The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Furthermore, as somebody who has spent some time on the frontline herself, my response to the audio-tape you linked was something like “If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. “ The adult version of the aspirational class girl who loved second grade and was a very good helper is not entirely well-suited to teaching junior high boys in the inner city.

Campitor
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:41 am
Furthermore, as somebody who has spent some time on the frontline herself, my response to the audio-tape you linked was something like “If you can’t take the heat, then get out of the kitchen. “ The adult version of the aspirational class girl who loved second grade and was a very good helper is not entirely well-suited to teaching junior high boys in the inner city.
If the link you're talking about is this one: https://youtu.be/-SRCY8FqoyQ, the teacher is talking about violent incidents to students and threats of violence made against the staff. I wouldn't consider girls getting sexually assaulted, boys getting their legs put in vises so their shoes can be stolen, or kids pounding on doors to be let in so they can hurt someone a "can't stand the heat" type of situation. And you can't get kids to run until their are exhausted when they don't want to. Did you listen to that link in it's entirety? And that was only 1 link - there's a deluge of them all over the place of educators complaining about the violence in their schools. Violence and disruptions are a major problems and removing these students, who have no incentives to behave or lack the ability to behave as a result of trauma, is vital to the success of the other students. Running laps isn't going to stop someone from acting out who has emotional issues. If exercise was the cure to violence then all football and track and field teams would be paragons of passivity which they are not.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Campitor:

My point exactly. Is it the ultimate goal of our society to therapeut or medicate our young men into state of passivity? Is it possible that the long run consequeces of this cruel and unnatural protocol might prove even more harmful to the outcome of our culture, or even our species?

Campitor
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor »

@7Wannabe5

I believe the majority of humans behave more or less in alignment with the unspoken social contract of "I won't punch you if you don't hit me"; they know how to resolve their conflicts in a non-physical manner using words instead of fists. So the appropriate audience for therapy will be those who repeatedly show a lack of self control and harm themselves and others. Some will respond to the therapy and some will not. Those who don't should remain in therapy or in an alternative school so they don't harm other students or their teachers. Average class time is 40 to 60 minutes. Any significant interruption costs time which reduces time spent learning: Interruption+Time to Refocus = Time Lost. This loss has a significant impact to knowledge acquisition.

At this point I think we will just have to agree to disagree. But I stand by my theory that the 9% tutoring their kids is very low on the totem pole of what is affecting children in poor school districts. Violence and disruption is the elephant in the room that no one discusses for political and emotional reasons.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Campitor wrote:At this point I think we will just have to agree to disagree.
Can you name the uncomfortable feelings that you were experiencing when you decided that you no longer wished to continue this discussion with me?

Campitor
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:13 am
Can you name the uncomfortable feelings that you were experiencing when you decided that you no longer wished to continue this discussion with me?
I never felt uncomfortable. It seemed that our discussion was at an impasse and any further discussion would just be a rinse and repeat of what was said before. Unless you have some undisclosed facts to convey, nothing that has been stated previously has made me consider changing my opinion regarding the Pareto effect that school violence has on poor school districts. I go to where the facts and my own personal investigation leads me.

Cognition is affected by trauma and interruption. Persistent low level stress also impacts memory retention and focus. Violence and major classroom disturbances reduces time spent teaching, creates stress, trauma, and interruptions. Students of higher IQ can work through this because they grasp the material faster and move on to Advanced Placement classes where all students are motivated. The average student and not so motivated students don't have the opportunities to free themselves of their violent classmates which are probably a small minority but whose behavior has enormous negative impact; grades and learning suffer.

What else is left to say? So I cede the podium...

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Good parry of my attempt to impose unsought therapeutic environment upon you :lol: . I was attempting some analogue of conversation such as:

Therapist: What uncomfortable feelings were you experiencing when you kicked the other student in the head and took his lunch.

Client: I was feeling hungry for some hot chips, so I saw that he had some hot chips, so I took his hot chips.


A classroom is a social system. Human social systems function largely in relative, rather than absolute, terms. So, for example, even in an A.P. 12th grade mathematics classroom in a very affluent, well regarded University town district, there will be one kid who is the class clown and disrupts the process for a couple minutes.

It is also true that humans fairly quickly adjust to new circumstances. So, for instance, because I have become so acclimated to dealing with urban youth, I recently boarded a crowded city bus, and while acting on auto-pilot, instead of pointedly avoiding a VERY ominous looking youth of about 19, I directly asked him to move his feet, so that I could share his seat, and he did as I requested. Then a second later, I realized what I had just done. (I would like to note that in general the bus riders of Detroit are more polite about offering me seating precedence as an older female than the bus riders in more affluent communities.)

One of the 7th grade girls I tutor was suspended from school this week for kicking another student in the head. This was no more remarkable to me than the sound of shelling on an episode of M.A.S.H. There was a particularly terrible class of 6th graders at one of the schools last year. Instead of the usual 3 boys (or 2 boys and 1 girl) who are out of control in any given group of 28, there were 8 of them. Their classroom teacher, who looked like somebody you would more likely encounter on a guided bird-watching tour, was on her last year before retirement. So, she would say things to me like "Thanks for dealing with my assholes yesterday." on the occasions I allowed myself into being duped into covering for her. That's why it struck me kind of odd or fake that the teacher sounded like she was crying on that audio-link you uploaded.

If somebody started pounding on the doors of the library shouting something like "Hey Martell, get over here, because I am going to break your fucking legs.", first I would judge whether the tone was just indicative of Branando, in which case I would go to the door myself and tell the kid to beat it. If the threat seemed legit in the moment threatening, I would call the office, and they would likely send the security guard to deal with the problem. If the security guard couldn't deal, or it was otherwise warranted, the police would be summoned. If for some reason I was in a situation in which the administration was not inclined to summon or enact appropriate security measures, then I would call the police myself. If, for some reason, such as being tranported in time machine back to the Wild West, I was attempting to teach in an entirely unregulated environment, I suppose I would have to arm myself. In no circumstance would I think having a nervous breakdown and crying in a public forum would be a helpful measure.

I am still probably not explaining very well, but it is my judgment that this is a complex systems problem, not a problem that can be appropriately addressed with "just the facts" or any linear new rule of order. So, instead of a graph, I would refer you to Zola's masterful novel "Germinal" which explores the social effects on members of both the lower and upper class when the economic system of a mining town in 19th century France fails.

Riggerjack
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack »

I do have sympathy for individuals who are victims of psychological and physical abuse irrespective if they are also perpetrators of violence; you don't break the chain of violence by letting violent people wage violence on normal people.
Violent people ARE normal people. Nonviolence is not a human norm. Our society has prioritized nonviolence, but every individual had to learn to conform. What 7w5 seems, in her own way, to be talking about is how to train normal children to be nonviolent children, with professional detachment about the failures.

Now return to your corners. And.... FIGHT!

:twisted:
Last edited by Riggerjack on Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@Riggerjack:

Exactly! Except I wouldn't use the word "train."


When one of my very remedial 7th grade girls was becoming whiny and resistant to further instruction, I said "Let's take a break.", and I offered her one of the carrot cake cookies I had packed for my lunch, and we chatted a bit about girl stuff, and she thanked me.

Two of my 4th grade students were full of energy one recent sunny afternoon, so they ran across the room and somersaulted right over the top of a high counter. The 7th grade boys were up on the balls of their feet, fists raised, bouncing and grinning at each other in the noisy, stinky hallway. If I had full reign of authority and decent facilities at my disposal, I would have taken them out to a playground or on a hike instead of trying to settle them down to study again. Human beings should not be treated like hamsters or machines being loaded with software.

I was luring a very bright, but very bad, 5 year old over to my side by reading a picture book aloud. He was resistant to giving in to his obvious interest. So, he held himself back and called me a "bitch." So, the para-professional put him in the isolation corner. Thus teaching the child that the purpose of education is to limit his expression, rather than to allow him access to some literature he had the innate facilities to appreciate. Fail.

The other day I walked into the school office and without preamble said "I need somebody to unlock the computer room.", and the assistant principal replied "Good morning!", and I chuckled, adjusted myself, and smiled and said "Good Morning, and how are you?" to her.


Every morning, every one of us, has to wake up and then proceed to do our very best to once again form a civil society.

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jennypenny
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jennypenny »

Sorry if I'm derailing the current thrust of the thread but I thought people interested in the OP might be interested in this PBS interview with Richard Reeves who wrote a book last year (Dream Hoarders) detailing the problem. The author's approach is too liberal-leaning for me, but he does articulate the issue well.

Here's the opinion piece from WaPo responding to Reeves.

IlliniDave
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by IlliniDave »

Hard for me to comment on Reeves and his take. I've never met anyone who attended an Ivy League school or lived in an exclusive NYC neighborhood so I can't say if they are hoarding all the dreams. Nobody is really after my dreams.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@IlliniDave;

The northward migrating earthworms might be after your dreams.

Also, I think you would have to consider any university listed in some U.S. Top 50 list when considering "membership" in top 19%.

Truth be told, I have no business coming off as Pollyanna as my last post, because there is no way in hell I would enroll my own grandchild in the inner city school where I tutor. I sent my own kids to rural schools with overall average test scores, but I was well aware that they would end up in classes with the other advanced kids of long-distance commuters to affluent/aspirational zone, and we could afford to buy a lovely old house with leaded glass French doors, and room for a big garden in a neighborhood where nobody bothered to lock their doors on my underemployed wannabe musician ex-husband's income. So, my kids received all or most of the advantages of an aspirational class childhood, including full-time maternal care until school-age, at budget rate. They also had affluent grandparents who provided all the ballet lessons, vacation trips, toys, and expensive prom dresses they might want. If my daughter and her fiance have a child, his affluent future is already fairly well-assured due to likely large inheritance of father and mother's private college connection boosted career.

ffj
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ffj »

Regarding Richard Reeves, it all comes down to whether one believes the stratification is a zero-sum game, as he clearly does.

I don't care about the 1% or the 20% as long as the rest of the population has the means and opportunity for a comfortable life. I think the vast majority does in fact have that opportunity, although starting places will never be equal. Nor will outcomes so I'm not sure what all of the hand-wringing is all about. Groups protecting their wealth and status is nothing new and we all self-segregate if given the opportunity.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

@ffj:

It's a zero-sum game on the level of raw resources, and it's a zero-sum game on the level of anything that is allocated on the basis of results of grading on the curve. Otherwise, it clearly isn't a zero-sum game.

Maybe the true sub-text of this discussion has to do with the fact that my 4th grade students who can't read appear to be happier on a daily basis than the average member of the aspirational class, because hoisted on the petard of their own making. I mean, think about the ramifications of the wonderful privilege of being able to afford the mortgage in a highly regarded school district. Ka-ching goes the cash register of the under-educated contractor providing the storm drains for the build of the newest outlying development within the zip-code to be located on a former swamp.

ajcoleman22
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ajcoleman22 »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:47 am
@ffj:

It's a zero-sum game on the level of raw resources, and it's a zero-sum game on the level of anything that is allocated on the basis of results of grading on the curve. Otherwise, it clearly isn't a zero-sum game.

...
That is not necessarily true. Technology continually adds to available resources and will continue to do so in perpetuity. (Mine them Asteroids)

ffj
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ffj »

@7

Are there enough resources for all Americans to lead comfortable lives? Yes and then some. Why the constant score-keeping over who has what and how much? Or little?

The reason your fourth graders can't read is because they don't want to learn how. It's really that simple. That they have the luxury to choose says a lot about how easy it is in this country. I'm sure you encounter students that really want to learn and I'm sure it warms your heart when they take interest in what you are trying to teach, and I guarantee you go the extra mile for that child. Why wouldn't you? I'll never hold it against the kid that seeks your guidance for success.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

ffj wrote:Are there enough resources for all Americans to lead comfortable lives? Yes and then some. Why the constant score-keeping over who has what and how much? Or little?
Because that is what human beings do. And violent behavior manifested by young human males is directly related to this type of relative score-keeping (source "Killing the Competition: Economic Inequality and Homicide", Martin Daly.) Therefore, even if bottom-rung competitors have a materially comfortable life-style, they will still experience psychic strife due to feelings of lack of respect. So, unless therapeutic/pharmaceutical solution to mitigate these feelings, without causation of even worse side effects, is developed, there will always be a growing Security cost for society associated with a growing state of Economic Inequality.

Anyways, results are in and my most motivated (because he was starting to fear that his peers were judging him as "dumb") student (who should be at reading level 5.0)managed to go from reading level 1.2 to reading level 1.4 after 6 weeks of intensive tutoring. So, I am still asking is society better served by paying me $20/hr to try to tutor such a child up, so he can maybe earn $10/hr some day OR paying me $40/hr after I tutor myself up in my technology skills? Note that the fact that he is currently 10 years old and I am 53 might be relevant, especially if you are maybe a person who is currently 31 years old.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

@ffj

Well said, sir. Simply and without malice.

@7w5

I think whichever leads to the greater contribution to the economy is what better serves society. I am in no position to judge this.

If he is truly motivated, he should eventually earn more than $10/hour (or $10/hour future equivalent after inflation). Maybe there is more to him than what is evident by his current reading skills.

It also depends on what you could contribute with increased tech skills. So it isn’t zero sum. If in one scenario the whole pie is increased more, and along with it, increased relative inequality, that is superior to a scenario in which the pie is increased less for the sake of us being more equal.

Maybe psychic strife is a healthy catalyst. Competition is not only good for the economy, but also the species.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jacob »

There's a lot of pie talk here. Usually, when someone brings up pies and economics, it's to make a point about the increase in absolute size; whether that's the size of the individual piece or the total pie => "More goods are better and will solve (y)our problems, so quit whining" is the argument.

However, there are also goods known as positional goods where the value is not determined inherently but through their relative position to other goods. Positional goods get their value from being relatively better than other goods. Example: front row seats, luxury cars, golf club memberships, yachts, designer handbags, Air-Jordans,...

This poses an inherent problem to the pie-argument, because no matter how big the pie gets, the positional goods can not be eliminated. In order for something be #1, something else has to be #2, #3, ...

Much of the inherent primal drive seem to be about positional goods. In general, once they've eaten enough "basic pie", males of all species will engage in a a struggle for positional goods---perhaps the more prestigious piece of the pie. Females (of all species) then tend to be "attracted" to the winners of this positional struggle. Since those winners are the ones to send their genes on to the next generation, these preferences become ingrained in the species.

In other words, once any species have attained a minimum level of comfort, increasing the pie-size no longer influences the social/sociological structure. Indeed, increasing the pie-size might change this structure in a sociological undesirable direction. I know, sacrilege! But ... lets consider why democracies are in retreat on a world-wide basis with more people preferring populist authoritarian leaders even as the average income is still going up? One hint might be that the median incomes have stagnated for decades and the riff-raff is getting pissy that they're losing relatively [to the elites] even if they're holding steady on absolute pie level.

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