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How Dumb Are We?

Discussion in 'Politics, Elections & Legislation' started by capulona, Mar 26, 2011.

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  1. capulona

    capulona TS Member

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    Here you go, some bull from a a Liberal, Left Wing news magazine ;-)
    This can't be true, right?

    http://www.newsweek.com/2011/03/20/how-dumb-are-we.html

    NEWSWEEK gave 1,000 Americans the U.S. Citizenship Test--38 percent failed. The country's future is imperiled by our ignorance.

    They’re the sort of scores that drive high-school history teachers to drink. When NEWSWEEK recently asked 1,000 U.S. citizens to take America’s official citizenship test, 29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.
    Don’t get us wrong: civic ignorance is nothing new. For as long as they’ve existed, Americans have been misunderstanding checks and balances and misidentifying their senators. And they’ve been lamenting the philistinism of their peers ever since pollsters started publishing these dispiriting surveys back in Harry Truman’s day. (He was a president, by the way.) According to a study by Michael X. Delli Carpini, dean of the Annenberg School for Communication, the yearly shifts in civic knowledge since World War II have averaged out to “slightly under 1 percent.”

    But the world has changed. And unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings—like us.
    To appreciate the risks involved, it’s important to understand where American ignorance comes from. In March 2009, the European Journal of Communication asked citizens of Britain, Denmark, Finland, and the U.S. to answer questions on international affairs. The Europeans clobbered us. Sixty-eight percent of Danes, 75 percent of Brits, and 76 percent of Finns could, for example, identify the Taliban, but only 58 percent of Americans managed to do the same—even though we’ve led the charge in Afghanistan. It was only the latest in a series of polls that have shown us lagging behind our First World peers.
    Most experts agree that the relative complexity of the U.S. political system makes it hard for Americans to keep up. In many European countries, parliaments have proportional representation, and the majority party rules without having to “share power with a lot of subnational governments,” notes Yale political scientist Jacob Hacker, coauthor of Winner-Take-All Politics. In contrast, we’re saddled with a nonproportional Senate; a tangle of state, local, and federal bureaucracies; and near-constant elections for every imaginable office (judge, sheriff, school-board member, and so on). “Nobody is competent to understand it all, which you realize every time you vote,” says Michael Schudson, author of The Good Citizen. “You know you’re going to come up short, and that discourages you from learning more.”
    It doesn’t help that the United States has one of the highest levels of income inequality in the developed world, with the top 400 households raking in more money than the bottom 60 percent combined. As Dalton Conley, an NYU sociologist, explains, “it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Unlike Denmark, we have a lot of very poor people without access to good education, and a huge immigrant population that doesn’t even speak English.” When surveys focus on well-off, native-born respondents, the U.S. actually holds its own against Europe.
    Other factors exacerbate the situation. A big one, Hacker argues, is the decentralized U.S. education system, which is run mostly by individual states: “When you have more centrally managed curricula, you have more common knowledge and a stronger civic culture.” Another hitch is our reliance on market-driven programming rather than public broadcasting, which, according to the EJC study, “devotes more attention to public affairs and international news, and fosters greater knowledge in these areas.”
     
  2. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Uh, well, we elected a "President" based primarily on skin color, who had never run so much as a Kool-Aid stand, so I'd say that collectively we've certainly proven ourselves to be one of the dumbest developed nations on earth. And look at what we've tolerated since then, with the outright in-your-face attempt to bankrupt the country with mindless spending and stupid policy decisions.

    The general population is shockingly dumb, and the more we subsidize sloth and allow public education to teach their own crap agenda instead of English, Math and Science, it's only going to get worse.

    That's one of the reasons I work my butt off to send my kids to private school.

    -Gary
     
  3. capulona

    capulona TS Member

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    Excellent response ! Good for you, man.
    -Alex
     
  4. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    As part of my job I interview/hire technical people with education levels ranging from a High School Diploma to 4-Year Engineering degrees and MBAs. This experience makes one both appreciate the intelligence and hard work of the good candidates, and shake your head in disbelief about the others. Here are a few of my favorite examples:

    1) A college educated individual submitted a resume, which had been screened by a recruiter no less, with his name printed at the top in 1/2" tall bold letters, but his first name, Brian, was spelled "BRAIN." The recruiter already had him in house, so I agreed to interview him. I opened by joking that, "With a name like Brain, I guess you must be pretty smart!" He looked at my copy of the resume, got a puzzled look, pulled out a fresh copy, and said, "Oh yeah, that was a typo, sorry" and handed me the new one. Once again, right at the top, "BRAIN." I laughed and said, "You're still BRAIN." He said, "Are you going to interview me or do we have to keep talking about how much you hate my name?"

    2) A candidate with a 2-yr degree filled out our standard application. Since he had machining experience, he was asked to complete the section asking him to list the tools with which he was familiar. One of his answers was, "All measuring instruments, including death mics." When I interviewed him I said, "You mentioned death mics but I assume you meant depth mics?" To which he replied, "You probaby never worked in a machine shop so yeah, call them whatever you want."

    3) An applicant's resume included the claim that, "My innovative ideas helped my employer's sales reach $900,000 per year." During the interview I asked how many total employees the company had, He replied, "About 150." I said, "This must be a typo then, I mean, a long-standing mfg company can't exist with 900K in sales and 150 employees, right?" He pulled out a Blackberry and pecked away for a few seconds and said, "Yeah you're right, we probably sold more like a half million per year."

    -Gary
     
  5. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    The big thing to do now is lay off older, experienced workers and replace them with less expensive kids out of school.

    Then they wonder why their customers get fed up and switch to their competition after quality and service slides from inexperience.

    An ISO-9000 et al rating is meaningless without experience.
     
  6. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    "The big thing to do now is lay off older, experienced workers and replace them with less expensive kids out of school."



    You can thank big business for that!!! They would rather hire some kid out of school and pay him $hit then keep the more experienced employees around, who are earning more.
     
  7. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Brian and Serve99 are kind of right. What I'm seeing more often isn't so much replacing older/experienced workers with KIDS fresh out of school, but instead pushing them out early and replacing them with employees having 10-15 years of experience, but making $25-60K less. And to get around the legalities, the companies cleverly humiliate the older people into leaving on their own. They do this in various ways, such as reducing their authority, changing thier compensation structure, making them report to former subordinates, requiring them to travel more, or re-assigning them to BS projects so that even if they don't quit they can be more easily fired for poor performance.

    Consider that, at some point, that big salary & bonus you busted your butt to earn over all these years can become a detriment for you, especially when times get tough and companies are desperate to cut cost. If I hadn't personally witnessed how unions destroy companies and industries, I would be in favor of them in order to prevent the types of things I describe above. Unfortunately, the "Union Mentality" and how they kill the goose laying the golden eggs is yet another example of how dumb our society has become.

    -Gary
     
  8. frostyman

    frostyman Well-Known Member

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    In a lot of the white collar jobs, the older workers (and younger workers) are not being replaced by younger workers, they are being replaced by workers overseas. Especially in any job where someone does not physically have to do something, such as computer work, phones, etc. It would be great if the younger workers even had a chance to get a job here.
     
  9. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    Frosty:

    Nope, your politicians are doing everything possible to make sure that doesn't happen. Remember -- Other than phony "Green" nonsense, business is bad, and profit is a crime.

    -Gary
     
  10. 221

    221 Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    A large problem with having a workforce that is aging is the outrageous cost of their medical insurance. Some companies can almost cover younger workers wages, just on insurance and legacy costs alone. Lets face it older workers especially in the machine field, usually have slowed down with age......don't blame for it, blame God.

    Unfortunately in the business world as it is today, these companies HAVE to produce and turn a profit. I've seen too many business's that aged out, both in technology and in their workers ability to efficiently produce a profit.

    If a man wants to be a brick layer, he better prepare himself for the day he is replaced, or he figures a way to beat the effects of aging. The older a worker gets, the more he costs the company and sooner than later the company is drowning in overhead costs. I'm seeing ins premiums that are 18-20.00 per hour. Add your facility and air conditioning, all the way to toilet paper, and you start to see bare bones hourly costs pushing 75.00 per hour, per person

    The day of a career in a laborer's job have changed, and our workforce has to adapt, or get run over like a steamroller

    With everyone wanting outrageous wages, profits, benefits, retirements better than the owners, and complete cradle to grave medical care, these companies have only one alternative and that's the worker.

    We all need to see where we are at and ask how could we have let this get so bad. A country without a culture is doomed.

    Take a good look at China, they've been around forever and will still be there long after we're gone.

    Americans want it all, we believe we are entitled to it, someone has to pay for it.

    Realistically, if you are enjoying outrageous benefits, a prince's retirement,
    lavish returns from your investments.......YOU'RE THE CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM......It's the Trump business model.
     
  11. sernv99

    sernv99 Active Member

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    even if you had a the most pro-big business administration and Congress in power, big business would still look for ways to ship job overseas and/or pay American workers $hit wages if it can increase their bottom line.
     
  12. GW22

    GW22 Active Member

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    It's a direct proportional relationship -- the more that government squeezes business, the more they squeeze back.

    -Gary
     
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