, or the low-skill manufacturing jobs that disappeared. Even if $30K wasn't worth so much less today, there would be (are) less low-skill jobs available.


More on the topic of this thread, I believe that our loss of competitiveness in the global economy is directly linked to the growth in anti-intellectual and anti-scientific beliefs. This was a cornerstone of the Reagan presidency, and has become an increasing part of political campaigns since then.

Actually, I don't blame the politicians as much as the teaching philosophy that decided "self esteem" was more important than actually learning well enough to have a grasp of the subject matter. Even now, teachers' unions object to "grading" teachers by how well their students perform.

Buzz
11-24-2010, 05:53 PM
Actually, I don't blame the politicians as much as the teaching philosophy that decided "self esteem" was more important than actually learning well enough to have a grasp of the subject matter. Even now, teachers' unions object to "grading" teachers by how well their students perform.


I am against putting all the blame on the teachers. I have a 12 year old. I hear parents of classmates complaining about too much homework and that the math is too hard for them to help with. They've actually shown up to board of education meetings to complain because there is too much work and the kids are doing poorly because they just can't keep up. Wish I was kidding, but I'm not... FWIW my daughter is in band and chorus so she doesn't have any study halls. Yet I don't see her doing much homework, and on her last report card she had straight A's.

Sorry but hearing parents complain about school being too hard just pee's me off.

Gerry Clinchy
11-24-2010, 06:03 PM
They've actually shown up to board of education meetings to complain because there is too much work and the kids are doing poorly because they just can't keep up. Wish I was kidding, but I'm not... FWIW my daughter is in band and chorus so she doesn't have any study halls. Yet I don't see her doing much homework, and on her last report card she had straight A's.


I agree, Buzz, parents also can be part of the problem.

I'd probably be one of the parents that had trouble with the math, too!

I know that lots of years ago when my son was taking Latin, I had trouble helping him because it was no longer taught the "old-fashioned" way.

Now, Latin, isn't exactly a subject that has to keep up with the changing world :-) ... it seemed easier the old-fashioned way than the new way they were using at his school.

depittydawg
11-24-2010, 07:04 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/24/opinion/24friedman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=a212

We've been talking a lot about how wealth is becoming concentrated in a smaller %-age of the population. Our changing world is part of the reason.

What computers, hand-held devices, wireless technology and robots do in aggregate is empower better-educated and higher-skilled workers to be more productive — so they can raise their incomes — while eliminating many lower-skilled service and factory jobs altogether. Now the best-educated workers, capable of doing the critical thinking that machines can’t do, get richer while the least-educated get pink slips. (We used to have a receptionist at our office. She was replaced by a micro-chip.

While there is some truth to this, the argument that productivity and technology is a major cause of job loss and wage decline is very debatable. First of all, it ignores the fact that these "low skilled" jobs did not disappear. They simply migrated to other countries where workers are more easily exploited. It also ignores the major issue that while wages of workers (including high skilled technology) have declined, the total pay out for the very top has skyrocketed.

In other words the huge gains in productivity from all these highly skilled workers has gone to the elite who run the organizations, not to the workers of any skill level. For example, in the technology industry I work in, Managers and Engineers today, make less than we did 10 years ago. We are all more productive. Workers are more productive because of the technology improvements and they also make less than workers performing the same jobs 10 years ago.

charly_t
11-24-2010, 07:51 PM
I am against putting all the blame on the teachers. I have a 12 year old. I hear parents of classmates complaining about too much homework and that the math is too hard for them to help with. They've actually shown up to board of education meetings to complain because there is too much work and the kids are doing poorly because they just can't keep up. Wish I was kidding, but I'm not... FWIW my daughter is in band and chorus so she doesn't have any study halls. Yet I don't see her doing much homework, and on her last report card she had straight A's.

Sorry but hearing parents complain about school being too hard just pee's me off.


This reminds me of a true story that my ex daughter-in-law told about a phone call she got from the mother of one of her students. The mother told the teacher that she would have to find another assignment for her daughter because "she will never do that one". Seems the assignment was not something the student had any interest in.

Grand children seem to do okay in school in our family. Tough love is what we practice in our family.

Marvin S
11-24-2010, 11:21 PM
I am against putting all the blame on the teachers. I have a 12 year old. I hear parents of classmates complaining about too much homework and that the math is too hard for them to help with. They've actually shown up to board of education meetings to complain because there is too much work and the kids are doing poorly because they just can't keep up. Wish I was kidding, but I'm not... FWIW my daughter is in band and chorus so she doesn't have any study halls. Yet I don't see her doing much homework, and on her last report card she had straight A's.

Sorry but hearing parents complain about school being too hard just pee's me off.

What claim does the education system have on children's time outside the scheduled school day? The ability to do large amounts of work in a timely manner is not being taught with the overextended school day. I personally believe it is a NEA tactic stressing quantity over quality in education.

& I do not sympathize with the bitching parents either. Somehow I don't believe they are the parents that drive our economy :rolleyes:.