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  #51  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Airbeck View Post
Maybe they suffer from having *too many* opportunities? They know they have it made no matter how they do in school. Whereas poorer kids may know that this is their only shot. No Daddy money bags to bail them out, get them into Yale etc...
Wait. So your answer is affluenza? Or some close cousin of affluenza?
  #52  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:20 PM
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So if culture doesn't make a difference, how do you explain the poorest racial group in NYC outperforming the richest racial group in NYC? Should we be throwing a little affirmative action towards rich white kids to equalize their opportunities?
I consider myself a liberal, and if other liberals disagree with me I would be happy to hear from them as well. I think you’re missing and in fact seem to be actively dismissing the main issue. Culture does make a difference and I believe is THE biggest issue. But that IS an opportunity that needs equalizing. Having parents that value education is way more important than having parents that are rich or geniuses. Dismissing culture as somehow being apart from opportunity fails at the most basic level. Coming from a good culture that values education is not only part of opportunity, it’s the most important factor.

ETA. And as mentioned upthread the wealthiest families probably have a culture of relying on their money and connections and caring less about education.

Last edited by FlikTheBlue; 12-19-2019 at 04:22 PM.
  #53  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:22 PM
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I would like you to elaborate your views on this.

To keep it simple, let's focus on just two racial groups in the United States; black Americans and white Americans.

Let's take it as a given that neutral statistics tell us that black Americans are (on a per capita basis) more likely to be convicted of a crime than white Americans; more likely to be incarcerated than white Americans; more likely to be unemployed than white Americans; more likely to collect public assistance than white Americans; more likely to not have a high school diploma white Americans; and more likely to live below the poverty line than white Americans.

So what do you, personally, attribute these statistics to? Do you feel they are the result of social factors that affect black Americans and that do not affect white Americans? Or do you feel they are the result of inherent differences between black Americans and white Americans? In other words, do you feel that if black Americans grew up in an identical environment to white Americans, they would still on average be more likely to commit crimes, not have a job, drop out of school, and be poor?
It feels like we have had this discussion before.

Nonetheless, it is a question that lends itself to analysis.

Now, we know that single parents, mostly mothers, and their children are disproportionately likely to be in poverty. And likewise that the children of single mothers are disproportionately subject to the various social ills you describe - poorer educational outcomes, higher rates of crime, unemployment, etc. The interesting thing is that this is the case for black and white single mothers alike - both suffer from higher rates of these social ills, for themselves and their children. So now we examine the groups of "black Americans in general" and "white Americans in general" and see if, for instance, there is a difference in incidence of single parenting, mostly mothers.

If one group experiences single parenthood at 40%, and the other at 73%, one would predict that the group at 73% would be disproportionately suffering from the various social ills. And sure enough, that's what we see. No inherent factors needed.

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  #54  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:22 PM
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It's not purely driven by wealth. The poorest racial group in NYC has higher academic achievement than the richest racial group in NYC.

If you include how people parent their children as a form of opportunity then you are effectively including culture as part of someone's opportunity. But people don't usually say having good parents is a form of opportunity disparity because they think it's racist to say one group is better at parenting than another.
Of course it's not only driven by wealth -- I was using that as an example. Racial prejudice (positive and negative), sexism, culture, etc., all play a part as well.

It's not that I don't believe you, but can you provide a cite for the NYC thing you've mentioned several times now? It's not all that relevant, since NYC isn't everything and income is just one factor that can lead to differences in opportunity. But, I'm still curious which weird statistical thing you've discovered.

Anyway, OP -- If you can't use results to try and find differences in opportunity among broad groups, how do you propose trying to find those differences in opportunity? Do you think there's value in eliminating such differences? Differences in results is a nice, measurable proxy, imperfect though it is.
  #55  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:53 PM
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I wouldn't look at just one statistic to make this kind of judgement. Do whites in NYC have lower incomes, worse health and life expectancy outcomes, lesser representation among high executives and officials, etc.? Do Asians? If we had all that kind of information, we might be able to determine if there's any inequality of opportunity relating to these groups.
So you don't know whether or not to consider this unequal results?

What if I said that hispanics also underperformed asians academically in NYC, would that be the result of a lack of opportunity or would you go through the same exercise?

What if the result was that hispanics had lower life expectancy that asians but higher than whites (asians and hispanics generally have longer life expectancy than whites) and hispanics were over-represented in elected office and political appointments.

At some point you are just making excuses to keep believing what you want to believe aren't you?
  #56  
Old 12-19-2019, 04:57 PM
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I consider myself a liberal, and if other liberals disagree with me I would be happy to hear from them as well. I think youíre missing and in fact seem to be actively dismissing the main issue. Culture does make a difference and I believe is THE biggest issue. But that IS an opportunity that needs equalizing. Having parents that value education is way more important than having parents that are rich or geniuses. Dismissing culture as somehow being apart from opportunity fails at the most basic level. Coming from a good culture that values education is not only part of opportunity, itís the most important factor.

ETA. And as mentioned upthread the wealthiest families probably have a culture of relying on their money and connections and caring less about education.
So you think we need to provide more opportunities to the children of parents that don't value education in order to equalize the benefit that kids with better parents enjoy?

Are you ducking kidding?
  #57  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:01 PM
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Of course it's not only driven by wealth -- I was using that as an example. Racial prejudice (positive and negative), sexism, culture, etc., all play a part as well.

It's not that I don't believe you, but can you provide a cite for the NYC thing you've mentioned several times now? It's not all that relevant, since NYC isn't everything and income is just one factor that can lead to differences in opportunity. But, I'm still curious which weird statistical thing you've discovered.

Anyway, OP -- If you can't use results to try and find differences in opportunity among broad groups, how do you propose trying to find those differences in opportunity? Do you think there's value in eliminating such differences? Differences in results is a nice, measurable proxy, imperfect though it is.
https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/us_5...b0c46f0782a5b6
  #58  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:02 PM
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I wouldn't.

If you give women and men equal opportunities to live and work exactly how they choose with no barriers at all, I would be very surprised if we saw gender participation in all activities at 50/50
Maybe? I don't know how you'd go about proving that. However, I'm sure we agree that the disparity would be much, much less.
  #59  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:09 PM
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So you think we need to provide more opportunities to the children of parents that don't value education in order to equalize the benefit that kids with better parents enjoy?

Are you ducking kidding?
Of course I think that. The way to do so, however, is by changing those cultures so that they do value education. Are you saying that those cultures where parents are less likely to value education should continue to place a low value on education?
  #60  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:13 PM
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The problem I see is in talking about black or Asian or white culture. What does that even mean? I teach at a prestigious public magnet school. We are about 15% Asian. About half those kids come from the same neighborhood. Its very professional class, and its half Asian, almost entirely South Indian. If you want to talk about the shared culture of those kids, I'm happy to do it. And I'm happy to talk about the impact it has on education. But the other half of the Asian kids we serve, including the South Indian ones, come from all over the city, have all sorts of different backgrounds, and very different family and local cultures.

In the same way, I know communities of black professionals who will out Tiger mom any Asian parent you ever met; white communities where not being a jock would be much more shameful than not being National Merit. Asian groups that are ashamed of the kid who abandons his family to go to college instead of getting a job right now.

So assigning "culture" to a huge % of the world and using that to explain disparity of outcome seems insane to me. There are absolutely smaller groups that have cultures that shape outcomes, but extrapolating that to explain differences in outcome across the nation makes no sense.

As far as the disparity in NYC, I'd look to see if there are even smaller groups that do have a shared culture that are shaping the results.
  #61  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:16 PM
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Thanks, but I don't see where that article states that poor Asians are outperforming white kids. In fact, it cautions against lumping poor Cambodians, for example, with rich Chinese immigrants and using the performance of the wealthy immigrants to say that the Asian community doesn't need any help.
  #62  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
So you don't know whether or not to consider this unequal results?



What if I said that hispanics also underperformed asians academically in NYC, would that be the result of a lack of opportunity or would you go through the same exercise?



What if the result was that hispanics had lower life expectancy that asians but higher than whites (asians and hispanics generally have longer life expectancy than whites) and hispanics were over-represented in elected office and political appointments.



At some point you are just making excuses to keep believing what you want to believe aren't you?
Huh? I'm not sure what you're saying here, aside from your apparent personal beef with me. What did I say that you disagree with?
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  #63  
Old 12-19-2019, 05:42 PM
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Thanks, but I don't see where that article states that poor Asians are outperforming white kids. In fact, it cautions against lumping poor Cambodians, for example, with rich Chinese immigrants and using the performance of the wealthy immigrants to say that the Asian community doesn't need any help.
Was actually just looking at this. There is a link in the article to a report. Check out the education section which starts on page 18.

Link: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/operation...April-2016.pdf
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Old 12-19-2019, 05:47 PM
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Was actually just looking at this. There is a link in the article to a report. Check out the education section which starts on page 18.

Link: http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/operation...April-2016.pdf
I'm in transit and that file is very big. Can you give me the gist?
  #65  
Old 12-19-2019, 06:02 PM
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Maybe? I don't know how you'd go about proving that. However, I'm sure we agree that the disparity would be much, much less.
Maybe, I honestly don't know. In a world of perfectly equal opportunity would we ever see the gender gap in primary school teachers narrow substantially? And what would be narrow enough? and what we would do if it persisted?

I think in any discussion on these subjects it is quite instructive to get people to say what they think the outcome should be.

If they say they want everyone to have equal access to life choices then I'm right behind them. If they say they want perfectly equal representation (across a plethora of categories) then I'd run a mile. That way madness lies.
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  #66  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:14 PM
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The problem I see is in talking about black or Asian or white culture. What does that even mean? I teach at a prestigious public magnet school. We are about 15% Asian. About half those kids come from the same neighborhood. Its very professional class, and its half Asian, almost entirely South Indian. If you want to talk about the shared culture of those kids, I'm happy to do it. And I'm happy to talk about the impact it has on education. But the other half of the Asian kids we serve, including the South Indian ones, come from all over the city, have all sorts of different backgrounds, and very different family and local cultures.

In the same way, I know communities of black professionals who will out Tiger mom any Asian parent you ever met; white communities where not being a jock would be much more shameful than not being National Merit. Asian groups that are ashamed of the kid who abandons his family to go to college instead of getting a job right now.

So assigning "culture" to a huge % of the world and using that to explain disparity of outcome seems insane to me. There are absolutely smaller groups that have cultures that shape outcomes, but extrapolating that to explain differences in outcome across the nation makes no sense.

As far as the disparity in NYC, I'd look to see if there are even smaller groups that do have a shared culture that are shaping the results.
Why can culture not be as much of an explanatory factor, as, say, income? I fully agree that the variation within ethnic groups is probably much bigger than the variation between ethnic groups, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a difference in the average emphasis on say, academic performance, between ethnic groups.

Just like there are poor, middle class, and rich people of every race, there are people who will prioritize certain outcomes highly for each race (eg. academic performance, athletic excellence, whatever). It seems bizarre to me that people would consider that it's ok to say "black people are disproportionately poor, which leads to negative outcomes" but not consider "black people are disproportionately less focused on academics, which leads to negative outcomes" to be a plausible statement.

I agree with you that there are all sorts of problems with generalizing into such broad groupings as black, white, asian, hispanic, etc. The average Nigerian immigrant has a vastly different culture (and also, likely vastly different socio-economic starting point) than the average African American growing up in the projects, yet they will get grouped together as black. That doesn't mean that their cultures are irrelevant.



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Of course I think that. The way to do so, however, is by changing those cultures so that they do value education. Are you saying that those cultures where parents are less likely to value education should continue to place a low value on education?
I agree with this and would like to know what other liberals think about this. It's certainly not something that could be done easily though, and it's certainly not clear to me as to how cultural changes are driven.
  #67  
Old 12-19-2019, 07:53 PM
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Of course it's not only driven by wealth -- I was using that as an example. Racial prejudice (positive and negative), sexism, culture, etc., all play a part as well.
Yes, everything plays a part but how much of that can be remedied (or should be remedied through laws and policy).

Quote:
It's not that I don't believe you, but can you provide a cite for the NYC thing you've mentioned several times now? It's not all that relevant, since NYC isn't everything and income is just one factor that can lead to differences in opportunity. But, I'm still curious which weird statistical thing you've discovered.
It's a statistic I discovered in a debate about a NYC magnet school that has historically used a single exam to determine admissions but this has led to an overwhelmingly asian population. There was an attempt to achieve racial balancing by making the admissions process more subjective and one of the claims was that the asians were all privileged and wealthy when in fact they are the poorest race group in NYC.
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:56 PM
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Of course I think that. The way to do so, however, is by changing those cultures so that they do value education. Are you saying that those cultures where parents are less likely to value education should continue to place a low value on education?
Maybe I am misunderstanding you. What policy or law can you pass that would make inner city black culture more like recent immigrant asian culture?
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:08 PM
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The problem I see is in talking about black or Asian or white culture. What does that even mean? I teach at a prestigious public magnet school. We are about 15% Asian. About half those kids come from the same neighborhood. Its very professional class, and its half Asian, almost entirely South Indian. If you want to talk about the shared culture of those kids, I'm happy to do it. And I'm happy to talk about the impact it has on education. But the other half of the Asian kids we serve, including the South Indian ones, come from all over the city, have all sorts of different backgrounds, and very different family and local cultures.

In the same way, I know communities of black professionals who will out Tiger mom any Asian parent you ever met; white communities where not being a jock would be much more shameful than not being National Merit. Asian groups that are ashamed of the kid who abandons his family to go to college instead of getting a job right now.

So assigning "culture" to a huge % of the world and using that to explain disparity of outcome seems insane to me. There are absolutely smaller groups that have cultures that shape outcomes, but extrapolating that to explain differences in outcome across the nation makes no sense.

As far as the disparity in NYC, I'd look to see if there are even smaller groups that do have a shared culture that are shaping the results.
Yes, it's mostly east asians from confucian cultures. But it seems like you agree that culture could have something to do with the disparities we seen between racial groups. But there is a more general immigrant culture that focuses on academics. You see it among eastern europeans, south asians, east asians, africans, etc.

Do the black children of those black tiger moms generally achieve better results than others?
  #70  
Old 12-19-2019, 08:15 PM
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Yes, everything plays a part but how much of that can be remedied (or should be remedied through laws and policy).
I don't know, but I don't think that's what this thread is about. I thought it was about Velocity's view of what liberals think about equality of opportunity and results. I'm interested in discussing that. I'm not really interested in discussing solutions, because there are no clear ones and it really seems like a different thread to me.


[/QUOTE]
It's a statistic I discovered in a debate about a NYC magnet school that has historically used a single exam to determine admissions but this has led to an overwhelmingly asian population. There was an attempt to achieve racial balancing by making the admissions process more subjective and one of the claims was that the asians were all privileged and wealthy when in fact they are the poorest race group in NYC.[/QUOTE]

Right, but we agree these are different groups, yes? Asian immigrants in NYC are hugely diverse, from incredibly wealthy Chinese immigrants and, according to your article, dirt-poor Cambodians, Laotians (?), and other groups. I don't understand why you would group them together. My original point, about poor people, still stands, I think. Poor people have fewer opportunities than rich people, and worse results.

To the OP: What are you trying to debate here? Do you agree that equality of results is at least a rough proxy for equality of opportunity? Do you have a better proxy? Or, do you have a way of measuring opportunity directly?

If you're looking to discuss solutions, I'll skip that.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:15 PM
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As for what laws might improve opportunities for poor black Americans, here are some ideas:

Adding banking services to US Post Offices, so that poor black workers don't have to go to predatory check-cashing businesses to cash their paychecks.
Banning that kind of predatory lending.
Providing incentives for grocery stores to locate in these "deserts" such that these folks don't have to rely on junk food.
Universal health care.
Fair and equal law enforcement and policing, such that black people don't go to jail for longer for the same crimes as others.
Public transportation vouchers (and better public transportation in cities with sub-par transit) for poor folks.
Allowing food stamps to be used for other necessities (i.e. toiletries, basic clothing, etc.).
Equalizing schools -- which may require busing. Busing actually worked -- poor black students' test scores and achievement went way, way up. It stopped because suburban white parents didn't like that their kids went to school with some poor black kids, and those white parents had a lot more political influence than poor black parents.
Education on African American Vernacular English (AAVE), such that kids who grow up speaking it aren't treated worse by teachers who are unaware of the existence of this dialect and just assume these kids are speaking "poor English". I started a thread on this a while back (with a linked article) -- these kinds of assumptions, which are pretty common around the country, hold these kids back because they are getting inconsistent education between school and their home-life, and they tend to just shut up at school rather than speak up and ask questions and inevitably get shit upon by their teacher.
Actually recognizing ALL the US policies and practices that served to make black Americans second-class citizens (or worse). Lots and lots of research on this, including the ramifications today. Show that this country really actually acknowledges how terrible it was for black people for most of its history, and pledges to work against this. So many black folks don't feel like they have a chance in this country... and when 50% of them have been mistreated by police (as they report in polling), along with other routine indignities and bigotries many black folks face daily, this is awfully hard to overcome. The country needs to demonstrate that every citizen truly is equal under the law, and in our society.

Just off the top of my head.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 12-19-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:41 PM
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Sorry, I really screwed up the quoting in my previous post. Here's another attempt:

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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
Yes, everything plays a part but how much of that can be remedied (or should be remedied through laws and policy).
I don't know, but I don't think that's what this thread is about. I thought it was about Velocity's view of what liberals think about equality of opportunity and results. I'm interested in discussing that. I'm not really interested in discussing solutions, because there are no clear ones and it really seems like a different thread to me.

Quote:
It's a statistic I discovered in a debate about a NYC magnet school that has historically used a single exam to determine admissions but this has led to an overwhelmingly asian population. There was an attempt to achieve racial balancing by making the admissions process more subjective and one of the claims was that the asians were all privileged and wealthy when in fact they are the poorest race group in NYC.
Right, but we agree these are different groups, yes? Asian immigrants in NYC are hugely diverse, from incredibly wealthy Chinese immigrants and, according to your article, dirt-poor Cambodians, Laotians (?), and other groups. I don't understand why you would group them together. My original point, about poor people, still stands, I think. Poor people have fewer opportunities than rich people, and worse results.

To the OP: What are you trying to debate here? Do you agree that equality of results is at least a rough proxy for equality of opportunity? Do you have a better proxy? Or, do you have a way of measuring opportunity directly?

If you're looking to discuss solutions, I'll skip that.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:57 PM
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Why can culture not be as much of an explanatory factor, as, say, income? I fully agree that the variation within ethnic groups is probably much bigger than the variation between ethnic groups, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a difference in the average emphasis on say, academic performance, between ethnic groups.

Just like there are poor, middle class, and rich people of every race, there are people who will prioritize certain outcomes highly for each race (eg. academic performance, athletic excellence, whatever). It seems bizarre to me that people would consider that it's ok to say "black people are disproportionately poor, which leads to negative outcomes" but not consider "black people are disproportionately less focused on academics, which leads to negative outcomes" to be a plausible statement.

I agree with you that there are all sorts of problems with generalizing into such broad groupings as black, white, asian, hispanic, etc. The average Nigerian immigrant has a vastly different culture (and also, likely vastly different socio-economic starting point) than the average African American growing up in the projects, yet they will get grouped together as black. That doesn't mean that their cultures are irrelevant.
This is really really important: the average African American doesn't grow up in the projects. The fact that you think so, that that is the common impression of what "black culture" is, is really the whole issue in a nutshell. You can't use someone's race to generalize about their culture. And we don't usually use race to generalize about white people--we understand that a kid raised in rural Kansas with parents that work at a grain processing plant is going to have a different culture a kid who lives in San Francisco whose parents work in IT. But that makes sense to us because white is "neutral" and culture comes from something else.

Yes, we can talk about the impact of different types of culture on achievement, but culture doesn't map to race any more that genes map to race. It's vastly more nuanced and complicated than that. However, if you start to get sloppy and take that short-cut to explain differences in outcome, it easily becomes a way to ignore injustice. Right now, there are basically a bunch of people that say, in a nutshell "Black kids in poverty have only themselves to blame because black culture doesn't value the right things". That statement is like a fractal of wrongness, with every part being as shockingly appalling as the whole.

It's also worth noting that it's mainstream white culture that created the narrative that the "correct" way for a black kid to "get out of the ghetto" is through sports or entertainment--you know, entertaining us normal people, not competing with us for jobs or status. This narrative has been reinforced time after time in our society in a hundred thousand ways, and it's disingenuous to the nth degree to blame "black culture" for that set of values. That was a set of values externally imposed and cultivated by outside forces, akin to only letting Jewish people work as bankers, then using "Evil Jewish Bankers" as a pretext for genocide.
  #74  
Old 12-19-2019, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Damuri Ajashi View Post
It's a statistic I discovered in a debate about a NYC magnet school that has historically used a single exam to determine admissions but this has led to an overwhelmingly asian population. There was an attempt to achieve racial balancing by making the admissions process more subjective and one of the claims was that the asians were all privileged and wealthy when in fact they are the poorest race group in NYC.
All Asians are certainly not privileged and wealthy - but according to this , they were not the poorest ethnic group in NYC as of 2015. Additionally, the poverty rate differs between countries of origin, between citizens and non-citizens and so on. It is entirely possible that the 73%* of students at Stuyvesant who are of Asian descent are mostly second-generation Chinese or Korean students from middle-class and up families** that could afford private education until 8th grade and/or tutoring. It's even possible that the Black/Hispanic/White peers of these students mostly attend private high schools and if those students chose to attend the specialized high schools, the percentage of Asian students would be lower. Now, I don't know if those things are true, but the fact that they are possible are reasons why saying that the ethnic group with the highest poverty rate has the highest academic achievement *** doesn't really say anything.



* There are about 3300 students so about 2400 are Asian.

** and there is no reliable way to tell how poor the students are - with a neighborhood school, you can at least assume the demographics are similar to the neighborhood. People have lied on free lunch forms ( since no proof was required ) since I went to high school 40 years ago, so that wouldn't be an accurate measure- and even if it was, NYC now provides lunch to every student.

***as defined by getting admitted into one of a few high schools that base admission on a single test.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:09 PM
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Yes, it's mostly east asians from confucian cultures. But it seems like you agree that culture could have something to do with the disparities we seen between racial groups. But there is a more general immigrant culture that focuses on academics. You see it among eastern europeans, south asians, east asians, africans, etc.

Do the black children of those black tiger moms generally achieve better results than others?
Yes, black children with highly ambitious parents often achieve at a very high rate. Of course they do. And I agree that being an immigrant can have a tremendous impact, just because of the guilt and the pressure. That's not a matter of culture, it's a matter of circumstance. Having a younger sibling die of cancer is a great motivator to be a doctor, but that's not cultural.

But the cultural variation I am talking about is way, way more nuanced than you seem to recognize. Money and education play a huge role--as does the specific community someone lives in. You can't say "Korean culture in America is like this". An undocumented Korean kid whose mom supports the family by cutting hair in her kitchen has a very different culture than the child of a Korean doctor.
  #76  
Old 12-19-2019, 09:23 PM
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Why can culture not be as much of an explanatory factor, as, say, income? I fully agree that the variation within ethnic groups is probably much bigger than the variation between ethnic groups, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a difference in the average emphasis on say, academic performance, between ethnic groups.

Just like there are poor, middle class, and rich people of every race, there are people who will prioritize certain outcomes highly for each race (eg. academic performance, athletic excellence, whatever). It seems bizarre to me that people would consider that it's ok to say "black people are disproportionately poor, which leads to negative outcomes" but not consider "black people are disproportionately less focused on academics, which leads to negative outcomes" to be a plausible statement.

I agree with you that there are all sorts of problems with generalizing into such broad groupings as black, white, asian, hispanic, etc. The average Nigerian immigrant has a vastly different culture (and also, likely vastly different socio-economic starting point) than the average African American growing up in the projects, yet they will get grouped together as black. That doesn't mean that their cultures are irrelevant.
Some people consider criticism of black culture to be racist.

They insist that all other explanations must be exhausted before we can lay any of the blame on blacks or their culture. In fact some of them believe that any negative aspects of their culture may actually be manifestations of the racism they experience so even their culture is not really something they can be held responsible for addressing.

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I agree with this and would like to know what other liberals think about this. It's certainly not something that could be done easily though, and it's certainly not clear to me as to how cultural changes are driven.
This is a hard question but until we can agree that the culture cold use a tune up, it's going to be impossible to fix. To some extent the culture is in fact changing, at least for black women.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:42 PM
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I don't know, but I don't think that's what this thread is about. I thought it was about Velocity's view of what liberals think about equality of opportunity and results. I'm interested in discussing that. I'm not really interested in discussing solutions, because there are no clear ones and it really seems like a different thread to me.
It's a statistic I discovered in a debate about a NYC magnet school that has historically used a single exam to determine admissions but this has led to an overwhelmingly asian population. There was an attempt to achieve racial balancing by making the admissions process more subjective and one of the claims was that the asians were all privileged and wealthy when in fact they are the poorest race group in NYC.[/QUOTE]

Right, but we agree these are different groups, yes? Asian immigrants in NYC are hugely diverse, from incredibly wealthy Chinese immigrants and, according to your article, dirt-poor Cambodians, Laotians (?), and other groups. I don't understand why you would group them together. My original point, about poor people, still stands, I think. Poor people have fewer opportunities than rich people, and worse results.[/quote]

No, There's over a million asians in NYC and I doubt there are much more than 1000 Cambodians. Probably even fewer Loatians. The vast majority of the asians in NYC either come from confucian cultures like China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam or from south asian countries like India or Pakistan/Bangladesh. The poverty rate among the asian immigrants is pretty high (30%), somebody has to wait those tables in chinatown, somebody run the cash register at the korean supermarkets.

And while NYC's asians are not a perfectly representative sample of anything other than NYC asians, I suspect you can extrapolate the point I am making. Poor asians are outperforming rich whites academically and it's not because they have more opportunity. It's because of a difference in culture. Asians believe that intelligence and academic success is largely the result of effort, discipline, practice. Many whites seem to think that people are either born smart or they are not.
  #78  
Old 12-19-2019, 09:51 PM
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We have a good discussion ongoing in the "Will Trump win in 2020?" thread, which, while vigorous and valuable, completely derails that thread, so I wanted to try to redirect it here instead:


Conservatives often accuse liberals of conflating "equal opportunity" with "equal results." Some liberals, though, say that equal opportunity means equal results, and if you don't get equal results, then people never had equal opportunity to begin with.

I would challenge that for a few reasons:
  • Everyone has different interests. You may love math, I may hate it. If given the same opportunity to get a math scholarship, you may put far more effort into it than I would, simply because I have no interest. And you'd probably be much likelier to get the scholarship than me.
  • Different cultures value different things. Some cultures value athletics, some may put more focus on academia.
  • Everyone has a different work ethic. Some students are perfectionists and want straight A's. Some are happy with B's. Some just want to pass and would be okay with a D. Some don't even care to pass at all.
  • Everyone has different amounts of talent. Some people are simply gifted with artistic, musical, or theatrical talent. Some could never play an instrument or act any role on stage to save their lives. Some are physically much stronger, taller, weaker or slower than others.
  • Even if everyone has equal talent or work ethic, sometimes opportunities are limited and will exclude the majority. A football team can only have 53 players on its roster. Even if a school has a thousand athletes who are all equally fit, strong, fast and agile, it can only field 53 players on game day. As a result, there is by definition bound to be unequal outcome. (An even more extreme example of this would be the Powerball or Mega Millions: Every ticket, by definition, has an equal chance of winning, but only one or a few tickets - out of many millions - will ultimately win.)
All of that's a lovely explanation of why different individuals will wind up doing different things even if they come out of very similar circumstances.

It has very little, if anything, to do with results taken over large groups of people, which all contain large numbers of individuals who differ on all of those factors.

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Even with equal education, there is still a gap in motivation and work ethic. Some students simply work harder or are more motivated than others. Some just want to pass and don't care if it's a D+.

There is still a gap in talent. There is still a gap in parenting - some parents are great at giving their kids a good attitude about academics, some parents are terrible, and some kids are single-parent or orphans.
A difference in parenting is, from the point of view of the children, a difference in opportunity.

A difference in motivation may come from all sorts of factors. Some of it's individual differences; but some of it is difference of opportunity. The unmotivated kid may be told by everyone they know that there's no sense in bothering; or may be using all of a large amount of motivation to do something that's not in the standard curriculum; or may simply be hungry.

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We can have fairly wide disparities in outcome between racial groups despite even opportunities.
Would you care to specify exactly what you mean by a "racial group", and what circumstances you think exist which provide even opportunities?

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Culture plays into it a lot. Culture can affect your choices and some cultures promote better choices than others.
Culture most certainly does affect choices. The culture setting the rules affects the choices of everyone else..

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If you include how people parent their children as a form of opportunity then you are effectively including culture as part of someone's opportunity. But people don't usually say having good parents is a form of opportunity disparity because they think it's racist to say one group is better at parenting than another.
You're taking a wild leap from 'some people are better at parenting than others' to 'some racial groups are better at parenting than others.' That second statement does sound racist, for sure.

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So you think we need to provide more opportunities to the children of parents that don't value education in order to equalize the benefit that kids with better parents enjoy?

Are you ducking kidding?
I think we should provide mentors to the children of parents who for whatever reason can't or aren't do the job, yes.

Should I conclude that unfortunately you are not kidding, with or without euphemistic expletives, when you say that children of parents who can't or won't do their job should be given no assistance, but should instead be punished for the sins or inabilities of their parents?

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Some people consider criticism of black culture to be racist.
I consider lumping together all of the wildly varying cultures engaged in by the widely varying people all over the world who have dark skin color into one undifferentiated category called 'black culture' to be racist, yes.
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Old 12-19-2019, 09:59 PM
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...Poor asians are outperforming rich whites academically and it's not because they have more opportunity. It's because of a difference in culture. Asians believe that intelligence and academic success is largely the result of effort, discipline, practice. Many whites seem to think that people are either born smart or they are not.
Can you provide a cite for the bolded part? Your previous cite did not show that.
  #80  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:03 PM
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Aside from the following the rest were just "how to help poor people" suggestions

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Fair and equal law enforcement and policing, such that black people don't go to jail for longer for the same crimes as others.
Yes, blacks are more likely to be victims of police brutality than whites. This needs to stop. So what law were you proposing again?

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Equalizing schools -- which may require busing. Busing actually worked -- poor black students' test scores and achievement went way, way up. It stopped because suburban white parents didn't like that their kids went to school with some poor black kids, and those white parents had a lot more political influence than poor black parents.
Busing is a good way to get Trump a third term. Come up with an idea that won't turn the white house permanently red.

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Education on African American Vernacular English (AAVE), such that kids who grow up speaking it aren't treated worse by teachers who are unaware of the existence of this dialect and just assume these kids are speaking "poor English". I started a thread on this a while back (with a linked article) -- these kinds of assumptions, which are pretty common around the country, hold these kids back because they are getting inconsistent education between school and their home-life, and they tend to just shut up at school rather than speak up and ask questions and inevitably get shit upon by their teacher.
I don't know enough about this but maybe we should put the black kids in ESL so they can all learn to speak english in a manner that will set them up for success later in life... like we do with the asian immigrant kids?

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Actually recognizing ALL the US policies and practices that served to make black Americans second-class citizens (or worse). Lots and lots of research on this, including the ramifications today. Show that this country really actually acknowledges how terrible it was for black people for most of its history, and pledges to work against this. So many black folks don't feel like they have a chance in this country... and when 50% of them have been mistreated by police (as they report in polling), along with other routine indignities and bigotries many black folks face daily, this is awfully hard to overcome. The country needs to demonstrate that every citizen truly is equal under the law, and in our society.
What law are you suggesting here?
  #81  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:16 PM
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Well, that's probably the worst example to use because discrimination is probably a much larger factor in explaining the disparity there than between any two other groups.
I think it's the best example. A discussion about race should start with the two largest racial groups in the country.

And if we're doing more than just talking, I feel that any efforts to combat racism should be directed first at the biggest problem.
  #82  
Old 12-19-2019, 10:22 PM
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Assuming you consider "culture" to be an inherent trait...
Let me ask you what "outside" factor you think might be causing the poorest racial group in NYC to significantly outperform the richest racial group in NYC?
Is it possible to have a discussion about black Americans on this board without you trying to sidetrack the conversation into a discussion of Asian-Americans?
  #83  
Old 12-19-2019, 11:08 PM
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All Asians are certainly not privileged and wealthy - but according to this , they were not the poorest ethnic group in NYC as of 2015.
OK so asians were the second poorest group in NYC that year. What's your point? They were still less affluent than whites and they still managed to outperform them academically, and not just on the stuyvesant exam. They outperformed whites in all the standardized tests given to students through the school year. And noone is prepping for those tests because they are an assessment of the school not the student. They are irrelevant to the student once they have entered the GT program

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Additionally, the poverty rate differs between countries of origin, between citizens and non-citizens and so on. It is entirely possible that the 73%* of students at Stuyvesant who are of Asian descent are mostly second-generation Chinese or Korean students from middle-class and up families** that could afford private education until 8th grade and/or tutoring.
Asians attending stuy are generally less affluent than the general population. The free and reduced lunch stats support this. Particularly the ones that barely get in (we know this due to the discovery program.

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It's even possible that the Black/Hispanic/White peers of these students mostly attend private high schools and if those students chose to attend the specialized high schools, the percentage of Asian students would be lower. Now, I don't know if those things are true, but the fact that they are possible are reasons why saying that the ethnic group with the highest poverty rate has the highest academic achievement *** doesn't really say anything.
Some of the black/hispanic peers are definitely attending private schools. Schools like Dalton were almost entirely white when I was a kid. Now it is 10% black with about 150 black students. Most of the private schools in NYC have all adopted a diversity policy and have significantly more black and hispanic students than when i was a kid.

What makes you think that affluent whites attend private schools but affluent asians would not? I don't think rich families of any race generally send their kids to stuy. There are at least 10 private schools that have better college placement records than stuyvesant. Stuyvesant is merely the best free high school in NYC.

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* There are about 3300 students so about 2400 are Asian.

** and there is no reliable way to tell how poor the students are - with a neighborhood school, you can at least assume the demographics are similar to the neighborhood. People have lied on free lunch forms ( since no proof was required ) since I went to high school 40 years ago, so that wouldn't be an accurate measure- and even if it was, NYC now provides lunch to every student.

***as defined by getting admitted into one of a few high schools that base admission on a single test.
If you won't accept the free and reduced lunch eligibility, then what would you accept? Do I have to get their parents' tax returns?
  #84  
Old 12-19-2019, 11:09 PM
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This is really really important: the average African American doesn't grow up in the projects. The fact that you think so, that that is the common impression of what "black culture" is, is really the whole issue in a nutshell. You can't use someone's race to generalize about their culture. And we don't usually use race to generalize about white people--we understand that a kid raised in rural Kansas with parents that work at a grain processing plant is going to have a different culture a kid who lives in San Francisco whose parents work in IT. But that makes sense to us because white is "neutral" and culture comes from something else.
For the record, I don't believe that the average African American grows up in the projects, my sentence was referring to a typical person growing up in the projects, not that people growing up in the projects represents the average African American. Sorry if my wording was unclear.

Again, you misunderstand me if you think I think there such such a thing as "black culture" any more than that I believe black people are all of the same socio-economic class. I believe black culture spans a range as diverse as any other race.

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Yes, we can talk about the impact of different types of culture on achievement, but culture doesn't map to race any more that genes map to race. It's vastly more nuanced and complicated than that.
And as I said, income doesn't map to race any better than culture maps to race. So my point is that culture is important, like income, and while it doesn't correlate perfectly with race, there are differences in proportions within races that could inform meaningful dialogue.
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Old 12-19-2019, 11:18 PM
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Yes, black children with highly ambitious parents often achieve at a very high rate. Of course they do. And I agree that being an immigrant can have a tremendous impact, just because of the guilt and the pressure. That's not a matter of culture, it's a matter of circumstance. Having a younger sibling die of cancer is a great motivator to be a doctor, but that's not cultural.

But the cultural variation I am talking about is way, way more nuanced than you seem to recognize. Money and education play a huge role--as does the specific community someone lives in. You can't say "Korean culture in America is like this". An undocumented Korean kid whose mom supports the family by cutting hair in her kitchen has a very different culture than the child of a Korean doctor.
That poor Korean hair dresser is likely to share some cultural values with the Korean doctor. Rich or poor, the emphasis on education is pretty universal among most families from korea. That's cultural.
  #86  
Old 12-19-2019, 11:21 PM
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Can you provide a cite for the bolded part? Your previous cite did not show that.
In what way do you think poor asians might have more opportunity than rich whites?
  #87  
Old 12-19-2019, 11:23 PM
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Is it possible to have a discussion about black Americans on this board without you trying to sidetrack the conversation into a discussion of Asian-Americans?
This thread is not about black americans. Why are you so uncomfortable talking about asian americans?
  #88  
Old 12-20-2019, 06:40 AM
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In what way do you think poor asians might have more opportunity than rich whites?
I don't think they do. I want a cite for your claim that poor Asians are outperforming rich whites. Attendance at Stuyvesant High School isn't the only measure of performance -- are poor Asians getting into better colleges than rich whites? Maybe the local schools for the rich white kids are good enough that they don't need to go to Stuyvesant. I was a smart high school kid and I didn't bother applying to Stuyvesant because the commute from Queens would be awful, and I didn't need to because my school was good enough. Maybe rich whites are going to elite private schools and boarding schools.

In your argument with someone else above, you seem to switch from poor Asians to middle class Asians and you're limiting your example to that one high school. To me, this is evidence of almost nothing.

So, anyway, please cite that poor Asians are outperforming rich white kids. Your argument is all over the place -- you cite an article that specifically warns against grouping all Asians together, because there is tons of diversity of opportunity just among the Asian population. It warns against exactly what you're doing -- claiming that Asians are doing just fine as some sort of special minority, when there are plenty of poor Asians in need who aren't getting any help. Then you switch from poor to middle class Asians when discussing Stuyvesant attendance, and you restrict your measure of performance to attendance at that high school. Rich kids don't have to go to Stuyvesant -- it attracts middle and lower income kids specifically because it's free and excellent.

Anyway, if the OP doesn't come back and clarify, I'm out. I'm not really interested in this kind of argument by attrition.
  #89  
Old 12-20-2019, 06:42 AM
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Aside from the following the rest were just "how to help poor people" suggestions

Yes, blacks are more likely to be victims of police brutality than whites. This needs to stop. So what law were you proposing again?

Busing is a good way to get Trump a third term. Come up with an idea that won't turn the white house permanently red.

I don't know enough about this but maybe we should put the black kids in ESL so they can all learn to speak english in a manner that will set them up for success later in life... like we do with the asian immigrant kids?

What law are you suggesting here?
I'm not really interested in debating these specific possibilities with you -- that you agree that at least some of them might improve opportunities for poor black Americans shows that our disagreements are much more about the specifics than the broad strokes of the issue. We both agree that there's significant discrimination and lack of opportunity facing poor black folks -- you just appear to want to focus on culture, and I'm more interested in public policy.
  #90  
Old 12-20-2019, 08:34 AM
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This thread is not about black americans. Why are you so uncomfortable talking about asian americans?
Seems like you only want to talk about Asian Americans and New York schools. Thatís a microscopic portion of the issue of fair treatment of all Americans.
  #91  
Old 12-20-2019, 08:55 AM
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Equalizing schools -- which may require busing. Busing actually worked -- poor black students' test scores and achievement went way, way up.
Do you have a cite for this specific claim? Namely, that the test scores for the poor black students who were bused went way, way up. In which cities did this happen, how much is "way, way", and did the parents of the poor students consider that the increase was worth it?

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  #92  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:17 AM
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Do you have a cite for this specific claim? Namely, that the test scores for the poor black students who were bused went way, way up. In which cities did this happen, how much is "way, way", and did the parents of the poor students consider that the increase was worth it?

Regards,
Shodan
https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/us/2...work-research/

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going to integrated schools for an additional five years caused high school graduation rates to jump by nearly 15 percentage points and reduced the likelihood of living in poverty by 11 percentage points...

...A study focusing on Louisiana between 1965 and 1970 found that integration dramatically boosted black studentsí chances of graduating high school...

...black and Hispanic students who participated in a Bay Area integration program had higher test scores and college attendance rates...

...low-income students who attended affluent schools did better on state tests as a result...

...The children of those who attended integrated schools had higher test scores and were more likely to attend college, too.
  #93  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:19 AM
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Oh, well then I'm okay with that. I'm not the spokesman for the liberal position but, speaking for myself, I believe that there's no inherent racial connection to merit. I don't believe that any racial group is inherently better or worse on average than any other racial group. So if one racial group is achieving significantly more or less than the average, I think the answer is outside factors affecting that group rather than inherent traits within the group.
What outside factors?
That sounds an awful lot like, we didn't get the results we wanted with that policy Ö so RACISM!

Now of course you didn't come right out and say that but please specify what other factors do you fault for equality of outcomes not reached that don't involve culture or the person or groups choices.
  #94  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:36 AM
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I consider myself a liberal, and if other liberals disagree with me I would be happy to hear from them as well. I think youíre missing and in fact seem to be actively dismissing the main issue. Culture does make a difference and I believe is THE biggest issue. But that IS an opportunity that needs equalizing. Having parents that value education is way more important than having parents that are rich or geniuses. Dismissing culture as somehow being apart from opportunity fails at the most basic level. Coming from a good culture that values education is not only part of opportunity, itís the most important factor.

ETA. And as mentioned upthread the wealthiest families probably have a culture of relying on their money and connections and caring less about education.
Man, I agree with you. Now for the million dollar question. What specific policies would you craft that allow for the disparity to change in regards to changing a groups culture?

We don't dismiss culture, we wallow in it. But you can't fix people who don't want to fix themselves.
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Old 12-20-2019, 09:40 AM
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Of course I think that. The way to do so, however, is by changing those cultures so that they do value education. Are you saying that those cultures where parents are less likely to value education should continue to place a low value on education?
No, they shouldn't, but they have, and they still do and likely will in the future.
I imagine that over a very lengthy time period, it will slowly, gradually change, with no governmental intervention AT ALL.
I don't know how to go about changing a culture, especially when you have the other side crying foul over the very thought of the attempt to change it.
In fact, I don't see how any government intervention will speed it up.
  #96  
Old 12-20-2019, 09:42 AM
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Throughout history, the wealthy "haves" always blamed the "have-nots" for their own plight, broadly speaking, using things like "culture" as excuses. This was always bullshit. It was always unbalanced and unfair systems. We can look at any class or ethnic conflict -- it was never the culture of the out-group to blame. Communism was the wrong move for Tsarist Russia, but Tsarist Russia really was a rotten, unfair system that prevented most Russians at the time from having a decent chance at a comfortable life, not the culture of the masses.

We're not suddenly in some unique situation in which finally the culture of the out-group is really the problem. It's still the system, when we're talking about big groups of millions of people. Human beings are human beings, regardless of culture. Most humans just want decent, peaceful lives, no matter their culture. When huge swaths of a group doesn't have this chance, it's because the systems are failing them. Not because they're all failing themselves.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 12-20-2019 at 09:43 AM.
  #97  
Old 12-20-2019, 10:15 AM
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so an unequal outcome on group level, means equal opportunity hasn't been achieved.
And another person who believes that we don't have equality of opportunity until we have equality of outcome

Maybe this sentiment isn't as rare as you guys think (especially when some of you are the same ones holding this view).
Nice editing there.

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Someone saying equal outcome means we haven't achieved equal opportunity is extremely unlikely to mean we don't have equal opportunity until every person becomes a doctor. They're saying they believe the factors you mention aren't correlated with e.g. ethnicity, so an unequal outcome on group level, means equal opportunity hasn't been achieved.

I'm sure you'd be able to find someone somewhere who wants people to wear weighted pants and blurry glasses to make everyone absolutely equal, but that doesn't mean it's a sensible thing to discuss.
But by all means, if you want to spend your Holiday building strawmen with Velocity, go right ahead.
  #98  
Old 12-20-2019, 11:02 AM
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Throughout history, the wealthy "haves" always blamed the "have-nots" for their own plight, broadly speaking, using things like "culture" as excuses. This was always bullshit. It was always unbalanced and unfair systems. We can look at any class or ethnic conflict -- it was never the culture of the out-group to blame. Communism was the wrong move for Tsarist Russia, but Tsarist Russia really was a rotten, unfair system that prevented most Russians at the time from having a decent chance at a comfortable life, not the culture of the masses.

We're not suddenly in some unique situation in which finally the culture of the out-group is really the problem. It's still the system, when we're talking about big groups of millions of people. Human beings are human beings, regardless of culture. Most humans just want decent, peaceful lives, no matter their culture. When huge swaths of a group doesn't have this chance, it's because the systems are failing them. Not because they're all failing themselves.
Putting it only on "systems" is also an oversimplification though. Systems are problematic, but there is still a wide spectrum of motivation/talent/energy/DNA traits in any given populace.

This debate, like many others, centers mainly on a conservative tendency to attribute success/failure to traits that are internal and liberal tendency to attribute success/failure to circumstances that are external. Both tend to overlook the other.
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Old 12-20-2019, 11:13 AM
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Putting it only on "systems" is also an oversimplification though. Systems are problematic, but there is still a wide spectrum of motivation/talent/energy/DNA traits in any given populace.

This debate, like many others, centers mainly on a conservative tendency to attribute success/failure to traits that are internal and liberal tendency to attribute success/failure to circumstances that are external. Both tend to overlook the other.
I don't have any problem with looking at "internal traits" when analyzing individual performance. But it's bullshit to do so when we're looking at groups of millions. When we're talking about groups of millions, especially when they're categorized by superficial characteristics like race or ethnicity, "internal traits" will average out, for characteristics that aren't superficial.
  #100  
Old 12-20-2019, 12:23 PM
UltraVires is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shodan View Post
It feels like we have had this discussion before.

Nonetheless, it is a question that lends itself to analysis.

Now, we know that single parents, mostly mothers, and their children are disproportionately likely to be in poverty. And likewise that the children of single mothers are disproportionately subject to the various social ills you describe - poorer educational outcomes, higher rates of crime, unemployment, etc. The interesting thing is that this is the case for black and white single mothers alike - both suffer from higher rates of these social ills, for themselves and their children. So now we examine the groups of "black Americans in general" and "white Americans in general" and see if, for instance, there is a difference in incidence of single parenting, mostly mothers.

If one group experiences single parenthood at 40%, and the other at 73%, one would predict that the group at 73% would be disproportionately suffering from the various social ills. And sure enough, that's what we see. No inherent factors needed.

Regards,
Shodan
To play a bit of a devil's advocate, I think the idea is that if you had equality of opportunity then you wouldn't have such an elevated illegitimate birth rate in the second group so everything should sort itself out unless one is contending that the second group has such an innate characteristic as to have these increased birth rates regardless of opportunity.

Of course, it could be argued that some on the left who discard traditional notions of morality and claim that there is nothing wrong with having children outside of marriage are contributing to illegitimacy, with equality of opportunity, this should fall on all groups equally.
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