Should schools follow competitive or cooperative models? Can they be both?

Another provocative essay by frequent contributor and University of Georgia professor Peter Smagorinsky.

By Peter Smagorinsky

I used to play a lot of basketball when my body was younger. One court where I played every night was at the local high school gym, which could be divided into two so that two full-court games could be played simultaneously. One court was dedicated to the older, more serious, and more skilled players; the other was for younger players of lesser talent.

I was good enough for the high-intensity court, which used the “winners” system in which the winning team got to play the next game against a new pickup team. Often, teams had to wait several games to get back on the court, which placed a high value on winning once you got a chance to play. Losing teams might have to wait a half-hour or more just to get another shot.

The author says competing against better players in basketball improved his game. Is there a lesson for schools? (AJC File.)

His message was clear: If I wanted to be good, I shouldn’t play against weak competition. And he was right: the better the competition, the better I got at the game. I might dominate the secondary court’s lesser players, but in doing so I cut corners and got sloppy because I could get away with mistakes and still succeed. On the main court, I might be an average player, but in doing so became a better player. The competition is what made the difference.

My point is not to boast of my long-atrophied basketball skills. Among the many great divides in public opinion is the question of whether or not schools should be competitive. To some people, school should be a training ground for the life beyond.

Given that capitalist societies like the U.S. are fundamentally competitive, they see schooling that does not pit people against one another as antithetical to core American values. Students must thus compete academically and socially for goods, as they will later do for salaries, promotions, and other rewards of productive life in our economy, and do so in every aspect of their educations.

Others see competition as the root of much evil. Competition breeds corruption, as evidenced by cheating scandals great (APS test score changing) and small (kids taking cellphone shots of exam questions for their friends). Kids cheat on tests, teachers run student work through Turnitin.com and other plagiarism software programs, schools fudge their test score data, administrators get awards and bonuses for bogus scores, and so on. When winning is the point, the rules are optional as long as no one’s looking.

If power corrupts, then systems that make power a central aspect of participation produce corruption among its members, with coercion from the top often producing unethical conduct all the way down. Just ask the Atlanta teachers headed to prison on racketeering charges for 5-20 years.

I think that both of these possibilities — that competition brings out excellence and that competition breeds corruption — can be true at the same time. But part of the problem with the public debate about the value of competition (and the discussion within academia) is that people tend to load all their marbles into one of these pockets but not the other.

I don’t see the question as being whether competition is good or bad, or that competition should either permeate the schooling experience or be absent from it altogether. The question, I think, is better framed as one of when competition is appropriate, and when it is counterproductive.

As I said at the beginning, I think that for people who undertake an activity in order to get better at it, a competitive environment can provide models of successful performance and opportunities to participate that bring out the best in one’s efforts and lead to long-term improvement. Competition under such conditions can be a very good element of participation.

Playing sports is one activity in school in which students voluntarily join a competitive situation.

Spectators expect that the competition will produce viewable performances that provide cathartic experiences of success and fulfillment for the winners, and occasionally the losers in valiant efforts.

Game performances are only part of the process of competing to improve. Although Alan Iverson might disagree, Hall of Fame player Ed Macauley summed up the importance of competing in practice: “When you are not practicing, remember, someone somewhere is practicing, and when you meet him he will win.”

Those who argue against schools as sites of competition tend to speak on behalf of collaboration and cooperation over antagonism. Cooperative learning, for instance, tends to involve working in groups for problem-solving, without pitting one group against the other. The emphasis is on students generating ideas in search of a solution to a given problem or challenge.

Even the oft-invoked business accountability model relies on group problem-solving. Here, for instance, the business model is values-driven, with communication, cooperation, and coordination comprising three of the four values of organizational life, even as business competition is assumed to be the primary driver of individual conduct.

The debate about competitiveness versus cooperation, I would argue, should not be about making a forced choice between two polar positions. Rather, the discussion should center on where in the educational system each produces the most desirable results. Note that they are not mutually exclusive, for basketball teams need to function cohesively in order to compete effectively against opponents.

If you’re looking for a rule book here on when to compete and when to cooperate, you’re asking the wrong person. Instead, ask the teachers who know their students well and can make informed judgments on how to structure learning activities to promote students’ growth in their disciplines and at the age levels they are teaching.

Just don’t expect them to decide that it’s either one or the other, with no middle ground.

 

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240 comments
class80olddog
class80olddog

Sneekpeek - sorry to be so long answering your question about how many years to retain - as many as necessary.  The whole idea behind retention is to not have a child in a class where they cannot understand the work because they do not have the underpinnings, and also to keep the other kids from failing to receive instruction while the teacher tries to make up time with the socially promoted student.


If you deal effectively with the other issues I mention - attendance and discipline, you probably will have much less retention.  Couple that with summer school - don't tell me there is no money for SS - just fire a few useless administrators and you have plenty of money (remember that we spend FOUR TIMES what we spent in the sixties - and they provided summer school).  Make the results of the test mean something.  If they goof off on the test, and then lose their summer freedom - I think they will remember that.  I heard of , I believe, the Texas governor, who said being retained wasthe best thing that ever happened to him.


The other option is to promote the child into a "remedial grade" say 3rd grade remedial - at the end of which he/she can go into regular fourth grade. Just get the student out of the regular classroom and don't try to teach 4th grade math to a student performing at 1st grade level. I think any teacher here can tell you horror stories about socially promoted kids coming to them.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog 


What you fail to grasp, Class 80, is that some children will never "keep up" with the RATE of learning concepts as their peers, and some children will always grasp the same curriculum concepts as their peers at a more advanced RATE than their age peers.  You might as well retain a student who does not master all of the 3rd grade curriculum not only in a 3rd remedial grade, which you have proposed, but also in a 4th remedial grade, in a 6th remedial grade, in a 7th remedial grade, etc. through 12 grades.  This kind of instruction perception is pure folly in instructional delivery.  How I wish you could perceive of what continuous progress entails, but you never seem to "get it."


It was practiced very successfully in a continuous progress school for a decade in which I was an ILT from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, without retaining students or holding advanced students back in a boring curriculum.  As many years as I have tried to point out continuous progress's advantages and wisdom instructionally on this blog, you have never understood it.  And, it is not you alone with whom I am frustrated because you only speak for thousands more who cannot conceive of this very sound instructional delivery for the success of every student, continuously until he earns his high school diploma, at grade 10, 11, 12, 13 or 14, depending on his RATE of mastery of curriculum concepts.  Moreover, when you retain, as I mentioned below, you force children to go back over 60% or even 40% of the failed grade's curriculum, which they did master.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@MaryElizabethSings @class80olddog  You COULD practice "continuous progress" learning, by grouping children into classes by their progress - a "remedial" or "slow" class, a regular class, and an advanced class.  But that is not seen as "politically correct" anymore, just as SPED students have to be "mainstreamed" into classes where they are not able to keep to the same instruction as everyone else.Instead, we just keep socially promoting kids until they end up in the eighth grade with second-grade skills, then they drop out.  Or, worse yet, we socially promote them until the twelfth grade and then give them a diploma even though they cannot read at a 7th-grade level, they get a job, then they get fired when the employer finds this out.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@class80olddog 

You seem to be consistently resistant to the social changes of the last 55 years.  Over and over on this blog, you yearn for the simpler days when those who questioned the status quo could be committed to mental institutions ("jail poor parents who continue to have children"), those with disabilities could be consigned to warehouses rather than be educated ("stop spending so much money on SPED students"), there were no immigrant children in schools to educate, and no poor black children to educate either. 


But these changes are here, and it's not just "political correctness" to acknowledge them and seek to deal with them. And that's why we "spend four times" the amount on education that we did in 1960, that golden time when you evidently were young. Posters on this blog have pointed this out to you over and over, but you ignore them because  your mind is made up. You really need to join the present...why, 2020 is just around the corner!

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@class80olddog 


In order to work through a school's design for continuous progress all the teachers in the school must collaborate, coordinate, and cooperate with one another to set up, along with the Assistant Principals for Instruction and Counselors, an instructional design for the school which works for them and all of the students.  They have to put in extra hours during the summer break to ascertain, together, where all the students are functioning, disregarding grade level per se.  They have to form groups for all of the variations of instructional need with instructional precision, but would not cause any one teacher to have more than 3 groups, herself, alone.  Working smarter together is the answer here.  And, someone in leadership showing them the way, as I did as an ILT. 


If a school has 20 teachers and each teacher as 3 instructional groups for which she is responsible, then that gives 60 varied instructional groupings for the whole school on a continuum of low to high.  If the school holds 500 students, divided by 60 instructional groups, that means that each teacher would only have 25 students in her class. That, in turn, would mean that the teacher would only have 8 or 9 students within each of her 3 groups.  Easily manageable by good teachers who work together, with instructional insight.


They should continue to have instructional meetings throughout the year, together, in which they discuss each student's advancement rate or lack thereof.  This way no child is falling through the cracks and every child advances at his own rate through the curriculum at a pace in which he can achieve mastery throughout his tenure in school.  Few discipline problems and attendance problems, not by being punitive but by being smart and wise.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@class80olddog 

P.S. Because he was held back, that Texas Governor was diagnosed with dyslexia-- now a disability under the ADA that schools recognize.  Ahem, ahem.

Starik
Starik

@MaryElizabethSings @OriginalProf Don't forget the potential problems that arise when you mix kids who are keeping up, and are twelve, with kids who are fourteen or fifteen, or even older. Middle schools would be more chaotic than they already are.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Starik @MaryElizabethSings


No need to mix more than 3 grade levels, except for the exceptional one or two students. This is what we practicde in the continuous progress school to which I referred earlier.  The age grouping appropriateness is a factor that must be controlled and addressed, like many other factors, but it is "doable."  Been done before; can be done again.

Starik
Starik

@OriginalProf @class80olddog On the other hand modern "solutions" like deinstitutionalization of mental patients result in a larger homeless problem and a prison system filled with mentally ill people who belong in hospitals. I have no experience with SPED kids in the classroom, but I'd bet there are unintended consequences there as well. 


I would also point out that being Governor of Texas isn't very demanding, considering the achievements of Mr. Bush and Mr. Perry.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Starik 


Excellent perceptions in your first paragraph regarding the mentally ill.  Society is going the wrong way and needs balance here more than in any other area, imho.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@OriginalProf


Exactly. Another reason why education is not meant to assume a business model.  The ideal is cooperation and collaboration for the growth of every student in the school, not competition for profit.

Kvinnan2
Kvinnan2

Bottom line, Smagorinsky continues to offer teachers' union excuses rather than commitment to desperately needed education reform.

Parents would be right to ignore him and to push for greater choice.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Kvinnan2 


Parents do have choice. They can choose private school, home school, or choose to move to the school zone of their choice. The first 2 are done with the parents' money. The last one(public school) is payed by local and state taxpayers. 


Just as you cannot demand a choice in fire departments, police departments, road paving, water treatment, food inspection or other public services, you cannot expect other people to pay for your choice in education. That would take away the choice of the non-consuming taxpayers who pay most of the cost of educating other people's children.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Gwinnetting @AvgGeorgian  


Can't quite understand that comment as the wrong side of history would be characterized as failure to exist in the present(in my book anyway).

class80olddog
class80olddog

This law was passed by the Georgia legislature in hopes to prevent social promotion, but due to the loophole, it has been useless.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Sneaky - you left off the last part of the Georgia law 20-2-283 referencing social promotion by the placement committee of the teacher, the parent(s), and the principal:


(D) The placement committee shall:

       (i) Review the overall academic achievement of the student in light of the performance on the criterion-referenced assessment and the standards and criteria as adopted by the local board of education and make a determination to promote or retain. A decision to promote must be a unanimous decision and must determine that if promoted and given accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction during the next year, the student is likely to perform at grade level as defined by the Office of Student Achievement in accordance with Code Section 20-14-31 by the conclusion of the school year; and

         (ii) Prescribe for the student, whether the student is retained or promoted, such accelerated, differentiated, or additional instruction as needed to perform at grade level by the conclusion of the subsequent school year, prescribe such additional assessments as may be appropriate in addition to assessments administered to other students at the grade level during the year, and provide for a plan of continuous assessment during the subsequent school year in order to monitor the progress of the student;


This means that the teacher has an ABSOLUTE VETO over the child being promoted.  Now, in realityville, we know a teacher who used such a veto would be immediately fired.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@class80olddog


Doggy;


There is no where in the above that states the teacher has the absolute veto. But for the sake of clarity you still haven't said how many years you think a child should be held back. I'd love to know your thoughts and why you think you have more knowledge and experience in the matter than educational psychologists and those who have the boots on the ground.


With regards to this piece of legislation you are talking about a child passing or failing the CRCT test that they take in 3rd, 5th, or 8th grade. He/she could be a great student but test badly, had a traumatic event happen to them, or could be ill (just a few examples of what can go wrong). What do you do then? Take the failure of the test to hold them back without looking at the big picture? I had the opposite happen to me with a 3rd grade student. He was struggling in almost every area, had very limited vocabulary and didn't understand much of what he was reading, was very immature (I proctored a test and saw him bubble in his scantron with a lovely pattern while he raced against his friend to see who could finish the test first). I recommended that he be held back but he "miraculously" passed the 3rd grade test and was promoted. There was no discussion of retention because the test was the be all and end all. 


class80olddog
class80olddog

@sneakpeakintoeducation @class80olddog " There is no where in the above that states the teacher has the absolute veto."


OK, let me speak very slowly - the law states that the decision to promote must be UNANIMOUS - so that means that the TEACHER (as one of the committee members) MUST vote for promotion.  This means also that if the teacher DOES NOT vote for promotion, the child must be retained.  This effectively gives the teacher a VETO over social promotion.  Understand now?


(of course, in the real world, any teacher who did not go along with the principal when he wants to socially promote a student and get him/her out of his hair would be fired by the principal.)

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@class80olddog

How many years do you hold a child back? Almost every bit of research shows holding a child back has a more detrimental affect and the child is more likely to drop out of school. There is no perfect answers to this situation and holding a child back should only be considered as the very last resort. In a perfect world there would be derrieres in chairs and students will be engaged in their learning.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@sneakpeakintoeducation


Continuous progress.  High school up to 13 years or even 14 years to meet graduation requirements for some students.  Others may finish high school requirements in 10 or in 11 years.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@sneakpeakintoeducation  There you have it, folks - in a nutshell (or maybe a nut case) - the real reason why education is failing - excuses.  Why can we not implement the tried and true policies that worked well in the sixties?  We CAN'T - they are not PC.  No spanking, no keeping kids after school, no summer school, no retention,, no truancy officers, no parents threatened with jail when their child is not in school.  Heaven forbid we ever hold ANYONE accountable.  So if this is the response from traditional schools - give parents choice as soon as possible and, if they won't change - let the dinosaurs die.


Did it ever occur to you that if a student is retained, he probably was going to drop out anyway?  At least if you retain him, he has a chance to learn something.  Or were you planning to socially promote him all the way through 12th grade and then hand him a diploma? (ah, NOW I understand why we did away with the GHSGT!)

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@class80olddog @sneakpeakintoeducation 

Too bad that we don't have the students of the sixties--mostly from two-parent families, no "handicapped" students with their special problems, no immigrant students who don't know English very well or at all.  Too bad we don't have the economics of the sixties, with money to fund summer schools and run school classes all year long that aren't overcrowded, and without furloughs or reduced class terms. Too bad that it isn't 55 years ago, when life was simpler (ha!) and people followed rules.


Deal with the present situation, class80olddog.  Your posts always show such a hankering for a world gone by, that just gets golder and golder the further you get from it.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@class80olddog @sneakpeakintoeducation


You didn't answer my question as to how many years do you retain a student if they are absent from school? Do you just keep holding them back and expect that they will magically appear in their seat the following year? Are the problems that are causing them to not attend school addressed in your scenario? 


You say that the chances are they would drop out anyway. The research shows that retaining them will only increase the chance of them dropping out so what you propose would increase that likelihood. I do agree that retention is appropriate in some occasions but as a teacher, you have to be very careful when you suggest it. By the way, the parents have the right to refuse the teacher's recommendation and can insist that their child moves on to the next grade. 

class80olddog
class80olddog

@sneakpeakintoeducation @class80olddog  "By the way, the parents have the right to refuse the teacher's recommendation and can insist that their child moves on to the next grade. "


That is incorrect - by Georgia law. if a child fails his/her tests, there must be UNANIMOUS agreement among the teacher, parents, and principal in order to advance the child to the next grade. Ga. Code 20-2-283

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@sneakpeakintoeducation 


Also, with continuous progress, instead of with either social promotion or retention of a full year's work, the student does not have to repeat the 60% of the curriculum he did master in the previous year's grade level.  He can simply move forward into the next grade level but be taught where he is functioning. 


That means that he will go forward, not backwards, into the 40% of the curriculum of the previous year's requirements which he had not been able to master, thereby learning that 40% with mastery and, thereafter, moving forward in the grade level, that he is presently placed within, as far as he can master that year's curriculum requirements until the summer break.  


Continuous progress is the most reasonable and wise way to conduct instructional delivery for the masses of students in Georgia - with all of their myriad variables - within public schools.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@class80olddog @sneakpeakintoeducation


"That is incorrect - by Georgia law. if a child fails his/her tests, there must be UNANIMOUS agreement among the teacher, parents, and principal in order to advance the child to the next grade. Ga. Code 20-2-283"


I am not sure why you posted this because as I said, the parent can disagree with a teacher's decision, whether it is retention or advancement to the next grade  (and therefore there wouldn't be a unanimous decision)  and the child goes or stays as the parent wishes. 


This is the Georgia Code 20-2-283 which shows the right to appeal a decision to retain the student. 




(3) When a student does not perform at grade level on any criterion-referenced assessment specified in paragraph (1) of this subsection and also does not perform at grade level on a second additional opportunity as provided for in paragraph (2) of this subsection then the following shall occur: (A) The school principal or the principal´s designee shall retain the student for the next school year except as otherwise provided in this subsection; (B) The school principal or the principal’s designee shall notify in writing by first-class mail the parent or guardian of the student and the teacher regarding the decision to retain the student. The notice shall describe the option of the parent, guardian, or teacher to appeal the decision to retain the student and shall further describe the composition and functions of the placement committee as provided for in this subsection, including the requirement that a decision to promote the student must be a unanimous decision of the committee; (C) If the parent, guardian, or teacher appeals the decision to retain the student, then the school principal or designee shall establish a placement committee composed of the principal or the principal’s designee, the student’s parent or guardian, and the teacher of the subject of the assessment instrument on which the student failed to perform at grade level and shall notify in writing by first-class mail the parent or guardian of the time and place for convening the placement committee; 



I don't know where you got your information but I looked on the GaDoe website and the parent has the right to NOT agree with the school's decision to retain the child

class80olddog
class80olddog

@sneakpeakintoeducation @class80olddog  "I don't know where you got your information but I looked on the GaDoe website"


That must be your problem - you consulted the DOE website and not the official code of Georgia annotated.  See my post above.

OriginalProf
OriginalProf

@class80olddog @sneakpeakintoeducation 

This is the Georgia Code on promotion as of 2002.  As this website notes: "Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. Georgia may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site."

Are you sure that this law has not been amended within the last 13 years? I doubt that the state's DOE site would publish code section information that is incorrect.

class80olddog
class80olddog

@OriginalProf @class80olddog @sneakpeakintoeducation  We have MORE money now (four times as much) to fund all these things - but we spend it on administrators, instead.  I am glad you agree with what a lot of us are saying - that single-parent families are to blame for a lot of the problems - but schools can't control that.  What they CAN control is their response to the problems you state - keep ESOL kids in a grade level until they learn the material, send parents to jail when they don't get their child to school, discipline kids that don't "follow the rules".


What I "hanker for" is a world where the educational system effectively deals with their issues - like they did in the sixties.  They had problems then, too, but they dealt with them.  Now we only make excuses while education fails.

Exacta
Exacta

The message of such anti-reform articles has softened in recent years to accept the inevitability of greater accountability and more parental choice.

In a global economy, failing public schools are no longer an option.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

Please tell me what your idea of a failing school is, why you think America's schools are failing and which country should we try to emulate?

class80olddog
class80olddog

A failing school is one where children who COULD get a decent education are prevented from achieving their true potential by serious issues. This could be a failure to hold them accountable for attendance, failure to control discipline issues that distract from teaching, or promoting students into areas they are not prepared for.

Astropig
Astropig

@Exacta


I noticed that also. It wasn't that long ago that the very idea of a competitive model for schools would have been a non-starter for discussion in a liberal publication. Smago seems to be saying that some mild form of competition in and among schools might be okay under very controlled circumstances (I'm sure you know who he wants to do the controlling). Could we be seeing an Orwellian shift from "four legs good" to "two legs better" (Animal Farm)? Is the party line starting an imperceptible shift from "no competition,anytime,anywhere" to "competition is fine as long as we define it's parameters"? 


Good catch.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@exacta

As far as I am aware there is a 10 max absence policy in place. Of course, it is difficult to educate children who aren't in seats but that is the responsibility of parents, not teachers. The guidelines for attendance are written at the state level. How do we get kids in seats and has it anything to do with their living conditions, taking care of siblings or sick parents to take care of, or they feel disenfranchised. Discipline issues are tough but if you ever heard of Ruby Payne's Cycle of poverty you would understand why discipline can be an issue in certain circumstances. Putting pur schools into the hands of privateers would not solve these issues; it hasn't worked in almost every instance it has been tried.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@class80olddog

Without being rude, did you attend school around that time? What in particular do you think was better back then? It is interesting to note that since the rise of international testing in yhe mid sixties the USA has never been at the top and has improved dramatically in almost every area since the mid 60's. Also, the levels of poverty we are dealing with are on the rise. Interestingly, when you remove children of poverty from the International test scores we do move up to the top in almost every area.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Another way is to make passive birth control a prerequisite for getting any public assistance. If you are getting assistance, you cannot afford to bring a new baby into the world.

class80olddog
class80olddog

About the overpopulation problem- we need to take effective actions to limit unwanted pregnancies. One way to discourage this is to require any woman who applies for public benefits while pregnant to name the father and provide a paternity test as a prerequisite for getting assistance. The father would then be denied all public assistance unless he has a job and contributes at least 25% to child support. Use garnishment to guarantee this.

class80olddog
class80olddog

To continue my earlier thoughts: so why would companies rather hire humans than purchase machines? Humans are adaptable and multipurpose. Machines are not.! But when humans have in their union contract that they cannot do other jobs if theirs is slow, they reduce their worth. This nearly killed American car companies.

Most companies would hire humans, if they were less expensive, reliable, would work safely, and did not become large liabilities as workers comp cases.

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

Well, that was a tedious read.  I thought Smaggy was an English professor.  Brevity is your friend.


Competitive or cooperative education models?


Hmmmm.....    


"The deck chairs are getting wet.  Let's move them higher up on the deck."


"Aye Capt'n, the ship, she is sinking."

class80olddog
class80olddog

Anything to keep from examining the REAL issues at failing schools: discipline, attendance, and social promotion.

BearCasey
BearCasey

Maybe we need to bring back the concept of "service" as it exists on Downton Abbey.  An excellent satirical novel, "The Rise of the Meritocracy" proposed just that back in the 1960's.  We have too many relatively unskilled workers.  We must create jobs for them.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@BearCasey


I have thought that the idea of service jobs would be the most reasonable answer to the coming technological advances which will usurp many jobs of average workers into our future.


What I can envision is a required service of all of our young people to this nation, either through the military or through the Peace Corps.  I would suspect that most of our young would prefer the Peace Corp to the possibility of killing/maiming others or being, themselves, killed/maimed.  As that avenue of additional jobs were to develop more throughout the world, that model could expand to having older people join the Peace Corps in more numbers than are there today so that their service to the world's most needy would not only help to lift our planet as a whole but these service jobs would be paid for through our government, in conjunction with nonprofits, or from a satellite financial vehicle created within the United Nations, to serve the needs of all of the world's humanity in becoming self-sufficient and self-governing, with democratic principles underlying this humane, worldwide effort.

popacorn
popacorn

@BearCasey As long as we have relatively smart and relatively not smart workers, we will have too many relatively unskilled workers. Which will be forever, apparently. Yet some cultures embrace what others considered 'unskilled'. Look at the folks roofing any building/house in this city. There are plenty of jobs available doing this type of work, yet you only see certain people doing them. Create more unskilled jobs, sure. But I know who will take them, no matter how far they have to travel to get here. All the pie in the sky thinking/talking in the world won't change a thing. The past half century has proven this. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AvgGeorgian 


This is why I believe service jobs will be the only answer for the world's future.  More thoughts were expressed by me in this regard on Jay Bookman's blog today, in which I took an even broader perspective. 


For any reader, who may wish to read my predictions for the world's future, you may go to this link to my blog where I have posted all of my comments on these two AJC blogs, today:


https://maryelizabethsings.wordpress.com/2015/06/03/looking-into-the-worlds-future/

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@popacorn 


I don't believe our current way of thinking will solve our jobless problem. There will never again be enough decent paying jobs for everyone who wants one-no matter how hard they work. Technology takes the place of more and more jobs and that trend will not be reversed. If every jobless person tried to get a job roofing houses, the wages of roofers would drop to minimum wage or lower, or the company would demand 10 years of experience and a college degree. It is the law of supply and demand. we simply have too many people for the number of jobs available. I don't agree with the author's (article link below) simplistic solutions for the problem but he does outline the problem.


http://www.commdiginews.com/politics-2/overpopulation-is-killing-the-american-dream-15562/

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@MaryElizabethSings I read your article and admire your vision. I do not believe there will be the will to carry out those ideals or the personal responsibility in enough people to see it through. I think it the solution could lie in a smaller version of your ideal combined with more income equality, a smaller future population and more of a service and personal responsibility attitude.

popacorn
popacorn

@MaryElizabethSings

If you tell me which horse will win the Belmont Stakes this Saturday, I'll believe in your 'visions'. 

Lee_CPA2
Lee_CPA2

@MaryElizabethSings @AvgGeorgian


Class assignment:  Provide an example of narcissism in a sentence:


"For any reader, who may wish to read my predictions for the world's future, you may go to this link to my blog where I have posted all of my comments on these two AJC blogs, today:"

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@AvgGeorgian 


Good thoughts.  Just remember, our Founding Fathers had a dream that many thought could not last and so did Martin Luther King, Jr., Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela have dreams that many thought could never come to fruition.  The doubters were wrong.  The will of the people must desire and seek the necessity for this world's future that you and I have described.  When the collective will of the people is strong enough, nothing is impossible.


Hopefully, the human race is continuously evolving toward higher spiritual development.  I have simply attempted to outline one plan in which that evolution might have structure.


Thank you.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Lee_CPA2 


Perceptions, like beauty, are in the eyes of the beholder.  You have shown your perceptions of my intent, not my actual intent.  Petty minds perceive in petty ways.