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Old 06-16-2006, 11:14 AM   #61
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Maybe you will just have to start dismantling government programs and organisations.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:01 PM   #62
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Maybe you will just have to start dismantling government programs and organisations.


well that's been the plan from the beginning.

it's called "Starve the Beast" -- spend like mad on right wing nanny-state programs as well as the military (a great way to do this is to look around and search for a war, and then find a justification) and simultaneously slash taxes.

you'd find many Republicans in DC who would love to fully eliminate the Department of Education or Housing and Urban Development -- pretty much any government organization is expendable, save for the military.

after all, the churches can do all that other work.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:04 PM   #63
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How many people are educated by the Department of Education?

Oh, that's a state function.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:07 PM   #64
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How many people are educated by the Department of Education?

Oh, that's a state function.


yes, why would we need a national program to ensure equal access to education.

i wonder just how bad the Mississippi public schools would be *without* the department of education -- but, hey, if you're poor, that's your own fault.
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:56 PM   #65
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yes, why would we need a national program to ensure equal access to education.

i wonder just how bad the Mississippi public schools would be *without* the department of education -- but, hey, if you're poor, that's your own fault.
Those damn states can't govern themselves. We should get rid of them.

I wonder how much better off Mississippi students would be if just a fraction of the DOE budget was actually spent on MS schools.
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Old 06-16-2006, 01:03 PM   #66
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Those damn states can't govern themselves. We should get rid of them.



well, isn't this the message you're sending? leave states to their own devices, and the stars will rise (Connecticut) and the dregs will fall (Alabama). so if you happened to be born in a state with a crappy education system and thoroughly corrupt state and local government (which, i'd suspect, are largely more corrupt than the federal government due to the checks and balances and scrutiny that comes with Washington DC), i suppose it sucks to be you.


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I wonder how much better off Mississippi students would be if just a fraction of the DOE budget was actually spent on MS schools.

and do you think a chunk of money handed to the MS state government would actually be spent on the students of MS?

i am actually quite sympathetic to federalism when it comes to certain cultural questions -- certainly, marriage equality seems like an issue best left to the states -- but when it comes to meeting basic needs, and i'd certainly call education a need, then i'm not so certain some states would be better at feeding and clothing and educating their citizens without federal aid and oversight. it seems to me that some citizens would be subjected to bad government on the basis of being born in the wrong state.
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:54 AM   #67
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Here's an interesting side note. I read somewhere that people in other countries often assume that Americans are all thin and beautiful (presumably because of the influence of movies and TV). One of my high school students who is from China confirmed this. She was quite shocked when I told her that most Americans are overweight. Couuldn't believe it.
Actually most people I know who have visited the US have often commented on how many grossly obese people they've seen, and thought they were solely the preserve of shows like Jerry Springer, not real life

The other thing they all comment on is the excessive portion sizes of meals served in the US. No other country seems to serve up so much crap as do the US. Obviously this and my earlier point may have links.

Actually I don't understand this argument that it's cheaper and convenient to buy fast food than it is to buy fresh fruit, meat and vegetables. What is more important to you, your long term health or saving 3 bucks here and there?
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Old 06-18-2006, 12:24 PM   #68
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Actually most people I know who have visited the US have often commented on how many grossly obese people they've seen, and thought they were solely the preserve of shows like Jerry Springer, not real life

The other thing they all comment on is the excessive portion sizes of meals served in the US. No other country seems to serve up so much crap as do the US. Obviously this and my earlier point may have links.

Actually I don't understand this argument that it's cheaper and convenient to buy fast food than it is to buy fresh fruit, meat and vegetables. What is more important to you, your long term health or saving 3 bucks here and there?


don't worry -- from what i understand, Australia is now #2 behind the US when it comes to obesity. soon, you'll be able to gawk at your own citizens.



(and yes, it's much to do with portion size -- it's more economical)
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Old 06-18-2006, 03:25 PM   #69
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The other thing they all comment on is the excessive portion sizes of meals served in the US. No other country seems to serve up so much crap as do the US.
This is so TRUE! Every time I visit the States I'm shocked, genuinely shocked, by the massive chargers they bring out at the restaurants. I find that when I go out to eat in the States I leave the restaurant feeling "stuffed to the gills" whereas in Saipan I leave feeling comfortably full.

But Americans just like everything "big." Their houses, apartments, cars, even the roads are huge! Every where else I've been whether Europe, Asia, Australia, Oceania, everyone else seems to be happy with everything just a bit smaller.

I guess it's only logical that the American girth should be big to match everything else.
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:37 PM   #70
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Actually I don't understand this argument that it's cheaper and convenient to buy fast food than it is to buy fresh fruit, meat and vegetables. What is more important to you, your long term health or saving 3 bucks here and there?
Cost and convenience are two separate factors. With a little planning, I doubt either are material factors. We are not victims of fast food establishments, we are simply following our tastes.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:20 PM   #71
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We are not victims of fast food establishments, we are simply following our tastes.


do you think the ubiquity of fast food establishments is a concerted effort by these companies to eliminate notions of "choice"?
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:41 PM   #72
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do you think the ubiquity of fast food establishments is a concerted effort by these companies to eliminate notions of "choice"?
When they start buying grocery stores, you may have the start of an argument.

There are healthy QSR out there - usually independents who cannot generate a substantial following. But ask the average American and you will find that a plate of salted fried potatoes sounds better than a plate of steamed vegetables.
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:47 PM   #73
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When they start buying grocery stores, you may have the start of an argument.


but when there are more McDonald's than grocery stores, when they are everywhere, particularly on the highways that we drive our SUVs down every day from our track housing to the exurban office parks, how much choice do we have when the kids are hungry after soccer practice and right wing radio has been blasting in your ear for hours?

i think if you look into, say, Coca-Cola's marketing strategy, they absolutely see ubiquity and convenience as crucial pieces of their business plan.

why would McDonalds -- especially with their kid-friendly advertising -- be any different? besides, with a prepared meal that you can purchase in less time than you can do a grocery shop, aren't they seeking to take your dollars away from said grocery story? isn't that precisely their competition?
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:09 PM   #74
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You are arguing against individual choice.

McDonalds doesn't build stores as loss leaders, they build them where they know they will make money. And as long as people choose quick and tasty over healthy and carefully prepared, you will have fat people.

This is really no different than any other product that can have a negative influence on society. It is a parent's responsibility to regulate, control and set expectations - for the food , the entertainment , the activities, the education, etc.

Have you looked over McDonald's CSR (corporate social responsiblity) report? It does show changes in their menu offereing around the world. What are they to do when french fries still outsell fruit in the Happy Meal?
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:15 PM   #75
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You are arguing against individual choice.


i am arguing that it is in the best interest of McDonald's bottom line to reduce choice inasmuch as that is possible to do so.

firstly, i think we overestimate just how much choice we have -- from an empirical standpoint, yes, of course we can choose not to eat at McDonalds. however, you can bet that McDonalds spends a tremendous amount of money presenting itself as a logical and resonable and economical place to have a meal, and it does this in a variety of ways and it presents you, the consumer, with a variety of reasons to choose to eat at McDonalds. it also does this with the product itself -- the food is so fatty, sugary, so laden with carbohydrates that it literally delivers something akin to a "high" to the consumer, and it does this especially to children (a highly developed marketing tactic). in some ways, it's a sugar delivery system much in the way that a cigarette is a nicotine delivery system.
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