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The public sector in direst need of reform is ...

Displaying poll results.
  4408 votes / 32%
  3135 votes / 23%
Law Enforcement / Corrections
  1757 votes / 12%
Infrastructure / Public Works
  963 votes / 7%
Science / Space R&D
  913 votes / 6%
  1200 votes / 8%
  491 votes / 3%
Other, explained below
  691 votes / 5%
13558 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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The public sector in direst need of reform is ...

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @01:32AM (#43662347)

    Education might win this if people think like I did: Educate people, and all the other problems get solved.

    Note, education doesn't just mean dumping facts into brains. It means instilling integrity, which is the hard part.

    I don't see it happening. It's possible to prune the branches of this ugly tree, but truly good education would axe the problems at the root.

    Now, this is my opinion and I know it's controversial; but tell the unions to pound sand. Tenure? Bite me. Complex rules for teacher evaluation? Bollocks. Let the managers evaluate you just like they do in any company. Let managers set pay based on merit according to their judgement, and subject the managers to that process too, all the way up until you hit people that can only be fired by election.

  • by geirlk (171706) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @05:00AM (#43663109)

    Ironically, here in Norway May 8. has since WWII been the Liberation Day, where we've celebrated the liberation of Norway from the nazis, and peace in general.

    We've never had any tradition for military parades etc. But for some reason they've now all of a sudden decided to put the Veterans Day on May 8. too. So now the Liberation day is full of military personell and vehicles all over the capital. I do agree the Veterans should have their day, but I do not think it fitting to choose the Liberation Day for that purpose.

    In Norwegian []

    Via Google translate: []

  • by wickerprints (1094741) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @05:20AM (#43663207)

    Education is the only option in the list which, if addressed properly, would lead to resolution or improvement of ALL the other options. How?

    Educational level correlates with better awareness of one's health. If kids are taught from a young age to eat well in school (rather than left by the parents to just sit in front of the indoctrination box called the TV, watching endless advertisements for snacks and candy and fast food), we wouldn't be having an obesity and diabetes epidemic. Revitalize the school lunch programs, bring back mandatory physical education, and health education. Furthermore, educational level is a predictor of adult income levels, and the higher your income, the less you are forced to eat cheap processed fast foods as your main source of nutrition.

    Education reduces crime and poverty rates, leading to less need for law enforcement, jails, and alleviates the overburdened court system. It also equalizes access to the legal system, which has become exorbitantly costly.

    Education creates the engineers who build public works and infrastructure. With better education comes increased income and tax revenue, resulting in more monies to pay for such projects.

    Education creates the scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and technologists who run the space program, but education among ALL citizens more crucially increases AWARENESS of the importance of the role of such people in building the economy for future generations. Even if you don't go into a STEM career, having more than a GED-level education will show you the value of such positions in society.

    Education reduces the need for large military forces. Smarter people don't fight wars because they don't GET into wars. Wars are fought because the people who have a political and/or financial interest to create conflict and profit off it, incite war through strategic foreign policy decisions. They manipulate and foment paranoia and fear in the public, in order to achieve their goals. Afghanistan and Iraq are the product of decades of foreign policy masterminded by Big Oil, using various excuses such as anti-communism and anti-terrorism, to justify spilling blood for their own profit. If people were better educated, they would be less susceptible to believing the lies that their government feeds them.

    Education brings about scientific literacy and critical thinking skills, again allowing people to resist propaganda from climate change deniers (who are, like the military example above, shills from big business interests who are solely focused on short-term profit and are happy to destroy the environment for centuries to come as long as it makes them rich in their lifetime). If you lack those critical thinking skills, you won't know how to formulate questions about the world around you in a scientific and objective manner, and you won't be able to understand why scientific reasoning is fundamentally superior to religious, dogmatic, or ideological reasoning.

    The only reason why we have so many problems in this world is because too many people are too damn stupid to know they are being manipulated by those who are in power. And the reason they are stupid is because they are KEPT that way by those in power. The LAST thing the government wants to do is make its citizens smart enough to question its motives and hold them and their campaign backers accountable. All they need from the people is to make them smart enough to turn on their TVs to watch Fox News, and know how to tap a touchscreen voting machine--and that's only until they figure out a way to eliminate the need for them to vote at all.

  • by Proudrooster (580120) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @07:26AM (#43663609) Homepage

    You might think scores are flat or declining, but this is not acccurate. There is a large gap betweeen what is tested and what is "required" to be taught. State curriculum websites are more of wish lists than actual curriculum guides. They are typically "a mile wide and an inch deep". It is impossible to cover all the material with any fidelity.

    And then there's the test. What will be tested and how will the questions be constructed. I can teach you an simple concept like Ohms law and then have a test writer construct a 4-paragraph question with multiple graphs about resistance and current followed by 3 tricky multiple choice questions and there is a good chance you will screw it up.

    This is the way I see it. Many schools are "good" and server their communities and students well. Schools is less desiriable communities are understaffed, under-resources, have large staff turn over and are the poster child for school reform and waste.

    Some politicians look at education in the same manner that the look at defense spending... LOOK A BIG PILE OF MONEY... HOW DO I FUNNEL IT TO MY FRIENDS? The trick is to constant "reform" schools until they system can no longer respond to change and shows up on test scores as a flat-line or negative grow. Then you can shout, "LOOK ALL THE SCHOOLS ARE FAILING, HA! WE TOLD YOU!" we need an unlimited voucher program. People should be free to choose any school.

    What will happen is that schools will accept the vouchers + tuition and education will become stratified. Everyone will pay as much as they can to send their kids to a "good school" while the poor concetrate and languish in the left-over public schools.

    As a parent, I like the idea of vouchers and being able to send my kid anywhere, public or private. The voucher could be used as a coupon for that really expensive private school. As a citizen in a democracy, I shudder, thinking that our democracy depends on strong public institutions like public schools and without them our society will crumble. I also believe history bears this out.

    What is the solution? ..... ask me and I will share my education policy. :)

  • Congress (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Linnen (735667) on Wednesday May 08, 2013 @10:03AM (#43664641)

    One of the best 'Ha Ha, Seriously' suggestions is that Congress Critter should be required to wear NASCAR-style sponsor stickers whenever in session or speaking in public / on TV

  • by riverat1 (1048260) on Thursday May 09, 2013 @02:19AM (#43672511)

    In one draft of the speech it was "the military-industrial-congressional complex". To bad Ike didn't leave that in.

Weekend, where are you?


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