'We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal' Watch

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Bismarck
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#41
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#41
(Original post by Vienna)
How is that shocking? America has always been a meritocracy. Thats the entire basis of it.
Especially since funding for students going to the top universities is based entirely on merit, while public universities are almost free. I suppose the alternative is to have the government fix everyone's wages? Or maybe force people to go to university against their will?
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SamTheMan
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#42
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#42
(Original post by Bismarck)
Especially since funding for students going to the top universities is based entirely on merit, while public universities are almost free. I suppose the alternative is to have the government fix everyone's wages? Or maybe force people to go to university against their will?
But surely if you're less rich than a student with the same SAT scores as you, you're less likely to go to a top university. Am I right in assuming that?
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Bismarck
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#43
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(Original post by SamTheMan)
But surely if you're less rich than a student with the same SAT scores as you, you're less likely to go to a top university. Am I right in assuming that?
Why? The top students get a scholarship covering their entire tuition. Harvard has just made tuition $0 for students whose parents earn less than a certain amount of money ($40,000 I believe). If you look at the numbers, you'll see that students from poor backgrounds are actually overrepresented in many of the top unis (after all, poverty is only 12%).

A mediocre (talent-wise) poor student might choose to go to a public university instead of a mid-level private university, but who cares? He could expect to make roughly the same salary as the rich kids going to expensive, mid-level private universities.
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SamTheMan
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#44
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We should also mention that there might be social inequality in the US but the UK has a very unequal society too:



MM: How does the U.S. wealth profile compare to other countries?
Wolff:
We are much more unequal than any other advanced industrial country.

Perhaps our closest rival in terms of inequality is Great Britain. But where the top percent in this country own 38 percent of all wealth, in Great Britain it is more like 22 or 23 percent. What is remarkable is that this was not always the case. Up until the early 1970s, the U.S. actually had lower wealth inequality than Great Britain, and even than a country like Sweden. But things have really turned around over the last 25 or 30 years. In fact, a lot of countries have experienced lessening wealth inequality over time. The U.S. is atypical in that inequality has risen so sharply over the last 25 or 30 years.
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SamTheMan
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#45
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#45
(Original post by Bismarck)
Why? The top students get a scholarship covering their entire tuition. Harvard has just made tuition $0 for students whose parents earn less than a certain amount of money ($40,000 I believe). If you look at the numbers, you'll see that students from poor backgrounds are actually overrepresented in many of the top unis (after all, poverty is only 12%).

A mediocre (talent-wise) poor student might choose to go to a public university instead of a mid-level private university, but who cares? He could expect to make roughly the same salary as the rich kids going to expensive, mid-level private universities.
So what exactly is the system in the US? Do these waivers for tuition fees exist in most top universities? Do your tuition fees depend on your parents' income?

In a lot of European countries (not the UK), tuition fees do not exist for universities and you get grants depending on your parents' income for living expenses. Some people might consider this excessive...
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Scheherazade
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#46
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(Original post by Bismarck)
The only Americans who are poor are either lazy, stupid, or a combination of the two (I'll make an exception for the seriously ill).
I can't take anything you say seriously after this.
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Bismarck
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#47
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(Original post by ayaan)
I can't take anything you say seriously after this.
Excuse me while I wipe away a tear.
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Bismarck
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#48
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(Original post by SamTheMan)
So what exactly is the system in the US? Do these waivers for tuition fees exist in most top universities? Do your tuition fees depend on your parents' income?
A vast majority of financial aid is merit-based. A certain percentage of the top students in any university have their tuition fully covered and often have their living expenses covered as well. This is usually done through a combination of university scholarships, other scholarships, and aid from the state and federal governments. A student with a B average (equivalent to roughly 2:1 I think), can expect to have at least half of his tuition covered. They could get up to $8,500 a year in guaranteed government loans (which they don't have to repay until ~2 after they graduate) and their parents could take a similar amount of guaranteed government loans as well. Tuition tends to depend on your parents' income only in public universities, though as I mentioned universities like Harvard are starting to change that.

In a lot of European countries (not the UK), tuition fees do not exist for universities and you get grants depending on your parents' income for living expenses. Some people might consider this excessive...
And this devalues the degree and sends a lot of people who have little intention of getting a degree to university merely to enjoy the time (since they're not paying for it). This is economically inefficient to say the least. Considering that a person with a Bachelors can expect to make a $1-2 million more over their lifetime than someone without out one, it's not too unreasonable to have them pay a part of the cost.
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Beekeeper
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#49
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#49
(Original post by Vienna)
How is that shocking? America has always been a meritocracy. Thats the entire basis of it.
No it hasnt really, and this is at the very core of this debate.
There has always been this notion, especially in the US, that you can start off from the very bottom of a company and work your way right up to the top. But this is all changing, and America's corporate giants have got rid of this heirachy structure: "lifetime employment is at an end".

You're right in saying that education has always been at the core of business, but if you're suggesting nothings changed then you couldn't be more wrong. The research into CEOs is a perfect example here, almost every one in America now atleast has a college degree, and 70% have an HE degree. Back in the 1940s- less than half even had a college degree. Moreso, the income gap between graduates and non-graduates has doubled in the last two decades, which is a massive shift.

This has social implications, and Mr Solon points to some significant findings:
1- Parents and their childrens incomes are closer now than they ever were in the 1980s, and tightening
2- Decreasing social mobility at the top and the bottom, which is in effect squeezing the middle class, and forming two new stable social groups - The haves, and the have-nots.

As the economist quite accurately words my fears:
"Decreasing mobility may one day come to erode Americans faith in the fairness of their economy"
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Bismarck
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#50
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
You're right in saying that education has always been at the core of business, but if you're suggesting nothings changed then you couldn't be more wrong. The research into CEOs is a perfect example here, almost every one in America now atleast has a college degree, and 70% have an HE degree. Back in the 1940s- less than half even had a college degree. Moreso, the income gap between graduates and non-graduates has doubled in the last two decades, which is a massive shift.
Could that have something to do with the fact that only ~8% of Americans went to college in the '70s, while over half of Americans go to college today?
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Beekeeper
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#51
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#51
(Original post by Bismarck)
Could that have something to do with the fact that only ~8% of Americans went to college in the '70s, while over half of Americans go to college today?
Possibly yes, either way, it shows a significant shift that is changing the fabric of the US. The haves and the have-nots are clearly becoming more entrenched into the social system, the divide is now greater and becoming more powerful.

btw Bismarck, whats with sarcastic comments like this:
I suppose the alternative is to have the government fix everyone's wages? Or maybe force people to go to university against their will?
Nobody suggested doing anything of the sort. I have not suggested or implicated in the slightest that any action should be taken at all.
I am simply just stating that it is an increasing social issue and requires some attention.
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Bismarck
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#52
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
Possibly yes, either way, it shows a significant shift that is changing the fabric of the US. The haves and the have-nots are clearly becoming more entrenched into the social system, the divide is now greater and becoming more powerful.
The only difference is that rich people back then didn't get a college degree, while the rich people now do. I think there is much more justification for someone with a college degree to have a powerful position than someone who was merely born into a rich family getting that position (the latter was standard procedure in the '70s). I don't see what the problem is of our system becoming more merit-based than in the past.

So tell me, what stops a person from a poor neighborhood from getting a college degree?

Nobody suggested doing anything of the sort. I have not suggested or implicated in the slightest that any action should be taken at all.
I am simply just stating that it is an increasing social issue and requires some attention.
You can't get rid of inequality unless you change the socio-economic system. It doesn't make sense to call unequal results a problem without backing the only solutions that would fix that "problem".
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Beekeeper
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#53
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#53
(Original post by Bismarck)
The only difference is that rich people back then didn't get a college degree, while the rich people now do. I think there is much more justification for someone with a college degree to have a powerful position than someone who was merely born into a rich family getting that position (the latter was standard procedure in the '70s). I don't see what the problem is of our system becoming more merit-based than in the past.

So tell me, what stops a person from a poor neighborhood from getting a college degree?
Nothing stops them, but they are choosing not to. This has some interesting and concerning social implications already now and for the future.
America was never intended to end up a "society of haves and have-nots", comprising of a middle class that is slashed down the middle, based purely on educational merit.
What happened to that unique entrepreneurial spirit of opportunism that has always been associated closely with Americans? It saddens me that this attitude is being lost in America.
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Bismarck
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#54
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
Nothing stops them, but they are choosing not to. This has some interesting and concerning social implications already now and for the future.
The implication is that America is not socialist and allows its people to do whatever they want (as long as it's legal). Furthermore, a "father knows best" attitude to governance often causes more problems than it solves.

America was never intended to end up a "society of haves and have-nots", comprising of a middle class that is slashed down the middle, based purely on educational merit.
What should our society be based on? Clans? Religion? Nationality? Can you find something better than merit?

What happened to that unique entrepreneurial spirit of opportunism that has always been associated closely with Americans? It saddens me that this attitude is being lost in America.
It doesn't take a college degree to open your business and succeed. Most people who created the dot-com boom were not college graduates.

Once again, you're mistaking equal opportunity with equal results. You have yet to show that people don't have the opportunity to get an education and thus become prosperous. Whether or not more people aren't taking that choice is irrelevant.
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Person
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#55
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Well as I said in the past, only 4 groups of people really care about equality:
In a truly equal society, everyone does their part to help society.

To dismiss people who want equality as stupid lazy idealistic or intellectuals with a job anyway is cruel. I know many people who are neither and still believe in equality. The very reason because they DO understand the way the world works is why they see that equality is the only fair system.
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Bismarck
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(Original post by Northumbrian)
To dismiss people who want equality as stupid lazy idealistic or intellectuals with a job anyway is cruel. I know many people who are neither and still believe in equality. The very reason because they DO understand the way the world works is why they see that equality is the only fair system.
And $10 says they belong to one of the four categories I mentioned.
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Beekeeper
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#57
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(Original post by Bismarck)
The implication is that America is not socialist and allows its people to do whatever they want (as long as it's legal). Furthermore, a "father knows best" attitude to governance often causes more problems than it solves.
Yes, i never disputed that. I don't understand what you are getting at.
Do you not appreciate that these findings have unprecedented and significant implications for the social make-up of the US? :confused:



What should our society be based on? Clans? Religion? Nationality? Can you find something better than merit?
Theres noting wrong with society putting huge emphasis on educational merit, but at the same time, wouldn't be better to promote opportunism and a more creative atmosphere?
The MDs of some of the biggest companies in the world got there by climbing a ladder, not by getting their HE degree.
This is one of the unique qualities that is associated with America and goes hand in hand with personal liberty.
lol, there is nothing socialist about it, so forget that link now.


It doesn't take a college degree to open your business and succeed. Most people who created the dot-com boom were not college graduates.
Indeed, but increasingly such entrepreneurs are being held back by a market driven by educational achievement.
In the past you could slowly work your way up a company to the very top, but now you'll be held back half way up because you haven't got that all important HE degree, whatever your potential may be.


Once again, you're mistaking equal opportunity with equal results. You have yet to show that people don't have the opportunity to get an education and thus become prosperous. Whether or not more people aren't taking that choice is irrelevant.
Equality of opportunity is under threat because effectively it is a harder climb to the top.
You tell me that the people who don't succeed in America are just the lazy or stupid, do you also believe therefore that there is 15,000,000 more lazy people in the US now than there was in the 1970s? I seriously doubt it.
There is obviously some social explanation here. 15,000,000 people don't just get lazy, theres some underlying issues, possibly linked with the educational system.
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Person
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And $10 says they belong to one of the four categories I mentioned.
For example - A primary school teacher (so not stupid or a student. Neither an intellectual and not lazy)
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Bismarck
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(Original post by Northumbrian)
For example - A primary school teacher (so not stupid or a student. Neither an intellectual and not lazy)
I consider them an intellectual. They're protected from the evil influence of money by being guaranteed a salary (and employment) by the government.
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Bismarck
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(Original post by Beekeeper)
Yes, i never disputed that. I don't understand what you are getting at.
Do you not appreciate that these findings have unprecedented and significant implications for the social make-up of the US? :confused:
Most Americans don't agree with that assessment (as you yourself have said), which suggests to me that this is a non-issue.

Theres noting wrong with society putting huge emphasis on educational merit, but at the same time, wouldn't be better to promote opportunism and a more creative atmosphere?
Education is open to everyone. It's the most democratic way of determining the allocation of income. Whoever puts in the time and the effort is rewarded. Any other system rewards laziness or stupidity.

Indeed, but increasingly such entrepreneurs are being held back by a market driven by educational achievement.
You don't need a college degree to get a patent.

In the past you could slowly work your way up a company to the very top, but now you'll be held back half way up because you haven't got that all important HE degree, whatever your potential may be.
Once again, anyone is free to start their own business. Most of the innovation comes from small businesses, not major corporations.

Equality of opportunity is under threat because effectively it is a harder climb to the top.
How about we allow kindergarten drop-outs become the leaders of our country? :rolleyes: The economy today is much more advanced than it was in the past. Surely that requires a more educated workforce?

You tell me that the people who don't succeed in America are just the lazy or stupid, do you also believe therefore that there is 15,000,000 more lazy people in the US now than there was in the 1970s? I seriously doubt it.
There is obviously some social explanation here. 15,000,000 people don't just get lazy, theres some underlying issues, possibly linked with the educational system.
I'm not a sociologist, and I'm sure they have a large amount of theories to explain this, but I would wager a lot of it has to do with the spread of the "gangsta" culture, especially among certain portions of the population.
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