Thursday, July 19, 2012

WTF is wrong with Americans?

I came across this image at Daily Kos. The original image is here.






6 comments:

  1. So... what is the entire solution here? Okay, I understand the part about offering government-funded higher education for everyone (every US citizen, or everyone? not sure on that...) - presumably just everyone who completes high school? And, to accomplish this, raise taxes. Whose taxes get raised is another matter of debate.

    Now, do we also then have to make private institutions of higher learning illegal? Or at the least, refuse them accreditation? And do we only allow students who have completed a PUBLIC education to enter a public institution of higher education?

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  2. Joe, like the infographic, the author hits some points well but the gross generalizations and lack of historical understanding hurt his point. Going to college before financial aid swallowed us up was much more affordable for the common person. As financial aid from the U.S. government increased, tuition skyrocketed (good infographic subject). Comparing northern European countries to the U.S. is pretty difficult (demographics are totally different). I doubt that 48% of Finland pays no federal tax, I could be wrong. While hating our foreign policy, I'm not sure who can handle some of the problems, I don't see any of the northern European countries leading the way for the rest of us. A long time ago the U.S. committed to a path and to priorities that, for right or wrong, have gotten us in this current mess and changing direction won't happen overnight. Sorry for rambling on and on. rich

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    1. This comment is just what I was thinking. Let's leave the war expenditures out of it (thought it's a great argument for another day). The rest is hard to argue with -- we are ridiculously corrupt, short-sighted, and ignorant in how we approach educating our children. And adults. But our taxes and country ARE different. So let's change that! Flat tax anyone?

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  3. I think the point to take away is that universal, well funded, public education and post secondary education strengthens democratic societies. "Free" education is not always valued by students. Adolescents and undergraduates supported by parents often demonstrate this point. What is the alternative? How many people devalue police protection because they do not pay for it directly? Would we have a stronger democracy if only those who pay for the franchise were able to participate?

    As an advocate of public education I have serious qualms about private schools and the direction choice often leads us. I'm not personally comfortable seeing learning as a limited commodity, something people with economic resources or access to social capital can use as a means to maintain comparative advantage. It smacks of fostering an underclass.

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  4. Joe,
    the question should be what's wrong with the image

    recently you shared with us Yong Zhao's new book - after mentioning the trillions of dollars in student debt he says ' For the first time in history, the number of jobless workers age 25 and up who have attended some college now exceeds the ranks of those who settled for a high school diploma or less,”

    and what about Finland ? Imho Finland is special because half the kids get a high class and quality vocational education, kids understand that your chances of getting a job going to university are less than getting job with a vocational education.

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    1. It appears to me that Finland has some things in place that both "sides" of the fight in the US over public education would bristle at.

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