Then why the horrible push for austerity? The same forces are at work. There's no more trust in the Government, and there's no more trust in each other.
That's not true.
The push for austerity has very little popular support, it's just that every single party subscribes to it (aka, has been corrupted). You simply can't elect anything with a snowballs chance in hell to actually get into government that does not support austerity. So since that appears to be a given no matter what, people vote based on other differences between parties, small as they may be.
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it shouldn't be like it was in the past. Rote memorization factories
You went to a different school then. I did memorize a poem or two, and vocabulary, of course, but most of my school education was based on understanding, not memorization.
Upon death, an estate would be liable to pay off loans on any leveraged properties, plus a lot of money as part of the death taxes owed. This could force the estate to liquidate holdings to raise the money to pay off these liabilities even if it weren't the most opportune time to sell the assets. By taking out the life insurance policy, it would give the estate more flexibility in paying off the taxes and other debts owed, without necessarily having to sell assets to do so. 'In California, there are state death taxes that are exceptionally high (45 percent),' says Frances adding that the policy is actually a combination of more than two dozen policies, underwritten by 19 different insurers because if any single company had to pay out such a lavish benefit, it could be crippling. 'If your properties are leveraged then those loans are called immediately and need to be paid off, you want to hedge yourself against such a risk so [your beneficiary] can receive the proceeds without being exposed to taxes.'"
Well, the USA has thrived on draining brain from the rest of the world for most of its existence. Space program? Thank the german rocket engineers...
It's part of the american system - offer really cool universities that are way too large for ourselves (which is why they get filled up with football players and crap) so they attract the brightest minds from elsewhere.
True in parts and yet horribly wrong in others.
Disclaimer: I was a "gifted child" and yes, I was bored in school, so much that my parents sent me to a psychologist (who told them there's nothing wrong with me except that I'm bored) and then to special gifted-child after-school courses. I had my first chemistry course 5 years before I had it in school, and I had computer lessons and shortly after my own computer in 6th grade, at a time when computer stuff was an optional course in high school.
And yet, I don't blame school for ruining my chances. On the contrary, I believe school should be much like it used to, i.e. roll back the dumbing down you've done to it just because you want better PISA scores. Schools purpose is to create a baseline, a solid level of basic education that later on in life you can expect everyone to have. As such, it has to be so that everyone can acquire it. Some easily, some will struggle, but it is a (low) standard and exactly because of that it is useful.
What needs to change is the attitude that school covers everything. These days, not only have people largely stopped understanding that you can (*gasp*!) educate yourself out of school, in addition to whatever you get there, but you should also (*big gasp*!!) let the school do the teaching and keep things like teaching manners and basic social skills at home with the parents who desperately need to stop thinking they can outsource the raising of a child.
If more people understood school correctly as a standardized base-level, less people would send their kids to school and think that covers their parental responsibilities and aside from that it's just feeding and housing the brat.
But in the U.S., Crawford laments, 'we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student' and 'risk shortchanging the country in a different way.'
No, you utter imbecile. The problem of the western culture is not fund distribution. It's attitude.
Our "stars" are musicians, actors and professional athletes. Certainly people who work hard and having natural talent definitely helps - but it's not the smart, gifted people we adore in our culture. There's no science-based equivalent of the Super Bowl. The closest we get is that we sometimes thing astronauts are pretty cool.
You want more smart people in your country? I don't have a magic pill for that, but I can give you an indicator of how close you are: When the sexy girls fuck the geeks instead of the football studs, you're getting somewhere. When this map has more scientists on it than coaches, you're pretty close. When we pay two-digit millions in salary not to people who pretend to be a robot from the future on camera, or throwing an air-filled dead pig gut around, but to people who work on curing cancer or inventing new methods for energy production, then you won't have to worry about not having enough brains in the country.
The funding thing is just a small part of that culture.