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Old 02-21-2008, 11:45 AM   #61
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I agree that the prices for medicine are at an all time high in this country, but the only cure to that is not more regulation from the govt, but less. With less regulation comes more competition among doctors, and the quality would go up, and the price would come down.
Has this ever been tried?
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:05 PM   #62
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that statement was not meant to deny holy supply and demand in omnipresent capitalism.

--say you lived on a world inhabited only by christian scientists--then it would not matter if there was only one doc left on the entire planet for he still would not command much of a salary if no one valued his service.

whereas if the services of a court jester were highly regarded or valued, then the many court jesters might earn more than the few doctors simply because we placed a higher value on laughter than on surgery.
Maybe I'm missing something here, but it appears to me we are in total agreement - yet you seem to think we are not?

Your CS/doctor example - exactly, there would be no demand, so no high compensation for the doctor.

Your Court Jester example - seems to me we have plenty of entertainers that make more $ than most doctors? So yes, supply/demand impacts this, and both are a reflection of our society's values.

Not too many people aspire to be a garbage collector. It is a necessary but not 'glamorous' job, so that shouldn't be surprising. Sometimes the less glamourous jobs need to offer a relatively higher compensation just to attract people to that job.

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it is a reflection of this particular society's values. it is not a reflection of a society which does not hold as high similar values.
No doubt.

I guess what you are saying is not that supply/demand does not reflect our values, but that you think our values are out-of-whack? I won't disagree with that either. And I'll include myself in that.


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today's specials on the menu: welfare & inheritance.
OK, maybe a 'free lunch' for the heirs, but not one they had a say in. Debatable for the welfare person (there's a 'price' to pay to be on welfare).

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Old 02-21-2008, 12:20 PM   #63
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I don't think salaries are any indication of what 'value' society places on a job.
there we were in disagreement

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I'm thinking the whole supply/demand thing *is* a reflection of societies values,
while there we are in agreement.

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Maybe I'm missing something here, but it appears to me we are in total agreement - yet you seem to think we are not?
the difference being whether or not you are inside the mirror looking out or outside the mirror looking in.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:31 PM   #64
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As soon as it is affordable he is leaving the public sector for a better private school.
You should clearly understand the pros and cons of your various alternatives for your son's education. Public schools, private schools and home schooling all have their advantages and disadvantages. And there is significant variation within each category.

Public schools and public school teachers reflect local/state laws, the school board, the people that elect the school board, the administrators the school board hires, the policies the school board sets, the aggregate personality of the parents in the neighborhood, etc. Private schools are all over the map varying from exclusive secular schools for high IQ / rich kiddies to religious fundamentalist (not just Christian right) schools. Home schoolers might be religious fundamentalists, ex-hippy commune dwellers or just extremely independent folks.

If you don't think you can quickly change the situation in the school your son is attending now to your liking, change the school! Don't feel singled out. People move between educational resources all the time as no one school is going to be best for every student.

If cost is an issue, while this is certainly up to you, I put my son's education ahead of retirement savings on my priority list. Frankly, it wasn't even close.
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:16 PM   #65
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I just love the teacher bashing that goes on here. 100K teacher salary, Ok if you taught for 40 years and have a PHD in the public schools in parts of NJ CT and NY yep near 100 K.
Gee, it seems like the teacher pay subject flares up every few months.......

Public sector teacher compensation varies dramatically from place to place. In Illinois, for example, rural school districts generally have low pay and struggle to attract and retain teachers, especially in special ed, math, science and language. High tier Chicago suburbs have high pay and huge stacks of resumes from highly qualified teachers in all subject areas. Frequently, even their substitutes and teachers aids are highly credentialed teachers trying to be hired in that district.

It's hardly a free market. Ultimately, school boards can only pay what the tax payers will allow and can afford, not what the market requires. Non-monetary circumstances such as socio-economic status of the students, amenities available to teachers residing in the area and condition of the infrastructure play big roles. Public sector teachers are frequently organized into unions or associations which not only bargain directly for wages but over the long run determine what salary schedules look like. The salary schedules frequently benefit long tenured teachers at the expense of new teachers making it difficult to recruit. And the unions insist that teachers of all subject areas be paid the same, even if there is a long term surplus of teachers in some subject areas and severe shortages in others.

Anyone can easily give accurate anecdotal examples of under-paid and over-paid teachers. They both exist! People seem so ill informed when they stress one side or the other when both sides are there.

Solutions are going to be complicated and controversial. There will be winners and losers. Funding and managing public education is such a mire it's no wonder private schools and home schooling are so popular.

DW ( a retired special ed teacher now doing some part time compensated and volunteer work) and I worked very hard with our son and DIL to help them pick a suburb/neighborhood with public schools that do a good job and reflect their values. Our oldest grandson has special needs and that was also an important consideration. If we hadn't found what we wanted in the public sector, we would have paid for private schooling, although getting what you want there isn't a slam dunk either.

Bottom line...... lots of variation between and within public and private school systems. Anecdoctal examples of under-compensated and over-compensated teachers exist. You have to be a good shopper and be proactive in getting what you want for your kids.
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:44 PM   #66
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youbet--He's actually doing fairly well in school. Where he is having the problems is he finishes his work quickly so he can goof off. Sometimes he goes so fast he makes simple mistakes. If he was goofing off and not doing his work then that would be different issue. I've even tried to get some of his teachers to give him extra work when he is finished with the assignment. Unfortunately they refuse.
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Old 02-21-2008, 01:59 PM   #67
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Unfortunately they refuse.
And refusing may or may not be the right thing for them to do. With 25 or 30 other kids to keep up with, the teacher may not feel that customized assignments can be provided for your son. Or maybe the teacher is just belligerently refusing. Can't tell from here.

In any case, if a private school with a lower student/teacher ratio so your son could receive individualized attention due to his work habits would help, that's what you need to do.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:00 PM   #68
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Has this ever been tried?
There are lots of examples of it.... but here is a simple one. There is very little govt regulation in the electronics industry. Four years ago I bought a 50" DLP tv for around $2300. Now you can get one that has better features, lasts longer, and only costs $1700. How exactly did that happen? Competition among manufacturers drove them to find cheaper ways to manufacture the TV's and to make their products have better features than others. Cell phones are another grat example. A modern cell phone is far superior in every way to the "brick" of decades ago. But the only reason manufacturers pushed for innovation is for more market share.... and why do they care about market share?..... yup.... back to that competition thing again. Without competition no company would feel the need to design newer better products, or find ways to make their producs cheaper either.
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Old 02-21-2008, 02:50 PM   #69
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the difference being whether or not you are inside the mirror looking out or outside the mirror looking in.
OK - yes, it is all a circular thing I guess. I don't think we can really separate one from the other.

Society may place a high 'value' on something, but if there is a large supply, that 'value' is not realized in $.

Other things we may take for granted, and not consciously place much 'value' on, until it is in short supply (air, water).

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Old 02-21-2008, 03:50 PM   #70
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There are lots of examples of it.... but here is a simple one. There is very little govt regulation in the electronics industry. Four years ago I bought a 50" DLP tv for around $2300. Now you can get one that has better features, lasts longer, and only costs $1700. How exactly did that happen? Competition among manufacturers drove them to find cheaper ways to manufacture the TV's and to make their products have better features than others. Cell phones are another grat example. A modern cell phone is far superior in every way to the "brick" of decades ago. But the only reason manufacturers pushed for innovation is for more market share.... and why do they care about market share?..... yup.... back to that competition thing again. Without competition no company would feel the need to design newer better products, or find ways to make their producs cheaper either.
I meant concerning doctors.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:52 PM   #71
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There are lots of examples of it.... but here is a simple one. There is very little govt regulation in the electronics industry. Four years ago I bought a 50" DLP tv for around $2300. Now you can get one that has better features, lasts longer, and only costs $1700. How exactly did that happen? Competition among manufacturers drove them to find cheaper ways to manufacture the TV's and to make their products have better features than others. Cell phones are another grat example. A modern cell phone is far superior in every way to the "brick" of decades ago. But the only reason manufacturers pushed for innovation is for more market share.... and why do they care about market share?..... yup.... back to that competition thing again. Without competition no company would feel the need to design newer better products, or find ways to make their producs cheaper either.
That is still way too much for a TV.

50 inches? Heck my 27 inch magnavox for 199 bought last year works just fine.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:59 PM   #72
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Gee, it seems like the teacher pay subject flares up every few months.......

Public sector teacher compensation varies dramatically from place to place. In Illinois, for example, rural school districts generally have low pay and struggle to attract and retain teachers, especially in special ed, math, science and language. High tier Chicago suburbs have high pay and huge stacks of resumes from highly qualified teachers in all subject areas. Frequently, even their substitutes and teachers aids are highly credentialed teachers trying to be hired in that district.

It's hardly a free market. Ultimately, school boards can only pay what the tax payers will allow and can afford, not what the market requires. Non-monetary circumstances such as socio-economic status of the students, amenities available to teachers residing in the area and condition of the infrastructure play big roles. Public sector teachers are frequently organized into unions or associations which not only bargain directly for wages but over the long run determine what salary schedules look like. The salary schedules frequently benefit long tenured teachers at the expense of new teachers making it difficult to recruit. And the unions insist that teachers of all subject areas be paid the same, even if there is a long term surplus of teachers in some subject areas and severe shortages in others.

Anyone can easily give accurate anecdotal examples of under-paid and over-paid teachers. They both exist! People seem so ill informed when they stress one side or the other when both sides are there.

Solutions are going to be complicated and controversial. There will be winners and losers. Funding and managing public education is such a mire it's no wonder private schools and home schooling are so popular.

DW ( a retired special ed teacher now doing some part time compensated and volunteer work) and I worked very hard with our son and DIL to help them pick a suburb/neighborhood with public schools that do a good job and reflect their values. Our oldest grandson has special needs and that was also an important consideration. If we hadn't found what we wanted in the public sector, we would have paid for private schooling, although getting what you want there isn't a slam dunk either.

Bottom line...... lots of variation between and within public and private school systems. Anecdoctal examples of under-compensated and over-compensated teachers exist. You have to be a good shopper and be proactive in getting what you want for your kids.

On point there. Now I would also say that the union does not hold much water in my book. I was in a state for 30 years with both the NEA and AFT worked for both unions at various times during my teaching career in New Jersey. It is a sound bite that says oh you cannot get rid of bad teachers because of the union. A top notch administrator can have a poor teacher removed easily. I have seen it done many times. A problem is many of the principals are just weak, they were bad or weak teachers who quickly left the classroom. Kinda like bad lawyers become well bad judges.

Anyway back to my point here in North Carolina there are NO UNIONS! Poor salary guides set by the state, getting good teachers to stay is hard. I am teaching 3 days a week on 3 different 20% positions at three different schools, and the young new teachers are all wondering why they moved down here for the 32K starting pay and only 40K after 8 years.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:06 PM   #73
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Until teachers stop trying to be doctors, and prescribe medicines and actually take control of their classrooms, like they were in control several year/decades ago they will not receive much sympathy from me. My son is in fourth grade now. His kindergarten teacher said, after the first month, "He is very active and needs to be seen by a doctor." She also had issues with most of her other students. His first grade teacher said the same thing. This time we actually took him to his doctor and filled out the questionnaire, along with his teacher. The results of the survey, yes he is very active, but not hyperactive so no treatment required. The ironic thing is the teacher's survey results put my son at the lowest activity level of the three survey, so what does that say about her assessment of her other students and her control of her classroom. His second grade teacher, who also was very experienced, didn't have a problem with him. His first third grade teacher again wanted him drugged and under medical treatment for ADHD. She as a bit shocked when she was informed that he would not be receiving treatment (she was not made aware of his last schools attempts to give him drugs). His second third grade teacher didn't have any problems with my son. Most of his fourth grade teachers want him on drugs, again. I find it very interesting that the teachers my son likes the most are the ones who put him in his place. I also find it interesting that the teachers, who CONTROL their classrooms are the ones who are able to get him to do the things he is supposed to be doing, with very few problems.

I will be the first to lay into my son when he is doing things he is not supposed to do. When I receive notes from his teachers complaining that he is just playing in class and their response is to simply tell him to do his work instead of taking an appropriate action, to me it sounds like they do not have control of their classrooms. Sorry teachers, but kids are going to try to play. If you cannot stop them from playing, maybe you are in the wrong profession. I can explain to the kid what is appropriate conduct at school , and maybe discipline him when he gets home, but nothing is more effective than actually discipling the child in the classroom, when the inappropriate conduct is occurring.

Think about it a kid gets in trouble at school and their friends see a note go home to their parents. The kid's friends do not see any other negative actions occur, so the kid who's goofing off can say anything they want, about how nothing happened. If the kid is disciplined in class ans well as at home then it shows the other students that they will not get away with goofing off and having nothing happen.
It is the system, the teacher is only as good as who hired the teacher. Look hard at who is running the school. I have worked for well over 30 Principals over a 30 year career and sorry to say well over half should have been retired long ago. THEY are the reason for some of the poor teachers .

By the way try teaching in an east coast inner city high school and NOT BE a Psychiatrist! I had to be the students doctor, yes had to have kids sent to the doctor after showing up to school with various ailments that their worthless parents should have dealt with, a social worker, a parent a job coach etc.. When we are able to TEACH and JUST teach the required curriculum it might be easier to see improved learning.
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:22 PM   #74
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um, sorry erd50. but you have stepped back into the mirror, trapped by the reflection of supply and demand as being the only feasible economic system when it is not.

my point is not that society places values on things but rather my point is that the values of society is what determines which things get what value. there is a difference between the value of a thing and the values of a person. it is the values of a person which determine the value of a thing because things by themselves have no intrinsic value outside, perhaps, of some utilitarian purposes. but even then it is the values of a society which determine the values of things from outside the subsystem of supply & demand.

gold as a filling might have some intrinsic value, but that the gold is valuable is entirely artificial. it is only valuable because some people desire it. if they did not desire gold, than maybe chocolate pudding would become highly valuable because then pudding would be in short supply. but you can't fill a cavity with pudding and so there is no intrinsic value there, only the value which is artificially assigned to it in a process inextricable to the values of a society.

the value of a thing, regardless of the available quantity of that thing, will be much different given its use in a society with values favoring sharing as opposed to its use in different society with values favoring hoarding. it is still the same thing. it is even still in the same quantity. the supply and demand of it has not changed yet its value differs according to which society uses it because the values of those society differ.

and so that is why i suggested in the first place that the assigned values might be seen as a marker as to what carries more importance in any particular society. i did not mean to intrude upon anyone's sensitivity or unquestioned affection of capitalism.
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Old 02-21-2008, 05:29 PM   #75
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gold as a filling might have some intrinsic value, but that the gold is valuable is entirely artificial. it is only valuable because some people desire it. if they did not desire gold, than maybe chocolate pudding would become highly valuable because then pudding would be in short supply.
And Bill Cosby would be the richest person in the world!
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Old 02-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #76
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LG4NB, OK, I don't see anything in what you say that I disagree with, but I guess I'm having trouble seeing where it leads...

I see our society (and ourselves as a part of that) as a kind of Ying-Yang balance between the sharing and hoarding you mention. Now my explanation will move from supply/demand to natural selection and evolution. As a developed society, on average we each share enough to assure our society survives, and we hoard enough to make sure we survive as individuals. It is in the DNA that we inherited.

It's a balance, I suspect that most of the ills in this world are due to slight variations in how each of us deal with that balance point.

I think you are saying that you would like to see us be a more sharing society? Maybe so. Would there be negative consequences? Maybe.

One example I can think of, is if pharmaceutical companies were not 'greedy' enough, they wouldn't be able to hoard the resources needed to invest millions to make a new and important drug. There's a downside of course, those companies make several competing versions of similar drugs because that's where the money is, rather than making different drugs to help more people. It's far from perfect, but I'm not convinced alternates would be better, but they might.

If I think about 'sharing' societies, it brings to mind the 'hippie' communes of the 60's. Are any of those still around? Maybe the Amish come close to this way of life?

Or maybe I typed a bunch of nonsense because I didn't understand your comments :confused:

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Old 02-21-2008, 11:04 PM   #77
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LG4NB, OK, I don't see anything in what you say that I disagree with, but I guess I'm having trouble seeing where it leads...
asking the purpose of life might not lead anywhere either; but not asking more likely leads nowhere yet with more certainty.

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I see our society (and ourselves as a part of that) as a kind of Ying-Yang balance between the sharing and hoarding you mention. Now my explanation will move from supply/demand to natural selection and evolution. As a developed society, on average we each share enough to assure our society survives, and we hoard enough to make sure we survive as individuals. It is in the DNA that we inherited.
well said.

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I think you are saying that you would like to see us be a more sharing society? Maybe so. Would there be negative consequences? Maybe.
sorry, but i am not here to change the world; that must be someone else's karma-making. i just stopped in for a drink, a few laughs and maybe to discuss an observation or two.

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One example I can think of, is if pharmaceutical companies were not 'greedy' enough, they wouldn't be able to hoard the resources needed to invest millions to make a new and important drug.
this is where you fall back into that mirror. though there might be positive aspects to negative motivation, it still does not justify the negative. it doesn't mean that those same positive results could not be as well produced from positive motivation given a society of values which would foster that, just because those positive results might also occur under less favorable circumstance. good to have positive results but even better not to have negative causes and to still have those same positive results. even with today's highways, four lefts still don't make one right, just because they get you where you wanted to be.

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If I think about 'sharing' societies, it brings to mind the 'hippie' communes of the 60's. Are any of those still around? Maybe the Amish come close to this way of life?

Or maybe I typed a bunch of nonsense because I didn't understand your comments :confused:

though there still exist communes and kibbutzs and now there is also WWOOF - Around the World. that the movement was generally less successful than communism in cuba does not necessarily speak to its weakness but rather to the strength of capitalism. but hegemony is not proof positive of a superior way of living and might only provide questionable evidence that might makes right.

as to the amish, it strikes me as a lifestyle a bit extreme and i'm certain i would not be welcomed there. i have always admired them but i have never been able to find an amish gay bar.

it would be only belligerence, of which you showed none, which would have been nonsensical. exploring ideas and coming to understanding never is.
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Old 03-01-2008, 09:12 PM   #78
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[quote=lazygood4nothinbum;618554]no but that would be my style. had you been my forth grade classmate you might have debated me on the infinite & why space is our final frontier, complete with bulletin board, table display and my model of the then pending apollo moon mission.quote]


I would bet you and I agree on almost nothing but I do enjoy your posts! God bless America!
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