I applaud the governors of all four states for taking a proactive stance on this potentially dangerous virus. No disrespect to the CDC and the Obama administration, but what was the "science" behind Dr. Spencer contracting the disease? Given all the knowledge afforded him, Dr. Spencer came down with Ebola. As for Ms. Hickox screaming about how she tested negative for the disease and was still sequestered... I thought it takes from one to twenty-one days to be declared Ebola-free. There are too many lives at stake here in the U.S. for us to cross our fingers and hope that every good Samaritan returning from Africa will surrender to the authorities the minute they register a fever. With fifteen million people living/rubbing shoulders in the NY metro area, better safe than sorry.
Our loss of privacy has given us the opportunity to expound upon this article, read today's NYT outside the local metro day area today-not later. Reading the comments informs me that NYT readers are not average and Alan Troffel's Future Shock seems more relevant today than when published in 1970. We have lost the privileges of making mistakes and learning from them on our own timetable, allowing a thought to fully digest and grow without being broadcast with glaring lights and repercussions. We could correct, edit, rethink our actions and thoughts later. Fortunately, we have had to expand our definition of average because we have access to a larger number of people and more information about them than ever before. Unfortunately, we have too much information and not enough wisdom. As I watch people gaze into the navel of their phones I often think "is this what is what like when the mirror was invented." We could no longer stay private, local, and average because now see ourselves as the world does.
Our educational system has numerous problems, but I would not put "test based accountability" at the top of the list, especially since under NCLB, some states, specifically NY, were able to manipulate test scores, which inflated school performance statistics.The "real" problem with our educational system is it is designed as a one size fits all model, especially with the goal that 95% of HS students are expected to graduate HS fully prepared to attend college. This is an unrealistic expectation, and does more harm to students who are not academically inclined, and would be better served with a HS degree in a relevant vocational field.Unfortunately, vocational students in NY's suburban schools are often stigmatized as "less than" simply because they are "BOCES" students.As to teachers pay, while it is probably true that a vast majority of our nation's teachers are underpaid, this is not the case in the suburban NY Metro Area, where teacher salaries and benefits rank very close to similarly educated professionals, except once a NY teacher is granted tenure, they are guaranteed to ascend to top 90% wage level in their field, while similarly educated professionals, such as accountants have no such guarantee.There is far too little space here to list all our educational deficiencies, but one final suggestion is we abandon Pre-K programs and focus on teaching parents the value of reading to their infant and toddler children on a daily basis.
I wonder how much of this can be attributed to cultural differences in interacting with children? I grew up in an affluent suburb, where it is fairly common for parents to keep up an endless stream of talk with their kids. "Look at that sign! What color is it? It's RED! Do you know what it says? Let's read the letters! S-T-O-P! It's a stop sign! How many sides does it have?..." But when I ride the bus here in DC, which tends to have a lower-income ridership compared to the Metro, many parents with young children seem to ignore them most of the time, or only pay attention to them when reprimanding them.(Of course, I've seen plenty of high-income parents ignoring their kids wile jabbering away on cell phones, and low-income parents who look like they have exemplary parenting skills, so the above observations are certainly not universal.)
Your condescension on the basis of my generation seems unnecessary. As Andrew below mentioned, there is a rating system in place. I always make sure to highly rate my driver after I finish a ride, and if they were a "creep," I would rate them negatively and warn my friends not to engage their services. You're right that my experiences don't represent a valid sample, especially since I try to rely on public transit (metro and bus) whenever possible and usually only take cabs when neither of those options are available. However, most of the evidence being given in this comment section when it comes to experiences with cabs and Uber is anecdotal and not statistically valid. Hopefully soon somebody will be able to collect statistically sound data about the experiences of both Uber drivers and consumers.
"Median household incomes in the Washington D.C. metro area are now the highest in the nation, over 2.5 times that prevailing elsewhere. And you consider this fair?"Perhaps it depends, first, on exactly WHY median household incomes in D.D. are higher than elsewhere and, then, second, on what you mean by fair.In the first case, is it government employee salaries that are the primary driver of higher median income or is it the salaries of lobbiests and executives at private companies that locate in the D.C. area to take advantage of proximity to politicians and government agencies? In the second case, to the degree that the median household income is driven by government employees, is it that their incomes (which actually seem rather modest) are too high or that incomes in the rest of the country, which is largely de-unionized, have been dragged down by the flow of income to those at the tippy top?
Many female MDs do not develop substantial practices, work long hours or participate in the most important specialties such as orthopedic or general surgery (less than 10% of practitioners). Everyone knows there is an overrepresentation of MDs in large urban areas, many will accept lower earnings to live in a nice metro area. Remember also, the government subsidizes residencies to the tune of $100k per year per MD, so to become a part-timer is short changing the system and not fulfilling the obligations of being a physician. We need more general practitioners and family doctors that are dedicated to make the system work, particularly Obamacare. Virtually all experts believe our $2.7 medical expenditures annually to be 30% fraud, waste and unnecessary procedures, read the literature.
Worked as a doctor in a busy metro ED for 27 years and can say that you haven't lived until you have tried to convince a geriatric patient that a one day history of insomnia is not a medical emergency at 3 AM. Also, had to flush my own mother's Xanax ( from her primary MD ) down the toilet after she could barely walk down jet way coming to visit. She had no recollection of the flight. I would never prescribe a benzo to an older patient for sleep. Neither Ambien. Spend a week with me and one would be shocked at the percentage of visits related to addiction to benzos and narcotics - it's an epidemic. Best advice for insomnia: no napping during the day, give up caffeine and don't watch Fox news, CNN or ( god forbid ) the local news before bedtime.