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(Forbes)   Ben Stein on how we are ruining American competitiveness   (forbes.com) divider line 275
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13706 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Dec 2002 at 8:49 PM (11 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2002-12-15 09:15:27 PM
yeah, i mean, who hasn't been asked to write speeches for one president or another.
 
2002-12-15 09:17:51 PM
This was allmost totally impossible to masturbate to.
 
2002-12-15 09:17:59 PM
Pretty well reasoned arguments.
Too bad he's a Jew.
HAR!
I loves me some Ben Stein.
 
2002-12-15 09:18:14 PM
Unluckyimmortal: Is Kilgore40 like Harmonia?

Yes, but with bigger tits.
 
2002-12-15 09:18:41 PM
this was interesting. I dont' agree with him 100% but he has alot of good points. Too bad just stating your opinions does little.
 
2002-12-15 09:21:46 PM
"Encourage a mass culture that spits on intelligence and study and instead elevates drug use, coolness through sex and violence"

-Um, isn't that FARK?
 
2002-12-15 09:22:18 PM
Prolly_better_off: This was allmost totally impossible to masturbate to.

I'm sure it came out just fine.

/really bad joke
 
2002-12-15 09:22:49 PM
http://electronicintifada.net/

I find that conceptually very creepy.
 
2002-12-15 09:23:26 PM
And what solutions does he advocate for these problems?

I'll judge somebody when I know what solutions they're FOR as well as what problems they're AGAINST.
 
2002-12-15 09:23:39 PM
Kilgore40

Go read up on him. He's done a whole lot more than that. And I don't really see how writing speeches is a bad thing (even if it promotes bad things). After all, he doesn't get to pick the topic, he is just the puppet that makes it sound good to the public.

And those Clear Eyes commercials totally pwned...
 
2002-12-15 09:23:43 PM
8. Elect this man to another 4 year term:

 
2002-12-15 09:25:05 PM
9. elect this man as your president.

 
2002-12-15 09:25:06 PM
Kilgore40: racial quotas are somewhat different from education quotas if you will

Donkster: And where does he complain about abortion

and I disagree with him about some aspects of drug use. He'd be better off going after alcohol as a target than at something as innocuous as weed
 
2002-12-15 09:25:29 PM
"Allow schools to fall into useless decay. Do not teach civics or history except to describe America as a hopelessly fascistic, reactionary pit. Do not expect students to know the basics of mathematics, chemistry and physics. Working closely with the teachers' unions, make sure that you dumb down standards so that children who make the most minimal effort still get by with flying colors. Destroy the knowledge base on which all of mankind's scientific progress has been built by guaranteeing that such learning is confined to only a few, and spread ignorance and complacency among the many. Watch America lose its scientific and competitive edge to other nations that make a comprehensive knowledge base a rule of the society."

I'm just wondering, Do any of these reactionaries have proof that kids were smarter "Back then" As far as what I know, people could memorize random places or dates but not know damn thing about the significance of it.
 
2002-12-15 09:26:47 PM
"9) Develop a suicidal immigration policy that keeps out educated, hardworking men and women from friendly nations and, instead, takes in vast numbers of angry, uneducated immigrants from nations that hate us. This, too, leads to the shrinking of our knowledge base and the eventual disappearance of social cohesion."

What the hell??? Any economist knows that mathematically we need these "vast numbers of uneducated" immigrants in order to pay our damn social security bill. It's the working class's taxes that support our pension system. The base ring of society already doing this is getting older and older so we really do need to replace them with immigrants who will take the jobs no one wants. EVERY developed country in the world has this problem. Simply saying no to poor immigrants is mucht too simple an answer.
 
2002-12-15 09:26:48 PM
Ben Stein didn't write the Checkers speech...that was in 1952. Therefore, he'd have to be (at least) 70 years old to have done so.
 
2002-12-15 09:27:16 PM
When some people look at the site Kilgore40 links to in her profile, they say "wow, Israel is so oppressive."

I think "what a stupid kid."
 
2002-12-15 09:27:55 PM
Aw crap!
 
2002-12-15 09:28:09 PM
Read Ben Stein's Bio
http://www.benstein.com/bio.html

(Opens new window, like all good posters do.)
 
2002-12-15 09:29:01 PM
It gets to me that he blames teachers' unions for the lapse in public school standards. In my experience (and I went to public school my whole life), most teachers DO care. They have a hard time doing all that they want to because they have to deal with low pay and increasingly restricted control over their own classrooms, what with state schoolboards taking over. The teachers' unions are generally the good guys.

Also, his stab at 3rd world immigrants is uncalled for. People don't immigrate because they hate America. Please.

Otherwise, I like the call for personal responsibility & respect for science/education.
 
2002-12-15 09:31:14 PM
While some teachers do care many are very stupid

My english teacher was fond of calling me racist and reactionary because I suggessted that some cultures were better than others
 
2002-12-15 09:33:28 PM
Warchild: here's to 211 more
 
2002-12-15 09:34:19 PM
12-15-02 09:26:47 PM SmitetheRighteous
Any economist knows that mathematically we need these "vast numbers of uneducated" immigrants in order to pay our damn social security bill.


Yep, and the next generation can get their vast numbers of taxable organic units from Mars. Or maybe Uranus. Or maybe by that time everyone will have their own robotic slaves.
 
2002-12-15 09:35:20 PM
3) Create a culture that blames the other guy for everything and discourages any form of individual self-restraint or self-control. . . . Promulgate the pitiful joke that Americans are hereby exempt from any responsibility for their own actions--so long as there are deep pockets around to be rifled.

Benny my freind, I'll be happy to take personal responsibility not to sue when one of the hundred or so side effects in my $32 a pop migraine meds finally cacks me (diagram this one, grammar nazis!), if the corporation that makes them takes responsibility by stopping its lobbying to have me arrested if I were to grow my own medicine instead of buying theirs.
 
2002-12-15 09:35:52 PM
Anti-abortion bits:

"Create a culture that blames the other guy for everything and discourages any form of individual self-restraint or self-control...

Encourage a mass culture that spits on intelligence and study and instead elevates drug use, coolness through sex and violence...

Mock and belittle the family..."

I guess reading between the lines isn't taught in school anymore (for those that actually attend).
 
2002-12-15 09:36:09 PM
The school system is terrible. The curriculum is horrid and doesn't teach you anything that you remember two months later. In English, you read "literary classics" AKA poorly written books written in Old/Poor English which 40 year old English majors love because they can compare and contrast the hell out of them. The majority of kids don't read on their spare time because they have a a false impression of what's out there, which is because all of the examples of books presented to us in school are complete crap.

We should be doing Vocabulary, upping our reading speed, etc... Not learning "correct" grammar which 99% of the population does the opposite [and since languages evolve, the correct grammar becomes whate everybody is using-not what you learned in college 35 years ago Mr. Smith].

We should be learning about the Middle East, Rise/fall of communism and nazism, the recent major wars, etc... NOT learning about how America won WWII all by ourselves, completely ignoring the fact that an Eastern Front ever existed.

In Biology last year, we had to memorize many complex respiratory cycles for cells, where each molecule went etc... Sure, that's important if you are becoming a biologist, but if EVERY single fricking person manages to forget what you teach-should it really be tought? Besides, the teacher was a moron Football coach that couldn't manage to answer questions in any other way but pretending you asked a question he did know the answer to.

And for God's sake, require at least one year of business math.

About 9/10's of the pre-college educational system is completely a daycare service.
 
2002-12-15 09:37:02 PM
Hey he's got the same birthday as me. Well no year. But we were both born on the same day. Now I feel a weird connection with him. Creepy...
 
2002-12-15 09:38:13 PM
Donkster

Not sure how Ben is railing against abortion-rights advocates and homosexuals in this article. Care to elaborate?
 
2002-12-15 09:38:48 PM
"not". Not! Please don't criticize my typo.
 
2002-12-15 09:39:05 PM
"It gets to me that he blames teachers' unions for the lapse in public school standards. In my experience (and I went to public school my whole life), most teachers DO care."

I work for a school system's technology department, so I get somewhat of a bird's eye view of teachers and other staff. I can honestly say that in my opinion, the vast majority of teachers do NOT care. They're like anyone else, just wanting a paycheck.

As the saying goes.. those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. I felt sorry for teachers when I was a student and I was so naive to believe that the face teachers put on in front of the class is their true face. It's not, and it never was.

That's not to say there aren't exceptions.. there are some excellent teachers out there who are also excellent people in general. But they do not represent the majority.
 
2002-12-15 09:40:36 PM
Just since everybody else is praising him, I'll be different and say "BEN STEIN SUCKS"*

*the opinion in the above quote do not nessesarily reflect the viewpoint of the writer.

the artical sounds like an exerpt from a Ray Bradbury book
 
2002-12-15 09:41:33 PM

Forbes 85th Anniversary
How to Ruin American Enterprise
Benjamin J. Stein, 12.23.02


Not only is he smart, he is a time traveller
 
2002-12-15 09:42:27 PM
Smite: You should actually look at what the %'s are of what the middle class pay percentage-wise. Like it or not, the rich actually DO pay more in taxes (even though they are a smaller percentage of the population) than the poor and middle-class. I saw the numbers some time ago (wish I could find them easily) and I was amazed.
 
2002-12-15 09:42:29 PM
"Make sure that lawsuits against drugmakers are especially encouraged so that the companies are afraid to develop new lifesaving drugs, lest they be sued for sums that will bankrupt them."

Companies afraid to develop new lifesaving drugs? This will NEVER happen. Drug development is a massive industry. New drugs can be worth billions of dollars, even ones that aren't for something so petty as saving lives. (Viagra, anyone?) It's pretty disingenuous for Ben Stein to claim that researchers are going to stop trying to cure AIDS unless they get a promise they will never be sued. Makes me wonder what drug-industry buddies HE has that need that protection so bad.
 
2002-12-15 09:42:44 PM
Chrisifa, your english teacher should have asked you to write an essay supporting your position rather than just calling you a racist. If you can remember, what was the nature of your argument?

Sunwalk, I did biology at school and got to learn some of the basics of genetics. Without that knowledge, I wouldn't have the first clue about the current very topical issues in that field.
 
2002-12-15 09:43:35 PM
i don't totally agree on what he said about the drug companies. if they have no fear, they will do what they like.

anybody hear about pfizer doing meningitis experiments on children in africa? what they did left children blind and unable to talk as well as other problems.
 
2002-12-15 09:43:43 PM
He is Right on many points. Not all. But most. Scary huh.
Competition breeds Innovation and more jobs.
 
2002-12-15 09:44:08 PM
"In 1973 and 1974, he was a speech writer and lawyer for Richard Nixon at The White House and then for Gerald Ford. (He did NOT write the line, "I am not a crook.")"
 
2002-12-15 09:48:01 PM
Interesting how he disparages lawyers, yet himself and wife practice.
 
2002-12-15 09:50:01 PM
"Interesting how he disparages lawyers, yet himself and wife practice."

Touche!
 
2002-12-15 09:50:48 PM
Interesting how he disparages lawyers, yet himself and wife practice.

A lot of priests molested young boys, but that doesn't mean they all did.
 
2002-12-15 09:51:20 PM
12-15-02 09:42:27 PM Troyf1
Like it or not, the rich actually DO pay more in taxes (even though they are a smaller percentage of the population) than the poor and middle-class.


The point that leftists have is that the wealthiest are the owners of the businesses that everyone else buys their obnoxious consumer goods from. Therefore, the evil rich simply pass their tax bill onto the lowly consumer, and therefore, the rich do not pay taxes at all. Especially the richest 1%.
 
2002-12-15 09:52:02 PM
I really can't agree with his position on drug companies. We have a disease industry in this country, where profiting off of people's sickness is more important than the basic human right of access to health care. Drug companies do everything they can to keeps drugs prescription as long as possible, resulting in millions in profit which then go into advertising and marketing the next Viagra rather than researching livesaving drugs. Simultaneously, the high price of prescription drugs make it very difficult for the 40 million people in this country without health insurance to afford medication they need. While drug companies deserve all the money they need to develop new medication, the current system that allows them to profit off the sick is just plain wrong.
 
2002-12-15 09:52:44 PM
Zzeuss Interesting how he disparages lawyers, yet himself and wife practice. Because some lawyers fight against frivolous lawsuits. Some are intelligent enough to realize just how stupid and destructive they really are to all of us.
 
2002-12-15 09:52:50 PM
Ben and his wife in the 60's...this man is farking cool:

 
2002-12-15 09:56:36 PM
I went to a Catholic school. We taught history OK, but we never really advanced past World War 2. Middle Eastern, European, African, and Asian history are pretty much non-existant.

I'm a huge history buff, and let me say this, exact dates are USELESS. The only thing you need to know is what order the events happen in relation to each other.

I think I agree with the vast majority of what Benny says, but I think that our nation should nix the drug and sex laws as most of them are archaic and counter-productive.

I also agree with him about this multicultural crap. Whenever I had to debate with a multiculturalist I would always bring up 1) Southern culture, 2) Nazi culture, 3) Communist culture, 4) Corporate culture, 5) Tribal culture, 6) Democratic culture. I'd tell the multiculturalist to compare and contrast those cultures and tell me that they're all equal.
 
2002-12-15 09:58:34 PM
"Working closely with the teachers' unions, make sure that you dumb down standards so that children who make the most minimal effort still get by with flying colors."

Ah, the bullshiat-o-meter just went off the scale with this one. Guess what? It isn't the teachers OR their unions that are responsible, though it would be convenient for the republicans if it were so. It's the ADMINISTRATORS.

As the husband of a public school teacher, my wife has been brought before her principal on many an occasion when she taught 6th grade and the "suggestion" was made that she raise an F to a D. When she refused, the principal made the change anyway, and made life unpleasant for my wife by assigning her extra duties (bus duty, cafeteria monitor, etc. Yes, they DO have leverage over teachers, in spite of what you may have been told).

You see, the administrators are seen as "doing a good job" if the bulk of the students pass. Expelling students and having them drop out lowers their funding. The incentive to keep their jobs leads to all kinds of falsification of records by the principals and those above.

If they really wanted some accountability, try the parents. Many seem to let their kids grow up with no discipline, common decency, or knowledge of how to sit down, shut up, and open their ears. Plus, they basically expect the schools to do their jobs FOR them, and blame their teachers who can't seem to make little Johnny learn. The teachers only have them for 6-8 hours a day, tops. If discipline doesn't carry over to the home, forget about the kid learning.

To use a scenario that hits a little closer to the average joe, imagine that your job was building cars. Your boss will stay employed as long as a hunk of metal on wheels goes out the door, so HE doesn't care about quality since YOU'LL get blamed. On top of that, monkeys are let in every night to mess the shop floor up and un-do most of the work you did the day before. That's about what teaching is like these days.

To close, "BS" stands for more than just "Ben Stein."

I'll put away my soap box now.
 
2002-12-15 09:59:07 PM
Ben Stein can't run for President, because it will come out that he is actually Deep Throat.
 
2002-12-15 09:59:45 PM
Bullseye.

Cheers to Ben Stein.
 
2002-12-15 10:00:25 PM
Sunwalk, does popular English usage make your equal you're? I'd argue that at least the bare basics be taught, and I don't know of any schools that go into more complex grammar than that.

Otherwise, I agree with you completely. My Algebra TWO class is still going over what variables are, but in biology we have to memorize and regurgitate the most obscure and complicated of cell functions, even though all the people who are actually going to use that stuff in the future are in AP, not this class.
 
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