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  1. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    20 Jun '13 17:19
    Indeed.


    America’s broken bootstraps
    By George F. Will, All men are by nature equal,

    But differ greatly in the sequel.



    George Will

    Will writes a twice-a-week column on politics and domestic affairs.


    A quarter of a millennium later, that couplet from a colonial American almanac defines an urgent challenge. Modern society increases how, and the predictability of how much, people differ in the sequel.

    If America is to be equitable, with careers open to all talents and competent citizens capable of making their way in an increasingly demanding world, Americans must heed the warnings implicit in observations from two heroes of modern conservatism. In “The Constitution of Liberty” (1960), Friedrich Hayek noted that families are the primary transmitters of human capital — habits, mores, education. Hence families, much more than other social institutions or programs, are determinative of academic and vocational success. In “The Unheavenly City” (1970), Edward C. Banfield wrote: “All education favors the middle- and upper-class child, because to be middle or upper class is to have qualities that make one particularly educable.”

    Elaborating on this theme, Jerry Z. Muller, a Catholic University historian, argued in the March-April 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs that expanding equality of opportunity increases inequality because some people are simply better able than others to exploit opportunities. And “assortative mating” — likes marrying likes — concentrates class advantages, further expanding inequality. As Muller said, “formal schooling itself plays a relatively minor role in creating or perpetuating achievement gaps” that originate “in the different levels of human capital children possess when they enter school.”

    The Cato Institute’s Brink Lindsey argued in “Human Capitalism: How Economic Growth Has Made Us Smarter — and More Unequal” that this growth intensifies society’s complexity, which “has opened a great divide between those who have mastered its requirements and those who haven’t.” Modernity — education-based complexity — intensifies the demands on mental abilities. People invest increasingly in human capital — especially education — because status and achievement increasingly depend on possession of the right knowledge.

    Lindsey cited research showing that “by the time they reach age 3, children of professional parents have heard some 45 million words addressed to them — as opposed to only 26 million words for working-class kids, and a mere 13 million words in the case of kids on welfare.” So, class distinctions in vocabularies are already large among toddlers. Parental choice of neighborhoods and schools mean that children of college-educated parents hang out together. Such peer associations may have as much effect on a child’s development as do parents. These factors, Lindsey said, explain why “people raised in the upper middle class are far more likely to stay there than move down, while people raised in the working class are far more likely to stay there than move up.”

    In a historical blink, Lindsey said, humanity has moved from lives rooted in a remembered past to lives focused on an imagined future. This orientation favors the intellectually nimble. “Who gets ahead, who struggles to keep up, and who gets left behind are now determined primarily by how people cope with the mental challenges of complexity.” And coping skills are incubated in families.

    Today, the dominant distinction defining socioeconomic class is between those with and without college degrees. Graduates earn 70 percent more than those with only high school diplomas. In 1980, the difference was just 30 percent.

    Soon the crucial distinction will be between those with meaningful college degrees and those with worthless ones. Many colleges are becoming less demanding as they become more expensive: They rake in money — much of it from government-subsidized tuition grants — by taking in many marginally qualified students who are motivated only to acquire a credential and who learn little.

    Lindsey reported that in 1961, full-time college students reported studying 25 hours a week on average; by 2003, average studying time had fallen to 13 hours. Half of today’s students take no courses requiring more than 20 pages of writing in a semester. Given the role of practice in developing expertise, “the conclusion that college students are learning less than they used to seems unavoidable.” Small wonder those with college degrees occupying jobs that do not require a high school diploma include 1.4 million retail salespeople and cashiers, half a million waiters, bartenders and janitors, and many more.

    “Most American kids,” Lindsey concluded, “are now raised in an environment that is arguably less favorable for developing human capital than that in which their parents were raised.” America’s limited-government project is at risk because the nation’s foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.
  2. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    20 Jun '13 17:38 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Indeed.


    America’s broken bootstraps
    By George F. Will, All men are by nature equal,

    But differ greatly in the sequel.



    George Will

    Will writes a twice-a-week column on politics and domestic affairs.


    A quarter of a millennium later, that couplet from a colonial American almanac defines an urgent challenge. Modern society incr ...[text shortened]... he nation’s foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.
    George Will is a reliable right wing mouthpiece. Coming from a comfortable upper-middle class family, Will is convinced that the ONLY reason any person is struggling financially is because they are simply lazy. Will supports the idea of eliminating the minimum wage, and most child labor laws. I'm not suprised Will would make these statements regarding education. Will firmly believes the lower classes should be kept in their place, and the well to do alone should rule, as is their birthright. Thankfully, most American voters don't see things this way.
  3. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    20 Jun '13 17:44 / 2 edits
    There's a lot of truth to what George Will is saying here. It's not because the lower classes are stupid, either. It's because they need to channel their intelligence differently.

    They need to figure out how not to starve, how not to get attacked by police, how not to get attacked by organized crime, how not to get attacked by un-organized crime, how to retaliate if they are attacked, various bits of cultural knowledge that is suppressed in mainstream culture like the fact that Mexicans are indigenous to Arizona, etc.

    They need to do all this while under immense amounts of stress caused by creditors constantly making phone calls, people screaming at each other in front of their kids because they can't pay the bills...

    To underestimate their intelligence is a mistake not only because they're not stupid but because their intelligence will come to bite the mainstream in the butt eventually.

    However, it is a fact that the lower classes are often not culturally equipped to thrive in school.

    If you take into account slang and bilingualism the number of words they are exposed to will increase dramatically.
  4. 20 Jun '13 17:56
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Indeed.


    America’s broken bootstraps
    By George F. Will, All men are by nature equal,

    But differ greatly in the sequel.



    George Will

    Will writes a twice-a-week column on politics and domestic affairs.


    A quarter of a millennium later, that couplet from a colonial American almanac defines an urgent challenge. Modern society incr ...[text shortened]... he nation’s foundational faith in individualism cannot survive unless upward mobility is a fact.
    So what is the big government solution that will solve all of our problems Sasq? There must be one.
  5. Standard member sasquatch672
    Don't Like It Leave
    20 Jun '13 18:35
    Originally posted by whodey
    So what is the big government solution that will solve all of our problems Sasq? There must be one.
    Clearly, to have them all on welfare.
  6. 20 Jun '13 18:36
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Clearly, to have them all on welfare.
    Ding, ding, ding, ding!!!

    We have a winner!!
  7. 20 Jun '13 18:55
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Clearly, to have them all on welfare.
    Why do you think social mobility is so much lower in the US than in many other rich western countries? (if your answer contains "homogeneous culture", go directly to jail)
  8. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    20 Jun '13 19:34 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by sasquatch672
    Clearly, to have them all on welfare.
    Mr. Sasquatch- Who are "they"?? Are you referring to those jobless people who need financial help? or are you referring to most of the S&P 500 who suck hundreds of billions from America's coffers in the form of subsidies, tax loopholes, and other forms of CORPORATE welfare to support multi million dollar salaries for their exec's, golden parachutes, company jet's, limo's, corporate retreats in the Cayman Islands, Switzerland, The south of France, and allows them to park massive sums offshore in order to avoid paying there fair share in taxes. It's interesting your posts always place the blame for America's financial woe's on the $9.00 an hour waitress who just lost her job, rather than the CEO who just recieved another multi million dollar bonus by spinning another corporate division off to India, thereby eliminating a few thousand more American jobs, and the tax revenue that goes with them.
  9. 21 Jun '13 23:24
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Why do you think social mobility is so much lower in the US than in many other rich western countries? (if your answer contains "homogeneous culture", go directly to jail)
    "Why do you think social mobility is so much lower in the US than in many other rich western countries?"

    I don't accept your premise. There are no barriers to social mobility in the United States, not imposed barriers. Limitations of mobility are almost all self inflicted.
  10. 21 Jun '13 23:29
    Originally posted by bill718
    Mr. Sasquatch- Who are "they"?? Are you referring to those jobless people who need financial help? or are you referring to most of the S&P 500 who suck hundreds of billions from America's coffers in the form of subsidies, tax loopholes, and other forms of CORPORATE welfare to support multi million dollar salaries for their exec's, golden parachutes, company ...[text shortened]... eliminating a few thousand more American jobs, and the tax revenue that goes with them.
    " It's interesting your posts always place the blame for America's financial woe's on the $9.00 an hour waitress who just lost her job, rather than the CEO who just recieved another multi million dollar bonus by spinning another corporate division off to India, thereby eliminating a few thousand more American jobs, and the tax revenue that goes with them."

    I don't know where you have $9/hour waitresses. The comparison is not of any consequence. There is no legal reason why a waitress cannot become a CEO, in fact a lot of MBA grads, did waitress to finance college.