The State of the Nation.WE ARE GOING TO BE SWAMPED "Swamped" is the seventeenth episode of The Batman's second season. It originally aired in North America on June 11, 2005. Plot Synopsis
Killer Croc, a half-man, half reptile plans to submerge all of Gotham in water in order to facilitate his plundering of the city. with books at the millennium about the future of the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . One way to decide which ones to read is to look in their indexes. If an index refers to Derek Bok Derek Curtis Bok (born March 22, 1930) is an American lawyer and educator, and the former president of Harvard University.
Bok was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Stanford University (B.A., 1951), Harvard Law School (J.D. extensively, read the book; if it doesn't, pass.
In The State of the Nation, Bok has taken on a formidable task. He has surveyed the major social changes in the United States since World War II and examined not only the causes of each trend, but also the pattern of the combined changes. His survey ranges from the economy to quality of life to opportunities to values. He examines in detail crime, race, education, children, the environment, the arts, health poverty, and old age.
And if that's not enough, he then compares the U.S. social trends to those in other industrial countries. The international comparisons show what part of U.S. trends are common to all advanced economies, such as the slowing of productivity growth, and suggest what trends may be unique to our own particular culture, such as the dramatic increase in violent crimes.
The evidence he amasses to describe the underlying tectonics tectonics
Scientific study of the deformation of the rocks that make up the Earth's crust and the forces that produce such deformation. It deals with the folding and faulting associated with mountain building; the large-scale, gradual, upward and downward movements of the of American society comes from a wealth of research and statistics. He is, however, not at the mercy of their inadequacies. Bok knows the weaknesses of both, and sifts the evidence for his conclusions. He is quick to point out when the research is equivocal EQUIVOCAL. What has a double sense.
2. In the construction of contracts, it is a general rule that when an expression may be taken in two senses, that shall be preferred which gives it effect. Vide Ambiguity; Construction; Interpretation; and Dig. and the data inadequate. This caution increases his credibility for the conclusions he does feel confident in making.
Bok's analysis shows that the United States has been making more progress than many people realize. Progress, however, has noticeably slowed in the last two decades, and compared with other countries, we are not making enough improvement. For instance, educational achievement in the United States is not as bad as people say, and is actually improving--but not as fast as in other countries. Similarly, poverty in the United States Poverty in the United States refers to people whose annual family income is less than a "poverty line" set by the U.S. government. Poverty is a condition in which a person or community is deprived of, or lacks the essentials for, a minimum standard of well being and life. has actually decreased significantly since the 1960s. And although the poor in the United States have less income than in other countries, they are not necessarily consuming less, and therefore may not be more deprived. In race relations race relations
the relations between members of two or more races within a single community
race relations npl → relaciones fpl raciales
we've made more progress than is generally believed, but the easy gains may have already been made. And in this area, we have no easy models that can be applied from other countries.
What slowly emerges from the tapestry tapestry, hand-woven fabric of plain weave made without shuttle or drawboy, the design of weft threads being threaded into the warp with fingers or a bobbin. of data and research that Bok weaves is a wealthy nation that is under-achieving. And the question of why the wealthiest country in history is not making more progress drives this book.
Bok ultimately concludes that our successes as a society are in areas in which we depend on individual rather than government initiative, such as scientific research at universities and private enterprise. Unfortunately, many of society's needs cannot be solved by individuals alone. But when the U.S. government becomes more proactive, Bok notes, it does less well than in other countries. For instance, the U.S. spends more than most countries on education and more than all on health care, yet our systems generate greater resentment, are slow and more expensive, and produce no better results than those in Europe.
Since WWII WWII
World War II
WWII World War Two the U.S. courts have strengthened the commitment to individual freedoms over commitment to community. But this has come at the same time as increasing government assumption of social responsibility for vulnerable populations and a perceived decline in personal responsibility, especially within the family. The lack of familial familial /fa·mil·i·al/ (fah-mil´e-il) occurring in more members of a family than would be expected by chance.
adj. commitment has helped swell the welfare rolls with fatherless children. And government poverty programs have been a poor substitute for two-parent families. We have had a failure of imagination about how to support the deserving de·serv·ing
Worthy, as of reward, praise, or aid.
de·serving·ly adv. poor kids without supporting their undeserving parents.
Ironically, when the government does become more proactive, it does not systematically evaluate its own programs. We, therefore, rarely learn from either our successes or failures. We don't take advantage of the natural experiments our federal system generates when states take the initiatives to experiment with new programs. An important federal role should be to provide impartial Favoring neither; disinterested; treating all alike; unbiased; equitable, fair, and just. evaluation of state and local experiments and then to disseminate dis·sem·i·nate
v. dis·sem·i·nat·ed, dis·sem·i·nat·ing, dis·sem·i·nates
1. To scatter widely, as in sowing seed.
2. the results. But when the feds can't even evaluate themselves, they are hardly credible evaluators for others. Nevertheless, the new welfare reform provisions mandate that the federal government evaluate the state programs. The real test will not be whether the feds can give good news to Congress and the states on their reforms; it will be whether they can give bad news.
Another issue that Bok's analysis implicitly raises, but does not explicitly address, is why, when our social science research is as good or better than any in the world, our social policies are so dyslexic dys·lex·ic or dys·lec·tic
Of or relating to dyslexia.
A person affected by dyslexia. . Bok's analysis of science and technology points out that the US. government supports scientific research at similar levels as other industrial countries. But the United States has more scientists, including social scientists and engineers, in the labor force than any other country except Japan. Why then isn't the best social science research leading to the best social policies among industrial countries?
One reason is that no other industrial country has a society as complex as the United States. The country is growing at twice the rate of most developed nations, we have considerably more immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. than other countries, and we are becoming more diverse more rapidly. In the 21st century, the United States is going to have a population with no ethnic group in the majority. But while rapid changes and increasing diversity help explain why we face complex social challenges, they are no excuse for chronic under achievement.
Bok concludes that the state of the nation is more complicated, but less bleak, than people assume. The U.S. is still the most productive country in the world, but we require improvements in education, training, and investment to continue making progress. And those improvements cannot be done well without efficient government policies. That's why his next book will be on governance. Stay tuned.
BARBARA BOYLE TORREY is executive director of the Commission on Behavioral and Social Science and Education at the National Research Council.