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Author Topic: The American Constitution  (Read 37923 times)

James Clark

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1140 on: July 07, 2019, 03:17:44 pm »



The constant whining about income inequality as the source of all evil, and in particular case, low education level, and even more specifically, among the young blacks, is a typical left misdiagnosis, and consequently, source of wrong solutions.


It's not a misdiagnosis - it's that people don't run the equation out far enough.  Ironically, you and the others are right when it comes to parental (or other supervisory) attention, but what you're missing is how income inequality plays into that.  With the caveat that my wife is the expert here, not me, and I'm going on memory of what she has studied, the core of the problem is that many factors - income inequality and declining family structure being large factors - contribute to an inability or unwillingness to interact with their children, and even when kids are *preverbal* this can have long lasting and relatively permanent effects on their later-life success.

This is why, for example, many of us "on the left" are infuriated when religious conservatives would rather have orphaned kids "in the system" rather than with caring sets of same-sex parents. It's not a matter of being "PC" - it's the simple fact that just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact.  Same goes for regular access to quality food.

It's why when we liberals talk about equality of opportunity (which conservatives disingenuously twist to mean equality of outcome), we look for ways to compensate for or mitigate societal issues *as an investment* in the future of our society.  It's not that "being poor" causes a student to be bad, it's that a student form a poor background often doesn't have access to the early childhood things that define success later on, so the cycle continues...
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JoeKitchen

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1141 on: July 07, 2019, 03:30:58 pm »

It's not a misdiagnosis - it's that people don't run the equation out far enough.  Ironically, you and the others are right when it comes to parental (or other supervisory) attention, but what you're missing is how income inequality plays into that.  With the caveat that my wife is the expert here, not me, and I'm going on memory of what she has studied, the core of the problem is that many factors - income inequality and declining family structure being large factors - contribute to an inability or unwillingness to interact with their children, and even when kids are *preverbal* this can have long lasting and relatively permanent effects on their later-life success.

This is why, for example, many of us "on the left" are infuriated when religious conservatives would rather have orphaned kids "in the system" rather than with caring sets of same-sex parents. It's not a matter of being "PC" - it's the simple fact that just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact.  Same goes for regular access to quality food.

It's why when we liberals talk about equality of opportunity (which conservatives disingenuously twist to mean equality of outcome), we look for ways to compensate for or mitigate societal issues *as an investment* in the future of our society.  It's not that "being poor" causes a student to be bad, it's that a student form a poor background often doesn't have access to the early childhood things that define success later on, so the cycle continues...

Two things, many bad family environments often result in single parent households, which also means a lower income for that family.  So the two are connected in some cases.  Just thought I point this out.

Second, insofar as trying to mitigate for societal issues, much of what is proposed is destine for failure.  I can give you a pretty good example I know a fair amount about if you want with plenty of research to back up my side, especially from the public CA University School system in comparing pre 2000 classes to post 2000 classes, but it will be very divisive.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 03:36:49 pm by JoeKitchen »
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Joe Kitchen
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1142 on: July 07, 2019, 03:34:35 pm »

... we look for ways to compensate for or mitigate societal issues...

James, I understand that there must be at least some good intentions behind social engineering. However, it seems to me that you are more likely to treat symptoms, rather than causes, that way. In the case we are discussing, how pouring more money into schools is going to resolve the underlying issue of single-parenthood? There was the time when treating family as sacred was a matter of culture, regardless whether rich or poor. Even more among the poor, as the family cohesion was often a matter of sheer survival. In other words, it is not being poor that makes you more likely to end up in single parenthood. It is subculture.

Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1143 on: July 07, 2019, 03:45:52 pm »

It's not a misdiagnosis - it's that people don't run the equation out far enough.  Ironically, you and the others are right when it comes to parental (or other supervisory) attention, but what you're missing is how income inequality plays into that.  With the caveat that my wife is the expert here, not me, and I'm going on memory of what she has studied, the core of the problem is that many factors - income inequality and declining family structure being large factors - contribute to an inability or unwillingness to interact with their children, and even when kids are *preverbal* this can have long lasting and relatively permanent effects on their later-life success.

This is why, for example, many of us "on the left" are infuriated when religious conservatives would rather have orphaned kids "in the system" rather than with caring sets of same-sex parents. It's not a matter of being "PC" - it's the simple fact that just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact.  Same goes for regular access to quality food.

It's why when we liberals talk about equality of opportunity (which conservatives disingenuously twist to mean equality of outcome), we look for ways to compensate for or mitigate societal issues *as an investment* in the future of our society.  It's not that "being poor" causes a student to be bad, it's that a student form a poor background often doesn't have access to the early childhood things that define success later on, so the cycle continues...

"just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact" is exactly the reason why same-gender parenting is a bum idea: you set an example of normality that is anything but. Can anyone not expect that to impact the kids along with all the other stuff that goes down in life?

If consenting adults is considered okay, so be it. But don't let society put innocent young minds into those same situations. It's a madness; kids experiment too much as it is; keeping yourself safe in a single-gender boarding school - of either gender; they both bring problems - is something real, as pretty anyone that I know who has been to one of these quasi semi-open prisons will attest. Prisons of the real variety are known for rape and all the rest of it. Nobody needs to have that stuff in their face as babes in arms and growing up.

Robert Roaldi

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1144 on: July 07, 2019, 03:54:56 pm »

James, I understand that there must be at least some good intentions behind social engineering. However, it seems to me that you are more likely to treat symptoms, rather than causes, that way. In the case we are discussing, how pouring more money into schools is going to resolve the underlying issue of single-parenthood? There was the time when treating family as sacred was a matter of culture, regardless whether rich or poor. Even more among the poor, as the family cohesion was often a matter of sheer survival. In other words, it is not being poor that makes you more likely to end up in single parenthood. It is subculture.

You lost me. You use the loaded term "social engineering" to cast doubt. But then you claim that the root cause is single parenthood. Do you plan to deal with via social engineering of your own?  Or what are you saying?

Schools have to deal with the situation as it exists. Cutting their funding will not help.

There is plenty of evidence that wide disparities in income and well-being in a society is a bad thing for everyone in that society. Data seem to show that mobility is the USA is far worse than it used to be. Which means that if one unlucky and born poor, one have less chance to move up than one used to have. I'm pretty sure that the reasons for this are numerous and vary from place to place. Dealing with it by saying "this one thing is the problem" or "that thing is the problem" is a waste of time.

I'm just hearing the same old.

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JoeKitchen

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1145 on: July 07, 2019, 03:57:44 pm »

"just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact" is exactly the reason why same-gender parenting is a bum idea: you set an example of normality that is anything but. Can anyone not expect that to impact the kids along with all the other stuff that goes down in life?


Well aside form the fact that this came out of left field, Rob, I think much of the psychological literature on this shows that same gender parents can raise a child just as effectively as a normal set of parents can.  Also, just because you are raised in a household where both parents are the same gender does not mean you will end up gay or lesbian. 

The real issue at play here is making sure the child gets the appropriate amount of male parent and female parent guidance, but neither of these needs necessarily come from a male or female, respectively.  Although to some it may be a surprise, men and women typically raise children differently.  Men tend to be more playful and rougher whereas women tend to be more caring and loving, along with other things.  Both are needed for a child, of either sex, to develop normally, and it could be the case that a woman develops a "male" style of parenting and vis versa.  So, a same sex family can provide both sets of parenting.  Of course with the normal family make up, having both types of guidance comes natural. 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 07:50:12 am by JoeKitchen »
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Joe Kitchen
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1146 on: July 07, 2019, 04:00:53 pm »

... Do you plan to deal with via social engineering of your own?  Or what are you saying?...

Yes, my social engineering would involve police patrols arresting escaped fathers and taking them to Vegas for a quick wedding with single moms. Or, if already married, sentenced to house arrest. Problem solved.

Next inane question?

Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1147 on: July 07, 2019, 04:41:02 pm »

James, I understand that there must be at least some good intentions behind social engineering. However, it seems to me that you are more likely to treat symptoms, rather than causes, that way. In the case we are discussing, how pouring more money into schools is going to resolve the underlying issue of single-parenthood? There was the time when treating family as sacred was a matter of culture, regardless whether rich or poor. Even more among the poor, as the family cohesion was often a matter of sheer survival. In other words, it is not being poor that makes you more likely to end up in single parenthood. It is subculture.


You paint a realistic picture.

Money for schools is part of a wider problem and, on its own, will not resolve the failures.

Someone else touched upon discipline, and that is basic. Where there is none there can be no progress. Teachers have a tough job as it is; if much of their time is spent simply trying to keep control of a class then you can imagine not a lot of minutes are left to learning or even, who would have guessed? teaching.

That is pretty much a problem that I think comes from the babying attitude of those who campaigned for abolishing the cane. It worked. I felt one across my ass several times, only once was it deserved. Kids know when they have crossed the line, and at such times, accept it as punishment for their stupidity. You don't go out of your way to get hurt again unless you already have issues. Likewise, those who administer it must be pretty sure why they use it. I never stopped hating the guy who gave me my first, undeserved dose, nor the visiting missionary who reported me. I probably owe much of my dislike for preachers to those two people.

Family is pretty vital for every reason you can imagine. I am fairly sure that wife abuse stems from seeing it at home. Unless you have a strange sexual fantasy, I can think of few reasons for making the person you married suffer. As true, keeping a rotten relationship together "for the children's sake" is just as bad an idea. I've seen what that did to close friends' kids: damaged their ability to form adult relationships with the opposite sex.

In the end, it seems that the more we look at it, the more unlikely it appears that the world will continue to have standard family structures for very much longer. Along with our environment, which is given no choice - we are also mutating into a solitary species that will end up producing to quota, finding sex in the local supermarket emporium, alongside the hairdresser shops. Or do I mean toiletries?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 04:46:13 pm by Rob C »
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1148 on: July 07, 2019, 04:54:32 pm »

Yes, my social engineering would involve police patrols arresting escaped fathers and taking them to Vegas for a quick wedding with single moms. Or, if already married, sentenced to house arrest. Problem solved.

Next inane question?

Yeah, that ought to work.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1149 on: July 07, 2019, 04:55:29 pm »

... The real issue at play here is making sure the child gets the appropriate amount of male parent and female parent guidance...

As a single father, I am painfully aware of that, and often had to play both roles simultaneously. Last year, I even got flowers for the Mother's Day from my daughter :)

Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1150 on: July 07, 2019, 05:02:37 pm »

As a single father, I am painfully aware of that, and often had to play both roles simultaneously. Last year, I even got flowers for the Mother's Day from my daughter :)


You can not accuse her of having no sense of humour!

Robert Roaldi

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1151 on: July 07, 2019, 06:14:30 pm »

Yes, my social engineering would involve police patrols arresting escaped fathers and taking them to Vegas for a quick wedding with single moms. Or, if already married, sentenced to house arrest. Problem solved.

Next inane question?

The main point I wanted to make wrt "social engineering" but completely forgot, was as follows. This goes to a point I've made a few times during policy discussions when costs come up that someone has a problem with, in that unless you take into account what it costs not to do something, you haven't finished your analysis.

It's largely arbitrary what you call social policies, isn't it? Whatever it was that James was talking about that you called "social engineering" was just a public policy. The connotation in using the term "social engineering" is that the government is making some intervention into private life that is doomed to failure, a position with which I happen to have a lot of sympathy. (They don't often do it right and they don't insist on metrics to figure out if what they wanted to do actually worked.) However, by talking this way we miss something. Take for example, universal medical coverage. By not having it, some problems will arise for those who are unemployed or those who are employed by companies with little or benefits. In such a circumstance, if the primary breadwinner falls ill, it can wreak havoc on the family that could span more than a generation depending on the illness severity. That's how the cookie crumbles, of course. But that public policy, to NOT provide universal health care, is in fact "social engineering", we just choose not to call it that. In fact we don't call it anything because it doesn't exist. But not implementing was not an accident of the universe, someone decided to not implement it. It was not implemented as a deliberate policy to screw over poor people's lives, I'm not saying that, but it's a public policy decision that can more or less accomplish the same thing.

Potentially you may end up with a family condemned to poverty for a long time because of a social policy decision to not do something. Condemning a later policy corrective to this, for example, as "social engineering" is an incomplete analysis, imo.

That's all I was getting at. It's easy to dismiss a government intervention to correct some social ill as a misdirected waste of money, but you should also try to figure out if some previous government intervention/omission/policy decision helped create the social ill in the first place.
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1152 on: July 07, 2019, 06:34:42 pm »

Robert, well put and I see your point.

I am not a scholar of the history of medical coverage in the U.S. or any other country. It just appears to me, without that knowledge, that it is highly unlikely that "someone decided to not implement it."  The original state was no medical coverage at all, for anybody, and then it grew out of the idea of insurance for those who could afford premiums. Given the historic ethos of individualism in this country, I find it hard to believe the idea of the coverage for all even occur to anyone in the beginning, let alone "someone decided to not implement it."

Alan Goldhammer

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1153 on: July 07, 2019, 07:07:21 pm »

Health insurance in the US was extremely limited until WWII.  During the war years there were price controls of all kinds.  Companies could only provide benefits in lieu of salary increases.  They offered health insurance to employees and that was pretty much how the US ended up down the road of employer provided health insurance.  Seniors usually had no coverage at all until Medicare was enacted in the mid 1960s
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1154 on: July 07, 2019, 08:50:30 pm »

Robert, well put and I see your point.

I am not a scholar of the history of medical coverage in the U.S. or any other country. It just appears to me, without that knowledge, that it is highly unlikely that "someone decided to not implement it."  The original state was no medical coverage at all, for anybody, and then it grew out of the idea of insurance for those who could afford premiums. Given the historic ethos of individualism in this country, I find it hard to believe the idea of the coverage for all even occur to anyone in the beginning, let alone "someone decided to not implement it."

Yes, I appreciate that. I only used health policy as one example because I couldn't think of another.
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Alan Klein

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1155 on: July 07, 2019, 09:33:10 pm »

The main point I wanted to make wrt "social engineering" but completely forgot, was as follows. This goes to a point I've made a few times during policy discussions when costs come up that someone has a problem with, in that unless you take into account what it costs not to do something, you haven't finished your analysis.

It's largely arbitrary what you call social policies, isn't it? Whatever it was that James was talking about that you called "social engineering" was just a public policy. The connotation in using the term "social engineering" is that the government is making some intervention into private life that is doomed to failure, a position with which I happen to have a lot of sympathy. (They don't often do it right and they don't insist on metrics to figure out if what they wanted to do actually worked.) However, by talking this way we miss something. Take for example, universal medical coverage. By not having it, some problems will arise for those who are unemployed or those who are employed by companies with little or benefits. In such a circumstance, if the primary breadwinner falls ill, it can wreak havoc on the family that could span more than a generation depending on the illness severity. That's how the cookie crumbles, of course. But that public policy, to NOT provide universal health care, is in fact "social engineering", we just choose not to call it that. In fact we don't call it anything because it doesn't exist. But not implementing was not an accident of the universe, someone decided to not implement it. It was not implemented as a deliberate policy to screw over poor people's lives, I'm not saying that, but it's a public policy decision that can more or less accomplish the same thing.

Potentially you may end up with a family condemned to poverty for a long time because of a social policy decision to not do something. Condemning a later policy corrective to this, for example, as "social engineering" is an incomplete analysis, imo.

That's all I was getting at. It's easy to dismiss a government intervention to correct some social ill as a misdirected waste of money, but you should also try to figure out if some previous government intervention/omission/policy decision helped create the social ill in the first place.


Americans have always been very generous in their help of the poor and sick.  Last year we spent $1 trillion dollars on it, about 5% of our total GDP.
"In FY 2018 total US government spending on welfare — federal, state, and local — was “guesstimated” to be $1,047 billion, including $604 billion for Medicaid, and $443 billion in other welfare."

Here's a complete historical chart showing welfare, rental housing subsidies, unemployment benefits, and healthcare.  There's also food subsidies and other government payments.  None of this included charity which is separate but quite substantial.  It's unfortunate there are poor.  But I don't think any measures we do will completely eradicate it.  Many programs like welfare was proven to actually encourage poverty. Recipients opted to stay-at-home for the welfare check rather than work for marginally higher earnings.  Welfare payments for children of single-parent families encouraged fathers to stay away so the mother's could continue to get the welfare checks.  So government winds up causing family disintegration and poverty due to their programs.  Government always has a knack for making things worse even though their heart might be in the right place.  Unfortunately, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 
https://www.usgovernmentspending.com/welfare_spending
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 09:36:21 pm by Alan Klein »
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jeremyrh

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1156 on: July 08, 2019, 01:15:33 am »

"just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact" is exactly the reason why same-gender parenting is a bum idea: you set an example of normality that is anything but. Can anyone not expect that to impact the kids along with all the other stuff that goes down in life?

If consenting adults is considered okay, so be it. But don't let society put innocent young minds into those same situations. It's a madness; kids experiment too much as it is; keeping yourself safe in a single-gender boarding school - of either gender; they both bring problems - is something real, as pretty anyone that I know who has been to one of these quasi semi-open prisons will attest. Prisons of the real variety are known for rape and all the rest of it. Nobody needs to have that stuff in their face as babes in arms and growing up.

Aah Rob - same old homophobic bullshit. Luckily, unlike the other Jeremy, I'm not obliged to read your crap.
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Rob C

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1157 on: July 08, 2019, 04:44:13 am »

Aah Rob - same old homophobic bullshit. Luckily, unlike the other Jeremy, I'm not obliged to read your crap.

But you just did!

Not liking the message is not the same as disproving the validity. Have you spent time in a boarding schol? I spent too many years in one. I know women who had the same delightful joy. Fortunately, the prison bit I have not experienced.

Rob

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1158 on: July 08, 2019, 11:15:20 am »

"just having a situation where you can interact with your kids can have lifelong impact" is exactly the reason why same-gender parenting is a bum idea: you set an example of normality that is anything but...

You are so wrong, Rob!

Here is The Father Of The Year 2019 nominee:

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Re: The American Constitution
« Reply #1159 on: July 08, 2019, 12:39:55 pm »

Quote
Electoral map bias may worsen as U.S. gerrymandering battle shifts to states

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that federal judges have no power to police partisan gerrymandering - the practice of manipulating electoral district boundaries for political gain - likely will embolden politicians to pursue more extreme efforts free from the fear of judicial interference, experts said.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-court-gerrymandering/electoral-map-bias-may-worsen-as-u-s-gerrymandering-battle-shifts-to-states-idUSKCN1TU0G0

And indeed:

Quote
Department of Justice shakes up team handling 2020 census-related cases

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new team of Civil Division lawyers at the Department of Justice will take over handling 2020 census-related cases, a spokeswoman for the agency said on Sunday, a shake-up that came as President Donald Trump pushes to include a contentious citizenship question in the decennial population survey.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-census/department-of-justice-shakes-up-team-handling-2020-census-related-cases-idUSKCN1U301D

One wonders, why do Americans even allow this kind of rigging of the political process? I can't believe they are so indifferent about what will have serious consequences in allotting budgets for things like schooling and other matters that shape the fabric of their own society.

Cheers,
Bart
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