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The Atlantic: Better Schools Won’t Fix America

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Replies to: The Atlantic: Better Schools Won’t Fix America

  • JHSJHS 18300 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,370 Senior Member
    edited June 11
    For a VC, he seems to be exceptionally ignorant of capitalism, innovation, and the forces of the free market. Maybe he should consider those turning those loose on the education system.

    It's funny -- This is probably the only country in the world where people talk like that about education and health care, and it has gotten really mixed results. There are some very bright spots of quality -- some associated with "free market" systems, others really not so much -- and a lot of general failure, all at exceptionally high cost. The quality record of large-scale (i.e., not just an individual or two), for-profit providers in both fields is actually horrendous.
    reducing the number of unskilled immigrants, whose children overwhelm the existing educational system

    As if.
    edited June 11
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  • barronsbarrons 23031 replies1951 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 24,982 Senior Member
  • yikesyikesyikesyikesyikesyikes 1837 replies128 discussionsForum Champion U. Michigan Posts: 1,965 Forum Champion
    I think Steven Pinker has some very thought provoking insight about income inequality. I recommend his book "Enlightenment Now".

    Here is an article adapted from one his chapters:

    https://bigthink.com/big-think-books/steven-pinker-enlightenment-now-inequality-happiness
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    Everything from China is made exactly to the buyer specification. They can make any level of quality that you will pay for.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3317 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,329 Senior Member
    The key is to get skilled immigrants who add value , pay more in taxes then they consume in government services, and start businesses. Their children also tend to be great assets. It has nothing to do with where they are from as long as they assimilate. What is terrible is losing a recent Masters or Ph.D. candidate in a marketable field to other countries because we would not offer them residency and work permits.
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    Chinese worker standards are abysmal and it’s an environmental catastrophe.

    They are a perfect example of govt control of economic output and industry leading to real income inequality. Try being middle class there.

    Well, I live, teach, research and own and operate a factory in China, and my experience is nothing like yours. I think you are very out of date with your impressions.


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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 76501 replies665 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 77,166 Senior Member
    The key is to get skilled immigrants who add value , pay more in taxes then they consume in government services, and start businesses. Their children also tend to be great assets. It has nothing to do with where they are from as long as they assimilate. What is terrible is losing a recent Masters or Ph.D. candidate in a marketable field to other countries because we would not offer them residency and work permits.

    Or because they are held under suspicion because of their national origin and contacts with those where they immigrated from?
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-06-13/the-u-s-is-purging-chinese-americans-from-top-cancer-research
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  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1066 replies27 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,093 Senior Member
    ^History does seem to repeat itself. We apparently didn't learn the lesson from what happened to Chinese-American scientist Qian Xuesen in the 1950s.
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  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School 3317 replies12 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,329 Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus , do you think that Chinese IP theft is a myth?
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  • barronsbarrons 23031 replies1951 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 24,982 Senior Member
    The Qian Xuesen case was very complex. Quite possible he was a communist and a spy or at least a threat.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    edited June 15
    @sorghum.

    Your pleasant living arrangements are purely anecdotal in such a large country. It’s vastness is staggering.

    But here are but two of countless research articles - and remember we are not taking about a government known for transparency. It’s probably much worse.

    The per capital income of the average Chinese citizen compared to party members and government elite (including joint venture billionaires and Uber wealthy) is not comparable to us worker standards.

    If we leave the obvious worker and income disparity issues aside.

    Here’s the but a glimpse into some of the issues. It’s just not a comparison between countries and environmental stewardship and oversight.
    And unless 2013 to 2018 is what would be regarded as ancient history, I stand by my statement 100 percent.


    China ‘environment census’ reveals 50% rise in pollution sources

    “Ministry says country has 9m sources of pollution, with factories breaking emissions rules the big problem”

    The Guardian -UK
    Lily Kuo in Hong Kong
    Fri 30 Mar 2018 21.50 EDT

    Another article....deforestation, early death, rivers unfit for human contact, very bad water and the global carbon coal polluter among other things.

    “China’s mounting environmental crisis is endangering the pace of its economic growth and threatening the legitimacy of the ruling party.

    Backgrounder by Eleanor Albert and Beina Xu
    Last updated January 18, 2016”

    “China’s environmental crisis is one of the most pressing challenges to emerge from the country’s rapid industrialization.

    China is the world’s largest source of carbon emissions, and the air quality of many of its major cities fails to meet international health standards.

    Life expectancy north of the Huai River is 5.5 years lower than in the south due to air pollution (life expectancy in China is 75.3 years, according to 2013 UN figures).

    Severe water contamination and scarcity have compounded land deterioration.

    Environmental degradation threatens to undermine the country’s growth and exhausts public patience with the pace of reform.


    with reports from late 2015 implying that it consumed up to 17 percent more coal than previously reported.

    In January 2013, Beijing experienced a prolonged bout of smog so severe that citizens dubbed it an “airpocalypse”; the concentration of hazardous particles was forty times the level deemed safe by the World Health Organization (WHO).

    In December 2015, Beijing issued red alerts for severe pollution—the first since the emergency alert system was established. The municipal government closed schools, limited road traffic, halted outdoor construction, and paused factory manufacturing.

    At least 80 percent of China’s 367 cities with real-time air quality monitoring failed to meet national small-particle pollution standards during the first three quarters of 2015, according to a Greenpeace East Asia report.

    In December 2015, the Asian Development Bank approved a $300 million loan to help China address the capital region’s choking smog.


    Industry along China’s major water sources has polluted water supplies: In 2014, groundwater supplies in more than 60 percent of major cities were categorized as “bad to very bad,” and more than a quarter of China’s key rivers are “unfit for human contact.” And lack of waste removal and proper processing has exacerbated problems.

    Combined with negligent farming practices, overgrazing, and the effects of climate change, the water crisis has turned much of China’s arable land into desert.

    About 1.05 million square miles of China’s landmass are undergoing desertification, affecting more than 400 million people, according to the deputy head of China’s State Forestry Administration.

    Water scarcity, pollution, and desertification are reducing China’s ability to sustain its industrial output and produce food and drinkable water for its large population”
    edited June 15
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    I didn't say anything about my "pleasant living conditions", and I travel extensively in China, mostly in rural areas. My opinions are derived from more than personal anecdote. I even read articles about China.

    Chinese lower level workers are usually literate, sober, hardworking and productive. The technical workers have good education and are not the unimaginative drones of US mythology.

    The middle class is thriving and expanding. There are great opportunities for young people to work hard and do well. The GINI coefficient of China and US, per CIA data, are almost identical.

    You can find an article about dreadful pollution in almost any country. On the ground, the situation in China is not nearly as bad as that article says. And yes 2013 was a long time ago in Chinese development. As you say, it's a big country, there are clean and dirty depending where you go.
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