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CentralCaliBike said:
Free college for all just means that those who do not wish to go to college end up paying for the college of those who do. You might not be aware, but public universities in the US are subsidized by the state. I happened to go to school in Arizona which paid for 80% of the costs of students that were residents of Arizona. I happen to agree with government subsidies for college (which basically does the same thing) but at least it weeds out some of those who are interested in college as a way of hanging out with their friends. I happen to still be paying for law school (19 years after graduation), and certainly would not turn down an offer for the government to pay it all for me. Somehow I was able to find a way to go grad school and survive with the costs.
In modern society a university education has formed the basis for social, economic, technological and cultural advancement. As such, it is an indespensible institution within the democratic State.

For this reason, like healthcare in the European social-democratic system it is state funded at nearly 100% to gaurantee that it isn't the priveledge of an economic elite and that, therefore, all the classes have an equal opportunity to higher education. Anyone can enrol in whichever intitution they please, naturally it is up to them to produce work that is of the required level or else one fails out.

Since Europeans, consequently, are not treated as paying customers (the way they are for example in the US university system, which is run more like a big business as a result than an institution of of higher learning estranged from the corporate mentality), grade inflation (a serious problem in the US) doesn't exsist. And if a student doesn't produce good work, his prof won't think twice about failing him, whereas I can attest to the fact that pressure exists from the US university administration to not be too severe, to not fail too many students, because, after all, they are paying for it.

This is what I meant by my American students all too often confusing their mediocre work for excellence. Well, sooner or later, the poor quality of degree holding students coming out of these American institutions will surly lead to decadence within American culture itself (from my point of view it has alleady begun). And certianly here in Europe, were things are much more severe at the schools, the universities in general are producing better qualified degree holders. Whereas emerging nations like China and India are certainly not pampering their youth the way my students seem to have been since childhood. They are always looking for the easy way out, don't remain concentrated and focused for very long and always, always at the same time feel entitled to get the A.

It has gotten to the point where I begin to wonder what has happened to education in America. And it has nothing to do with the personal level. Like with any group of youths some are extremely likeable, while others are not. It is simply based on an objective analysis of their work.
 
hektoren said:
As to the health systems, there are pros and cons on both sides of the Atlantic. It's fair to say that the american system of one physician assigned to you and your wellbeing, having a personal responsibility, is a good one. On the other hand it ensures a lot of unneccessary tests being done, just in case, to avoid getting sued for neglect.

But take a macroeconomic look at it: Is it really likely that a system, that in addition to the health professionals has to feed a bunch of insurance companies and lawyers, will produce more bang for the buck?

Americans are fiercely proud and patriotic when it comes to their soldiers. And deservedly so! Only the best is good enough for the men and women who took a hit for their country, but why then do they have to rely on a public health system to take care of them? Is a public health system good enough or not? I wish the political right would make their mind up.
I think if the US government were as obsesed with prividing quality healthcare to all of its citizens, as they are with outfiting the military with the most advanced equipment for killing: I think they could do a pretty good job. What do you think?

It can certainly be done, there just might not be the political will to do it. Especially with all those mega insurance corporations, who will spend imense sums to make sure that the politicians don't make it happen. Which is terribly unjust and abhorant.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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Rub you will find many posters do not look at conditions outside the US and do not believe in the global economy. The poor scores and qualifications of US graduates are not compared to other countries because many in the US don't feel they are competing globally. Our old school structures like company provided health care and those with cash get educated have already caught up to us and will continue to erode a great country with resources of every kind. Other countries have continued to redistribute their spending to reflect the ineffectiveness of a large military. Open sea lanes are becoming more important to world commerce but the US sending ground troops and large armored weapons looks silly at best. We need to lead from the inside and spend our money on US betterment rather than fight Islam into changing.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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rhubroma said:
In modern society a university education has formed the basis for social, economic, technological and cultural advancement. As such, it is an indespensible institution within the democratic State.

For this reason, like healthcare in the European social-democratic system it is state funded at nearly 100% to gaurantee that it isn't the priveledge of an economic elite and that, therefore, all the classes have an equal opportunity to higher education.
The US system is not limited to the economic elites as you call them. As I mentioned earlier, my grandfather essentially had no education at all - he worked in a junk yard, but he made sure that both of his children valued a college education - one graduated from medical school (with his help) and the other, my father, graduated with a BS in General Mathematics. While I would not say we were poor when I was college age, I do not believe anyone would have called my family a part of the economic elite - somehow, I was able to achieve an education as well.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
I guess you forgot what you had written "You'll seldom come across people who don't thrive on feeling useful and doing a good job, be it to family or society at large." This is not my experience. Obviously I run into a different class of people than most of the people on this forum, however, perhaps that means I also have more experience with a large number of people who are welfare recipients.

Getting back the the medical issues, as mentioned in earlier posts, there is prenatal medical care available for low income and no income populations in this country - it is just not something that a drug addict is all that interested in most of the time. Somewhat like the fact that there is education available for all through high school in the US, however, it is not something that motivates drug addicts and gang members - I just do not see free college going to help those people either.
When I wrote that "you'll seldom come across people who don't thrive on feeling useful and doing a good job" I didn't refer to people whose horizon doesn't extend beyond the next fix. You just might want to look into the mechanisms that alienate people from society, before you get stuck with an opinion for life. You're wrong now, imagine what it'll look like in 30 years time! Your grandchildren will cringe whenever you open your mouth.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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rhubroma said:
I think if the US government were as obsesed with prividing quality healthcare to all of its citizens, as they are with outfiting the military with the most advanced equipment for killing: I think they could do a pretty good job. What do you think?
Oh, but I agree! Even though it's a simplistic view, and even though they provide the best healthcare there is to be found anywhere in the world, it's still only available to a relatively small part of their population.
To repeat myself; any society should be judged by how it treats its weakest.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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hektoren said:
When I wrote that "you'll seldom come across people who don't thrive on feeling useful and doing a good job" I didn't refer to people whose horizon doesn't extend beyond the next fix. You just might want to look into the mechanisms that alienate people from society, before you get stuck with an opinion for life. You're wrong now, imagine what it'll look like in 30 years time! Your grandchildren will cringe whenever you open your mouth.
Drug users and gangsters are often not alienated from society - that is the society they are familiar with.
 
CentralCaliBike said:
The US system is not limited to the economic elites as you call them. As I mentioned earlier, my grandfather essentially had no education at all - he worked in a junk yard, but he made sure that both of his children valued a college education - one graduated from medical school (with his help) and the other, my father, graduated with a BS in General Mathematics. While I would not say we were poor when I was college age, I do not believe anyone would have called my family a part of the economic elite - somehow, I was able to achieve an education as well.
Many US students graduated from university are overburduned with debt. This is a fact. Such isn't the case in the European system. This is also a fact.

As taxes are increasingly spent to bail out the financial markets and on the millitary, I'm wondering how long it will take before the American youth begins to rebell against such an unjust system. Especially as the job market is becoming increasingly sent overseas and, consequently, it becomes decidedly harder to find work with adequit wages to pay for things like student loans and healthcare.

That your grandfather worked his whole life without education and insisted that his children get a university degree, is not limited to US society over the last century, but the entire Western World. The Europeans have simply demanded that since the university institution has now become indespensable to the well being of the modern State, that it, like healthcare, must be based on public spending, democratic and accessable to all. And this among those on the right just like those on the left.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
The US system is not limited to the economic elites as you call them. As I mentioned earlier, my grandfather essentially had no education at all - he worked in a junk yard, but he made sure that both of his children valued a college education - one graduated from medical school (with his help) and the other, my father, graduated with a BS in General Mathematics. While I would not say we were poor when I was college age, I do not believe anyone would have called my family a part of the economic elite - somehow, I was able to achieve an education as well.
Who would not fall in love with the story of the junkyard children who went on to be great citizens and equally great examples for their children and other people they were exposed to. In the 50's,60's and 70's college was optional in the minds of lots of Americans. By the 80's and 90's with technology exploding we needed more immigrants to fill our high tech void. Now that IT is a big part of the world economy the US is falling behind because it doesn't not have a fool proof system to delivery 50-60 percent of it's people into the workforce with a 4 year degree. I know as soon as I type this you are going to say Bill Gates didn't graduate and look what he did, another above average person and story. We need a system that allows people to get an education like Germany,or England and see highly educated people as a resource rather than an expenditure with an unknown outcome. We should figure out what goods or services we want to supply the world because they certainly know that they can sell us cars, information, clothing and food cheaper than we can do it. We are the best and biggest consumers now, we need a new title.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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rhubroma said:
That your grandfather worked his whole life without education and insisted that his children get a university degree, is not limited to US society over the last century, but the entire Western World. The Europeans have simply demanded that since the university institution has now become indespensable to the well being of the modern State, that it, like healthcare, must be based on public spending, democratic and accessable to all. And this among those on the right just like those on the left.
But I would point out that he did not insist that the government pay for the entire amount of education provided to his children.
 
May 13, 2009
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rhubroma said:
In modern society a university education has formed the basis for social, economic, technological and cultural advancement. As such, it is an indespensible institution within the democratic State.

For this reason, like healthcare in the European social-democratic system it is state funded at nearly 100% to gaurantee that it isn't the priveledge of an economic elite and that, therefore, all the classes have an equal opportunity to higher education. Anyone can enrol in whichever intitution they please, naturally it is up to them to produce work that is of the required level or else one fails out.

Since Europeans, consequently, are not treated as paying customers (the way they are for example in the US university system, which is run more like a big business as a result than an institution of of higher learning estranged from the corporate mentality), grade inflation (a serious problem in the US) doesn't exsist. And if a student doesn't produce good work, his prof won't think twice about failing him, whereas I can attest to the fact that pressure exists from the US university administration to not be too severe, to not fail too many students, because, after all, they are paying for it.

This is what I meant by my American students all too often confusing their mediocre work for excellence. Well, sooner or later, the poor quality of degree holding students coming out of these American institutions will surly lead to decadence within American culture itself (from my point of view it has alleady begun). And certianly here in Europe, were things are much more severe at the schools, the universities in general are producing better qualified degree holders. Whereas emerging nations like China and India are certainly not pampering their youth the way my students seem to have been since childhood. They are always looking for the easy way out, don't remain concentrated and focused for very long and always, always at the same time feel entitled to get the A.

It has gotten to the point where I begin to wonder what has happened to education in America. And it has nothing to do with the personal level. Like with any group of youths some are extremely likeable, while others are not. It is simply based on an objective analysis of their work.
Amen to that. But unfortunately, it's also true for the sciences. When you compare curricula in, say physics from average European universities (Germany, France, Sweden, Hungary, Romania etc.) to top US universities (Harvard), you'll find that the European universities usually treat things earlier. You can find sophomore classes in, say Romania which correspond to first year grad school classes at Harvard. Same content. I'm not saying the quality of teaching is the same or that students from Romanian universities are better than Harvard students, and in particular research opportunities are not equal, but if you're a smart cookie and can absorb the material well enough, you might make faster progress in Romania. I couldn't find statistics, but I would be very interested to see how many faculty at US universities are 1st generation immigrants, in particular in math and the hard sciences.

I think tuition and the resulting 'customer' attitude of the students and parents has a bad impact on education in the US. Actually, it's part of my job to look at higher education across countries, in particular in the sciences. I have been to many universities in the US and Europe (it used to be Western Europe where I focused on Germany and Scandinavia (fint å se at det snakkes norsk her); the last 15-20 years, there's considerable interest in Central and Eastern Europe). Now, I could go on and on about it, but let me sum up a few observations:

1) US universities focus on student retention. Partly because state dollars are tied to those statistics. While the goals of retention and excellence are not diametral opposite, they can (and usually will) be in the hand of incompetent officials which happens far too often. Ironically, European Universities, with open access for everybody based on merit don't have this problem. If at all, they're usually having too many students in the freshman year, so they're happy to weed them out (again on merit). How American is that?

2) Private universities are known to admit some students based on expected donations. As an example, Duke University has been known to screen student applications by zip code. If you're applying from a rich zip code, you're more likely to be accepted. There's practically not a single university where you can't buy your way in. While that's hopefully not a huge problem, it's symptomatic for an education system which is more consumer driven than merit driven. Except for GB, Europe does not have a tradition of private universities, so that's not a problem there.

Anyway, post is getting too long, so I stop here.

Someone mentioned Arizona universities: they're are exceptional in the amount of support. Even out-of-state students are subsidized at high rates. So much so that Arizona out-of-state tuition has often been below in-state tuition of other states such as Texas. I assume that's going to change since the housing crash has affected Arizona in particular. Other states, such as Ohio, subsidize in-state students at a level of about 30% only.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Someone mentioned Arizona universities: they're are exceptional in the amount of support. Even out-of-state students are subsidized at high rates. So much so that Arizona out-of-state tuition has often been below in-state tuition of other states such as Texas. I assume that's going to change since the housing crash has affected Arizona in particular. Other states, such as Ohio, subsidize in-state students at a level of about 30% only.
I do not know about now, however, a couple of decades ago, in-state students paid 20% of their tuition costs, out-of-state students paid 80%. They hoped that some of the out of state people would end up staying.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Cobblestones said:
Actually, it's part of my job to look at higher education across countries, in particular in the sciences. I have been to many universities in the US and Europe (it used to be Western Europe where I focused on Germany and Scandinavia (fint å se at det snakkes norsk her); the last 15-20 years, there's considerable interest in Central and Eastern Europe).
Do you have any insights in the sciences in Asia, particularly China?

From what I read/heard China is 'producing' so many scientists every year, that their output - in terms of peer reviewed articles - has shot trough the roof.

For anyone interested in statistics on welfare, economics, taxation, education, you name it, see http://stats.oecd.org/

Interestingly, the dutch work fewest hours annually. :D

Netherlands: 1389 hrs or approx 26.7 hrs per week, or 34.7 weeks based on a 40 hr work week.

Italy: 1802 - 34.7h - 45w
France: 1542 - 29.7h - 38.6w
Germany: 1432 - 27.5h - 35.8w
UK: 1653 - 31.8h - 41.3w
Norway: 1422 - 27.3h - 35.6w
USA: 1792 - 34.5h - 44.8w
 
Mar 11, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
But I would point out that he did not insist that the government pay for the entire amount of education provided to his children.
And your point is?

This is not the same world that your grandfather lived in. College tuition is rising faster than inflation rates, just like health care costs. And the middle class is being destroyed by big business. The US is already lagging behind the Europeans in education, health care, quality of life, infrastructure, the Europeans are leading in green technology and they live longer. In another generation or two the US will be a two class society the haves and have-nots. All of this is thanks too you and other conservatives perverted, greedy, self-centred world view. What else needs to happen to this county before you admit that the USA is on the wrong path and are willing to look to new solutions? And no, the unregulated free-market wont fix the problems it's one the reasons we have these problems.
 
May 13, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Do you have any insights in the sciences in Asia, particularly China?

From what I read/heard China is 'producing' so many scientists every year, that their output - in terms of peer reviewed articles - has shot trough the roof.

For anyone interested in statistics on welfare, economics, taxation, education, you name it, see http://stats.oecd.org/

Interestingly, the dutch work fewest hours annually. :D

Netherlands: 1389 hrs or approx 26.7 hrs per week, or 34.7 weeks based on a 40 hr work week.

Italy: 1802 - 34.7h - 45w
France: 1542 - 29.7h - 38.6w
Germany: 1432 - 27.5h - 35.8w
UK: 1653 - 31.8h - 41.3w
Norway: 1422 - 27.3h - 35.6w
USA: 1792 - 34.5h - 44.8w
Absolutely no idea on China. East Asia has never interested me personally. I've been to China only once and didn't even enjoy it particularly. Some of the younger generation seem very enthusiastic about all things Japanese or East Asian. I'm not, so I don't know much about it. Well, obviously tons of Chinese and Indian students come to the US and do well. Anecdotally, I've heard they're trained differently than both US and European students. But whether that's true and in which way, I couldn't say.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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titan_90 said:
And your point is?

This is not the same world that your grandfather lived in. College tuition is rising faster than inflation rates, just like health care costs. And the middle class is being destroyed by big business. The US is already lagging behind the Europeans in education, health care, quality of life, infrastructure, the Europeans are leading in green technology and they live longer. In another generation or two the US will be a two class society the haves and have-nots. All of this is thanks too you and other conservatives perverted, greedy, self-centred world view. What else needs to happen to this county before you admit that the USA is on the wrong path and are willing to look to new solutions? And no, the unregulated free-market wont fix the problems it's one the reason we have these problems.
I suppose that the progressives are far less self centered and greedy. Of course they would take away the income of those in other countries who are involved in manufacturing products for multinational corporations, would be happy to prevent others from the use of publicly held lands, and often claim to be against anyone making a profit from hard work.
 
Jul 14, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
I suppose that the progressives are far less self centered and greedy. Of course they would take away the income of those in other countries who are involved in manufacturing products for multinational corporations, would be happy to prevent others from the use of publicly held lands, and often claim to be against anyone making a profit from hard work.
That was a smooth slam on the social agenda ! Wealth redistribution and private property rights all in one. Do they not have filthy rich people and private property in all the socialist countries we are talking about ? France and Germany and Italy to name a few. Are you saying that a person will have to park his or her limo at a casino in Monte Carlo?
 
Jul 23, 2009
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fatandfast said:
That was a smooth slam on the social agenda ! Wealth redistribution and private property rights all in one. Do they not have filthy rich people and private property in all the socialist countries we are talking about ? France and Germany and Italy to name a few. Are you saying that a person will have to park his or her limo at a casino in Monte Carlo?
Certainly there are wealthy in every nation (including China and even places like Cuba), and there are those who consider themselves progressive in every society as well. Often the progressives focus on what others have and how to take it from them. They seem to lack understanding of how the results of their actions relating to the redistribution of wealth would effect many of those they are intending to help (as well as how it effects those they are taking from).
 
Mar 11, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
I suppose that the progressives are far less self centered and greedy. Of course they would take away the income of those in other countries who are involved in manufacturing products for multinational corporations, would be happy to prevent others from the use of publicly held lands, and often claim to be against anyone making a profit from hard work.
And conservatives take the money from the poor and working class for themselves.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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CentralCaliBike said:
I suspect that I am happier with my society than they are with theirs > we responsible for the choices we make.
Sure, scrounging off other people's misery is a real good reason for happy-hour, 24/7. Granted. Here's looking at you, kid! Cheers! Skoal! Chin-chin! Pass me the chili-nuts!

Trying to look across the divide though, seeing and acknowledging that we're dealing with real human beings who started out just like you and me but without the same set of choices in front of them that we got to make, without the external resources, demand a stretch of imagination.

As I've said before, repeatedly, a society should be judged by how it treats its weakest. A condescending attitude towards the "riff-raff" you make a living from, constitutes an F minus in my book.

Modern science has found this nifty little thing they call DNA. It means, f'rinstance, that some people have a genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to thrill-seeking than others, some run faster, some have blond hair, some are gay, some try drugs and get hooked first time around, some have a more confrontational approach to adversity than others, some have Down's syndrome, some like their Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé along with french goat cheese made from raw milk (like myself).
Mind you, I'm not ruling out a lot of voluntary choices here made in adulthood, and I admit that the French goat milk cheeses is one of those, but you get the drift.
Anyhow, "it takes a whole village to raise a child" say some Africans. I agree. We're all valuable, even as negative, surly, feminist, alcoholic, drug-addicted, right-wing, left-wing, christian, moslems, investment-bankers, lawyers, prosecutors or whatever. We're a multitude and it's not an us-against-them attitude that will prevail.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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titan_90 said:
And conservatives take the money from the poor and working class for themselves.
I guess that would be by raising the tax rates on the poor and working classes and selling them material goods, or maybe by providing jobs in industry rather than government social programs?
 
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