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 A modest proposal for a new century . . .

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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:35 am

Ann,





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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:40 am

Victor D. Lopez wrote:
Ann,






Me too! and Victor, I am still here...love this thread:)
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 9:42 am

Good to know!
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:04 am

Have to agree with what you said, Victor. At the same time, I agree with the analysis DK put forth. There are many areas of agreement and few that cause disagreement. We evaluate things based on our experiences and input. Since no two people are alike and no two people have the same experiences, how can we possibly see things the same? We make choices/decisions that alter the paths we take and most likely affect our future choices.

I remember a trick used to make a decision. The instructor said to take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the left side heading, write "Reasons For" and on the right heading, "Reasons Against". Taking one side at a time, list everything you can think of. When finished, tally the result and choose accordingly. I think the fallacy of this approach is in the weight one reason may have over the other, however there is merit in it. Indecision is a horrible mental state to be in. Once a decision is made, the pressure is off and one can move on.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:31 am

Okay I have made a decision to reverse my decision to stay out of politics..
As our 6' 8" son said this morning, 'How will this nation prosper on inventions and businesses grow, if no one can afford to purchase the products?"

Pretty soon even the rich people will put themselves out of business.

Obama is for a strong middle class. I am too. bounce bounce bounce
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:02 am

Abe,

Your decision analysis rubric is a very good example of informed decision making. My problem is with people who can only fill out one side of the sheet and see absolutely no merit to considering anything that might go on the other. No good ever comes of that type of decision making. An honest evaluation of our choices in politics and in life require us to know both sides of every issue. And to make compromises. (that dirty word again for too many people) People who engage in black and white thinking simply are incapable of doing that. An example from politics (sorry): Obama supporters who are incapable of acknowledging that he has done anything wrong, or that he bears any responsibility whatsoever for the geopolitical and economic mess we find ourselves in. (The MSNBC crowd falls under this heading.) These folks are as blind as those on the opposing side who are equally incapable of acknowledging that Obama has done anything right on any issue or even that he is motivated by wanting to do the right thing on any issue (the Rush Limbaugh crowd, for example). Neither side is correct. Both sides are blind to anything but the dogma in the Kool-Aid they drank, in some cases directly from their mothers' breast. To use Anns exceptional metaphor, they see the shadows and refuse to look up, down or back to discern the true shape of that which casts them or to acknowledge even the possibility that there is anything beyond their perception of those shadows. (Plato's Allegory of the Cave also comes to mind here as a not irrelevant footnote to political philosophy and epistemology generally.)

I also agree with much of what D.K. wrote. Where we will differ is not in the identification of the problems, but in what we would consider their root causes and the best means of addressing them. That is where the real hard work of reaching a compromise needs to take place. And it can't be done with people whose decision matrices contain data on only the right or the left side of the sheet. That is what got us where we are today The passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act is a good example. We can debate the merits of the legislation, but I doubt anyone will applaud the process that created it or the precedent it set for one side stopping debate and ramming through the legislation, and BOTH Rs and Ds share the blame for that in that they placed their ideology ahead of the national interest--as they almost always do. When the pendulum swings back, Republicans will feel perfectly justified in undoing the Act using the same tactics. And that is a very bad thing for America.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:12 am

Carl Jung says that there are four mental functions that come into play in between stimulus and response. Two that involve gathering data about the stimulus and two that involve choosing how to respond to to it. The processes involved in the data gathering stage he called Intuition and Sensation. His terms for the decision-making part of the process are Feeling and Thinking. An analytical psychologist name Katherine Benziger
http://www.benziger.org/
has done studies that indicate which part of the neo-cortex is involved each of the functions. She has theorized, based on the results, that what Jung called Intuition generally takes place in the right Frontal Lobe of the brain and has to do with recognizing similar patterns that occur over time. Sensation, she has isolated most often in the left parietal area and involves the use of the five senses. What Jung called Feeling is not the same thing as emotion. Our emotions are located in the limbic portion of the brain, and are not directly involved in this process. His Feeling is a neo-cortical activity which occurs in the right parietal area, and has to do with sensing harmonic relationships. His Thinking, which Benziger's studies have found is a left frontal activity, is based on logic. (Science has taught us that the brain is a fluid organ, and even when a portion is injured, the functions of that portion can be picked up and carried out in the other areas - so the right/left/frontal/parietal areas are general references).

Jung insisted that we each use one of the four functions more effectively than the other three, while Benziger has found that it is possible for us to develop two or three of the functions and use them at an equally effective level - and rarely, a few individuals are able to use all four effectively. They both agree that there are some who prefer to focus on the data gathering phase, while others are more comfortable making decisions. Both use the same terms for these preferences: Perceiving and Judging. Perceivers are more open-minded, and are able to see issues from more than one perspective. Judgers like for things to be decided, and feel uncomfortable when they are not.

Add to that the positions of Extroversion and Introversion - which have to do with the RAS (Reticular Activating System), which is the system of nerves and nerve endings that pick up stimuli and carry them to the brain, and you have sixteen influences that determine an individual personality. There are no rights or wrongs involved in these processes, just differentiation.

(Information I have picked up from several teacher's workshops over a period of years including some on the use of the MBTI Personality Tests. It was something I found particularly interesting, so I have read and studied it on my own as well - still do.)

Abe, your statement, ""Indecision is a horrible mental state to be in. Once a decision is made, the pressure is off and one can move on," suggests to me that you might possibly be a Judging type.

As a Perceiver, I tend to be uncomfortable when I am pushed into making a decision before I have studied all the options.

Different strokes.

And yes, there is a duality involved in each step of the process, but people are rarely totally one or the other. We function along all parts of the spectrum.

"It takes a village..."

Annie
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:31 am

Victor; I often find myself disagreeing a bit with your analysis, but what you have written above is 100% on target in my mind. A similar pro/con analysis I used to teach was Force Field Analysis. I don't know why so many great minds in the Senate and Congress can't use strategic planning as we did in several ventures in which I was involved.

When Welfare to Work and One Stop Career Centers (all workforce services in one building) were introduced with the intent of block funding to states for their innovation (which never happened to the degree promised and therefore created a system that was half as efficient as intended) the individual agencies that were brought together were positively hateful and competitive for funds, perks, bonus payments for placements and their positions. People who once had administrative authority were no longer in charge of their piece. Throughout the states there were quiet wars in government offices.

The regional boards that were supposed to receive and distribute the block funds included corporate giants, small business, government bureaucrats and benefit recipients. They were a mess, too.

I am proud to say that I implemented a system of force field analysis strategic planning that started with finding common elements first and setting them aside, out of the debate. Next, locating the elements on which there was absolute disagreement and setting those aside. In the middle were elements that could be compromised with little loss. These were generally things like office space and tangible things that could be seen and touched.

At the top of the "impossible" list was the budget. I finally borrowed a method from a school principal. He put all the department heads in a room in the vocational wing that had cots for the CNA training. He told them he would send in food and water; the room had restrooms and cots. The door would not be unlocked until they faxed him a budget that he could sign.

I couldn't be quite as forceful; but did use a similar tactic by meeting at a monastery where the meeting would not officially end without a budget. In another case, I threatened to disorganize the board and return the money to the state to manage from the state instead of regionally.

Force Field Analysis takes the pro and con list and then works each side with solutions until they are equal in merit. It's a tricky planning strategy but it helps remove the "buts" from a discussion.

The Republican pledge to Grover Norquist is an abomination. Their first responsibility is to the voters who elected them and to the rest of the nation. All who put the lobbyist's pledge ahead of their oath to serve the country should have been removed from office immediately with new representatives appointed by the governors of the respective states.

The influence of special interests needs to be ended. It has grown so out of proportion that any arguments that include "Democrat" or "Republican" differences are moot. It is not the party that makes a difference but rather the lobbyists to whom they owe their campaign success and the futures of their cushy jobs. All of our legitimate weighing of pros and cons is absolutely useless because the information we receive is sifted through the money of special interests and propaganda machines. Washington needs to function with research staffs that are non-partisan so both parties may have philosophical differences to match the needs of their constituencies, but the data with which they are working would be fashioned by non-partisan, hard data so decisions and the facts supporting them could be presented to the people and understood.
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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 11:36 am

As it is, we argue around positions with partial information. We even get heated about it. I'm sure each of us remembers personal situations where we have been in a heated discussion over a differing point of view and then discovered we were wrong because we were missing some detail. I believe it's a lot like that with the information fed to the public. We are all missing critical pieces and fed a lot of garbage. Therefore, the material we have to use for our debates is incomplete.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:28 pm

All right take Obama out of the situation, How is this country to prosper and progress iif there is no middle class?

We will pretend I am wealthy, you are not. Why should I invest my money in a business which will provide a service you will not and cannot purchase?


Anyone--please speak to this--Thanks!
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:45 pm

Alice, you don't need me. There are enough people like you, who can afford to pay a higher price for your services. When even fewer of us can afford them, just raise the prices again. You and your friends can look after each other.

I am not your problem, so you don't need to worry about me.


A. Nobody

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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:54 pm

But, Ann,

How can I enjoy myself when you are starving?
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:56 pm

Further-- what rich person wants to work for me?
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:57 pm

I say we bring back the most effective, ideal White House staff in recent history. It looks like they've still got it.

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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:03 pm

alice wrote:
But, Ann,

How can I enjoy myself when you are starving?

It's my own fault, Alice. I'm not willing to work.

A. Noboby
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 3:04 pm

alice wrote:
Further-- what rich person wants to work for me?

Actually, Alice, you don't work - you invest.

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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:12 pm

D.K.,
I agree with you completely--and I can't say the same about me on most days.

Alice,
WELCOME BACK!

Ann,
You're so smart and informed you make my head hurt. No kidding! (I haven't had this much fun since I was an undergraduate experiencing everything in depth for the first time. My thanks to all!)
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:17 pm

I will play this game as long as my dear Alice is not personally attacted....

I am what is called "lower middle class". That means that I earn about 20,000 a year. I work three jobs. One full time and two part time. My main job is working for Wells Fargo Bank as a teller. I have done that job through so many bank name changes that I lost count. In the nights, I work at a local pub. I get off at one o'clock. On the weekends, I fill in at the local convienence store.

I am tired all the time. My two children stay at home without me when I work my night jobs. I worry. My husband left long ago and cannot be found.

When my kids are sick, I take them to the emergency room. We wait for hours. In the morning I still have to go to work or lose my job.

It is hard to find the joy of living. It is hard to instill the joy of living in my children.

Everyone seems to have the best and name brand clothes, they put on makeup at 10 years. I will not allow my daughter to do so..........

As a parent, I feel lost. What can the political system do for us? I watch the news. It seems that none of it pertains to me and my little family.

Love,

Betty
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Alice,

Sorry. i forgot why I started my last response for a moment. It was to answer your question. We don't need the middle class at all. Once all class systems are abolished by a benevolent government that fairly redistributes wealth, abolishes private property and owns all the means of production, everyone will have exactly what they need and all will be well with the world. We will take all the ill gotten gains of the wealthy and the corporations they created to exploit the workers and redistribute the wealth to each person in accordance to their need. The government will decide what we should consume, how and where we should live in government owned housing and what we should read to maximize our happiness and productivity. We will abolish guns, the internal combustion engine, large sugary drinks and Big Macs (and anything else that had a face) and all the children of the earth will live in peace and harmony in their spanking new grass huts. The end.

Gosh, I almost feel as though I could become an NPR commentator now.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:43 pm

Victor,

What to do? Betty and Ann are in trouble, You are the President, how will you help them?
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:50 pm

alj wrote:
alice wrote:
But, Ann,

How can I enjoy myself when you are starving?

It's my own fault, Alice. I'm not willing to work.

A. Noboby

You can't work because there are no jobs. There are no jobs`because investing in jobs is not profitable.

The rich people know how to pinch a penny till it screams.
The pennies are screaming.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:51 pm

Betty Fasig wrote:
I will play this game as long as my dear Alice is not personally attacted....

I am what is called "lower middle class". That means that I earn about 20,000 a year. I work three jobs. One full time and two part time. My main job is working for Wells Fargo Bank as a teller. I have done that job through so many bank name changes that I lost count. In the nights, I work at a local pub. I get off at one o'clock. On the weekends, I fill in at the local convienence store.

I am tired all the time. My two children stay at home without me when I work my night jobs. I worry. My husband left long ago and cannot be found.

When my kids are sick, I take them to the emergency room. We wait for hours. In the morning I still have to go to work or lose my job.

It is hard to find the joy of living. It is hard to instill the joy of living in my children.

Everyone seems to have the best and name brand clothes, they put on makeup at 10 years. I will not allow my daughter to do so..........

As a parent, I feel lost. What can the political system do for us? I watch the news. It seems that none of it pertains to me and my little family.

Love,

Betty

You need help and fast!
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Victor D. Lopez
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 4:59 pm

Betty,

It is a travesty that someone who works three jobs is lower middle class, or that anyone should need to work three jobs to raise a family. That is what the government needs to fix in a better partnership with the private sector by providing incentives, training and support to struggling families--especially single parent families. And no one working three jobs should have to rely on the emergency room as their "family doctor." We need to take away the generational safety hammocks from able-bodied individuals who scam the system and work the underground economy while living off public assistance of various forms and put that money towards food, housing, educational. daycare and health care assistance for lower income families. If we have lost you, we are lost as a nation. If you can have no hope for a better future while working as hard as you do, then we are a doomed people living in a country unworthy of her name.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 5:23 pm

Mr. President,

I am a teacher working in a low socio-economic area. Our property taxes do not provide enough funds to give the students a fair education. Our classrooms are overcrowded. Many f our parents are single and have no means for child care. In fact, quite a few of our students are parents themselves, and many more are emancipated juveniles. If our students do not score well on the state0mandated exams, our funding is reduced even more.

What do you recommend as a means for s to provide our students with the education they need to be able to get jobs and compete with students from more affluent areas.

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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: A modest proposal for a new century . . .   Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:04 pm

Dear Ann and Alice,

Thank you for putting in 'Mr. President because I would not have our Victor attacted personally, either. Very Happy Let the games commence.!

Love,

Betty
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