The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

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ffj
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ffj » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:40 pm

@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.

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 9:16 am

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 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:18 pm

@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 » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:10 am

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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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Jean » Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:16 pm

Or maybe that we are burning floor to bake our pie faster, thus making the baking of futur pies much mor difficult.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ffj » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:51 am

@7, Jacob

I understand how people work. It doesn't mean I have to have sympathy for them or validate their poor decision-making.

Regarding the proper use of your time or the proper allocation of your paycheck, yes, there are many inefficiencies regarding work, pay, and results. I'm sure your paycheck is derived from tax-payers which makes the inefficiencies even worse. I think most people though are on board with offering everyone a minimum set of opportunities for success, twelve years of free education being one of them. If you can't perform academically to a low standard after all of that teaching than it's not the schools fault, the opportunity was there. I understand not all all schools are created equally, but we seem to forget that it is the community that influences the quality of the school the most.

The problem is that once you start segregating students on ability and behavior to create the efficiencies you desire then all hell is going to break loose as you will probably start to see which ethnic groups value education and those that do not.

My solution to you, 7, is to continue to do the best you can in the public setting, and offer your expertise privately for the motivated students who want to perform better. I teach about three months out of the year so I have a little experience in that field. Within a day with my new batch of students, I can almost certainly tell who is going to succeed and who is going to really struggle without an attitude change, so on day one I set the standard of behavior for everyone with very little wiggle room, and guess what? everyone rises to that standard or they quit which is a win for me either way. The reason they shape up is because they have consequences if they don't perform, namely I will see that they are dismissed from the program. Now I understand the public school system works differently but without incentives I don't see how one maintains order in those types of settings.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ajcoleman22 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:06 am

So we need to care about income/wealth inequality because of faulty human reasoning?

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:31 am

In a different life I did some substitute teaching in a public school setting. I had no authority to set a standard. The children do what they want, and if the teacher tries to do anything disciplinary, the parent complains. By the time kids are in public school, it’s too late to remediate the reprehensible parenting jobs. You have kids cursing teachers, making noise, ignoring the lesson. It’s chaos. This was the same public school district I went thru as a student. The complete lack of discipline is certainly a cultural issue, not a budget issue. The extra tutoring or other advantages for wealthy children are not holding these kids back. Nor would extra funding be allocated wisely in these scenarios, unless it was towards shock therapy (I jest). It doesn’t cost money to sit up straight and fly right.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by ZAFCorrection » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:19 pm

@ajcoleman22:

Basically. But correctly describing the problem doesn't make it disappear; people gonna people. Though, it would be nice if policy people could discuss it without the tortured moral posturing.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:09 am

abandon public school. it had its chance, it's mostly not working except for those humans who'd learn stuff even without it. a shocking percentage of humans who go through school learn basically nothing.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:58 am

I tell my friends public school is a failure and their reaction is VIOLENT. Everything I learned is because I wanted to, I’m not thanking the public school curriculum. The idea that years are wasted in public school and we are just jumping thru hoops interferes too greatly with their conviction that society has the perfect plan for them and that their lives individually have gone exactly according to that plan. I guess that way, they are never accountable for how their lives turn out (in their minds). Because it was someone else’s design.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:47 pm

statists are always violently offended when they hear criticism of the state.

brute thinks it would be interesting to see a system where school was completely voluntary, classes were more modular, and maybe cost (some) money - just to keep humans out of classes that don't actually want to learn those topics.

in a typical class when brute went to school, maybe 10% of the class would be the obvious top students in any given topic, maybe 50% would be able to use the instructions to adequately solve most of the sample problems (=passing grade), and the rest would just sit there, wasting their time.

now brute realizes that some topics are useful from time to time even if they're not super fun to learn, like arithmetic for not getting ripped of at the grocery store. but he can only imagine how far those math/physics nerds would've gotten in their school career if they had been in a class made up mostly of their peers. or where the bottom 30% would've ended up if they hadn't been made to waste their time in a topic they were completely uninterested in.

brute thinks this is maybe blasphemous, but it's better to become a plumber than reading Shakespeare if a human is not interested in reading Shakespeare. the same is true of all math and science beyond grade 7 or so.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:13 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:47 pm
brute thinks it would be interesting to see a system where school was completely voluntary, classes were more modular, and maybe cost (some) money - just to keep humans out of classes that don't actually want to learn those topics.
You mean college?

I once interviewed for a phd position where I was asked why I wanted to go to grad school. When I said it was because I wanted to teach people who were really interested in the subject and that I thought the only place that was possible was at the university, one professor couldn't help informing me how naive I was wrt random students. I later confirmed this when I was TA'ing undergraduate physics majors. Only about 30% were actually interested in those voluntary and self-selected modular classes that they paid [their own] money for. The other 70% were there because they needed "a degree" in order to get a job. So I guess, technically, it was only voluntary in spirit, not in application.

Of course, 30% is a lot better than the 5% found in high school (which is also voluntary, but free, and only somewhat modular).

Point being, it's impossible to create a system in a society that uses education for other reasons than learning (e.g. selling credentials or regulating the influx to the labor markets). In other words, "nature" finds a way.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:39 pm

jacob wrote:
Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:13 pm
it's impossible to create a system in a society that uses education for other reasons than learning (e.g. selling credentials or regulating the influx to the labor markets).
maybe that's the crux. what is it that turns education into status seeking? something in the culture. it feels similar to consumer culture.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:22 pm

In other words, "nature" finds a way.
My sentiments exactly. Those who want to be rich will be rich and those who want to engage in other pursuits, that may or may not be beneficial to their desired income strata, will find a way. If you live in a western democracy, you’ve already hit the lottery. ;)

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

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:49 pm

Yeah, what's the point of working towards universal literacy now that we got youtube and poop emoticons.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by jacob » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:21 pm

@7 - And this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqX4oYZA5aQ

Fun fact: The actual/adult cash registry requires less numeracy than the toy model.

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Campitor » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:35 pm

https://youtu.be/A3oIiH7BLmg

Psychologist Professor Philip Zimbardo explains how our individual perspectives of time affect our work, health and well-being. May explain some of what motivates the 9%, students, and the poor.

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BRUTE
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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by BRUTE » Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:25 am

is this the same Zimbardo who faked the Stanford Prison experiment?

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Re: The 9.9 Percent Is the New American Aristocracy

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:46 am

Yeah, what's the point of working towards universal literacy now that we got youtube and poop emoticons.
Oh. Were we working on universal literacy? How can you tell? :lol:

Graduation rates dropping. Graduation requirements dropping. California university system dropped the Algebra requirement for Bachelor's of Science degrees, because high school math is beyond what they are capable of teaching to their students. Which of the trends that led to here were supposed to bring us universal literacy? And should we just keep going down this path that has led us here?

Don't get me wrong, good intentions are nice, and appreciated. But they are no substitute for a working system.

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