how america can get back to winning

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    but of course we don’t do that…we are ‘Merica…we know better even when we are wrong!


    I live in Europe/Denmark. My sister and I chose careers in education. She’s a high-school teacher in the states and in my sister’s words, “the difference is mind-boggling”.

    Here in Europe when a student fails 35% of a subject-level he/she has to repeat it. High-school isn’t an established four years, it’s not uncommon for students to take 5-6 years to complete, there are no graduation ceremonies simply a coveted certificate that proves you have passed every subject-level required. University/higher education is virtually free, state paid unless one attends a top prestigious University or one abroad. Education is real serious business here and they take no prisoners, drop-out rates are virtually non-existent. It’s NOT uncommon for many students to finish school at age 20 or even older. Basic education can be 15 year study – from age 5 to age 20 not a normal 12 years.

    School bands, music, art, cheer leading and school sports programs here in Europe are really non-existent (apart from the mandatory PE classes). Sports are not considered in any form a part of a student’s education. If your child wants to participate in any type of music, art or sports program then the parents foot the entire bill for that child’s extra-circular activities. Our European football (soccer), tennis, gymnastic stars, artist and musicians are not discovered in our schools. Driving a motor vehicle is not a part of the education here and one is not allowed to drive till about age 20 or 21; it’s rare to find anyone younger operating a motor vehicle. Schools are all about hard-core education.

    High school students leave speaking 2 to 3 languages (including English and Latin). “Home school” is impossible here and beyond a parents capabilities to offer what is required to pass ever-changing required subject-levels.

    Is it any wonder that each year here in Europe … there are armies of American head-hunters from top American firms knocking on doors here recruiting European graduates with top incentives of 10 to 15 year Visa contracts, top housing, free cars, top health insurance plans like home, etc. trying to lure students here to come or to work and stay in America for YOUR jobs. Each year when I return to America for a visit … the demographics of this trend in top held American jobs and positions by foreign workers is dramatically evident to me (I can speak several of their languages).

    My pay is about 4X that of my sister, I teach Political-Science/Foreign Economics and Policies in English and German (my students mother-tongue is Danish – when’s the last time an American high-school subject was taught in Spanish to English speaking students?) BTW: my mother-tongue is Spanish. My top high-school students vie for (160) places on an all expense voyage to Philadelphia/DC, Moscow and Beijing each year; a hands-on look to aid in writing their 80-page thesis on world political systems.

    This isn’t an attack on our American education system, just an inside heads-up that when the President says “there are foreign students competing for our jobs”, I believe he knows what he’s talking about. I’m not being political or attacking but just stating the facts ma’am.


    Just because something works in one country doesn’t mean it will in another. Might be worth trying, though, especially punishing economic criminals.


    And they failed to mention the income tax rates individuals are subjected to.Sure socialism has some great benefits.But you do have to pay for it.


    you mean rich people have to pay more for it.


    Did you not hear about the payroll tax increase for low lives like us?


    actually your tax discount ended bringing the level back to what it was


    None of these are any more socialist than the U.S. policies.


    however, you can be assured that it might be worth trying is, in fact, the very reason it will not be tried in the united states.


    The population of those countries combined is a little more than just California. Good luck scaling all that up by more than ten times.


    Why does that automatically mean none of those approaches would work/would have worked?


    Someone like Donald Trump probably said it wouldn’t work, and the sheep just parrot it.


    Who said automatic? I said good luck with it.

    You may have noticed we have millions and millions in this country who won’t lift a finger to help themselves, discourage their kids from getting an education and millions more flooding in who don’t speak english. On top of all that we have teachers unions who defend and protect failing teachers and a government in bed with crony contributors. We are not europe. That fact that we are different allows them to be who they are.


    And all these problems have, of course, no solution and must be endured and bitched about instead of at least attempting to solve them.


    so we’re already too stupid to improve things?


    This is, of course, bullshit.


    Iceland may have ‘bailed out’ its populace, to some extent, but the major issue is that it simply refused to stand behind its debts. This means that people in England, for example, lost their entire pension fund. I think they probably have a slightly different view of how ‘excellent’ Iceland’s recovery has been.


    Living over here, Iceland has not defaulted on any debts. In fact the opposite is true.

    If anyone is to blame in all this it’s the English government, namely Cameron. This has been well investigated and long past established that it was the English that once the funds had been repaid in full with high interest, it was the government that fucked over it’s own citizenry.
    This could be the very reason, the English people more than the government/Cameron would like to pull out from the EU. Cameron knows that as long as he has the EU to fall back on, he has a guarantee of blaming someone.

    Sorry mate, but there isn’t a well-informed Englishman that believes they lost their pension funds due to the Icelandic debt defaulting on their promises.


    What advances Finland, Portugal and Iceland have contributed to the world: uhhhhhh….

    Well maybe those weren’t good examples, then.


    like they teach anything about other countries in american schools ? the only foreign countries talked about are the ones we had wars with.


    Finland: You know how you’re using the internet? Like right now? Something like 3/4 of all webservers run an operating system started by a Finn? That’s off the top of my head, but they’ve got a ton of crazy engineers over there.

    Portugal: You know how you live in America? Like, a country that started as colonies? Who started European colonialism and developed types of ship-building techniques, navigational techniques, compasses, astrolabes, etc, that made the colonization of America possible?

    Iceland: Ok, not much but no sagas == no lotr.


    You measure good ideas on their own merit.

    You’re either trolling or not very bright.


    Are you honestly naive enough to think all those policies described up there were as simple as switching on a light switch? Even in those very small country a major policy change requires a massive wrangling of the bureaucracy and legal system (which is pretty bloated in Portugal, believe me). Try carrying that out in a country where understanding the fuzzy but legally-binding line between state and federal powers requires a handful of doctorates. Or a country where, unlike in most of Europe, precedent must receive consideration. And lets do it all in a way that will equally benefit Hawaii, Nebraska, Texas, and Maine.

    But here’s my great idea: All jobs are replaced by robots and we live in a decadent paradise where everything is free. All people of all races, genders, religions, lifestyles agree to get along and respect their differences forever.

    BLAM Utopia. You can’t say it’s stupid because it’s impossible for me to impliment BECAUSE GOOD IDEAS ARE GOOD IDEAS ON THEIR OWN MERIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    So you don’t agree that you measure ideas on their on merit? Of course you do. Now go sit down.


    Your English is poor and I have no idea what you are trying to communicate. But what I listed up there where practical historical examples of technologies and books – concrete things that can be observed and held – affecting the outside world, in a measurable way. Not really ideas unless you’re some crazy subjectivist guy.


    I guess you misunderstanding me explains your first reply then.



    President of Portugal is a mainly symbolic position, like a retirement home for old politicians. When that guy up there, Cavaco Sivla, was Prime Minister, he sold himself as the Portuguese Reagan and mimicked Reagan in every way, including drug policy.


    Two more things:

    1) Cavaco has some hardcore eyebrows. The glory day of Portuguese politics was when he was president and Socrates was prime minister, because Socrates could do an eyebrown dance. Kind of the eyebrow robin to Silva’s Batman. Once were giants, man. Once were giants.

    2) These are, of course, three countries with very small populations. Portugal has less people than New York City, Finland has half that, Iceland has the population of a small neighbourhood. It’s a lot easier to micromanage such tiny countries effectively. The US is a whole different beast.

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