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Berkeleybee 02-05-2006 04:30 PM

PACE: No Time For Complacency/Rightwing Talkingheads Mobilized
 
All,

Just wanted to say, if you think everything is going to be fine cos PACE has 30 democrat and 30 republican supporters, think again. The right wing has already mobilized its talking heads, look for more stories that discredit the basic premises of PACE and the American Competitiveness Initiative.

This from David Brooks, Op Ed columnist at the NYT, on Feb 2, 2006.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
The New York Times

February 2, 2006 Thursday
Late Edition - Final


HEADLINE: The Nation of the Future

BYLINE: By DAVID BROOKS

BODY:


Everywhere I go people tell me China and India are going to blow by us in the coming decades. They've got the hunger. They've got the people. They've got the future. We're a tired old power, destined to fade back to the second tier of nations, like Britain did in the 20th century.

This sentiment is everywhere -- except in the evidence. The facts and figures tell a different story.

Has the United States lost its vitality? No. Americans remain the hardest working people on the face of the earth and the most productive. As William W. Lewis, the founding director of the McKinsey Global Institute, wrote, ''The United States is the productivity leader in virtually every industry.'' And productivity rates are surging faster now than they did even in the 1990's.

Has the United States stopped investing in the future? No. The U.S. accounts for roughly 40 percent of the world's R. & D. spending. More money was invested in research and development in this country than in the other G-7 nations combined.

Is the United States becoming a less important player in the world economy? Not yet. In 1971, the U.S. economy accounted for 30.52 percent of the world's G.D.P. Since then, we've seen the rise of Japan, China, India and the Asian tigers. The U.S. now accounts for 30.74 percent of world G.D.P., a slightly higher figure.

What about the shortage of scientists and engineers? Vastly overblown. According to Duke School of Engineering researchers, the U.S. produces more engineers per capita than China or India. According to The Wall Street Journal, firms with engineering openings find themselves flooded with resumes. Unemployment rates for scientists and engineers are no lower than for other professions, and in some specialties, such as electrical engineering, they are notably higher.

Michael Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation told The Wall Street Journal last November, ''No one I know who has looked at the data with an open mind has been able to find any sign of a current shortage.'' The G.A.O., the RAND Corporation and many other researchers have picked apart the quickie studies that warn of a science and engineering gap. ''We did not find evidence that such shortages have existed at least since 1990, nor that they are on the horizon,'' the RAND report concluded.

What about America's lamentable education system? Well, it's true we do a mediocre job of educating people from age 0 to 18, even though we spend by far more per pupil than any other nation on earth. But we do an outstanding job of training people from ages 18 to 65.

At least 22 out of the top 30 universities in the world are American. More foreign students come to American universities now than before 9/11.

More important, the American workplace is so competitive, companies are compelled to promote lifelong learning. A U.N. report this year ranked the U.S. third in the world in ease of doing business, after New Zealand and Singapore. The U.S. has the second most competitive economy on earth, after Finland, according the latest Global Competitiveness Report. As Michael Porter of Harvard told The National Journal, ''The U.S. is second to none in terms of innovation and an innovative environment.''

What about partisan gridlock and our dysfunctional political system? Well, entitlement debt remains the biggest threat to the country's well-being, but in one area vital to the country's future posterity, we have reached a beneficent consensus. American liberals have given up on industrial policy, and American conservatives now embrace an aggressive federal role for basic research.

Ford and G.M. totter and almost nobody suggests using public money to prop them up. On the other hand, President Bush, reputed to be hostile to science, has increased the federal scientific research budget by 50 percent since taking office, to $137 billion annually. Senators Lamar Alexander and Jeff Bingaman have proposed excellent legislation that would double the R. & D. tax credit and create a Darpa-style lab in the Department of Energy, devoting $9 billion for scientific research and education. That bill has 60 co-sponsors, 30 Democrats and 30 Republicans.

Recent polling suggests that people in Afghanistan and Iraq are more optimistic about their nations' futures than people in the United States. That's just crazy, even given our problems with health care, growing inequality and such. America's problem over the next 50 years will not be wrestling with decline. It will be helping the frustrated individuals and nations left so far behind.

logiclife 02-05-2006 07:04 PM

This article
 
This article has an overall competitiveness argument saying that the American Competitiveness is not under a threat.

The PACE act is to protect that IN ADVANCE from happening...ie. having the american competitiveness under a threat from India and China.

I am going to discredit one argument in his article:

He says: We do an outstanding job of education for people ages 18 to 65. I beg to differ. If that is his argument to claim that there is no shortage of talent, then he ought to read a survey report funded by Pew Charitable research. The tools used was the same used by National Assessment of Adult Literacy, the government's examination of English literacy among adults.

Quote:

More than 50% of students at four-year schools and more than 75% at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.


The survey examined college and university students nearing the end of their degree programs. The students did the worst on matters involving math, according to the study.

Almost 20% of students pursuing four-year degrees had only basic quantitative skills. For example, the students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the service station. About 30% of two-year students had only basic math skills.

The full article was published recently on all major media outlets including CNN, MSNBC and USA today.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/01...e.students.ap/


http://www.usatoday.com/news/educati...ge-tasks_x.htm

file485 02-05-2006 08:29 PM

lets not drift away even a little bit from our main efforts...

Dont forget this cud be an open forum and every kind must be viewing the posts here...so lets not bother how many outsiders r needed in this country or how much education is needed here..

remember waht happened at techworkers1 yahoo forum...no matter what, we have our points to say and anti immigrants have their points to say...

So..lets not even debate on these kind of topics...

Berkeleybee 02-05-2006 11:28 PM

Counterpoints
 
All,

My point in putting up that post was to make people aware that just the existence of the present PACE bill doesn't get us anywhere.

This issue will be run like a political campaign -- i.e. just like in a political campaign, the other side has a relatively rapid response team that has one job and one job only -- to shoot down, discredit points made by our side on a day to day basis. We and others will hopefully build a coalition that does the same, i.e. responds to these points in the media in a calm, rational,speedy way. We cannot ignore the other side -- that is practically suicide.

My point was not for us to start venting in this forum. Once we start coordinating activities with other groups and our lobbying firm, we can start to pass on any rational, statistics based responses that any of our members come up with.

I feel that calling people names, even the other side, doesn't help. Save that for your buddies or for a non-public forum.

best,
Berkeleybee

WaldenPond 02-09-2006 01:03 PM

Hello,

Could anybody please post the latest going on with today's hearing - Committee on Government Reform Hearing: U.S. Competiteveness.

I am not able to find any news/update on this.

Thanks,

logiclife 02-09-2006 01:54 PM

Tried google and C Span
 
Nothing on google or Cspan. I am sure you've tried that.

Is there a special newspaper for Capitol hill? that published committe hearings etc. then you have a shot at looking at those after the hearings are over.

--logiclife.

amoljak 02-09-2006 02:33 PM

Isn't it true though ?
 
Let's not forget that the reason Immigration Voices exists and the reason we are standing in the long line of immigration is exactly what David Brooks has outlined in the first few paragraphs.

If India and China were to blow by the US... why would we be here in the first place?

So instead of making an argument that you will be damned if you don't let us in (which is not entirely true), we should argue that US is a great country and a land of opportunities and we can help to make it even better...


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