The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Should you squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle or from the end?
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7Wannabe5
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jun 02, 2018 6:47 am

@BRUTE:

First, please recall that when I take political matrix quizzes, my own results are Libertarian. I first attempted to release myself from compulsory education when I was 14. So, I have an ongoing internal debate on these matters. Also, my paternal political heritage was from at least 4 generations of Independent voters who worked in public service.

In “Basic Economics”, Sowell offers argument that child labor laws now serve to protect “strapping teenagers” from “jobs in air conditioned offices”, so they are compelled to turn to lives of crime if no longer in school.
Although he gives de facto nod of approval to early 20th century progressive policies that limited very young children from engaging in dangerous work, he is really still evading the question which I was trying to pose which is if children, and others, are deemed incompetent to enter into contract or enact self-authority then to what extent do they fall under the jurisdiction of their family vs society?

I last read Ayn Rand in 1984, so I will only note that my hazy recollection of the description of those who Atlas was shrugging to release as burden did not include a nursery full of infants needing diapers changed in the moment. The straw man when evading diaper duty is always going to be the notion of the undeserving able-bodied slacker. You have to do the actual math inputting the demographics and then come to the realization that a good percentage of people need direct care and another percentage of people has to provide that care, and there are only so many adults with ability left to function as engineers.

Anyways, I agree with you that help for those in need is best offered on private, voluntary basis, so please PM me and I will give directions for sending me funds with which I will purchase books to be read over the summer by my zombie-apocalypse zone students.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Sat Jun 02, 2018 1:56 pm

7Wannabe5 seems to operate under the assumption that brute cares about her human zombie-apocalypse zone students. brute doesn't even know them.

this is exactly why involuntary help doesn't work, and most of the money gets lost in the giant bureaucracy. it will be inefficient, brute will have zero insight into the efficacy of his donations, and he'll never see the outcomes. if anything, brute would prefer to donate to zombie-apocalypse zone human children in his own community.

[edit]

frankly, brute is offended by this (very typical anti-liberal in the classic sense) false dichotomy between "brute does what 7Wannabe5 wants" and "brute is an evil person whose philosophy is not well thought-out".

no. brute doesn't care about those children, and brute's system is still better for them than the wishful thinking alternative. even in his uncaring, evil, libertarian ways, brute is the better humanitarian. and he doesn't even care much for humans.

why are these children in zombie-apocalypse zone? because wishful thinking prevailed for decades, and left the humans it was supposedly meant to help worse off than they were.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by bryan » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:39 pm

I would think you would trust @7Wannabe5 (ERE forum community member) more than most in your (physical) local community. For example, I have kids, homeless, and fund-raisers come up to me all the time asking for money or a signature but I would feel better about giving funds to an ERE-member-backed cause (i.e. a giving proxy/administrator/steward) if they hit me up. There are only a few local orgs that I currently feel confident about giving money to.

Personally, I've walked into a bit of a trap
jacob wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 5:28 pm
donating to charity/select causes and writing it off on tax-forms that benefit them personally
in that I have "charity" budgeted and allocated towards 501(c)(3)'s only. Gross. At least with the latest tax law and transitioning into low income, I shouldn't accrue such a problem again. I don't think the tax deduction was worth it, in the end :?

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7Wannabe5
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:55 am

frankly, brute is offended by this (very typical anti-liberal in the classic sense) false dichotomy between "brute does what 7Wannabe5 wants" and "brute is an evil person whose philosophy is not well thought-out".
I was thinking more along the lines of "BRUTE is an intelligent, compassionate young man with some interesting ideas. Let's shoot the sh*t and explore the complex boundary between problems which can be solved with any philosophy of economics vs. those which might more properly be relegated to realms such as ecology or human biological development through the lifespan."

I am currently working 65 hours/week and I am also engaged in a moderately challenging course of study which requires at least another 5- 10 hours of alert brain time/week, so my previous posts might have been a bit rude due to desire to "cut to the chase."

One of the problems with the notion that private charter schools would offer an appropriate solution is demonstrated by the fact that I am precluded by my contract with private employer who provides my services to public institution from even offering gift of books to any of my students, because that could be construed as conflict of interest likely to cut into profit base.

Also, this debate is taking place oh so many comfortable leagues back from my current field of operation out on the front lines. Like you are all sitting in some cush room smoking cigars dissing the fall-out of the administration of FDR while I am ACTUALLY out on the front line interacting with children whose brains are about to harden over during adolescence with zero reading function installed. Tick-tick-tick goes the clock...

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:07 am

Babbling on as I attempt to amuse myself while taking brief breaks from coursework on the exciting topic of troubleshooting GPO issues in Active Directory. Which brings up another thought related to the future of education. The learning system I am facilitating for children having difficulties with basic reading is very similar to the system I am currently using myself in my studies. Therefore, I have a degree of empathy when they pout and complain about having to miss gym class in order to attend tutoring session. This is one of the multiple dimensions of Wheaton levels that apply to education. We all have realms in which we would find ourselves bored or frustrated with late learner challenges if we allowed ourselves to go there.

My Uber driver to the zombie-apolcalypse zone the other day, an older African-American gentleman, told me he was too shy in adolescence to perform to his top capacity in high school, but when he was 19 he was given a big break as the result of a competency test taken for a big automotive company. This test was probably something like unto an IQ test. He was then placed in position as the youngest supervisor in his entire division. Because of this break he was given, he feels the desire to give back in similar fashion in his retirement leisure, so he teaches martial arts to kids, including some who are autistic. He said "God Bless." as he dropped me off in scary zone, and I replied "Good luck." This is best case scenario. Everybody having enough leisure time and personal affluence and perspective of gratitude to give back in their own way in their own community.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Sun Jun 03, 2018 2:39 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:55 am
Also, this debate is taking place oh so many comfortable leagues back from my current field of operation out on the front lines. Like you are all sitting in some cush room smoking cigars dissing the fall-out of the administration of FDR while I am ACTUALLY out on the front line interacting with children whose brains are about to harden over during adolescence with zero reading function installed. Tick-tick-tick goes the clock...
constantly focusing on the short-term fires without taking in the big picture, which causes the constant fires, is probably a recipe for continued disaster.

charter schools don't let 7Wannabe5 gift books to human children? they might be better in every other way.

problems don't have to be solved by exactly one branch of science (economics vs biology vs ecology). in fact, many problems are best solved through a combination of these. thus it seems weird to brute to say that "problem x (where x is education of poor human children) is best solved not by economics, but by y". why not use all of them? why not make use of economics to improve the economic incentives, and also use ecology and human biology to improve learning and retention? throwing out the clear economic improvements just because another science can also help seems absurd to brute.

and Active Directory is just the worst. brute does not envy 7Wannabe5 for having to mess around with that shit.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:38 am

One problem with charter schools, or even schools of choice, is that they magnify the influence of involved, informed advocate parents on outcome. The difference between the best and worst schools within zip codes, driving distance, or school district increases. Sure, there are provisions that call for closing down or radically overhauling the schools that do not perform to standards, but that just leaves the students with the poorest advocate parents with the greatest likelihood of falling between the transitional cracks.

Also, due to some common sense residual, enrolling your child in a random public school is like eating at the Arby’s or Applebee’s just off the expressway exit, but enrolling your child in a random charter school is more like taking a chance on a roadside diner or the new Thai place. Once again, the child with an informed advocate parent is going to suffer least and benefit most from freer market.

Of course, as evidenced even in very popular “rags to riches” American success stories of the 19th century such as “Ragged Dick”, the likelihood that a poor bastard child who is in possession of inherent qualities such as intelligence and emotional maturity will find one or more appropriate adult mentors or advocates beyond his parent(s) is also greatly increased. So, only the dastardly dullards born to the affluent have any hope of private jet or being voted into public office. In “Ragged Dick”, the dull wealthy boys set a fire in which some black children may have perished if young Dick had not bravely attempted rescue. He was rewarded for his bravery with place at the small private school for wealthy children in the just post- Civil War Maryland region, and he was very grateful for this opportunity because he couldn’t even save up enough pennies running errands while barefoot to buy the book he wanted in the shiny shop window.

IOW, not a new problem. Not any of it.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:07 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:38 am
One problem with charter schools, or even schools of choice, is that they magnify the influence of involved, informed advocate parents on outcome. The difference between the best and worst schools within zip codes, driving distance, or school district increases. Sure, there are provisions that call for closing down or radically overhauling the schools that do not perform to standards, but that just leaves the students with the poorest advocate parents with the greatest likelihood of falling between the transitional cracks.
so the question is: should more involved, informed humans be allowed to benefit from their advantages, or should all humans be forced down to a common level?

brute's answer to this is clear.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Jun 05, 2018 10:19 pm

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:38 am
One problem with charter schools, or even schools of choice, is that they magnify the influence of involved, informed advocate parents on outcome. The difference between the best and worst schools within zip codes, driving distance, or school district increases. Sure, there are provisions that call for closing down or radically overhauling the schools that do not perform to standards, but that just leaves the students with the poorest advocate parents with the greatest likelihood of falling between the transitional cracks.
I feel that this is the way it will always be.
Also, due to some common sense residual, enrolling your child in a random public school is like eating at the Arby’s or Applebee’s just off the expressway exit, but enrolling your child in a random charter school is more like taking a chance on a roadside diner or the new Thai place. Once again, the child with an informed advocate parent is going to suffer least and benefit most from freer market.
You're probably right. But parents can find out which schools are quality and try to get their kids into those ones. Random charter schools seem like a way to prey on clueless parents, especially if they are moving around with each job and don't have time to check on which local private schools are good (public schools are easier, they're the ones with the expensive houses around them).
Of course, as evidenced even in very popular “rags to riches” American success stories of the 19th century such as “Ragged Dick”, the likelihood that a poor bastard child who is in possession of inherent qualities such as intelligence and emotional maturity will find one or more appropriate adult mentors or advocates beyond his parent(s) is also greatly increased.
Hmmmmm, I don't know. I can't think of anyone I know (early 30s) who wants to have anything to do with children. Those stories were written for a different time.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:51 pm

I posted this is the basic income thread but as I had been thinking about the Aristocracy thread and they have overlapping themes, I figured I would add this here, too.
Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:36 pm
The political flows from the cultural.

325 million people and an increasingly heterogeneous population. What is the common culture in the US? Is this the Land of Opportunity? Or the Land of Milk and Honey? Can I keep what I earn or does someone suffering need it more? Seeing as we can’t even agree on that, how can the government be anything other than cumbersome, awkward, and inefficient? Too many special interests.

Are we enterprising bootstrappers or are we going the way of Europe? I see a lot regarding the happiness in the Scandinavian countries but there is a reason the smart people come here to the US.

It seems the meaningful macro changes only happen when the macro situation is so painful or dire that staying the same is not an option. The power of inertia. Government maybe not too big to fail, but big enough that it remains unchanged until it fails SPECTACULARLY.

I bring up again personal motivations, decisions, and game theory.

There are some lovely women who desired to have children with me, and if I was assured that these children would be provided for by the government, I would not have denied these women, whose hearts I instead had to break.

UBI introduces a tragedy of the commons, because the responsible ones amongst us who preserve and build wealth do not want to pay for the people who recklessly reproduce, often times without being able to even provide for themselves, nevermind a child. It would become a breeding competition. If you care about preservation of resources and of the Earth as habitable, this is no bueno. Especially if we are already past an optimal carrying capacity.

I remember a passage from Darwin where he compares (IIRC) the Anglos and Saxons. One group defers gratification, accumulates, and has children late. The other procreates rapidly and does not accumulate. Give them each an equal start. In a few generations, one group will outpopulate the other by a 5:1 ratio, but the smaller group will have five-sixths of the resources. I don’t remember which was which, and Darwin was trying to demonstrate the superiority of one group over the other. I don’t care about that, because I’m not interested in notions of ethnic superiority. (But eventually even the ethnic flows from the cultural as those groups ethnically different but culturally similar will intermarry.) But the idea that wealth is multigenerational and is often a result of deferred gratification still rings true.

If you remove the incentive to work and save by telling me I can’t save or pass my wealth to offspring (the closest thing to immortality that exists) then what is to stop me from adopting a Scorched Earth lifestyle, where I am wasteful of resources, copulate recklessly and with abandon, and am in general a shit.

If I know that my efforts will not only be rewarded, but that I can transfer my wealth to a genetic copy after death, I can instead be a model citizen because I want my genetic copy to live in a prosperous society. I believe @Campitor calls this Englightened Self-Interest.

So is an aristocracy all that bad? As in Plato’s Republic, there will be room for those with gold souls born to iron parents to prove themselves in hellfire and emerge triumphantly. Similarly, those with iron souls born to gold parents will be decadent and squander their wealth. Maybe there is no problem.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:56 pm

so the question is: should more involved, informed humans be allowed to benefit from their advantages, or should all humans be forced down to a common level?
You don’t think there’s an advantage to society as a whole to help people do better when they can’t quite, for whatever reason, do it on their own? Especially kids?

There are simple, quantifiable things: better tax base as people get better jobs, more being paid into the system, less being paid out... then unquantifiable things like how people who’ve been helped go back to help others, the effects on the offspring of those who’ve had some help...

I’m not sure why it’s either/or. People can benefit from their own advantages, but there’s no reason not to assist others in one way or another.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:30 pm

@EdithKeeler

The problem isn't people not helping but the negative behaviors and incentives that drive poor outcomes. Charity has to come with certain conditions otherwise it stops being charity and transmogrifies into enabling. Throwing more money or human capital at issues in and of itself will not solve any problems unless it motivates better decisions. According to the Pew Research Center, the US government spent 2.7 trillion on social programs which accounts for 2/3 of total expenditures in 2016. The National Center for Charitable Statistics states people donated 258.51 billion in 2015. Money isn't the issue nor is lack of help although more help would be good.

Our impoverished student are struggling to learn because of a highly disruptive atmosphere caused by a small minority of kids/teens. The more intelligent adolescents are siphoned off to AP classes and exam schools and the average but capable students are left swimming in a violent Pareto distribution of teen thugs and emotionally disturbed children. Solve this issue and I think we would see a vast improvement in student performance and potential. But I don't realistically see how this can be done because of the political firestorm it would create. We've all seen the TV interviews of parents who claim their child was a paragon of virtue despite the catalog of violence and predation attributed to their offspring.
Last edited by Campitor on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:45 pm

You don’t think there’s an advantage to society as a whole to help people do better when they can’t quite, for whatever reason, do it on their own? Especially kids?
No.

Sounds messed up, doesn't it? But no, I don't think society is better off for a perfectly meritorious college admissions nor by perfectly meritorious employment. Even the idea is damaging.

Ok. Damn. Quite the statement, I better back that up somehow, and I have no links, so bear with me. This will take a bit.

First, I don't believe the premise of the article. It seems to be a nice narrative, that certainly rings true enough, if you don't have time to read or think, it's good enough. I mean, it's a magazine, they only get so in depth, and they are dealing with a customer base that is more interested in having the approved opinions and the approval of their echo chamber than in accuracy. If this isn't clear, read one of the many shreddings this bunk has already received. I'm not a published author, but it seems like a bad thing when the guy who wrote the study you based your story on comes out and says he doesn't know how you got those numbers and that combining them that way is "misleading". Many of the 9.9% in the study are retirees and business owners, not Harvard law grads. Strangely, they didn't make the edit into the Atlantic.

But, aside from the fictional basis of the Atlantic, we have been talking about this as though it were a real problem, and meritocracy is a worthy subject in and of itself. So rather than beating on the article, I will talk about meritocracy.

Imagine a world of no meritocracy. It's not hard, it looks like the majority of human history. Every empire came close to fitting this description. Stable societies, no social mobility, and the only options for a change in a person's status was to leave the empire, or the rare event that was the equivalent of the gods intervening. So some meritocracy is good.

But also, try to imagine what a world of perfect meritocracy would look. No smart people left among the poor and disaffected. The smart folks are at the top. And... The guys at the top determine what is meritorious. Hmmm. Seems very similar to no meritocracy, doesn't it? But wait, it gets worse. The guys at the top aren't there because they had advantages, but because they are better. If you have any doubts, just.compare paystubs. In a perfectly meritorious society, the one who makes more money is the better person. In a world where empathy is in short supply, this seems like a way to cut off what little we have. After all, the primary objections to helping the poor today is that they aren't doing enough to help themselves. Imagine that the poors we're also objectively the lazy and the stupid, how much help would they get?

And, on an individual level, it is too my advantage to have lesser men as peers. Imagine that you went to school, competing for grades and seats with a very narrow range of almost equal peers. Now all you can really do to compete is work harder and longer, than all the other students who have the same strategy. Then get to work, and it's the same story. Soon you need a master's degree and have to work 60 hour weeks to be a barista. Because you aren't competing against the lost dumb kids of rich parents, you are competing against the meritorious equivalent of yourself.

I remember when I first worked in cabling, with a good friend. It was a small, family company, where the owner had hired all his family and friends and the rest of us, and it was very clear who was promotable, and who wasn't. One day, my friend said he wanted to make the promotional video for the company. "It would be great, some shots of the jobs, and guys working and partying together. Then a voiceover says: Are you a Par****? Are you related to a Par****? Friends with a Par****? If so, you will go far with Par*** Cable Company, the sky is the limit! If not, WHAT ARE DOING WATCHING A VIDEO, GET BACK TO WORK, SH!THEAD!" But the thing is, that nepotism was only a problem as long as we worked there. When, a few years later that owner went to jail for tax evasion, all those great leaders he hired had to find new careers. They couldn't cut it in a competitive environment in cabling. All those weak, simple guys were stopping me from moving up, there. But I had other places to go, where I could trade competence and hard work for more money. In a perfectly meritorious society, there's no place to go for a different set of what is meritorious.

My point is that meritocracy, as a spectrum, produces social mobility in the mid-range, and stultifying stability at each end. I have seen no evidence that moving toward a more meritorious society is going to increase social mobility, and the suggestion that the human urge to help our own offspring is in need of suppressing seems at best, poorly thought through.

No. As near as I can tell, this is a story for Harvard alumni to tell themselves as they get ready to go through another 16 hour day of eye bleeding spreadsheet work. Yeah, man, if the poors ever find out that they can't get into Harvard, they would run riot. We 9.9% rule this world!

As a former poor person, I would like to say that we already knew Harvard was closed to us, but thanks for thinking of us! :roll:

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:11 pm

if Riggerjack doesn't mind brute asking, what type of society would he like to live in?

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:43 pm

Well, I started as libertarian. It's just the perfect system for competent introverts. Leave me alone, I leave you alone, everything works well and efficiently. The only catch? This only works well for people like me. It would improve,by my measure, the lives of the rest, but not necessarily by their own measure, as most people have entirely different value systems than I do.

Forcing others to adopt my preferred solutions is no more effective or appealing than all of us adopting the rules and values of any other group. I do still believe that markets work better than most anything else as correcting mechanisms and distribution of scarce resources, but I also know that most folks in America would never trust a system that won't talk to them and tell them everything is someone else's fault. If the last election was about anything else, I missed it.

So, honestly, I have pretty much given up on the ideal system quest. Now I'm focused on the longer and wider effects of tweaks, just for fu, since nobody else seems to be interested in secondary and tertiary effects of changes. I write em here to check back in the future,see what I missed.

Also, I have been kicking around the small intentional communities concepts. As I think there's a good chance I will probably set one up in a few decades. So mainly I have been thinking about how we learn, and create culture, and how to make a better community, in ways that work for as many personality types as possible, not just efficient and satisfying to me.

So really, I don't think we can have a system that works for everyone, unless everyone is a small, closed community. So, while we (humans) have all this spare wealth, and before anything goes more directly awry, I thought I would work out the details, set it up and sell off access. No hippie commune for me. This is a luxury package. With the appropriate price tag.

In short, I have given up on fixing the existing system, and am contemplating a Utopia. Or dystopia, depending on your values, I guess.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:57 pm

Riggerjack as Lycurgus.

No tents allowed.

EdithKeeler
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by EdithKeeler » Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:26 pm

My point is that meritocracy, as a spectrum, produces social mobility in the mid-range, and stultifying stability at each end. I have seen no evidence that moving toward a more meritorious society is going to increase social mobility, and the suggestion that the human urge to help our own offspring is in need of suppressing seems at best, poorly thought through.

No. As near as I can tell, this is a story for Harvard alumni to tell themselves as they get ready to go through another 16 hour day of eye bleeding spreadsheet work. Yeah, man, if the poors ever find out that they can't get into Harvard, they would run riot. We 9.9% rule this world!

As a former poor person, I would like to say that we already knew Harvard was closed to us, but thanks for thinking of us! :roll:
Well, I think the Atlantic piece engages in some needless hand-wringing, and you're right--most parents are always going to look out for the best interests of their kids. My only point up above was that there's a reason to be concerned about the children of others, and for the "haves" to try to help others as much as they can. I have to look to my own story: I was born to "middle class" parents, but neither had a college education, and my mom wasn't a high school graduate, and despite being "middle class," I realize now that we were actually pretty poor. Cutting to the chase: they ended up with a really smart kid (moi) and they knew enough to move to a neighborhood with a good public school, but that's where it ended. I was VERY fortunate that I went to an excellent public school and had friends whose parents were tuned into the "how to get into a good college" racket, so I gleaned things from them and was fortunate enough to get accepted to very good schools. I was a poor kid who was accepted to Princeton, which my parents said was too expensive--and it was, though we rubes that we were had no idea of the financial help the Ivies offered, even back then--so I opted for a good state school, which was paid for by a Pell Grant (thanks taxpayers), scholarships, and my working for four years to pay other expenses, with a few bucks here and there from my dad and grandmother. If my parents had had to navigate the world of charter schools and enrichment classes, etc. back then, and if college cost then what it does today, I'm pretty sure I would have ended up in beauty school or something. I'd love to say that I'm a self-made woman, and to an extent I certainly am... but at the same time, to say that would be to ignore the sheer luck I had along the way, as well as the much help I got from others (the taxpayers who paid for my public school and Pell Grants, the organizations that funded my scholarship, a nice grandma that sent me a check every so often, a few teachers who took a special interest in me, the parents of my friends... the list is long).

So my point: there's a reason to continue to fund Pell Grants, even raise the amount (and maybe add something to prevent the richer kids/parents from gaming it) to make sure that poorer kids like myself have opportunities. There's a reason to fund good public schools in neighborhoods, and not send all the "good stuff" to charter schools and the like--those kids are, with any luck, future earners and taxpayers. Campitor writes:
Our impoverished student are struggling to learn because of a highly disruptive atmosphere caused by a small minority of kids/teens. The more intelligent adolescents are siphoned off to AP classes and exam schools and the average but capable students are left swimming in a violent Pareto distribution of teen thugs and emotionally disturbed children. Solve this issue and I think we would see a vast improvement in student performance and potential. But I don't realistically see how this can be done because of the political firestorm it would create.


I would argue that one reason that the "bad" kids are wreaking havoc is because charter schools have taken kids away, parents have moved kids to private schools, etc. leaving the disruptive kids as a higher percentage of the student body in the regular public schools. And the good teachers tend to go to the better schools as well to work. I personally think we owe it to all those kids to offer them a good basic level of education. We can't just write them off. And yeah, most of them won't go to Harvard or even to college, but there's something to be said for training the next generation to at least be good workers in a factory, machine shop or farm. (And we need to be willing to pay our teachers better, to attract better ones).

I do get aggravated because we expect schools to do everything--feed the kids, be a babysitter, be the first wave of health care, etc. But by the same token, there's a certain amount of enlightened self-interest in paying for that--I don't want to live in a society where urchins are begging in the streets and we're stepping over sick and hungry people to get to work. And some of those kids are likely to be my employees one day--I'd like them to be healthy enough to come to work, and have a certain basic level of knowledge along with the ability to self-govern their behavior and understand the concepts of coming to work on time, being accountable, etc.
Last edited by EdithKeeler on Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:25 am

EdithKeeler wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:26 pm
I would argue that one reason that the "bad" kids are wreaking havoc is because charter schools have taken kids away, parents have moved kids to private schools, etc. leaving the disruptive kids as a higher percentage of the student body in the regular public schools. And the good teachers tend to go to the better schools as well to work. I personally think we owe it to all those kids to offer them a good basic level of education. We can't just write them off. And yeah, most of them won't go to Harvard or even to college, but there's something to be said for training the next generation to at least be good workers in a factory, machine shop or farm. (And we need to be willing to pay our teachers better, to attract better ones).
There are kids that are so broken that they need help outside of a normal school setting; they need psychiatric treatment and behavioral therapy in a clinical setting. But not many parents are going to accept the diagnosis that their child exhibits the behavior of a dangerous sociopath or has psychological issues which manifests negatively as a result of their childhood traumas or cognitive deficiencies caused by maternal drug/alcohol use, or improper nutrition, during pregnancy. Teachers and students leaving these schools may exacerbate the problem but they shouldn't be blamed or made to feel guilty for removing their children or themselves from these suboptimal conditions.

And I agree we can't write them off but there has to be measurable criteria for determining if the money spent rehabilitating these kids is having an impact on their development and if the cost is worth reallocating dollars that could go to motivated children who have the potential to be something greater than factory/farm/shop workers - not that there is anything wrong with these types of jobs. These socially/cognitively challenged children are symptoms of a deeper problem caused by the preponderance of negative incentives perpetuated by inept social services that only reinforce generational poverty - there should be limits and conditions set which incentivize better behavior.

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7Wannabe5
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:11 am

so the question is: should more involved, informed humans be allowed to benefit from their advantages, or should all humans be forced down to a common level?

brute's answer to this is clear.
Well, since I attempted to liberate myself from compulsory education at age 14, and I actually cried the first time I read "On Liberty", there is a level on which I am in thorough agreement with you. However, in spite of my writing voice, I am actually old enough, and practiced enough, to have possibly been one of the people who changed Riggerjack's diaper. Therefore, I realize that there is a phase of human development when human's are not yet able to look out for their own self-interest, or even granted the legal right to do so, and I believe that this is a major chunk of practical reality which is not addressed by Libertarian philosophy. And, you are proving my point, by leaping to the perspective in which the adult parents are the "humans" rather than their children/students.

IOW, the question I would ask is do you believe that the best possible advocate for any child is their parent or parents, and until what age or demonstration of independent competency should this legal advocacy be extended?

@Edith Keeler: nod

@Campitor: Is there no part of you that would maybe like to be in a Rihanna video?

@Riggerjack: What level of appropriate technology do you envision for your gated community? Will there be anybody on site with the capability to design the next generation of fiber-optics? How much wampum will you pay them for providing this service to the community?

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Riggerjack
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:31 am

Riggerjack as Lycurgus
Exactly. Only he had an existing, cooperative society to work with, allowing him a top down command structure. Very militaristic. I intend to grow mine, and have about the same interest in ruling he had. I don't expect to live in this project. It has just kind of evolved from other projects.
Riggerjack: What level of appropriate technology do you envision for your gated community? Will there be anybody on site with the capability to design the next generation of fiber-optics? How much wampum will you pay them for providing this service to the community?
Again, my approach is to set it up, not. Command it.

Fiber is made by taking a large chunk of glass of known qualities, heating it at the bottom, until a melted globule starts to fall away. Then, using precise heat, control the viscosity of the stretched thread of glass between the block and the globule, until it's the right size. Then, gaseous glass (with slightly different reflectivity) is discharged at that thread, cooling and coating the core, then others layers are built on top of that, depending on purpose of the cable. I have no interest in adding that capacity to a small community, let alone trying to advance it. Silly me, I'm more concerned that I don't create a platform to launch some form of tyranny, than whether they could bootstrap better tech.

Edith, your last post is what I mean when I say that making a world that confirms with my values would lead to unhappiness for most folks. I disagree with almost everything you said. But please don't take that the wrong way. I very much enjoy your posts. And I will know I have it right, when I set things up in a way that would make both you and I happier than any existing alternative.

But I think I have derailed this thread enough. When I have a bit of time, I will create a thread fleshing this concept out, and I'll come back and post a link here when I do.

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