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Old 10-25-2010, 12:57 PM   #221
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Relative to the US, Britain has a much more generous social safety net and much higher taxes to support it. While the cuts are significant, the NHS and even the child tax credit won't be impacted and I don't know that tax rates are being cut.

Child tax credit: The benefits available for British families - Telegraph
+1. It's pretty funny to see Americans decrying what they see as "socialism" or "excessive government spending" when by almost any measure, federal and state government spending on almost everything other than defence is way lower than in Europe. And in most European countries, there's no great mood to slash spending - even the UK's current measures will only reduce government spending to 2003 levels.

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I don't want to see the walking, half-dead on my streets.
There are two ways to do that. One is to accept that welfare can do it, despite being expensive and inefficient, and creating a whole class of people for whom there is little incentive to work. The other is to move to a nicer neighbourhood. Broadly speaking, the first is the European model (and yes, there are people sleeping under bridges in France, but at least they can get health care), the second is the American one. Most (Western) Europeans can only dream of paying the amount of taxes that Americans do, but after a couple of weeks in the US outside Disney World, most of them return home glad that they don't have to look at so much poverty.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #222
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Here is how I did it.
We did engineering team projects. The students organized themselves into 2-5 person teams. I gave each team the choice of either all getting the same grade for the project , or keeping notes and submitting them to me on their individual contributions, which I would use in connection with my subjective evaluation of each person's effort. If students chose their own teams and there were 2 or 3 on a team they went for the same grade. More than three they went for the individual evaluations. If I chose the teams they always went for the same grade.
Now these are all students in the same department and not strangers to one another. So YMMV

The problem with the urban legend fable is the projection of the junior high academic claim of "I did it all by myself" to the real world outside where we all stand on the shoulders of giants. Some admit it and some don't but the real world is a team sport

What a bunch of hooey... When it comes to grades in a class it should be based on what the student does...

I had a prof who gave a team assignment and assigned 3 people who could barely speak English to my team (and this was for an MBA.. so you would think they would know how by then).... We split up the assignment and had a few meetings to go over what we were supposed to do... they did nothing.. zip, nada...

I told the prof... got some of the same gibberish about team this and team that... in the REAL world someone who is not contributing even a little bit will be spit out of the group one way or another... usually by being fired... most people will not allow someone to get credit for a project if they did not contribute... watch the Trump show "The Apprentice"...

When our project was presented to the class... everbody could tell what I had contributed and what the others had not... because of the prof grading, I got a B in the class even though I had the highest grades on every other item (and I am not kidding... I made 100 on everything else).. of course I could have done ALL of the work and given the others a much higher grade then they deserved... but in a way, I did give them a higher grade then they deserved... I just did not want them to get an A... I was just fine with a B...
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Old 10-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #223
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+1. It's pretty funny to see Americans decrying what they see as "socialism" or "excessive government spending" when by almost any measure, federal and state government spending on almost everything other than defence is way lower than in Europe. And in most European countries, there's no great mood to slash spending - even the UK's current measures will only reduce government spending to 2003 levels.


There are two ways to do that. One is to accept that welfare can do it, despite being expensive and inefficient, and creating a whole class of people for whom there is little incentive to work. The other is to move to a nicer neighbourhood. Broadly speaking, the first is the European model (and yes, there are people sleeping under bridges in France, but at least they can get health care), the second is the American one. Most (Western) Europeans can only dream of paying the amount of taxes that Americans do, but after a couple of weeks in the US outside Disney World, most of them return home glad that they don't have to look at so much poverty.

I saw more homeless people in London than I see here... sure, there are a lot here, but not many in the area I live...

Also, most of the ones 'under bridges' have mental problems and do not want to live somewhere where they can not get drunk or take drugs etc. etc.. there are programs to help them out, but it would put a crimp in the lifestyle they want....
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:08 PM   #224
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I saw more homeless people in London than I see here... sure, there are a lot here, but not many in the area I live...
Ummm, yeah. London is a buge capital city. The kinds of people who will end up homeless, end up there. My assertion was not that every city in the US has more homeless people than every city in Europe.
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Also, most of the ones 'under bridges' have mental problems and do not want to live somewhere where they can not get drunk or take drugs etc. etc.. there are programs to help them out, but it would put a crimp in the lifestylet they want....
I was with you right up to "mental problems". After that, you seemed to be implying that people with mental problems end up with drink and drug problems out of some kind of thought-out choice process, and my brain exploded.
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Old 10-25-2010, 03:25 PM   #225
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Ummm, yeah. London is a buge capital city. The kinds of people who will end up homeless, end up there. My assertion was not that every city in the US has more homeless people than every city in Europe.

I was with you right up to "mental problems". After that, you seemed to be implying that people with mental problems end up with drink and drug problems out of some kind of thought-out choice process, and my brain exploded.

It is thought out in thier brain... I can not cite anything but remember reading a long time ago about a city up north who spent a lot of money to have good places for these people to come to live, not a hot cot place, but their own apt etc... with all sorts of help... they sent people out to round up the homeless... and most refused to come live in a clean place... it IS their choice.. I can not say how 'thought out' it is and how much drugs and drink played in their decision... and which came first either.. the homelessness or the drinking/drugs....

I guess you don't think they have free will....


BTW, when I did live in London, there was a guy who slept right next to the ATM around the corner... I never saw him drunk or looking like he was drugged... he just panhandled... he was there the 14 months that I lived there... so not all have the drinking/drug problem (even though most do)...
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:09 PM   #226
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I saw more homeless people in London than I see here... sure, there are a lot here, but not many in the area I live...

Also, most of the ones 'under bridges' have mental problems and do not want to live somewhere where they can not get drunk or take drugs etc. etc.. there are programs to help them out, but it would put a crimp in the lifestyle they want....

Ever been to San Francisco?

As someone who sees homeless, alcoholic, drug addicted and mentally ill people on a daily basis you have painted with a rather broad brush. The issues are much more complicated than you imply. Currently there are horribly inadequate resources available to deal with them and they are diminishing quickly with the current economic times. Expect to see many more "street people" living the dream in the years to come.

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Old 10-25-2010, 05:11 PM   #227
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It is thought out in thier brain... I can not cite anything but remember reading a long time ago about a city up north who spent a lot of money to have good places for these people to come to live, not a hot cot place, but their own apt etc... with all sorts of help... they sent people out to round up the homeless... and most refused to come live in a clean place... it IS their choice.. I can not say how 'thought out' it is and how much drugs and drink played in their decision... and which came first either.. the homelessness or the drinking/drugs....

I guess you don't think they have free will....


BTW, when I did live in London, there was a guy who slept right next to the ATM around the corner... I never saw him drunk or looking like he was drugged... he just panhandled... he was there the 14 months that I lived there... so not all have the drinking/drug problem (even though most do)...
It's so easy even a caveman can assume it.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:48 AM   #228
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Ever been to San Francisco?

As someone who sees homeless, alcoholic, drug addicted and mentally ill people on a daily basis you have painted with a rather broad brush. The issues are much more complicated than you imply. Currently there are horribly inadequate resources available to deal with them and they are diminishing quickly with the current economic times. Expect to see many more "street people" living the dream in the years to come.

DD
I think both you and Harley are correct in an odd sort of way. I went through a period in my life when I was depressed and an alcoholic (age 37). I denied that anything was wrong and that my lifestyle was my own personal choice. I enjoyed the freedom and excitement of riding on freight trains and living a vagabond lifestyle. I should mention that I owned a 30-unit apartment complex and I gave it to my daughter to manage. I didn't want to even think about it - just another responsibility I didn't need.

I should also add that previously lived a highly educated, successful, but highly stressful engineering business executive.

I don't know what caused the sudden change. Job burn-out, divorce, kid graduated from college, middle age crisis, mental breakdown? I do know the change in lifestyle was made by choice, not because I had no other option. A social worker tried to change or "help" me by whatever means, I didn't want or need help.

Just as suddenly, one day after a night of very heavy drinking, I realized that alcoholism was killing me. That day, I saw a signboard for a group of doctors. I went inside, said I needed a doctor. A psychiatrist talked to me, said I was depressed and needed to get sober. He suggested Alcohol Anonymous.

Free stuff usually doesn't work, so I chose a rehab hospital. I sold 4 gold maple leaf coins and paid $2000 in cash because I wanted to make my brain understand this was going to be hard - not easy or cheap.

I walked out a month later "clean and sober". I worked at two jobs, - janitor and sorting trash. Soon I had enough money to buy a cheap suit and type up a resume. I continued to see the psychiatrist who gave me free anti-depressant drugs.

Six months later I had a job as Public Works Director for a small town, and the rest is history. I used the apartment complex, combined with luck, to amass enough money to retire at age 53.

Today I love to travel with no place to really call home. I still take 2 kinds of drugs to stop depression and obsessive behavior.

That is a case study for you to chew on.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:48 AM   #229
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What a bunch of hooey... When it comes to grades in a class it should be based on what the student does...

I had a prof who gave a team assignment and assigned 3 people who could barely speak English to my team (and this was for an MBA.. so you would think they would know how by then).... We split up the assignment and had a few meetings to go over what we were supposed to do... they did nothing.. zip, nada...

I told the prof... got some of the same gibberish about team this and team that... in the REAL world someone who is not contributing even a little bit will be spit out of the group one way or another... usually by being fired... most people will not allow someone to get credit for a project if they did not contribute... watch the Trump show "The Apprentice"...

When our project was presented to the class... everbody could tell what I had contributed and what the others had not... because of the prof grading, I got a B in the class even though I had the highest grades on every other item (and I am not kidding... I made 100 on everything else).. of course I could have done ALL of the work and given the others a much higher grade then they deserved... but in a way, I did give them a higher grade then they deserved... I just did not want them to get an A... I was just fine with a B...

. "
got some of the same gibberish about team this and team that.....
We split up the assignment and had a few meetings to go over what we were supposed to do... they did nothing.. zip, nada..."

I suppose you are simply saying you are not effective at organizing and coordinating and motivating a multinational team on a complex project. No shame in that, but it means you are not suitable for certain kinds of jobs. It was a team project but you felt you could simply split up the team assignment into individual tasks. That may have been the error. Some projects don't subdivide that easily. If they did, they are not really team projects.

I was one of the advisers for a national prize winning multi disciplinary team project on helicopter evacuation design for high rise buildings. The team had a rule. No sub team worked for more than one day without reporting back to the entire team. The elected team leaders had the job of motivating the slacking members. it was this skill the employers really wanted.

YMMV
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:46 AM   #230
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. "got some of the same gibberish about team this and team that.....
We split up the assignment and had a few meetings to go over what we were supposed to do... they did nothing.. zip, nada..."

I suppose you are simply saying you are not effective at organizing and coordinating and motivating a multinational team on a complex project. No shame in that, but it means you are not suitable for certain kinds of jobs. It was a team project but you felt you could simply split up the team assignment into individual tasks. That may have been the error. Some projects don't subdivide that easily. If they did, they are not really team projects.

I was one of the advisers for a national prize winning multi disciplinary team project on helicopter evacuation design for high rise buildings. The team had a rule. No sub team worked for more than one day without reporting back to the entire team. The elected team leaders had the job of motivating the slacking members. it was this skill the employers really wanted.

YMMV

Nope... I am saying that the prof gave an assignment and assigned me people who could barely speak English and who should NOT have even been in an MBA program... and that I was not going to do the work that they should have done... and giving group grades when the group is not even a group... stupid... and that profs who think that this teaches how to work with others are just plain stupid...

And since I have managed global teams at a mega, have had mega PAY for me to live in London and NY because I was good at it... I think your ad hominem about my abilities add nothing to the discussion... especially since you don't even know me and what I have done...
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #231
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Nope... I am saying that the prof gave an assignment and assigned me people who could barely speak English and who should NOT have even been in an MBA program... and that I was not going to do the work that they should have done... and giving group grades when the group is not even a group... stupid... and that profs who think that this teaches how to work with others are just plain stupid...

And since I have managed global teams at a mega, have had mega PAY for me to live in London and NY because I was good at it... I think your ad hominem about my abilities add nothing to the discussion... especially since you don't even know me and what I have done...
I'm sure you are very successful in in your field. It was not an ad hominem. its a factual description based on your input. You continue describe your teammates in derisive terms, and that you were not a group, and that your prof is Stupid. Everything you say reinforces what I said. There are people who function well in hierarchies and people who can build "teams". Some people e.g. surgeons even use the term "team" for folks who are below them and subject to command orders. That is not a team. A team in this sense is composed of people you cant fire or complain about. But you have to get them to work with you. Its a very different environment.

The classic example is inter service rivalry. People who are very successful in a hierarchy are routinely unable to form funcitoning teams with people over whom they have no authority. It led to the disaster at Pearl harbor and many others.
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Old 10-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #232
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I'm sure you are very successful in in your field. It was not an ad hominem. its a factual description based on your input. You continue describe your teammates in derisive terms, and that you were not a group, and that your prof is Stupid. Everything you say reinforces what I said. There are people who function well in hierarchies and people who can build "teams". Some people e.g. surgeons even use the term "team" for folks who are below them and subject to command orders. That is not a team. A team in this sense is composed of people you cant fire or complain about. But you have to get them to work with you. Its a very different environment.

The classic example is inter service rivalry. People who are very successful in a hierarchy are routinely unable to form funcitoning teams with people over whom they have no authority. It led to the disaster at Pearl harbor and many others.

The jobs that I mentioned that mega had me do usually had nobody reporting to me, but I was responsible for getting the global community to work on the same page.. I did it very well... but almost all the time I had to do this in the real world, where the people actually could do the work.. or I could go to their superiors and give input on why things were not getting done in their country...

I did go to the prof and told him the guys were doing nothing... we had the meeting etc. etc. and most of the time they did not show up... in the real world, you would get fired... in academia you get the kind of response you give... 'you have to work with teams'... etc. etc...


Let change this to a sport analogy.... you show up for the game... but the other players assigned to your team do not show up at all... or they show up and just lay around... you can do all you want to get them to do something, but they just ignore you... so, no matter what you do, you are screwed... (then again, why is it not their job to motivate me)
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Old 10-26-2010, 12:27 PM   #233
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Let change this to a sport analogy.... you show up for the game... but the other players assigned to your team do not show up at all... or they show up and just lay around... you can do all you want to get them to do something, but they just ignore you... so, no matter what you do, you are screwed... (then again, why is it not their job to motivate me)
I wouldn't worry about criticism from a source that claims a lack of teamwork was a significant cause of the success of the Pearl Harbor attack...
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