Americans just can't add.

Discussion in 'Wall St. News' started by KINGOFSHORTS, Dec 29, 2009.

  1. A few tidbits from this article. Man we are in deep shit :)

    But it's impossible to ignore the fact that individual consumers made a lot of really bad choices in the past decade. They bought homes with $2,000 mortgages when they only earned $3,000 a month. They borrowed money at 30 percent interest to buy granite countertops. Aren’t they to blame for their own demise? To be an honest journalist, I had to ask: Why are American consumers so gullible, so seemingly out of control? Is there something wrong with us?

    Yet in a recent government study, less than one in seven American adults ranked “proficient” at math.

    *The U.S. ranks 25th among 30 industrialized nations in math scores, down near Serbia and Uruguay. U.S. students thought they had the highest grades of any nation in the study, however.
  2. When you combine "peer pressure" from neighbors/family, stupidity, huge advertising to buy, buy, availability of "credit", easy access to shopping malls, internet purchase, home delivery, store sales every few days, it adds up to one powerful cocktail that the American consumer can't resist. Unless they're bankrupt or are on welfare.
  3. Just curious: why should I, as an American, care where Iraq is on the map? Will that make anyone's life better or more complete? Mine? A random Iraqi's?

    It's just a piece of trivia. Just like knowing what song was #1 on the Billboard charts the day you was born. It doesn't hurt, but it doesn't matter.

    I am more concerned with the average American being able to:
    Perform the Heimlich maneuver
    Splint a broken bone
    Apply a tourniquet
    Make change without the register telling them the answer
    Drive without crashing into me or my loved ones

    Get where I'm going?
  4. I dont think that its that they are bad at math...i think its just that they are too lazy to do the math and then connect the dots of how many hours they have to work to pay for that borrowed money. They will go out and buy a 30k car and be happy they got a 5 yr loan at 6% interest. They wont do the math that says "hey...6% interest per year on $30k is $1,800 divided by 12 months and im paying $150 per month for interest. For a guy that makes $15 bucks per hour, thats working 10 hours per month just to borrow the money to buy that car. They dont get that they just worked a day plus 2 hours overtime for free when they borrowed that money. And if they have bad credit and get a 20% loan, look they are working 4 days without pay, just to pay the interest.
  5. My lazy American students
    “I’ll do better,’’ my student told me, leaning forward in his chair. “I know I’ve gotten behind this semester, but I’m going to turn things around. Would it be OK if I finished all my uncompleted work by Monday?’’

    I sat silent for a moment. “Yes. But it’s important that you catch up completely this weekend, so that you’re not just perpetually behind.’’

    A few weeks later, I would conduct a nearly identical conversation with two other students. And, again, there would be no tangible result: No make-up papers. No change in effort. No improvement in time management.

    By the time students are in college, habits can be tough to change. If you’re used to playing video games like “Modern Warfare’’ or “Halo’’ all night, how do you fit in four hours of homework? Or rest up for class?

    Teaching in college, especially one with a large international student population, has given me a stark - and unwelcome - illustration of how Americans’ work ethic often pales in comparison with their peers from overseas.

    My “C,’’ “D,’’ and “F’’ students this semester are almost exclusively American, while my students from India, China, and Latin America have - despite language barriers - generally written solid papers, excelled on exams, and become valuable class participants.
  6. bkveen3


    in comparison with china, india, and latin america yes we are lazy. We need to care more about school. But in comparison with europe we are still far more active and take more responsibility. I did an internship at a steel plant in germany this summer and I have couldn't believe how lazy european culture is. The entire western world is going to get past up.
  7. So you think ignorance is irrelevant?

    Knowing geography and history is important for a population because it is the only thing that may prevent another Vietnam type pointless war.
  8. Americans may have some of the most stupid people (I've no doubt this is true). But they also have some of the smartest and most imaginative. Yes, even today.

    I tell my wife all the time (she is taking her citizenship test shortly) that a melting pot - by nature - gets both the best of humanity and the worst.

    But yes, our country is good at being an "enabler". Since our culture is exported everywhere, all we do is care about our culture. It's one of the most sickening aspects of America. This belief in the overall incorrect thought that "I have no need to learn about the world outside my door."
  9. Who do those 18-25 yr olds have to look up to? People defaulting on credit and spending past their limit? People who probably couldn't even do the math themselves? Nice survey considering they didn't poll 25+. I'd like to see how stupid they are considering that's the age group that practically crashed the economy.
    #10     Dec 29, 2009