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Old 04-21-2010, 10:09 AM   #101
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Well actually all defined benefit pension discussions have a gender equity component
I suppose, but it works both ways. On one hand, some could say lower pay for women means lower pension benefits, but on the other hand, where SS and pensions are concerned, women live longer which could offset some or even all of the disadvantage of lower pay.

Dying several years younger (on average) is the "ultimate" gender discrimination.
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Old 04-21-2010, 10:52 AM   #102
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How and when did this become a thread about gender discrimination?
IIRC it was a day or two after it morphed from "help me save my pension fund" to a thread about educational reform
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #103
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Happy to go back to the pure pension issue

Major problems with government pension funds
1) cyclical not counter cyclical. When times are good investments tend to create "income" so governments reduce funding . This is simply stupid. Funding should be increased in flush times as a rainy day against bad times.
2) ludicrous benefits for high paid not in danger police and fire managers. I have no problem at all with proper extra benefits for front liners , but when you put on the tie and ride a desk you don't get it any more.
3) gaming the system with overtime and other payments in the last year
4) get all the economies of scale. small funds tend to have excessive admin costs.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:01 AM   #104
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(snip)I disagree. It would have been stupid and self-limiting for me to ignore the bright new engineer, just because of gender or minority status. (snip)
-ERD50
The fact that discrimination is stupid and counterproductive has never stopped it from occurring. It has happened in the past, it continues to some extent now, and IMO it is unlikely ever to be completely eliminated. I myself have experienced discrimination in hiring, both "we don't hire girls" on a summer job I applied for way back when, and (probably) a bit of a leg up by being a minority woman applicant for the mostly white, male job I worked in when I started with the City.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:10 AM   #105
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I'm waiting with bated breath for the ultimate hijack, from pension funding to gender discrimination to .... sex! Woo hoo.

But in the meantime, hot off the presses re gender discrimination (and without prejudice and in complete understanding that there are many reasons for these results), here is a story that includes research that broken down into gender, women today earn 80% of what men do:

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now - chicagotribune.com
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:11 AM   #106
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I myself have experienced discrimination in hiring, both "we don't hire girls" on a summer job I applied for way back when, and (probably) a bit of a leg up by being a minority woman applicant for the mostly white, male job I worked in when I started with the City.
I think the main reason it may exist despite what seems to be an economic contradiction can be summed up in one word: maternity.

There's an assumption many people make that women are more likely to leave and have babies, possibly not coming back afterward (adding more hiring/recruiting costs), less likely to be willing to put work over family issues (less willing to put in insane hours or work nights/weekends), less likely to feel a need to stick with a job they can't stand (that's hubby's responsibility). Men are more expected to put career over family, thus making the employer's "golden handcuffs" over men a bit tighter and more confining. They will deny it, but I can't help but think many hiring managers have this in their minds in a hiring process.

It's not fair to a career-oriented woman, but that's the perception and won't change much unless the usual gender expectations of "men as breadwinners" and "women as nurturers" goes away. (And we can never get away from the pregnancy issue itself since men can't give birth.)

But back to pension solvency and feasibility...


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Happy to go back to the pure pension issue

Major problems with government pension funds
1) cyclical not counter cyclical. When times are good investments tend to create "income" so governments reduce funding . This is simply stupid. Funding should be increased in flush times as a rainy day against bad times.
2) ludicrous benefits for high paid not in danger police and fire managers. I have no problem at all with proper extra benefits for front liners , but when you put on the tie and ride a desk you don't get it any more.
3) gaming the system with overtime and other payments in the last year
4) get all the economies of scale. small funds tend to have excessive admin costs.
As for #1, I agree -- if they kept funding the pension in the good times there would be less of a shortfall in the bad.

#2 is complicated by folks who spent some time in harm's way and later took a desk job. Figuring their pension would be a nightmare.

#3 is an abomination and should be banned everywhere.

#4 is true but I think this is a fairly minor thing.

I'd add unrealistic expectations of ROI. Many of them are in the 8% to 8.5% range, I think, and that's too risky for a pension fund. The problem is that they give things like "3% at 50" plans which require outsized long-term returns to be actuarially sound -- and while we had a 1982-1999 bull market that made it seem feasible, I think we're seeing it's not.

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But in the meantime, hot off the presses re gender discrimination (and without prejudice and in complete understanding that there are many reasons for these results), here is a story that includes research that broken down into gender, women today earn 80% of what men do:

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now - chicagotribune.com
It's really pretty simple: the recession has hit male-dominated fields a lot harder, and the areas where there are fewer layoffs -- government, education and health care -- are largely female-dominated occupations.
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:35 AM   #107
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If we had a forum award for "Most defensive person", I wonder who would get the most votes?
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:42 AM   #108
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I'm waiting with bated breath for the ultimate hijack, from pension funding to gender discrimination to .... sex! Woo hoo.

m
Ok i'm game

Q "how many disabled people do you have in the pension system broken down by sex? "

A "not many, its generally the booze that gets them"
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Old 04-21-2010, 11:48 AM   #109
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...But in the meantime, hot off the presses re gender discrimination (and without prejudice and in complete understanding that there are many reasons for these results), here is a story that includes research that broken down into gender, women today earn 80% of what men do:

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now - chicagotribune.com
Also possibly interesting (other than the fact that I'm quoting myself) and to further hijack this thread--the hard copy newspaper this morning carried this story with this headline: "Women pull even by degree; but despite education gains, they lag men in pay." This different headline, and ending the hard copy story halfway through the online version, the focus was much more on the data about the discrepancy being slightly larger today (80.2 percent) than 5 years ago (81 percent) and less on the "man-cession."
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:01 PM   #110
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Ok I'll assume you are a first class prostitute with a stable of satisfied customers
for you pay for performance is easy. But
How do you pay a baseball umpire for "performance" ? The ability to measure performance varies enormously from job to job.

What you get is pay for performance on a worthless test.

Would megacorp hire an employee based on 5th grade test results? What makes anyone think that you can generate a simplistic test for 11 year olds that can show how well the teacher teaches.? how many of your employees are graded on how well their subordinates do in tests?

Just to make a point... but baseball DOES grade their umpire's on performance... IIRC, they are graded on every game... the highest graded ones are the ones who get to do the playoffs....



As some have pointed out... you can 'grade' anything... but you have to determine what it is you want to grade and make sure it is meaningful and measurable. As an example, my sister was a reading specialist... they would measure what grade the student was reading before and after she worked with them... you could see the improvement... it was meaningful and measurable... I do not see why we can not do this with a classroom... you can have a measure of where the students were coming into the class and where they were going out... if on average they only advanced .8 of a year, then the teacher did bad... if they advanced 1.2 they did good... sure, you might have to adjust for IQ or something else, but don't tell me it is not measurable...
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:04 PM   #111
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I'm waiting with bated breath for the ultimate hijack, from pension funding to gender discrimination to .... sex! Woo hoo.

But in the meantime, hot off the presses re gender discrimination (and without prejudice and in complete understanding that there are many reasons for these results), here is a story that includes research that broken down into gender, women today earn 80% of what men do:

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now - chicagotribune.com

UT OH... I can feel a reference to bacon coming on......
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:06 PM   #112
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As some have pointed out... you can 'grade' anything... but you have to determine what it is you want to grade and make sure it is meaningful and measurable.
True. I do a lot of reporting on various aspects of the business for managers and executives, and many of them are very much into metrics as a primary means for managing the business. The problem comes when they think just about every aspect of the the business can be measured for performance with metrics. Many, maybe most, areas can be. But sometimes as a systems analyst I have to understand both the business side and the technical side, and there are times someone will ask to use X as a metric for measuring our performance in Y, and I have to stick my neck out and say I don't see a way to measure Y in a way that is "meaningful" given the data we have available for metrics.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:25 PM   #113
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I'm waiting with bated breath for the ultimate hijack, from pension funding to gender discrimination to .... sex! Woo hoo.

But in the meantime, hot off the presses re gender discrimination (and without prejudice and in complete understanding that there are many reasons for these results), here is a story that includes research that broken down into gender, women today earn 80% of what men do:

Man-cession? Gains in education help women avert worst of job losses in downturn, for now - chicagotribune.com
Here's a seque: Men are getting screwed in this recession?
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:29 PM   #114
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Ok I'll assume you are a first class prostitute with a stable of satisfied customers
and I'll assume... well, never mind.
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Old 04-21-2010, 12:48 PM   #115
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Just to make a point... but baseball DOES grade their umpire's on performance... IIRC, they are graded on every game... the highest graded ones are the ones who get to do the playoffs....



As some have pointed out... you can 'grade' anything... but you have to determine what it is you want to grade and make sure it is meaningful and measurable. As an example, my sister was a reading specialist... they would measure what grade the student was reading before and after she worked with them... you could see the improvement... it was meaningful and measurable... I do not see why we can not do this with a classroom... you can have a measure of where the students were coming into the class and where they were going out... if on average they only advanced .8 of a year, then the teacher did bad... if they advanced 1.2 they did good... sure, you might have to adjust for IQ or something else, but don't tell me it is not measurable...
A umpires committee evaluation is not what anyone is talking about. That is what they are complaining about . They want a "test" not a committee evaluation. As to reading skills, they are precisely that,skills. Skills are easy, you can test the hell out of skills. The Japanese and Koreans are expert at it. The more rote the task, the easier the testing. E.G. instead of under standing math for example which is hard to test you could test the kids on how many places of pi the teacher got them to memorize. I've met people who can recite the entire Koran.

The bottom line is you get whatever you test for. Japan and Korea, despite the fabulous scores their students get on the rote international tests, do not do very well at the university level where creativity is required
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:00 PM   #116
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and I'll assume... well, never mind.
If you prefer "sex worker" no problem

My point is simply that it is easier to have a structure for pay for performance for a satisfactory sex worker than for a satisfactory spouse. some performances are simply easier to evaluate.

I've analyzed regulatory tests for over 40 years. some are good, some are worthless. It all depends on whether the thing being evaluated can be evaluated using the instrument. People lost their life savings on the inability of the bond rating agencies to rate risk using their "tests" (how is that for bringing it back on topic)
I cannot believe that people who know we cannot easily test the risk in a mortgage believe we can easily test the value in a teacher.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:02 PM   #117
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If you prefer "sex worker" no problem

My point is simply that it is easier to have a structure for pay for performance for a satisfactory sex worker than for a satisfactory spouse. some performances are simply easier to evaluate.

I've analyzed regulatory tests for over 40 years. some are good, some are worthless. It all depends on whether the thing being evaluated can be evaluated using the instrument. People lost their life savings on the inability of the bond rating agencies to rate risk using their "tests" (how is that for bringing it back on topic)
I cannot believe that people who know we cannot easily test the risk in a mortgage believe we can easily test the value in a teacher.
Why test for anything, then? In your world, are there any standards to follow?
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:48 PM   #118
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If you prefer "sex worker" no problem

My point is simply that it is easier to have a structure for pay for performance for a satisfactory sex worker than for a satisfactory spouse.

I cannot believe that people who know we cannot easily test the risk in a mortgage believe we can easily test the value in a teacher.
As for your claims about compensating sex workers based on performance , I'll just have to take your word for it; I have no product or service experience in that industry.

Mortagage risk is something we can (and should) evaluate- don't loan money to people who can't put 20% down (maybe 10% with PMI) Utilize strict LTV and income/payment underwriting guidelines, don't loan money under ludicrous creative financing schemes (ARM's, 110% LTV loans, etc.) Unfortunately, the dimbulbs in DC decided that the concept of people actually qualifying for a home loan was somehow discriminatory (starting with the Fair Housing Doctrine) and were asleep at the switch in regulating the mortgage industry during the resulting boom of unqualified buyers-at all income levels. Government bailouts only exacerbated the crisis, IMO.

I'd like to understand more about why you feel teachers shoud be entrusted with educating our kids and be enabled to operate under an immunity system with no accountabilty for their results Wouldn't you prefer the best and brightest educating your kids? Wouldn't you like to be able to get rid of teachers who aren't qualified to teach?- just because you earned a teaching certificate doesn't mean you earned a lifetime career of producing kids who can't read or write. Implementing a system of performance-based compensation against reasonable objectives scares the sh*t out of low performers who are just putting in their time, in any profession. Your premise that it can't be applied to teachers is an issue of will, not skill, IMO.
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:52 PM   #119
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How and when did this become a thread about gender discrimination?
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IIRC it was a day or two after it morphed from "help me save my pension fund" to a thread about educational reform
Which I thought was pretty good, all things considered! I guess it's time for a new thread, but I'll respond to the comments here so far:

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The fact that discrimination is stupid and counterproductive has never stopped it from occurring.
Unfortunately, that is true. But I think it is becoming stupider and more counter-productive as time goes by, and more people are getting the message. And it seems that fewer people need the message (maybe that is just hopeful thinking on my part).

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I must strongly disagree with part of your post and you misunderstood another part.

Imperfect measures are not better than no measure e.g.
I give you a pot of hot water and you get to measure it with a yardstick
you report the temperature as 14 inches.

...Its easy to test teachers in how well they teach students to measure temperature with a yardstick. It simply does not mean anything
I said imperfect measures, not inappropriate ones. So it stands - imperfect measures are better than no measure at all, esp when one recognizes the measure is imperfect (and all of them are).

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Second Mentoring is not getting smart people to work for you and make you look good , women have been exploited that way for centuries. Mentoring is qualifying them to replace you in due course. How many men bring along women as successors?
Teaching someone how to make their boss look good (by performing) is the best mentoring I could provide someone. And part of that is preparing them to do it at the next level, and the next, etc. IME, the bright, motivated women were moving up the ladder just fine, they must have been getting mentored as well or better than the guys. There were not very many female engineers in the 70's, but I know of two out of that small group that made Director or VP level at MegaCorp - it just never seemed to be an issue as far as I could see. And this was a traditional male dominated business.


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I cannot believe that people ... believe we can easily test the value in a teacher.
I don't know that it is easy or not, but certainly bright people could come up with *some* measures that would not be too hard and would help determine if a teacher needs help, or should be mentoring other teachers because they are so good, or needs to find a different line of work.

To be honest with you, I think measuring teachers would be easier than many other professions. Who says a measurement should consist only of memorization? Tests can measure problem solving skills. You can measure someone's ability to solve problems. This seems so basic I find it hard to believe you are arguing it.

On the other hand, how do you measure a design engineer's contribution? Maybe he/she did an excellent job technically, but the product failed in the market place. Was it due to design, or was the engineer assigned to a program destined to fail? Maybe it was marketing's fault? Maybe a lesser engineer ended up on a product that turned hot for other reasons. It isn't easy, it isn't perfect, but I can't imagine a world where we didn't try to measure an employee's performance.

-ERD50
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:20 PM   #120
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As for your claims about compensating sex workers based on performance , I'll just have to take your word for it; I have no product or service experience in that industry.

Mortagage risk is something we can (and should) evaluate- don't loan money to people who can't put 20% down (maybe 10% with PMI) Utilize strict LTV and income/payment underwriting guidelines, don't loan money under ludicrous creative financing schemes (ARM's, 110% LTV loans, etc.) Unfortunately, the dimbulbs in DC decided that the concept of people actually qualifying for a home loan was somehow discriminatory (starting with the Fair Housing Doctrine) and were asleep at the switch in regulating the mortgage industry during the resulting boom of unqualified buyers-at all income levels. Government bailouts only exacerbated the crisis, IMO.

I'd like to understand more about why you feel teachers shoud be entrusted with educating our kids and be enabled to operate under an immunity system with no accountabilty for their results Wouldn't you prefer the best and brightest educating your kids? Wouldn't you like to be able to get rid of teachers who aren't qualified to teach?- just because you earned a teaching certificate doesn't mean you earned a lifetime career of producing kids who can't read or write. Implementing a system of performance-based compensation against reasonable objectives scares the sh*t out of low performers who are just putting in their time, in any profession. Your premise that it can't be applied to teachers is an issue of will, not skill, IMO.
Rich corporate bankers making millions bought the mortgages. Had nothing to do with the dim bulbs in Washington.

I'm a university professor. We get the output from the schools. I know that teaching is an art and it is not making hamburgers at McDonalds. It is muuch harder to evaluate. We know from lots of studies that the teachers can only work with what they are sent. I've taught in the UK and Germany. American teachers have nothing like the rights and powers and job security of the German or British teachers. In all three cases the problems in schools are problems with the homes of the students. My kids got brilliant educations at our local public school.

If you think macdonalds style performance will do anything to improve teaching, you are sadly mistaken. Sure there are lousy teachers out there. I had several in a top flight Jesuit prep school. But you don't find them by testing the students using the kind of tests we have available.
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