Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52938
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2018/12/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2009/5/4-6 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/California/Prop] UID:52938 Activity:high
5/4     Why does The Netherlands have such a sustained lower unemployment
                 \_ Why is it The Netherlands? Is it like an LA Freeway?
        rate and higher growth than the US? Maybe we can replicate their
        success here.
        \_ Start by not spending all your money on military and prisons.
        \_ They don't have as large a population of illegal immigrants  -jblack
           \_Lots of Euro countries don't have this problem, they still mostly
             have double digit unemployment.
        \_ Timely Question:
           http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03european-t.html
           \_ jeesh,  They really should not be paying this guy by the word.
           \_ So the government taxes you to death and then gives some of
              the money back if you have kids, for vacations, and so on.
              This "Big Brother" sort of society in which the government
              claims to know what you need more than you do is very
              anti-American to me, although staunch Democrats must love it
              because they could tell people what to do with their money.
        \_ My mother is Dutch and I still have family there. It's a wealthy
           nation, but very small. I don't see many opportunities to
           parallel their policies here successfully.
           \_ Why not? We should have economies of scale that they do not.
              \_ Because we are much larger and more diverse. I'm not sure
                 that economies of scale play a large part in this. For
                 instance, are there economies of scale for educating 1 million
                 kids versus 100 kids? I'd argue not. In fact, I'd argue it
                 would be cheaper (per kid) to educate the smaller number.
                 \_ It is certainly cheaper to build 100 miles of road, than
                    10 roads, each 10 miles long. Why do you think that it is
                    cheaper to educate smaller numbers of children? You can
                    get some kinds of economy of scale even in education,
                    with things like standard tests, school books, etc.
                    \_ Examples of why it might cost more to educate more:
                       higher administrative overhead
                       higher probability of kids with special/unique needs
                       more disparate learning abilities and backgrounds
                       harder to find/recruit so many well-trained teachers.
                       \_ Why would there be a higher percentage of kids with
                          special needs? And why harder to find teachers? It
                          should be the same percentage of population in both
                          cases.
                          \_ Because you don't judge these by percentage.
                             Imagine there is a special need which occurs
                             1/10000th of the time. The school with 100
                             kids probably doesn't have to deal with it at
                             all (or rarely), whereas the school with 1
                             million kids probably needs a whole program
                             created to address it. For an example of this
                             consider bilingual education. The Japanese kids
                             at my public school did not have a class
                             dedicated to them, but the South American kids
                             did even though both were small percentage-wise.
                             did. A single Spanish-speaking kid isn't a
                             burden to instruct, but 1,000 is.
           \_ There is a lot of evidence (and probably literature) on the
              diseconomies of scale in education. Anecdotally, it explains
              why property values are significantly lower in parts of LA that
              are part of LAUSD, one of the largest and most inefficient
              school districts in the nation. (e.g. San Pedro vs. PV, Culver
              City vs. Palms, etc). Another way to look at the diseconomies
              of scale problem is to think of all the complaints against big
              government (gubment = BAD) or big companies (startups = rewl).
              \_ If there are diseconomies of scale, why are small private
                 schools so much more expensive than public schools?  -tom
                 \_ It's not linear. There can be economies of scale which then
                    translate into diseconomies. Do you really think that LAUSD
                    is more efficient than, say, Berkeley USD? Tangentially
                    related is the whole cherry-picking, charter school and/or
                    voucher concept. Voucher/Charter folks like to really
                    against large districts, but they get to cherry pick
                    students. That said, I think http://greendot.org is pretty awesome
                    and there is a lot to learn from these guys. They fix a
                    lot of standard inner city problems just by "caring". I
                    think it's hard to scale caring.
                 \_ 1. They often provide a better product.
                    2. It varies by state and district, but many times
                       private schools aren't more expensive for a similar
                       product. California spent $8496 per student in
                       2005-2006, which was 29th in the nation. The US
                       average was $9100. This figure excludes capital
                       outlay, interest on school debt, and other subsidies.
                       (Source: link:tinyurl.com/cyg468
                       I believe for example that most private schools (unless
                       they are religious) pay property tax on their land while
                       public schools do not.  For this price you can find
                       plenty of private schools for your kids to attend and
                       this discounts scholarships that are often offered. I
                       could not find the average cost of a private school in
                       California, but nationwide in 2003-2004 (latest
                       year I could find) it was $6400 for elementary schools
                       and $13300 for high schools.
                       (Source: http://tinyurl.com/cog8wj
                       Clearly, this figure is not too different from the
                       $9100 average for public schools.
                       \_ You can't compare private schools in Des Moines to
                          public schools in San Francisco.  For example:
                          Head-Royce school in Oakland is $19k/year for
                          K-5, $21k/year for 6-8, $27k/year for high school.
                           -tom
                          \_ I am comparing the average national public
                             expenditures to the average national private
                             expenditures. I am not comparing Des Moines
                             to SF. However, I assure you that you can
                             find plenty of private schools even in urban
                             California for less than $10K/year. The schools
                             charging $20-30K per year are elite schools
                             providing much more to their students than
                             public schools do and that's why they cost more.
                             My neighbor's son goes to Saint Francis High
                             School in La Canada. It's a pretty good school.
                             Tuition is $10324. I bet that's not much
                             different from what the local public HS spends.
                             Mater Dei tuition is $10950. Don Bosco Tech
                             is $8600. Not every school is some elitist
                             academy that costs more than Stanford.
                             \_ Parochial schools may be subsidized by the
                                church--you can't just look at tuition to
                                know their costs.  -tom
                                \_ They may be, but they may not be and
                                   it's not clear to what extent. I went
                                   to a Christian school and it wasn't.
                                   Public schools receive money from other
                                   sources, too, like the PTA fundraisers
                                   and gifts. (The public middle school my
                                   nephew goes to just received $400K from
                                   a donor for a new tennis court.) Also,
                                   many students at private schools pay
                                   *less than* tuition because they
                                   receive financial assistance. I think
                                   it's reasonable to compare tuitions
                                   because public schools receive a lot of
                                   subsidies and private schools have expenses
                                   public schools do not (like advertising).
                                   I would argue they all wash out, which
                                   is why the average private tuition and
                                   public school expenditures are so similar
                                   to each other.
        \_ Even Communist Mainland China has a sustained higher growth rate
           than the US.
        \_ http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/05/upward-mobility-reality-and-illusion.html
           \_ This one is great, take that Gold Bugs:
              link:tinyurl.com/d4lsch
2018/12/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/16   

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www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/magazine/03european-t.html
The pale-yellow light that gives Dutch paintings their special glow suffuses the room. The interior is simple, with high walls and beams across the ceiling. The view through the windows of the 17th-century house in which I have my apartment is of similarly gabled buildings lining the other side of one of Amsterdam's oldest canals. Only instead of a plump maid or a raffish soldier at the center of the canvas, you should substitute a sleep-rumpled writer squinting at a laptop. Room for Debate: Europes Solution Is to Take More Time Off For 18 months now I've been playing the part of the American in Holland, alternately settling into or bristling against the European way of life. History echoes from every edifice as you move through your day. The bicycle is not a means of recreation but a genuine form of transportation. A nearby movie house sells not popcorn but demitasses of espresso and glasses of Dutch gin from behind a wood-paneled bar, which somehow makes you feel sane and adult and enfolded in civilization. Then there are the features of European life that grate on an American sensibility, like the three-inch leeway that drivers deign to grant you on the highway, or the cling film you get from the supermarket, which clings only to itself. For it represents the rate at which the income I earn, as a writer and as the director of an institute, is to be taxed. To be plain: more than half of my modest haul, I learned on arrival, was to be swallowed by the Dutch welfare state. Nothing in my time here has made me feel so much like an American as my reaction to this number. Charlton Heston's NRA rallying cry about prying his gun from his cold, dead hands. And yet as the months rolled along, I found the defiant anger softening by intervals, thanks to a succession of little events and awarenesses. Logging into my bank account, I noted with fleeting but pleasant confusion the arrival of two mysterious payments of 316 euros (about $410) each. On looking at the payor -- the Sociale Verzekeringsbank, or Social Insurance Bank -- I nodded with sage if partial understanding. Every quarter, the SVB quietly drops $665 into my account with the one-word explanation kinderbijslag, or child benefit. As the SVB's Web site cheerily informed me when I went there in bewilderment after the first deposit: "Babies are expensive. The Dutch government provides for child benefit to help you with the costs of bringing up your child." Any parents living in the country receive quarterly payments until their children turn 18. And thanks to a recently passed law, the state now gives parents a hand in paying for school materials. Friends who have small children report that the government can reimburse as much as 70 percent of the cost of day care, which totals around $14,000 per child per year. In late May of last year an unexpected $4,265 arrived in my account: vakantiegeld. This money materializes in the bank accounts of virtually everyone in the country just before the summer holidays; you get from your employer an amount totaling 8 percent of your annual salary, which is meant to cover plane tickets, surfing lessons, tapas: vacations. And we aren't talking about a mere "paid vacation" -- this is on top of the salary you continue to receive during the weeks you're off skydiving or snorkeling. And by law every employer is required to give a minimum of four weeks' vacation. For that matter, even if you are unemployed you still receive a base amount of vakantiegeld from the government, the reasoning being that if you can't go on vacation, you'll get depressed and despondent and you'll never get a job. you don't have to be a Fox News commentator to sneer at what, in the midst of a global financial crisis, seems like Socialism Gone Wild. And stating it as I've done above -- we'll consume half your salary and every once in a while toss you a few euros in return -- it seems like a pretty raw deal. Netherlands is a bendy concept: with a good accountant, you can rack up deductions and exploit loopholes. And while the top income-tax rate in the United States is 35 percent, the numbers are a bit misleading. "People coming from the US to the Netherlands focus on that difference, and on that 52 percent," said Constanze Woelfle, an American accountant based in the Netherlands whose clients are mostly American expats. "But consider that the Dutch rate includes social security, which in the US is an additional 62 percent. If you were to add all those up, you would get close to the 52 percent." But to ponder relative tax rates is only to trace the surface of a deeper story. 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But does the cartoon image of it -- encapsulated in the dread slur "socialism," which is being lobbed in American political circles like a bomb -- match reality? Is there, maybe, a significant upside that is worth exploring? I spent my initial months in Amsterdam under the impression that I was living in a quasi-socialistic system, built upon ideas that originated in the brains of Marx and Engels. This was one of the puzzling features of the Netherlands. It is and has long been a highly capitalistic country -- the Dutch pioneered the multinational corporation and advanced the concept of shares of stock, and last year the country was the third-largest investor in US businesses -- and yet it has what I had been led to believe was a vast, socialistic welfare state. A short stroll from my apartment suggests the outlines of an answer. In about six minutes you reach the Dam, the wide plaza that is the Times Square of Amsterdam. It is no misnomer: after groups of settlers decided, around 1200, to make their homes at this spot where the Amstel River flowed into the inland bay called the IJ, they blocked up the river in order to control the water (hence the city's name: Amstel . Rembrandt, Spinoza and troops of Dutch Masters-looking gents trod these paving stones in the 17th century. One grim day in May 1945, just after the Nazis surrendered the city but before they left, German soldiers fired into the celebrating crowds on the square, killing 20 people. Next Page Russell Shorto is a contributing writer for the magazine. His most recent book is Descartes Bones: A Skeletal History of the Conflict Between Faith and Reason.
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tinyurl.com/cog8wj -> nces.ed.gov/surveys/sass/tables/affil_2004_whs.asp
NOTE: A school is classified as elementary if it has one or more of grades K-6 and none of grades 9-12. Some non-elementary schools include both elementary and secondary grade levels, such as a K-12 school. SOURCE: US Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), "Private School Data File," 2003-04.
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delong.typepad.com/sdj/2009/05/upward-mobility-reality-and-illusion.html
Grasping Reality with Both Hands The Semi-Daily Journal of Economist Brad DeLong: A Fair, Balanced, Reality-Based, and More than Two-Handed Look at the World J Bradford DeLong, Department of Economics, UC Berkeley #3880, Berkeley, CA 94720-3880; the very antithesis of the American ideal of upward mobility." Americans are in the odd position of fervently believing in upward mobility while not actually having very much of it. Eruopeans, conversely, don't really believe in economic mobility but have plenty of it.... examined the relative mobility in other Nordic countries. The United States believes itself to be uncommonly meritocratic. But compared to European countries who don't believe themselves very meritocratic, it actually exhibits less income mobility.... If you believe that your country is extremely mobile, you're likely to believe the results of the economic competition are relatively fair. As such, you won't want to slap the rich with particularly high tax rates and you won't be terribly concerned about spreading economic opportunity. On the other hand, if you don't believe your country is terribly mobile, then you're less likely to believe economic outcomes are fair. And if you don't believe the outcomes are fair, you're likely to tax the winners relatively heavily and plow those profits into things like universal health care and free college. Policies, in other words, that spread opportunity more widely and thus make your society more mobile. If you believe your society is already economically mobile, you don't spend a lot of time trying to solve the problem of insufficient economic mobility. if you don't believe that, then you implement policies meant to increase mobility. What's odd is that the public perceptions in Europe and America don't seem to be changing much in response to actual outcomes. May 04, 2009 at 01:25 PM So we've been snowed by the rich into thinking they'll let us into their clique if we work hard enough and they let their largesse trickle down on us. They didn't tell us what that liquid dripping on us *really* was ... May 04, 2009 at 02:18 PM At least in classical studies, which is what I actually know something about, the notion of a Dutch reluctance to excel is more than ludicrous. And as I think about it I also once had a job for a Dutch economist who was concerned that his adolescent daughter learn Greek (her sixth language) because he felt that for all his success (and he was a sort of big honcho in major international organizations) he felt like he'd missed something. May 04, 2009 at 02:30 PM I'm glad that economists "discovered" the mobility paradox. It's been grist for sociological studies of intergenerational mobility for, oh, 35 years. May 05, 2009 at 02:11 AM "If you believe that your country is extremely mobile, you're likely to believe the results of the economic competition are relatively fair. As such, you won't want to slap the rich with particularly high tax rates and you won't be terribly concerned about spreading economic opportunity." This runs exactly counter to studies that show we are more concerned with relative position than absolute position. Whether or not you think the results of competition are fair you are really only concerned about being ahead of as many people as possible. If you think things are fair, you are either stupid, brainwashed, or wealthy or some combination thereof. I can see how these sorts of people might not want to tax the wealthy stiffly, but they certainly wouldn't want to level the playing field unless they feel they are on the losing end. When 99% of a population is on the losing end, but only 10-50% feel like they're not, there's a serious disconnect. "What's odd is that the public perceptions in Europe and America don't seem to be changing much in response to actual outcomes." Perceptions, fear, and greed are being managed quite professionally through the media and PR in general. That is how the wealthiest accumulated their money, and that is how they are trying to keep it. Tip Jar A Rising Sun * "I now know it is a rising, not a setting, sun" --Benjamin Franklin, 1787 From Brad DeLong * J Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics at UC Berkeley, a Research Associate of the NBER, a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, and Chair of Berkeley's Political Economy major.
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greendot.org -> www.greendot.org/
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